Jurassic Park Cryocan Build

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Hello all,

I have browsed the forum on and off over the years but never really made an account because I wasn't really proud enough of the work I had done to show it off. I did a few things on and off. But over the past several years I have really been pushing myself to the point I could call myself a machinist. About a year ago I started working on machining a Cryocan replica from the original Jurassic Park movie and I finally feel worthy of showing it off here. I would love to hear your feedback.

First things first are the most recent photos, gotta start with the best. I am pretty happy with it, but its not quite perfect yet. I still have a few tiny detail to improve.

It is all machined from 6061 aluminum and I made the spring myself too since I couldn't find the one I wanted.

So now for the story time. I started this whole thing several years ago when I burned he engine of out of my Mazda 6. Racing it might not have been the best idea in hindsight. But I needed a new car and was tight on cash. My buddy was moving and offered to sell me his jeep wrangler cheap. It was in okay shape but far from nice. Lots of chipping paint and rust. I figured I could fix it up a little and it would be fine. I didnt want to try and fix it up totally so I started playing around with the idea of making a replica jeep from Jurassic Park. I figured a little wear and tear would fit the theme of a jeep used in a park like that. I joined the facebook group and started working on it.

Well it was fun and once the jeep started to be recognizable I was really enjoying the reactions I got from people. That set me down the Jurrassic Park prop rabbit hole. I did a few small things and decided to make a raptor claw. That turned out nice. My day job is engineering / machining parts and the cryocan always was in the back of my head. So I decided to give it a go. I downloaded some models from thingiverse and printed one to get a feel for it. Then started making my own 3d model.

Then I started machining some parts. I made a lot of scrap, but I got parts that looked good eventually.

After about hundreds of hours I finally got something that looked good.

But along the way I learned all the little details that made my design wrong. Top didn't have a real thread like it should, it was missing a set screw, the vials were not exactly right, the vial holder didnt have the tapered middle section, the spring mechanism wasn't right either. So I knew what I had to do. I had to start over and completely redesign it again.

So I started over from scratch. I reviewed tons of photos, I remodeled every part in my CAD program. I completely changed the spring mechanism and I started machining it all over again.


This one id extremely close to perfect. The center post is going to be redone to get rid of that tiny step. But The vial holder has the center taper now. The spring mechanism is not visible at all. There is a real thread at the top now and the set screw on the vial holder. That set screw is actually used for the spring mechanism and I believe that is how the real prop was done as well. There is also a groove on the center post as well, but I dont have a great photo of that right now. It has been a long process, but this is now one I can be proud of making.

Well thanks for letting me share. I could use some feedback and hopefully some encouraging words. I cant believe how many hours I put into this thing so far.



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New Member
Stunning work, love it! I'm almost scared to look too closely in case I find any issues, I'm not sure I'd have the heart to tell you :oops:

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New Member
This looks fantastic; your drive to get it as perfect as possible is admirable! I've been hoping that someone will make an updated vial holder now that the taper has been discovered but you went a step farther and made your own!

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Well-Known Member
Glad to see this here on the RPF, and was happy to contribute my measurements/observations to it— can't wait to analyze this in person :)


Well I did a little more work this week on the cryocan. I am still trying to perfect it. Most of what I did was pretty boring work though. I was trying to optimize the machining to make it faster and easier. I was able to cut the machining time in half for two of the parts. Which is pretty cool from my point of view. I like pushing my abilities as a machinist. I also got the vial holder to be a little closer to perfect.


It is hard to see if you don't know what to look for, so I added big red arrows. The cutting tool holder was rubbing on this edge while machining the narrower diameter in the middle. I changed which tool I was using and the order of some operations to stop this from happening. It actually made the part come off the machine with less burs too.

I also was working on getting the diameter of the vial holders just right. This is actually a pain in the butt because you want them to be a tight fit, but not too tight. Also, there is a label that goes on the vial and you dont want to mess that up every time you take a vial out.

Below is a picture of the real prop that someone shared with me. You can see the vials sit up a bit. Looking at the vials I have there is a small plastic ring on them and then a much larger plastic ring. My original design used the larger ring. But I noticed that with the new vials I got which should be screen accurate that they need to sit up a little higher. So this means getting the hole size perfect. It has to be larger than 413 but smaller than .420. Which is not a big window I have a reamer coming tomorrow which should do the trick.

I also worked on getting the backward L shaped groove cut into the central post. Its location and size also play a big role on the proper spring action. The lower section determines how the assembly looks closed, and the upper section determines the open look of the assembly. After some trial and error I got it right I think.

It was not all easy and I like to share my failures too. So this is what happens when things go wrong machining a part.

Also, I have a huge pile of parts that are just not good enough. Here is what that looks like.
1024-1820 (1).jpg

I also recorded a short video of me making the custom springs. But I can't figure out how to add a video here. So I will just show a photo. I make a long spring and cut it down into multiple short ones.
1024-1820 (2).jpg

I will end this post with this photo and a question for you all. At what point does something become an addiction?
4032-2268-max (1).jpg
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Master Member
This whole thread is great! Really awesome job so far. Its really making me miss my Rylo can, though. I had sold thinking there was going to be a really awesome licensed one available. Hopefully there will be soon. Or a fan made one.

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