Friday, June 26, 2009

Defender: How I Make an Eyepiece

I thought it might be interesting for some of you to see what goes into creating one of my resin parts. For the Defender mask I decided to make one of the eyepieces similar to a camera lens, with a stepped conical inside. I built the prototype in layers of 1/16" (1.5 mm) thick clear acrylic sheeet. The drawing below shows part of the file I created in CorelDraw.

As you can see, the outside dimension of each piece stays the same, while the inside hole decreases in size as we move down the page. Some of the outsides are zig-zag while others are smooth. The red lines are the cut lines, while the blue lines are just for planning. The tiny red circles are for alignment pins.

Here are the pieces after being cut out with the laser. The parts on the left were extras I didn't use; the ones on the right were put together with three pins, and sprayed white to seal the cracks.

I then molded the prototype with blue silicone rubber and let it cure overnight. The next day I cast it in a charcoal urethane resin. I drilled holes around the perimeter (that had already been marked with the laser) and inserted twelve rivets to make it a bit steamier. I then remolded it and cast it in black.

Here is the finished part with pewter Rub N Buff™ added to the surface to keep with my black and silver color scheme. I'm not sure yet if I will use this one or recast it in a cold cast aluminum.

The small ½" (12.5 mm) diameter hole at the bottom of the lens sits fairly close to the wearer's eye, allowing him or her to see out, while keeping others from looking in.


  1. "Here are the pieces after being cut out with the laser."

    [Drooling] A steampunker with a laser -- but how do you fit the boiler needed for that much power into your house? ;)

    If I may ask, what is the laser make/model? Did someone from the Gryphon Expedition send it to you? :)


  2. While I appreciate your interest, sir, I’m not sure I appreciate your tone. Wanting to give you the benefit of the doubt (due to my gentle nature), I will oblige you with some of the details of the matter about which you have inquired.

    My laser sits atop a small hillock inside my laboratory (not my house!). The word “laser” of course is an acronym for Luminiferous Aether Selectively Energized through a Ruby.
    No steam engine or boiler is required.

    I simply gather the aether energy via my collection devices and focus it through a ruby into a powerful cutting ray. The luminiferous aether collection device was another invention of the fabulously ingenious genius (some call him mad) H. Tauruscat. I am not free to reveal the details of how all this is accomplished at this time.

    I regard any further inquiries into my processes an invasion of my privacy, and do hope, sir, that your inquiries have been satisfied.

  3. My dear sir;
    I do most humbly offer an apology for my unceremonious blunder into your personal business. I assure you that I have no interest, neither personal nor professional to ascertain certain schematic and technical specifications related to the L.A.S.E.R. device. I have not had the pleasure or good fortune to meet Mr. Tauruscat; indeed of him I have heard much speculation and rumour. I understand your rebuff regarding my inquiry, and I meant no offense when I erroneously supposed the existence of a boiler in conjunction with the L.A.S.E.R. proper. I must have been thinking about the first generation L.A.S.E.D. device, which, as you no doubt already know, had a Dichromatic crystal rather than a Ruby. Obviously the irregular structure of the crystaline matrix caused inconsistent results, which is why the Ruby came to be used for its' lack of impurities and its' chromatic resonance. No boiler would be needed to power the L.A.S.E.R. as the energy requirements for the Selective Engergization via the red gem is significantly less than with the initial crystal experiment.
    Again, I do humbly beg of you to forgive my insolence and I trust that I may correspond with you in the future at your convenience.
    I remain, as always, a student of your skills and techniques.

  4. My dear Sir,

    I fear that it is I who must beg forgiveness from you for the brusqueness of my recent missive. I erred in supposing that you were a newspaperman, whose rabid inquiries offend all senses of gentle folk. It was the reference to “drooling” plus the seeming lack of refinement in your first post that put me on guard. I feared doggedness in your inquiries, followed by publication of falsehoods and scandalous tales slandering both Prof. Tauruscat and myself.

    I see now from your most recent post that you are in fact a gentleman, and have no intention of impugning the good name of the professor. As you no doubt have heard Prof. Tauruscat treasures his privacy above all else, and civilization as we know it would be coarser were it not for his many and sundry inventions.

    I extend my hand in professional friendship, and invite you to stop by the club at your convenience for a brandy and a fine cigar.

    I remain at your disposal,

    Baron Henry Balzerhaught

    PS. The professor refers to the laser in my laboratory as a Universal M-300.

  5. This is the best series of comments ever.

    Also, I wish my laboratory had a laser. =( All I have are cats. Not even laser cats.