Blog

A big week for small steps

This past week has been a series of steps and missteps, as with any project, but the net is firmly forward. On the design side, I spent quite a bit of time this week getting to understand parameterization in Fusion 360, and started applying it to the model. I also did a lot of optimization of recurring elements in the design. So, future tweaks as I get new and better information on dimensions and details will be easier to apply.

Uh oh...

I had done enough reading on the Astromech.net web site to know that I was undertaking a big project, and one that might never "end," but I'm beginning to think there's a more sinister aspect of this project I hadn't fully considered.

Iterative Design in the Dark

The DSKY project is a serious labor of love, I'm finding. There are really precious few resources available on the 'net with any usable dimensions, and there are lots of conflicts among that which is available. The most consistent and reliable dimensions seem to be at the displays, so I'll be using these as my reference point and working out from there.

I've spent hours in Fusion 360 this week, and hours printing prototypes. It's really fun, actually, and I'm having tons of "ah hah" moments of every kind.

DSKY Kick-off

I've been interested in building a DSKY for a while. The DSKY is the display-keyboard interface for the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) built by MIT for NASA in the 60's. For whatever crazy, geeked-out reason, I think it will make a great conversation piece for my bar, and if I do a good enough job, maybe some people will be interested in kits so I can make a little money to offset the growing cost of the R2-D2 project.

R2D2 Project Kickoff

This project actually began in 2016, when my boys (then 11 and 9) decided it would be cool to build an R2D2. My older boy had just competed on an FLL robotics team, and knowing that he would soon outgrow both FLL and LEGO, I embraced this idea completely, even though I also knew that it would be months and years in the making, and probably cost thousands of dollars to do a credible job.