Saturday, May 9, 2015

Pictures soon...

Atrociously slow work on the Space Helmet. I'm worried -- the deadline on the Raygun is getting far too close for comfort, and I really want some Holocrons in the RPF sales section. I need the money!

Took a plaster cast off the fitted eye lenses. Something reacted to the clear acrylic, though. Might have been the mold release, or the cast itself. They came out yellowed and didn't cure properly. The mold, of course, did not survive demoulding, but the casts are good enough (after a test fit) to make another mold off them. Unfortunately the last of my Oomoo-30 set up in the jar, leaving me with nothing but a bit of Rebound-25 to try to take a new cast.

I did use a little of the excess casting resin to coat and reinforce the PETG pull of the mask, though, plus put some divots in a chunk of clay and cast some possible rivet heads. Once I get the side pieces cut out the rest should go fast. Sigh. Been hard enough getting laser time together, I'm tempted to grab a sheet of heavy styrene and hand-cut them from that.

On the Holocron side, Novus #2 appears to restore the clear acrylic panels after flaws (glue spots and melted overflow from the laser cutting) have been sanded down. It takes a lot of it and a fair amount of work, though. Power buffing did not work; even at low speed my Dremel melted right into the plastic and made nasty grooves. It is possible a large buffing wheel would do better, but I'd have to find a clean one that hadn't been used to buff freshly-welded metal (which seems to rule out using the one at TechShop!)

I'm still not entirely happy with the Temple design. Worse, I haven't been able to come up with a new design I really like. So I'm still pretty far away from having samples for any new Holocrons.

On the Raygun, the surface-mount driver I was waiting on showed up and I've experimented briefly with it. Still can't tell if it is going to work. The problem here is the body of the gun is way too large to permit iterative design. I need to figure out everything in the 3d model and cut exactly that, since the CNC machining step is going to take upwards of eight hours of solid machine time.

All I can say right now on the driver is, from experiments putting it inside pots, ukulele, unfinished holocrons, and the like, it will at least make a noise. It may turn out to be necessary to not just mill some speaker slots in the gun, but re-cut the speaker mounting after machining the gun.

I'm also procrastinating on the trigger design. I wish I had just picked a button I knew would be a common stock item, so I could pop that into the CAD. Well, Fusion 360 does allow importing of parts from various sources, but in this case I'd feel better if I could hold the part in my hands and feel how the trigger motion works. Maybe I need to add making a mock-up to my growing list of laser needs?

At least I think I've solved the repro issue. Assuming I am making a limited number of ray guns serially, I will 3d-print them myself over at TechShop. The lower quality of the prints there is fine because the outer surface is all smooth curves anyhow -- no real problem in just sanding the heck out of it.

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