I’ve mentioned this before, but anyway here I go again!
There is so much talk about doing the maths, vector dynamics, velocity and acceleration analysis, gravitation and orbital mechanics, geometry etc (apologies to Tim for borrowing his words, but it supported my point perfectly). Surely you can work out if it might have potential by sketching it out on paper, draw in the various weight positions, and if it still looks possible do what I suggest next. There is too much speculation about the maths in my opinion. I can visualise a mechanism and watch it turn, and I’m sure lots of people in this field can do so too.
Surely anyone can test a theoretical design with cheap materials. Cardboard, card, lolly sticks, straws, cotton thread, brass split-pins, fishing weights, washers, nuts and bolts. Threaded rods or bolts. Old second hand Meccano sets even if they are missing most their original content are still a good source of pulleys etc. These are the things I use and have done so for many years, much of it recycled from one design to another. I used to make my prototypes out of good quality materials, but subsequently, I always kept in mind that this first model was for my eyes only, just to prove the design to myself. A more attractive construction would follow my first successful build.
There are some people who are so focussed on reducing friction to a minimum that I think they’ve for gotten that Bessler’s wheel did work, lifting 70 pound chests, turning an Archimedes pump, not to mention running for several weeks. Why worry about friction at all, if it works, refining everything can be done afterwards when it works.
There are others who spend inordinate amounts of time and money, producing beautiful mechanisms that are a joy to behold, yet still remain as motionless as a statue.
Many people seek to solve Bessler’s wheel by trying to jump straight to the bi-directional wheel, which Bessler admitted gave him problems initially. I’ve always concentrated on trying to duplicate the one way wheel first. It is clearly the simpler of the two options.
Now of course I know that time after time I’ve been told that simulations are the way to go and I’m sure that’s true, but firstly I’m too old to learn how to use this kind of software, but more importantly I enjoy building models. I find that I can learn more from building than looking at designs, whether on paper or in a video, and a few months ago I learned something I believe to be crucial to Bessler’s design simply because I was holding a piece of mechanism and just handling it, watching it operating my hands.
But I know sims are popular and even though I doubt I can understand it all, and actually I’m so busy that I have little time to learn about them, if I get a working model I have contacts who I’m sure would be happy make a sim of my wheel in action. I’m not convinced of their necessity given the success of a physical build, but I will bow to the consensus opinion, if I’m successful.