Ukraine Engineers Develop Steel Model Sets

Time for Machine is running a crowdfunding campaign for their next set of mechanical models, this time upgrading from plywood to stainless steel construction.

Denis Okhrimenko says that construction and modeling toys are popular because they can take incredibly complex systems and dilute them into simple models. After creating plywood mechanical models he began to think about addressing some issues with clinching or breaking, and started to develop iron as a material instead. Along with the engineers at Time For Machine, Okhrimenko has developed a new construction set of models and is running a crowdfunding campaign for the first production run. The Dazzling Steamliner train, Heavenly Hercules plane, Royal Voyager 70s inspired car, and Marvel Tank 2 models are offered this time along with more automobiles and a timing device. Springs, gears and speed controllers all give movements to the various models.

Okhrimenko answered a few questions about the design and development of these models. The initial plan was to use a metal laser to cut out the pieces following the laser cutter process used when cutting plywood. The team found the metal laser to be too expensive and unrepeatable and moved to a chemical etching process to create the fine details required for the mechanisms. The user experience of putting these model kits together is important to the group, and they want the process of working with a kit to feel fluid and pleasant.

Assembly also proved to be a challenge, especially with regards to difficulty level. The car at first had a small gearbox that provided forward, backward and neutral operations along with the spring and the speed regulator. Test runs showed that some people had issues assembling everything correctly so the solution was simpler models for the mass production projects and more complex models for the hardcore assembly fans. The next large scale assembly project is projected to be a working typewriter.

This project has a strong commitment to the design process with a portion of the campaign page focusing on the sketching, modeling, prototyping and production processes. The stainless steel used in the campaign models looks incredible and the assembly aspect should appeal to makers and model enthusiasts. Optional assembly toolsets and personalization are also available for the models. Assembly videos are available online and the models come with instruction booklets as well. The Kickstarter campaign has blasted by its modest $15,000 goal and ends on May 4, 2019.