Sunday, January 6, 2013


The latest Shapeways order arrived.  The saga of the Morrow Project boxes is almost at a close.  I intend only two more posts on the subject; one an overview of the design and development, the other, a gathering together of all the resources I can to allow someone else to make their own in the same style.

The whole basic concept of these was "green boxes with 1970's era controls on top."  But it was too much of a chore to find existing knobs that were affordable and of the right dimensions.  Thus, printing.

This was the concept; a fusion of elements from various period controls, intended to have a strong resemblance to the bar knobs of the venerable PRC-77 series military radios.

Modeled in Carrara (same place the top of the box was modeled, and that meant it was already to scale as well).

 After a check against the Design Rules for printing in high-detail plastic (which it very nearly flunked due to the small size), model is smoothed several times and exported.

(I have to export via Hexagon because of problems with the implementation of STL on Carrara.)

After a few weeks turn-around (slowed mostly by having a stainless steel print in the order), the raw knobs came back from Shapeways:

Sanding and filing to smooth out the burrs, several coats of Tamiya gloss black.  Drilled out the hex key access holes (unfortunately, I'd guessed wrong and the guide holes I included in the print were in the wrong place).  And cut apart a couple of one-dollar knobs from Allelectronics to use the pre-threaded brass insert inside them, which got superglued inside the new knobs.

Last step is the indicator line.  On the model, I'd intended to fill this with a thin strip of white styrene plastic.  But when I got the knobs in hand and saw how small they were (and how rough the slot was) I painted it white instead.  Using Opaque White left lying around from my attempts at drawing a comic book!

And this is what they look like installed:

(The sensitivity knob is off the dial because that's the only way to truly turn off the power to the box!)

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