Monday, March 29, 2010

SHIHAD - Sleepeater

When Sam Peacocke approached me about doing some effects for a Shihad music video I had no idea how apt the title was going to turn out :-D

I was given a ten page PDF of how the video was to play out... It required a spinning shaking chair, water cannons, smoke machines and a wind cannon. For me it simply read: Lets make some cool stuff :-)

The pNuke:
This cannon resulted from my initial "more power Igor!" approach to the water cannon idea. The pNuke is a 9kg gas tank fitted with a 2" solenoid sprinkler valve. The tank is pressurised  with an air compressor, activating the valve dumps the tank with quite some violence.
Thanks to: Greg at work for helping me out with the welding and James at Deeco for the valve.

Testing the pNuke with no nozzle:

The water is thrown even further when you fit the pNuke with a nozzle:

The following video shows why we decided to only use the pNuke as a wind machine... It's simply too violent when shooting water:

My Dad being pNuked:

Smoke Ring Cannon:
We did initially want to shoot smoke at everyone in the video... Software glitches filling our tent with smoke made us decide at about 1am on the saturday morning that smoke was a bad idea.

The Gentle Annie Water Guns:
These were used for generating the streams of water than fly behind and into each person as they spin on the chair.

A bank of 3/4" solenoid valves fill a bunch of polypipes with water and then use compressed air to "empty" them in a hurry.

Valve Bank:

The Gentle Annies required two different air supplies in order to achieve the desired effets. The pNuke was also supplied with regulated and filtered compressed air.

Air Supply Manifold:

The Final Result:

Check back soon :) This is a work in progress...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Driving the RapMan rapid prototyper

The following is a few pointers on driving the RapMan prototyper WelTec purchased in late 2009.

Destruction Manuals:
All the documentation is online in PDF format, the build manuals are 3d PDFs meaning they're best viewed with adobe reader. All manuals are on the Bits From Bytes download page. The version 3.0 manuals apply to our machine.

The build manuals should only be needed if something breaks.

Information on machine setup such as setting the Z axis height is all in the operations manual.

Skeinforge:  The application that slices STL files into layers and generates the gCode tool paths.

The Skeinforge Wiki has information on how to install and configure skeinforge.

Skeinforge settings for different plastics:
More to follow...

Building a Part:

Start by generating an STL file from your 3d CAD package of choice.
Open Skeinforge and select the material profile you want to use.

Click the Skeinforge button to open the file you wish to process.
Skeinforge will appear to "lock up" until is has finished generating the tool paths.

Once Skeinforge has finished there will be a YourFileName.bfb file in the directory the STL file was opened from.

Copy the .bfb file into the root directory of a FAT32 formatted SD card.

Insert SD card into the machine and refer to operation manual on how to run the file.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

RapMan's first creation :D

The plastic filament I ordered from Vik Olliver for the RapMan arrived today.

Sooooo tomorrow morning (Friday 15th of January) at 09:30 we're going to be doing the first build at work in Petone.

Let me know if anyone wants to drop in and take a look.

Friday, January 8, 2010

RapMan's Hello World!

Today the incredible machine printed it's first ever test part :-D (the white squiggles on the build table)

Apart from a bit of a feed issue that you can see in the centre of the build table the machine seems to work OK.

I'll be taking the machine into work on monday if anyone wants to see it.

Time to order some ABS filament so we can start making stuff :-D

It's Alive MWAHAHA

Yesterday I finished the construction of the extruder assembly.
I have now finished off the wiring and installed the extruder into the machine.
The machine is warming up for it's first test print :-D

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Time to evict the spider and do some work :-D

I've been neglecting to work on the RapMan a bit lately. As the photo above (woohoo macro lens) shows a baby orb web spider who decided that the machine looked like a nice place to build a home.

Once the spider was safely relocated to the outside world I started on the wiring:

Both the X and Y axes are now connected to the controller PCB, It makes cool whirry noises now :-D