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Submitted on
October 4, 2013
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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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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.
shinsengumi77 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Understandable. :nod:
I imagine it would be quite a pain to figure out a good layout for a pieced out kit, too. 
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