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Animated "Sweeping" Broom?

1680 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  The Pod
This year, I'm building a couple of bigger props, and I would love to make my first animated prop. I was thinking a broom that moves in a back/forth sweeping motion would be cool for our witchy stoop, but I've done some searching, and can't find much. I'm not quite sure how to go about it. I know oscillating fans are a popular base for beginner animated props, but I'm not sure how I would hide/disguise the motor with something as small as a broom. If I could find a fan small enough, I could encase it inside a "skirt" under the bristles, I guess. Any ideas or tutorials to share? I'm happy to put in a little extra work, I just don't have much experience with wiring/electrical. (Goals for the future.)
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· Funeral Crasher
7,461 Posts
I guess it depends how heavy the broom would be. Maybe something like a reindeer motor attached to the middle of the broom handle? Then the broom could sweep one direction to a stop, then the motor would reverse and make the broom sweep the other direction---over and over again.
I'm sure it can be done, just not sure exactly what sweeping effect you want.

· Here to burgle your turts
2,333 Posts
Is this the kind of effect you're looking for? I'd written a big long reply, but if this is what you want, it's not the right response.

In regards to animated props in general I'd look around the forums at a bunch of different projects including...

• rocking chairs
• tombstone peepers
• cauldron creeps
• animated ouija boards

...and see what kind of movement they use. Then see if any of those are adaptable to a project. We started playing around with reindeer motors a couple years ago and have gotten a bunch of fairly different movements in the yard - and we definitely aren't technical wizards or master craftsmen.

I do remember some people saying a while back that they tried using oscillating fans for figures with moving heads. Some got it to work but their were others that found that - without the fan blades moving air around, the motors would overheat and fail. So you'd want to make sure to test anything for a while if you want it to run all night.

· Blaberus craniifer
961 Posts
I would look for a rear window wiper motor (one that oscillates back and forth). This I would mount somewhere towards the top of the broom handle to get the sweep motion. The I would have a bar come down to the ground on another oscillating or other motor so that besides sweeping, you would have a movement around the area.
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