Elysium Max Exoskeleton

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mtalik1990

New Member
Hi friend. I'm sorry, I understand that rushed to the issue. I do not think the answers. I come from Central Asia. Stumbled upon your work, I am delighted. I want to collect himself a suit, but no 3d model. I understand that you are trying very hard, I have a huge request to you, please share model. To be honest, I can not pay you, as Turkmenistan is not possible to pay via visa. Let's take a closer look, maybe I can help you than anything else. My email mtalik1990@gmail.com
 

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01binary

Member
Funny story - lost password, email got hacked and RPF's contact form is broken, so I'm newly reincarnated :)

The project is now on Github, and includes original CAD files, STL exports for printing, and OBJ exports for rendering:
https://github.com/01binary/elysium-max-exoskeleton

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Since last post, I spent December through July polishing 3D printed parts (about 8 months total). Very satisfied with the quality. Many parts look 100% injection molded, no "indie" look left on them at all. Slept in a gas mask for a month after polishing dust become so thick in my bedroom that I had nightmares of choking in quicksand. Got an air purifier and cleaned it up.


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At the same time, I became more familiar with silicone & wax casting. I noticed my hackerspace had a vacuum oven, and it came in handy in eliminating wax bubbles after pouring into silicone. Perfect wax positives from the 3D parts!

DSCF1594.JPG

Starting August I took 3 months off for career development. Rewarded with a new job and a more robust project budget.

I fired a plaster mold at the end of last summer in an attempt to melt out the wax, but it broke apart so I decided I wanted to try a higher-quality investment casting process - the whole nine yards with primary slurry, backup slurry, 3 types of sand, wax burn-out and curing the ceramic shell in a kiln:
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This mold also broke as soon as I fired it in a kiln, probably because I was tired and ramped the temperature too quickly. In addition, I started a wax fire and burned out the bottom coils of the kiln... So today I ordered a burnout oven with programmatic temperature control:

https://github.com/01binary/elysium-max-exoskeleton/issues/75

This investment casting stuff's pretty tough! I also had to get a #4 Zahn cup for slurry viscosity measurement, a water de-ionizer to clean wax models before dipping in slurry and to mix slurry. A propeller mixer to mix & stir the giant bucket of slurry. Of course the prop mixer had weird power requirements so I had to get a voltage inverter. Inverter arrived but didn't have ground so I got another one... Got micro-crystalline casting wax for making sprues on the wax parts cast out of silicone, and a torch to attach them. Torch came in with no regulators. Ordered the regulators and propane/oxygen tanks. Got a new forge because the one I was planning to use belonged to someone else and they broke it. Nobody sold fittings to connect it to a propane tank. Got propane tank and kit to put together the fittings... You get the idea :) These sufferings and more described in detail in the Github project:

https://github.com/01binary/elysium-max-exoskeleton/projects/1

IMG_3119.JPGIMG_3096.JPGIMG_3125.JPG

Last of all, some extra 3D parts for future projects. Chainsaw knuckle-dusters (as seen earlier):

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...and cyber shades + cyber jaw:

jawshades.JPG

...based on a design concept I sketched on a journal ad while flying.

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AlphaTech686

Active Member
This is a wonderful build. I really appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this. I'm getting close to my second year on Grommash and have learned many things and had many fails. I am trying to understand the casting that you are doing with the wax models. I am guessing you are planning on casting those pieces in some type of metal?
 

01binary

Member
I am following the "industrial" version of the investment casting process mixed with some elements of jewelry-making and sclupture/art casting:

http://www.ransom-randolph.com/ceramic-shell.html
http://www.ransom-randolph.com/cs-intro-to-ceramic-shell-casting.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJsAFLM0RWk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMzSS3BnMLs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mkrY4i3ODU

Going to try Aluminum and Zamack as far as metal:

http://www.budgetcastingsupply.com/category-s/1857.htm
https://www.amazon.com/TEMCo-Aluminum-Tooling-Sheet-Plate/dp/B00ZS6J854/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1483330442&sr=8-3&keywords=aluminum+stock

And machinable wax (extra hard so it doesn't break when parts with thin edges are being demolded):

https://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-H9039-Machinable-Block-1-534/dp/B006SJDHT8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483330484&sr=8-1&keywords=machinable+wax

DSCF1597.JPG

Lastly, the silicone (I get 3 boxes of 1-gallon unit every few weeks):

https://www.smooth-on.com/products/dragon-skin-10-medium/

The basic process is following (to be documented on my website and Github wiki in more detail):

- Create a box mold for the model to be cast. I use wood and children's modeling clay because it holds together well enough for silicone but makes it easy to break apart the box to take out the silicone mold. I usually recover both the wood and the modeling clay, and clean wood with turpentine before using it for another box.

- Drill holes in the box and tap them, to hold the model inside the box. Silicone causes them to float to the surface if not secured, or rotate in ways you don't want.

- Put Vaseline on every inside surface of the molding box so it's easy to demold, as silicone does not stick to it.

- Soften brown micro-crystalline sculpture wax and use it to make sprues for the plastic model. These sprues will create channels in silicone for the wax to go through once the plastic model is removed. Flare the ends of the sprues to create a funnel for the wax to go in:
https://www.amazon.com/Sculpture-House-Microcrystalline-Wax-lb/dp/B004BNDNII/ref=sr_1_1?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1483331407&sr=8-1&keywords=microcrystalline+sculpture+wax

- Place the model in the box and secure with screws, using threaded holes made earlier.

- Spray model with silicone release agent.

- Pour silicone parts A and B into degassing chamber that's on top of a shipping scale. I measure 1:1 precisely with the digital read-out:
http://www.bestvaluevacs.com/1-gallon-flat-stainless-steel-w-3-cfm-single-stage-pump.html
https://www.amazon.com/Weighmax-2822-75LB-shipping-Battery-Included/dp/B002U4OEDS/ref=sr_1_12?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1483331159&sr=1-12&keywords=shipping+scale

- Mix silicone for 3 minutes, as thorough as possible. Use only vinyl gloves as silicone will react badly to other materials.

- Seal degassing chamber and degass for 5 minutes while vibrating the table the vibration tumbler:
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-lb-metal-vibrator-tumbler-67617.html

- Pour silicone into mold after degassing, and leave for the night with the tumbler running.

- Break apart the box, clean all surfaces with paint thinner, and recover both wood and modeling clay for the next box.

- Clean the outside of the silicone mold with goo-gone or paint thinner.

- De-mold the model inside using X-acto knife, taking care to key the mold using zizag cuts.

- Recover & clean the model, and also recover the brown wax from the sprues to use for next cast.

- Melt wax in a wax melting pot:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRESTO-WAX-MELTER-FOR-CANDLES-OR-TARTS-CANDLE-MAKING-SUPPLIES-/330777069171?hash=item4d03d98673:g:gLAAAOSwCGVYBmNR

- Pour wax into silicone mold, using holes on the top where the sprues ended. If the ends of the sprues were flared, they will create several small funnels at the top where wax can be poured. This is for one-part molds, which most of mine are.

- Place the silicone mold with wax still liquid into a degassing oven, already pre-heated to 480 F. Degass the wax while liquid at 29 Hg to get the air bubbles out.

- After 10 minutes of degassing, take the silicone mold out and set to cool. Wax takes about 20-30 minutes to cool enough to prevent deform. Take the wax model out of the silicone mold.

- Soften sculpting wax and use to make sprues, this time for the wax model.

- When completely cooled, wash the wax positive with de-ionized water.

- Prepare primary slurry by mixing it with a dual propeller mixer for 10-15 minutes.

- Measure slurry viscosity with #4 Zahn Cup. If contents of the cup leak out in less than 15 seconds, add de-ionized water to slurry.

- Dip wax positive in primary slurry, and sift Zircon sand on it.

- Set to dry for the night, and repeat the primary coat 2 more times.

- Propeller-mix secondary slurry. Dip wax positive in secondary slurry, and sift sand "A" on it (larger grit). Set to dry for the night, and repeat 2 more times.

- Propeller-mix secondary slurry. Dip wax positive in secondary slurry, and sift sand "B" on it (largest grit). Set to dry for the night, and repeat 2 more times.

- Drill through the sprue ends to open the shell to let wax burn out.

- Place the ceramic coated wax model into burn-out oven, already preheated. Slowly take up to 400-600 F and wait until wax melts out through the sprues.

- After wax melts out, fire the empty shell at 1000 F for the whole night.

- Put the empty shell into a metal or wooden box packed with any cheap sand (just for safety) and pour metal into the main sprue.

In my case, repeat for each of the 300 exoskeleton parts. Of course I will have to do a batch of 5-10 parts each week, since the entire process takes about 8 days. Rough estimate of 1.3 years to finish casting :)
 
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01binary

Member
Cast some wax positives today without extra steps like degassing, just to have some models to practice investment casting on. Noticed that I should add even more sprues than I think I need (takes forever but really pays off). The skipped steps also make tons of difference, as the surfaces have many bubbles and the models have missing fills.

wax.png

I couldn't polish the 3D-printed spacers for casting because the angles were too challenging (cylinder with a hard edge on the cone, etc) so I just submitted a lathe/machining order to First Cut. Enough "long" and "short" spacers for two exosuits:

spacers.png
 

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Sundowner

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Cast some wax positives today without extra steps like degassing, just to have some models to practice investment casting on. Noticed that I should add even more sprues than I think I need (takes forever but really pays off). The skipped steps also make tons of difference, as the surfaces have many bubbles and the models have missing fills.

View attachment 695005

I couldn't polish the 3D-printed spacers for casting because the angles were too challenging (cylinder with a hard edge on the cone, etc) so I just submitted a lathe/machining order to First Cut. Enough "long" and "short" spacers for two exosuits:

View attachment 695007
I think you should create your own thread since you have a lot of content so your not hijacking someone else's build thread.
 

MIMIC

Sr Member
This deserves a round of applause. Ive seen the movie a couple of times and upon clicking on this thread, expected a poly-pipe type frame and some hydraulic type looking parts, but this is high tech! lol, love it.
 

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01binary

Member
Thanks for continued support - especially joberg, really appreciate it.

The wax from last weekend has a few coats of sand & slurry, still building the shells. I found an Airgas store that could crimp on some fittings for my forge, so it's ready to be fired when the shells are ready & wax melted out. A burn-out oven for melting out the wax has arrived but was the wrong size and I had to return it.

shells.png

Boxed parts ready to create silicone molds:

molds.png

I set a milestone to finish both arms all the way down to fingers before working on other parts of the exo-suit. The arms are the most detailed and have the most difficult parts, so that should be good practice.

Silicone being degassed:

degassing1.pngdegassing2.png

As usual, my silicone chamber blew up (something has to happen every week) and the one above is the replacement :)

Will have some in-action pics and videos when I have more time.
 
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Takanuva

Jr Member
Holy cow, this looks like it came straight from the movie! This is easily one of the most impressive builds on this forum that I've seen, and I'd put it next to sandbagger's steel suit of Iron Man armor in terms of realism and effort. You've put tons of effort and detail into this, and built things that some of us could only dream of.

I can't wait to see what you build for your industrial metal band. If you play guitar, that exoskeleton will give your axe some mean buckle rash.
 
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joberg

Master Member
Epic is not a qualifier for that project...actually, there isn't a one word qualifier left. Blood, Sweat and Tears are the qualifiers for that Pro-Job:cool
 

01binary

Member
This weekend finished another batch of silicone casting, did another layer on the investment shells, and got some new tools to finally work.

Propeller mixer's power inverter came in, and the controller box with a weird Russian-looking power+sense line regulates it:

prop01.png prop02.png

The torch saves tons of time welding sprues by making the wax sticky and melting it in less than a second:

torch01.png torch02.png

All of the supplies for metal casting came in (last ones were the oxygen tablets to help with entrapped air, ceramic pouring filters, a ladle to scoop up dross from the top, and some protective gear:

forge01.png forge02.png
 

joberg

Master Member
This build is going to another level all together...I think you're hitting number 11 on your amp:cool
 

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01binary

Member
Thanks! Had another weekend of failure - shells cracked after 10 minutes in the kiln, before even reaching 90F. This time I pre-heated the kiln, took it through a full cycle, stopped, pre-heated again, put in the shells, and counted off 30 minutes before increasing temperature. This didn't help - apparently the temperature ramp is still too fast.

I hope that when my vacuum oven comes in, the programmatic control is going to help with melting out wax, and then I can use kiln to fire the empty shells, when there is no danger of cracking due to expanding wax.

First shell fired 2 weeks ago:

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Second round fired today:

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Had quite a snow day at the hackerspace. Winter temperatures are making all this a lot more difficult :)

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joberg

Master Member
Trial and error, or the good old "Blood, Sweat and Tears"...tricky process for sure. You're a very patient man.
 

01binary

Member
When you start getting into more technical stuff (industrial-scientific supplies and whitepapers) I find that the usual straight-ahead approach ceases to work and can result in a lot of time waste. The "continue forward any chance you get, and get breakthroughs through trial and error" works when you suspect you have a problem with procrastination, but with increasing complexity you have to start treating research as part of the work and front-load it before taking action.

Turns out shell cracking was due to specific wax I am using, which either requires extremely large & tough shells, or to be flash-fired (hit with 1800F immediately without a ramp). Basically, the opposite of the other advice I was following, which of course was based on casting with a different type of wax.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:hjov11owyfYJ:tomwade.me/tw/machinist/machinable-wax.pdf+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
Machinable Wax can be used for Investment Casting applications only if it can be flash fired out of the molds at a temperature of 1800 degrees F. The reason the high temperature is required is because the wax expands so much when going from a solid to a liquid that it will crack the ceramic shell unless it goes into that high temperature so quickly that the material will just disintegrate before this change occurs.
[Edit]

It's very funny how the world works. I called a wax supplier with my shell cracking problem, and he asked what the melting point of my wax was (and in fact, I am using two waxes, so difference in melting point could also be the issue). Amazon has no technical data on the wax what-so-ever. I called the distributor (Grizzly) and the engineer was surprised to note they had no specs on it either - basically they are selling blue blocks of magic. However, they were buying it from another manufacturer called Freeman, who finally gave me a link to the tech sheet:

https://www.freemansupply.com/datasheets/Freeman/MachWax.pdf
 
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01binary

Member
Last weekend I finally received the new vacuum oven, after 2+ weeks of being on the phone with FedEx and even trying to pick it up at the shipping center. Dimensions and weight listed on eBay were way below what the package actually was, so it wouldn't fit into my car and required at least two people to move.

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Also got real investment casting wax, instead of crap from Amazon:

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First experiment:

04.png

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...and of course failure. I still need to test if the new wax no longer cracks the shells, but then I have to go back to the drawing board on making silicone molds. De-molding parts with thin edges is impossible (was very hard even with machinable wax). I need to up the silicone game and come up with some 2-, 3- and 4-part molds for complex shapes.

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Detail reproduction seems good however, and vacuum oven did a great job on filling out almost all the thin edges and bridges.
 

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