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By MrLithium
#4893493
It all began with me testing out how to use a servo on an Arduino without using the delay function... Boy did I do it. My brain set to work on how I could apply this to potential builds. So naturally I thought of the PKE meter which I have always wanted to build. Here's the outcome of that brainstorm



I have officially begun another build project. This time I am building the PKE meter. It's a little bit tough because there are no consistent dimensions I have found for it so I drew it by hand first to get a rough guestimate.
Image Of course, these measurements are probably not extremely accurate but it gave me a starting point.

I then overlayed that onto this image: Image Where I then stretched the drawn image to match the one I pulled up. I did this just to make sure my proportions were right. I then added the image into Solidworks and began modeling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJTd7gmPbwo Super rough model. But after a few more hours it took shape and now looks like this: Image Image

I created the assembly in solidworks just to make sure it's feasible to 3D print let alone assemble it. Hopefully it's all good but here's a video of the gear set I have for the arms to move via a servo



That's all I have for now, but keep me accountable for keeping you guys updated! Let me know what you think so far and if you have any questions I'll definitely try to answer them
Last edited by MrLithium on May 20th, 2017, 10:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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User avatar
By MrLithium
#4893609
ImageImageImage UPDATE TIME

I can pretty much only work on this project during the weekend for the time being because of school, but I've printed out the arm pieces and make sure the gears work nice and smoothly and they do!
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By MrLithium
#4893620
grogking wrote:Are you willing to share the print files and the arduino hardware and code when you're done?


Certainly. Once I know how everything fits together and all that stuff that is; I don't want to give out half-assed files.
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User avatar
By MrLithium
#4893657
So today I added the access ports for the electronics on the model. I added the potentiometer knob slot for controlling the lights,
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Next I added a port at the back for the SPDT slide switch for the main power.
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Finally I ordered stuff I needed to give life to this thing.
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Here's how the electronics are looking
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By MrLithium
#4893663
Yes, it's completely custom. I can change the length of the wings if I want to but I have them printed out already. In the next iteration I'll shorten them a tad. Thanks for the observation! Hadn't crossed my mind that they were a bit longer than the original
User avatar
By MrLithium
#4893670
Hi! I'm not entirely certain what you mean by thickness, but I made a drawing that shows the simplified internal dimensions.
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I hope this is helpful! To actually fit the Arduino into the body I had to remove the power socket soldered on-board. Otherwise it stick out too far. It's not really crucial to the functionality of the arduino anyway since there are other pins to power it. However I probably plan to solder on a power socket anyway but instead of hardware on-board it will be attached via loose wire.
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By MrLithium
#4893705
I just got the batteries and power adapters in the mail today and I took measurements of them so I could add the proper infrastructure onto the body. I added a space for the battery and a hole for the charging cable.

semi-exploded view
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Cross section
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The ports
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The Battery
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Although, I did find out that the batteries I bought are only 3.7 volts which is insufficient to power an arduino. So I ordered some step-up converters which will do the job nicely. I have ample room inside of the body itself to have other circuits if need be.
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By MrLithium
#4893753
I started the print earlier this morning and it finished around 6pm. I cleaned it all up and epoxied on the body and the handle. I then tapped all of the holes and installed screws into each hole. Looks good so far!
Lots of support material. It was freaking me out the entire time but everything worked out.
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Epoxying together
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Fitting the Arduino. I actually had to file down the solder flows on the bottom so it fit closer to the bottom of the body.
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Looks good! Fits nicely in the hand
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User avatar
By MrLithium
#4893757
Yeah! I try to avoid designing things to utilize support material but if I can't avoid it I try to make it in such a way that it's easy to remove.
I use a Printrbot Plus Metal printer! It's about 10x10x10inches and I got it from working at Printrbot. I actually came across it for free because it was completely broken and the boss said I could have it if I fixed it. Good trade if I do say so myself.
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By MrLithium
#4893800
Today I finished all of my parts! Here's how it all turned out. Now all I need is the battery charger piece I'm waiting for and I can start wiring. Painting is going to be fun!

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User avatar
By MrLithium
#4893817
grogking wrote:looks great, are you going to add the touch sensitive buttons on the front?

Maybe in future iterations but I didn't add them this time because they would have no function. The knob in the back actuates the arms and controls the speed of the lights and sounds unlike the Matel version. I was going to add a button that essentially pauses the system but I couldn't think of an easy way to do that. Also push buttons are a little bit annoying because they tend to bounce, but in the future I could definitely figures one thing out. There are already a few things I am going to change to the models so they assemble better.
By grogking
#4893819
Another Question: The slider is usually used to switch between the two light patterns on the display. Are you planning on implementing that? Or will you just have one pattern? I noticed the slider was built into the print.
User avatar
By MrLithium
#4893829
grogking wrote:Another Question: The slider is usually used to switch between the two light patterns on the display. Are you planning on implementing that? Or will you just have one pattern? I noticed the slider was built into the print.


By slider I assume you mean the knob thing on the back?
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Unless you mean the slider switch on the handle end? That switch is going to be for turning the power on and off.

In the future I will add more features, I just had never really messed with cosmetic buttons before. I'll probably do it in the next iteration of the meter.

What do you mean by pattern though? the GB1 and GB2 patterns? As of now it's one pattern that I could program to be either GB1 or GB2 but I don't have the infrastructure to add more holes for more buttons unless I reprinted the top. Like I said, I'll iterate more on future builds of this thing but for now I just wanted to model it and produce it quickly.

If I really wanted to get creative, I could make a small comparator circuit that detects if the potentiometer is at a certain position and if it is then it opens a transistor and the circuit gets shut off... I'd have to look into it. I know I have some comparators laying around here somewhere. If I did that then I would free up the switch on the handle to switch the lights around. I'll let this simmer and see where this train goes.

I'll update again once my battery charger component arrives in the mail, let me know if you have anymore questions!
User avatar
By Chris Brewin
#4893830
Phenomenal work! The slider switch he's referring to is the cylindrical bump with the small added bit that sits just below the screen; it's purpose is to switch the display mode (from diagonal line to drop-off curve) on the screen. Will future iterations have the ribbed underside?

I'm interested to see how/hear your plans for finishing the piece. Have you given much thought to the kind(s) of weathering you'll want to use?
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User avatar
By MrLithium
#4893833
Chris Brewin wrote:Phenomenal work! The slider switch he's referring to is the cylindrical bump with the small added bit that sits just below the screen; it's purpose is to switch the display mode (from diagonal line to drop-off curve) on the screen. Will future iterations have the ribbed underside?

I'm interested to see how/hear your plans for finishing the piece. Have you given much thought to the kind(s) of weathering you'll want to use?


Ohhhh okay, I have never personally owned a matel thrower so I didn't know what the features were. Easy enough to do I think.

As for the ribbed underside, definitely. That should be very easy to model on especially given how well this thing prints. I wasn't aware that they existed until after I printed everything.

For weathering I do something a little bit different than most people it seems. What I like to do is use gray filler primer as a base and then sand it smooth. After that I paint it and let that dry for a few hours. Once that layer of paint is on, I take sand paper and lightly touch the edges to scratch away the top and reveal the gray underneath. I have an example from a thrower that I did about a year ago:

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I am personally not a big fan of the silver paint that is used to weather things. For this one I might experiment a little bit and give it a silver base coat, let that dry and then give it the flat black and sand that away in areas where there would be wear. I love the painting part, it always takes the prop from the "planning" to the "finishing" stage and it makes me feel good.
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