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Submitted on
October 4, 2013
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341 KB


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iPhone 4S
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Date Taken
Aug 23, 2013, 1:45:25 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Macintosh
3D printed mecha by Mecha-Zone 3D printed mecha by Mecha-Zone
5" tall with 8-way ratcheted joints. Arms, legs, and torso/hips are interchangeable. Printed in different colors and assembled. Acetone vapor bath was used to make them smooth and shiny.
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Caine001 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
ccyclone Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014
I'm interested in the 8-way ratchet joint you came up with. I'm trying to design a large print and a joint that won't slip out would be great. Do you have any details you could share about it?
Mecha-Zone Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Professional General Artist
In theory the 8 way ratchet seemed like a good idea, but ultimately I discovered that a simple pin worked much better. I wasted a lot of time trying to develop the ratcheted joint and I got something decent, but it had limited posing options and it was not as durable as I had hoped.
I now use simple 5mm pins. the female socket starts as 5mm, but i need to adjust it depending on the material I'm printing with... tolerances for ABS can vary somewhat depending on manufacturer and color additives.
I smooth my parts with acetone so that effects the way I handle the parts. I test fit all of the pins/parts before I smooth them with acetone. Then, I wait a full 48 hours after acetoning before I assemble the parts. This give the chemical reaction enough time to fully stabilize. If you start assembling the parts too soon then the plastic is still a little soft and it will ruin the joint tension.
Hope this helps.
ccyclone Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
I can understand how the ratchet might not work very well and be over complicated.
I'm just doing a large model and the usual joints don't have enough tension to stand.

I've tried a couple of pin designs first but haven't hit on a working design. I'm thinking
a ball joint with a tighten-able socket (via a small set screw). Like an armature they use 
in stop-motion.

Thanks for your thoughts and help. Much appreciated.
Blood-Asp0123 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
that is amazing! where can I get a 3D printer XD
Mecha-Zone Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
There are a lot of choices for entry level 3D printers now. Here's a link to the one I use. It's not the cheapest nor is it the most expensive. BUT it is very reliable and seems to work a lot better than many of the others. Afinia 3D printer ---->
shinsengumi77 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Man these are sweet! :D  
How is the cost/gain ratio for producing and selling these?
Mecha-Zone Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
they cost very little in materials, but the man-hours for cleanup and assembly drive the price up too much for this to be a practical *print a toy on demand* scenario
shinsengumi77 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah that makes sense...I hadn't though of the painting or texturing.
Have you thought of making a model kit so people can put it together themselves (to save on assembly and finishing costs/time)?
Mecha-Zone Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
yeah, I have thought of that but I always seem to get distracted by the desire to make new stuff and can't seem to focus on one design long enough to actually make any kits.
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