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Thread: PhantomX Frame Plastic

  1. PhantomX Frame Plastic


    I was wondering does anyone know what ABS plastic is used by Interbotix Labs for the frames in their Hexapod kits? I'm looking to make custom parts, and if possible it would be nice to match the same matte / gloss finish of the existing Hexapod parts.


  2. #2

    Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    Keep in mind that not only is the type of ABS (well, lets call it composition) is relevant for how it looks, also the fabrication process used to create it.

    There is a big difference in surface finish for a 3D printed part and injection molded parts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Cincinnati OH
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    Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    Also--the Mark I frames were ABS, but the Mark II frames are plexiglass.
    Trossen has a Youtube video about building materials, you could give that a look.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Portland, OR
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    Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    In reference to the actual 'frames' (F2, F3, etc) it's "Enplas" which is short for 'engineering plastic'. Your guess is as good as mine as to whats in there, but I think its primarily ABS. The frames themselves are made by Robotis and they don't divulge what goes into them.

    Our lasercut parts are primarily Plexiglas-G P95 now, which is a acrylic-lexan mix.

  5. #5

    Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    engineering plastic
    "Engineering Plastic" is actually a collective word for a number of kinds of plastics -- those that have suitable durability to be structural under various circumstances. Nylon 6/6, ABS, PEEK, and Delrin are examples of "engineering plastics." These are stiffer, and also more expensive, than soft materials like polystyrene, PP, HDPE, etc.

    Just touching the casings of the MX series, they feel perhaps like Delrin (POM / Acetal) to me, but that could be totally wrong.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2010
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    Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    Just touching the casings of the MX series, they feel perhaps like Delrin (POM / Acetal) to me, but that could be totally wrong.
    Out of curiosity, are yours glossy or more of a matte finish? The RX-28M and older MX-28 in our lab tend to be very smooth and shiny, while the newer ones have a matte finish with some sub-surface swirling color patterns (assuming those are left over from the injection molding). I'm guessing there was some sort of material change, but they always said there had been no change whatsoever (even after sending photos showing the clear difference between cases during the gearset bearing debacle, where they again claimed there had been no changes to the bearings or gearsets yet even their US repair site had new trouble with the bearings). Thinking about it, the newest Premium torso boxes have had the same look and feel as the newer MX servo cases.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
    "You have failed me, Brain!"
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  7. #7

    Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    Mine are matte. It may be that the material is the same, but the molds are now internally sandblasted, whereas they were previously polished?
    I do not have a "swirly color" effect, though. Maybe that depends on specific lighting?

  8. #8

    Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    Swirling patterns and a matte finish may be indicative of a filled plastic. Plastics can be "filled" with all sorts of things, in all different percentages. Glass is popular, but other fibers, metal or lubricants can be used. A guy I work with has over 30 years as a moldmaker, so much interesting stuff in that trade, he loves to talk about it and I love learning From looking at the MX-28's I got in bulk packs in May of this year I would say it looks like a filled plastic.
    Lots of molds are chemically or even electrically treated (EDM) to achieve finish. There are even ablative lasers designed solely for mold finishing and texturing as well. It's real hard to get texture even across something like an automotive dashboard without using something like this.

  9. Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    Can anyone suggest some professional looking materials?

    That p95 stuff looks good. I was thinking carbon fibre also, but im leaning towards a plastic.

    Besides p95 can anyone suggest some materials that are matte? nothing flashy. I like the material that was used on a members project, i think it was OKQ1. Is that also p95?


  10. #10

    Re: PhantomX Frame Plastic

    The easiest way to get something matte is to sandblast it once you've made the parts.

    I actually use aluminum, and then sandblast, and then powder-coat in a matte black, which looks very matte and black. Most people think it's plastic :-)

    Another material I just can't get enough of is 316 stainless steel in No. 4 finish. Very professional looking, if you ask me, but also very hard to work with :-)

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