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3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: February 25th, 2018, 1:27 am
by slicerd1
While a I didn't always plan on building a gigameter the amazing designs on thingiverse made me thing about how I would make the internals work and once I had an idea I figured there was no reason not to build one. I am only semi-competent with electronics so no servos, micro controllers, or fancy programming will be involved. Just some mediocre soldering.

First off was printing parts. Mostly stock from thingiverse but I modified the handles for switches I already owned and did a few other tweaks.
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Next up was electronics. The "ears"/microphones had chasing amber/yellow/orange leds and I modified a very cheap ($1-2) board from ebay to get this effect. The board runs on 3v-14v so its a easy to drive. Also there is a blinking white led a couple square yellow leds and volt display that adds a cool look and requires no programming and only 2 wires to hookup.
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Another shot of how I built the leds to fit into the ears. Not easy but not super hard.
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Mockup of front display
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Picture of my hackjob wiring
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I am using those tiny gear motors to drive both the ears and the dome. You can get them for different speeds so the ears are slower and the dome is faster. Below you can see my setup for mounting the motor and to the left you can see the mount that will turn and drive the ears. I went this route because it is much easier than a servo. I will get video of this when I can.
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Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: March 5th, 2018, 5:50 pm
by WindDrake
Neat, I recognize those parts! :)

Eccentric crank on the ears?

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: March 6th, 2018, 12:52 am
by slicerd1
I had to look up eccentric crank but yes that's it. I am also going to try to use the same/similar mechanism for a PKE design.

I really do love the parts, if you hadn't put all the effort into them I probably never attempted a gigameter but I am pretty excited about it. Waiting on a handful of parts from china right now, hoping to start again soon so it's ready for a Phoenix Comic Con in may.

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: March 11th, 2018, 4:50 pm
by Tyrael
WindDrake wrote:Neat, I recognize those parts! :)
Me, too! :)

Nice work so far! Definitely doing great and I'm looking forward to the end result!

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: March 19th, 2018, 12:41 pm
by slicerd1
Thanks Tyrael, and also thanks for all the hard work on the design!

I have the ears working now and I vacuum formed my own clear domes this weekend. The only part I am am missing are the acrylic rods but those should be in this week.

Your can see how the ears work pretty happy with it.
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Alternate ear view
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Process of vaccum forming. I did 6 pulls and ended up with 2 good domes. Trial and error always occurs I should be able to make more with much less waste in the future.
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Roughly assembled product. I think I will have to slightly redesign the crossbraces.
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Wiring job for the dome lights. Kind of pretty.
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Out of focus shot of the body. I found a battery sled the perfectly fits in the lower body, I will use double sided tape to make it stay there. I wired up the switches but didn't give myself enough wire to actually connect, so now I get to rebuild that.
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Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: April 24th, 2018, 12:22 pm
by slicerd1
Finally finished! I assembled the dome but the gear motor didn't have enough RPMs to get the circular light effect I desired. I ended up with a 600rpm at 6v motor that looks pretty good, it probably runs a little slower with all the leds on it only supplies about 5v.

Little pieces of cellophane covering the windows for the dome. This was a pain because the red needs like 3 layers to not look pink, I used 2 layers for the green.
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End result looks pretty good. Maybe still a little more pink than I would like.
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Pic in motion
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All wired up. I used a 4 AA long battery sled which fit perfectly into the lower handle portion.
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Video of dome


Final Results. I know the red button is not accurate but who can resist a red button?
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And videos for both. The ears action on one is a little weird and it jumps, I do worry about this one a little if too much stress will cause it to die over time, I guess I may just have to build another eventually.



My only complaints are the dome lights. I wish they were brighter and didn't leak so much white light. Maybe finding an alternate way to color the windows would help an a slight redesign of the dome housing could fix the leakage. If anybody has ideas of alternate way of coloring the dome light please let me know. I have some leftover materials and these were pretty cheap to build ($30-$40 a piece) so if anyone has better ideas I might give it another go.

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: April 24th, 2018, 12:53 pm
by DarkSpectre
Man I hope mine turns out half as nice as this one. The electronics are killing me

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: April 24th, 2018, 2:38 pm
by slicerd1
Thanks man, It was a sweet build and I tried to simplify the electronics as much a possible and even still it's deceptively complex.

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: May 7th, 2018, 10:26 pm
by Tyrael
Wow, gorgeous work!

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: May 8th, 2018, 12:45 pm
by slicerd1
Tyrael wrote: May 7th, 2018, 10:26 pm Wow, gorgeous work!
Thanks man! And thanks again for your great work. Like I said I probably would of never built one if you hadn't designed this but I am pretty happy with how they came out and it's just a cool prop.

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: November 27th, 2018, 8:12 pm
by WindDrake
Nice work! The Gigameter is one of my favorite props, and stuffing them to the gills with electronics is why I'm never building another one. :D

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: June 23rd, 2020, 12:15 am
by darthbuster
You said only semi competent with electronic! Looks pretty amazing to me!

Re: 3D Printed Gigameter (with simplified electronics)

Posted: November 17th, 2020, 8:21 pm
by ProfessorProton
Hey!!! Thought ya might like to know I have fired up a brand new CR ps and am abohtb3/4 done printing parts for this project! I appreciate all the work that everyone has put into this so far. I have all the electronics already on hand so it should go pretty quick!!!!