Daniel Bayerdorffer, Numberall Stamp & Tool Company’s Vice President, comes from a long line of makers. Max Bayerdorffer, his grandfather, founded Numberall in 1930. As a craftsman of bird bands, he wanted to brand his product. This business need led to the development of the first Numberall machine, and though the title wasn’t used then, Max Bayerdorffer could be called a “maker,” or an independent inventor and tinkerer. Daniel Bayerdorffer, the third generation to operate Numberall, has continued this maker tradition by founding a new business called Reuleaux Models, which has revived the practice of building kinematic models for academics, hobbyists, and collectors. Reuleaux Models will attend the Maker Faire, a family-friendly event celebrating the “maker movement,” a technology-influenced community of do-it-yourselfers.
The Maker Faire will take place in New York on September 23 and 24 and it’s given Numberall and Daniel Bayerdorffer the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a maker, and how Reuleaux Models came to be.
“When researching the theory behind mechanisms such as ratchets for our Numberall products, I found current engineering books to be very limited,” Daniel Bayerdorffer said. “If they covered such subjects at all, they were limited to one-page descriptions. By broadening my search, I discovered Franz Reuleaux’s ‘The Constructor.’”
The Constructor was filled with information about kinematics, a branch of mechanics which considers the motion of objects without reference to forces that cause the motion. Modern kinematics was born when German engineer Franz Reuleaux set out to improve the process for engineers who needed to approach machine design rationally.
“I was instantly infatuated with The Constructor. It was exactly the detailed information I was looking for and it was written in a way that machinists could appreciate. But it was also so much more. It was full of illustrations of these models. That led me to discovering that some of them still exist today at Cornell University,” Bayerdorffer said.
Reuleaux’s theories were used to create models, 220 of which were acquired in 1882 by Cornell University and are still used today for teaching and research in their engineering department.
“I made a pilgrimage to Ithaca and met Professor Moon, the curator of these models. He encouraged me to start producing new ones,” Bayerdorffer said.
The Model: C01 Four-bar Linkage was the first model that Bayerdorffer created. It demonstrates Reuleaux’s concept of the kinematic chain and is the first of many models Bayerdorffer hopes to create.
We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to participate as Project 63266 where we’ll show what we’re doing at Reuleaux Models that makes us a part of the maker movement. We hope you’ll visit us in New York!