An adventure in 3D Printing and Animatronics Part 3

I am now much more comfortable using 123D Design and I have finished designing the┬áremaining components. I also learned another important word in animatronics, E-Bar. In animatronics, the E-bar holds all the main servos that control the puppet’s eyes and the actual eyes are suspended from the bars of the E using screws. This mechanism actually has a second platform directly above the E-Bar for additional servos. The servos on the E-bar control the eyeblink part of the mechanism while the servos on the upper platform control the up/down and side to side movement of the actual eyeball.

A really helpful part of the forum for this particular project over at Stan Winston School of Character Arts, is that the teacher, David Covarrubuas, uploaded a 3D model of the recommended servo for students of the class to use for free! Since I was able to buy that particular servo, it has made designing the E-bar and the upper platform so much easier!

3D designed pulley for the 3D printed animatronic eyes project.

3D designed pulley for the 3D printed animatronic eyes project.

E-bar and servo for animatronic eyes

E-bar and servo for 3D printed animatronic eyes

Now that I have finished the core design and I am ready to print the parts, it is time to consider how I could support students in the Library in designing their own 3D models. While I have been using 123D Design, the Industrial Arts faculty teaches and uses another piece of software called Creo. My feeling is that if I bring 3D printing into the Library, I should install Creo onto the Library computers so not only the Industrial Arts classes can come to the Library and use familiar software, but students who have taken Industrial Arts classes at any time during their school years have some familiarity with the software.

Time to fire up the 3D printer! Can’t wait!

-Miss H

 

An adventure in 3D Printing and Animatronics Part 2

As I use the 123D Design software more, I am starting to understand the quirks of the software but I have also found an excellent series of youtube videos from a public library that explain how the current version of the software works.

I have also learnt an important word in animatronics- Swash Plate. The swash plate is the connector between the control cables and the part being moved. So in the animatronic eyes, the swash plate will snap into the interior of the eyeball and because the control cables are tied to the four holes, the plate will pull the eyeball around according to the cables that are being pulled by the servos. I do really like how this design is drawn with all the part sketches in orientation to each other. It means I can see where there are parts that might get in the way of other parts when the whole project is assembled.

Sketching and revolving the Swash Plate, Eyeball and Eyelid.

Sketching and revolving the Swash Plate, Eyeball and Eyelid.

 

I am looking forward to designing the E-Bar bracket next. In the meantime, I am trying to negotiate the loan of a 3D printer from the Industrial Arts Faculty at my school so I can print my mechanism!

– Miss H