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Oh yeah, I just started reading the Waid/Samnee run and I fell in love with the design. Plus, I think I figured out how to make the full concept work: standard cane, separated billy clubs and grappling hook all in one prop, unlike what the 2003 movie did (and the Netflix series didn't even attempt.)Such a fun solution to a weird old comicbook design concept.
I think you're overthinking the mechanism, What you want to achieve sounds a lot like the joint in the old "Magic Snake" toys
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Each joint could rotate like you suggested
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I'd make it like this.
1. Blank off each end of the pipe.
2. Drill center hole
3 Thread through this bolt with the washers held in place with thick springs.
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I think I have that right. The springs hold the washers tight against the blanking space, but give you enough movement to rotate.
Alternatively, buy a Magic Snake and gut it!!
This is a great solution! Since I'm working with aluminum tubing I'll probably 3d print the blanks so they fit snug, but since they have to rotate exactly 180 degrees I'll probably use pins and grooves as opposed to a guide slot.Center the hole in the 'cut' plane so when rotated, the ends line up properly. You could also use a pin & curved slot to limit the rotation to the correct angle.
Yeah, unfortunately weight is an issue for the project I have in mind so billet would be a bit overkillToo bad you can't make it from solid billet so it has some real strength. Also, one other possibility is to use a sprung, pass-through steel cable instead of pivot bolts. You'd still want a 'locking' mechanism of some kind to keep it 'clicked' in place, but with the pins & grooves, you could limit the amount (and direction) of the 'twist stress' imparted to the cable.