in Process

3D(II): Project 3 process journey 2

It was a huge challenge to think about an executable mechanism that would accurately represent the zebra’s anatomy and also incorporate the woodpecker idea. Bridgel and I went through a few changes to reach our eventual final product!

Idea development 1:

Studying the horse’s anatomy and reinterpreting it into gears and wooden planks

For idea one, we initially started with a single pole for a single bird. A stepping motion would push the pole up to “reset” the bird to the top of the pole. We also manage to capture the anatomy of the zebra to a certain extent.


  • After discussing and thinking through about this idea, we felt that the representation of the zebra and oxpecker is too direct. In terms of the expulsion of the blood and the painting stripes on the body
  • Only having one “oxpecker” at t  
    he spinal area would perhaps not be as effective as the bird would not be able to reach the dips of the back
  • Would the effect of one oxpecker be enough?
  • Unsure whether the stepping mechanism would work

We continued to work and develop this idea to our second development!

This time, we plan to add multiple wooden poles to have more birds in the model so that the birds will be able to reach a wider area of the body. With this improved design, the birds will be able to reach the user’s arms and shoulder blades.

In addition, we could add a wooden ring around it so the user can lift up the ring to reset the birds to the top of the pole.

Also, it is super expensive to create a bird that is made entirely out of wood (the planks we bought for the body already amounted to $40!). Cutting and sanding the wood will also take up more time, so we decided to stick to using styrofoam, which dimensions we followed from our successful prototype. Perhaps we could use putty or paint acrylic paint over it. We were still exploring the idea of using red ink to stain our users.


  • Cheryl commented that we could try to make the model adjustable for different heights and sizes
  • Some poles on the floor to peck the legs of the users?
  • Need supporting rigs to prevent the poles from shaking

We went shopping around Clementi and found the key to our model, HINGES!

Many hinges were used to do up our model

We also did more research!

We spent a lot time looking for ready made ball joints, but found an easy solution on Youtube. All we need is a ball, cups, and styrofoam. We plan to combine this with our wooden “legs”.

An olden gladiator headgear

The zebra’s eyesight is vastly different from ours, having no vision at its frontal part due to its eye placement on the sides. Perhaps we could expand on this idea, letting users wear a headgear (similar to the image above) that blocks the front part of our normal eyes, letting them experience a zebra’s sight.

Zebras in a herd

We also realise that the reason why the stripes act as a camouflage is because predators cannot differentiate the individual zebras. If we were to interpret this fact into our model, perhaps we could paint everything in one colour to confuse our users.

The end (for now!)