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VK machine possible group project
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Mr Webber
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be the absolute top of the mountain if someone can come up with
a way to produce these. We all have our BR icons but i think it surpasses them all. Its obviously a seriously difficult project to get off
the ground but has such a mythical air about it that although they would be expensive it would have a vast underground sales market.
Maybe if we brake it down into pieces and all work a piece at a time.
O.B`s Bottle thread is the perfect template.
Should we start a new thread, "Building the VK machine" and take it from there?
Tim.
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doc3d
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be up for a group project-- with people who have proven production skills. It's going to be quite a bit of work, with assigned responsibilities and deadlines. Some people can't handle that. We'd need to agree on limitations and functions and costs. For example, a few suggestions:

1. Only one camera/monitor would be operational. Many small inexpensive cameras are out there. Most are wide angle, and the telephoto lensing could be a problem on such a small scale. This may have to be faked for practical reasons (see item below)
2. All other images would be backlit lenticulars. Anyone who wants all operational monitors is on his or her own, because it hugely ups the expense. I can make the lenticulars.
3. The mechanical arm would deploy, which means prototyping parts
from companies like Berg, or a joint payment to someone with a good machine shop. If the latter, then payment in small amounts as parts are delivered, not a big pay for the whole parts array.
4. A one-shot would probably be easiest done in masonite or acrylic plastic sheeting. Multiples would probably involve mold making and resin casting, with an aluminum inner framework.
5. The breathing flaps are simply repeated vac form shapes, where as one rises it lifts another, etc, etc. Very easy. Anyone can vac form mold if they make a pattern.
6. Everyone keeps meticulous financial records for all components that go into the VK. No one gets paid anything for labor, unless it's labor farmed out, in which case we contribute the money, incrementally, and the person paid does not get a VK-- it's strictly work for hire. No one on the team gets paid anything for tools. If some contributors have to do extraordinary work, then they possibly get "paid" in an extra VK, all agreeing. All agreed in advance. Actual outgo for materials gets reimbursed as needed at the time of need, and someone mutually agreed acts as treasurer.

No one makes a profit, but the whole operation has to be run as a business, with project management timelines in place.

Doc
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photek
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazing stuff phoenixvader! thanks for your generosity.

nice way to break it down Doc3d ... could there be some consideration (of course after the first round for those outright involved in the building) for those of us without the skills/resources to lay down cash for a second-round of repros? Or would this be a one-shot/one-time thing?
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andy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the Idea of lenticulars for these. I would be cool with all the screens being done this way. I wonder if backlit lenticulars could also be done for the VidPhon too.

I also wonder if this could be done at different price points (with and without working monitors, kit vrs Built-up, etc) ?

I have production experience but no real tools or workshop right now. I will see if there is someway I can help with this anyway, to make sure it gets done.

Andy
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work!

I am currently reworking for accuracy the VK machine built by TH Studios and displayed on the RPF: http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=44593

I purchased the molds from Tyler and will be offering a reworked version for sale in the near future.

Tyler appears to have used the Morpheous build for reference rather than the movie one, I'm shooting for something a little more screen accurate.

I'll start a new thread with pics in a week or two
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doc3d
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks to me like Birdie has a start. But looking closely, there are a lot of rough lines in the castings used on his iteration of the VK. These could be repaired more easily than completely reinventing the wheel, IF that's the feeling of whomever is involved with the project.

I want to see a zero profit, entirely fan produced machine. Others may have different plans and agendas. As Andy notes, there are many possible options, and I think we could design a machine to accommodate them. Lots of cheap digital viewers are on the market so monitor views can be done to whatever financial level a person wants. Once I build a lenticular set for one, it costs five or ten bucks to make another set, depending upon how they're laid out. So we can cap those costs, unless someone wants real electronics. I think the design should allow for that.

And rather than rubber band drives, we can use nylon and fiber or metal gear drives to make the thing move much more accurately and precisely.

Lots of options. The big trick is gumption and follow-through.

You've all seen what I did with a Coyle toy gun. It now shoots real bullets. So I think I've made my bones regarding this sort of thing. And if you've visited my Flickr site, you know I can make the lenticulars. And if you've seen Terry Webb's 2nd edition of The Garage Kit That Ate My Wallet and my Planet X kit, you know I understand resin casting and vac forming. I can co-ordinate the project. But working with a team to do a complex project gets me high. I'd love to do it as a group effort.

Doc
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bsgfan12
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a built up version from that same Tyler haslett. that Birdie ended up buying the molds from. Tyler planned on having the arm be able to extend and he sent a clip of the type of part needed. I don't know if this is helpful, but I thought I would just throw it out there.
I would offer mine for reference if it would be useful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq5u7jFQFCg
________
Sc2 Replay


Last edited by bsgfan12 on Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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doc3d
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at the speed of actuation, seems like a superb piece of hardware for the VK.

Thanks BSGFAN12!

The age of robotics has put a lot of fine and affordable hardware on the market...

Doc
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doc3d
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last thing before I shut up awhile for outside opinion on this... I mentioned my background not to say how wonderful I am, but that I'm aware of the severe complexity of this project, because with the exception of the robotics, I've done many of the components. I've even built workingt macrostereocameras, so optics are also within my range with a brushup of Kingslake and some searching for surplus components. You can get a hell of a lot of stuff, really cheap, via surplus.

If there's someone planning to market VK shells, I'm all for it. There are a lot of cottage industries related to BR fandom, and more power to 'em. I'd want to see the $$$ numbers for castings.

So Birdie, if you're about to roll selling castings, I don't want to kill that idea, unless the price is in the Twilight Zone. How much?!!!

Got no trouble bringing a rough casting up to speed, cause I've actually built the TVC-15 Spinner, which is more like a physical blueprint or drawing than a model kit. (A good concept-- you get the framework and the idea, go Zen, and get out what you put in.)

If Birdie had reasonably accurate boxes ready to roll, and the price is within range, that saves a lot of sculpting. I know Robert at Chrometechusa.com, and I already have wire plating racks built if we want aluminum vac plated metal small parts. I'm glad to show people how to build plating racks. Check his site if you want the look of real metal for some complex component: http://www.chrometechusa.com/ No paint looks as good as plating.

I'd like to see a clean looking sturdy unit. I'll make lenticular screens at cost if that's what people want, and I'll consider myself subject to cost accounting re materials (archival printer ink and paper, lenticular lensing, etc.) Labor is not a cost element. Jeez I sound like a Marxist...

If it looks too weird, or we cannot make consensus, or Birdie doesn't have a price and a delivery date for a shell, I'm going to roll on building me a one-of-- a resin/plastic/metal hybrid based upon Thomas' extraordinary donation of those wonderful plans.

Doc
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Mr Webber
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well this has come along nicely.
Its great that you have embraced this idea doc, your goal of a cheap VK machine for all of us is what we aim for. I mentioned the market potential of the VK to appeal to any with entrepreneurial tendencies as it is my experience that these people tend to get things done.
I offer my services to this project in any way they can be usefull or at least place the first order. At the end of the day i would really love to have a VK machine and im tipping so do the 500 odd people who have joined propsummit.
I feel that with the talent available here this could really work.
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shell model should be ready for moulding in a week or two. My intention is to make hollow cast fiberglass shells, with a seperate resin-cast bottom plate.

Electronics are not my area of expertise, initially I was just looking at having working LED meters and backlit screens.

I don't have a price in mind yet, I want to see how it all pans out first. My primary intention is to build a good quality VK machine for myself, then make casts available to those who are interested.
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doc3d
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: A quick Lindy Hop back in... Reply with quote

Fiberglass is a good choice. you can make it strong and thin, and do it from inexpensive flexible urethane molds instead of RTV.

For those of us into doing our own electronics, etc, I'm hoping you'll offer rough unfinished shells and parts, besides the complete VKs.

I'm going to continue investigating getting one working camera online, but if that looks prohibitive, there's always the whole array as backlit lenticular panels, and there are frequently flat display backlighting panels on surplus sites.

Spinner niner niner five locked on automatic landing approach, signing off.

Doc
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For those of us into doing our own electronics, etc, I'm hoping you'll offer rough unfinished shells and parts, besides the complete VKs


Absoluteley Very Happy
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andy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to split this into it's own topic.

Also I am curious if Vacuum Forming could be done to make the shells and bellows plates? Not sure if the body is too deep or not.

And, the lenticulars could be separated so the movement could be done with a motor moving the lens back and forth, instead of the viewer having to move.

Andy
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shells, imho, need to be sturdier than the opportunities vacform offers, not to mention the soft detail vaccing usually provides.

The shell need to be able to support whatever electronics are to be added as well as the arm/ eye connections. The arm section alone would up-end a vac-formed shell unless weighted down.

I'm still thinking that fibreglass or slush-cast resin shells are the way forward.
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andy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was only thinking for the upper shell of the main body and the bellows plates. There isn't any detail I can see that isn't applied on. All the detail parts I would assume would be cast resin or other. Also a base made of another more sturdy material such as wood or metal would probably be necessary. Something to screw down all the interior electronics to.

The idea of fiberglass to me sounds time consuming and expensive. Not to mention expensive to ship from England (to the US anyway Wink ). Of course I am sure you have a plan in hand here, so I probably should be quiet until I see more.

Andy
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The detail I'm referring to is the front fascia/screen.

The bellows plates would be fine vacced, I'm just thinking that a vac-formed shell would be flimsy and poor quality for this kind of project.

Props are time consuming and expensive.
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doc3d
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly right. Each bellows plate would have to be an individual vac form. This is easy. The shell could not be vacformed-- not enough structural rigidity, unless you were working with *huge* pattern molds-- e.g. industrial quality. Beyond model making fabrication...
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Mr Webber
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of a working arm is fascinating, are these easily replicated?
On the screen, as the original was a CRT it maybe impracticle if not impossible to have these in the end machines so perhaps a clear mold could be produced to house a LCD screen that would capture the same feel as a CRT.
For the eye footage, there maybe perfect medical stock footage in the public domain available or working in TV, i have access to a variety of lenses so its something i can play around with. Will start looking around for cheap LCD`s.
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andy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Birdie wrote:

Props are time consuming and expensive.


They sure are, That is why I am hopefully looking for ways to make things easier to make make multiples of, and also less expensive in order to make this project a success. I also know in these days that if I had to put a lot of work into each one of the models I wouldn't last long making them, and if these are going to cost what models in the past would cost, not too many people are going to buy them in this economy. All the attempts doing this prop before of this did not succeed to any degree.

I am just brainstorming ideas that might help using my own limited experience because I really want to see this happen.

Andy
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