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Attoparsec
62 followers -
Custom props and gadgets, kinetic sculpture, chaos of all kinds
Custom props and gadgets, kinetic sculpture, chaos of all kinds

62 followers
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Attoparsec's posts

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Video of my 2016 Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge entry, the Assembly Line.

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Rendering of the new bar bot I'm hoping to get made in time for the DNA Lounge's Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge this summer. Playing with the punchcard idea again, but this time purely mechanical! Geneva drive so each cup rests at each station to receive the liquid, if the card on the tray specifies it.
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Over the weekend I finally did a test cast in the Gutenberg-style hand mold I had 3D printed. The results were pretty great! This is almost never done any more, and it's almost certainly the first time it's been done with a 3D printed mold. I'll put up complete drawings and CAD models once I'm done.

The design I used is very traditional, going back to at most a hundred years after Gutenberg. No historical evidence earlier than that survives, but it probably wasn't too different. The curving metal bit is a spring that hold the matrix (letter form) in place. The two halves of the mold slide against each other, letting the width of the character vary. (E.g. for 'i' vs 'w'.) This lets a single mold cast an entire font, though different sizes of the the typeface would still need multiple molds. The insulating handles would normally be wood, but I was enjoying the anachronistic contrast of 3D printing such a thing to resist. :)

The metal printed version of the mold needed some work to get it to fit, as the tolerances aren't nearly as good as with plastic printing. The metal is also really hard to tap. I'll probably do another version of it before calling the project done.

Making the type metal was easy enough, since I already had the set up for casting lead. Just added 10% tin and 20% antimony for a classic recipe. My first time making an alloy!

For this test I just used a temporary matrix which I made with a letter punch set. The next step is to make a real matrix, using hand carved punches and counter-punches. I want to do at least one character from beginning to end that way. I also want to do some 3D printed matrices, to see how well that would work.
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Hand mold
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3D printed tourbillon! There is wonder left in the world today after all.
People being awesome.

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We installed the tentacle this weekend -- and it's in the news! Dedication tomorrow at noon.

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The tentacle is done! Standing proud at 23rd and Main, Vancouver, WA. Official unveiling this Friday, last I heard.
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The state of the tentacle is good.

(Still far too many hours of grinding and finishing left, plus attaching all the suckers. But milestones are still important.)
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The tentacle is slowly taking shape. Very slowly. 16 rings out of 41 done. But as I entered the weekend unsure how to make progress at all, I'll take it.

We're into the section where all the nonagonal rings are fully triangulated, due to a more complicated geometry. This means there are 18 triangles instead of 9 rectangles for each, which makes the problem of alignment unconstrained locally. Before I could just bend pieces to have the proper 140 degree angle and they would set into place just fine as long as the previous ring was good. No more! After testing several approaches, none of which worked and all of which were supremely frustrating, I gave in and got quantitative. I pulled up the Blender model and read out the angle across all 9 diagonals for the ring, then bought a cheap digital angle gage and set to work. I found if I set all of those manually, working with each rectangle as a separate unit, then I could go back to the old process with acceptable results.

So, panic averted, it's still coming together. But I don't see how I can get it in by December as they wanted. It's just going too slowly. It doesn't help that I've completely trashed my right elbow with all the welding and forging over the last week. =\
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I'm experimenting with using the 3D model -> papercraft model -> waterjet cut/etched steel process in more detailed ways. I got my face 3D scanned and had a series of custom masks made based on the mesh. It's fiddly, getting all the pieces bent properly to line up, but the results are looking pretty good.
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Some details on how I made the 2015 Hugo Award bases.
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