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Ducati's Build

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First off, I like to thank everyone on the forums for all of your help. This build would not have been possible with out you. I am very grateful for everyone that has made a build thread, answered my questions or done a tutorial of some type. I stand on the shoulders of giants.

I started my build last November doing research, modelling and drawings. Fabrication started just before Christmas. Today I've finished. I've done my best to take photos along the way (just over a 1000pics) but looking back I realize that I've missed a few steps. If I were to take a guess I'd say I've put nearly 1000 hours into this project. I've learned a tonne and enjoyed every minute of it. Everything that you will see, with a few small exceptions, I've built myself and I'm very proud of the results.

Please note that I have purposely done some things that are not 100% screen accurate. The reason for these variations are typically for the ease of fabrication or I wanted something a little cooler. If you're a purist you may want to turn back now :) .


Anyhow, here is the first set of pics detailing the butt cap construction.

Turning the raw mat


Starting the bore


An hour later the bore is done


Doing the taper


Out of the lathe and into the dividing head for a slot cut and some milled flats




Out of the dividing head to the band saw where I removed the extra part for holding. Then back into the mill to clean it up.


Here I need to skip ahead a bit. I made some tabs (more on how later) I've bent then and then had them welded onto the butt cap.


Some filing and then filling with a 2 part epoxy.


A bunch more sanding and it was off to priming with an aluminum specific primer.


Finally a coat of hammered black then flat black.


I'm out of time for today. I'll post more later.


CNC files:


Scope sight.dwg.zip

Edited by Locitus

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very nice work, keep it up :D

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It's the end cap to an E11 blaster gun.


The pictures show the machining talent this guys has and this the rest of the build is likely to be hand made and detailed.

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Post #2 D-Ring holder and the D-ring.


The original D-Ring holder looks like it was punched out of sheet metal then stamped to shape. Making a set of dies to do that was not practical so I ended up machining this part. It started with a piece of plastic which I turned to the appropriate diameter. Then it went into the mill to machine the "bends" in the sheet metal.






Next was to flip the part over and clean up the bottom. Then I milled the rest of the "bends".




A test fit on the cap.




Then off to paint.




The D-Ring. This is a case that I didn't take photos of how it made it. It was actually one of the more problematic parts. I tried bending round bar to shape but I didn't have much success with either steel or Aluminum. I ended up machining a "donut" out of flat bar then filing the edges round.




A dab of glue.




Finally some weathering. Note I did a bit more after the final assembly of the entire prop. What I did here was some light stuff to make the edges pop.



Edited by Ducati

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:o wow, keep up sharing...this is an amazing start!

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On to the counter.


This was really the first item I dug into on the build. The learning process on these parts was tough. Before starting on this process I'd never machined anything before and as a result everything took a long time. I was unsure on everything from the feed rates to the order of operations on each part. The thing that really shocked me is how hard it is to machine small parts on full sized equipment. Its so easy to wreck a detailed part; you can hold it too tight in the vise and distort it or you can not hold it tight enough and then the cutter can do bad things. The smallest miscalculation and you'd be swearing as 8 hours of machining was in the toilet. This realization actually made me stop part way through the process and redesign how the over all assembly would be done. Instead of having a series of small plates that I would glue together, I chose to make the plates as large as I could and machine the detail parts into the large plates. I also made the decision that anything thinner than 1/16" (1.5mm) was gong to have to be made a on something other than a mill. Again more on that later.


First up a bit of a better explanation of how every part was done. So I start off by working in a modelling program called Solidworks. Its the go to design program for manufacturing. I use this software every day in my real job. By modelling this prop up before hand you can plan everything out to ensure that everything will fit together correctly. Its a lot of work do but its a lot less work than making 3 parts because the first 2 don't work. But the thing I like the best is that you get to work with quantitative figures; plate "A" is 3.0625" long.


Below is the process from start to finish for one part:


The finished model of the counter:




Just the top plate model




From the model of the individual parts I made drawings for manufacturing. Typically these are a bit more professional but since these are for my personal use I'm a little sloppy with standards.




From there I grabbed a chunk of aluminum from the scrap bin




Then to the band saw where I trim the material to a rough size. Taking a bunch of material is easier with the saw vs the mill






Next I stick the part in the mill and through a series of steps take the rough material to the overall size of the finished part. I'm also making all the sides square to each other.






Drilling a hole on the top




Then counter sinking it




Now into milling some of the details in






Then the part is turned so I can do some detail on the sides




Another turn and I start to clean up the back side. This stuff won't ever been seen but it was important so that the whole assembly could fit together.




After a bunch of additional work on the back its another couple of turns for the sides.




After that I would go in and sand the part down to remove the machining marks, burrs and flashing. Sorry no picks of that. I don't have a pick of this part finished on its own. I'll show the finished goods off in a later post where you see the rest of the counter parts.

Edited by Ducati

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The counter back plate.


Raw material




Detail on the front edge




A flip and onto detail on the other side. This is a case of where I deviate from the original screen used item for reasons you will see later on. No one will be able to see it so don't think it matters anyways.




Another hole, this time for wiring




Another couple of flips to trim the sides




This pic was done much later in the build. Some holes for sound





Edited by Ducati

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The counter bottom plate:


This part is almost a mirror of the top plate but with an extra hole for mounting. Again different than the screen used item but it needed to be done to ensure stuff stayed together properly. To give you an idea of how long it was taking me, from start to finish this part took about 6 hours.


Raw mat




Trimmed down




Detail work on the top side




Detail on the bottom side






Work on the left




Work on the right/ the finished part



Edited by Ducati

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The front plate.


Similar to the back plate but with the detail required on something seen all the time.


Wookie arms!




Some trimming




A very recognizable feature




Notches at the back of the plate




Taking a layer off of the part on the right of the pic below




This is a blurry pic but adding more depth to the edges




Work on the interior side of the box




The finished part





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Plate where the ball counter would sit:




More trimming




Cutting the hole for where the ball counter window. (I'm putting something cooler in)




Cutting a slot for a switch




test fit with the switch



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The base plate for where the curly wires come out




Details roughed in




Some more details




Still more detail.




I did end up punching two more holes near the top left of the picture above, but I didn't take a picture of that.

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Hengstler counter plug and a couple of other detail parts.


To make this part I had to use a new piece of equipment. Its basically a vise that lets you tilt the part and cut angles. A neat bit of equipment but as with everything a challenge to figure on the first time around.






My hands are big, but not that big. Tiny parts are tiny.




Back onto the lathe to make some simple round stuff. At this point I was getting really comfortable on the lathe. It only took 15mins per cylinder.








How the parts go together




Now on to the spacers between the cylinders.






Flip the piece over and cut away the stuff I don't need.






I'll show how these parts go together in a couple of posts

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Some machined sheet metal parts.


As I stated a few posts back, something made me change my mind on how I was going to make parts 1/16" or thinner. These parts is what did it. Thin stuff is too hard to hold in the vise. When you try and clamp something it just folds. When you can hold it, the challenge becomes how quickly you can cut material off. I found if I tried to take more than the thickness of a piece of paper per pass the parts would bend. This was a very frustrating process.


The raw material> I had to bolt the stuff to a jig to machine it down




its now the right thickness




Now cut to length




And the finished part




Believe it or not, these 3 parts took me nearly 6 hours. There were too many failed attempts before these.


So the last part was the bracket to hold the counter to the scope rail. I'll get into the process on how this was cut in a couple of posts. Once I had it cut I bent it with something called a break press.










And the final part



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Woot! Onto assembly.


If you're confused on how all the above stuff fits together this is the post that will make all clear. The last few post represents weeks worth of work. Its one of those it looks easier that it is kind of things. To glue things together I decided to go with a two part metal epoxy; JB weld. JB works fairly well, but I found that it took too long to cure and while it was curing it tended to drip places that I didn't want it to go. This was part of the leaning process of doing something new. I eventually ended up switching to a few different products to stick stuff together, but this is what I used on these parts.






I actually ended up making a jig to aid with clamping. That what the white thing is.




Clamp it all up and wait 24 hours.






A day later with the glue dry I had one half of my counter




Now I repeated the process with the other "half"




24 hours later there were some cracks in the seams where to part met. I ended up filling it with JB weld. I found this process to be the worst way to do it. I came up with another method that I used for joining the mag well to the barrel, but I get to that later.




The two halves with some of the plug parts and a few other bits that I didn't take pictures of






Fitting in the cylinder spacers shown in an earlier post






Attaching the bracket to hold everything to the scope rail.




Finally off to priming/painting. Priming always the part of the process that really stokes me as it makes everything look like the solidworks model.






And with a coat of semi gloss black






All put together minus the weathering and the goodies that go inside.








Well that's enough for today. I'm almost at my limit on Flickr before I have to play for uploading pics. I guess my wife is going to have to create an account now :)

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Lasers and Sheet metal.


The laser cutter



After my frustrating experience described a few posts back, I made the decision to laser cut all my sheet metal parts. Laser cutting is what it sounds like it is; a big an impolite person machine that can cut sheet metal up to 1/2" thick. I don't have a laser cutter but I know some people that do. Its a local business that supplies laser cut stuff for my employer. The also happen to do a bunch of stuff for the movie industry. The most recognizable thing that I know of that they have built is Professor X's door from X-men.




The advantage of laser cutting is that its super precise and quick. The disadvantage is the cost. My involvement in this process is pretty simple since I modeled everything already. I needed export the solidworks models into a program that the laser cutter can process. This is case I ended up working in AutoCAD. I had to sort the parts by thickness and lay them out in a pattern such that I'm getting maximum usage of the material. The laser cutting people then plug my layout into there machine and we get this: (warning this is a pretty big video). If you watch to the end of the video you will see what is getting cut.






At the end of the day I end up with this a perfectly cut parts that I just punch out then form/weld/glue/paint.







Edited by Ducati

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Wow amazing work!


I cannot fathom the skill needed for this (neat toys you have to help though!)


I wimped out and bought a sterling parts kit, real hengstler, and real M38 to make my display blaster. And I still had issues getting it all put back together. there is no way in the world I could make it all from scratch and then assemble it!

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