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Old 03-26-2014, 07:23 PM   #826
craftycoder OP
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Originally Posted by Gany View Post
Thats exciting! Cant wait to see the result. How did the mold look? Was it difficult to get the dummy MB out or there was enough flex in the silicone (seems pretty thick in parts). If they wont come outnicely, some compressed air might help pop them out.
The mold looked great. The master popped right out easy. I did need to drill a hole in the box that I cast the mold in in order to pop it out. I gave it a little pop of compressed air and it was free. I have the feeling this is going to be easy to work with. I'm excited to have learned a bit about this process. It is nice to have a new set of tools in the tool box.

The Motobrain is neat on the bike. I set up some pretty complex "circuitry" except that I didn't need to do anything complex. All the wires run into or out of the Motobrain and all the circuitry is "designed" on the phone. It is such a cool way to solve this type of problem. Coincidentally, the day I installed the Motobrain on my WR², I got a PM from someone who read an old thread of mine about how I wired up the bike originally asking how I had done something ('cause it was complicated and counter intuitive). I explained it, but I had literally just ripped that all off of my bike. It was stupid simple to do again with the Motobrain. I didn't realize just how remedial Motobrain makes wiring vehicles. I don't know if that is a good pitch, "even an idiot can wire their truck with this" but I think its true. I never took any marketing classes, but I suspect that calling your customers idiots is bad way to start off a relationship.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:12 AM   #827
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I just pulled the first demo casting from the mold. I'd say it looks good except for the large void. I am going to have to try casting it under positive air pressure to get rid of the void. Removing it from the mold was extremely simple. I needed to do little more than give it a stern look and the fake Motobrain leapt from mold. Many followers of this project offered advice to move toward a silicone mold and I am pleased to have listened. This is a great process!

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Old 03-27-2014, 06:46 AM   #828
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Awesome work! What method did you use to poor the resin? What is the pot life of the resin? If you didnt already, when you poor the resin start in one spot (maybe one of the end lugs) with a thin stream and let the resin push the air out of the way as it fills the mold. The thin stream also helps to pop any air bubbles on the way down. If you have a descent pot life you could try degassing the resin in your friends vacuum chamber which would also help.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:49 AM   #829
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Originally Posted by craftycoder View Post
I just pulled the first demo casting from the mold. I'd say it looks good except for the large void. I am going to have to try casting it under positive air pressure to get rid of the void. Removing it from the mold was extremely simple. I needed to do little more than give it a stern look and the fake Motobrain leapt from mold. Many followers of this project offered advice to move toward a silicone mold and I am pleased to have listened. This is a great process!

I mentioned using an orbital sander against the mold, and I would add a 2 axis rotation to allow the air to escape from entrapments. OR, the placement of the unit into the resin may alleviate most of the entrapment problem.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:32 AM   #830
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That's looking really good.

How brittle is the resin. With the thin layer on top of the circuit board, is there any risk of cracks forming from vibration (over time), or from stress from a drop or torque from the mounting points (tightening the mounting bolts when bolting the box to the bike). Unsightly cracks would not be an issue. Cracks that let moisture in would.

Have you contemplated a vibration test? We see this done for parts used in trucks and the results are sometimes interesting. I have seem good looking units start the test but emerge with parts broken and missing. Both high and low frequency vibration produce different results.


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Old 03-29-2014, 11:44 AM   #831
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The resin I am currently planning to use has a hardness similar to a skateboard wheel. Which is to say hard but not brittle (a bit harder than a truck tire). I am aiming for hockey puck hardness (which is softer then I currently have) but it is difficult to find a resin with the right hardness and ability to conduct heat. I will be doing vibration testing but I expect the current resin's softness to handle that issue with ease. I need the softness mostly because of the flexion caused by temperature gradients during high current flows which can actually rip components right off the PCB. I have actually experienced this problem with one of the early resins I tried.

A pressure chamber and a vacuum pump are coming in the mail on Monday and the casting process ought to be worked out by the end of the week. I expect positive pressure will make pushing the resin down into the mold easy as pie but there is a risk that it can push resin into the threaded terminals so I need to test that out (with and without tape covering the holes). If positive pressure is difficult to work with, then I'll try a vacuum. One will work, no doubt.

In other news, I met with 8 manufacturers this week at a trade show and am lining up that part of the supply chain. I am looking for someone who understands the importance of a good quality system. I will work with them to develop a system that ensures the product leaving the factory meets my standard of excellence. Another way of saying, "the darn thing just works". Then, the only thing left to do is get some purchase orders and fill them. Easy as pie!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemaycga View Post
That's looking really good.

How brittle is the resin. With the thin layer on top of the circuit board, is there any risk of cracks forming from vibration (over time), or from stress from a drop or torque from the mounting points (tightening the mounting bolts when bolting the box to the bike). Unsightly cracks would not be an issue. Cracks that let moisture in would.

Have you contemplated a vibration test? We see this done for parts used in trucks and the results are sometimes interesting. I have seem good looking units start the test but emerge with parts broken and missing. Both high and low frequency vibration produce different results.


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Old 03-29-2014, 03:47 PM   #832
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The pressure vessel arrived this afternoon so I just poured another Motobrain. I let it sit under 20 PSI for just a few minutes. With 6 sq/in of surface area I was pushing 120 pounds down on that goo. Any air in there should have found it's way out I would think. I invested no time or effort in the pour relying solely on the pressure to make a good part. I've been told that if I pour very slowly I can get pretty good results. I don't want to spend a lot of time on this process so I am hoping that the job is easy with the right tool. We will find out tomorrow.

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Old 03-30-2014, 08:23 AM   #833
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very cool development Crafty, I wish I had reason to use such a trick piece of gear but I'm a minimalist so I'd have nothing to connect to the block... anyway I just wanted to toss in a bump and a bit of encouragement - I really like the product and it was cool flipping through the pages and seeing it evolve
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:01 AM   #834
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That looks familiar.

I just poured another one and put have it under 45 PSI this time. I am going to leave it under pressure for an hour. Let's see how that goes?

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Old 03-30-2014, 10:17 AM   #835
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Do you have a vent for the air to escape??? Molds usually have an input & several vents for air to escape hard-to-get-to places. This ensures that the mold material gets into everywhere it should.

I'm liking this product and can see uses for it in automotive & cycle applications. I do these but not in 1000 increments, sadly...
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:29 AM   #836
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Do you have a vent for the air to escape??? Molds usually have an input & several vents for air to escape hard-to-get-to places. This ensures that the mold material gets into everywhere it should.

I'm liking this product and can see uses for it in automotive & cycle applications. I do these but not in 1000 increments, sadly...
I would have thought that the big open top would have been a sufficient vent. The resin is very thick and doesn't flow easily though. It may be a big ask to get it to vent all the way through to the top of the goo.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:54 PM   #837
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Crafty, id try it under vacuum. Pour maybe 1/2-3/4 resin in there, put it under vacuum and the bubbles in the voids will expand... After a bit shake or rattle the chamber to 'burp' it and pour the rest of the resin in to fill the remainder of the mould, put t back under vacuum again (resin will expand as the bubbles come out so there is a risk of it overflowing the mold). Leave it under vacuum again to degass the rest until it burps and settles itself. You could then remove it from vacuum and any small bubbles that are left will be squashed even smaller under atmospheric pressure and are hopefully not visible.

Worth a try? You might even need to til the mold at some point to let the bubbles out of that main void. If this fails id maybe consider a 2 part mold designed to limit the possibility of trapping bubbles (ie, vertical instead of horizontal).

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Old 03-30-2014, 05:08 PM   #838
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Or even consider a vacuum infusion setup where you seal over the top of the mold, have a tube at one end into a pot of resin and a tube at the other sucking the air out with a bottle trap. As the air is sucked out of the mold it draws the resin into the mold at the other end. Kill the vacuum pressure when the mold is full. Bit more difficult to set up though as it would be hard to form a good seal over the silicone mold.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:59 AM   #839
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We are getting closer, but not there just yet.

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Old 03-31-2014, 08:03 AM   #840
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I just poured another one. This time I did it with "great care" (poured slow and let it flow) and then put it under 45PSI. I was hoping the pressure was a Panacea but it appears to only offers an incremental improvement. I really don't need this process to be stupid simple, I just need it to be reliable. I do not intend to make very many of these myself so as long as I can get it to work then I am good. There will an expert at the factory that builds these and he/she will know just how to do this I am sure.
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