Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Were off to a good start, and here is a blog to capture our progress!

Hi, I'm James. Welcome to the Project Mark 42 Prototype blog!

This all started with considering the possibilities of 3D printing at home last year. Then, when I drew up some blueprints in Photoshop with picture references, it stirred my curiosity to create a semi functional suit. I started dreaming about how something like the boot could work with moving parts, and then the rest of the body's functionality followed. I then talked with a friend of mine who is an electronics engineer undergrad about my ideas and we met up to brainstorm extensive possibilities for wiring up the suit with functions.

After attending a recent Maker Fair here in the Bay Area, I purchased an Afinia H-Series printer to use for this project as it is accurate and uses ABS. I did so much research on 3D printers, talked with many who own them, and explored all the vendor booths. I realized this printer was more affordable, had good reputation, responsive company, and a one year warranty. ABS is the only way to go in this project and I would need something that could have the capability of being welded together strongly.

So far, Matt (Electronics Guru) has been working on finding the right electronic basic motors/ servos etc. as well as the programming for the Rasp. Pi, Arduino, and some prospects for the Google glasses type interface in the helmet. We have an abundance of cool ideas for the suits' electronics, but one thing at a time.

Here are some pics of my progress! Video's will be saved for later as I hope to create a Youtube video at mile marker points of the project for upload on Youtube. I won't be sharing much of the inner workings or my design for functionality at this point, as I want to hold on to my original ideas for the time being. However, there will be a video to demonstrate how the parts will interact later! :)

My Afinia H-Series has a small build space, but it doesn't allow very much warping! Here the toe was able to fit on its edge in one print. 
Here is the boot design that I created based on the Mark 42 Suit. 

The block next to the boot represents the build space limitation I have.  Life is full of limitations, its how well we navigate through them that counts! 

Here is the toe with the second piece placed up where the joint meets. They lined up perfectly and the toe pivots exactly the way I designed it to in the computer. What a revolutionary thing to imagine melted plastic ABS could remain so accurate to the model! 
The third piece printed out now, which is the arch of the foot. All three of these pieces were around 10 to 13 hours of printing each. The whole boot could be around 15 separate prints, but these are much larger than the rest of course.
Now the arch is lined up with the front of the boot shoe portion. Matt came over, we talked about electronics and the minimal locking mechanisms on the boot. 

Matt and I went down to the garage and welded these two pieces. These welds, as I discovered with other trial pieces are almost as strong as if it were one solid piece! I'm amazed at the potential this brings for making anything at any  size. There is no limit to what I could create! :)

Ok, so I had to at least ask Josh for the suit... haha it was worth a shot. 

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