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Finding Nemo Project

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It's been quite a while since I've been on the forums. I've been heads down on my latest 3D printing project. This one is actually the one that got me into 3D printing to begin with. If any of you have been to Disney World, Epcot in Orlando you might remember the Finding Nemo ride, and the animatronic seagulls outside the entrance.

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I have been wanting to build one of these for the longest times, and this project was the reason for buying the 3D printer I did, since it was the best I could afford that would print the largest model. So a few months ago I started modeling one in A:M and this is where I'm at so far. I've been able to print the head and beaks, which is broken up into four separate parts. The legs are in three parts. The body is too large to even print on my printer and will have to be broken up into at least four separate parts. On the animatronic front, it will have animated beak, head, tail, and legs. It will be a challenge for sure. The head alone I spent over two weeks on and printed at least five versions before I was satisfied to move on. The legs I got better on, and have only needed to do two copies. The body needs to have mounts perfectly aligned for all of the servos to add the movement to, and I'm sure I'm going to go through a spool of filament before I get it right. Once all that is done, I move onto the electronics where I need to design and build a controller and program that. It will be based on an arduino, we'll see how many a fry in the process!

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3D printed animatronic characters!

That interests me greatly!

I shall be eager to see updates on this.

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Robert I have big plans. I see in the future multiple sea hills, all animated, all controlled by a controller that will give each one random motions ( head rotation, tail up n down, body pivot forward and back, and of course saying " mine"! Over and over. I even have plans for different personalities down the road.

 

I've always loved Disney's animatronic magic, and attractions like these sea gulls and the tiki room have been on my do list for some time.

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a quick look at some of the 3d printed sea gull parts. Like I mentioned earlier, the head is currently made of four pieces, the head halves (front and back) and the upper and lower beak. The lower beak hinges inside the head, and the upper beak screws onto mounts in the head. Currently it is being held together with a rubber band (ninja style!). The legs and rocker arm assembly are separate models. They, I realized this morning still need work; I completely forgot to model into the leg a open channel down the center to create a hollow core for wiring to be passed thru. Ah well, what's ten hours printing time among friends, right?

 

IMG_20190729_073439.jpg

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Looking good Paul. I love a bit of animatronic goodness.

(also Tailspin Baloo stumbling upon the body of Mr. Incredible in the background gave me a giggle.)

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20 hours ago, Wildsided said:

Looking good Paul. I love a bit of animatronic goodness.

(also Tailspin Baloo stumbling upon the body of Mr. Incredible in the background gave me a giggle.)

Yeah, my desk is a bit of a clutter. Basically my office is an homage to disney. The shelves and walls are covered in disney parks and movie props (spent way too much time and money in auctions!).

As far as my seagull project, I've spent the week printing one half of the body. Each half had to be broken down into 3 pieces in order to fit on the printer. Each chunk is taking a full day to print, and gobbling up filament like it is going out of style. I've gone thru a whole spool already and just order two more to make sure I can get the body printed. I figure I will put the one half together, then dry fit servo mounts and build a basic arduino controller to make sure everything is copacetic before moving on. Also added the wings in to the model, and figured what the hell, I'll animate  those as well. That makes movement on the head, beak, legs, wings, and tail to rig and program. Might get all that done before the snow flies!  

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Thought I would give an update on this project. I has been a magical mystery learning tour for sure. I've learnt a bunch on modeling in a:m and how that translates to the 3d printing world. At some point I will out a tutorial together, but for now I've got to plow forward with the seagull.

 

The biggest challenge with this is it's shear size. Standing over 11 inches tall this guy is big. Add to that I need to model it hollow so I can fit the servos inside and this rapidly turns into a mechanical engineering project. At first I thought I could just model the body in halves and assemble from there. But that meant modeling in screw mounts and then breaking the body up into four pieces, making 8 prints total for the body alone. As a test I did one half and assembled to try and figure out servo locations. The result is this

IMG_20190816_080334.jpg

It quickly became clear that breaking up a model in am, then trying to reassemble I. The physical world wasn't an easy process. The solution is what I am embarking on now. Model the body as one piece, but model in trap doors on the side under the wings and the back. While I still have to work in screw holes, I'm not going to worry about threading since I will use brass gnurls that I can heat set into the pla plastic.

For a little stress release I printed off a whole model of the seagull in tiny size. Here he is in all is plastic glory...

IMG_20190816_080024.jpg

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Hi Paul,

Very interesting project!

I am also interested in printing bigger parts but have not found an affordable solution for me up to now.

may i ask which printer do you use?

Actually i am waiting for some service Like sculpteo and such offering bigger sizes Mike 1 to 1,5 meters..

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2 hours ago, jakerupert said:

Hi Paul,

Very interesting project!

I am also interested in printing bigger parts but have not found an affordable solution for me up to now.

may i ask which printer do you use?

Actually i am waiting for some service Like sculpteo and such offering bigger sizes Mike 1 to 1,5 meters..

I use a monoprice lllp. It can print a 7x7x7 print with no problem. Technically speaking, you print a large print on any printer, you just have to be creative in breaking it up into smaller models. I always see it as a challenge, almost like making the testors plastic models we grew up with....some assembly required.

I shudder at the thought of how expensive it would be to print something as large as my seagull by a service.

Check out the YouTube channel titled 3dnprimting nerd. He just did a print of thanos' sword. It stood something like 7 feet tall.

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I'd like a printer big enough to print a space helmet in one piece.

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On 8/24/2019 at 2:11 PM, robcat2075 said:

I'd like a printer big enough to print a space helmet in one piece.

The nice thing about most printers out there now, they are all based on open source tech. So if you wanted a room sized 3d printer, and could build a gantry system stable enough to move the print head, you could build it with "off the shelf" parts.

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Actually I would like to have something like this:

https://robodk.com/blog/supersized-robot-3d-printing/

 

just dreaming ;)   but maybe the "factory on demand" will become a reality sooner or later.

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I've toyed with the idea of hacking my monoprice to increase the print size. I'd have to switch the drive belts with worm drives. But the real problem is finding a large enough heated print bed.

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In the spirit of the next image contest, I've (at the suggestion of a few) given the seagull a prehistoric makeover! I've got to come up with a scene of some sort...but I might still get it done on time!

first_copy0.jpg

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