ZeGoBeast – A DIY Mechanical Walking Creature
ZeGoBeasts are biologically-inspired, mechanical creatures brought to life by you. What starts off as flat-pack kit of more than 300 pieces transforms into a machine that resembles the movement of a living thing. It’s a project designed not only to challenge you, but to help you learn about basic kinematics and mechanics while spending quality time with friends and family creating something together.
Fusion 360 has been a key part of making ZeGoBeast a reality from the very beginning; Dan Goncharov and Alex Thomson first started working on the product as part of a Fusion 360 class led by James Herzing. The students were tasked with creating a final project – something that would demonstrate competency and be something you would actually want to make. The two founders, inspired by Theo Jansen’s leg kinematics, sought to create something that was not only technically complex, but beautiful in motion at the same time.
After encouragement from their classmates and other members of TechShop Pittsburgh, what was initially just a jointed assembly of a single leg began to develop into a real product. They used Fusion 360 to create motion studies to better understand how the machine would move and behave. Using those models, they were able to export them into the DXF file format they needed to fabricate for themselves the ZeGoBeast components using a laser cutter. Fusion 360 enabled them to design, simulate, and fabricate faster, while still staying in sync using the collaboration functionality – any iterations they made were instantly available to either of them. Finally, they were able to use the built-in animation features to demonstrate the engineering and care that went into the final design.
Now, the ZeGoBeast is real – Alex and Dan have officially launched a Kickstarter for their creation! Funding will end on September 12th, but there are still kits available for purchase so you can support them. Click here to learn more!