Mechanical Cabaret

Mechanical Cabaret


The Mechanical Cabaret workshop explores electromechanics in a simple and understandable way by having the participants build a miniature theater style installation. Make things spin, move and jump by using a motor and a handful of neat mechanics. Participants will be able to add their own flair and personality to their cabarets. Participants will be given the opportunity to experiment and troubleshoot by themselves while having easy access to assistance from the facilitator.

Workshop developed by Daniel Flood and William Davy, 2017

Activity Summary


  • 1 x AA Bettery
  • 2 x 3mm wooden skewers (ALDI)
  • 1 x 5mm x 30mm long balloon stick (BigW)
  • 1 x 4mm Full bed cardboard (Cardboard Box shop)
  • 1 x medium rubber band (Officeworks)
  • 1 x 1.5v electric motor (China)
  • (1 x self-powered color change/fade LED)
  • 24 cm long piece of aluminium wire or thin gauge (0.6mm) fence wire to make 2 push rods (Hardware, Bunnings)
  • 2 x Metal (conductive) Paperclips
  • Hookup wire, 15 cm (for extension of motor wires if required)


  • Hot glue guns for assembly
  • Spray paint or rollers and brushes for backgrounds and foregrounds.
  • Pens and Markers for decoration


Instruction as per PDF.

Laser Cutting Prep:

  • 3mm cardboard
  • Power: 60
  • Speed: 4

Participant Input:

  • Colour and customize back drop, dawn colours, add clouds, trees, birds etc.
  • Suggest white background with black foreground to create silhouette effect, especially if LED is used.
  • Add foreground layers and detail (still, silhouette)

Safety Points to mention:

  • Safe Hot Glue gun usage
  • Caution using skewers
  • Keep sculptures away from small children (battery and small choking hazards)



workshops/public/mechanical-cabaret/start.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/15 11:15 by Michael Byrne
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