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Zoc's fabricated adventures (dialup beware) Oct 21 '07
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Joined: 09 Jul 2004
Posts: 244
Location: San Diego, California

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:18 am    Post subject: Zoc's fabricated adventures (dialup beware) Oct 21 '07

yeah, so I was quoted $73 for a 3" acrylic... but it was from a somewhat specialized fabrication shop, so the markup isn't completely unexpected. They also had pre-cut shapes (spheres, discs, rods, cubes, hinges) but all under 2". Since they obviously charge a whole lot for fabrication work, I checked out what supplies they had for sale.

And what did I find? Shelves and boxes of remnants (leftovers.) And they charge by weight.
I restocked on Novus 2, but was overwhelmed with the varieties of Weld-On solvent/glues.

So I'm doing a bit planning before I go back to actually purchase the materials and get advice on the proper solvent/glue. I'm thinking of making a box with a hex/flower layout. That leaves room for seven 3" acrylics (and an additional three 3"s and 2.5"s if I add a second layer pyramidded on top of the first (although the 2.5"s will probably rattle a bit.)) I also have some 1/8" uv flourescent lights leftover from my computer modding adventures. But then I'll need to set aside .75"x4"x.75" for the transformer... plus the power supply which might as well be internal if I'm putting the transformer in there. Ewww, but the electronics work would be a good exercise...

Math time! (please feel free to check my math)
inner dimensions (d=3"):
length of each hex side: 4.732" = ((cos(pi/6)*d+d/2)/cos(pi/6))
width: 8.196" = (2*cos(pi/6)*d+d)
length: 9.464" = (2*4.732)
height: 5.598" = sin(cos^-1((d*cos(pi/6)/2)/d))*d)

total area needed:

weight: 1" radius = 70g => 4/3*pi in^3 = 70g => 15.269 cubic in/lb

5.142 lbs (assuming .25" thickness)

What I would really like is a versatile box since I have some 2.5"s, 2"s, a 4" and my stageball... so don't be surprised if I end up with a simple rectangular box. Anyone with diy fabrication experience have any tips? Anyone have a better design idea?

Update 11/30/2006: test scribbles on a shard of acrylic sheet. shard created by a test cut of a larger sheet. Still getting a feel for the cutting blade as well as the etching/engraving bit.

dec 10: weld-on test. Glue sets in seconds. Results tomorrow night after it cures.

Dec 11 - results: adhesive dried clear and bond strength was ok, as expected. Pieces broke apart cleanly at the joints in a manner similar to super-glue, which should make repairs simple-but-often in nature. Things should hold together adequately provided that the pieces fit snugly. Next: 3" cube & hex base... (aside: hrm, halfway to becoming most viewed uncommented thread [but it is mostly because I lost the scrap of paper I used for my calculations and had to keep referencing this. That and it took few tries to get image linking to work ])

Dec 15 - cube cutting: just enough scrap left off the first sheet to make a 3" cube.
=a =b =c =d =e =f =g
a: marking off 3" squares with permanent marker. I couldn't keep the protective laminate on because it interfered with the cutting tool. There should be a way to keep it on....
b: this is what happens when you don't keep enough pressure on the blade; and combine that with applying weight unevenly to make the break.
c: more reason to avoid what happened in 'b.' Breaking off small bits like this is very hard by hand.
d: setting up to break/cut another piece. I covered it with a towel just in case bits go flying (which they didn't) and to prevent cutting my hands from leaning on the sharp edges. Please forgive the cluttered floor.
e: checking the lengths. Just about right. Had to make huge corrections after realizing I want the Interior dimensions to be 3". Top and bottom pieces are square, sides are sleightly rectangled to take into account the width of the adjoining side, top, and bottom.
f: using the ruler to line up the first finished square to ensure consistant size.
g: finished squares. These still need to me touched up a bit to get them to fit snugly (and remove the pen marks.)
I'm still playing with the idea of trying an inscription on this cube-thing.

Dec 17: cube mostly assembled. In a word, messy. So no pics during assembly.
=a =b =c =d =e
a: me with inked up buffing wheel
b: nearly assembled cube. Cleaned up nice enough to view from a distance...
c: checking the size. There's a little bit of a rattle, but that's because I got lazy when trimming and left everything ~1/16" too long...
d: not quite happy with the frostiness of the edges.
e: 3" uv in its new home/cell.

Dec 24: one edge of the cube case come undone. It found itself beneath a dropped 3" acrylic. Yep. Durability definitly an issue. Still need to how well the excess glue is removed. More glue may be a small fix, but redesigning the box with a mdf/hardboard frame might be better (with little asthetic drawback since using only acrylic leaves frosty edges.)
Here's a short demo. See also the Ryan+Cube video for original/better reference.
~link broken~

Mar 11: Flower layouts.
=a =b =c =d =e =f =g =h =i =j
a: hex/flower layout on hardboard
b: labyrinth layout in notebook (and a few 3"s)
c: layout on acrylic sheet (no more materials from the fabrication shop)
d: compass w/ marker
e: detail of acrylic sheet layout. The arrows show what side of the line not to cut on.
f: paper template + compass/marker
g: second layout on acrylic sheet
h: half of the second layout
i: base & sides. There is still some trimming to get the flush.
j: base, sides, & extra bits. Might try a pyramid with the extra bits, but I might need them to make an extra lid in the likely event I ruin the current one.

Mar 24: Swag
I scored some free remnants from the local fabricaton shop. I now have a more sturdy sheet for bases/lids as well as some hinges. We'll see how much harder these new sheets are to cut/break. I've also angled the edges and beginning to fit the pieces I cut earlier in the month. I'm beginnin to think about a music/lighting box as a base made out of some hardboard I have laying around. But what song to put into the box?

Mar 27: Assembly
=a =b =c =d =e =f =g =h =i =j =k =l =m =n =o =p =q =r =s =t

Apr 5: Frosted acrylic sheets & rambling
a = 10-ball stack.

Due to the carelessness of DHL, I was just given ~32 more square feet of more sheet acrylic. This time they are frosted, so they'll be more practical storage material for taking outdoors. There is perhaps just enough give in the hex bin I made to allow a second to fit inside it to be used as a lid. I still haven't decided how to use the hinges.

I've been asked a few times what the numbers on the faces are for. There are a couple reasons for them:
The identify the front and backs of the pieces.
And I can't make two identical pieces, but can make two pieces fit together reasonable well.

And the cube now has a fractured base... pictures of the damage and attempted repair later...
=a =b
what happened was someone lost their balance trying to unicycle over a rola-bola and landed on it. I'm not bothered by the damage, I'm glad he didn't cut his arm open on it.

July 5: Repairs & Breaks
=a =b =c =d =e =f =g
a: fixed cube from open side
b: fixed cube from newly closed side
c: pieces of the flower-box. It broke from my bag being thrown around on the trip to Boulder, Colorado.
d: trimmings
e: more trimmings
f: newly completed tops/bottoms made from 1/4" acrylic and MDF hardboard.

July 8: Base components
=a =b =c =d =e =f =g =h
a: base panels. I tried the music box movement on the sounding board and it sounds nice; plenty of extra volume. I just wish the movement was of better quality, it buzzes a bit and doesn't have any sharp/flat notes.
b: base panels w/ acrylic panels. Simply inverting what I had done before atop the base might work. I'll need a way to secure it eventually....
c: base panels w/ acrylic panels
d: first box. Bought at a Pier1 outlet store.
e: holds six 3" acrylics + gloves
f: second box. Lid decoration removed and replaced with a copy of a program from Moschen's show, ticket to the Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade ball and souvenir coin. Taped together since I'll hopefully think of a better use of the space soon...
g: holds everything else
h: 4-stack of 3" acrylics in modified net. Originally meant to carry a basketball or football, but I cut the bottom half out used a keychain loop to close it off. Good for cloudy days, dusk, clubs, and while wearing my 'keep out of direct sunlight shirt'

July 16: quick assembly
=a =b =c =d
a: Quickly assembles hex/flower box. Attached the roughly cut 1/4" base to the 90 degree sides of 1/16" panels. I used the original 1/16" base for a lid. Fastened with a length of fabric
b: Here you can see how the base is slightly too large and that the crack in the lid finally made its way across to the other edge
c: same, with fabric. Wrapped once, knotted, wrapped again at 90 degrees.
d: here's the completed wrap, but the fabric is bunched together so you can see the acrylics inside

Sept 25: Broken again, but the base is coming together
=a =b =c =d =e =f =g =h =i
a: Broken again. Dropped it while full of acrylics
b: Another pic without the fragments. Note how the glue held well enough that the panels broke, not the glue
c: Still broken
d: Test fitting the fragment. Looks like a clean break.
e: Test fitting the lid
f: Wooden base. Poorly made, so it has lots of gaps that need filling
g: Base and Box
h: I guess it's worth repairing
i: Now where did I put that glue.......

the AA battery casing barely fits the base. It will probably interfere with the lighting...

Sept 30: Fixing...

=a =b =c =d =e =f =g =h =i =j =k =l =m =n =o =p =q =r =s

a: filling gaps
b-d: music-box movement in base (not complete)
e-k: repairing panels
l-n: black lights (Functional!)
o-s: Finished repair/upgrade

to-dos: switch for electronics. trim/clean/color/detail. music for music-box movement. motor for music-box movement...

Oct 19: Motifs...

=a =b =c =d =e =f

Oct 21: Layout attempt #1

=a =b =c =d =e =f =g =h =i

Last edited by Zoc on Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:48 am; edited 22 times in total
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Aye Em Pea
Discoverer of Hank

Joined: 18 Aug 2004
Posts: 603

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 1:58 pm    Post subject:

you know what they say, great minds think alike
I have one since october orso with a ball glued stuck inside... Told some people about it before, i think Ed and marco or so.. Anyway they are huge fun. I love them!

"To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kinda scary. I've wondered where this started, and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus and a clown killed my dad."
-Jack Handey
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Joined: 09 Jul 2004
Posts: 244
Location: San Diego, California

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:56 am    Post subject:

11 months & counting...
will this box never be done??!?!?! (I just polished off the labyrinth I had wrapping around the sides and now my hands are blue. The sides just looked striped; or an unfinished brick pattern)...
any ideas?
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 972
Location: Bristol UK

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:01 am    Post subject:

Wow cool.
How did I miss this uber-thread before.
Hey Zoc, great CJ box making.
Inspires me to get on with a project I've been wondering about starting
Some great photos on your flickr stream too.
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Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 166
Location: Southern California

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject:

Oh god... math....
LA/surrounding Area coverage

I'm here to kick ass and play card games
...and I'm all out of cards
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Joined: 27 Aug 2007
Posts: 120
Location: Montréal! yeah!

Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:46 pm    Post subject:

This is AMAZING!!!!!! I really like how your box is turning out. It's beautiful. (with the UV : haaaaaaaaa.....)
Good luck with it
There's a million reasons and a million ways to get from here to there
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