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smaller version dragon

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Eyes assembly

Eyes assembly 1This are the first parts I designed and printed – the eye mechanics. There is 6 micro servos in this assembly. 2 of them will move eyes up and down and left and right. Another two servos is used to blink, one for each eye. Remaining 2 will operate nose with upper lip and tongue. There will be one more to move the jaw but I didn’t design it yet. I wanted to print it and test if first and than I can add more elements and attach them with superglue  in the first prototype, when everything works, i will prepare better parts for second version. The additional difficulty is that I want it to be printed on home made printers and avoid using support where possible.
Eyes assembly 2
I am also planning to combine the parts into bigger single pieces while reducing the amount of material used  and weight. I already see areas where things need to be strengthened. People with reliable printer will be able to print it as single part which will take many hours to complete but will reduce assembly time. Those who prefer to print smaller pieces or customize their parts, will be able to use split version of the skull and attach them with screws. I prefer this option, because I hate when after few hours of printing something goes wrong with extruder and the part is useless. This happened with the frame element, but I noticed it early enough to save the print.

The blue servos you can see on the photos are Tower Pro SG90 9g micro servos. I bought them on ebay, they are very cheap but good enough for this purpose, there is no need for much force to rotate the eyes.

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About the project

Welcome to my website where I am going to document and share my first animatronic project. I have some experience with making things from scratch and you can see my previous projects on my other website themodelmaker.net . This will be something more advanced than I did before, so I dedicate it a separate blog. I hope I will make it to the end and the result will be as good as in my imagination.

This project is about creating realistic animatronic dragon. I would like it to be as lifelike as real animal. The model will be the size of bird of pray, portable with electronics hidden inside the sculpture. I realize that it is quite challenging for the first project of this type, but I am ready to learn a lot during the whole process. I will try to describe this here so you can learn from my mistakes too.
dragon baby 2
The idea of the dragon was with me since I researched dragons for my little sculpture for Kidrobot Munny Munth contest and Cardiff Dragons Show last year. The animatronics were in my head since I watched “Movie Magic” TV series when I was a child. Finally the vision of this project was sparked by the Game of Thrones TV show (you can watch it here) and their CGI dragons. I thought I would like to bring this creature to life. I don’t have the intention to recreate the exact dragon from the show, but I can imagine that this will also be possible using the armature I will be developing. Most of the construction will be fabricated on my homemade 3d printer so when I am done, it will be possible for you to build it too. Watch this space for updates if you are interested in this subject.


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