5 hours and Oh buggar!

It is all very well to say measure twice and cut once but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  Today I successfully completed a proof of concept so I moved on to the project brim full of confidence.  Yes, pride doth cometh before the fall.

The proof of concept project took a little over 12 hours.  And yes I was very pleased with myself.  Have you seen the ‘The Fifth Element’?  A Sci-fi classic from 1997.  Love it!  In one scene the  major character, Leeloo, proudly displays her ‘multi-pass’.  Every true sci-fi nut the world over has at least once displayed their Id card and declared ‘multipass’.  I have been searching for one for years and always found the few film props are prohibitively expensive when they come up for auction.  eBay is awash with Chinese thieves selling their ‘rare genuine’ collectibles.

The world of 3D printing has opened a door into the Garden of Paradise which is the ‘Makers World’.  Film prop giants like Adam Savage, of Myth Busters fame, stride the garden like gods.  They make exquisite replicas and publish Youtubes of their construction process.  Several lesser gods, but still talented designers and artists, populate the bazaars and markets of internet land.  Amazingly, so much of their work is available for free, zero, zip, zilch, nix, nada.  A bottomless wishing well of delights for the thirsty nerd.

Soooo, I found a few Multipass models.  Some good, some not so good.  Some correctly sized, some not.  Some correctly detailed, lots not.  I picked a few, downloaded the plans and reviewed them.  I chose one that was sized for a credit card insert but didn’t have the reverse face.  It took about a day to play with the back side (snigger) and print several tests.  On Monday morning I started the 4 hour print and ‘praise be to Geoffrey’ the three sections printed perfectly.  An hours worth of post processing, sanding, scraping and super gluing created my finished proof of concept.  Who’s a clever boy then.

So smarty pants started updating the full size model.  No simple task but I attacked it with gusto.  Creating cylinders for the button battery, cavities for the wiring and cutouts for the LED module.  I had no idea what I was doing but it looked good and felt great.  The card has two parts, a front face and back plate.  The cylinders and tunnels had to be cut into both sides and had to line up.  Don’t panic!!  The 4.5 hour print started.  At 5:00 pm it looked good.  At 5:05 I discovered that everything lined up, BONUS!  At 5:10 I realised that nothing fitted.  Due to the vagaries of the printer filament, the tolerances were just a wee bit NOT RIGHT!!  The measurements had been perfect but all the cavities, circular and rectangular, were too small.  It is going to be a case of tweak a setting here, tweak a setting there, increase the infill, decrease the expansion and all that other shit. Followed by another 2 hour test print. Well it helps pass the night, doesn’t it?  Tomorrow’s a new day.

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