During our final stages of assembly, we ran into a few problems. First, we realized our whole structure weighs a good amount and is only supported by two aluminum support rods. The central crankshaft rod, which weighs the most, is not supported. So in thinking how the crankshaft rod could be supported while rotating with the motor, we decided to extend the rod's end to a tapered point such that only a small point would be rotating on the acrylic base to minimize friction while adding support.
Second, our gear train design was off before we even secured it to the assembly. The gears were added to reduce the high speed of the motor and increase the torque to the rotating crankshaft, so that it would spin no faster than 1 rotation per second. The current tooth ratio is 10 to 38 which was calculated from an incorrect no-load motor speed specification. The gear train needs more stages to reduce the motor's very high speed.
Third, we're not confident our acrylic to metal press-fits for both gears are strong enough to keep the bond from breaking out under the torque. We're also still not sure whether the motor will be powerful enough to rotate the whole assembly as it weighs more than expected, and there are many parts in the assembly that are torqued and held together by some form of adhesive or press-fit.
Fourth, a couple of our holes in the base are slightly too large, which introduces play in the support rod's positioning and makes the structure less stable. Also a few of our acrylic support pieces, which link the two support rods to the central rotating crankshaft, have holes that need to be larger to ensure no drag on the crankshaft's rotation.
And since our Digikey LED order has yet to arrive, we are sure to face more challenges with the wiring of the lighting to the motor, assuming all of the aforementioned problems with the kinetic rotating assembly are solved.