Sunday, March 30, 2008

Design Thought Model Part II

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I continued work on my design thought model this weekend. I ordered some thiner 1/16" acrylic sheets that seemed to work better than the 1/8" stuff I was using before. While I was working on this project I realized that I probably could have done the entire thing so much easier on the vacuform. Oh well, good thing to keep in mind for next time. Instead of using the vacuform I have been cutting the plexi into small rectangles, heating them to 325 in the oven, and forming them to the mold with my hands. After I cover the entire mold in overlapping rectangles, I use the bandsaw to cut off the areas that overlap. This takes a long time and there are a few gaps where the pieces come together. I decided to just incorporate the gaps into my design and instead of gluing the pieces of plexi directly together, they will be connected with laser cut plexi brackets that I will paint to look like aged brass. That should also help with the mechanical steampunk look I'm going for.

I've also changed my original design that used marbles to represent ideas to use Sour Balls instead because every one likes candy and I found them at the convenience store near my dorm. They Sour Balls roll very nicely down the little test track that I build and I like that they are bright colors. I'm going to have to remember to bring a few packs with me when I present this because I've already eated about half of them.

On a final note, I ordered my steam engine kit that will power the rotating disk the releases the Sour Balls. I got it off ebay for $23 from Liney Machine. It includes the plans and all the stock metal needed to machine it out. The engine is very tiny. I chose it because it was cheap and I wanted a kit that would allow me to learn to machine metal on the metal lathe and mill. I'm really excited and I cant wait to try to build it.

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