Well, I'm well on my way with this build and now I have finished construction of my CNC machine (router & large 3D Print Bed). After calibrating and some testing, my first meaningful project with it was to cut a full set of Birch pieces for another pair of Legs and Center Ankle. This worked beautifully. I was more than happy with the results and seriously considered (for a moment) abandoning the R6 Legs that I had started. However, I was far enough along that I had to see the first set completed… I couldn’t waste the time I had already put into them. The new pieces will be a good start on my next Astromech! (To be honest, my Hand Cut layers were every bit as good and accurate as the CNC cut ones… the only thing I missed was the ability to pre-drill accurate holes)
Once I had the body built, and a skirt attached, I knew that I needed to get a dome sitting on it ASAP. I decided that I’d stick to what was working, and build a composite dome. I thought that I could rough out an R6 Dome to be molded and cast in a weekend so that I’d have a place-holder piece to help visualize things as I moved forward. Of course, the weekend turned into a week.
I had the rough form of the R6-T3x body on my bench, with a Skirt attached and a place-holder dome sitting on top… time to re-visit the legs. So, going back to where I left off, I had the legs assembled and drilled for attachment to the body. I next wanted to get the Ankles Beefy. I began by modeling the Beefies in Fusion. I had decided that they would be attached to the Legs with Glue and Screws so I added counter-sunk screw holes to the model. These were then printed in ABS with a .20mm Layer Height and medium infill.
Once I got my Beefy Ankles mounted and sanded to a nice smooth finish, I then primed the legs again and moved on to the Ankle Brackets.
I’m cutting my Ankle Bracket out of 0.125” Aluminum. It really would have been a natural for me to draw these up in CAD and send them to my CNC, but honestly, my bandsaw makes such quick work of this stuff, and I was already in the Lab and didn’t feel like heading to my office. (I made extensive use of my CNC aluminum cutting abilities later on)
With all my talk earlier about the Legs, I neglected to mention the Center Ankle, which I built at the same time and, basically, the same way. Really nothing ground breaking here, just another Birch Ankle. The ankle is attached to a piece of ½” Birch ply with screws and lags (shown in these pictures with temporary Spruce). This Birch plate is then bolted thru the bottom of my Body Cylinder and attaches to my simple Frame, which in turn ties all three legs together keeping them rigid. This frame, which I’ll discuss here later was a concession that I made while I was experimenting with my Frameless Body Design. I was closing in on this frameless body, but got impatient and wanted to get going on this droid before I had perfected my leg attachments. In the end I wound up using a simple frame after all.