Monday, 17 February 2014

Moved House … again

Well, I’ve moved and I my new digs are not too big. I am now living about 760 km from my workshop, so there isn’t going to be any major work going on. I hope you all had a restful break.

I’ve been toying with making stuff for a while now and it’s time to explore another path to the goal of making steam-punk paraphernalia. This next path is going to be going back to basics.

I am going to start modelling some stuff using plasticine and then investing it in silicone so that I can make some resin prototypes. That doesn’t sounds very hard, does it?

I bought a 500g block of grey plasticine from the art store (Artery, 137 Collins St Hobart) for the princely sum of $5.55. The plasticine is Non-Toxic Belgrave Quality Modelling Clay. Now, the last time that I played with plasticine was when I was in Primary school, some time around 1976. I have some clay modelling tools (spatulas and some loop tools). I also have some Isocol rubbing alcohol, apparently this is used as a lubricant for plasticine and also for smoothing the surface.

I plan to start simply so that I can gain some skills in clay modelling/sculpting. There are a couple of things that I could start with, but what I’d like to do is to make a BeetleBot (V2). The first time that I saw this robot was on the Instructables website (by Jerome Demers). The BeetleBot is basically a pair of DC Motors, a pair of lever SPDT switches and a battery holder. The antennae of the BeetleBot are attached to the SPDT switches; when the beetle antenna hit something, it temporarily switches the off-side motor into reverse, making the BeetleBot move away from what it just hit. I’m going to add a toggle switch so that the BeetleBot can be turned off and on. There’s another guide to this simple robot that can be found on the Science Museum Learning website.

The modelling side of this project is simply to make a covering for the BeetleBot so the plasticine will be used to make the basic shape of the BeetleBot body …

Anyway … that’s going to be my first project in the new flat. Check out the links to the BeetleBot instructions and have a go yourself!

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