Browsing through old photo archives, you may stumble upon an image of a fun and smart transport device invented in the beginning of the 20th century. This was a single wheel accommodating one passenger/driver, who you might find looking very pleased with himself sitting inside this curious device. There are other single-wheel mechanisms that had no operator at all. These were developed as war machines and covered in armor. The one feature common to all the prototypes starting in the 1860s is a moving outer element with a stationary mechanism inside.
No armor shell included – your new Monowheel is built in skeleton steampunk style, which means you can see and enjoy the beauty of moving gears. Despite its airy, delicate appearance, your new model is quite sturdy – you can take it outside and give it a good roll around on the pavement and other hard and semi-hard surfaces.
The parts of the mechanism imitate a real steam engine. The lack of an outer shell grants easy access to rubber bands should you need to replace them.
Two working modes guarantee even more fun. Mode one with the feet locked will give you uninterrupted rolling straight ahead for about 5-6 feet until the rubber-band motor’s resource is completely released. After, that the model gracefully turns around and stops.
In the second mode, with the feet in the unlocked position, your Monowheel will roll ahead while the rubber-band motor is working. After that it turns around, its feet hide inside and the model keeps rolling until it runs into an obstacle. In this mode, the model can cover up to 15 feet.
Let the fun roll in!
Model Size: 7.3 x 3.7 x 6.3 in
Number of parts: 300
Assembly Time: 3 hours
Notes from Alex:
I'm not sure if our samples are becoming more fun to build, or since I've done so many that I no longer stress over them. In any case, this was fun not just to assembly, but to see how the mechanism took shape along the way.
It's a unique design. The internal mechanism is completely visible and very clever. There is a bit of duplication when assembling - since it has two sides - but not too much. I had no issues, but I did notice that the parts seemed a little harder than normal to press out from the sheets. I'm assuming this is because it's a newer model. As the wood ages a bit I'd expect the parts to release more easily.
A very welcome feature is the ability to easily change the rubber bands that power the engine, if needed. By taking out two clips, the drive wheel is removable, which gives full access to the inside.