Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Raygun XI

In an effort to make this blog a little less long and rambling (too late!) I'm editing instead of adding a new post.

The parts I want for the Raygun are out of stock right now. And I haven't tested them. But I need to move forward. Fortunately, I was able to find a few models at Thingiverse and GrabCAD that I could import into Fusion 360 (Digikey also links to CAD files on many of the products they carry):

Instead of going through a proper drawing stage, I photographed the rough model (with maximum zoom to flatten it out as much as possible) and used it as a reference to start building up the CAD in Fusion 360.

It took a lot of tries to find out what would create the main body shape. In any other application it might be a quick lathe then boolean, but in Fusion 360 it turned into many, many greyed-out menu items and "you can't do that" pop-ups until I finally stumbled upon a sequence that it liked. Now I face the same problem with the grips; I haven't figured out yet how to cut the wrap-around grooves into them.

Since the housing is closed, I'm experimenting with a surface transducer instead of a speaker. The idea is that the body of the gun itself becomes the sounding board. Maybe. But I have to try it, because there's not enough time left before delivery to delay working up the CAD. The fall-back position is standard speaker and add some sounding holes. Somewhere.

Similarly, although it is attractive to put AAA batteries in the grip, with a clever door to go in and change them out, making firm commits is more important at this stage then more experiments and test measurements. So Lithium Polymer is the plan. At least that, I have one on order I can test out with my LED driver before things get too critical.

The plan is to start with the basic shape and let the needs of construction dictate additional panel lines, bolt holes, and so forth. But I am kind of hoping there won't be a lot of those; the mockup has infected me with a strong preference for its clean, uncluttered lines.

Really, this is an ambitious project. I'm working up an entire mechanical design, in less-than-familiar software, and generating tool paths from that to cut it out of metal. But I am fairly confident; I've done all these steps before, in different projects.

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