Build Day 6

Here’s a short update:

I’ve cut out a third 24″x48″ sheet, this time including parts for the skirt and half of one leg. I had a minor hiccup during this cut; our router stopped working. We (my dad and I) had it all apart, and it just looks like the brushes need replacing. The bearings all look good, which was a relief. So, we’ll need to order brushes soon. Anyway, other than that, the cut went well.

And, I’ve worked on the body. Now, one thing I didn’t mention before is that I want 4 doors to open; the two tall ones, the large one next to the vents, and the upper small one on the other side of the vents. I’m not sure if they have specific names. Anyway, I have not made any access slots for the hinges on any of these doors. Partially because I’m not sure how or where to put the hinges. I’m thinking I’ll probably have the 2 smaller doors open down, so as not to interfere with the tall doors, arm boxes, or vents. So that’s something I’ll have to work out.

That’s my progress. And now I’m working on the skirt. Originally, my plan was to worry about the structure first, so I could have a rolling droid. But now I’m considering working on the body skins next. Not quite sure what my next move will be.

Build Day 4

I’ve finally been able to start my build. I’m a sophomore in Penn State’s College of Engineering, planning on becoming an electrical engineer. Even though I’ve been home from school since early May when I joined, I’ve been preoccupied with starting my own business and with raising a German Shepherd puppy. So this project got put on the back burner. But now, I’ve made some time for myself to start working.

I’m building an R5 unit, because R2 units are overdone, and because I don’t wanna rely on anyone else for parts (i.e. Dome). I have a full machine shop at my disposal, so I’m planning on making everything myself from scratch. And of course, I can make my R5 dome myself based on Dave Everett’s plans. Down the line, I’m aiming for total automation with this one. I’ve had much electronic design experience as well as robotics experience, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Additionally, I’m gonna add voice recognition and response, which should put it over the top.

Anyway, it’s going to be R5-D5, which will have the same paint scheme as R5-D4, but in green instead of red. Part of this is because of the name of this business, D5 DEM. I thought that’d be fun, and it’ll make my droid one of a kind.

But I’m starting small. I have to go back to school by mid-August, so I know not all of this is gonna get done. My goal is to have a rolling body done by then.

Well, after waiting a week or so, I got my plastic. I went with 2 full sheets of .125″, and one of .04″ I’m assuming I may need more, but this is enough to get me started. I cut off a 24″x48″ strip and set it up in our CNC router. I used carpet tape to secure the plastic to the sacrificial pink foam, so it wouldn’t move. It was the only way to secure the plastic since I’m using such a big sheet. I used a straight flute cutter, so it wouldn’t pull up the plastic. I went with a .1875″ for this, to get the detail I needed in places. I’ve cut out two of these sheets now, each with different parts from Dave’s plans.

Afterwards, I used the scrap 8″ off the end to make some of the uprights. Rectangles are simple enough to cut by hand. After that, it was a matter of cleaning the carpet tape off of the plastic, cutting the tabs I built into the tool path, and cleaning the pieces up. I even got my younger brother to help sand and clean the pieces. I then started gluing. I’m not using Weld On, but rather I’m using Model Master cement. This is the more caustic kind that actually welds the plastic. I’ve built model cars and houses from styrene in the past, and this stuff works great. I’ll swear by it.

So as of a half hour ago, I had the base of the body glued up.