Monday, 16 May 2011

FMP - Eleven and way overdue (24/03/11 - 16/05/11)

There's a fair bit to get through, so let's get started.

Before Easter (24/03/11 - 08/04/11):

The middle part as seen in the previous post has come and gone. It was originally designed to have the mirrors fixed in place (as they sit behind the cladding and provide additional support) while the rest was filled and finished, having the mirrors masked up:

But when unmasking, and to my annoyance, the mirrors were scratched. It is near impossible to get them out of mirrors too, so I rebuilt the entire thing but this time leaving a slot in the top so that I could slide the mirrors into place when the rest was finished. The two together:

By itself with the slots on top visible:

Along with this I finished the rotating pieces, having both cladded and primed, ready to be sprayed. When I assembled what I had, I noticed the bottom rotating piece wasn't rotating as smoothly as I'd like, so I built a thrust bearing (using marbles) which sits underneath it. The bearing itself is based off the ones seen in the previous post, just with a much larger diameter in order for it to sit on the base board:

What the entire model looked like before I left for Easter:

The biggest change to my project was that during my mock interview towards the end of term, the interviewer mentioned the lack of rapid prototyping models in my portfolio. This is the area of modelmaking I'd hope to get into, and if I have nothing to show for it other than my aspirations, I'm not going to get too far. As a result I changed my brief somewhat, from having the top façade of the carousel sculpted to building it digitally and then 3D printed/CNC'd.

Easter holidays (09/04/11 - 25/04/11):

With the workshop shut, there wasn't much I could do to my existing pieces other than get them ready (as spraying outside does not work too well) for finishing. So I got on with the façade and after altering my initial design (which was going to be sculpted) I began the digital model, starting with the legs. To keep with the organic Seuss design of things, I made everything using curves, which were drawn onto surfaces (which matched that of the object):

To make it solid I added a circle to the top and bottom and used the vertical curves to split it, so that I could use the 'Sweep 2 rails' tool:

This way of going about it was used extensively for the rest, but smaller pieces such as the ribs and base of the legs were made using the 'Revolve' surface tool and then had their control points pulled around to make it asymmetric:

In order for the legs to be 3D printed they needed to be hollow, so all intersecting surfaces were trimmed:

Once one leg was done, another 2 were made using the same base curves, just with their command points altered so that they are not similar, these were then copied to bring the total number to 5. The actual roof was done in a somewhat similar manner, outline curves were drawn (one smaller next to one larger to create a dip) and then arrayed around the overall diameter. These curves where then in turn moved slightly, re-scaled so that once again they'll look asymmetric:

The intersecting horizontal curves were put in place to give a more organic shape that highlighted the dip between higher neighbouring curves. Just like the legs, the sweep tool was used intensively:

Once completed the interior was designed to house a mechanism (not 3D printed, but lasercut) which would counter-rotate the above façade using the main shaft. This would then allow this additional piece to sit on top of the roof you see above and below and rotate counter to the carousel. Sitting on this piece, which was going to be designed as a bent down Circus tent top was to be a sculpted Horton (an elephant, whose weight had caused the top to bend back on itself) and on his back, a Sneetch playing a three-horned trumpet. But as this was going to be sculpted, it wasn't made digitally, but the rest of the façade was so I made it one gigantic piece:

The company whom I was going to get it printed with were Ogle Models (who were my chosen company for the mock interview), and after a tour of their workplace, we got to my model. After initial praise of doing the first STL. made using Rhino which needed no fixing, came the hard truth that the price would easily be over £2,000, and that was for materials alone. I was willing to go up to £1,500, but I was completely unrealistic, as the Nylon resin used (of which 70% is wasted) costs £70/Kg. And being that my model would be printed alone, there was no one else to share the cost with, as other pieces could've been put around it.

Needless to say I couldn't afford it, so I had to opt for CNC'ing it once I got back to Uni, so I re-designed it once again to match its requirements (maximum height of 85mm), plus with time running out, simplified it by removing the rotating top:

Start of term up till now (past the deadline and all; 26/04/11 - 17/04/11):

Well a lot has happened, the biggest of which; work re-started on the characters; which I messed around with before the holidays but having to sculpt directly onto the acrylic poles I needed to use milliput as it needs no heat to harden, and I hate milliput. As I tried to sculpt, the figures kept sliding down the poles, so I scanned in the character outlines and lasercut them with offset outlines either side which were then glued to the poles:

These were then sculpted onto in layers:

With additional detail coming last:

Come deadline week I had a good streak of bad luck, for one the leg (just one leg from the above digital model) that I had 3D printed and planned to cast, broke too many times to be fixed. Next, a piece of wood in the spray room fell straight onto the bottom rotating piece breaking a leg clean off. Wouldn't be much of a big deal, but building a new one and re-attaching it means I need to spray the entire thing again as I've run out of the paint. Anyways, here's what it looked like on the day:

Not proud of it, but it works. In the meantime (and assuming I haven't been referred) I'm quietly getting on with it, such as getting the roof CNC'd (it's done in three layers, each one under 85mm):

As well as getting a new leg 3D printed:

To prevent the same trouble happening again, I literally flooded this one in resin, its previous brother I went a bit too light with and is the reason it broke so many times:

Along with this I'm currently sanding down the characters to get them casted, I'm aiming to be done by the end of next week if I can get on the CNC again.