Tag Archives: nyanweight

Nyancat party! in aluminum, egg, foam, silicone, hydrostone, and drystone

MAS.863, Fall 2011
Week 6
Molding and Casting — Nyancat party! in Egg, Silicone, Plastic, Hydrostone, Aluminum, and Foam

We can use molding and casting to easily replicate a design.
The analogies between this manufacturing process and internet memes are clear.
Thus, I am compelled to make nyancats!

nyanweight? nyancoaster?

Aluminum paperweight. File done in solidworks, export as DWG to Mastercam, turned on CNC lathe (daewoo puma) and milled with engraving tool to 0.02’’ depth on CNC mill (EZ trak). Used as mold positive.

Smooth-on OOMOO25 used as silicone mold (negative). 100 parts A : 130 parts B by weight, pot time ~15 minutes, cure time ~1 hour.
Masking tape used to form “walls” for negative mold.

Released fine (no releasing agent used). Fine features (0.02’’) reproduced cleanly.

Hydrostone casting, positive.

Final result: one nyancat party.

Just for fun: some egg?
End result:

Not so great. I await the shopbot 3D mold.

hot glue mold: jello legos
Previously on Bad Ideas:

Hot glue is nontoxic, right? Legos used to create positive for hot glue. Crisco applied as releasing agent — did not release well, had to pry out legos, destroying them. Jello poured in — very nice, can even see the “LEGO” lettering on the bumps. Jello lego’s had flat bottoms though, since this is a one-part mold.

On Saturday, I learned that I now have media lab shop access and can now devote my entire weekend to MAS.863! Yay!

I made the model in Solidworks while still hoping I could get my hands on some food safe silicone. This didnt happen, though Iḿ not sure why. Ah well. I went ahead anyway and cut my model on the shopbot out of foam
1/8´’ bit, though later I remember I had resized my model specifically for a 1/4´’bit which could have cut my time down by half. After 1.5 hours of cutting I had my mold (the partworks estimate was 45 minutes). The deepest parts the shopbot just barely cleared (that was nervewracking!). The cut-out toolpath the shopbot most definitely did not clear — I was prepared and hit the e-stop button immediately.

There were a lot of burrs and the finish quality was less than what Id expected. But Iḿ not complaining, since Iḿ using a shopbot to cut out an internet meme…

I attempted to deburr with a heat gun but stopped immediately when I realized I was rounding out my beloved sprinkles. I ended up using an air compressor and getting pink sprinkles all over myself.
Then I cast a negative mold with smooth-on silicone, in this case mold star slow since the arch shop was out of oomax 25. Pot time 50 mins, cure time 4 hours. After 1.5 hrs I took my mold with me instead of waiting. Mold turned out fine. Probably used half a smooth-on set of material.

I had to commit some violence to the mold original in order to get the silicone out, simply due to the geometry of the piece. The silicone separated from the foam just fine.

Drystone casting followed. Required almost exactly ~1.5 cups of material. (500grams?)

Oh, this reminds me, I´ve done sand casting before too. We helped sand-cast a cement health-friendly stove in La Vaquita, Mexico. This was a government initiative of some sort.

Files coming soon. [edit: 4 Sept 2012. So maybe not soon. But I’ll try to get around to it. Also I would like to point out to blog readers that I went on to make nyancake and nyanjello! 😀 http://www.orangenarwhals.com/search/label/nyancake

abusing CNC mills for internet memes

It’s official. CNC mills are sexy. Even decades-old bridgeport model ones that take giant floppies.

So a while back I was all like “I’mma mill me some nyancat for my 2.008 paperweight.” (http://www.orangenarwhals.com/?p=187)
Oh yea, my partner for this lab is the awesome Cappie Pomeroy. He did all the lathe work o.o so don’t ask me about that.
So I got around to milling it.
look, nyancat got fatter so that you can fit a 1/16” end mill between it’s crevices!

(The way I did it is I did a Tools>Sketch Tools>Sketch Picture, then resized that reference nyancat picture until it looked appropriate. I then put a Tools>Options>Grid>Major Grid 0.07 / minor grid off. System Snaps>check Grid. Also, make sure Units>IPS, InchPoundSomething. Then just trace it with lines).

However, my resizing and retracing ended up not mattering, since I decided to engrave it. This was because we had to make a 15 minute version, and no matter how I tweaked Mastercam (using 0.02” depth instead of 0.1”, using a wide endmill to clear it and then remachining with the 1/16”), there was no way the full 3D paperweight was milling out in 15 minutes.

Yea so there are really dumb ways to make a path in Mastercam. 
See the X’d out paths to the left — I was tracing all the paths by hand, essentially. Then Pat, the shop instructor, came by and showed me the magic of the the “polygon” tool which will automatically apply a function (in this case, engraving) to everything within that polgyon. It created some weird paths, like you get on a lasercutter which doesn’t recognize your vector as one shape but as individual lines*, but it gets the job done. In other words, he finished in 10 minutes what was taking me hours to do… hah.
*aka it doesn’t trace them continuously but rather jumps back and forth between different lines in the drawing
See link below for g-code / mastercam / solidworks files.

The jig was made by the instructors for the class, along with the “offset” used in Mastercam to make sure the blank is positioned correctly.

gahhh technical difficulties. Yes, I used my phone to take a picture of picture on my camera.  You really don’t want to know.

Nyanweight documents:
where “base/lab1” docs are for the CNC lathe and “engraving” docs are for the CNC mill.

Software used: solidworks (.sldprt, exported to .dwg), mastercam

Todo next: Mill out the actual thing.

NyanCAD: Correct motivation for learning CAD

I’m embarrassed to say how many hours I’ve wasted CADing nyancat paperweight for 2.008 now.
Off to go spend even more time producing CNC mill G-code using Mastercam for a machining appointment at 8am o__o

10/1/11 Edit:
Aha, so I realized (thanks to Steve, shop instructor extraordinaire) that there are many things wrong with my CAD. Sadly, I chose 5 mils spacing for the grid I used to trace nyancat. Turns out our smallest drill bit is 1/16” ( over 6 mils). Eheh. Also, I was planning on going 0.3” deep, which would take forever to mill out using 1/16”, as it can only go ~0.02” down per z-axis pass.

yea, milling fail.
that, dear friends, is the look of a lot of milling time.

I was halfway through the infuriating MASTERCAM too. Lesson learned: avoid branching as much as possible. See that right-most sprinkle that touches the cat’s head? Caused me no end of trouble!

Next step? Infinite Mastercam’ing. Instead of being a nice cavity with extruded nyancat, it’ll probably end up being closer to pedestal with a nyancat on top done in thin layers. I’ll also use a larger diameter tool to pocket out each shape and then contour with the 1/16”. So, first up, redo solidworks using 0.7” grid spacing (resize reference picture accordingly — btw, found under insert > sketch tools > sketch picture).

I’ll stick the files up on github sometime soon.

Todo this weekend:
Saturday: Get ISP and PoV working, 6.131 lab writeup, MITERS misc. (project grants / safety / update website), PoV with partner 10am, Theater scene practice 2pm. Apply to summer jobs.
Sunday: 6.131 lab (1pm to midnight), 2.008 group meeting 7pm, watch a play (3 pm), go visit Sprout? (2pm)
Monday morning: lasercut cookies, document cookies and ISP.
Oh yea, speaking of ISP programmers, this week’s assignment was to mill ISPs using these desktop Roland Modela 3d mills:
So someone made an even tinier one that doesn’t need a USB connector (fits right into the slot): http://bardagjy.com/?p=628
Then someone riffed off of that and made one that has a break-off part for bootloading the chip: