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My friend and yours, Gareth Branwyn, heard I was testing the Epilog Zing laser cutter and asked if I could cut him the parts for a 4Volt Jansen Walker. Gar is a robot master and a steampunk to the core (check out his Lost Knowledge issue of MAKE magazine for more proof) so I figured clear acrylic wouldn’t do it. He needed a wooden walker! I’m going to convince him to purchase brass nuts and bolts for the build, and maybe he can use small steam engines instead of servos and swap in a Babbage Machine for the Arduino…

I downloaded the parts files from Thingiverse, pulled them into Corel Draw, prepped them on a single 16″ x 12″ page, and fired it off. After about 20 minutes of cutting (OK, I was just sipping a cocktail watching it cut) the parts were all done. If you look closely there are some strange curves that became segmented or non-tangent. It turns out a single bolt in the laser optics assembly had wiggled loose. I paused the cutting, tightened the bolt, and the remaining cuts were perfect. I kind of hope these anomalies will enhance the organic nature of the design.

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We’ll have to bug Gar to pick up the story from here once I ship the parts to him!

Here’s the original, inspiring, wonderful, otherworldly Jansen Walker that inspired Mr. 4Volt.

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


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