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Planning Making a Sphere Case

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Securis, 1 Nov 2010.

  1. Securis

    Securis What's a Dremel?

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    Alright guys here the situation, ive been planing on creating a Sphere shaped case somewhat like a large ball. ive figured out how i will be making the skeleton of the case however im having issues trying to figure out how to create a shell/exterior of the case as i would like the sphere to be as smooth as possible but im unsure on the material to use, i was thinking carbon fiber, however my father thinks that it will leave dimples and bumps on the surface is there a better material for a smooth shell, cost shouldn't be much of an issue atm. if anyone has any suggestions they would be hugely appreciated.

    thanks.
     
  2. jrs77

    jrs77 Modder

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    mvagusta and docodine like this.
  3. Securis

    Securis What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks jrs77, however thats not quite what im looking for as they don't have a size large enough for my needs( 2psu's a phase change along with 3 computers in) and i like to have room to breath.
    i have already started work on the skeleton of the case im just looking into idea's/ ways to form the outside/cover i guess of the sphere, if anyone of the forums has used and its good with carbon fiber and can give some advice/ answer some questions pm me would be much appreciated. thanks.
     
  4. ulfar

    ulfar holy s**t, i can change this?

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    i'm thinking of two ways to make this;
    either you create a whole bunch of hexagons and glue them together to make a sphere,
    or you create one mould (concave) which has exactly the radius you want for the sphere (do some math). use this mould to form sheets of acrylic.
    or combine the two to make a funky pattern on your sphere. (shape the hexagons)
     
  5. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    You can get spheres made in a variety of materials, to virtually any size you want.

    See here for some examples.
     
  6. Nanosec

    Nanosec absit iniuria verbis

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    Securis - I am not sure how big you plan on going, but if you scroll down on the page that JRS77 linked, you will find sphere halves of up to 60" in diameter. That would mean a sphere that is bigger across than most peoples desks, that would take up the space of a small car, definately more than enough room for 2 psu, 3 comps, and several small mammals to live and breath with room to spare.
     
  7. rothers

    rothers What's a Dremel?

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    Are you going to have it so that the components gyrate within the sphere? If so then i really would like to see this build progress as it would be truly awesome. If not then it still should be interesting to see.

    As to your question maybe you could look into vacuum forming?
     
  8. jrs77

    jrs77 Modder

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    Up to 60" in diameter is not enough? :eyebrow:
     
  9. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    That's no moon!
     
  10. mars-bar-man

    mars-bar-man Side bewb.

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    It's a space station...
     
  11. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil What's a Dremel?

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    60" = 5 feet in diameter- is this a PC build or a gaming pod?... :lol:
     
  12. MechDoc02

    MechDoc02 What's a Dremel?

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    If you make a mold, either a male mold or a female mold, carbon fiber or fiberglass can work well. A female mold makes it easier to get a smooth finish on the exterior of your surface, but it is possible to get a smooth finish using a male mold. One way is judicious sanding to take off the roughness, with care to avoid sanding all the way through the surface.

    There is a technique I've seen used, and have used myself, to make radio control sailboat hulls. This technique is sometimes called "The German Rubber Method." Stretch a layer of latex rubber over the mold, leaving no wrinkles (which may be tough to do with a hemisphere, and would be impossible with anything approaching a complete sphere in one go). Apply the fiberglass cloth (or carbon fiber), then coat it liberally with epoxy resin. Stretch another layer of latex over the top of the cloth, then use a rubber roller to roll out as much excess epoxy as you can manage. Set aside for a day or so, then peel off the latex from inside and outside the of the part.

    Of course, if you have a female mold and vacuum equipment you can accomplish the same thing more easily. But if you had that equipment, you probably wouldn't have asked for guidance on using carbon fiber.
     
  13. Securis

    Securis What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry jrs77, i must have overlooked the larger ones in my head( probably something along the lines of getting it shipped to Australia would kill me haha) but thanks :)

    it's not quite a space station yet, but the way my ideas snowball give it a week
    anyway, i have looked into vacuuming but as mech said, i probably don't have access to the equipment, however thanks for the idea of German Rubber Method, it looks promising so hopefully that will lead somewhere, im assuming to make the latex moulds you use foam or something? since im not sure how i create the mould in the first place, maby something like mesh mould of the 2 halves of the sphere then layer it with latex?


    Oh and srry to disappoint the components won't gyrate within the sphere, as that would make it difficult to access the parts aswell as issues with cables being caught up, but it could be something for a revision of the case next year? :)
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2010
  14. MechDoc02

    MechDoc02 What's a Dremel?

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    The German Rubber Method refers to the use of the latex rubber, which epoxy sticks to only slightly, and not to the specifics of the mold. You can make the mold out of anything handy that can stand the stress from the stretched rubber and from the rubber roller used to spread the epoxy and to rid the fiberglass of excess epoxy. The stretched rubber, in turn, imparts a glassy smooth surface to the fiberglass.

    Foam may be strong enough to stand the loads from the roller, but I'd say it might be close, at best. You could always reinforce the foam with fiberglass first, sanding it smooth, but the only advantage you'd then have over just using this method in the first place is that sanding too much off wouldn't be a disaster.

    I'd probably look first to buy a large enough acrylic sphere. If that wasn't suitable for some reason, I'd then look for something pretty solid that I might use as a mold, perhaps something I might borrow for that purpose. I've seen some barbecue grills that might come close enough, and maybe one of those might work for your case, anyway. They're hinged and have handles.
     
  15. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil What's a Dremel?

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    Guessing no-one knew where you are from- fill out your user details & location under user profile, there are a fair few ozzies on the boards who possess local knowledge that may come in handy in future.. :thumb:
     
  16. ulfar

    ulfar holy s**t, i can change this?

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    going with the german rubber method, isn't it possible to use liquid latex rather than stretching? think it would be easier to get the surface crinkle free.
     
  17. MechDoc02

    MechDoc02 What's a Dremel?

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    Sounds good to me. You try it first!
     
  18. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    That might work for the inside layer, but you'll need to stretch the outside layer. The purpose of the latex is to have something that keeps even pressure on the outside of the mold to hold the glass/carbon in place while the epoxy cures. It's also not going to get stuck to the epoxy, so it acts like the peel ply when using the vacuum method. I'm not sure I want to see what happens when you pour uncured latex on uncured epoxy.
     
  19. MechDoc02

    MechDoc02 What's a Dremel?

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    I was just about to edit my last reply, saying something similar. Without the stretched layer over the outside, there isn't anything to provide the glass-smooth surface to the epoxy on the outside (which is the main point of the whole thing), and also no way to roll out the excess epoxy from the cloth.

    The write-up I read on the method also recommended one have the assistance of a friend for applying the epoxy to the cloth, and stretching the outer layer of latex over the epoxy and cloth. I managed these steps by myself the two times I used the technique, but another pair of hands would have been helpful. I also used the slowest curing epoxy available to me. You don't want it firing off in ten minutes, or even in fifteen.

    Note that a full hemisphere might be difficult, as the cloth and epoxy may well tend to slide off the form unless the latex is stretched very carefully and fairly uniformly around the perimeter. And I suspect the stresses in the latex will be high by the time it's stretched enough to encompass a hemisphere.
     
  20. Modsbywoz

    Modsbywoz Multimodder

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    dude, how big do you want it, that address on the first page does spheres up to 60inches diameter.
     

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