Project3 Final

Well Project 3 is done, and I’m calling this one Finn.

(Note, these are NOT real time speeds, this routine was shot as a timelapse with 10 second intervals on both robots)

This one was a real pain in the ass due to some errors I made. I wanted a nice finish so I spent quite a bit of time cleaning the aluminum and prepping it to be painted. Even after hours of prep, once the paint dried some of it immediately flaked off.  I decided to give my hand a powder coating, which is not something I have ever done before, but first I had to strip it back down to the metal. I picked up some excellent paint stripper from Ace Hardware, which also melted the gloves I was using and gave me some minor chemical burns. I found the best way is to use long pliers and some steel wool.

I picked up a powder coating system and practiced on a couple pieces of scrap metal and it worked great. It is not a pro-grade job for sure, but considering this was my first attempt at it, I feel i did pretty good. Just make sure you have a good hobby oven for this sort of thing. I have a convection oven i use for cooking circuit boards which was perfect, just sit the grate at the very top and hang the pieces from it.

Unfortunatly when I took the Pan/Tilt frame out of the oven, one of the welds broke loose. The motor mounts were not going to come off, so I had to either order new motor mounts and delay the process, or strip it all again. So I learned that paint stripper works well with powder coating as well. A few more minor chemical burns later, I cleaned it all up, re-filed the areas for the weld, and re-welded it. This time it is very solid though, once it cooled down I wrenched on the parts trying to break them loose and they are not coming apart. re-powder-coated it again, and this time I was golden.

The final build went pretty easy. I did have to re-tap some of the screw holes where the powdercoating got in, but that was not a big deal.

The  BDIU (Biolapse Dragonframe Interface Unit) was sort of a pain in the ass. I wanted to have some sort of port in which to plug the motors, so i marked out some lines, drilled some holes, and used some files to shape the holes into rectangles. Drilled a spot for the power supply and another one for the USB and then powder coated it.

I decided to attach the box underneath, but this box could easily have some feet stuck on the bottom and be perfectly sitting on a bench or set somewhere.

The connections are stupid easy.  Add a 12v power supply (preferably 6amp, but right now its running just fine on a 2amp channel off the 12v power center I built for my studio) and a USB cable to a computer running Dragonframe and presto, instant motion control for timelapse or stop-motion animation.

I admit, the rail is a bit short, 400mm of travel. But for this kind of work longer sliders just get in the way.

So if anyone is interested in one of these, After doing the entire build, i would be happy to build them for $1500 a pop for a 4 axis system, any color you want. That would include slide, pan, tilt, and linear.  The specs would be custom to your needs and built to order. Price may or may not go up depending on the requirements.  If interested shoot me an email.

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