Illusionist Locket

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by madmanmoe64, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    It's almost a year ago I first tried to make this. I built the whole thing up out of layers of 1.5mm plywood. It wasn't looking half bad, but using split wooden dowels for the tiny pivot points proved too fragile and I knew I needed a better solution.

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    The design is basically unchanged but now I have 3D printed my locket design as four solid pieces.

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    Compared to the film it's not a bad copy, but I've changed the design to suit my needs, the top cover is thinner than the rest of the body, obviously I'm doing it in plastic (soon metal) rather than wood, and this will house two halves of a picture, not a whole one.

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    The design works by using a split hinge so the cover will open by pivoting about the point of the heart.

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    Hopefully the pictures make it fairly clear. The small holes you can see are for some tiny neodymium magnets to make sure it all aligns properly, although atm is is just held together by friction and doing fairly well.

    I still need to polish the whole thing up, then I plan on casting it in pewter. I'll post final pictures when I get that done. (Hopefully before Christmas)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  2. Roger Ramjet

    Roger Ramjet Sr Member

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  3. Chris27989

    Chris27989 Well-Known Member

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    very smart job there one of fave films alone with the prestige
     
  4. davedarko

    davedarko New Member

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    I love those nifty little things.
     
  5. Kirk2Enterprise

    Kirk2Enterprise New Member

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    looks great so far mad man, I built one of these out of wood last December as a Christmas present, but ended up scaleing up the dimensions a tad to make it a little more manageable. Would mind me asking what scale you re building it on?
     
  6. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Dimensions are 40x20x7mm pin is 1.6mm magnets are 1mm dia.
    This is the same size I attempted my wooden one at, which may be why it failed.
    When I get my CNC router up and running, I might modify the design and try milling one out of maple or something.
     
  7. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully these pictures give a better idea of the scale.


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  8. lemonlemonuk

    lemonlemonuk Active Member

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    [DELETED]
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  9. Werstrooper

    Werstrooper Well-Known Member

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    Thats some very impressive workmanship there my friend.
     
  10. Kingpin

    Kingpin Active Member

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    Amuses me to no end to see the replica accomplish something the actual prop couldn't do... the fact you never saw an uncut run through of the locket opening (and one shot showing different grain patterns on the "front") left me convinced that they had two separate hero props.

    Excellent work, can't wait to see it painted up.


    And yes, it was an excellent film. :)
     
  11. Transporter88

    Transporter88 New Member

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    This is nice!
     
  12. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    I've been waiting for various bits and pieces to come in and yesterday I finally got around to doing a test mould with the heat resistant silicone.


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    I'm pretty happy with it, only one bubble, I'll just have to be careful about that area when I do the final ones.

    For the first test casts I'm just doing a one piece mould. Without really knowing what I was doing I just went ahead and tried a cast.

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    I know those images are a bit off putting but it's actually not a bad cast.
    There is a lot of pitting though, and the metal didn't flow into the smallest point.
    I need to get a thermometer so I know I'm casting at the right temperature, and I want to try preheating the mould. Hopefully this will fix my issues.

    [​IMG]
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    Here it is after a quick polish, I'm very happy with this as a first cast. Hopefully with a bit of tweaking I can cast some much cleaner ones and do a test fit.

    This is my first time metal casting so I welcome any criticism or helpful tips.
     
  13. boodha

    boodha Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow, this is a great project! And it looks like you are working it. Thanks for posting
     
  14. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    My thermometer came today so I did some more testing. Turns out I was greatly underestimating my small camping stove. It was melting the pewter and taking it above its maximum operating temperature within seconds.

    [​IMG]

    So keeping a more careful eye on the temp I was able to get a better cast with no pitting. However I am still unable to get the metal to flow into the small areas reliably.

    I've set up a two part mould with the smallest point at the bottom, hoping that gravity will help push the metal into that detail. I also used some carving wax to add a tiny bit of bulk to the smaller areas, which will be filed off after casting (can't show this yet as mould is curing)

    It'll be a couple more days before both halves are cured and I can do another cast.
     
  15. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  16. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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  17. Chris27989

    Chris27989 Well-Known Member

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    looking awesome mate.. been watching this since you started not a bad effort with a camp stove..
    That second cast will look awesome polished up i would imagine!!
    But this may help Pewter casting - YouTube
    worth a watch

    Chris
     
  18. greylocke

    greylocke Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I would be very interested in this when you get it all together. Will you be including a cutting template for the photo when it's done?
     
  19. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Hadn't really thought about it, but it sounds like a good idea.
     
  20. greylocke

    greylocke Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It would make it much easier to get the photo in :lol. Seriously if you get together let me know. I know my mother enjoys that movie, and since my father has gone I think one of those lockets with a photo of her grandkids would cheer her up greatly.
     
  21. juno

    juno Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You could just metal-print the model at Shapeways! It's a very pretty piece!

    What is the size? I haven't seen the movie in a while, but it seems big.
     
  22. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    The metal printing doesn't have enough detail to print this accurately. I could get it printed in silver from shapeways, but that would cost $150 :cry if anyone wants to order one and save the hassle I'll gladly give them the model.

    Re-watching the scene from the film mine does seem a bit thick, but this is as thin as I can possibly make it, and tbh screen accuracy was never an option because the film used two props, one for each axis of rotation, so I've been going with what I felt looked good.

    I could easily get some clear acrylic templates laser cut, that way you can place it over a picture, draw round it and cut?
     
  23. Richo27

    Richo27 New Member

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    Have you considered wax printing and lost wax casting?
     
  24. BrundelFly

    BrundelFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    have you seen the ones on EBAY?
     
  25. greylocke

    greylocke Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Can you cast it in colored resin? I wouldn't mind having at least one in a black resin as long as it functioned properly.
     
  26. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    I have considered it, and I'm pretty sure that's how shapeways do their silver printing. But it's trickier to do at home, and essentially I end up with the same thing.

    There's a couple floating around, there's a guy in the U.S who makes amazing replicas, that actually display a different picture depending on how you open it. I looked up his patent and still had a hard time figuring it out, he uses a CNC mill for his, I would definitely buy one if i had the money.

    Then there's a far cheaper one, it's made of metal, seems to work similarly to mine but it looks poorly made, boxy and is really thick (0.5") twice as thick as mine. I'm sure it works great, just not very aesthetically pleasing, imo.


    Casting in resin would be easy, it flows better and gives much more time to agitate and eliminate bubbles. I can cast these in anything as long as it isn't too thick or above 300˚C. The mechanism will work fine with resin. Would you paint it or just leave it as is?
     
  27. greylocke

    greylocke Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If it was nice black resin I would leave it as is, maybe paint the butterfly.
     
  28. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Here's the first piece that came out of my new two part mould, back in December.

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    As you can see there is a definite improvement in the overall surface quality.

    I think this is because a two part mould stops the air getting to and oxidising the metal.

    The edge details are nice and sharp, but the tiny holes still haven't formed properly.

    The idea was to make this easier by adding big lumps over the holes which could be filed off later.

    You can also see that one of the small holes on the back side isn't properly formed either.



    Improvements needed,

    1. I think gravity helps push the metal down into the details, so a bigger fill reservoir will mean more metal pushing down.

    2. Re-plan my mould, more vents, bigger 'overflow areas' I need the metal to flow into those small areas.
     
  29. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    On my next mould I was a lot more careful with vents and where I added material, here's my first cast.


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    Nice crisp edges, and the metal has definitely flowed into all those lumps I added.

    Now for some very careful grinding and a quick polish.



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    Okay those pictures suck. I'll try some more in daylight.

    But the point is I have a complete casting with all the holes in the right place.

    I only sanded this to 1200, so with a little more work I can get a much better finish on it.

    Only things left to do now are cast up the other parts (2nd half of moulds curing now),
    clean up holes with a drill, and decide on how to finish the butterfly.
     
  30. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Daylight Shots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  31. greylocke

    greylocke Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looks sharp. Are you going to leave it bare metal or enamel it similar to cloisonne?
     
  32. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Gonna leave it bare metal, but will probably fill the butterfly with black resin, I was considering graphite filled resin, need to test that out.
     
  33. nlschutd

    nlschutd Well-Known Member

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    what program did you use? and what printer? those thing out of the 3d printers looks great!
     
  34. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    These were drawn up in Vectorworks, just because it's what I'm used to using.

    Had them printed by Shapeways, and their stuff is great
     
  35. JHY

    JHY Active Member

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  36. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I mentioned those earlier in the thread, like I said even after looking at the patent I couldn't figure out exactly how they worked.

    I think he mentioned that he uses a CNC mill to make those. That's what I'd like to do really but I'm not going to get a chance to finish my mill until summer.

    A really nice bit of engineering and I'd definitely buy one if I had the money, although this has probably cost me £100 ($160) so far.
     
  37. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Still haven't gotten round to pouring the third part of my final moulds.

    Quick question about using resin for infills, What resin is best to use?
    How would I go about pouring?

    My main concern is that the metal will act as a heat sink and stop the resin curing properly.

    Also the amount of resin in each wing is so small I don't know if it will have enough heat to cure properly.

    Any help / experience appreciated.
     
  38. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    I tried sending an e-mail, but it bounced back undelivered for some reason.

    I might try again tomorrow.
     
  39. Shylaah

    Shylaah Sr Member

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    The little * is endlessly fascinating.....

    Have you seen this video, someone takes that "popular" version apart and shows how it works if you can understand what she is doing......?? But it doesn't pivot on the point of the heart like the SU one and doesn't look like it on the inside either like yours does...........How the Illusionist locket works

    From looking at stills on eBay and looking frame by frame of the online vid, there's definitely a lot of little mechanics in that particular version.... Designs by Illusion lockets LLC. But, again, not an SA version, and not being sold as a replica.......

    Shylaah
     
  40. Ace007

    Ace007 Member

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    man that looks great!! just great!! very unique and interesting piece. hope you post more pics and details
     
  41. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, the project has been about 90% finished for months now, hopefully I'll get round to completing it this summer.
     
  42. hernaizkiz

    hernaizkiz New Member

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    hi friend you have the files as NURBS surfaces. in another format other than. stl, if you could you send them to me thanks

    Hi my friend. You have archives like external format nurbs or other format that is not. Stl. If you have. Please send me. ThNks

    hernaiz_kiz@hotmail.com
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  43. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    I've had a fair few requests for the source files for this project. At first I was a bit protective of the whole thing, and while I do think mine is definitely neater than many others out there I certainly didn't invent the split hinge.

    So I decided to upload it all to Thingiverse: Illusionist Locket Left Body by madmanmoe64 - Thingiverse

    Hopefully others will have more success finishing one up than I am.
    My project is 90% finished, but I just haven't found the time to get it all done, which is a bit stupid really.
     
  44. Philly

    Philly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for the models :) My CNC is operation but packed away still(house move) but I will send you some pics once done so you can see. :)

    Out of curiosity, where did you buy the pewter, I've had a tough time getting it recently in the North West.
     
  45. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    I bought my pewter from Tiranti, it's a great site that sells all sorts of modelling, moulding and harder to find art supplies.

    Probably not the cheapest place to get it, but I was also buying heat resistant silicone and some other bits, so it saved on postage.

    Unfortunately you generally can't buy less that 1kg at a time and £30 is probably the best price you'll get for that.
    If you want to try your hand at metal casting without spending a lot, try looking for second hand pewter items, if you find a tankard for £5 it's cheaper than buying the raw metal.
     
  46. Philly

    Philly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for the help, I had thought about old tankards but Im trying to avoid lead outside of work(I design and build custom PCBs).

    Love the fence crawler by the way, fantastic design!
     
  47. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I keep meaning to make a proper website for all that stuff rather than just sticking it on tumblr.
     
  48. AlexV

    AlexV New Member

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    Hi,
    First of all, please allow me to thank you for uploading the .SLT files for your model in thingiverse, it is beautifully designed and i'm sure it took you quite some time to 3d model the pieces... so thanks for sharing!
    I've just tried printing this through shapeways in alumide but unfortunately the detaisl of the design are unprintable in this material.. (should have known -_-') so I decide to throw the house out of the window and just go big on this.
    I have just ordered a silver made model of your designs using lost-wax casting from shapeways and I am bursting with anticipation to see the resulting product!

    It's supposed to ship by October the 23rd and as soon as it arrives I'll go ahead and upload some photos of it so you can take a look at them, unless by any chance shapeways detects a problem with the dims, in which case i'll just scale it up and order again!:thumbsup.

    And again, thank you!! i'm sure my wife will love this surprise.
     
  49. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    That's amazing! I'm glad someone had the money to try this.

    I did a lot of research into Shapeways' various materials when I made the model and I'm fairly confident this will print well in silver.
    The material tolerances for the wax printing are much better than for WSF (the material I originally optimised it for) so it should work a treat.

    If you need a hand with any of the clean-up or installing magnets etc don't hesitate to ask. :)
     
  50. decaturvader

    decaturvader Sr Member

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    I too came across this at thingiverse, thanks for uploading the files!
    My employer has put the orders in for me to get a NextEngine's 3d scanner and a MakerBot replicator 2 printer.
    While I am fully wet behind the ears when it comes to printing terminology and the mechanical differences of 3d printers, do you think the MakerBot replicator 2 can print your file?
    I can't wait to start working with the scanning software to see what I can conjure up and share.
    Such neat technology and I love that its even on THERPF!
     

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