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By Fienen
#4951797
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It's done! It's done! The shell is finally together and complete! I painted the upper joints with some blue paint and laid it down on the motherboard to mark where my wiring channels are going to be for electronics. Should speed up the guess and check process of where things will fit.

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Stayed up past midnight masking everything so I can texture it tomorrow. I also masked off where stickers go so they'll have a flat surface to adhere to, and the line up the booster box is for the booster tube to have a clean surface to sit against when I screw it on.
cristovalc, kahuna900 liked this
#4951838
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Testing out my truck bed liner on a piece of cardboard to get a feel for how it coats. A) It's definitely finer and grainier than is strictly accurate. B) I like it anyway. C) This stuff comes out HARD. Definitely take a second to test it before jumping in to get a feel for the spray. D) One can is by far more than enough.

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Next I hit parts of the pack with some Vaseline. This will act as masking fluid for my paint weathering. DO NOT DO THIS IS DIRECT SUN IN THE SUMMER if you live anywhere hot. It'll straight up melt off.

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The truck bed liner coats REALLY well. I'm quite happy with it. Even though it's a finer texture than might be screen accurate, I think it'll provide the toughness and more real-world accurate look that'll serve the pack well.

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All the masking tape stripped off. I did notice some overspray on the cyclotron trim. I'm going to just spray over it for now, see how it comes out, and do a quick sand and respray on them if I need.

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While the pack's drying, I went ahead and did the satin black on some of the normal, flat pieces. These also got some weathering masking on the edges. I'm not sure how "Canyon Black" differs from "Black Black," but it seems fine.

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And here she is, textured and blacked. Giving it a good bit to dry before wiping off the edge masking. Details start going on very soon now.
#4951859
Sorry don’t mean to hijack ur awesome thread but I didn’t feel necessary to make a new one.

I’m thinking about getting a used 3D printer off Craigslist that is cheap and small (probably the only way my gf will go for it). It only has a print bed of 4.7” x 4.7” x 4.7”. Is it safe to assume that’s too small to make a full pack out of it?

Even if it is I might still get it to print the smaller bits to add to my foam pack
User avatar
By Fienen
#4951867
jonogunn wrote: July 18th, 2021, 5:52 am Sorry don’t mean to hijack ur awesome thread but I didn’t feel necessary to make a new one.

I’m thinking about getting a used 3D printer off Craigslist that is cheap and small (probably the only way my gf will go for it). It only has a print bed of 4.7” x 4.7” x 4.7”. Is it safe to assume that’s too small to make a full pack out of it?

Even if it is I might still get it to print the smaller bits to add to my foam pack
You're definitely gonna have some trouble with that small a print bed. You really want to shoot for a minimum of 200mm x 200mm (like an Ender 3). A printer that size will mostly only help you with printing the small detail parts. Granted, that can speed things up if you can have it running small stuff, and a bigger one doing the shell pieces.
jonogunn liked this
#4951889
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Got the mounting brackets added to the motherboard, and layout out everything to go on the ion arm.

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I tried tapping my holes for the large round resistor and legris elbow, but since I had to drill out the printed holes to fit the parts, this really didn't work so well. Not enough structure to thread. I ended up epoxying them in place from inside instead.

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Right side of the ion arm, all assembled. You can also get an idea of how the weathering looks after cleaning up the paint.

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The money shot for the left side. I officially have a totally complete part now. I'll get it installed on the pack as soon as I get some nuts on the back side of the ion arm end bolts.
Nighty80, kahuna900 liked this
#4951894
jonogunn wrote: July 18th, 2021, 9:11 pm Are those 3D printer mounts?
Yes, and I debated this a lot. I figured, hey, let's just print one and see how it is, if it sucks, I just won't bother and will fabricate some. These are done in PLA+, I doubled up the wall thickness, and went nuts with 50% infill. I'm pretty confident they're far more robust than is even remotely necessary.
#4951929
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Disaster strikes! First big complication of the build. The booster tube fits pretty tightly into the box, and when I went to put the screw into the top, the pressure opened up the seam between the upper and lower parts. I need to do the weld on the bottom of the tube still anyway, so I might just try respraying this with black and try to hide it. I worry taking it out and redoing it will just end up with it recracking after I put it back. Any clever suggestions?

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Notching out the Spectra cable for the screws. I did need to drill these holes a little bigger for the bolts, too.

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Everything's really coming together fast along with a batch of the stickers tossed on now for good measure. I ordered my stickers from Moby Signs on Etsy.
kahuna900 liked this
#4951949
jonogunn wrote: July 20th, 2021, 7:40 am Do you know if a spindle sander (where it’s only rounded sanded tubes) works well for flat surfaces or does it only work for curved objects?
Should be fine as long as you're mindful of not sitting in one spot a long time. Keep the piece moving. One thing to keep in mind too, with a 3D printer, you can just print off some sanding blocks if you need.
#4951981
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Planning out the layout for the electronics now. Since I printed the pack in individual pieces, I need to contend with a lot of walls (the design does account for channels to route wiring around the pack). This gets to why I did the blue paint. For the most part, I think I'm gonna get it to work out. I did have to de-case the battery to get it to fit reasonably, which isn't that big of a deal anyway, because I was going to pull the board out of it to run the charging and power switches remotely.
kahuna900 liked this
#4952028

So, I realized I bought opaque acrylic to make my lenses instead of clear. As it turns out, I think this is fine for the power cell. But with RGB LEDs in the cyclotron, I feel like I need to go frosted clear. The opaque red is just a little too aggressive, and won't let other colors show.
#4952031
wanting to do the truck bed liner method here almost ready to paint. did you spray the satin black over the hole pack or just the areas that still needed paint.? and if it was just the unpainted areas did you re tape off the already painted areas?
#4952035
ozzman39 wrote: July 21st, 2021, 9:46 pm wanting to do the truck bed liner method here almost ready to paint. did you spray the satin black over the hole pack or just the areas that still needed paint.? and if it was just the unpainted areas did you re tape off the already painted areas?
I've painted the whole thing with satin black, as then you get an even colour finish.
#4952042
tobycj wrote: July 22nd, 2021, 1:13 am
ozzman39 wrote: July 21st, 2021, 9:46 pm wanting to do the truck bed liner method here almost ready to paint. did you spray the satin black over the hole pack or just the areas that still needed paint.? and if it was just the unpainted areas did you re tape off the already painted areas?
I've painted the whole thing with satin black, as then you get an even colour finish.
Correct. Mask off the smooth areas, spray the liner, remove tape, coat the whole thing in satin black. There's no guarantee both sprays will be exactly the same "black" or have the same luster, so this ensures you get an even finish across the shell.
ozzman39 liked this
#4952043
jonogunn wrote: July 21st, 2021, 9:41 pm Have u weighted the pack yet? Curious to know how heavy 3D printed packs are
6.8lbs (3.1Kg) as you see it up above - just the shell with a few parts left to attach. The whole cast or fiberglass shells are undoubtedly lighter, and you could make a 3D pack lighter if you have a bigger printing surface and can combine pieces to reduce the number of inner walls.
#4952086
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This is all that's left for just the pack portion. The bottom three parts are already through a base silver coat now. The bumper probably needs one more sanding a priming, and the rest needs another two passes.

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Time to hack up the battery. A sharp eyed reader might note the green jumper on the power board. That's because I'm an idiot and let the board touch an exposed battery terminal while it was on and burnt up a trace. Luckily, just a trace, and the jumper fixes it. It will get installed de-cased as this saves a lot of room.

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So here we go. I've wrapped the battery pack in tape just for extra protection (I didn't have any Kapton tape handy). The Dupont wires provide me 3 lengths worth of slack to mount the power board remotely, and I can disconnect the battery easily if I ever need to. The silver sharpie let me mark my positive connections to prevent any unfortunate accidents, like, I don't know, blowing a trace.
User avatar
By Fienen
#4952088
jonogunn wrote: July 22nd, 2021, 10:36 pm What’s the circuit board connected to the battery pack for?
That's the power and status board. The actual charging circuit is on the battery itself. That board just has the main switch, DC in/out, and 5V out on it. It also has the charge level LEDs on it. Since that will be inside the pack, I might take some of my extra acrylic and make an optic view I can see through the motherboard with it.
#4952104
jonogunn wrote: July 22nd, 2021, 11:17 pm Ah so it’s sort of like an all in one kinda deal where you don’t need external resistors and such? I’m a noob
This might help. That board is literally this part on the Talentcell battery. I just took the case off everything:
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It's not anything I added or made or anything like that. I basically just took the two wires that connect it to the battery, and made them about 18 inches long so that they can be comfortably apart from each other in the limited space I have inside the shell.
#4952124
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Status check in. Got most of the hoses ran. All that's left to attach are the bumper, injectors, beam line and filler plug (plus some detail parts like the nipples and Clippard). I pulled the booster tube because I needed access next to it to screw on the PPD, so I'll take the opportunity to deal with that crack while it's off.
#4952203
Warning: Big update ahead. Catching up on a backlog of work on this end here. Enjoy!

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Time to start mounting things. I used this model to print the adjustable mount for the powercell light - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4637264. Using the paint guide, I roughly centered the bracket and marked the holes. A dab of super glue held it in place to center and mark.

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Marked holes! Excitement!?

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Drilling and tapping everything for the motherboard so these parts can screw in directly.

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And like that, the first piece of electronics is officially mounted. Note: I haven't glued in the powercell lens yet to make it easier to see and align the LED bar. This bracket allows for fine tuning on all three axes. Luckily, the depth just needed bottomed out entirely.

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Oh yeah, also finished and lightly attached the bumper for now. I have a resin shock mount coming soon until I can find or make a metal one.

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So, a change here from earlier. I got my frosted acrylic to replace the opaque red. Instead of mounting it inside the fixture, I chose to glue it on face to get the lens as flush on the face of the cyclotron as I can. Also, yes, I unintentionally glued this on backwards (frosted acrylic has a shiny "face" side).

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Neck foam on the backpack rack. Just pipe insulation with a packing foam inner to bulk it up, and Gorilla Tape to strap it down and line it.

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Oh yeah, a whole other part of this project! What good is a proton pack without a neutrona wand? I'm going with a pop/twist mech for the end of the thrower. The main tube of the thrower and handle will be PVC. You'll see more of this soon.

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Mounting the volume knob to the crank generator. I did need to drill this out, and grind down the backing so that the post would stick through far enough to screw down.

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Studs set for the NJT mainboard and cyclotron board. I was sloppy as hell here, and managed to break off one stud in a hole, and the other one was drilled too big. Luckily, I only needed two, but still irritating. I'll just backfill the screwed up holes with a little epoxy. At least they'll be pretty hidden. Measure twice, drill once y'all.

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Main electronics now all mounted, with some adhesive zip ties to manage everything. I still need to mount the power board for the battery, as well as sort out the vent kit and what will mount on the board vs in the shell. Also visible, planning for the speaker.
#4952204
Oh yeah, I also just ordered what I think will be the last parts I need to take this over the finish line. I've been keeping track, and I'm in a little over $1400 to this point on everything, for anyone curious. Go big or go home, right?
#4952657
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Marking PVC for the neutrona wand front and rear barrels. I didn't 3D print these mostly because I felt like the strength for the handle was important. GBFans is backordered on their pop tubes right now, so I'm gonna fabricate that on my own.

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All the pop mech parts from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4770700. Also base parts for the wand too. At this point, I'm virtually done printing parts.

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Test fitting wand parts, immediately realizing I did something wrong with the pop tube length.

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Ah, yes, big issue. Using a PVC setup, the inner tube is thicker than metal. So the pop arm mounts into the base of the pop tube due to space. But that leaves no space to mount the Ninjatunes RGB thrower LED. It's also why my tube seemed too long. I'm going to switch to a metal front tube, and print the pop arm that fits AROUND the pop tube instead of in it. Then there will be space to glue this LED into the back.

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Taking care of the vent kit fan and light. Patching these in together because they're both 12V. Drilled out the base hole to fit my smoke kit hose and taped off the other holes to prevent smoke leakage. Originally, I was gonna run this off the strobe header on the Ninjatunes daughter board, but it turns out that's only a 5V header. No big deal though.


While I wait to get the wand end sorted out, I've been doing work on my DIY N-filter smoke kit. This is the first official test of it in place. IT LOOKS SO GOOD. Also worked all the way the first time through.


So, I'll be doing a full tutorial on this over in the guides section soon once I have some more pictures and details written, but here's a 2 minute overview of what's happening to make it work. And yes, I'm doing electronics prototyping right on top of a giant, metal plate. YOLO, right?
#4952662
jonogunn wrote: July 27th, 2021, 9:17 pm Damn 1400?? And I thought 3D printing is a cheaper option
So, I have $300 in the Ninjatunes electronics, $58 into my smoke kit, like another $300 and change in actual metal detail parts. Not to mention metal prices drove up the motherboard to $76.

I could have trimmed costs a bunch of places, but I'm going pretty high quality on everything. I have a fair bit just in primer because of how much work went into making the prints not look printed. Also, a lot of the better parts suppliers are in the UK, which makes shipping a lot more, too.
#4952814
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What's all this now? I need to clean up the wiring for all this smoke kit stuff because I don't want a ton of loose wires and hardwired connections. So, I'm gonna make a little power distribution block to help organize everything.

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Quick and dirty test. Battery will connect on the end (red and orange), the bottom bank are my negatives, and the top are positives. I put in an assortment of pin connections and terminals for flexibility. Not pictured, I cut it down around the M line to keep it small for mounting. Planning to do something sorta cool with that power board too, soon.

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Let's make our pop tube now for the neutrona wand. Taping off the clear areas so I can "frost" the two bands with some rough emery cloth.

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Here's the reference I used from the GBFans tube to come up with my measurements. I don't have a lathe, so I can't easily carve in the frosted bands, but that's not a big deal to me.

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Well... oops. You can see my bands turned out great, but in an attempt to do a 45 degree bevel on the end, I didn't consider the heat my belt sander would produce, and I basically tore up and deformed the end. The tube is long enough that I'm just gonna flip it around and do it on the other side now. This part will stay inside the inner barrel, so you'll never see the shame of my failure. (I do have plenty of extra, but why waste what can be saved?)
#4952831
jonogunn wrote: July 27th, 2021, 9:17 pm Damn 1400?? And I thought 3D printing is a cheaper option
I built a 3D printed pack as part of my 'Stay sane from working at home' COVID boredom... and, all told, it was probably $700? It depends on how clean you want the final 3D printed pack to look. Filament to print the entire pack/wand was about $100. .. but then you start adding all the things you can't print such as the ALICE frame, motherboard, lenses, ribbon cable, hoses, labels, screws... it starts adding up fast. I did a lot of research on different paints and materials to make the printed plastic look as close to real metal as possible. It paid off... it was far cheaper than buying all the real parts... but I could have just printed the pack in Black PLA, printed the greebleys and spraypainted them quickly and assembled everything into a reasonable facsimile and I probably could have built a pack for $400.
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