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Designer Spotlight: Brian Chan


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As an "action figure" designer myself I'm blown away by these. Even more so when I consider that they print assembled. What kind of tolerances does one allow for between parts to insure that not only parts are able to move but that they aren't all floppy and loose?
#1 WuLongTi (Homepage) on 2013-04-04 18:21 (Reply)
Hi WuLongTi, it's me, Brian. Thanks! I too struggle with the "floppy and loose" aspect of designing "ready-print"models. The recommended minimum distance between parts (for nylon) is 0.6mm (sometimes I push it to 0.5mm) so the joints do come out loose, so I decided to design with that in mind.

For example, I put end-stops on all the joints so that they can't bend too far in either direction, and legs don't lie completely flat. As for the insects, I created a joint that is loose at one angle, but at other angles it tightens up, so there is some degree of rigid pose-ability.

The looseness of the joints sometimes helps - in the case of the centipede, it'll conform smoothly to whatever you set it on, which gives it a lifelike and creepy effect. The crab and crayfish is quite fun to wiggle around, but when you set it down it's not too hard to put it in a lifelike pose.

I'm still experimenting with all of this. I am considering designing a series of "snap-fit" arthropod kits so as to avoid having to put in those loose clearances, allowing for a better friction fit of the joints. These would be a different class of sculpture; for now, I kind of like the idea of printing the entire bug in one go.
#2 Brian Chan (Homepage) on 2013-04-08 05:28 (Reply)
that is brilliant sir. I'd love to see what all you could if if you had a mind to try designing some transforming robots :-D

I'm very curious about trying to print out assembled kits but the major deterrent for me and my customer base is the fact that all the parts would need to be painted before they could be considered complete. Painting something fully assembled and with joints is much more difficult than painting something disassembled, of course.

Still you've given me much to think about and I look forward to seeing what new things you'll be coming up with ^__^
#3 WuLongTi (Homepage) on 2013-04-08 14:12 (Reply)

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