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Author Topic: Symulate 02 Platform  (Read 10116 times)

Offline Symulate

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Symulate 02 Platform
« on: October 23, 2015, 08:33:46 AM »
Hello all,

I'd like to share some initial work on my next project which is a further iteration of the Symulate Platform.  The first platform is now fully complete and can be found elsewhere on this site.  The 01 Platform was designed to be easily realisable with simple 2D cuts from flat sheet material.  As this was it's primary development focus certain compromises were taken to ensure this objective was realised.

The 02 Platform is intended to be a more high fidelity version and whilst still based around Mike's excellent panel set it will remove some of the compromises by not limiting the construction method or material choice.

Roughly speaking the 02 layout will be made primarily of 1.6mm (16swg) aluminium sheet with composite construction in the more detailed areas using a cast resin system.

So far I have laid out the CP and HUD Box (details below) and am now onto the detailed design prior to prototyping.  The CP will be made of sheet material for the sides, central support and main face which also is folded.  The lower part of the CP and the HUD box are cast resin pieces.  I am pretty sure the HUD Box will be made of several pieces that will from a final bonded assy but I won't really be too sure of that until I get into thinking about moulding. 

I have seen numerous threads elsewhere on this site of people using a standard size LCD to drive the CP gauges.  I recall this being over-length and poking out of the top of the CP into the HUD box.  Does anyone have dimensions of how far this extends both out of the top of the CP and also it's depth from front face to rear.  I hope it is clear from the top left image that there is a recess been designed into the cast HUD box to allow the screen to fit but I need to make sure it is correctly sized before manufacture.  Also, if this screen is generally standard a link to where to purchase it from or a spec sheet might also be useful.

Comments and feedback are welcome.  I realise the HUD box is not completely authentic.  As with the first platform this is an engineering exercise which will hopefully lead to a realisable product.  If people want fully accurate 3D models I suggest they refer to the excellent postings from @Hempstead

Thanks,
Sy

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2015, 10:12:51 AM »
Hello all,

I've broken up to the HUD component a bit and started to shell it out.  This is only a preliminary design as I need to consult the casting experts on site, but overall, to me at least, it seems feasible split like this. 

The idea will be to print the original pieces and then make a silicon mould before finally making resin replica components for the HUD Sides, Top, Front and Back.  The bottom pieces which are simple flat sheets will be alu and the whole thing bonded together.  It is likely I will include dowel holes for alignment.  There are cut outs on the side which will allow it to bolt to the Centre Pedestal or these can be blanked off with further alu sheet in-fills.

I'll post more when the details are finalised.

Thanks,
Sy

Offline dolphin

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 09:56:19 AM »
.... the 02 layout will be made primarily of 1.6mm (16swg) aluminium sheet with composite construction in the more detailed areas using a cast resin system.....


Hi Sy - just did a search for 1.6mm aluminium sheets in central Europe and the only supplier was an English ebay shop selling 300mmx300mm for 25€. 1.5mm sheets though are widely available for a fraction of the cost.
Will 1.5mm also work?


Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2015, 09:41:17 AM »
Hello all,

Just thought I'd share a quick update of where I have got to with this.  I have parked the HUD box for now and am back on the CP as I had an idea that instead of resin casting the complicated lower front portion I could vac-form it.  The main chassis and panels would still be sheet metal but the front bit could retain all the nice filleting detail if it is a plastic piece which is bonded onto the chassis.

Anyway - I have been playing with mould making and have now finished the buck which will be vac-formed over in 3mm sheet.

Hopefully will do some trial runs this week.

Thanks,
Sy

PS - Apologies for the picture quality, I only ever have my phone with me when I'm doing this stuff!


Offline Kukki

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2015, 03:46:34 PM »
hehe THAT is way cool sym. Very very nice man  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Kukki - (Skype: kukki_22)

Offline Pekay

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2015, 10:00:29 PM »
Wow man, whether your work is on paper or in 3D, it is amazing!! Kukki got it spot on, Way Cool!  :thumbsup:
Is that blue insulation foam you are using to shape the mold?   :notes:

Pekay

Offline Rufus

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2015, 11:24:10 PM »
...ok...ok... :cheerleader: ...I'm ready for a set of vac-formed aft glare shields... :whistle: ...nice work!
- Rufus

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2015, 02:58:21 AM »
No it's an epoxy tooling block, TB650 to be precise. It's mainly used for CFRP work as it's very dimensionally stable across a wide range of temps so good for autoclaves. It should work ok for a vac-form mould as well I hope.

Thanks,
Sy

Offline Pekay

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2015, 03:16:30 AM »
Read in Wikipedia about CFRP and quite the product. Not something you pick up at the local hardware. Interesting choice of material.

Pekay

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2015, 04:05:08 AM »
I won't be using CFRP for any of the platform parts. It is a nice material to work with but a tad extravagant... I'm trying to make hi-fidelity components at a significantly reduced cost to what's already available so it will mainly be composite parts from alu and either acrylic or high impact polystyrene...

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2016, 08:03:28 AM »
Hello all,

I have been quiet on this for a while but it is mainly because I have been putting the finishing touches to a new piece of equipment in the workshop.  It is now fully calibrated and up and running.  500x x 1000y x 200z cutting area, 2.2kw spindle, up to 10m/min feed speed.  It has been fun playing with it but I've now just started cutting material properly for a revised CP construction.

It will be heavily based on the platform plans that I have already published but without any of the compromises forced by simple prismatic cutting.  It will also be pre-machined for standard LCD screen widths etc.  Details to follow but the aim will be to improve fidelity further but make fully cut and/or assembled parts available for people who don't want to manufacture themselves.

I'm also more than happy to try and mill some other bits that people might want.

Thanks,
Sy

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2016, 08:19:16 AM »
For the CP itself, the main differences are detailing around the lower region which now has all of the correct fillets and some further compound angles applied.  The sides are slotted to accept correct width LCD screens which can often be a problem if working with thicker material subsets.  The instrumental panels are joined across the middle to provide a stiffer installation although I envisage the top brace being trimmed depending on whether a short or long hud box is required.

The complete assembly can be made from 3 sheets of material, 6mm, 8mm and 10mm.  The shapes you see in the images below will be bonded together and then milled to form the more complicated lower shapes.  Making thicker sheet from thinner sheets in a bonded assembly is a far more cost effective way of doing it and maximises standard size sheet usage.

Thanks,
Sy

Offline Biggles

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2016, 02:30:40 PM »
really nice tool you got there. its gonne save you a ton of time.
Cant wait to see some results.

Biggles.

Offline Rufus

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2016, 12:30:41 AM »
Funny...I've recently spec'd out and costed a gantry to the same working area as yours, @Symulate!  I hope to start buying/collecting parts soon and have mine up and running in the next few months...

...next problem I will have is space available to use it... :whistle: ...
- Rufus

Offline CobaltUK

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2016, 01:14:34 PM »
Hi, I stopped reading when you said you might offer a cutting service :)  Have still not located a local workshop for the job so I will be looking for more news on these developments. Thanks

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2016, 03:36:04 AM »
Hello all,

I've managed to cut and assembly the Instrument panel program.  It is all held together with brass inserts and 2.5mm CSK bolts.  It can be assembled and disassembled in a few minutes flat.

It looks a bit battle scarred as it is cut from old sheet I had spare but should hopefully give an impression of what is possible.

Please note that at this stage this is practically identical to the plans I offer elsewhere with only a few modifications to make it easier to mount to the CP which I will start cutting this weekend.

Any questions please shout.

Thanks,
Sy


Offline Rufus

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2016, 08:40:58 PM »
Nice choice on the material for this job, as it's more flexible than acrylic and should hold up better and not chip, I should think...way cool... :thumbsup: !
- Rufus

Offline CobaltUK

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2017, 06:11:34 PM »
Any updates on this ? Also is there any progress on the offering of a cutting service as spoken about last year?
F1 season 2017 is almost upon us and I expect you are now ultra busy with that.

Offline Kukki

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2017, 06:15:28 PM »
Nice work man, what a great setup you have made there  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: super work
Kukki - (Skype: kukki_22)

Offline hy-fye1

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 03:51:40 AM »
Nice work Sy :thumbsup:

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2017, 12:16:19 PM »
Hello all,

I'm still here and still working on stuff.  I hope to have some further info soon on something else which may be of interest to people.  I've been progressing an aluminium design which I am hoping will allow me to create cheap but hi-fidelity components starting with the CP and Instrument panels.  I'll post more in due course.

Thanks,
Sy

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2017, 08:16:20 AM »
Hello all,

I was going to wait until I had something fully final but I thought I would put this out there now as there are sure to be some good ideas out there which I have overlooked.

I am tending away from PVC for Platform02 as it is still not at the higher fidelity level I would like.  Also, you will still run into thickness issues compared to the real components.  This is especially true when trying to mount monitors within the CP as walls made with any greater thickness than the real thing need to be routed to allow clearance.

With this in mind I have reverted to an aluminium construction using bespoke forming tools.  The idea is that a series of prismatic 1.5mm sheet sections are routed out and then bonded together in a forming jig. 

My methodology so far has been to take the solid model in the downloads section and then to apply some fillet details along the edges where the bond lines will be.  As far as I can tell these rounded edges are present on the real components so no issue with a compromise here.  Using this new model I have thickened the individual faces 1.5mm and then offset them away from the fillet to allow what will be a glue gap.  These can be seen in the first two pictures. 

Returning to the base solid model I have offset thickness the other direction to make a mould.  This has then been 3D printed and inserted to provide fixings.  Where there will be glue contact with the mould I have applied PTFE tape.  The individual panels are milled on my router (a full set in about 30-45 minutes) and then held in position in the mould using 2.5mm cap head bolts.  These panels are also PTFE taped in areas where I don't want glue.  With everything held in place I use a 2-part epoxy in all the glue gaps and leave to set somewhere warm.

After a day or so for the glue to fully go off the complete CP can be lifted out of the mould and where there were gaps between the panels there is now a thin glue line which holds the rounded edge from the fillet.

I have made one so far and I would say I have achieved a 75% success rate.  The glue gap itself was too small in places and thus in some areas the fillet is not present.  With this in mind I have increased the gap and will have another go this week.  I'm pretty sure I can get a very robust clean finish that can be built quickly and cheaply.  The glue join is much stronger than I expected although the glue used does hold racing cars together!  The panels are also primer etched.

I'll attach some pictures of attempt one tonight when I get home but any comments or suggestions with the process are welcome.  The mould and individual panels from CAD are shown below for reference.

Thanks,
Sy

Offline Moon

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2017, 04:35:40 AM »
A low cost F-16 CP, built with F1 construction techniques.  Sounds pretty cool to me!

I look forward to watching your progress on this.

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2017, 08:15:40 AM »
All,

Apologies for the poor camera phone shots but this is attempt one where there is too small a glue gap and thus the glue radius is not completely filled.  Also, I didn't PTFE tape the panels, only the mould and hence there is some leakage in places.  I'm set up for another try over the weekend so I will post further progress in due course.

The final shot it the mould itself which was 3D printed.  The CP is made from 1.5mm T6 Aluminium.  My aim is to achieve a clean bonded joint with no glue spill on the panel front and thus to finish it would only need priming and painting with no rubbing back.  As it stands at the moment it would require extra finishing which I'm trying to avoid.

Thanks,
Sy


Offline tiger-31

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2017, 11:05:58 AM »
looks good  :clap:

Offline Moon

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2017, 08:07:09 AM »
Nice work!  I've never seen this technique before.

Offline Symulate

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2017, 03:27:21 PM »
Hello all,

The second iteration worked much better.  There was only one small area where the glue didn't flow properly into the filet mould.  Other than that the joins are generally smooth and if one was so inclined they could be rubbed perfect with a tiny bit of filler and elbow grease.

I'm going to try and make a second one and see if the quality is similar and in the meantime I think I'll paint this one with high pack primer to see if that takes the roughness out of the glue joints.

As I said before these are reasonably easy to produce now so if anyone is interested...

Comments more than welcome.

Thanks,
Sy


Offline tiger-31

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2017, 03:48:25 PM »
All in all looks pretty good. 

Offline Kukki

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2017, 03:57:17 PM »
yep, that CP looks very good, now you just need to fill some spots with silicone and cut the feftoves of and then prime and paint  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Kukki - (Skype: kukki_22)

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2017, 08:47:26 PM »
Really nice...I think you've got it... :thumbsup: !
- Rufus

Offline hy-fye1

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2017, 07:16:03 AM »
Nice work  :thumbsup:

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Re: Symulate 02 Platform
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2017, 11:59:43 PM »
Realy amazing work.  :clap: :clap: :clap:

BG
Keule