Mad science going on!

Is it a timemachine? Or is it a nuclear reactor? Or, is it perhaps fellesverkstedets new and bigger vacuum chamber in the making!

This chamber will allow us to cast even bigger objects, and with details finer than ever before!

The chamber will be consisting mainly of CNC milled aluminium plates, with oring squashed between them. 1/3 rd of the plates has been produced, will start on the next batch tomorrow.

The shopbot has been performing well on this project!

more to come on this project in the following weeks!

The CNC machine produces a smaller CNC

I produced the parts for a friends smaller CNC, on Bitraf's huge CNC. How cool is that?

The cutting has begun!

The baby CNC! The banana is for scale. NOTE: This is an imperial banana, not a metric one!

Here, the brackets is installed. 

This is the machine with the bridge installed, waiting for the spindle.

The tools used for the roughing and finnishing. The bigger 8mm bit has two flutes, and provides exelent chip removal rates, while the smaller singleflute 6mm leaves a great finish, at the cost of efficience.

For more info on the CNC, follow this link.

Aluminium bracket

This was milled on the shopbot, As the bit started to show wear, you can notice the stepdown increments of 3mm on the second picture. 
The resulting surface finnish is good, but not as good as desired

Milling steel on the shopbot

The OCD tingler! As we were doing some exeriments with cutting steel on the shopbot, we made this:

A binary dice made of steel, with some brass gears put inside before welded shut. The dice measures 50 x 50 x 50, and weighs in at 320 G. We cut the steel with casemaker pattern at 10mm/sek with a three flute 6mm bit, 1,5 mm at each pass.

The pieces where welded together at 50 amp with our TIG welder.

Big Ass Spider

Big Ass Spider is the moving tale of a young Yiddish girl struggling with her own sexual awakening in a nineteenth century Polish village beset by stringent gender codes.

Okay, no it’s not. It’s a big dollop of crass, in-yer-face, made-for-cable, creature-feature mayhem. A film in which a vaguely convincing CGI spider performs all kinds of merry anarchy, while indulging every monster movie cliché on the list.

Our heroes, it turns out, are a cross-cultural comedy pairing. The film takes place, inevitably, in downtown Los Angeles. There’s even a King Kong-lite showdown atop a tower. And before you ask, yes, there is a scene where lots of pneumatic bikini-clad women run (and bounce) away in terror from the angry arachnid.

Exploding Helicopter won’t spend too much time explaining what happens in Big Ass Spider (2013). Anyone who has already seen one of the plethora of giant-sized creature movies (where, as a rule, the only small components are the budget and the leading men’s resumes) will already know what kind of intellectual territory we’re in.

So, the only sensible questions to ask are: can Big Ass Spider spin a diverting yarn? Will you be caught up in a densely woven web of thrills? And does the story have enough legs?

The plot

Near-future Earth has been hit by a global food crisis. We’re all doomed! Faced with global catastrophe, scientists attempt to solve the extinction-level threat by combining a sample of extra-terrestrial DNA with…a tomato. I’m sorry: a what with a what?

(Presumably, the scriptwriter was on the wacky baccy while writing this particular scene. Or he had guessed, correctly, that the demographic audience for his film wouldn’t be paying a blind bit of notice until the big, hairy spider came along.)

As it turns out, the boffins’ grand plans to create a super-salad go disastrously wrong when a spider is accidentally caught up in the experiment.

Infused with Martian genetic code, the eight-legged mutant quickly grows to a prodigious size and begins a homicidal rampage across Los Angeles.

With the web-weaving menace running amok, the fate of the city falls to two unlikely heroes: a jovial pest-exterminator and a wise-cracking hospital security guard. Their mission, as one of them pithily summarises, is to: “Stop the spider, save the city, kiss the girl.”

It’s almost as if he’s seen one of these movies before…

Who’s in this?

Greg Grunberg or a fat Ben Affleck. We're not sure.
Greg Grunberg, who looks very much like Ben Affleck’s tubby older brother – a Fat Man to his Batman, if you like – plays the bug killer ‘ordinaire’. You'll probably remember Big Greg best from his role as the powerful telepath in Heroes, where he used his mental powers to solve murders and order free burgers (or something).

A specialist in lovable everyman characters, Grunberg is perfectly cast as the ordinary Joe who unexpectedly finds his inner Superman when confronted with the big bug crisis.

He’s thrown together with Lombardo Boyar’s fast-talking Mexican security guard. With his goofy antics and an accent as broad as a burrito, Boyar veers dangerously close to racist cliché: a sort of Hispanic Jar-Jar Binks in human form.

This not-so-dynamic duo sounds as good an idea as, well, melding tomatoes with E.T. But, in the finest traditions of odd couple movies (see just about any Eighties buddy cop movie), their friction-filled relationship proves to be the film’s most entertaining aspect.

Adding a much needed touch of class to proceedings is stern-faced character actor Ray Wise (Robocop, Twin Peaks). A specialist in authoritarian roles, he’s spent the last thirty years profitably playing Sheriffs, Senators and other representatives of officialdom whilst scarcely ageing a day.

Not-so-dynamic duo Lombardo Boyar and Greg Grunberg
Unfailingly perma-tanned and with a spookily unchanging hairstyle (only Robert Redford possesses a similarly time-resistant barnet) our Ray could still pass for late forties despite the fact he’s now pushing 70.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for the Sundance Kid, whose face these days seems to be crumpling like a decaying peach. (Which reminds Exploding Helicopter of David Hockney’s priceless observation while painting the wrinkly poet, W.H. Auden: ‘I just kept thinking: if that’s his face, what must his balls look like?’)

Is this any good?

Despite the predictable plot, shaky special effects, and some decidedly questionable science, Big Ass Spider is a thoroughly likeable piece of hokum.

That’s because, like other notable monster successes such as Eight-Legged Freaks and Slither, this film knows that it’s meant to be good fun. And for the most part, it really is a hoot. There’s genuine wit in Grunberg and Boyar’s good-natured bickering, while the grisly deaths are entertainingly engineered. And overall, the genre tropes are embraced with a deft blend of humour and homage. Which is by no means as easy as it looks – just ask Snakes on a Plane.

Sure, you can pick Big Ass Spider apart. But that would make you rather like a mean-spirited kid pulling the legs off a helpless insect. This whimsical yarn isn’t doing any harm, so why be cruel? It’s only meant to be a piece of trashy fun. The best bet is to just sit back and enjoy it.

Exploding helicopter action

Don't fly too close to the.....oh too late
In a teaser for the climactic scene, the film opens with the giant arachnid atop a skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles as heavily-armed Army helicopters hover nearby.

The choppers should be in no danger. But as Exploding Helicopter has observed many times before, cinematic pilots have a curious inability to remain at a safe distance from a clearly observable threat.

Within seconds, one of the Apache-style helicopters inexplicably flies within swatting distance of the giant spider. The irritated insect smacks the aircraft with one its hairy legs, sending the whirlybird crashing into the building where it promptly explodes.

Spider: 1. Helicopters: 0.

Artistic merit

The helicopter and its explosion are rendered in fairly decent CGI. The scene is shot from below, which allows the flaming wreckage to fall towards the camera – always a nice touch.

Exploding helicopter innovation

This blog has seen helicopters destroyed by all sorts of weird and not-so-wonderful creatures – piranhas, crocodiles, bees and even, most bizarrely, flamingos. But this is the first recorded example of a helicopter being destroyed by a spider – mutant or otherwise.

Favourite line

Fittingly, given the title of the film, the titular arachnid is ultimately destroyed by our heroes firing a bazooka up its backside.

This allows for the apt payoff line: “Up yours.”

Trivia fact

The movie's DVD cover blurb – which describes an annoying little insect bloated to massive proportions by unlikely circumstances, then raging havoc across the USA – led some to initially assume it was a Donald Trump biopic. No, it didn’t. But would anything surprise you about America at the moment?


Ten stories high and very hungry.

Review by: Jafo

Tool for sandmolds

This little tool helps in the process of making sand molds. It was casted from recycled bronze.

PP plastic

I milled som PP plastic with the shopbot today, ran a 6mm singleflute at 18000 RPM 35mm/sek with 8mm pass depth.
The chip formation was good, and the surface quality turned out great!

More welding with jigs!

After learning to make jigs with the CNC, this artist then welded his piece together in the jig.

Welding large, but acurate structures becomes easy when you use a jig.

This jig was made from scrap materials.

It is important to ensure that your workpiece is properly grounded when welding. This connection is done wia this clamp, wich is connected to the welding machine.

CNC + welding; a perfect match!

A lot of people describe welding as an course, unprecise proces. TIG welding is another story. With no sparks, little smoke, and no dirty afterprocessing needed, it is the perfect welding process for a fablab. 

And, if you combine it with CNC machines for jig making, you can make very precise parts!
Here is a job i was comissioned this week: welding a steel frame with a central tube.

The jig has been machined on the CNC router

This is our bandsaw. It is slow, but very precise.

For the optimal result, all parts should be clean and without grease.

The parts has been put in place in the jig, and is ready for welding. The fume extractor is an important piece of equipment, as metal fumes can be highly toxic.

A finnished weld.

The central joint. These welds has been brushed with a drill powered wirebrush.

The jig has done its job, and can now be thrown away, or the material could be used for other projects.

Small welding job

A custome dropped this off at fellesverkstedet: a custom made bike fork, which need some welding. Welded up the hole, and buffed the part, so it was ready for pickup. I can safely say that thecustomer was satisfied, as he left me a bottle of wine!

CNC milled 3D printer display bezel

 Made the bezel and knob for my friend christian's 3D printer with the shopbot today. This was a 30. min job @20mm/sek with my favourite 6mm singleflute bit.

Antenna for drone

Made the mounting ring for this antenna for a client today, as we milled it from a soft alloy of aluminium, we churned this out at 12mm/sek 4mm cut depth with a 6mm bit.

Making A wax seal

Christina lewis came up with the idea of making her logo into a wax seal. Challenge accepted! So today, i milled the logo itself from a block of aluminium, going slow at 6mm/sek with a 2mm singleflute bit @ 18000 RPM, the handle will be made later from some wood.

we started out with a simplified vector file, wich we then made toolpaths from in Vcarve, the program which writes code to the CNC machine.

The machining process is loud, and draws attention!

The finnished seal:

The end result:

largest aluminium part so far!

I manufactured my biggest part so far on the shopbot, a camera mount for taking FPV shots of the milling process. the part where designed in Autodesk fusion 360. 

                           Here i am mounting the freshly made camera mount on our shopbot.

Using the slots in the mount, the camera can be positioned in several angels ensuring the best shot.

This bracket were cut using a singleflute carbide 6mm bit @18000 RPM, 10mm/sek and 2,8mm cut depth. The surface quality were sacrificed for a faster toolpath, clocking in at 1.45 hours.

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