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Messages - Packratt

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Parts Sourcing / 3D Printed Crow part replicas
« on: April 21, 2018, 02:20:35 PM »
Hi folks. Just wanted to let you know about a little project of mine that I'm working on to design 3D printable replica parts for the bots. Right now I'm in the middle of working on the parts for Crow, but will move on to Tom once I'm done. I'm posting the resulting STL files for anyone to use for free if they're having problems obtaining parts or need to make a bot on the cheap for some reason. (I do since I'm always working on making reversions of my automated versions of the bots, for example).

So, anyway, I'm posting the files up for free on Thingiverse as I go, so please feel free to take a look, use them, or provide any feedback on improvements needed.

A bot for every pot.

I'm in the process of designing replicas of the opaque parts of the snack dispenser for 3D printing, (Actually I'm working on replicating parts for both Tom and Crow). But will have to figure out how to source the acrylic transparent globe part somehow.

Tom Servo / Re: MechaServo
« on: February 04, 2018, 07:53:21 PM »
Tom's Brains:

So, remember the BOM earlier... The first pic shows a 'fritzing' diagram of how it's all wired together on a breadboard. As you see, this was the first gen model where I just used buttons as a trigger, where the buttons were soldered to a board I attached to the bottom of the hoverskirt so they could be pressed by the person holding Tom. This works ok, but can be persnickety when the batteries start to drain a bit and the signal range that distinquishes each button from another lowers beyond the normal range.

The second pic shows what all this translates too once it's all put together... Tom's brains, so to speak.

These were the first gen designs, which worked sufficiently, but I'm working on some revisions and will post them later. The main problems with this design were the inconsistent buttons I mention above and excessive battery drain (9v batteries would drain in 30mins). So in the new design I'll move the servo motor to it's own 4x AA power supply and change the trigger to a 4-button RC fob.

Tom Servo / Re: MechaServo
« on: February 04, 2018, 07:31:49 PM »
Here's a better pic of that mouth control arm so you can see how it runs from the servo motor, up inside the neck pipe, and attaches to the bottom jaw.

Tom Servo / Re: MechaServo
« on: February 04, 2018, 07:28:02 PM »
As you can see in the previous post, the control pipe that usually runs all the way down into the hover skirt in a traditional Servo build is cut shot, about 2 inches past the point where it enters the barrel (chest) and the gear drive mechanism is attached at the pipe's end. While you could print a mouth control arm that runs down the pipe to the lower jaw longer, the longer that control arm is, the greater the risk of it breaking under load. The mouth control arm I designed is about 130mm long (first pic). In this pic, you can see how you can attach the control arm to the bottom jaw with an M3 bolt and nut, and the same with the servo motor arm at the other end.

The stepper motor that turns the head is mounted upside down at the top of the chest barrel and fitted with the printed stepper gear and stepper pully, you can see this a little more clearly in the second pic. I use the combination of gears and a banded pully so that the rubber band pully helps keep the gears closely meshed while also stabilizing the neck, and the gears allow for sufficient force to be used to turn the head. Either, by themselves, just doesn't work well. Mounting the stepper motor upside down also hides the screws used to mount it under the turntable, an added bonus.

The only other part mounted in the chest barrel is the small speaker, which I've placed behind the engine mount on the inside of the barrel so, again, the screws can be hidden. I also drilled some holes through the barrel for the sound to get out better, but those are also hidden behind the chest engine. While mounting it somewhere in the head positioned towards the mouth would have been ideal, it was just too large to fit even in Servo's large mellon.

Tom Servo / Re: MechaServo
« on: February 04, 2018, 06:56:15 PM »
Possibly the most important parts in the MechaServo build are the custom-printed parts that allow the servo motor that drives the mouth to sit on the neck pipe itself, which helps avoid torsion problems in the mouth control rod that would occur when the head would turn. The first image shows the basic design model I made, which is a combination gear/band drive where the stepper motor turns the head and the servo motor mounts at the end of the pipe to open and close the mouth via a control bar that links the servo arm to the bottom jaw where the string would have went for a standard build.

Here you can see how this works for the mouth control:

Tom Servo / MechaServo
« on: February 04, 2018, 06:39:02 PM »
While I'm building MechaCrow, I thought I'd share the details around the MechaServo build I did last year.

First, the MechaServo BOM:
  • 1 Standard Tom Servo kit or full set of standard Tom Servo parts.
  • 1 3 amp speaker
  • 1 Ardino UNO (other flavors may work)
  • 1 High torque micro servo (I use MG92B servos)
  • 1 Small stepper motor (could be swapped with a servo motor)
  • 1 Stepper motor driver
  • 1 Adafruit 16Mb WAV FX soundboard
  • 1 2.5w amp
  • 1 Arduino protoboard
  • 1 9v battery
  • 6 AA batteries
  • 4 Serial or Analog-Serial buttons and/or 1 RF receiver/transmitter trigger
  • Misc wires and resistors/capacitors depending on how you design the circuit and triggers.

This build can play audio of Tom Servo's voice recorded from video and converted to WAV file format. The Arduino, paired with the motors, allows you to also swivel the head and move the jaw in time with the audio of Tom's voice at the press of a button or any other assorted trigger. Since it's battery driven, it's portable and essentially replaces the puppeteer's hand with electronics.

Most of the steps in construction follow along with any other Servo build, except at certain steps where we shorten the control pipe, install some custom designed 3d printed parts, and install the electronics into the barrel and hover skirt. All of which I'll detail in subsequent posts if anyone is interested in trying their hand at this modified build.

Everything else... / Re: Articulated M Waverly miniature
« on: January 29, 2018, 12:40:43 AM »
If he matches the other bots, there would be no reason to be articulated.  I heard about what happened to you on social media about this, sorry that it happened.  We may be a small community here, but we are atleast not jerks...

Nah, it's ok. I tried to contact the folks at Shout to see if they were ok with me printing them for folks and I got no answer, but a fan out there still took exception with me offering to do it at cost so I withdrew the offer. I'll just post the files for printing them up somewhere later once I perfect the design and I'll be done with it. He's actually a time consuming build, so it's probably for the best that I'm not building a bunch of them for folks.  ;D

Anyway, yeah, seems like a nice bunch of folks here, so I wonder if I should post a build log for my automated bots and other stuff I'm doing so you folks could give me suggestions as I go? I don't want to be too noisy.

Everything else... / Re: 3d printed parts
« on: January 29, 2018, 12:15:44 AM »
Ok Packratt wins on best builds of all time after Bob.

Oh, I definitely wouldn't go that far, especially since I haven't even finished Crow yet and I consider these prototypes.

Anyway, to bring it back around to the topic. Here I printed up a variation of the Crow shoulder pieces that can accommodate a servo motor for shoulder rotation.

Everything else... / Re: Articulated M Waverly miniature
« on: January 28, 2018, 12:41:39 AM »
It would be cool to see one in scale with the Pops or the Shout! Factory figurines.  Hell, depending on material cost and time, you could probably sell little 3" or 4" statue versions!  I'm sure lots of people would buy one!

This really is an awesome project.  Can't wait to see what you do next!

I'm thinking about doing one on that scale, but it wouldn't be articulated or very limited articulation, (perhaps head swivel and mouth movement). The 6" is already a bit fragile at that scale so I wouldn't want to push it.

Everything else... / Re: 3d printed parts
« on: January 27, 2018, 06:15:18 PM »

Dude... That's insane.  You'll have everybody's dream bots! 

Good luck, and be sure to keep us updated on your progress.  I HAVE to see these things in action when they're done...

Thanks! Tom's been done since last year so you can already see him here:

For now he's only loaded with 4 different clips because there are only 4 buttons on my RF transceiver. It that video, though, he's triggered by buttons I embedded under his hoverskirt.

Everything else... / Re: Articulated M Waverly miniature
« on: January 27, 2018, 02:22:45 PM »
i dont see it

Sorry, I didn't know folks had trouble seeing embedded images. I'll just attach them from now on.  ;)

Everything else... / Re: Articulated M Waverly miniature
« on: January 27, 2018, 01:57:38 PM »
Awesome work.  I love the leg concept and the proper nondescript feet.  Could you scale it down to an even smaller size?  To fit in with the season figures.

Also can I see a full shot of that Big Trouble Poster?  Ive not seen that one.

The 6" version is as far down as I'll take it while retaining articulation. If I were to make a version that scaled to the Pop figures or smaller, I'd probably only keep one or two points of movement, likely the mouth and head, then make the rest just rigid prints without joints... but the season figures and Pops don't move either, so it wouldn't be a loss.

Everything else... / Re: 3d printed parts
« on: January 27, 2018, 01:53:18 PM »
I love that you are building them based around servos.  Whats your endgame here?  Easier operation or are you going to do something like rig them up and cut the audio lines out of the films then build movement routines based around the clips so they move when the ones on the screen do?

The Tom Servo I built has triggers and each one initiates a different audio file recorded from the show. The motors are programmed to synch with that audio so that the mouth and head move in time with what he's saying. He's battery powered and his electronics all fit inside his body so it's a great cosplay prop and I've taken to PAX and a few other shows already... but he'll be even better once I finish Crow because they'll both be synched to initiate off a single trigger, thus they can "converse" back and forth with each other.

I have further plans to change them from manual triggers to audio triggers and load them with a full episode's worth of audio tracks so they can riff a movie with you, but that's way down the road.

Everything else... / Re: 3d printed parts
« on: January 27, 2018, 12:36:29 AM »
This is awesome!  I love the hinge built into Crow's jaw. 

Excellent work!!!!


The hinge is needed to lower the load on the servo motor that will move the mouth. Also, since a motor will pull the mouth back shut I don't need elastic to do that work. The extra bar at the end of the lower jaw is for the control rod from the motor to the jaw, much like how I hooked up Tom Servo's mouth when I made him as you can see here:

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