Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Fusion Drive Spaceship Carrying Case Project

With the redesign of the Fusion Drive Spaceship still in the works, I have been also steadily working on a carrying case for the spaceship model. The best estimate that I can give anyone at this point is that the spaceship will take right around 200 hours work to complete.  With all of that work put into the model I thought it best to protect it by building a carrying case to keep it from getting damaged in transport to and from a local makerspace or an up coming maker fair in June.  So with that in mind I wanted to get this post out to keep you all up to date on what I have been up to in the workshop.

This is what I came up with for the final look for the carrying case.  I remembered years ago when my sisters or mother had a sewing machine that they had a carrying case to transport it.  It had a base where the machine set with an upper lid that covered and locked on to it.  I thought this would work perfectly well for the spaceship model carrying case.

Here is what the spaceship model would look like once it has been placed inside the carrying case. The blue colored columns mounted into the base are designed to support the front section of the model as well as the engine pods as shown in the photo above.  These columns will help stabilize the model while it is being transported and keep it from getting damaged.

I started construction of the carrying case by gluing together a large sheet of 1/4" foam core and 1"x1" Styrofoam edges.  These edges I cut on my band saw from standard Styrofoam sheeting used in home construction.  To attach the foam edging to the foam core I used a hot glue gun so it was a fast and simple part of this project to work on.

 Once the base edging foam was in place I was able to glue on the wooden edging and corner foam to form the base for the carrying case.

 The wooden side sections of the base were glued in place using wood glue.  I was able to get a nice fit in the corners so with a little masking tape I was able to hold all of the pieces firmly in place until the glue had dried.

In this photo you can see the construction of the lid for the carrying case.  It was put together in the same manner as the base but with smaller wooden inserts for the latches that will be added later on in the build. 

All of the foam edges for the lid were hot glued in place. I then rounded all the outside edges of the lid using my router table and some hand sanding. After fiberglassing the outside I then was abe to make the inside foam concave by using a hot wire tool for that purpose.  This made the fiberglassing of the inside of the lid much easier as the square edges would have created a lot more work and not have give me a nice smooth design on the inside.

The small inserts on the ends of the lid will be where the metal handles will be installed to carry the case when it is in use.  This insert was made using 1/4" wood and a small spacer to get the depth that I wanted for the handles so they did not stick out on the ends of the case.  

Here the base and lid for the case have been completely assembled.  I still will need to round the outside corners on the base and do the fiberglassing but the rest of the work is in order at this moment. 

When the initial build of the case has been completed I will add the four inch wide stiffeners to the outer surface of the case as shown in the photo above.  At this point all of the fiberglass will have been laid down. It then will have to be sanded smooth, primed and painted.  Then I can add the latching hardware, handles and the support parts for the spaceship model itself that will be in the base.  So as you can see I have my work cut out for myself in the coming weeks with all that needs to be done on this rather large case.  It will be 15.5" wide 15.5" tall 30.5" long.  I also plan on covering the inside of the case with felt to put the finishing touches on it. 

This carrying case will be just as impressive as the model that it will carry and should protect it very well in the coming years.  It will also make a nice display stand for the model when I do show it at the local maker fairs coming this year.  I will post more once I get closer to putting the final touches to this big project.

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