Friday, March 16, 2018

Space Patrol Pistol Stand......An Update

After having spent the last couple of days 3D printing the stand for my newly created Space Patrol pistol I thought I should show it off as it turned out better than I had hoped.  So here you go.

The Space Patrol pistol display stand worked out very well as you can see.  I 3D printed the base for the stand using ABS plastic and it took roughly 6.5 hours to print.  It is a fairly large piece being 8" x 4.75" and 1/2" thick.  The vertical cradle for the pistol was also 3D printed and took 9 hours 20 minutes to make.  This simple slid into a rectangular opening in the base and was a very good fit so no glue was needed to keep everything in place.  

I spray painted the two components for the stand in flat black paint as I did not want the stand to be the focus of attention when the pistol was being displayed yet I still wanted something more than a simple look to the assembly.

To keep the pistol's paint from being scuffed while it was resting on the stand I added small felt pads to the curved indentations that were matched up to the shape of the body of the pistol.  The pads had a sticky back to them so it was a quick addition to the assembly that will serve very well in keeping the pistol in nice condition over the coming years. 

With the pistol resting on it's stand it was easier for me to get these shots of them together. 

I had to get one more shot for this post so I thought I would put both space pistols that I now have completed side by side. They make an interesting pair to say the least.  I still have plans to do one more pistol some time in the future but until then I am more than happy to be done with painting for a while and sit back and enjoy my efforts. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Space Patrol Pistol Part 4...... It's Done!

I am very happy to report that I put the finishing touches on my Space Patrol pistol yesterday.  Now I just have to work on a simple little stand for it so that I can show it off properly.  With that being said I also did not want to wait another week to get the stand done just to show it off to my faithful readers like you here on the blog.  So here you go!

This project was challenging like most of my projects usually are and I always learn a few new things along the way.  The little embossed spaceship image on the side of the pistol is a perfect example.  I had never created this type of detail before on any of my projects but the effort was worth the end result. I had to use a micro-brush (aka...a very very tiny paint brush) to get the gloss black paint put on correctly. It took a slow steady hand to get it painted correctly so that was something new for sure. 

The painting of the yellow body for the pistol took some time as well.  Mainly prepping it so that it was smooth enough to paint and then laying down at least a half dozen very light coats of paint so that I did not have any runs in it when I was finished.  I really like the fact that the body of the pistol was 3D printed in two pieces and then bonded together.  Then it was a matter of making it look like it was just one piece instead of two with a seam.  Lots of sanding and prep work paid off with this very smooth looking shape.

Also nice is the little features that are on the pistol like the power control display and knob and the chrome and red heat vent.  This along with the red inserts on the pistol grip tie everything together. 

 The front section of the pistol with the red cup shape and the colored plexiglass disks also worked out very well and painting the silver parts were some of the easier pieces to create in this project. 

 I had to take one more shot of the pistol with me holding it to give you a much better idea of how large this 50's style space gun really is.  Something that would fit into any old SciFi movie to be sure. It will look good on my book shelf once I get the stand worked out for it.  Hope you've enjoyed the posts about the progress I've made on this project over the past few weeks.  I know I have had another successful build that I will be proud to show off once again.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Space Patrol Pistol Project Part 3

A lot has been happening here at the workshop over the past couple of weeks so I thought it best I get everyone caught up on the Space Patrol Pistol project while I had the chance.  In the last post all of the components were getting ready to be prepped for painting.  I am happy to report that 99.9% of the painting has been completed.  So with that being said here is how that part of this project has turned out. 

Here is a collection of some of the smaller parts that needed to be painted for this project.  Starting at the upper right corner is the body collar, the nozzle ball tip, the power control dial, a chrome painted vent shield, and finally the base nozzle again in chrome paint.  Just below these part are three more sections of the nozzle (in chrome paint), the trigger (In red), and the vent ring again in red paint.  The larger "L" shaped pieces in the lower left are the pistol grip inserts and last but not least is the nozzle cup in nice bright red paint.  

Here's a very good looking shot of the pistol grip for the project.  As with all of the 3D printed parts I took my time and worked on making each part as smooth and clean as possible.  The pistol grip was no exception.  I wanted recessed areas on the grip for the red inserts and so the grip needed to be 3D printed in two parts and then bonded together.  Once I had accomplished this task it was just a matter of smoothing the part out and then priming and painting it glossy black.  I'm happy how the part turned out.  The photo above was taken after the paint had dried so it is just the look I was going for. 

With all of the parts painted I was able to take the photos shown above.  From the black ball tip of the pistol to the yellow body cap shown above you can see all of the components of the front half of the pistol.  In the black ball at the front of the tip of the gun is a 1/4-20 nut that in encased inside of the sphere.  This was accomplished by 3D printing the ball in two section and then installing the nut before epoxying the two halves together.  I really like how smooth and glossy this part turned out. Then I installed an 8.5 inch long 1/4-20 threaded rod that was inserted into the ball and tightened on to the nut.  From there all of the other components making up the front section were slid into place and finally  secured with another nut that is inside the body cap as show in the top photo.

Next in the assembly as shown above is the addition of the pistol body.  This is accomplished by sliding the two mounting arms that extend out of the body cap into the body opening.  In the arms will be two 1/4-20 nuts and then finally two chrome fasteners will hold the front section of the pistol in place through matching mounting holes on both sides of the body. 

Here are a couple of good shots of how the assembly looks with the front assembly slid into place and mated up to the body of the pistol. 

Once the front assembly is secured in place the pistol grip and it's red inserts will be joined together. The grip and the other miscellaneous components till be mounted on to the body of the pistol at this point.  I still need to do a little detail painting on the extruded spaceship that is on the body yet.  Once this is completed final assembly will be the last task before I can sign off on this project and call it good.  So far things have progressed very will with all of the paining of the parts so I can breath a little easier at this point.  

I have a stand for the pistol designed and will have to 3D print the parts for it in the next couple of days so I can have a simple way of showing off the new Space Patrol pistol properly when I have it finally completed. It will be a nice addition to the first space pistol that I did some weeks back.  I'll be sure to post additional photos about this project in the final installment of this project very soon.  Until then I hope your latest project is working out as well as this one has so far for me. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A New Project....From Dead Light Bulb To Fusion Drive Spaceship

About a week ago or so I was helping a friend of mine work on his enclosure design for his 3D printer.  He had brought me something out of the ordinary. What he had brought along to my house was a dead light bulb.  But not just any ordinary bulb.  

This was  a large 400 watt industrial bulb that had burned out at his place of work.  I have never seen anything as large as this bulb and he thought I might like it to use in one of my projects. I really liked the shape so I thought it might have possibilities. On the base of the bulb was a rather old looking porcelain socket which I was able to remove and retrieve the inner metal socket that was still in good shape. As you can see from the photo above the glass is still nice and clear with no cracks but the element on the inside is dark from having been burned out.  It measures 11.5 inches long. 

(Click on the images for a larger view) 

After some thought about this beautiful bulb I struck on the idea of making a spaceship model from it.  The photo above is the first version that I had come up with using Fusion 360 CAD software. I liked the overall shape of the new spaceship but at this point it was just a rough idea.  In the photos above the project at this point could be either a spaceship or a submarine.  Also the idea of the clear canopy would be possible but I was not sure if I could make it without some help. 

The next version of the project was looking like a proper spaceship at this point. I blacked out the clear canopy which would be an easy fix to making it as it could simply be painted on to the capsule to complete the look.  With the addition of the rocket engines, fuel tanks, fins, landing gear and a tail thruster the project was looking more promising. 

Then I did one more redesign to change the look completely of the capsule and the scale of the spaceship. I discarded the large canopy and changed it to be a single wrap around  windshield and three port hole windows on each side of the front section of  the spaceship.  This changed the scale of the ship so that it appeared to be much larger than the first spaceship with one large canopy. 

Pictured above are a good collection of all the different views of the spaceship.  I will have to work out the details for the assembly of this rather large model that I will be able to 3D print on my new 3D printer that I just got up and running over the past couple of weeks.  From the computer design I will be able to break all of the components down so that they can be assembled like any ordinary plastic model.  Once completed the spaceship will be 25.25" long, 9.8" tall and 11.25" wide.  It should be an impressive model once I get it all together.  

I still have a couple more projects that I have to finish first before I will start construction on this project.  I also have to wait for a couple more components that I want to install into the model. I will have to wait until these show up so I can incorporate them into the model.  One idea that I am looking at is to light the fusion drive (the dead light bulb) at the rear of the model using electroluminescent wire that could be wrapped around the glass base of the bulb and then powered by a small battery pack that would be mounted into the capsule of the model.  I will have to test out this idea before I actually build it into the model to see if the EL wire will give the fusion drive a nice glow when lit.  Even without lighting the model it will still be quite impressive when I get it built.  It should be another challenging and fun project to work on in the coming weeks. I'll let you know when the build starts!

Friday, February 23, 2018

A New 3D Printer And New Enclosure Project

On Christmas day this past year I placed an order for a new Creality CR-10 S4 3D printer.  I was amazingly surprised to have it in my hands three days later.  Along with the new printer the next day I ordered an upgrade to the heating element for the printer as I wanted to 3D print using ABS filament. I found after research that the stock heating element had a hard time coming up to the 110C temperature so that was my reasoning to update it right off the bat. The new Keenovo heating element I ordered the day after Christmas and it took seven weeks to get it into my hands thanks to Customs holding on to it in New York most of that time.  But no matter what things have been looking up since this long wait and I now am able to show you the end results.

Here is my new 3D printer in the new enclosure that I completed shortly after the new heating element was installed a few days ago.  The enclosure I lucked out with as far as materials for it was concerned as I had a pile of 3/4 inch square aluminum tubing stored away in my shop that was perfect for the job.  I 3D printed all the connecting components on my original Makerbot Replicator and then covered the outside with 10 mil plastic. Nice and heavy and very clear compared with other plastics I had looked at.

Here is a good shot of the interior of the enclosure with the new printer.  Lots of room and I was lucky to have just enough space on my old drafting table to hold it all without it looking out of place. 

The large black box in the image above is the control box for the Creality CR-10 S4 printer.  Next to it is a smaller controller for the Keenovo heating element (reading 106.1). 

Here's a closer look at the Keenovo heating element control box.  Very simple and very fast heat up with this new unit.  A vast improvement over the original heating element that comes with the Creality printer. My Makerbot 3D printer takes around 8 minutes to come up to temperature to print ABS filament.  With this new heater it only takes around two minutes. 

Here's a good look at my design for the enclosure for the 3D printer that I put together using Fusion 360 CAD software.  The enclosure is 27.5 inches wide, 27" tall, and 38" deep.  I needed this much space to easily hold the 3D printer and not have it have any issues with movement of the build platform while printing parts. 

The two images above show off one of the hinge assemblies that I use for the doors on the enclosure. These were 3D printed and then mounted into the aluminum tubing using 1/4-20 hardware.  

Here is a good selection of all the different types of 3D printed connectors that needed to be made for the enclosure.  This took some time but being as I was waiting for weeks for the new heating element it was the perfect time to make these components and get the enclosure in shape before it arrived.

Here is the enclosure being put together in the workshop.  Being on the work table it gives you a good idea of how large this assembly is.  Luckily it is very light weight and at this point can easily be taken apart to move it into my workroom where I actually make 3D printed parts.

Here's another look at the real hinges that are used in the enclosure.  I was really pleased with the fit and finish of my design.  The doors work perfectly. 

At the base of the doors is this 3D printed assembly with a couple of 1/4-20 bolts and nuts attached to it.  I needed a good metal target on this part being as both front doors have small magnets mounted in the bottom corners of the 3D printed connectors that make up the framework of each door.  These magnets are press fit into the frame and when the doors are closed the magnets click into place on top of the heads of the small bolts in this assembly keeping the doors securely closed.  Simple and effective. 

Once I had completed assembly of the enclosure and got the new 3D printer up and running I needed to figure out how to route all of the wiring for the 3D printer into the enclosure without causing any issues along the way.  On the left side of the enclosure rather than completely seal up the back portion of that side with clear plastic as I had done with all the other sides and doors on the enclosure I left the bottom portion of the plastic unsecured.  I did not tape it down as I had done on all the other panels.  This allowed me to snake all of the wiring into the enclosure through a small gap at the base of the panel.  I also made another small gap that runs vertically near the center of the enclosure on the left side.  This allowed me to route additional wiring and the plastic filament for the printer's extruder into the enclosure. I wanted to keep these openings as small as possible to retain the heat that is needed to make good ABS plastic parts.  

One feature that I always wanted on my 3D printer that I did not have on my Makerbot was a WiFi video camera.  So I installed one into the new enclosure.  I picked up this nice little security camera at Walmart and worked out the mount for the camera and located it on the upper front right corner of the enclosure.  I can watch any 3D part being made on either my iPad or my phone so I don't have to be sitting in the actual room where the printer is at to keep a eye on it's progress.  A good safety feature as well. 

I put a thermometer into the enclosure while printing one of the first test parts on the new printer and it read 96 degrees!  Plenty warm enough for the printer and a good confirmation that my design for the enclosure is sound. Now all I have to do is make final adjustments to tweak the new printer and I will be making bigger and better parts than ever before.  I have already made plans for some rather large projects that will be coming up in the near future and should be a lot of fun to work on.  I'll keep you up to date with this new addition to the workshop. Another good in the shop!