SEE: Sem Project


The initial concept started out as a visualisation of data points, namely the increasing mean temperatures of different continents. As I tried to work with these cam shapes, I was unable to figure out a way to make it work with the followers. So the concept was adapted to portray an ‘underwater’ scene instead, with the cams driving the motions of elements like waves, fishing rods, lights and sea creatures.


Main cam and follower section

Cam and follower driving fishing rods and lights

Chain connecting bottom and top mechanisms

Another cam and follower set driving the movement of waves and sea creatures

The waves are connected to both top and bottom mechanisms to amplify movement and create more variations

Overview of top mechanism with rods to amplify movement

Obstacles and lessons learnt

Initially there was the issue of not being able to work with the highly irregular cam shapes derived from data points. The follower rods also had to be tweaked to work with eccentric cams. It was a delicate dance to get the surfaces in contact right to work(sufficiently well). There was also a practical weight limit to how much the linkages could lift, as I found out during the last stages of attaching the waves. All in all, any one part that was added or subtracted tends to affect another part of the system in small or big ways. Extension springs were also good for stiffening parts as they allow for more leeway in terms of measurement.


Final presentation

Image courtesy of Nasya

Image courtesy of Amanda

Project pitch & WIP


With the help of pandemic data, explore/see the turbulent relationship within reported/death rates among major travel hubs.

Research different mechanisms for generating movement. Found several inspirations from automata. Able to represent time versus value data with simple cam mechanism. Further augmented with linkages/gears etc.


Some visual ideas for representing the data as a wave of sorts:


General overview of how installation will appear (very much work in progress).

Build a simplified prototype to learn more. many adjustments were required to obtain a simple model:

  • holes need to fit well but not be too loose-fitting
  • angle of chamfers/smoothness of surfaces affect movement
  • trying to lock cam shapes onto a thin rod was very challenging(thus switched to threaded rod)

this style of cam locking is not ideal, but will suffice for now. an addition of spring on the rods will allow the model to be used upside down and also perhaps resolve potential pulling strength issues.


Next steps,

  • build a larger scale cam model
  • experiment with rods as linkages
  • experiment with drawn cam shapes to better represent ‘data’
  • finalise frame scaffold so that can start build