Colibri is a wooden kinetic sculpture that simulates the motion of a hummingbird in flight. Every element of motion has been completely mechanized, from the beating wings to the flaring tail. Intricate systems of linkages and cams bring the sculpture to life with a continuous flow of meticulously timed articulations. As each mechanism has been linked to the next, Colibri cycles through its complete range of motions by the simple turn of a crank.


Intriguing Mechanisms

Making a sculpture like Colibri reality takes no small amount of engineering and design.
Built into the sculpture are a network of gears, hypocycloid reducers, cams, and linkages, all rigorously designed to deliver accurate motion in perfect time. With so much happening at once, deciding where to look can be a challenge.

Intricate Motion

Colibri's motions are unlike those of any other wooden sculpture
. Every movement has been carefully optimized to be as life-like as possible. As Colibri hovers and flies, the smooth motions of its wings, tail, head, and body work together seamlessly to produce a beautiful and captivating visual sequence.

Organic Forms

Colibri's forms are designed to compliment its organic motions. As such, straight lines and geometric shapes have been kept to a minimum. Instead, Colibri is comprised primarily of curvature continuous splines that gently flex, bend, and taper, providing
a fluid and organic aesthetic.

Driven by Nature

Colibri's motions were not simply based on artistic interpretations and best guesses.
Slow motion videos of actual hummingbird flights were used as underlays to develop 3D animations whose data was in turn utilized to generate true-to-life cam profiles and linkages.

Woodworking Plans
70 pages 8.5" x 11"
7 pages 11" x 17"
77 pages total

DXF files for all plywood parts

Free Downloads


Note: Instructions
for motorizing Colibri
are not included with
the plans.
More info.


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