Monday, November 21, 2011

My Makerbot Semi Project..... 27.87 hours and counting

  With all the projects that I have my fingers into lately I did not want anyone to think that I have given up on my Makerbot Semi build.  Progress is still being made one part at a time and today I was able to put a lot of these parts together to get closer to completing the Semi tractor assembly.  Current time now just printing parts has reached 27.87 hours.  This does not even include the design time, painting or trial parts that just did not work out just right. So I would say to double that amount of hours would be a fair guess as to the time I have put into this project.  But it is all looking really good so it is worth it.  My sister thought I need a time clock to keep track of all the hours I put into a project.  Sounds like another project in itself to put a time clock together.

In this photo the Semi cab complete with seats, steering wheel and windsheild were added to the main frame.  Also the front bumper was glued and mounted at the same time. The sides of the cab were located using 1/4 inch wooden dowels that were inserted into mating holes in the parts.  Photos of this process are included in this post further down the page.

These two photos show the floor/back wall of the sleeper test fit into the assembly.  I was able to print this part all in one piece which worked out very well. 

Here you can see the locating dowel pins that are used in both sides of the sleeper.  This 1/4 inch wooden dowel is sanded slightly to make it easier to be pushed into the mounting holes. Then they are glued into place. 

I slide the sides onto the center sleeper floor/back wall part and it was nice and tight so the sleeper is finally starting to come together.  I even have a clear plastic rear window mounted into the back wall of the sleeper compartment.

In these two photos you will see the red mounting clip that is used to hold the floor of the sleeper to the Semi chassis.  This clip has two oval shaped protrusions that slide into two corresponding oval slot in the sleeper floor. 

In these three shots the Semi cab and sleeper parts are glued together using modelers glue for plastic and then taped together to hold everything together until it all dried.

Once all the glue had dried I was able to mount the sleeper in it's proper location behind the cab by glueing the sleeper to the Semi chassis along with the chassis/sleeper mounting clip into the sleeper floor. This made for a nice easy installation.  Next will come the printing of the roof air dam, and the ten tires, rims, and hubs for the Semi.  I'll use 1/4 inch wooden dowels for the axles to make the asembly easy and strong. I also will mount the exhaust stacks last as these will be the safest way to keep them from getting damaged during the final portion of the assembly.
  Once I have the Semi tractor assembled a low boy trailer for the model will be next on my to do list. (See earlier posts of photos of the tractor and lowboy together.)  As usual I will keep tracking the hours that I will have in this assembly for anyone that is interested. 
  It will take me a while to finish the rest of the model as I have to travel 70 miles to get to the 3D printer in Davenport at the QC Co-Lab maker space. Needless to say I want a 3D printer of my own here at home. A Makerbot or a Ultimaker 3D printer would be great. So if anyone out there is feeling REALLY generous this year and is listening, Christmas is just around the corner!.................. I can dream can't I?

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