Thursday, November 10, 2011

Microbot UPGRADE!

This is Microbot!

And he's got a new way to move!

Back in August 2008, I was lucky enough to find a way to contribute to an awesome book project - the end result was "Build Your Own Paper Robots" by Ilex Press. It was the first book (first I'm aware of) to ever feature 3d paper robots that could be assembled and then posed over and over! All of the templates are included on the disk, in color and in black and white too -- great for coloring and customizing! It came out on the heels of "Urban Paper", another great book from the early rise of designer paper toys (along with "We Are Paper Toys").

All together, six artists got to feature their paper toys in this book: Axel Bernal, Julius Perdana, Arif Suseno, Elso Lopez, Erik Young, and myself

"Build Your Own Paper Robots", 2011, Ilex Press

One of my robots in the book is "Microbot", a 5.25" tall figure with 10 points of articulation, big, chunky fingers and an overall design that still looks good to me, even after all these years.

Recently, Ilex was able to reprint the book, in a smaller size, but so far, it's only available in the UK. To celebrate the re-release, I'm UPGRADING Microbot and changing the way you can make it. There are also new details and toys for Microbot to hold. You will still need the original templates from the book though, so track down a copy if you like it!

The new movement method is an important upgrade -- I'm sad to say that the old way of posing Microbot is prone to breakage and tearing -- I didn't learn about it till months after the book was out! I have a delicate touch with paper toys, and it wasn't until I showed Microbot to someone else... when he TWISTED the arm right off at the shoulder! The tiny paper disk axle delaminated, pulling the layers of paper apart! The worst part is that they don't glue back together well at all!

Worry no more! Download the Microbot Upgrade Patch PDF from this post, print it out, and also print out the template from your copy of "Build Your Own Paper Robots" -- now you can have Microbots built with Screw-In Flat Axle technology! It's durable; resists tearing forces much more reasonably and also has more friction in each joint!

► DOWNLOAD the Microbot Upgrade PDF (A4 and Letter) - 150 KB

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Here are the instructional images that will help you build the new and improved Microbot!

This is the Electron Gun - fold it in half, glue it together, then
cut it out. Use a knife to cut out the finger slots.

This is how Microbot holds the gun! Don't worry... it only
emits a low-energy, concentrated electron beam -- just enough
to make your hair stand on end. But it's enough to reprogram
the circuits of any un-shielded robot!

Glue the tiny and big hole guides to the top and bottom of
the torso. Use a knife to remove the shapes with an "X"
in the middle. Also cut the notch lines.

Cut out all of the Flat Axles. Fold over and glue each axle

Screw in each flat axle by inserting the flaps on the back into
the notch. See other models on this website for detailed
insertion instructions. Put a small piece of tape over the notch
lines on the inside of the torso piece once the flat
axles are screwed in.

Use a knife to cut out the holes on all of the limb pieces.
Each limb gets both holes cut out! Make a notch line going
towards the center of the piece from each hole. Screw Flat Axles
into each hole. 

Make sure you make mirrored pairs with the way you screw
in the flat axles. Look at the details on each piece to help
orient your placement of the flat axles.

Glue each arm together this way. Glue disk caps to the outside
shoulder disk and the inside elbow disk.

Glue each leg together like this. Glue Disk caps to the outside
of the hip disk and the inside of the knee disk. Assemble the
Micbrobot from this point on following the original instructions
in the book.

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