Monday, 12 April 2010

Polishing Metal

Due to some of the parts I got made in engineering needed adjusted, there were a lot of mishaps and file marks on all the pieces. I had always known I had needed to polish the metal parts but never knew that it would be as necessery as it has been.

I looked on google for some instructables on polishing aluminium but never found anything substantial that I could follow. This then led me on to youtube for some tutorial videos on the same subject. This is where I found a video which clearly went through the process to achieve mirror effect polished aluminium.

Available here :

^^ this is the 2 parts which had been filed to increse the fillet diameter. This is before any finishing.

^^ In the tutorial the guy recommends working through from 400 up to 2000. What I had availbe to me at the time only went up to 1200 and I had started from 240 grade wet and dry because some of the tooling marks were difficult to remove with the 400. Therefore the grades which I used were: 240, 400, 600 and 1200. The results were just as similar.

^^ some of the parts after wet and dry sanding and metal polish applied and buffed.

^^ the shutter button. It was too difficult to sand between the grooves on the front of the part do this was just polished as best as I could.

Working Electronics

I finally took the cuts to attempt my electronics again this week. The week of my MAKE crit I somehow managed to break my circuit (probable something to do with putting an LED into it).
I had ordered another one with my fingers crossed that it would be delivered before the crit but it never.

This allowed me to have a fresh start with the circuit and do it properly since I knew what mistakes I had made with the last one. It also gave me the chance to neaten it up to.

Because the soldering on the circuit was so small I had to reinforce what I had done with some hot glue because the wires were snapping off easily. This has allowed me to handle the circuit a little better without the fear of wires snapping.

This is my broken ciruit. Also managed to break the camera sensor off the circuit somehow. Just general wear and tear I think.


Fonts and Names

For part of the TALK stage I need to make up a press release along with images if I wish to publish my idea in any way. Before I can do this, I feel it's essential for the project to have a name.

This is going to be inspired the lomo range, in which their product names are all fun, playful and exciting. I want my camera's name to reflect this. It's becoming apparent that this is very tricky and I still haven't settled on anything yet.

I've also gathered inspiration from the fonts that lomo uses for their products. What I liked about this was how the font reflects the camera. For example, the holga is almost a hexagon with very angular edges and this can be seen reflected in the names font. I really like this playful aspect of it but not sure if I will be able to do this well.

Spray Painting

Some of the many parts that need to be spray finished. Currently just getting them already by using white primer and sanding it back to get a smooth surface finish. When they are ready to be spray finished I will be using a white car spray paint to mimic the white gloss surface that they have.


I had to order a full box of springs so that I could get the right one for the shutter switch. Just means that I have plenty spare if I loose any, which has happened alot.

The spring will allow the shutter switch to spring back into place once used ready for taking another picture.

Engineered Parts


Got all my parts back from engineering this week and it's very exciting to be able to see them as actual parts and not renders.

Although I needed to hand a couple back for adjustment, I almost have all my components which means I can start putting my final model together.

^^ the on/off switch handle

^^ the screw on headphone jacks

^^ disks which hold the LED's and leave a nice aesthetic rim.

^^ the rim for the shutter switch

^^ the shutter release button

^^ the on/off switch rim

^^ the reel handle

^^ the fillets on the reel handle and the siwtch cover were too small so I needed to make these bigger. To do this I just used a file to roughly fillet the new curve and then tidied this up with some rough sandpaper. Worked well enough.


^^ Drilling a hole in the lathed part which is used for winding and holding the cable. I need this part to be hollow so my engineered 'cable untangler' can be inserted inside it. Also need this part to have quite a thick wall thickness so that it can be screwed onto the reel disks. This will provide a more sturdy winding experience. This is my favourite drilling tool! Just like the way the material flakes off and leaves a perfect hole.

Milling Setup

Preperation for using the milling machine.

^^ on the left: the tool clamp which holds the drill part in place. For selecting the right size, you want the tightest fit possible while also being loose enough to remove the drill part by hand.
on the right: the chuck which holds the told and clamp in the machine.

^^ inserting the clamping tool into the chuck. All the clamping pieces pop into place in the chuck no matter what the tool size is.

^^ the drill part inserted into the clamp which is inserted into the chuck. This is then screwed onto the rotating part of the machine and tightened with a spanner.

More Lathing

I was using the lathe again to turn a couple more parts for my project. Due to this I thought I would show a couple of images of my progress.

^^ attaching the material to an mdf block which is then attached to the metal attachment for the lathe. This is then screwed firmly onto the lathe. When this is all set up and the machine and tool rest is adjusted to position, the part is ready to be turned.

^^ the part mid spin and using the tool rest to provide consistent pressure onto the part removing any unwanted material.

^^ my favourite tool that I like to use when turning. Works really well and is consistent at removing the material.

^^ after using the tool removing the material, using sandpaper lets you make the surface as smooth as required. For this to work, the lathe needs to rotate in the reversed direction (i.e. moving away from you)

Lasercutting Leather

For the leather detailing on my camera I thought the best way to make the cuts as neat as possible was use the lasercutter.

The smell produced in doing so is not very nice but the clean cuts work perfect.

I also lasercut small holes in the leather where stitching was required allowing me to stitch straight and consistent. Worked really well.

Make Crit Model

^^ the reel
^^ the reel with wire
^^ the camera

Here's a couple of images showing my models progress which I presented for my MAKE crit. I knew it was no where near finished and that I still had a lot to do.

Feedback from the crit was generally good but there's a couple of things still to resolve and fix but I'm confident that these can be easily sorted.

Lots of Wires

^^ the internal rods that allow the reel to rotate.

^^ assembling the wires into the reel in a manner where the cable can't twist. Very complicated and again a small space to work in.

^^ a closer look at the reels internal cables

The USB Compartment

I've made a couple of changes from the solidwork renders that I made showing the usb compartment. The main reasons for this is because it was so difficult to get a flat usb like the one I wanted to use. Finally managed to find one, just happened to be blue.

The main inspiration for this part of the camera was the Starck lacie portable hard drive because I liked how the cable was hidden away but was easily accessible.

The cable just needs to be sprayed white and it will be the way I want it. The way I have adapted my initial idea of doing this was due to the small space I had available and it was extremely fiddly. This way, it is still similar to the lacie but not just copied.

This is just a little image of the hole I had to make to get the cable through the camera to the hardware. Was a little bit tricky but finally got there.

Thursday, 1 April 2010