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Scratch Build – In Progress Project: Mecha

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Samaya, 4 Feb 2011.

  1. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    Project: Mecha -small update

    UPDATE WHOOP WHOOP!!!

    Ok its actually not that great of an update BUT I did something and it wants to be shown...

    I was pondering the lost couple of weeks how exactly I was going to make the side panels with their pods. This past Monday I decided to just get 0.9mm thick aluminium plate and bend it till it fitted the panel and then solder the things together. I ran my idea by a good friend and mechanical engineer (he's busy with a doctorate in mechanical engineering so I think he knows what he is talking about) and he advised me against this. Basically the flux that would be needed to weld the pieces together melts at a higher temperature than aluminium will. This will then cause the alu to buckle because it is so thin - BIG PROBLEM... They need to be flat and pretty and awesome. SOOOOO I have decided that I will rather get "L" shape aluminium pieces, bend those to the shape I want and then bolt/screw the pieces in place. It will be a bit more work but I think it will be for the best.

    And then today I needed to test this theoretical design idea and this is exactly what I did. I used an old piece I ripped out of behemoth for the task. It is also much thicker than what I want to use.
    [​IMG]

    I will need to invest in a proper mitre saw. I do not like how this came out.
    [​IMG]

    At least the angles were correct and wasn't that difficult to achieve. I will have to fit a "holding" piece over each corner to keep it at the right angle.
    [​IMG]

    This is ol' rusty trusty that I used to bend the alu - I got it for a bargain (free!!!)
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,

    S
     
    Last edited: 27 Feb 2011
  2. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    Look what I got...
    [​IMG]
    All $100 worth... :D:D:D

    I can only start working on it over the weekend though :eeek:. Will try to mark out everything in the meantime. Can't wait :D
     
  3. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    I have started masking all those panels.

    Done 3 sofar in this pic
    [​IMG]

    And then I ran out of tape :duh::wallbash:

    Done masking
    [​IMG]

    Not done masking
    [​IMG]

    Some good news I suppose is that everything is oversized as opposed to not-going-to-fit-and-needs-replacement size :D

    I'll start some cutting over the weekend and hopefully have a WAAAAAYYYYYY more interesting post to make :thumb::p
     
  4. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    I started marking the panels last week already - to cut them obviously. But it is taking VERY long. A panel is done every 4 hours or so because it is checked about seven times and then checked against similar panels and then fixed where I made mistakes. So if these cuts are not "right" well then I'll have to redo my education - from grade 1...
     
  5. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    Ok so marking is going well. I finished marking the side panels. Then I found that the first side I marked has a fault and is marked 3mm too long because of some angle being 1' degree out :miffed::miffed::waah: I have to redo those 2. And then in other news... I found that my frame is 10mm LONGER than what my dimensions say it should be :miffed::miffed::miffed: I wish I could have welded the frame myself. O well I'll just add the extra length to my panels. Luckily I bought the aluminium longer than was required.

    All the side panels marked. I still need to do the pods
    [​IMG]

    Small mock-up of how the panels will be fitted.
    [​IMG]

    I hope to start cutting over the weekend - really hope to...
     
  6. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    So finally I can say UPDATE!!! I actually did some cutting of a SINGLE panel. I couldn't finish it but I got very far with it. Took me 3.5 hours to just do this little bit - This is going to be a looooooooonng build.

    On with the show
    First cuts - nice and straight with a Jig saw :D
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Finished cutting
    [​IMG]

    It still fits :D
    [​IMG]

    Tapping 11 holes is not much fun.
    [​IMG]

    At least I made sure the holes align with the tapped ones... (this time :blush: )
    [​IMG]

    And fitted to the frame with all the scratches...
    [​IMG]

    So now I still need to cut the small corners off, file down to the required width and then sand it down so there are no more scratches. Then I'll start on the next couple of panels. I do have another home project that is constantly interrupting this mod (My fish tank cabinet need doors and the stand with my daughters birds on needs to be sanded (again) and painted). I am also waiting for my screws that I ordered to arrive.

    Sorry if the updates are not frequent enough :( I am trying to get to the mod more.

    Enjoy,

    S
     
  7. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You are doing great.:D Since you are needing to sand everything anyway, you can do away with the masking tape and just mark directly on the panels next time. Ultra-fine sharpies rock. There have been people on this forum who found generic masking tape breaks down if used for prolonged periods anyway. -Lots of "*^*% how do I get rid of this tape residue?"
     
  8. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    Ok I managed to upload SOME pic.

    This is my setup for cutting the aluminium. Pity my Jigsaw is old and makes the blade bend side ways, otherwise you would have seen a perfectly straigth line... :waah:
    [​IMG]

    4 sides done
    [​IMG]

    Quick mock up
    [​IMG]

    That edge is looking mighty fine
    [​IMG]

    And done
    [​IMG]

    OMW this piece is thin. It bends so easily... But I have a plan, a big bright plan that is going to cost wifey money (which I supply :sigh: ) I also finished off the edges of the thick piece and marked the place where the hole's would be, but I broke a drill bit off in the thick alu and need to get that out first - so no pics of that until I fix it :eeek: :duh:

    Let me know what you think,

    S
     
  9. Waynio

    Waynio Relaxing

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    Looking great :thumb: I have no idea on how to remove a snapped off drill bit, happened to me recently was impossible to get out with the gear I have, the snapped off bit was a good 6mm deep :(.
     
  10. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    I think I'll try a 1mm thick bit to drill into the 1.5mm broken bit and see if I can extract it that way or I could just leave it there and drill a hole next to it. I'll just be more careful next time
    :dremel:
     
  11. that_du^de

    that_du^de give your head a wobble

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    you wont drill it out with a standerd 1mm bit it will just slip to the side and give you a bigger hole,as the bit is stuck in the hole wiggle it round gently this will compress the side of the hole and then grip it with mole grips and twist it out backwards or you could use a center punch to tap it out.........that a lot of fileing to do mate!
     
  12. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    I think you're right. I'll leave it there and just make a new hole next to it. The panel will cover it in anyway.
     
  13. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    Another day of idea testing...

    I had a bit of time to implement some ideas that came to me.

    Firstly I want to use M2 screws to fix the sides to the frame. That way it would be easier to cover them when I paint the case (Less area)
    [​IMG]

    Then I did this tester. I thought it would look great with a see through red coloured perspex (will need to polish it though) with some miniature led's lighting it up.
    [​IMG]

    I still need to cut the rest of the panels but that will have to wait as my little girl is turning 4 this weekend and we have to celebrate that :thumb: :D

    But after the celebration I will be looking forward to an 11 day holiday from the 22nd. I can't WAIT for that holiday :rock::dremel::rock:
     
  14. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    New update - yeah!


    I finished marking the left and right sides on the new thicker aluminium (0.9mm was just too thin and was going to be a serious project killer)
    [​IMG]

    First piece cut
    [​IMG]

    All pieces cut out of the sheet. I HATE my Jigsaw. It is the worst tool I own. I don't use it very often so replacing it would be a waste imo. When I cut the aluminium, it would glide through like a hot knife in butter and the suddenly it would catch on the sheet and start hopping around like a rabbit on speed. I checked the cutting angle, I reset the blade and I even made sure the material was seated properly. In the end and after a LOT of swearing I got all the pieces out of the sheet. :wallbash::miffed:
    [​IMG]

    :dremel: After the Jigsaw this following happened, I just started laughing... (The blade was new at the start of the cut. 6cm later it was done)
    [​IMG]

    Anyway so a bit of manual hack sawing later and using the powerfile with a coarse sanding belt to get close to the cut lines and finishing it with a finer belt I finished the first piece. I also only sanded the one side (the one you see) to see how that would look.
    [​IMG]
    I think with a bit more sanding and going with finer sanding paper it will look good enough to paint.

    Lots of work still to do. Quick mock-up of the one side.
    [​IMG]

    All the pieces that still needs to be finished for the sides.
    [​IMG]

    I still have to cut the pods, the fronts and backs and the top sections. Still LOTS of work to do... I can't wait :D
     
  15. voigts

    voigts What's a Dremel?

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    Looks nice. I like the frame design. I am wondering how you are going to attach the side panels to the frame.

    Life does have a way of tying us up, doesn't it?

    BTW, I don't know if you ever got an answer to that question about painting alu, but I don't see one posted in the thread. I'm in the same boat about to paint some alu panels and did some research. Alu forms a coating of alu oxide once exposed to air which prevents paint from sticking to it. You therefore have to remove the oxide layer via sanding, or preferably sanding (to remove scratches) and then using a liquid etching solution to chemically etch the alu, then paint right after with primer. If you just go with sanding the alu and not using a chemical etching solution, then use an etching primer instead of just plain primer. I bought a gallon of alu cleaning/etching solution at a local paint store for about $25 that dilutes out to be enough to keep me going for a long time to come. I personally like the idea of sanding then doing a chemical etching as with the chemical etching, you are guaranteed to get every nook and hole cleaned properly. You may already know all of this, but I just learned it, and maybe it will save you some time when you get to the point of painting.
     
  16. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    I am going to make small triangle shaped pieces that I am going to screw into the frame. Then attach the side to those. I am also going to make right angle pieces that will be fitted to the top and bottom panels which will also add extra strength to the side pieces.

    I actually got the answer from an autobody repair guy. Use etching primer and then paint over it. I do still have a problem though, I have an air compressor paint gun which is made of aluminium (It looks like everything on it is alu) and I am VERY sure the etching primer will leave a new finish on it when I am done. Unless there is another way of painting a smooth finish on the pieces, I might have to take it to a painting shop that can do it for me. Or try to get automotive etching primer in a rattle can from somewhere in South Africa...:wallbash:
     
  17. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    Mecha project - half of the top made

    I did a bit of modding this afternoon. I have to say that cutting 5mm thick aluminium is not childs play. Firstly, a Jigsaw with a metal-cutting blade causes a lot of issues. The material tend to get "caught" because of a build up on the blade it self. Secondly, Angle grinders are stupidly noisy and your neighbours tend to dislike you after you have used one (and your ears bleed from the noise...), sorry for them though :twisted:

    I nearly finished one part of the top side for this case. Here it is after using the angle grinder on it
    [​IMG]

    I started filing/sanding the edges to get them nice and straight as well as 90'. Easile done with a belt sander
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And done. All edges are straight and I managed to keep my hands steady enough to not go over the markings.
    [​IMG]

    The edges still need some work but its easy enough to polish that.
    [​IMG]

    At this stage I didn't have more time to start on the other half of the top, so decided to start getting all the scrathes out.
    [​IMG]

    I don't know why but I started polishing the whole panel and I have to say that the pic does not show you how nice this part actually looks even though its not even finished yet.
    [​IMG]

    And a quick fit.
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully you won't have to wait this long again for updates to occur. ;)

    I still need to make the other top half, the front and back panels and then still need to start on the inside. LOTS of modding to come :D

    Cheers,

    S
     
  18. Samaya

    Samaya Lion Country

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    New connectors

    So just before lunch one of our suppliers dropped these off by our offices - for free :D . My suppliers like me :D . So these are going to be used in the back of the case instead of the Mobo connectors. So I would have all the cables in one place at the bottom, back of the box and looking nice and neat. I still need the power socket and plug but that will be coming along in the near future. Now I just need to make a PC Board to fit these onto ;)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2011
  19. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo What's a Dremel?

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    Hello, I'm new to this thread but OMG.... all those servos.... I'm bouncy with anticipation for an animated case! 3D turned 4D when you add motion over time!
     
  20. kelmannen

    kelmannen What's a Dremel?

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    like it =) it's going to be awesome with those connectors on a gathered place, i would loooove to do that i my own chassis tho i dont think my soldering skills are that good... :wallbash:
     

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