Today we cut out all the parts for the skeleton of the robot. All of the internal supports for the pod and body have now been cut out.
This is the main rib for the body shell. THere is one of these for each side of the robot. It will serve as the main structural member for all of the later additions
All the various parts were nested together onto four 2'x4' pieces of 1/4" MDF, and cut out on my CNC router.
The pieces were then all glued together, pinned with little 5/8" brad nails, and then clamped and left to dry. The one obviously missing flat surface will have a lid affixed with magnets. It has to be removable in order to provide access to the electronics that will be placed inside.
Next, the whole skeleton was inserted into the pod. It was at this point that we discovered that the ribs we so carefully designed and cut do not actually fit right into the pod shell as we expected. Due to a miscalculation in the CAD models, once the top and bottom flat panels were affixed to the ribs, they no longer touched the interior curve of the shell. So, we built up little mounting points from two-part epoxy putty. The putty dries hard, and bonds well to the fiberglass, but does not bond to the wooden ribs well. So, we will be gluing the wood to the putty with five-minute epoxy.
So, once that's all dry and the mold is freed up, we will do the other pod the same way. At that point, the pods will need some styrene installed along the curved internal surface, and they will be mechanically complete.