As specified at the concept stage, the suit will be around a free-standing frame which locks in place and allows the wearer to climb in and out, leaving the suit standing independently. This means that the ‘stilts’ for the suit need to be fairly substantial and have space for a remote locking mechanism for the wearers feet and legs. I’d originally said that the stilts would have bending toe section to allow natural walking, but thinking about this further, it makes sense to have a hinged base plate with a ‘roll-over’ joint placed near the ball of the foot:
So, as usual, making it up as I go along, I have cut the sections from 6mm and 9mm plywood:
I’ve built the parts to be quite ‘boxy’ which helps keep them rigid. I’ve used domestic door hinges for the joint which are more than strong enough:
In a normal standing position, the wearers weight is supported by lumps of wood, with all of the load on the main base plate. There is also an end stop to prevent overbalancing – this will have metal plates screwed to both surfaces so the wood doesn’t wear/split.
The thigh section is hinged around a pair of 3D printed bearing blocks. There is also a locking bolt/pin to lock the joint in an upright position – this bolt will later be mounted on a mechanism to slide it in and out:
The snowboard bindings are fixed in with four metal clamps which will later be cable operated:
This is the torso section, it sits neatly on top of the thighs until the wearer steps into the suit and lifts it with their shoulders. The large stick along the top/back is to attach the suit’s shoulders to which are larger and float outside the wearer:
The joint between the torso and thighs will be a combination of a bungee cord, a 3D printed rubber buffer piece, and lots of padding:
I’ve designed locking mechanisms for the boot bindings and knee latches, these driven by bicycle brake cables which are made from a wire in a tube – a ‘Bowden cable’:
I’ve also painted the frame silver, here it is al together:
I spent some time mocking up the shells in cardboard so I can plan the arm frame and think about some of the other details:
My name is James Bruton, I live in Southampton, UK.
Please note that this is my personal project website, I have no products for sale, most of the information is provided so that you can have a go yourself... Read More