Happy New Year everyone! I can see why celebrating the new year is such a big deal. 2014 is sooooooo much different than 2013, right?

Anyway, work progressed slowly at the Blind Squirrel Robot Factory.

Cleanup and painting of Robot parts proceeded but for some reason, white spray paint isn’t very opaque…it took 10 coats to cover the backs and battery doors.

robot02

In the search for a good clear resin that doesn’t need to be used in a vacuum chamber, I returned to a clear resin I used on earlier projects. Polytek Clear cures in 3-5 minutes with very few bubbles. I added some red pigment to make the eyes for the robots.

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With a LED placed behind the stem, the eye glows nicely but not as hot as this picture shows.

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I also ran some vacuum forming test to check my masters and determine what weight of plastic would work best for the dome, mouth and brains. This is a .01 clear polyester which formed nicely although the webbing would have to be eliminated with a riser.

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A piece of threaded rod was enough to take up the slack that caused the webbing. This photo will act as a template for future pulls.

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I wasn’t liking how the base of the brains flared out so I removed the MDF base and trimmed it to make an undercut. Even though this locks the master in the formed plastic, I get a nice return at the base and a slit in the back allow stye thin plastic to be removed.

robot05

A test fit of the new brains (sprayed on the inside with white primer) in the head with eyes in place. The .01 works but I think I’ll use .02 since the thinner plastic is flimsy. At this point, I realized that I needed some way to mount the eyes to the brains. Right now, they’re just sticking through a hole and the weight of the front makes them flop around.

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Using one of the brain experiments, I positioned resin castings of the eyes in the proper position and taped them in place.

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Flipping the plastic over, I sprayed the parts with mold release and the applied Bondo around the stem.

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After cleaning up the plug, I applied mold release to one of the eye LEDs and applied Bondo around it. The plan here is to glue the plug inside the brain, insert the eye into one side, and the LED into the other.

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Randy at VooDooFX was nice enough to include some diffusion material in with the electronics for the Robots (The red dots are accidental overspray). Without some sort of diffusion, the LEDs would project little circles on the brain instead of nice, soft clouds of color.

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To block any harsh lighting, I needed to form the diffuser into some sort of dome to cover the bank of LEDs. I cut a simple press from MDF for this purpose.

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I heated up the plastic, placed it on the center form and squished the frame around it.

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Excess trimmed off, I have a cover for a LED bank.

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So, more painting on the torso and then I can start assembling ALL the Robots! Once silicone pigment shows up, I can do another test on the treads as well!

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5 Responses to Progress Weekend January 3-5

  1. Bruce Allen Conley says:

    Are you done with the robot yet?

  2. Bruce Allen Conley says:

    When are you finished with the robot?

  3. Bruce Allen Conley says:

    Are you finished with that Robot yet? /:|

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