• A One Week Build

    A.M. Smith01/17/2020 at 02:05 0 comments

    A short post about a project I undertook a couple of holidays ago.

    Baseline plan: a baby dragon emerges from a freshly cracked egg, filling the room with hot air from its tiny maw. Animatronic and space heater.


    Surprised myself with how well the head model turned out, considering I haven't molded clay since kindergarten.

    Built up around a PVC elbow to allow hot air to blow through the mouth.

    Painting the head w/ zero experience in model painting. Inspired by Norbert(a).

    Brief overview of the project so far. A computer fan in the base draws air upwards into the egg, air flows around nichrome heating element and out the mouth of the dragon.

    The head pipe is bonded to a monkey hook, then secured to the effector of a 9g micro servo. An Arduino nano controls the motion.

    Final painted model in operation -

    The air streaming from the mouth was only slightly warmer than air temperature. Lesson learned: a zig zag of nichrome wire over the top of a fan does not provide a lot of surface area for heat transference. Use a metal heatsink next time.

    Happy to just prove the concept but unwilling to set my apartment on fire, I snipped the wires to the heating element shortly after the project was completed.

    This was my first animatronic (I think it qualifies?), lots learned from the molding of clay, painting, and bonding elements together.


    Posting this project log in fond memory of the baby dragon, who was recently pushed off a high ledge by our kitten and is now resting in pieces.