This should look very familiar to those of you that remember Lionel’s Giraffe car. Lionel used a mechanical device in the track to cause the giraffe to spring up and fall back down. When the wife wanted a circus train, this giraffe car had to be part of the train.

The giraffe is actuated by an Arduino with a stepper motor shield and stepper motor. A large portion of the top of the car had to be cut out to allow room for the giraffe to come up. The giraffe is bolted to a hinge (3D printed) and because of the height of the hinge, the giraffes legs were shortened a bit so everything would fit. The giraffe does not appear very often (timing controlled by Arduino), so that visitors will not know when to expect it.

Yes, the side boards read ‘Elephant’ car. Seems like I never have enough time to decal it correctly.