Solar Motion Simulator

Laser-Cut Assembly Instructions

Step 0

If your Solar Motion Simulator was laser-cut, you should see something like the following:

Step 0
The front and back of the laser-cut sheets.

If not, you can cut it out by hand using a scissors. Skip to Step 2.

Step 1

CAREFULLY punch out all parts. Be especially careful for the smallest rectangle with the butterfly-shaped inserts. You may find it helpful to use a long fingernail or a pen to help you remove these small inserts. When done, you should have something like the following:

punched out
This is what it looks like when the shapes have been punched out.

Step 2

Construct the Base Support. First, fold the "feet" of the Solar Frame so that pairs of letters come together (a valley fold). Fold the other foot in the opposite direction. For example, there are two letter Ds and a letter A near each other at the foot of the Solar Frame on one side. Fold the line between the Ds so that the Ds come together, as shown below.

Folded feet
Make a valley fold along the dotted line and a mountain fold along dashed lines.
Folded feet
The feet point in opposite directions.

Each pair of "feet" of the Solar Frame and the Base Support pieces will point in opposite directions, as shown below.

Folded feet
The feet point in opposite directions.

Step 3

Insert the slit on the top of the Base Support into the slit at the bottom of the Solar Frame. When oriented correctly, one "quadrant" should have three matching letters (A, B, C or D) in the inside corner.

Insert onto Solar Frame
Insert the Base Support onto the Solar Frame as shown here.

Step 4

Tape the feet together to give your model a strong foundation. Tape pairs of feet together from below — one pair of feet at a time. It is important that the feet are level when taping them together. It helps to make sure they are level at the outer edge.

Tape feet
Tape the feet as shown here.
Matching letters
The Bs and Cs are all together in their own quadrants.

Step 5

Insert the Time Dial into the Solar Frame. You will see a slit near the "neck" of the Solar Frame just below the "Time of day" indicator. When done correctly, the A, B, C and D letters should match the letters of the "quadrant" in the Base Support (see Step 6).

Insert Time Dial
Insert the Time Dial into the Solar Frame.
Insert Time Dial
Insert the Time Dial into the Solar Frame.

Step 6

Attach the Time Dial to the Solar Frame. You can do this in several ways, but I prefer to place a small piece of tape at the end of the slit on the Time Dial and fold the tape over.

Taping the Time Dial
Taping the Time Dial. Note that the Cs and the As on the underside of the Time Dial are indeed aligned with those of the Solar Frame's base.

Step 7

Fold the "Attach here" pieces in the center of the Solar Frame. Note that the dotted and dashed lines show you whether to make a mountain fold or a valley fold. See the two images below for clarity.

Folding the support flap
This first fold is a valley fold.
Folding the support flap
This second fold is a mountain fold.

Step 8

CAREFULLY use a finger to fold the "teeth" of the Observer's Horizon downward (towards the QR code). They should not fold to their base, but only about halfway along their respective length. They will help provide friction to keep the Observer's Horizon disk from slipping.

Teeth shown
The laser-cut teeth are shown here.
Folded teeth
This is how I fold these teeth back.

Step 9

CAREFULLY slide the slit of the Observer's Horizon disk over the center flap of the Solar Frame so that the "Attach here" point on the flap you just folded is aligned with the "Attach here" text on the bottom of the Observer's Horizon disk, as shown below.

Alignment of the Horizon Disk with the attachment points.
Note that the L-shaped points align with each other...or are about to.
Alignment of the Horizon Disk with the attachment points.
This is approximately how they should align.

Step 10

Carefully place the "Attach here" flap to the bottom of the horizon disk and use a piece of tape to attach them. This is tricky to do! It might help to ask somebody to help hold part of it for you while you tape. A single piece of tape is usually enough, but it may help to secure it on both ends of the L-shape.

Taping the Observer's Horizon disk to the support flap.
Taping the Observer's Horizon disk to the support flap.

If done correctly, you should now be able to swivel the Observer's Horizon disk along the Observer's Latitude track. (High five!)

Step 11

Construct the Solar Slider. First, CAREFULLY fold the flaps inward on one side and fold in half along the center line, as shown below. You may find it helpful to use a pen or pencil to help fold the flaps inward. If the piece rips or tears, you can use a small piece of tape to put it back together.

Solar slider folds
Folds of the Solar Slider

Step 12

Put the Solar Slider on the Solar Arm as shown below, with the vee pointing towards the Observer's Horizon. The spine of the fold will be on the inner side of the model.

Solar Slider Flaps
The flaps on the inside of the Solar Slider should all be pressing up against the Solar Arm to help prevent it from sliding too easily.

Use tape to attach the two halves of the Solar Slider on the outer side, so it's wrapped around the Solar Arm.

Taped Solar Slider
The Solar Slider about to be taped. Note the indicator vee and line are both pointing inward.

Step 13

Fold the top and bottom of the Solar Arm like a two-way hinge — both a valley and a mountain fold. It should be able to fold completely back on itself in either direction.

Hinged Solar Arm folds
My fingers are pointing to both places where you need to make the two-way fold.

Step 14

Write your name on the foot and congratulate yourself on being done! Nice work!

You can watch this video to learn how to use your Solar Motion Simulator!


The content of this page was last modified on Friday, 4 March 2022 14:34:38 (MST).

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