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Thread: Another HUD project

  1. #31
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Bugger.

    You tell yourself "this first one is a learning experience, it'll be shit" but it doesn't stop you getting your hopes up.

    Got back from two weeks away yesterday, today cleaned up the mould a bit and did my first cold cast. It was a learning experience and it was rubbish: don't crank down the ejector pin too early and I have to redesign the mould to add another vent because I managed to get an air pocket right where the watertight seal needs to go.

    Grrrrr. Back to the drawing board. Glad I didn't try and pot the PCB in this one :)

    On the bright side, the stainless insert pulled beautifully, the cable is stuck in good and tight, and you can hardly tell where the little plastic backing plug has been cast into the main body. So I think I'm on the right track, just needs a bit of refinement.

    Might try milling the next version of the mould too. 3D printing is fast and cheap but it leaves a lot to be desired in the finish.


  2. #32
    RBW Member PaulToz is an unknown quantity at this point PaulToz's Avatar
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Thanks for posting this, I'll join Doomanic in the dunce cap corner but I find the project fascinating, I'm an 'off the shelf' RB diver but I guess I'm bit of a geek, next time I change a battery in one of my Dreams I might have a closer look at that PCB.

  3. #33
    RBW Member Mike_Eitel is an unknown quantity at this point Mike_Eitel's Avatar
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Just a silly question
    Why not use normal transparent resin like the ones that are used for butterflie cubes? My first few ppo2 meters i did that way. Fool proof. Used pg to connect cable.. Never failed. Sureley you can use your mold, just use seperation stuff..
    Mike

  4. #34
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Eitel  View Original Post
    Just a silly question
    Why not use normal transparent resin like the ones that are used for butterflie cubes? My first few ppo2 meters i did that way. Fool proof. Used pg to connect cable.. Never failed. Sureley you can use your mold, just use seperation stuff..
    Mike
    Hi Mike

    I thought about clear casting acrylic but realised there'd be little point as, for strength, I'm mixing a fair bit of glass powder into the resin. So it would end up being cloudy, not clear. The colour of this ProCast PU resin is a bit rubbish but I've got black dye to finish it, and all the other characteristics (low exotherm, low shrinkage, strength of final cast) were a better fit for the job.

  5. #35
    RBW Member SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK is a glorious beacon of light SimonK's Avatar
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Great job, personally I struggle soldering that stuff with £10k of soldering station and microscope.
    How about putting the LEDs and battery terminals on an unpopulated card, wiring it so you can turn the LEDs on via the cable then when you think you have the mould working build a test unit you can take diving to check watertight integrity.

    How are you going to mount it on you mouthpiece?

    S

  6. #36
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonK  View Original Post
    Great job, personally I struggle soldering that stuff with £10k of soldering station and microscope.
    How about putting the LEDs and battery terminals on an unpopulated card, wiring it so you can turn the LEDs on via the cable then when you think you have the mould working build a test unit you can take diving to check watertight integrity.

    How are you going to mount it on you mouthpiece?

    S
    I've already built gear (eg new hud for my AV1) using the same potting approach so I know that works well. In this case the question marks are more around the sealing of the battery cap and strength of the case around the battery. Fortunately, I can test that just as easily with a solid piece like the one I did yesterday sitting in the pocket with no electronics at all and with a bit of colour indicating desiccant in the battery hole - after pressure pot testing too.

    So I don't think there's a need for that intermediate step, once I get a mould that fills properly I'll do this test, rinse and repeat until I have a working cap, then try with the full PCB / LED rig. Hopefully it won't take too many goes :)

    In some of the photos you may notice a recessed section on the barrel, it's designed to be grabbed by a holder similar to the one used by AP on their Vision HUDs.

  7. #37
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Another day, another lesson. New mould design with better vents to prevent the air pocket that failed in the last one. This time I used a CNC to carve the mould instead of 3D printing it. Much more accurate and a much better finish in the mould.

    But now I know to not use pine, despite a very smooth finish and liberal soaking in silicone oil the polyurethane still managed to key into the wood fibre and I destroyed both the mould and the casting trying to get it apart.

    Le sigh.

    Tomorrow I'll try again with aluminium.


  8. #38
    RBW Member cyberdiamond is an unknown quantity at this point cyberdiamond's Avatar
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    Re: Another HUD project

    In the past when I have used a wooden mold I have used car polish first and that worked ok for getting parts released.
    Enjoying seeing your progress with this.

  9. #39
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberdiamond  View Original Post
    In the past when I have used a wooden mold I have used car polish first and that worked ok for getting parts released.
    Enjoying seeing your progress with this.
    Even if I'd used PVA instead of silicone oil as the release agent, I'd have had a better chance with this one. Still, even though the casting failed I did manage to discover a couple of issues with the toolpaths for the mould so the process has saved me a half day and a big slug of aluminium which would have been trashed.

    :) Getting closer.

  10. #40
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    Re: Another HUD project

    Hey Starfish,

    If you don't mind a suggestion - we've done some of this in our shop when we're doing some proof-of-concept things - I'll look and see what pictures I may have of it.

    The technique we've used is to make the part out of molding clay, then seal it inside RTV-615, which cures crystal clear. Then, we cut out the part inside using a see-saw pattern, so when we put the two halves of the RTV back together, they align properly.

    The RTV-615 won't stick to the molding clay, and leaves a really nice cavity for filling later.

    We then insert the part we want to encapsulate, put the two halves of the RTV-615 mold back together, and fill with a traditional material (either Epoxy or Flexane, usually Flexane if you want something really waterproof), and voila, you have a nice part.

    Good luck with your project!

    Kevin.

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