Antikythera Planetary Prediction Mechanism

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Antikythera Device Start.jpg
Antikythera Device at time of thesis presentation
Sponsors University of Idaho [1]
Team Name Antikythera Reengineered
Duration summer 2018
Faculty Adviser
  • Matthew Swenson
  • Sarah Willis
  • Edwin Odom
  • Alex Olson
Team Members
  • Mshari Aldossary
  • Rakan Alshannan
  • Shane Stokes
  • Levi Vogel

The goal of the project is to reengineer and create a prototype of an ancient Greek device that was used to predict astronomical portions of know celestial entities based on the Jian-Liang Lin and Hong-Sen Yan design.

Problem Definition[edit]


The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient Greek analogue computer and orrery used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendar and astrological purposes decades in advance. It could also track the four-year cycle of athletic games which was similar to an Olympiad, the cycle of the ancient Olympic Games.

The artifact was discovered on 17 May 1902 by archaeologist Valerios Stais in a shipwreck, dated between 70-60 BC, found off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera. The instrument is believed to have been designed and constructed by Greek scientists and has been dated to about 100 BC.

Product Requirements[edit]

  • Schmit Offset couplings
    • Check if two discs works instead of three
    • Design in Solidworks
    • Prototype large size
    • Prototype actual size
    • Find new location for third axle
    • Secure axles on each side of couplings
    • Create out of brass (get Bill’s help)
    • Assemble couplings and device
  • Straighten offset axles
    • Check problem
    • Assembled wrong?
    • Material weakness?
    • Fix problem
    • Reassemble device
  • Find way to fix center axle
    • Glue?
    • Less permanent way?
  • Design spiral
    • Switch dates from Greek calendar to modern calendar
    • Design dial to turn gears
    • Design extending pointer
    • Find aesthetic design
  • Make overall width and height smaller
    • New material other than acrylic?
    • Have to do this after date spiral is designed
    • “form follows function”
  • Lunar phase gear

Action Items[edit]

  • Schmidt Offset couplings:
    • Design in Solidworks: 6/15/18
    • Prototype large size: 6/15/18
    • Prototype actual size: 6/21/18
  • Straighten offset axles: 6/26/18
  • Fix center axle: 6/26/18
  • Design spiral:
    • Switch dates from Greek calendar to modern calendar: 7/3/18
    • Design dial to turn gears: 7/3/18
    • Design extending pointer: 7/10/18
    • Find aesthetic design: 7/30/18
  • Make overall width and height smaller: 7/10/18
  • Lunar phase gear: 7/30/18

Design Considerations[edit]

Project Learning[edit]

Schmidt Offset Coupling[edit]

All of the offset couplings that can be purchased, use three discs to allow the axle to return to its original offset, but our project didn't require that, so our prototype was to determine if two discs would mess up the design.

Schmidt Offset Shaft Couplings

Date Spiral Indicator Design[edit]

Several designs were thrown around when the dial was being designed. The first was a tube with a spring in it to apply a constant pressure on the dial indicator, but we decided to go with a simpler design. Both, however, use a spiral slot to keep the indicator in the correct spot in the dates.

Final Design[edit]


Team Members[edit]

Name: Mshari Aldossary

Major: Engineering
Hometown: Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Graduation Date: August 2018
Future Goals: To become a professional engineer and lead the biggest projects in my hometown

Rakan .png
Name: Rakan Alshannan

Major: Engineering
Hometown: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Graduation Date: August 2018
Future Goals: To become a respected engineer in a gas and oil company

Shane Stokes.jpg
Name: Shane Stokes

Major: Engineering
Hometown: Moscow
Graduation Date: December 2018
Future Goals: To become a outdoor gear designer and tester

[[File: |180px|thumb|left]] Name: Levi Vogel

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Sandpoint, Idaho
Graduation Date: August 2018
Future Goals: To obtain an engineering position in the motorsports or power sports industry.

Additional Documentation[edit]

Project Schedule[edit]

Project Gantt Chart.png

Meeting Minutes[edit]

Meeting 1 – 6/19[edit]

12:00 – Re-asked Alex questions so that the professors knew what was going on Scale down and implement offset couplings into mechanism Will compensate for meshing of different gear ratios, as well as allowing for clearance of rotating gears Rebuild some offset shafts to better align gears for a cleaner mesh Rebuild acrylic frames to hold new offset couplings, possibly implement aesthetic design into acrylic Create a new modern interpretation of the Greek calendar with a pointer and slider implementation 12:30 – Review list of Project deliverables

Attendees: Beyerlein Odom Sarah Alex Rakan Mshari Shane

Notes: - Levi was taking FE

Meeting 2 – 6/26[edit]

12:30 – Develop product requirements Prototypes began Move device to meteorology lab Show validation of design/changes Implement into 3-D model Use or modify old frame plates to show fitment Create simple quick prototypes

12:45 – talked with Odom about future form of plates in device

Attendees: Mshari Rakan Shane Levi Sarah Alex Beyerlein

Notes: - Don’t completely loosen the lantern gears set screws - Third offset only needs to be supported on opposite end of shaft - Input gear will mesh with gear #32 - Move/relocate shaft for gears #12 and #28 - Build press fit hub for stationary shaft? Use glue?

Meeting 3 – 7/3[edit]

12:00 – got Swenson up to date on project and requirements and schedule

12:05 – discussed ideas for dial to indicated date for spiral

12:10 - disscuss work schedule Verify if we are on track, and what tasks have been completed

12:30 – decided week’s work plan: Monday 7/2: Rakan and Mshari began design work on calendar dial mechanism Tuesday 7/3: Ordered Parts will arrive; assemble offset couplings Thursday 7/5: remake acrylic plates; rebuild offset shafts Friday 7/6: crass shaft arrives; reassemble mechanism or rebuild plates

Attendees: Mshari Rakan Shane Levi Sarah Alex Swenson

Post meeting notes: - Find system for tracking revisions in files - Alex will be gone by 7/30

Project Schedule[edit]

Project Budget.png

Client Interview[edit]

File:Antikythera Client Interview.pdf

Team Contract[edit]

File:Antikythera Team Contract.pdf