How should an absolute beginner learn mechanics?

I've been a bit intimidated even in the design basics  course because I realized I'm in a catch 22: I've never made anything so none of my designs are clear enough to be blueprints, yet because I have no clear blueprints I don't know what materials to buy and how to make anything. Are there any books or resources you'd recommend for learning mechanics as an absolute beginner for stopmotion & animatronics?


  • Hi Morgan,

    It can all be a bit overwhelming, so I find it helps to focus on small goals first.  I would start by picking a single simpler project to make, figure out what skills and materials are needed to complete it, and work towards that goal.  

    For animatronics, I would start by looking into microcontrollers like the Arduino.  There are a lot of resources and documentation for them to help get you up and running.  Then you can start learning about servos, linkages, joints, etc.  Make something simple first, then start adding more complexity over time.

    There are also build systems out there to help make prototyping a lot easier.  I'm a big fan of actobotics.

    For stop-motion you would want to look into basic machining, wire-based armatures, ball and socket joints, etc.  You can do a lot with hand tools since the scale is so small.

    I would also recommend our learning pathways, which help guide you through a series of courses focused on a subject like animatronics.  Here is a good starting point:

    That should help get you started!

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