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One Piece Gyroscope

Create gyroscopic regions in 3D printed materials using density fading
  [vote for,

Instead of using a two part gyroscope to store energy, create a gyroscopic region in an object by gradually fading the density of the material inbetween the solid surface and a central dense core. Use a 3D printer. The area of low density will flex and allow the dense core to gyrate, storing energy. Magnets could be embedded in the deformable material to generate electricity.
JesusHChrist, Jan 10 2005

Is this the kind of 3D printer you mean? http://computer.how...com/stereolith2.htm
[robinism, Jan 10 2005]

(?) Z Corp 3D Printers http://www.zcorp.com/
This kind of 3D Printer [JesusHChrist, Jan 10 2005]

solid state "gyro on a chip" http://www.systron...._rate%20sensors.asp
"The BEI GyroChip® Model QRS11 is a MEMS technology, solid-state "gyro on a chip." This DC input/high-level DC output device is fully self contained, extremely small and lightweight. Since the inertial sensing element is comprised of just one micromachined piece of crystalline quartz (no moving parts), it has a virtually "unlimited" life. The Model QRS11 is a mature product in volume production. It is fully qualified for use on numerous advanced aircraft, missile, and space systems." [half, Jan 10 2005, last modified Jan 11 2005]


       Gyroscopes have points of suspension that wear out, these are muliti-points of suspension but these polymer materials may wear out fast.
mensmaximus, Jan 10 2005

       Gyroscope: a device containing a wheel which spins freely within a frame.   

       Are you having a non-sequiter contest with [mensmaximus]?
ConsulFlaminicus, Jan 10 2005

       A non-spining gyroscope. A statiscope.
ldischler, Jan 10 2005

       //The area of low density would flex and, depending on the springyness of the material, allow the dense core to store energy// So you've invented...a spring?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 10 2005

       [JHC] That link doesn't work - needs the http bit.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 10 2005

       I make no pretense that gyroscopes do not confuse me completely. I find them strange and vaguely unsettling. I do not understand how they work and I am not sure I want to; they seem inextricably linked to witchcraft in my opinion. Any object which can exert a force that seemingly has no origin is bad in my book. Can someone please explain them to me?
pooduck, Jan 10 2005

       So you have a region of less dense material between the solid outer region and the solid inner region? How does the inner bit rotate if it is still attached to the outer bit?   

       Pooduck, there is nothing mysterious about a gyroscope. The mysterious force you talk about is called precession, and is defined as the tendency of a force applied parallel to the the axis of rotation to act as if it were applied at a point ninety degrees in the direction of rotation.   

       Here's a thought experiment for you. Imagine that you're swinging a ball on a rope. Assume there's no gravity, so that there is no distortion in the plane of rotation. Now, place yourself some distance away, so that you're looking at the ball spinning on the rope from the side. Think for a moment about Newton. Remeber that "an object in motion will tend to stay in motion, unless acted on by an outside force".   

       Now, forget about the ball on a rope for a moment, and instead think of a ball rolling on a flat surface. If the ball is rolling from right to left past you and you kick it straight ahead, the ball will move away ahead and to the left, since it already had some velocity in that direction.   

       Now, back to the ball on a rope. While the ball is swinging around, give it a whack. If you could freeze time at the instant of impact and somehow view the new velocity, you'd notice that at that instant, the ball is still generally where it was when you hit it, but instead of travelling directly horizontally, it now has a downward velocity component. Now, start time again. The ball is still going to travel in a circle because of the rope, but the circle is tilted. It will continue to come around and pass through the point of impact. the ball will now be lowest at a point 90 degrees into the rotation, and highest 270 degrees into the rotation. To an outside observer, it appears that you've applied a force at the 90 degree point.   

       Once you've managed to visualize that, simply imagine a solid ring on spokes instead of ropes. As you apply a force at a point along the rim, the ring will want to tilt as if you had applied the force 90 degrees into the rotation.
Freefall, Jan 10 2005

       Aren't there gyroscopes with no moving parts? I think Bill Lear had invented such a thing shortly before his death (Bill Lear of LearJet fame).
bristolz, Jan 10 2005

       The ones with no moving parts use lasers.
ldischler, Jan 11 2005

       Freefall -- I meant to say that the dense core gyrates, not rotates because it always returns to its orriginal position.   

       Maybe it's easier to think of a solid metal ball suspended by rubber bands inside a metal sphere, but the main point of this idea is that the density of the material fades evenly.   

       Here's an experiment. Suspend a spherical object inside a band of foam with a triangular cross section, so that the band is thick on the outside and gradually narrows towards the center where the object is suspended. The object gyrates around and stores energy and translates all energy put into the system to gyrational motion. There is no way to throw it out of whack like there is with a two part gyro -- you can move too fast or too slow for a two part gyro and it "clacks". A two part gyro is really hard to get started too. But an adaptive gyro like this foam ring gyro never stops gyrating because any motion that goes into the system is gradually adapted into the rest of the system.
JesusHChrist, Jan 11 2005

       [Freefall] - Thanks a lot, that analogy really helped. How does this kind of thing apply to stuff like bicycle wheels and the like though?
pooduck, Jan 11 2005

       I still don't understand - is it a glorified weeble? What gyroscopic properites are we trying to generate?   

       I am imagining trying to spin a big rubber disk that flexes in a rotational way, but springs back to it's initial position once I let go because it's a lot denser than it looks/feels - but that's not a gyroscope is it? What bit am I missing?
zen_tom, Jan 11 2005


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