Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Merry Christmas From The Tinker's Workshop

I can't believe that another year has passed so quickly and we're enjoying another Christmas season once again.  I enjoy Christmas and am very grateful to all of you who have faithfully been following me while I design and build the  projects I write about on my blog every year. You are the very special people who give me encouragement to continue working on the things that I create. I enjoy writing my blog for people like you so I can show you how I manage to make new and sometimes unusual things.  You have brightened my days over the years with the many complimentary comments that I have received and helped me with suggestions to make not so great projects better than ever.

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that the projects that you dream about, plan for, and work hard at will turn out far better than you ever imagined. Thank you all once again for another great year on the blog!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Scrooch Gun Part 3..... It's Completed!

I am happy to report that I was able to put the finishing touches to my Scrooch gun project this morning.  Not a terribly difficult project with only a few modifications to get the kinks worked out here and there on the design. So let me show you how it all turned out.
(Click on the images for a larger view)

As I stated in my last post about this project I was not able to get the word "Scrooch" put on the side of the gun.  Simply because the lettering was way to small to get it to work out. I would have needed an electron microscope to get it cut out and then laid down the way I wanted.  At least that's the way it seemed at the time. So I opted for a simple lightning bolt in bright yellow instead. It looks to be a good choice for this 50's style space gun.

The details that show up in the photos of the gun turned out very well. I was a bit worried about the red trigger being as smooth as I wanted it to be and am happy with my efforts on that detail and it's installation.  Very clean all the way around. 

The pistol stands 7" tall and is 10 3/4" long from front to rear.  Overall weight of the Scrooch gun came in at exactly 12.5 oz.  So it has a nice solid feel to it when you pick it up.  There are only two bolts that hold the pistol grip to the body of the Scrooch gun and a threaded rod that runs through the entire length of the body to hold the canister (shaving cream can), 3D printed parts, red discs, and clear dome nozzle all together. 

The rear of the gun worked out very well also.  I like the digital display along with the red on/off switch. It gives me ideas for another pistol but next time make it actually functional. Not as a real weapon of course but as having a real digital display with a trigger that when pressed would make a space gun sound.  Then add in LED lights that flash at the front of the gun to top it all off.   All of the electronics to make it all work could be housed in the large canister that you see here or something like it.   Something to think about for sure. 

I took a load of photos this morning to get various angles of the Scrooch gun shot for this post. Out 45 photos the ones you see here are what I felt were the best of the lot.  They give you a good idea of the overall look and detail of the pistol. 

Here's another good shot of the rear of the pistol with the digital display and the on/off switch.  The digital display was simply printed on my computer printer and then covered with clear packaging tape to waterproof it.  I then glued it into the cavity you see here. Turned out better than I had hoped.  The red on/off switch I 3D printed and then sprayed gloss red. The black inset to make the on/off emblem on the switch was designed into the part and with the part being black to start I was lucky enough to have still stand out after I painted it red. 
Lastly I wanted to show off just the display stand itself that I put together for the project.  The base is nothing more than a well sanded piece of plywood that I primed and painted gloss black. The vertical and horizontal pieces that make of the support arms for the display are 1/4 aluminum rods and the black connecting parts on the support arms are 3D printed parts that I designed and made with my 3D printer. The base only needed to be drilled to receive the support arms and the arms themselves were simply super glued together. A very solid and clean looking display stand. 

That's about it for this project.  Now I will have to find nice little corner of my workroom or living room to display my latest creation.  Enjoy the photos and have a good day on your latest project.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Scrooch Gun Project Part Two

I wanted to get this post out before I make any further progress with my Scrooch gun project.  As with most projects not all things go according to plan.  This has been the case again with this project so it was no big surprise for me. Parts have taken longer to dial in and some parts needed to be totally scrapped and the list goes on from there.  But I want to show what progress has been made in the right direction to complete the project.

Here once again are the original images of my computer model for the project.  In these images I will explain what has happened and what needed to be changed.  On the rear of the gun a new display has been worked out that I feel is an improvement from what I had originally planned.  This being a digital display (non-functional) and an red on/off switch (again non-functional). The chrome inserts on the side of the gun had to be scrapped completely.  They look good in these images but turned out to be way to small to actually be built to look like the images above.  The name Scrooch Gun on the side also needed to be scrapped as this was near impossible to make on my vinyl cutter.  Super tiny would best describe the letters which made it awful to try and work with the vinyl as a decal. Other plans have been worked out for a new design for the sides of the gun.

The good news is that the red disks, clear dome front, trigger, orange canister, and pistol grip look to be right on the mark to what you see here.  So read further to see where I am with the build now.

I started this project by drilling out the center of the empty can of shaving cream. This was an easy task for my drill press and by using a small grid laid out on paper to get the positioning of the hole correct on the bottom of the can.

I then sanded the canister down to take most of the paint off of the outside before I sprayed it with a nice bright glossy orange color.

Here is the paper grid that I used on the canister and needed for the next portion of the build.

I took a plastic half sphere normally used for a Christmas decoration and cut it down to make a flatter dome shape for the front of the gun.  With the grid laid out on the drill press I was able to pinpoint where the drill would be centered on the grid and then placed the dome to match it's location to center the hole needed to mount it on the gun correctly.  This worked out pretty well and I am happy that I came as close as I did to hitting dead center on the dome.  So it was worth the effort.

 For the red disks for the gun I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a laser cutter that is now up and running at the makerspace where I teach CAD and fiberglassing.  I again worked out the files I needed for the laser cutter and in 30 seconds the parts were cut out perfectly.  I couldn't have ever cut these out by hand this nicely.  I could try but I doubt I would get this good of results. 

Here the red disks and clear dome are laid out with three 3D printed parts for the barrel of the gun along with a few pieces of hardware to tie it all together.

Here's a good shot of the barrel or should I say blaster end of the gun assembled on to a threaded rod that runs through the entire assembly to hold it all together.  I really like the red disks along with the silver painted 3D printed parts of the assembly. 

Here are the parts that make up the body of the gun. All are 3D printed and pretty much worked out as planned.  All except the one
that is in the upper right corner of the photo.  This piece took two hours to 3D print which in the scheme of 3D printing in general is not a terribly long time.  Only trouble is that it took me three tries to get it dialed in to work correctly. 

Here is a good shot of the rear of the pistol with the digital display and on/off switch painted and installed into it.  These are nice details that will make the Scrooch gun stand out when it is completed.

Another good reference shot of the 3D printed parts assembled without the orange painted canister or the blaster front mount assembly. All of these parts are held together with just two button head bolts that are mounted in the base of the assembly and held in place with two recessed nuts in cavities in the two upper mountings for the orange canister. 

I should have the pistol completely assembled in the next few days.
I will make sure to put out the final posting about it and let you see the end results.  I think you'll like it.  Until then have a good day in your workshop. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lancia Stratos Blender 3D Project Pt. 4

I've managed some nice progress on my Lancia Statos Blender 3D project over the past couple of days. With this project I have learned a few new things along the way and managed to make some nice improvements with my model making.  This is always the case with working with any project I create in Blender.  Lots to learn along the way and so my models seem to improve like anything else would with practice.  So here are the latest images and progress so far.

(Click on the images for larger views)

As usual with my car modeling I experiment with lighting early on just to get some idea of where I want the completed model to end up.  But this usually changes as I progress either with different lighting that is far better than when I start out.  But at least with the images you see here you can get and idea of the potential of how the car will look once I am done fussing with it.

The model now has the wheels, tires, and glass installed but I will still need to add things like the lights (front and rear) and window trim, door handles, and the list goes on from there. The image above you can see there is no exhaust, tail lights, license plate too. Lots to do yet.

With the making of the rims and tires for the Lancia as with all of the vehicles that I have modeled I find this the most enjoyable to try and create.  The wheels really bring the car to life.  The rims that you see here are as precise as I could make to copy the reference drawings that I found online. I have showed the model to several friends of mine over the past few days and everyone says that my images look like photographs of the real car.  High praise for a Blender modeler like me.

There is a lot of detail in the tires and I was lucky enough to find an add-on for Blender from a site named Blender that was exactly what I needed.  On this site there are hundreds of add-on's that either simplify processes to make things using Blender to having files that will add finished models to add to your creations again to save a lot of work.  This was the case for me in finding tires that fit the bill.  I was able to add tires in minutes rather than struggle for an hour or more just to create something that may or may not be exactly what I wanted in the first place.  

The rims on the other hand I wanted to be exactly what was on the car.  Not an easy task but I think I have them very well dialed in for this car. Not sure how many hours I have spent in just creating the rims. But it's a labor or love to be sure.   

So that's about it for today.  I should be able to wrap up this project in the next week or so (hopefully).  Once I get the Lancia all put together to my liking I will post the final images to let you see how it all turned out.  Also for those of you who are also into creating things using Blender 3D here is the link to the Blender Market site. Well worth your time to check out.

Have a good day on your latest Blender project!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lancia Stratos Blender 3D Project Pt. 3

This week I am happy to report that I have managed to get my Lancia Stratos Blender model body pretty well dialed in.  At least I think so anyway.  I could be wrong as I usually am when I model something like a vehicle.  But at this point I think I am on track. 

I came across several things with my model that I needed to correct after pouring over the reference photos that I had collected.  One of the big things was wrong was the top edge of the body where the side meets the front hood and rear trunk surfaces.  On my first attempt this edge simply was not there.  It was more rounded and did not have this distinctive edge. I had to do some major reconstruction to get this edge that flows from the front to the rear of the car. But with a bunch of tweaking I managed to get it where I wanted it for the images that you see here. 

In the image of the rear of the car that is shown above I ran into another snag that kind of threw me for a couple of hours.  I wanted to put in the circular housings that you see in the image for the rear tail lights. When I modeled them all seemed in order until I rotated the model in Blender and then they disappeared. I rotated the model back again to it's original view where I started and the housing reappeared!  I guess I rotated that view at least a half dozen times and so I thought just blow the housings away and start again.  I did that and ended up with the same results.  Depressing to say the least.

After that I left it sit for a couple of hours as it was driving me nuts by this time and at this point I did not want to start over from scratch. I thought about it for a while and came to conclusion that I had something set in Blender wrong that caused the problem.  Sure enough this was the case.  I had a setting in the display window menu for X-Ray that was checked.  I unchecked the selection and low and behold everything was back to normal!  Blender can do that to you once in a while and even though I have 15 years experience with the software it still happens to me on occasion.  So I am happy with the body of the Lancia so far and look forward to start work on the wheels next.

I also have to figure out what I want to do with the car once it is completed.  Most of my vehicle models are just the cars or trucks by themselves.  I will have to work on some kind of setting for this car and another one or two that I have on file.  Something else to think about to complete the model. 

Anyway I'll keep you posted with my progress in the coming weeks and have a good day with your latest Blender project too!