I’ve made a lot of progress since my last post. First, a quick recap of the dome. It’s aluminum, I don’t know the maker. I picked it up for $40.00 and got the resin-cast vents, power couplings, and octagon ports as part of the deal. This is what the dome looked like when I got it:
And this is the current state of the dome:
Beyond that, I’ve scratch-built everything so far, using the styrene droid plans. Budget constraints dictate that – I can only spend about $600.00 on this project, and I want to RC it.
I started on the frame a couple years ago, but not having the proper tools, glue etc I shelved the project. I’ve since acquired more tools including a table saw, and decided to get this thing done. The biggest issue I’ve had is fighting a curve in all of my styrene as it was rolled when it was shipped to me.
Building the frame. Two years ago, I cut all of the rings by rigging up my dremel as a makeshift router. It sucked, and was very difficult to do, but it worked. You can see a warp in the bottom plate where I tried to heat the plastic to fix the curve. I’ve since glued another disc to the bottom and made sure the uprights all line up and the droid is square. I also started by using some glue from home depot that just didn’t work. I’ve since picked up some weld-on and have used it throughout.
Frame nearly complete:
Building up the legs. At this point I didn’t have a router and I hand-cut the curves on a table saw (yes, a table saw. Nearly drove me insane).
Test-fit of the legs and ankles. I temporarily used some spacers cut from PVC pipe to provide the necessary gap between the legs and the body.
Not having a router, I didn’t want to hand-cut all of the discs to build the should hubs, so I devised a way to use a piece of a 6″ PVC coupler combined with internal spacers. Next time I take the legs off I’ll take a pic, but here you can see the PVC hub in place. At this point the dome is just balancing on top.
At this point, I gave in and bought the $25.00 trim router from Harbor freight. First job with it was the horse shoes. Here I am building up the boxes inside the horseshoes:
We don’t have a local plastic supplier, so I picked up a few large “for sale” signs from Home Depot for the 1mm plastic. Lesson learned – sand the lettering off or it will show through. Here the legs are skinned and the shoulder horse shoe is being test-fit.
Next up was the booster covers. I ran out of styrene (2 4′ x 8′ sheets used at this point) but I had some left-over black ABS from another project. The styrene plans don’t include plans for the boosters, so I downloaded the DXF drawing from the yahoo group and made up my own template. I missed a couple details, but these will suffice until I can buy resin-cast booster covers. Here’s one before adding the 1mm to the curves:
Here’s a test-fit after a first coat of paint with a piece of silver-painted pipe standing in for the leg strut (also shows the skin on the ankle curves):
And the full leg to this point, with paint applied. The resin shoulder hubs I got from a friend a few years ago when he decided to buy 1 piece fiberglass legs:
Yesterday I finished the 2nd battery box and attached it, build a dome mounting ring, and finished the ankle bracelets as well. Pics soon, but here’s how the droid looked on Friday night: