Elysium Max Exoskeleton

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joberg

Master Member
Man, I admire your stamina:cool Lot's of trials and errors, but in the end, it'll be total victory when you'll produce pieces, again and again, with the same quality every time.
Looking forward to your next update!
 

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01binary

Member
A mini-update, hope it's not disappointing :)

The experiment to see if shells will crack with the new wax has begun. In 8-10 days it should have enough slurry/sand layers to fire out the wax. I also got to experiment with the properties of the new sprue wax and see what it's like to make a complete tree.

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01binary

Member
The problem with shell cracking has been solved, and now I have a throw-away shell to practice pouring metal.

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I have some remaining issues with wax patterns getting destroyed on de-mold, so I need to better plan the mold-making process to put thickening ribs in thin places (to be sawed/filed off after the our) and avoid putting thick sprues on thin surfaces.

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joberg

Master Member
Each and every piece is an experience in learning the process. Love your dedication to this project.:cool
 

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01binary

Member
I entered the Hackaday sci-fi contest, and since they require decent documentation I put together the first iteration of assembly instructions:

https://github.com/01binary/elysium-max-exoskeleton/raw/master/instructions/assembly instructions.pdf

The research with low-temp wax burn-out revealed that it causes ceramic shells to crack even with the new wax, so the next thing to do is upgrade the kiln's ventilation and install an after-burner.

Here are some basic making-of videos that accumulated:




 
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joberg

Master Member
C.R.A.Z.Y. :eek:cool just saw your assembly instructions for the XoSuit and it's an incredible job you've done putting all of that together!!!!!
 

01binary

Member
Thanks for continued and unwavering support joberg :)

I updated the assembly instructions (same link) after spending hours on tracking down every single metric screw used, and copying down prices for all the parts. There are also two additional pages on chest & spine electronics:
https://github.com/01binary/elysium-max-exoskeleton/raw/master/instructions/assembly instructions.pdf

This weekend I finally got to melt some metal. As usual there was trouble with the propane regulator because I had one designed for a grill, so I had to get a 60 PSI regulator. Then we spent a couple of hours trying to figure out why the forge was spewing giant balls of fire out of both ends. Just when I was ready to clean up for the day, I took one last look inside the forge and the aluminum was liquid so we scrambled to pour.





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joberg

Master Member
You're welcome and always glad to see your update. Man, what a job it is:cool It sure is amazing to see that piece emerging from the ground:)
 

01binary

Member
Things are looking up as I resolved more issues with wax casting this weekend. I think I finally resigned to the fact that casting is going to be a lot more than another stage of the project, so I am continuing to teach myself the new attitude (slow and steady) required to succeed in this context.

 
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joberg

Master Member
Good tuto on that vid...yes, it's difficult to do what you're doing right now, but you seem unstoppable and that's what you need to go the distance with that very complex project.:)
 

01binary

Member
The number of successful wax casts is finally starting to climb up. Apparently I didn't realize that it would only happen after I trial-and-errored my way through a large list of conditions that all have to be met at the same time. Since the first wax cast I made was two springs ago, it looks like it took me about 2 years to figure out this list :)

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This week I also completed a dark-themed version of the assembly instructions (using Hackaday colors):
https://github.com/01binary/elysium-max-exoskeleton/raw/hackadayinstructions/instructions/assembly instructions.pdf

Next I'm going to split another branch of the instruction guide off for printing. I think I would like to print the dark version, because I always liked those glossy student work sample books with black pages that art schools tend to send. They smell of machine oil and awesome, with a real glued spine. I think the price range to achieve that quality is at least 2k, but if it's cool maybe it's worth it.
 

01binary

Member
Last week I got some books on investment casting and I've had a chance to read most of the chapters so I thought I would do a quick review.

Fig. 1: Samples for review

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Precision Investment Casting by Edwin Laird Cady (Reinhold Publishing)
Old school but very relevant, detailed treatise that answers questions instead of glossing over them or asking but leaving unanswered. The author makes sure you stop and consider what you're actually doing and what you want to achieve, giving you the right information to make informed decisions instead of getting stuck in trial & error. On top of all that, completely accessible to layperson audience.


Fig. 2: Edwin wants you to know that this process is not for the "Tyro”:

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Investment Casting edited by Peter R. Beeley and Robert F. Smart (the Institute of Materials)
This book has been put together by a small army of industry veterans, and you can definitely tell. The text is so tight and efficient that it practically cuts like a razor blade. Just like the other book, extremely accessible. Unlike the other one, very modern. Tons of detail, the authors really try to take you on a journey and show you all the behind-the-scenes. If you are looking for tables, fear not, you will get tables (but this book is definitely not a boring collection of tables and charts).

As for the rest of the books on that table, total garbage. Do yourself a favor and don't buy them. There was hardly a sentence worth reading.
 

01binary

Member
​Three years ago when I started this project, I thought I would upload all the parts to an online machine shop and hit submit. After > $20,000 quote I decided to go with additive manufacturing & investment casting instead -- and what a journey this has been. I ended up spending over $25,000 on 3D printing, finishing, and getting tools and supplies for investment casting, not to mention over 3000 hours spent in extremely painful trial and error.

I often wondered - did I make a mistake? Should I have outsourced all of the aspects of production, paid the same price or less, AND spent all that time hanging out with people, doing less painful kinds of art and having fun?

Turns out no. I quoted only the main parts of the whole suit and attempted to extrapolate the rest of the pricing myself (since the quote process was rather long and I didn't want to spend hours on the phone with engineers). The extrapolations were bogus - some parts that I assumed would be at most $100-150 are actually $200-$1000. And with a total of 300 parts, just a few parts being higher (and multiplied by qty) adds more like $10,000-$20,000 to the whole suit. Just take a look at this:


(ForearmBase - $58 ea to 3D-print, $234 ea to machine)


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(LowerForearm - $44 ea to 3D-print, $130 to machine.

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For reference, investment casting tools and supplies were something like $5000, but amortized over 300 parts of the suit x number suits made (I plan to cast 3). Basically that adds $6 dollars per part in addition to 3D printing cost.

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joberg

Master Member
Having followed your journey since the beginning, I can only say that I admire your tremendous effort to make it happen. I know that quoting parts without knowing what a pro-manufacturing comp. would really charge is difficult at best (I know, I've made that mistake quite a few times). It's true, also, that not everybody is willing to spend what you've spent on a project (and good for you if you can;)). Thanks for the book revue, I'm sure it'll help people here for sure.
 

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ChevyM14

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is some really incredible work! when I fist saw the movie I wanted to make one of these but there is no way I have all the skills and tools to pull it off as well as yours in coming out.
 

01binary

Member
You are talking about someone who botches work regularly and breaks tools every month :) My savant nature (liking very few things but liking the things I do like A LOT) is probably the only thing making any kind of quality work possible. Not surprisingly I am very successful with the Idiot Savant perk in Fallout 4, which I still haven't finished.
 

01binary

Member
This weekend trying out UltraVest box casting investment used for non-ferrous casting up to 1400 F. First experiment failed because metal cooled way too fast (despite the mold being heated to over 1000 F), going to try again today.

 
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01binary

Member
Thanks! The first casts are finally out. They look pretty horrible so the next few months will likely be spent tracking down best casting alloys, practicing sprue & gate configurations, and various degassing & conditioning agents.

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