When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Friday, 5 July 2013

The Survival Continues!

We ended up working the weekend, except for the Canada day Monday, that we took off!
It turns out that my plan to get off easy with the chain sprocket mounted to the motor shaft post was all for not! Turns out the shaft spins with the motor, but not under any load. Under load it stays still, so I had to cut the adapter plates anyway!
I pocketed a shallow recess into the rigid PVC adapter that will let the sprocket sit dead center. This will let me drill the sprocket and adapter as one, so the screws that hold them together will line up perfectly, and the sprocket will run true.
The bottom of each sprocket recess got a T-nut.

 I bolted the sprocket from the bottom. The T-nut will hold the bolt, and the sprocket will turn on that. The speed of the game doesn't require any bearings for the sprockets, so this will work fine. 2 nuts and some lock tight were used until all the testing was done, then I'll we'll use proper lock nuts!
Once the chain was run and working properly, I installed the micro switches that will get tripped by the little hiker, turning on each check-point light on the game surface. The final part, before the wiring, was the addition of the spacers that will keep the game perfectly spaced from the underside of the fiberglass shell.
Jody got all the shingles for the little cabin roofs cut and glued up. We went with strips of styrene cut to length, then stacked the strips, and cut the shingle tabs on the small band saw.
I milled some 1/8" brass rod on our small lathe for the post that the hiker gets mounted to. I needed to take it from 1/8" down to .090". The reduced portion replaces the post of a link of the chain. We assemble the chain, and soldered it on. This was about the only way I could think of to get the chain to move the post, without the addition of anything that might interfere with the sprockets or switches.
While I was at it, I had to mill the threads of of the 2 arcade style push-buttons. We used these style buttons as a simple way to turn the hiker's motion on and off. Once the threads were milled off, they easily slid into the 4" length of pvc pipe we're using as the "hand held controller".
The fiberglass bases got their painting started on the Saturday, and were done and flocked on Sunday!
The logo was bolted on, and we just had to wait for Jody to finish the houses.
We installed the finished cabin, and X check-points pretty much all at once. The cabin has tinted windows with vinyl silhouettes of people partying on them. Cause it's a party at the top!!
The little hiker finally got mounted to his post. A few test trips around the course, and he is ready to travel!
Due to our Techno cnc, the table saw, and a palm sander, we had to assemble the acrylic case tops in the office where the dust was as low as possible. The case was a little bigger than I like working with, but with some patience, Jody and I got them cut and assembled in about an hour and a half.
The "Mountain Survival" shield logo was cut from 1/8" white pvc, and got screwed to the game base.
Once the graphic was applied, we cut out the sections that the man drives over, and test fit the acrylic cover. Once the man makes it to the cabin, and it lights up, it also fires off the revolving light mounted above the game.

We got a call at the final hour to add a couple of details to the game base, so we actually have the games until next Thursday for the additions.

These things are a lot bigger in real life, and seem to hog up a lot of space in the shop. But Thursday will come soon enough!!!

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