Trusscillator is a software system that enables users to create human-scale, human-poweredmachines, such as the playground equipment. Trusscillator achieves this by allowing users to add springs to their designs. Springs have the ability to transform movement (kinetic energy) into compression (potential energy) and transform that back into movement. Consequently, springs help to keep these devices in motion with little effort and thus allow even larger machines to be human-powered. These systems concerned with energy and motion are typically referred to as dynamic systems.
To allow designers to create human-powered movement, Trusscillator offers a novel set of tools, specifically designed for dynamic experiences. These tools allow designers to focus on user experience-specific aspects, such as motion range, tempo, and effortwhile abstracting away the underlying technicalities of eigenfrequencies, spring constants, masses, and energy use. Since the forces involved in the resulting devices can be high, devices designed using Trusscillator are made from steel. Trusscillator helps users to fabricate these devices not only by picking out appropriate springs but also by producing stencils and placing temporary connectors that help welding the resulting large-scale structures.
We have used Trusscillator to design a wide range of devices. The samples are shown below, including swings featuring 1D (b, e, j, m), and 2D motion (a, c, f, g), as well as kinetic installations (h, k) and balancing workout equipment (i).