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zoetrope Building a zoetrope

This is a Zoetrope powered by an electric motor. For information on building a simpler Zoetrope, go to .

Building the base Step One

Our first step in building the Zoetrope was making the base. The base is a wooden box that holds the wiring that controls the spinning of the viewing area. The box is made of five pieces of plywood that are attached with hot glue and nails.
Watch the clip.


Step Two Making the rotating drum
Next we used the "stomp sheer" to cut Formica to the proper width. Then we cut 12 slits with a table saw. The Formica was bent into a circle; we used screws and nuts to fasten the piece into a cylinder.
Watch the clip.


Cutting the circle base Step Three

Using the band saw, we cut circles out of plywood and attached the Formica to it with screws and binder clips. A Lazy Susan was attached between the box and the wooden circle to make a pivot point.
Watch the clip.


Step four The Wiring
One of the cool things about this particular Zoetrope is that itÕs motorized so thereÕs no need to manually spin the drum. We wired a motor, potentiometer, switch, and battery to a pulley that spins the drum.
Watch the clip.


Drawing the animation Step Five

Here's where the creativity comes in. We drew a series of pictures on a long strip of paper, each one just slightly different from the previous one. Then we put the animation strip along the inside the drum. We could then peer through the drum slots and see our animated strips in motion!
Watch the clip.

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