Hardware - materials

A project log for A functional Stargate

It won't transport me, but it will transport something across vast distances

shlonkinshlonkin 03/29/2014 at 14:034 Comments

It's been a slow beginning, but I'm finally finding some time to start making the physical gate. Here are some basic specs:

The basic material, the plastic, is sourced from dollar store cutting boards... Wait, don't walk away just yet. It's a perfectly reasonable source of flat plastic sheets, and hey, it makes the project a better educational example for young(or poor) hackers who don't have 3D printers or money. 

Anyway, I was planning on just using HDPE because it is so easy to cut smoothly and I've had good experiences with it. I ended up getting some polypropylene boards too because they were the thickness I wanted. It is also pretty nice to work with, but a little more brittle. That means if I put too much pressure on a knife cutting a delicate piece, the plastic might suddenly break and destroy the piece. 

Here are the boards. One is already in the process of being cut. Their thicknesses are 3mm, 4mm, 6mm.

The design is based on an image from the wikipedia page. I used Gimp to make some rough guides for cutting then printed the image so that the outer diameter is 19cm.

The cutting began with the spacer layer, which is 6mm thick. I just need two simple rings, but they are thin and need to be pretty accurate. I glued the printed image to the board, carefully cut the paper into ring shaped stencils, then used a black crayon to color the plastic to be removed around the rings. Using this a a guide, I cut the board as carefully as possible with a jigsaw. Here it is partially cut. The thing I'm holding is one of the paper stencils.

I also made some first attempts at the much more intricate chevron pieces. They will certainly take some patience and I don't have any useful result to show yet. I'm thinking of investing in a rotary hand tool like a Dremel.

As a side note, I'd like to make a remote dialing computer. I won't make a DHD(dial home device) replica because of time constraints, but the Earth gate that I'm copying didn't have a DHD anyway. Stargate command used a dialing computer. It will be based on this awesome garbage find, a wireless 10-key.


Stefan-Xp wrote 03/30/2014 at 13:20 point
I'm so curious: How will you make the rotating ring rotating? ;)

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shlonkin wrote 03/30/2014 at 14:15 point
The plastic is easily carved with a very sharp knife. They will not move, so it is just a matter of carving the design. Also, paint will probably be used for the smallest details. Oh, and the plastic is translucent, so I will leave the illuminated part unpainted and place an smd LED behind it.

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Stefan-Xp wrote 03/30/2014 at 13:16 point
I'm curious how you will create the Chevrons, they are not much bigger than a thumb?

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shlonkin wrote 03/30/2014 at 14:11 point
The rotating ring moves in a channel between the front and back layers. A stepper motor will turn it. I have a couple designs for coupling the motor to the ring, but I'm not far enough to decide yet.

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