Image Map Image Map
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Does anyone have a 3D model of a PDP8e/f/m bezel?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    150

    Default Does anyone have a 3D model of a PDP8e/f/m bezel?

    I remember a while back Panelman was making replica PDP-8 panels, and also was working on a replica bezel for the PDP8/e. Does anyone know if anything came of that?

    In particular, it would be great to have a 3D model of the PDP8/e bezel. That would allow bezels to be directly machined from plastic, and would also allow creation of molds for resin casting, or even injection molding.

    Also, does anyone have a lead on a close matching paint for the bezel?

    Thanks,

    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dfnr2 View Post
    That would allow bezels to be directly machined from plastic
    The real ones are die-cast pot metal.
    The same material as the larger ones on the 11/40->70 and the smaller 11/05
    All of them are very difficult to find now.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hmm... it should not be too difficult to make them out of
    a massive piece of aluminium with an CNC milling machine...
    And after that a white power coating on it...

    I'm still in the need of a PDP8/m front panel but mine is
    made in Galway Ireland which is also printed on the front panel...

    But the bezel is still in tact. Do they tend to break?
    WTB: RX8E / M8357 and Case for Altair 8800

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    386
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    I don't have a PDP-8 of any model, just 11/05's, 11/03 and an 11/15. However, ever since I got a 3D printer last year, I have considered it a hammer in search of a nail. To that end I have an ever-growing notepad file of ideas to CAD up and print, jotted down before I forget what neat thing I'd just thought of.

    On that list is the PDP-11/05 console and both the early and late model 11/05 lower bezels. The 11/05 console is not a complex shape at all, I don't think the other '11 consoles for the larger machines are much different or really any more complex, just bigger.

    One of mine has the silkscreened escutcheon plate detached as they were only held on with two thin strips of double-sided tape and do come off easily. This means I can get to measure all surfaces of the Mazak casting. At the moment modelling these are not high priority at all, the H960 masthead is in my to-do queue a lot sooner but if anyone really wanted it let me know.

    Scripting up a PDP console in OpenSCAD should not be difficult, I think, from current experience. The final STL would be in two choices: a complete one-piece 19" wide version for running off a large printer at a professional online print shop and a sectioned version for 200x200x200mm volume home printers so that the three pieces can be glued together. I think the 11/05 console ought to be simpler than say the PDP-11/03 bezel (shameless plug) to script up. I have spent a lot of time on the embossed Maynard Massachusetts inset label DXF for the early consoles (below picture. The later ones were printed, for which I did a decal) so that ought to be fine too.
    PDP-11_05_badge_test.jpg
    Last edited by 1944GPW; October 12th, 2018 at 04:29 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Freedom City
    Posts
    6,253
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I could make one from a drawing (or CAD). I'd refuse to use pot metal though. 6061-T6 would be ideal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    386
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Looking at Shapeways they can print in aluminium. I've searched their site but have been unable to find the maximum print volume their machine has, and the photo gallery examples are all small items. It would probably cost a fortune anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Freedom City
    Posts
    6,253
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I saw bronze being "3D printed" fifteen years ago. They didn't call it that then though. There is a time and a place for 3D printing. Conventional means of making things still work. There are very few things that actually have to be 3D printed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    386
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Sure, you could hog an 8/e bezel out of a solid block of Al, but that's a lot of work and a lot of swarf. CNC milling would be almost essential here to get the correct internal profile, so that may mean a smaller milling bit.
    The original consoles were almost certainly die cast under pressure in steel molds and to replicate that at home or even a small shop is still quite difficult and likely very costly. Pouring molten Al into a a sand mold would work but the long thin sides may warp when cooling, and there's also a shrinkage factor to incorporate into the plug master. Plus the quality does not match die casting. Ergo the 3D printing. You are right it's not a universal solution, but it has lost its wow factor and has become more mainstream now. It is also possible to print dissolveable and meltable masters for sand casting, so that opens up some options.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Freedom City
    Posts
    6,253
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I could fab one pretty simply. You don't need to start with a cubic shape. I'd weld up a frame and mill to finish. CNC isn't really necessary either, but it takes a lot more time, patience, and skill (and/or what is now some uncommon machinery) without.

    I don't have one to make a copy of though, so I'd need someone else to draught or model it. My time is ridiculously expensive, so I don't expect anyone would want to pay me to make this part. If anyone had really deep pockets, I could even make (or have made) a new die cast die.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •