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 Post subject: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Long ago PuzzleMaster42 asked me to get his Gigaminx design printed at the TechShop for Aleh to use to build. The TechShop had many delays and when the print was finally done it was really messed up: The filament didn't bond well and left a tangle of ABS and distorted pieces.
Adam had the parts printed elsewhere and Aleh built a very nice puzzle from them. Leaving me with some messed up masters:
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Most had some damage, but the center edge was the worst:
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Note even on the "good" side of this one the large ruts in the piece from the filament moving around.

So the first step of the repair was cutting the tangle of filament from the piece corner, and then applying milliput to all the surfaces:
Image
Next a few hours of wet sanding with 220 and 1500 grit sand paper. I now have some 600 that would have been a good mid-grade to use.

The trick for all of the tiny surfaces is to fold the sand paper a few times (in half twice gives a nice fairly sturdy corner of paper). This helps with corners, and for U shaped pieces you can let the paper push out to fill the interior and then run it back and forth. I should have taken pictures, but wet sanding and a camera don't mix so well.

On that note: I *love* wet sanding. Why ever go back to a bunch of dust and friction blisters on my fingers? Do your lungs a favor and get yourself over a sink.

Ok, the results:
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Image
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Note the heavy repair of the center edge with milliput.

One of these days I'll make a puzzle from these.

Preparing masters this way (fill and sand) hopefully will solve one of the troubles Aleh had in his build: PuzzleMaster42 with the Helicoper and SuperX designed parts with no spacing, relying on the sanding and smoothing of the masters to provide the proper clearance for good movement. On these two puzzles with their part count that works well. With the Gigaminx, losing all the material to smooth down to the filament grooves made them too small, and Aleh had to do some big adjustments to get the puzzle to work.
By filling then sanding my masters should be ever so slightly larger. We'll see (when I get to casting them) if that yields a better result. Boy I hope so :)

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:30 pm 
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this is sort of off topic, but how do you wetsand? and does it use a lot of sandpaper?

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:30 pm 
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that's incredible! Fantastic quality pieces, I bet they feel smooth as silk! Makes me wonder If I should try this method with Teraminx pieces, or even petaminx pieces. either way its a method I plan to try at some point rather than just using solvent

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:38 pm 
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well first off let me say im very excited for you, i want a gigaminx more than anything else and id love to have the opportunity to build one. Secondly as im not familiar with the story behind the design, im wondering what kind of giga version this is? looks like a 1.5 maybe? It LOOKS good on photos, i bet it will make a fine giga given the situation =) =) =)

what plans do you have for it? are you going to build a bunch or just one or sell them or what? either way, if in any way turns into a situation where i could get my own giga, can i respectively call dibs on old molds? XD (no...seriously.... i'll buy)

how long did the whole process take anyway?

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:51 pm 
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GamerCuber101 wrote:
this is sort of off topic, but how do you wetsand? and does it use a lot of sandpaper?
Just look for sandpaper that mentions it is wet/dry. Most higher grit papers will be wet/dry because it makes more sense for the things you sand at high grit: metal, plastic, etc. The paper is stronger and doesn't fall apart when in water.

You just wet the piece and the paper, and sand away. All the little bits you remove get trapped in the water on the piece instead of clogging up the paper. It also keeps friction from becoming much of a problem (water cooled!) which happens on high grit papers pretty quick. Every so often you run a bit more water over things and rinse off the paper. It's great! I think it probably uses less sandpaper as the paper gets washed clean quicker. With dry sanding the friction often bakes the material into the grain of the paper, making it useless pretty quick.

Drewseph wrote:
that's incredible! Fantastic quality pieces, I bet they feel smooth as silk! Makes me wonder If I should try this method with Teraminx pieces, or even petaminx pieces. either way its a method I plan to try at some point rather than just using solvent
They are smooth like glass. It is hard to hold them together for a picture, they keep sliding apart :)
I haven't tried solvent. It seems quicker, but the nastiness of the chemicals involved isn't appealing to me. For a fully printed puzzle of course this is the way to go unless you can match putty color to filament color (doubtful).

Sanding is no small amount of work but man do I like the results! Like most things, you get out of it what you put into it. I'm a bit obsessive, so I even sanded smooth the inside of the corner piece (and all others). Nothing touches that, there is no part to part contact. But I can't just leave it rough. And besides, it will make demolding much simpler if I have a smooth surface there, even if no one ever sees it.

I suppose what I am trying to push here is "Try going one step further". If you don't sand your masters, give 220 grit a try (that alone would make a huge difference for some puzzles). If you use 220, bump up to 400 or 600. If you use 600, try over 1000. If you use 1500, finish up with plain paper or newspaper.

If you don't have many pieces, it won't be that much time. If you are working on a puzzle with lots of pieces, perhaps that extra attention (although a lot of time) can make the difference in it moving poor vs. well vs. great.

Now I need to find the time to make molds from these to see if my work pays off. Because if it doesn't I'll want to report back "Don't waste your time like I do". So far it paid off well for the Pillowed and Inverted 2x2x2, so I think it is a good bet it was worth my time on the Gigaminx.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:02 pm 
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oh jeez im sorry, i bet you get people asking you for stuff like that all the time. =(

but they really do look great, i really respect the fact that you took something ugly and made it into something amazing. But im still curious, what version of minx is it?

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:18 pm 
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ndgamer4life wrote:
Secondly as im not familiar with the story behind the design, im wondering what kind of giga version this is? looks like a 1.5 maybe?
This was the second Gigaminx to be designed. One might call it a V2 Gigaminx, but since it wasn't TBTTyler's second design, that doesn't make much sense. It was made shortly before TBTTyler's V2 was built, and shares a V-Cube inspired design like that of TBTTyler's V2 and Dreseph's. I call it "PuzzleMaster42's Gigaminx design". Here is a link to the annoucement of Aleh's. Only one of this design exists (Aleh's) that I know of, but I hope to make one for myself.
ndgamer4life wrote:
what plans do you have for it? are you going to build a bunch or just one or sell them or what? either way, if in any way turns into a situation where i could get my own giga, can i respectively call dibs on old molds? XD (no...seriously.... i'll buy)
My existing agreement is to fix up and use the masters for a single puzzle for myself. This agreement did not involve plans for these masters to be up for sale, sorry.

Right now there are only a few people talented enough to design and CAD higher order puzzles. This is starting to change, but until it does (and even thereafter), I respect their careful control of their designs. If they want to make the designs available for sale (.stl files) they will. If they do, then perhaps there is a sub-market for someone like me to print and finish the masters of those parts for sale (or even molds), but we aren't there yet. If I were to start making finished Gigaminxes for sale, what would that do to the market for Dreseph? I encourage healthy competition, but don't see any reason to crowd a market when I don't have the time to make all the puzzles of my own :)
ndgamer4life wrote:
how long did the whole process take anyway?
Applying Milliput to the pieces was about an hour. It is sticky messy stuff. Eventually I gave up trying to apply it cleanly and smooth with water and just applied it roughly and figured I would file and sand off the excess. It also has a few hours of drying time.
Sanding all the Gigaminx pieces probably took 2-3 hours. Then I had to apply Milliput again in a few places where I had oversanded or the shape wasn't quite right. More drying time, then another hour or two on fix ups. There are actually a few tiny places left with some unfilled spaces that my obsessiveness will probably require I fix.
So minus the Milliput drying time perhaps 4-5 hours. A lot. That's me though, standing in the bathroom over the sink wet sanding pieces until 1:45am. Good times :)

By the way, it takes almost no milliput at all to fill a piece. Even a tiny pinch is plenty once you smear it all over a small piece.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:53 pm 
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It's a very interesting read. Thanks, Dave. I have one question though. Why did you decide you wanted to fill the grooves with something like Milliput, instead of filling them with some kind of liquid plastic like IPS Weld On? The latter would have been less messy I imagine. Sanding would still make parts smooth where needed.

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:06 pm 
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I do exactly the same as you do DLitwin, and i have found and effective way of checking the smoothness around the entire piece is to simply take a permanent marker and just color the piece after each stage of higher grit sanding. The differing colors and patterns created by sanding make it hard to see any little rough spots or cracks in the masters, and the permanent marker makes it much easier to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Aleksey wrote:
It's a very interesting read. Thanks, Dave. I have one question though. Why did you decide you wanted to fill the grooves with something like Milliput, instead of filling them with some kind of liquid plastic like IPS Weld On? The latter would have been less messy I imagine. Sanding would still make parts smooth where needed.
Liquid would be too thin, and I couldn't use it to build up the damaged areas. IPS Weld On is basically acetone (with some plastic added?) as far as I know.
The largest factor in my decision was that I already had some Milliput ;)
Ryan Thompson wrote:
I do exactly the same as you do DLitwin, and i have found and effective way of checking the smoothness around the entire piece is to simply take a permanent marker and just color the piece after each stage of higher grit sanding. The differing colors and patterns created by sanding make it hard to see any little rough spots or cracks in the masters, and the permanent marker makes it much easier to see.
Good idea! I"ll have to give it a try.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:47 pm 
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IPS Weld-On 2354 (what I use) is a MEK based solvent. It dissolves the plastic and smooths the parts, but does not add any material. I have smoothed parts both by sanding and then applying solvent to polish the parts, and by applying several coats of solvent to melt the surface into smoothness (for very small parts).

My design process for the puzzle has changed a lot since this one was done. I think I spent 10-15 hours working on the parts, where now I would get a Gigaminx design done in about 2 hours. It will be good to see this one done and to see how this process of smoothing works for poorly printed masters.

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:37 am 
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There you go, only six months later I finally build the puzzle from these parts. Check out the process here.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:56 pm 
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did you use the yellow-gray milliput

i found a hobby lobby store only a couple of miles from home

and they had the black,superfine-white,and the yellow-gray


also how exactly did you go about applying the millput

i.e: rub it in with your finger then scrape it with something like a credit card
or what?

-Clay

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:35 pm 
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Clay n Eva Creations wrote:
did you use the yellow-gray milliput i found a hobby lobby store only a couple of miles from home and they had the black,superfine-white,and the yellow-gray
Yes, I have the yellow-gray. It doesn't really matter much but a different color than the printing can help tell them apart so you know the depth to which you are sanding.
Clay n Eva Creations wrote:
also how exactly did you go about applying the millput
i.e: rub it in with your finger then scrape it with something like a credit card
or what?
Yes, rub it in with a finger. Getting the right consistency is difficult. Not to wet, or it is too thin. Not too dry, or it pulls out from the grooves and sticks to your finger.

Don't try to smooth it, apply it thick and sand down. Trying to smooth it invariably left it too deep in the cracks, and I had to apply more.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Gigaminx master repair and finishing
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:12 am 
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thank you dave
that was very very helpful

-Clay

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