A good productive few days and a really good Monday...

While the rest of last week was spent at my part-time job, I did make progress with the nylon muscle fibre project (I can never remember what I call this project, so you'll just have to bear with me) on Thursday and during this past weekend. All though, I did even more today.

Nylon muscle fibre project, woooh!

I designed a large gear-wheel-based-elasti- band tension-carriage-thingy. Far too complicated for what it needs to do and I nearly ran out of 5mm ball bearings (I only bought a hundred); which in the end requires glue to hold bits together, I couldn't get the right tension on the elastic bands annnnd...I though of a much better and simpler solution. Typical.
Before I get to that, here's some photos and concept sketches. That way it get seen and wasn't all for nought. :p

On the left are some of my original drawings for this version of the tensionor carriage. I guess I was just getting impatient and wanting something made that worked. It did sort of.

Dotted lines are the elastic band

(I wish Google would make it easier to arrange pictures on these blogs, it's always a struggle make them look neat!)

The way it works is that the big gear-wheel is turned by the smaller one, which itself is turned by the teeth embedded in the rail. The big gear has a set of four pulleys, two each side and offset by 90 degrees.
Now, a set of elastic bands are held in a triangular arrangement so that one of the pulleys can push against it and as big wheel turns, there should always be some tension being applied by one or the other side of the big gear. (Phew)

There's a few equilibrium issues and I got the spacing for the ball-bearings wrong. It just didn't hold tension well enough.

Elastic band power!
<-- So...I went and designed this yesterday.
It's a rail section that has two pegs for allowing me to secure a elastic band on each side, which is then attached to one of the earlier (and smaller) carriages.
Those of you who remember my original attempts with the completely-previous design, will recognise that I've gone in a complete circle with my methods.
Except now I've got a modular rail system.

Ready for use!

 Overall the new(new) system works okay, I still need to put together the right set of elastic bands, as I had to hold the carriage back using my finger.

After a successful test run, I have now (finally) started working on the next stage.
A test rig!

Here's a snapshot of the design in progress. This was done as part of todays super progress-ness of doing things day. I've still got to design the lever that'll attach at the top.
There'll be a weight on one end and the nylon muscle will attach on the other. The thingies on the right are a kind-of adjustable rail so that I can test different lengths of muscle fibre.
The nylon muscle testing rig Mk1

Super Monday progress powers!...

Yesterday I got really fed up with being indecisive about which project to work on. It got to the point where I was just playing computer games. It was like every project had equal priority in my head.
So I decided to do something that I've been meaning to do for years...plan my day.
Yes, I opened up the calendar on my computer and created events for everything I wanted to do get done!

And so far, apart from the write the blog event :/ , I've kept too my schedule.
I made progress on a commission this morning by creating an animated gif for the customer, so they can see what I've done in nice twirly 3D way.
I finally started the next stage in my Lake Embogue project (I'll put some snapshots further down) and transferred some my of my previous Open University course to A5 booklet form.

Overall I'm quite happy with what I've done today. Now to do it all again tomorrow :p

Lake Embogue 3D-ness progress...

Shaping the landscape.
As mentioned above, I started working on creating the 3D aspect of the Lake Embogue region. To do this I created a surface in Blender and attached the map to it as a texture.
I then used sculpting tools to raise and lower map to get the land contours right.

Next, I started tracing the building plots and extruding them upwards to form structures and walls.
I was only able to get the outside wall done, then create a few test renderings. But I'm happy with what I've done today.

Initial extrusion of buildings.
The 3D environment will be used to further refine where everything sits and help build character for the region, while the test renders will be used to draw the next map.
I'll by using my vector drawing software, Mischief, and applying the picture as a background layer in order to trace over the buildings. Adding detail as I go.

Image generated using a fisheye style camera, with a sunset effect.

Right, my brains going to sleep now, so I'd better finish writing this and get tomorrows activities planned. I'll do a quick post on my Patreon page to show my progress above, with a link back to here.

See ya :)

p.s. I started learning Python yesterday.


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