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intermittent mechanism, Maltese cross
This beautiful model is an example of an intermittent mechanism that converts continuous rotary motion in the lower wheel into discrete motions in the upper wheel. Such devices were often used for counting mechanisms or where the design called for a finite pause or dwell in the motion. This Redtenbacher model is large and quite stiking to see up close. The surfaces of the brass were heat treated in such a way to create a pattern of large grain sizes that reflect light as the model is turned. The attention to the aesthetic design of teaching models was also seen in the Reuleaux-Voigt models produced two decades later. A similar model in the Reuleaux Collection is N08 also known as a Geneva mechanism.
The Redtenbacher models in the Kinematic Models Collection at the University of Karlsruhe Germany were created to teach mechanical engineers about the basic mechanisms of machine design. Ferdinand Redtenbacher (1809-1863) is considered one of the pioneers in the education of mechanical engineers in Germany. Among his students were Karl Benz, who created one of the first automobiles and Franz Reuleaux, who is considered the 'father of kinematics' and creator of a large collection of kinematic mechanisms, some of which are exhibited in KMODDL. It is now clear that many of the Reuleaux models in Berlin were based on the designs of his former professor in Karlsruhe.
The book `Die Bewegungs-Mechanismen´ shows a slight modification of the displayed mechanism.