Just started a new project for a display for the Anifest Animation Festival in October here in the UK, and I thought it would be cool to share the process of the build up.

I'll start with the initial CAD design process, laser cutting, proof of concepts etc. Then follow on with final CAD designs, manufacturing and post processing of components ready for full build up.

The final build should be around 25cm / 9" high, using ball and socket modular joints through out - plus I'm going to trial a new concept of attaching " armour " and body sections. Materials used will range from mild steel to various grades of aluminium and stainless steel.

So, first of all, lets get a proof of concept cut on the laser cutter for the ape's arm and hand based on the CAD design below:

As soon as the designs cut in mild steel, then the fun starts! putting it together and hoping it all works!!

JC

Views: 244

Comment by Julian Clark on July 19, 2012 at 2:51pm
Initially designed in AutoCad
Comment by Shea Street on July 19, 2012 at 3:15pm

Where do you send these to get cut or do you happen to have a laser cutter yourself?

Comment by Julian Clark on July 20, 2012 at 1:23pm
I have a deal with a local metal profiling company for laser profiling, I can get small one off's cut for very little cost. If I had a spare £250k I'd buy one!
Comment by Shea Street on July 20, 2012 at 6:47pm

Is it along the times of if they have idle machine time? Do they charge you a flat fee or do they do it on time/distance cut?

Comment by Julian Clark on July 21, 2012 at 12:07am
You would normally get a setup fee per job, and then the price is based on distance of cut plus cost of material. The material cost is pretyy small when it comes to this kind design.
Comment by Julian Clark on July 26, 2012 at 3:33am

It's here!!!

Now to tap the holes, de-burr and prep for testing. Can't wait!!!!

JC

Comment by Shea Street on July 26, 2012 at 7:20pm

Looking good! Yeah if I had that sort of cash I would get one too. Actually in fact I am looking at getting a laser cutter (not for metal unfortunately) but it is only about 1/100th of that cost. Mostly looking to use it for sets and model internals.

Comment by StopmoNick on July 26, 2012 at 8:46pm

Very elegant looking plates, with the holes cut out of the larger pieces to lighten them, and cross bars left in to keep it strong.  

Although, looking closer, I don't understand what I am looking at with the big pieces.  I see a hole that might be where the ball fits, but there is a small hole either side, what are those for?  Would they be for 2 tension screws either side, instead of one that's in line with the hole and further towards the centre?  And the other arched pieces next to them, no idea what those are - no central hole near the ends for a ball joint, just that slot.  So I can see it's a new approach to the armature design.

What is the thickness of the steel plate it is getting cut from?

Using flat bars of mild steel, I found I could just barely get away with 3mm (1/8th") thick steel for 12" puppets.  They would bow in a little, but I could put a spacer in the middle between the plates to fix that.  If you do have tension screws to the sides of the joint holes, I imagine that wouldn't make the plates bow in.   

This coud be a breakthrough for producing large numbers of plates in stock sizes without being as labour intensive as cutting out by hand.

I'd love to have a laser cutter just to cut MDF without all the edge sanding and cleaning up.  How much is the cutter you are thinking of buying?  (Not that it would be available in Australia, or at least not at anywhere near the same price. But hey, I can dream...)  What materials can it cut, and how thick?

Comment by Shea Street on July 26, 2012 at 9:30pm

The laser cutter I am looking at is this unit from Full Spectrum Lasers. And it can be shipped to Australia but it adds almost over a third to the price.

Comment by Julian Clark on July 27, 2012 at 4:14am

It Works!

Everything went fine, a few mods were needed post laser cutting, but nothing major. The laser cutting guys made a little mistake on the finger joints, the centre holes were all cut to 3mm holes so could'nt tap as planned ( hence the nuts and longer M3 bolts ).

've also built in movement restriction for elbows, wrists and shoulders to create a more natural articulation and to emphasise the whole robot thing.

Now to design the torso and butt!!!

JC

 

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