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mega_make

Download the design files, 3D print, assemble, glue, and save the world from alien invaders!

Mega Make’s origins are a rough sketch in my maker’s notebook, drawn in a sushi restaurant during lunch with my supervisor. The creation was to be the main protagonist in our stop-motion animated short about a giant robot fighting off an alien invasion. After much deliberation (and about a dozen California rolls) we finally agreed upon a design we both liked.

first_sketch2

Using Autodesk Inventor’s precise incremental dimensions and simple lines and curves, I recreated that drawing as a 2D digital sketch. I had the proportions, but our character also needed to move. I found some old patents online for G.I. Joe action figures that had exploded views of various articulated joints that would work on the model. I also found various images of sci-fi robots to help inspire my design.

test_sketch2

With the 2D sketch and reference material, I could start modeling the parts in 3D. I began with just the basic shapes of the torso, head, and various limbs, tweaking dimensions and contours to ensure the greatest range of motion for each piece. Once satisfied with the simple model, I could move on to my favorite part of the process: the details. I added bolts, vents, ridges, raised panels, rivets, power cells and more.

mega_make_render2

With the model finalized, I needed to break its parts down into smaller chunks for 3D printing. I spent weeks printing out the parts and attempting to put them together, only to find that I fudged a tolerance somewhere and would need to reprint everything after adjusting the design’s dimensions. Fortunately the 3D printer I use, an Up Plus, proved reliable and robust, letting me leave 12-hour prints running overnight without too much worry.

After about three weeks I had a finalized model hand-fitted and glued together. Mega Make now awaits his on-screen debut, full of moving parts and fun surprises, and I already have plans for the next one.


Comments

  1. GC says:

    If you paint the circle behind the M yellow, the M would standout better.

    1. jim says:

      I think white would be a better colour.

  2. Dan, really enjoyed seeing this! Is there any way you could follow-up with a more detailed article on your methods for attachment and assembly? I’d love to see this covered start-to-finish… have some kids in a camp next summer that I’d love to introduce this to and see what they come up with. Thanks!

  3. Jarek says:

    Hi! I think there is one piece missing in ZIP file! I don’t see knee pin!

    1. imrahil says:

      or should I use “Elbow pin” ?

      1. Dan Spangler says:

        use the elbow pin they are the same part

  4. David says:

    Trying to print one now. The stl parts are very small in kisslicer so I have scaled them x30 which will make the main chest part about 130mm across! No idea what size the origional was printed at. This will make a fairly large robot. Tried it at a smaller size 60mm across chest and some joints and parts were to small and hard to fit.

    1. Dan Spangler says:

      130mm across the chest is the actual size, the finished robot stands about 250mm tall

      1. David says:

        Thanks for that Dan, the build is going very slowly the front and back chest bits took 10 hours each then I did the next bits the shoulder joints with numbers they took ten hours to do both. Then the shoulder balls and a head took eleven hours. I’m using yellow it’s looking stunning. Going to do the pins and some parts black for contrast. Have you made one this size yet? Very keen to see your next design!

        1. Dan Spangler says:

          Ive Made two full sized robots actually the one you see above and another for demo purposes. It takes me about a week and a half of near constant printing to complete one robot. i print all the pins and small parts with solid fill but everything else i use a pretty hollow fill.

          1. David says:

            So what size do you print it at? If I printed it 1:1 it would be about 10mm wide and 20mm high. I have used a x30 scaling on the stl’s in the zip file to get the size I’m using of about 130mm (5 inches) across the chest. It seems huge and is impressive at this scale! I think I’m about 1/3 of the way through the print now. Having done the chest and all the shoulder joints. They are fitting very well BTW just need to make sure to do a very good cleanup of the material left from the supports. So hard to tell how much to still do, as I haven’t done many of the smaller parts and there are a lot of them.
            David
            Auckland, New Zealand

  5. Dan Spangler says:

    So I dimensioned all the parts in inches using Autodesk Inventor and exported the files as such. some slicer programs default to mm so 1 inch becomes 1 mm hence why everything is so small when you open it up in the slicer program. if you want the same sized model I used you would need to scale it up by 25.4 to match them up. hope this helps David, Also my chief editor asked if you would be willing to send us photos of your progress we love to see other peoples builds.

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