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Scratch Build: Rey's Speeder


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Here's your Monday Mod Update for March 27th..

Got the Primochill pump and res mounted!  About the only place I could mount the pump was in between the motherboard and fans.  It was a tight squeeze, but it will fit!  Using the rubber gasket, I marked the holes to drill for the mounting brackets.


After positioning the pump directly on the mobo tray, I noticed the top input port was just a little off-center, case-wise..


...so I added a 1/4" shim to bring it out.


Now it lines up perfectly with the reservoir.


I wanted to put the Primochill CTR tube res across the top, so I positioned it in the center using a piece of tape to support it while I took measurements.






Once I took down all the measurements, I jumped into Sketchup and whipped up a special two-piece mounting bracket to cradle the res, with mounting tabs on each end.


Exported the STL and printed out two sets in ABS.


These took just about 1 1/2 hours to print.


Brackets installed, and res supported!


But... just when I think I'm done and can move onto the next thing, I find out there's a problem.. With the res in the center of the case, I won't have room for the video card!  Back to the drawing board...


Going back into Sketchup, I revise my bracket design to move the reservoir over 3/4", but still using the same top pieces.  The old centered bracket is on the bottom, with the revised offset bracket on top..


With the new bottoms printed, I now have room for the video card.


Great, but now what about the tubing lining up with the pump input port?


Not a problem with the CTR res and it's 4-port top cap! I can just choose the next hole over. But I was lazy and simply rotated the cap 90º until the tube lined up again. :D


Only thing left to mount now is the video card, and I should be able to take care of that tonight or tomorrow. With the res bracket now holding the top securely in place, I just have to come up with a bottom bracket for the IO plate to sit on.

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Another item I managed to check off the list over the weekend was the rear stabilizers.  Pretty simple construction, just a couple pieces of 1/8" styrene, metal brackets and some hardware..

The stabilizers are the slightly curved vanes that are mounted vertically on each side of the engine pods.  A nice basic shape that didn't take very long to cut out of 1/8" styrene sheet and round the corners.  I used my heat gun to add a slight bend to them.


Next was to fab up a bracket to hold the stabilizers in place.  I bent two pieces of 1/2" flat bar to fit around the 1" box tubing.


They just slide onto the tubing like so, and then I drilled some holes for a couple 1/4" threaded rods.  The bottom one also serves to join the two brackets together in the middle.


I cut a slot in each engine nozzle so they would fit over the brackets.


The top nozzle was drilled out on each side so the threaded rod goes completely through.


Taking advantage of the 3D printer once again, I whipped up some more custom brackets that bolt onto the back of the stabilizers..


..and they just slide onto the rods.




And there you go.. I still need to cut down the fasteners so they are flush to match the threaded rod.  I'm also looking into some different nuts to use.. maybe some acorn nuts or something that resembles rivet heads.


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Lots of printing done over the weekend!  Got the whole front nose assembled too. :)

I started with the grill pieces.. These were printed a few weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until I had the entire front completed before posting pics. I was able to print the main grill as one piece..


But for the trim, I had to cut it in half to fit it onto the bed. So I'll have to fill in the seam later.


I also had to print the nose piece in two parts because it was so long.  Had a bit of a mishap on the first attempt, as one of the legs tipped over mid-print due to it losing adhesion to the bed. But I was actually impressed with how it was able to correct itself and continue on.  


With a few modifications to the design and adding a raft, I was able to successfully print the bottom half of the nose.


Then while printing the top half, the power went out and I had to restart the print, again.  But I didnt want to start completely over this time, so I shortened the model to just print the rest of it. Here are all the pieces taped together.


And with the center grill assembly..




I used Weld-On #4 to tack the pieces together, and will come back over the seams with filler to strengthen those areas.  But for now, it's good enough to hold its shape and not have to use any tape.


Next up is the bottom bracket, which I pretty much completed over the weekend as well.  Oh, and then there's this too...


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Here is the bottom IO panel progress..

I cut a piece out of an old Thermaltake panel to use for the bottom panel, utilizing the built-in mesh grill for ventilation.  I've already cut out the IO opening for the motherboard.


Got it in place, and marking the area for the graphics card.


Speaking of graphics cards, EVGA sent me this little gem!


Now I can use it for mocking up instead of that crummy old Titan. ...KIDDING! :P


I also got the actual PCIe riser cable I'll be using in the build, from Li Heat.


Both card and cable installed and in place to finish up the bottom plate.


..and done. The plate really serves to stiffen up the frame structure as well.


One final shot of graphics card pr0n..


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Got some work to show, despite being in LA on Saturday for a modding workshop at Newegg, and then coming down with a cold shortly thereafter..


Since the motherboard orientation is such that the IO panel is facing down, I needed to make a new panel at the back of the speeder for easier accessibility.  And that's where these panel mount extension cables come in!  I love these things.  Here are the USB 3.0 cables.. one connects to the motherboard, while the other two plug into the mobo's IO.


And here's the ethernet and displayport.  I had to go with a shorty DP cable and a F/F adapter as that's the only thing they had for DP that was a panel mount.


And last but not least, the power cable extension..  Home-made, using a standard power cable that was cut down, and a socket pilfered from an old psu.


I cut out a piece of aluminum to fit just underneath the engine tubes at the rear bulkhead.  After positioning the extensions, I proceeded to cut out the holes one by one.  I put a piece of painter's tape over the actual plug and cut out the holes, then transferred the tape over to the new panel and marked it. It's not the most accurate method, but it gets me in the ball park, and once most of the material is removed, I just use the actual cable as reference from there on out to get it perfect.


Continuing on, I got the USB ports done as well..  Another cool thing about panel mounts, is that you can use the other end to test fit your hole!


And here's the finished panel-mount panel with panel-mounts mounted to the panel. :P


Will show pics of the panel installed on the bulkhead next..


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Here's the top panel progress..

The total length of the top panel is about 14", and that is right at the max height of my printer. But I didn't want to push it, so I broke it up into two separate prints.  This is the main part.


So far, so good..


..and it finished!  Total print time, 17hrs.


This part is 9 1/2" tall.  The next part will be easier since it has a cutaway for the instrument panel and windshield.


A shot of the panel on the case..


Fits on there pretty well!  I'll have a couple metal cross braces underneath that will match the curvature of the panel, and give it something to fasten to.


And of course, I run out of filament with only 1/2" left to go!  Fortunately, it was easy to pause the print and re-thread with a new spool.. except I don't have any more white, and all I have in PLA is pink (from my daughter's rose case) and purple.  So, purple it is! :P




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Here's the IO panel installed on the back bulkhead, under the engines.


A reverse shot of the other side..


Moving up to the instrument panel, where the power button will be located, as well as the 2nd set of USB ports. I might throw a couple LEDs in there, if time allows.


I have to cut down the bulkhead a bit, and make some other adjustments so all the pieces mate up better. Also will be adding a piece of styrene to fill in above the top instrument panel.


Here's the progress on the exhaust ports, starting with the 3D model in Sketchup..


..printing..  I repositioned the top plate to print vertically next to all the tubes.. otherwise I'd need a lot of support material, which would be a waste.


After a bit of cleanup, the top plate presses nicely over the tubes.  Now I just need to cut a few holes in the bottom panel to mount it on the Speeder.



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Working off of reference pics, I whipped up a model of the steering control unit.


The printer made quick work of the small parts..


Some basic cleanup before initial assembly.  I printed the base with a 1/2" hole through it so I could just use a piece of acylic tube as the pivot rod.


After putting it together, I added some wooden dowels for the handles.


But after reviewing the reference pic again, I realized I assembled the steering arms backwards!  Luckily I hadn't glued them together yet, so it was a quick fix. Now it looks more like the actual thing. :)


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Here's my smoothing technique.. since directly sanding the PLA doesn't work too well (the friction just creates heat and gums up the plastic, making the surface more rough), I decided to coat the panels with an epoxy putty.  It's a two-part system that you knead together into a dough.  After a few hours it hardens to a strong but light-weight substance.



Using gloves, I just smear the putty onto the surface of the panels.  Once cured, it's much easier to sand than the PLA.


I sand down until I start seeing the ridges of the PLA, leaving all the valleys filled.


Here's the bottom panel. There are a few divots here and there, and I'll go back and spot fill those.


After sanding all the panels, I had to throw them onto the case for an overall look.  Then I decided to test the hovering capabilities as well..


Getting the repulsorlifts dialed in!  Of course, once I add all the hardware, I'll have to re-adjust them to account for the added weight.  :P


Less than 2 weeks to go!  Hope I can make it..


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Ok, time for the Monday Modding Update! :)

Getting down to the wire now, with about 10 days left in the competition.  I was hoping to get the Speeder primed and all one color over the weekend, but things never work out the way you want.  But I'm really close and should have it prepped and ready to paint this evening!  Fingers crossed..  

Anyway, here is what I did manage to get done.. Mounted the exhaust ports onto the bottom panel by cuttin a few holes to match the four pipes.


Of course, in my haste, I cut the small holes too large and had to add a support piece in behind with the correct size holes.  I used the plate as my template, but forgot that the small tubes were smaller at the other end.  doh!


Thankfully I didnt make the same mistake on the other side lol..


Onto the side panels. Luckily I didn't have to print any of this since they are just flat panels, and my printer is still down.  So I used .08" thick styrene sheet.  Going off the reference pics, I drew up the design for the panel sections and seams.


I used thinner sheets to make the subpanels that break up the flat surface. I also curved the left end of the panel to create the waste-gate, or gills that are on each side of the speeder.


A closer up shot of the front gill.  I cut away the center portion of the front nose, and will add some wire mesh in behind for effect.


Then I added some faux hinges on the right to simulate an access panel.


Movin on to the other side, this panel will be a bit more involved, since it has the video card fans, and will have a window integrated into it so you can see all the PC components inside.


After taking measurements withe the EVGA 1080 SC2 in place, I figured out where the fan grills were going to be, so I started cutting the slots out.  Beginning with pilot holes for each slot, I used the scroll saw to finish the job.


Slots cut, now I can figure out the rest of the panel, and where the window will go.  I must have gone through 6 or 7 different designs before settling on one I liked.


Even with the window as large as I could make it, I decided to go with a barn door style hinged panel so I could open it up completely.


I finally get to use these acrylic hinges I've had laying around for a couple years. These will go on the window side..


..and just standard metal hinges for the left.  I'm splitting the barn doors right at the fan grills.


Hinges on!


And a close up of the acrylic hinges.


Now with the panels finally done, I can start prepping for paint!  I still have a few items left to fabricate, like the windshield, seat, and some random engine detail parts, but the main body is complete.  I spent the last few hours on Sunday smoothing all the remaining parts with the epoxy putty, and will be sanding everything tonight, and hopefully get things primed.  Then I'll be painting and detailing the rest of the week.

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