Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rushed Project: Makey the Robot Part 2, Moldmaking and Laying up Parts

Continuing along at the breakneck pace of this project, all of the pieces were prototyped in a mad rush.  Then it was time to move on to making the molds.

Since most of the shapes are pretty simple, I was able to get away with making rigid fiberglass molds of all of the parts.  Here's a video explaining that process:

I also got a few snapshots of the molds in progress.  Each mold started with a layer of gelcoat.  Since I was going to make the parts red, I opted for a grey gelcoat so the contrast would make it easy to spot any gaps in coverage.  Here's the layer of gelcoat on the top of the main body prototype:

Here's the mold for the forearm after all three separate parts were laid up:

Given the mad rush to get the whole thing done, I neglected to set aside time to snap progress photos.  Here's a rare shot of two of the five panels that made up the mold for the main body:

Somewhere along the way, the Lady Shawnon came home on a break from veterinary school.  Proving once again that she's the absolute perfect woman for me, she slipped into some coveralls and spent more of her vacation than any sane person should helping me put this project to bed.  Here she is polishing up one of the body molds:

Once the molds were made, it was time to start laying up the actual parts.  Here's the Make: behind-the-scenes video showing the part lay-up:

Once again, I didn't have much time to take pictures along the way, but the very first piece I pulled was the head.  Here it is sitting in a pile of random crap in the corner of the shop:

Here's a snapshot of Trevor applying gelcoat in part of the shoulder mold:

Fascinating stuff, I know.  Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of this project!

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