Laser Plans for The Automata Tinkering Kit


This is a digital product. Click here for the physical ready made kit.


NB: This product is for personal or educational use only. Not for Resale: the plans or parts cut cannot be resold.

Please read the full description before purchase.

This kit allows you to demonstrate and experiment with levers, cranks, cams, gears, pulleys and ratchets as shown in the design progress videos. The mechanisms you can build are all detailed in our book Cabaret Mechanical Movement.

You will receive:

  • Plans for laser cutting the Automata Tinkering Kit (.svg & .dxf)
  • PDF Notes about materials & sources for additional parts
  • PDF Instruction booklet for building mechanisms with the kit

You will need access to a laser cutter and knowledge of how to operate it. We do not recommend sending the files to a third party. The files also include a set for laser cutting with TechSoft Design software (V2 or V3), which is popular in UK schools.


The pegboard and feet are cut from 6mm plywood. Everything else is cut from 3mm. The 3mm parts will fit on a 325 x 180mm board and the 6mm will fit on a 245 x 215mm board.

Sizes do vary and the ply we currently use is actually 3.15mm & 5.95 (and we’ve also used 3.2 and 6.2 successfully).

“3mm”: In the US 1/8″ ply (3.18mm) presumably varies as much as 3mm does here so probably close enough since our 3mm seems to be between 3.1 and 3.2. “6mm”: 1/4″ is 6.35 which is close enough to our 6.2 but a bit far from 5.9. Obviously it depends which way the variation goes but hopefully people won’t mind having to sand the feet or pack out the joint if need be.

Additional Parts

To construct all the mechanisms you will also need to source these materials


5mm (3/16″ dowel is 4.76mm which is the nearest imperial equivalent but may be too small. 5mm dowel is available on US amazon so we hope it should be readily available).


We provide 20 in the kit but you rarely need that many at once. They are Nitrile Rubber O-Rings 8mm OD (Outside Diameter) and 4mm ID (Inside Diameter), 2mm wide.

Plastic tube:

We use two 25mm long pieces of 6mm OD (Outside Diameter) and 4.8mm ID (Inside Diameter). We’ve also used drinking straws but the hole is usually slightly bigger so a piece of masking tape is needed on the dowel for a tight fit.

Rubber / Elastic Bands:

We use 2 bands that are approximately 7cm diameter.

Our mission is to promote engineering and creativity through workshops, exhibitions and automata kits.

As a Community Interest Company all profits go toward this valuable work.

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre Learning CIC
Company Number: 14598590
© 2024 Cabaret Mechanical Theatre. All rights reserved.
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