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Old 03-10-2014, 12:36 PM   #766
craftycoder OP
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The new molds are here and they look great. I need to head over to the hardware store for a few bits and bobs and then I can do the deed. The process is a bit involved but I should have a Motobrain coming out of the mold Wednesday morning. I may take these to my wife's laboratory (she is a fancy science type) where she has an incubator which will speed up the process a bit.

This has been an exciting journey. With the Motobrain I designed from schematic to CAD drawing, had turned into a printed circuit boards, then built with a pick and place machine I designed and built for this sole purpose, soldering them in an oven whose electronics I designed and built and installed (into a Sears toaster over), sitting in a mold I imagined, drew in 3D, and had built, running code on two microcontrollers I programmed talking to software I wrote on my iPod I am quite astonished at the scope of this project and it is extremely satisfying to see it all come together.

F3E30B52-5BF6-4692-8B77-5EEECE873B04[1]
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:42 PM   #767
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Are you selling them yet? How much are you charging?
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:49 PM   #768
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Are you selling them yet? How much are you charging?
Not selling yet. Keep an eye out though, it won't be too long now.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:51 PM   #769
Mike.C
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It's astonishing to me that the kickstarter didn't quite make it, this project has all the ingredients - passion, quality, innovation and probably the most difficult one - persistance. I for one am barracking for it's success.

Watching as you bring together all the different parts of the puzzle has been fascinating and a privilege to watch.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:33 PM   #770
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Mike, would you believe that the very first Motobrain I shipped went to Brisbane. Small world, right?

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It's astonishing to me that the kickstarter didn't quite make it, this project has all the ingredients - passion, quality, innovation and probably the most difficult one - persistance. I for one am barracking for it's success.

Watching as you bring together all the different parts of the puzzle has been fascinating and a privilege to watch.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:37 PM   #771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftycoder View Post
The new molds are here and they look great. I need to head over to the hardware store for a few bits and bobs and then I can do the deed. The process is a bit involved but I should have a Motobrain coming out of the mold Wednesday morning. I may take these to my wife's laboratory (she is a fancy science type) where she has an incubator which will speed up the process a bit.

This has been an exciting journey. With the Motobrain I designed from schematic to CAD drawing, had turned into a printed circuit boards, then built with a pick and place machine I designed and built for this sole purpose, soldering them in an oven whose electronics I designed and built and installed (into a Sears toaster over), sitting in a mold I imagined, drew in 3D, and had built, running code on two microcontrollers I programmed talking to software I wrote on my iPod I am quite astonished at the scope of this project and it is extremely satisfying to see it all come together.
I am reading this thread quite a long time and I am still impressed. Great, amazing work man, you can be proud of yourself! You are kind of multitalented!!
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:08 PM   #772
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If you ever wondered what it takes to build a Motobrain, here is a video showing part of the process. This video is about 75 minutes compressed into 9. It takes about 10 minutes to paste the board, 5 minutes to reflow it, 10 minutes to inspect and repair, 20 minutes to clean up, and 10 minutes to test it (assuming no issues).

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Old 03-11-2014, 03:44 PM   #773
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I went to my wife's lab this morning to cast the latest Motobrain in the new mold. I did this because a friend of mine suggested I concern myself with voids in the epoxy creating temperature instabilities and ultimately reliability issues. I have no evidence this will happen, but the fact that it may happen and the fact that vacuum is not that difficult to access in the lab convinced me to go that route.

My wife's lab literally has vacuum on tap so it was not too tough to make it work. It was only modestly effective though. I was able to pull air bubbles out of the goo but my container was not great so prolonged exposure to the vacuum was hard to achieve. I'll do better next time I'm sure. The casting otherwise went ok I think. The mold would be more effective with four posts rather than two so there is no tendency to twist out of position. I am basically pleased though.

Currently the Motobrain is in an incubator with some flasks full of stinky yellow fluid staying warm so the epoxy will set faster. I have jury duty tomorrow I just remembered so I may not get to look at it until Thursday. I'm excited though. This is the first time I'm not worried about the process of removing the Motobrain from the mold. It should be a piece of cake.

BTW: The first unit shipped arrived in Queensland yesterday. Let's hope I didn't screw anything up too badly.

IMG_20140311_112135_300[1]

IMG_20140311_114451_992[1]
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:59 PM   #774
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Originally Posted by craftycoder View Post



Interesting color change, the vacuum sucked the pigment out?

edit: Ohhh. I see the bolts have also been zinc-chromate plated by the white balance of the camera.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:42 PM   #775
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casting sucks!

I have no good reason to become proficient at casting. I want to be able to do it when necessary but I have no grand intention of becoming an expert at it. Still, I ought to be able to cast a damn Motobrain without it being a pain in the ass. Alas, it was once again a total pain.

The bottom of the mold popped off without any fuss leaving a mirror finish and I was excited to pull the sides off and see a pristine new Motobrain come out. No amount of prying helped release the sides though. I ultimately had to chisel the mold off at the cost of 2 hours and $350 for the mold which is currently in more than 400 tiny pieces. In two attempts, the new mold release did not work at all on this mold material. I'm done with that stuff. It is worthless, expensive or not. I'm going back to the $8 Home Depot floor wax. That stuff actually seemed to work at least.

Chiseling the Motobrain out of the mold did a bit of damage to the resin but it is still in good enough shape for my needs. I didn't do a great job making sure the cap was completely in the resin and you can see a few voids just below it. I did try but I couldn't seem to push it down far enough and I didn't want to make a mess by pulling it off and trying again. I still have some more trial and error to suffer through before I can get these guys packaged up nicely. I feel like I am on the right track but I am not quite there yet.

4B17D8E3-E40C-431D-9EF2-FED0527697B9[1]
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:10 PM   #776
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I can't wait to buy one! Congratulations to you for keeping at it even though the Kickstarter campaign didn't make it.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:16 AM   #777
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So here's a thought.
I saw the face plate you are now installing for a finished look, and it made me think, have you thought about this problem upside down? What if you were to make a 5 sided "cup" out of injection moulded plastic. The outside of the shallow cup (same dimensions and shape as you have now) would be the face plate with the shallow sides of the cup being the body of the finished Motobtain.
Now with the cup upside down, you could install the working guts from the back and fasten everything to the back side of the face plate. With that in place, pour your resin in from the back side. End result is that the Motobrain is finished on face plate and 4 sides. Back side is resin. No need for moulds, release agent, and all that fuss. Voila, finished product in one step.
Just a thought.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:48 AM   #778
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Just put it in a matchbox and mold it in permanently!!!!!! Can't wait for these to be available!! (i'll take on in a matchbox, give that retro feel)
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:05 AM   #779
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If he's willing to lay out $3,000 for an injection tool....

Actually if you do want to do this with an injection tool I could likely help.

You should also be able to get a rapid prototype made reasonably cost effectively (either SLS or machined from block as it's a simple part).

PM me.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:23 AM   #780
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Every prick has an opinion in this thread, heres mine

I would cnc machine out of aluminium the final box including all the logos (or have it etched after printing) etc that you want on it (ie a dummy motobrain). If you 3d print a dummy, be careful what material you use as it may not be water tight or will need sealing.

Using the dummy motobrain make a 2 part block silicone mold (including molding over the bolts if you need those to hold it in place). Heaps of videos out there, should be very easy for you to make. Dont forget to allow for sprues.

Then cast your resin into the 2 part silicone mold over the real motobrain. Rubber is so flexible you wont break the mold getting the casting out and you wont need mold release.

Silicone is so good at picking up detail so long as your dummy motobrain is perfect (polished finish), that detail will transfer to the silicone mold (they use silicone to mold organs to study on a cellular level). Spend your time getting the dummy motobrain finish perfect. You will find you wont need the etched plate from your friend as the detail will then transfer to the resin casting.

If/when your silicone mold dies, make another silicone mold from the dummy motobrain. No need to rely or pay someone else $350 for another mold.

If you try silicone and it doesnt work (not due to user error), send me the bill for the silicone and wasted resin.
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