Designing a bracket

After I mounted the dynamo to the marvellous machine it had a little shake which gave me some pause. Because the piece is to travel many thousands of miles in the back of a transport truck I became worried about a failure. The solution was to create another bracket which attached to the top portion. As I looked at the space it became apparent that if I added a bracket here it would interfere with the next gear I was going to add.

I decided to offset the gear to the left and use the same bracket to hold it in place. I hand held the gear in position and then took some quick measurements.

Then I opened EnRoute and began to create some scaled vector shapes. The simple functions of drawing in EnRoute allowed me the freedom to design the shapes separately and then combine them later. The circle at the top represents the smoke stack to which I would be welding the bracket. We would use this to trim the bracket to shape in order for it to fit perfectly around the stack. The box was used to determine scale and would also be used to trim the final shape..

Once I had the shapes I needed I combined them.
I then used the jigsaw tool to trim it to shape on three sides.
As I checked the final shape I noticed there was one sharp point in the curve (bottom left) I knew this would be there. The solution to fix it was simple.
I used the point edit to remove one vector node and the curve became perfect.
With that small correction the file was ready to be exported as a DXF and then sent off to the MultiCam plasma cutter.

Published with permission from Source.

Telling a story with paint

Yesterday I mounted the dynamo armature to the largest gear on the ‘MARVELOUS MACHINE’. I then designed and cut a bracket to mount the outer housing. I painted and aged the pieces prior to assembly. It was pure magic to watch it all turn.
It was looking pretty good but I wasn’t finished quite yet. I knew a few minutes with a brush would change things in a big way.

I first painted two coats of metallic gold on the raised areas of the name plate. When this as dry I added a little aging to tone it down. I then came back with a brighter metallic gold and added a little bling to the areas what would naturally wear with use.
I then  added a little rust to the base on the right side. This was dirtied up with some dark glaze. Then I brought out some dark metallic silver and dry brushed the edges of the rotor and also the top edges of the base. This was followed up with the teeniest amount of bright silver on the edges to add a little wear and bling to those areas. Once again I aged things back down a smidge before I called it done.
The piece instantly had a history and looked like it had been in service for many decades. It looked well used but cared for and maintained.

Published with permission from Source.


As I thought about what my ‘MARVELOUS MACHINE’ would do I decided the steam engine would power an electric generator which would in turn power the next device. With a little research I discovered they were called a DYNAMO when they were invented. On further research I found a photo of one I liked.
I did a sketch to visualize how it would fit on a heavy duty bracket and have a gear to drive it. Then it was time to guild the routing files.
As with every project the first step is to take a good look at what we are building. I then break it into sub components and design the files and pieces separately. The centre vector was built by using rectangles and using the jigsaw tool 
I then drew up some rectangles which would be used to create the motor housing pieces. These were centered. The point edit tool was used bend in the sides and the jigsaw tool was used to cut them out.

I created the other pill shaped vectors for the top and bottom pieces as well as the side magnets.
To crete the magnet cylinders I first used the dome tool to create a relief.
I then created a zero height relief of the shape and size I wanted the final relief.
I then merged the two reliefs by selecting the rectangle relief first and then merging (highest).

For the top I used the dome tool but selected the limit to height. I randomly picked 1.2″ in height and

I selected the plaque and lit up the render of the relief. It showed me how it would fit on top of the curve.
It was time to build the plaque which would be mounted to the top. I created the half inch relief.
I then selected the base relief, the inner oval and the lettering and sunk them into the relief  using the subtract from command.

I then duplicated the pieces I needed which made everything ready for tool pathing.

Published with permission from Source.

Gearing up for fun

We’ve made plenty of projects with gears through the years but this is the first time they will actually move and interact. That meant they had to be accurate without any fudging. A friend sent me a link for a simple gear making program a while back and using it made it easy to create the DXF files for the gears.  I made five different sized gears all with the same sized teeth. These files were imported into EnRoute.
I only kept the outer ring of the gears as I would create the rest inside EnRoute.
Without changing the scale of the gear rings I created the vectors for five different gears. This is almost all the way through the process. The largest gear is not yet complete. I used the jigsaw tool to create the spokes, then deleted the spokes.
I built reliefs of the various gears with the teeth being 0.4 inches thick. The hubs and rings were built up from that point. Once the gears were complete I duplicated them and tool pathed them In this case the reliefs and offset cuts were done with the same tool – a 1/4″ end mill.

Once all of the machining was done it was time to fasten the two halves of the gears together. Thin I’ll do a little distressing with the die grinder. Then the fun part begins – pressing in the bearings and arranging them on the sculpture. I’ll have to design some funky brackets to cut on the plasma cutter for that stage. Stay tuned…

Published with permission from Source.

Flying at the flywheel

The flywheel for the ‘MARVELOUS MACHINE’ was a fun little project. Creating the file took a number of steps but it wasn’t overly difficult. The entire file was designed using EnRoute.

The spoke vectors looked a lot like giant tear drops I designed one, then duplicated it and flipped it. The two spokes were aligned and then grouped. These pairs of spokes were then duplicated rotated at intervals of 60 degrees, arranged and aligned around the wheel. 
The first relief to be created was the outer rim. I made it a flat relief at 1.5″ tall.
Next up was the rounded inner rim. I created it as a separate relief using the dome tool.
After I created the relief I checked it in the front view and nudged it upwards until I was happy with the look.

The spokes were next, created once again using the dome tool. These too were checked in the front view and nudged upwards to suit.
The inner hub was created as a flat relief. I then created a new round vector and created a zero height relief. I then merged all of the reliefs to this relief.
I duplicated the relief and flipped it to create the back of the flywheel. then modified this new relief by creating two depressions to accommodate the mounting hardware.
To bore the hole for the shaft I created a zero height relief. This was then MERGED LOWEST with the flywheel relief.

The files were then ready for tool pathing. The routing was done in two passes. The first rough pass was done with a 3/8″ ball nose bit with a 50% overlap while the finishing was done with a 1/8″ ball nose bit at 80% overlap.

Because it was to be a moving part I machined the flywheel from forty point Precision Board.

Published with permission from Source.