Onyma Report This Comment
Date: July 19, 2010 06:54AM
Slick little bit of engineering
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: July 19, 2010 09:08AM
I bet you'd love the simplicity/complexity and engineering in the old German
made Heidelberg letterpresses I work on Onyma.
Here's a great example of their near perfectness in engineering: these machines
at different points within their operation require air blast and vacuum to be
present, which the machines generate by themselves in a timed fashion so that
air blast is present when needed as is vacuum, but only when needed within the
operational stroke of the machine.
They achieve this with a single chambered mechanically driven air pump which is
nothing but a cylinder with a piston inside it. The operation and porting of
this pump is timed in such a way that when air blast is required it gets it from
the side of the cylinder where the piston is advancing and compressing the air
in front of the piston. Vacuum is then achieved by porting from the opposite
side of the piston where it is at the same time creating a vacuum as the piston
travels away from the vacuum port. This is nothing short of sheer genius in its
These machines are so amazing from a mechanical standpoint I fell in love with
'em as soon as I saw one in operation
Onyma Report This Comment
Date: July 19, 2010 01:14PM
When you look at things like that you realize they really are an artform.
I used to collect (before space constraints became an issue) antique typewriters
and adding machines (mechanical calculators of all sorts). To watch them in
motion is sheer genius. I point out to people that designing these days is much
simpler in many ways... we put a button here, a motor there, and run a wire
between the two. Back then however, for example in a typewriter you had to
account for ergonomics and mechanics in one seamless design. How does moving a
key 1/2 inch move a head 4 inches, will it strike the ribbon hard enough, does
it fit your hands well, will any of the components collide, does the force
required to operate the lever system make for comfortable typing, will it jam
under load, can you see the letters on the paper easily, is it durable, does it
look appealing, and on and on. All in one seamless design. Quite brilliant.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19/07/2010 01:21PM by Onyma.
trklas Report This Comment
Date: July 20, 2010 06:18AM
That's the exact same way I felt the first time I opened up an old 40'ish
16mm movie projector. The internal mechanics were mesmerizing and I still don't
understand how they used a light source to play back the sound.
Anon Sackman Report This Comment
Date: July 21, 2010 03:25PM
And I live just down the road from Heidelberg in Germany and a few of my
friends still work at Heidelberg Press, one of the biggest companies in the
woberto Report This Comment
Date: July 24, 2010 03:28AM
20,000 employees, that's pretty big.
Kim, some HB Cylinders use the same gear setup on the reciprocating rollers or
older ones use this on the faltbed.