Bench Press Message Board #1
Project Sheet
creation: August 3, 2021, thru …

This Message Board is being created in an attempt to significantly improve Five Slat Message Board #1.


October 13, 2021:  The Message Board is Under Construction

There has been a lot going on since the last post…but most of it is not related to Bench Press Message Board #1.  So…back at it.

When I created the 5 Slat Message Board I ended up being not satisfied with the message board itself.  I felt that there was too much space between the slats.  One of my goals with the Bench Press Message Board is to make a message board that has minimal space between the slats.

I created an operating side view of the slat design…and was, therefore, able to understand the mathematics of it all.  This most recent attempt at a message board is much better than my prior attempt.  Tonight I will be modifying the ‘bearing chassis file to further reduce the spacing by 1mm per slat, which I suspect is as tight as I can get it.  Then I’ll add the gears and the idler gears and should be done.

The slats that you see are two-layer.  A 1/16″ inside and a 1/32″ outside make up each slat.  Each slat is held onto its frame with magnets.  This allows the slats to be changed out.

You can also see that the biped has been completed and painted.  This is the first time that I have used a fully 3D-printed head.

The Bench Press Message Board is under construction. September 13, 2021
The Bench Press Message Board biped gets his colors. September 8, 2021

September 4, 2021:  The Biped Motion is Final

One of the things of importance that has happened is my discovery of a software program called MeshMixer.  Meshmixer, from my point of view, is a digital sculpting program.  In the past I’ve 3D printed skulls and then using an epoxy modeling clay, I’ve added skin and muscle.  While giving me passable results, I’ve not been happy.  Meshmixer allows me to sculpt a head to a configuration that I’m satisfied with.  In this case, I’ve downloaded a head and added a bit of flesh to the cheeks, and have brightened the smile a bit.  I then printed the complete head (minus the hair).  I’m pleased that I’ve found this method of creating heads…I feel much more in control and know that after a few more of these I’ll be closer to reliably creating the character that I want.

The image shows that I’ve mounted the three proximity sensor chassis and the motor.  I’ve 3D printed the cam.  This is my first 3D-printed cam.  I’m doing this as a test.  I wanted to see how easy it is to actually program the shape of the cam (it’s easy), and I want to see how well the cam stands the test of time.

At this stage of creation, this automaton is working reliably and is ‘timed’ to my satisfaction.  It presently sits in my workshop and turns itself on whenever I am near.  I am now working on the message board itself.

The two black shafts that the biped is pushing up are graphite golf club shafts.

Bench Press Message Board #1 is making progress. September 4, 2021

August 21, 2021:  Getting Fitted to the Machine

I had a nice piece of dark Walnut scrap so created a very nice little bench for this guy.  He is laying on two springs, which will allow his body to move around a bit as he works out.  What I’m in the process of doing right now is fitting the different linkages together so that I’ll have the motion that I’m looking for.

Everything in the picture is temporary, with the exception of the biped and the bench.  Even the base is temporary.  As the configuration becomes reliable and after it has been ‘timed’ correctly I’ll recreate the final components.

The Bench Press Message Board biped is being fitted to his machine. Most of what you see is temporary. August 21, 2021.

August 18, 2021:  Proximity Sensor Mk 3

My inclination at this time is to create automata that are powered by motors, and that have sensors that sense the presence of a human (and that then turn on the automaton).

I am in the process of refining the proximity sensors that I use…making them smaller, more modular, and easier to construct.

Pictured are the three proximity sensor chassis and the biped.  As I have constructed this version of the proximity sensor I am relatively comfortable with its design, size, and arrangement.  This design or something very similar will most likely become standard on my automata.  The three chassis give more mounting options that if everything was in one chassis.

One of the improvements that I have made is the choice of the on-off switch.  I have been using toggle switches.  This version uses instead a three-position lighted rocker switch.  I find that it operates much more comfortably and easily.

I am also experimenting with 3D-printed hinges in the biped joints.  You can see them in the knees, hips, and elbows.  They seem to work well and I suspect that they will be very reliable.  Time will tell.  The hands are attached to the arms with magnets.  This arrangement allows me to easily remove the biped from the automaton.  There are also magnets in the shoes that attach to the pedal.

The Bench Press Message Board Proximity Sensor and Biped under construction. August 18, 2021.

August 3, 2021:  The Carving Begins

Bench Press Message Board #1 is being created because I want to make significant improvements over the last Message Board that I created.  The first part of this build will be to create the biped.  Once completed, other components will be fitted in relation to the biped.  

I use Basswood as the base material.  I will be 3D printing some of the hinges and the head.

Bench Press Message Board #1: The Carving Begins. August 3, 2021