Thursday, October 21, 2010

Space Suit Construction Update #4

Sorry everyone about the delay in posting an update! There are a lot more updates to come very soon about other L5 things that have been happening. In the mean time, I decided to take another stab at the scaffold, this time starting with a 3D model:

I made slices of it in 3DS Max, and printed top down projections of the slices on large 24"x24" paper:

Using a sharpie to poke through the paper and then connect the dots, I traced each slice dimension:

And started gluing the stack together:

I then cut some particle board circles and used them to form the arm and head holes, and after much sanding and cutting to fit:

And I cut the back piece where the backpack will be mounted as well:

You can see I've already started smoothing out and shaping things with Spackle. Below is the sanded and primed result:

Next update: FIBERGLASS (I hate fiberglass)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Space Suit Construction Update #2

Well! A weekend's work put a big dent in the suit. After much hack-sawing and box-cutter butter blading (my term for the smooth cuts made by a fully extended box cutter blade), the shape is really coming through.

First rough shaping pass:

The above is mostly hack-saw work, then the box cutter to trim down the waste rim:

The back needed some treatment as well, getting it closer to flat:

This is where this tool became my best friend:

Using the belt sander and a hand sanding sponge, the torso began to take shape. I also used the box cutter to start to shape the rims of the helmet and arm holes.

It was very difficult getting them to be perfectly round after all the sanding and shaping and cutting, which is where the next step helped a lot. Using a different grade of styrofoam, cardboard rimming, and very stick masking tape, I shaped the helmet and arm rims to be properly circular:

Wooden dowels held the circles in place. And the back:

So there you go! It took a bit of reshaping and eyeballing, but it's almost there. Another night of precision trimming and probably some card stock and more tape will get the shape ready for curing and fiberglass. Just a little context of the workshop and the mess involved:

More to come soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Space Suit Construction Update #1

Alrighty! So this is the spacesuit we want to build:

First we need to build a scaffold for the torso section. The scaffold will be a solid block of foam, on which we'll lay fiberglass, and then remove the fiberglass shell, this way we can make 2 identical suits. 2 days ago I glued together a block of pink insulation foam board 22" cubed, using segments of 2" thick board and polystyrene construction adhesive:

Little did I know that even after 24 hours of drying, it wouldn't be enough to hold up against the sheer forces of sawing by itself, and I remembered that these sorts of constructions typically have dowels holding them together. So I temporarily inserted a 9" steel pin in the top, but today I will get two wooden dowels, sharpen them, and drive them through to prevent twisting of the segments.

Here is what I want to make, minus the back-pack portion:

So the tools I have at my disposal - large flexible saw, electric turkey carver, a smaller saw, a hot wire styro-cutter, box cutter, and hooked box blade. The cutting begins:

And after 2 hours of sawing, carving, and cursing, I had to stop (other L5 errands beckoned):

And with a good nights sleep I can see some adjustments are definitely needed:

That's all for now, check back in a day or two as the construction process continues!