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Aperture Science Spatially Challenged Companion Cube

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Welcome <Instructables User 72808332>!  This test requires that you construct an Aperture Science Spatially Challenged Companion Cube.  From scratch.  With your bare hands.

Ha. Ha. Just kidding.  You may use aluminum.  But you must euthanize your cube upon completion.  With your bare hands.
 
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Step 1: An Aluminum Weighted Companion Cube

This project is a 8"x8"x8" aluminum replica of the weighted companion cube from the video game Portal.

I made this miniature aluminum weighted companion cube on one of the manual mills at TechShop San Francisco.  All the staff were super amazingly helpful.  Without their help, this project would never have been completed.  Thanks guys!

While I can't recommend that anyone do this on a manual mill, as it was super labor intensive, TechShop SF does have a sweet CNC mill (Tormach PCNC 1100) and while you can't do large pieces on it, all these pieces are not large.

As a manual milling project, I did learn a lot about manual milling, but it took basically forever to make. CNC mill highly recommended.  I did this project with almost no manual milling experience.  That means you can do it too.  Especially if you have help from awesome TechShop employees.  But make sure to get extra pieces so you can mess them up and end up with a sweet box of scrap aluminum when you're done.

As I can't recommend this be made in this fashion, this is not really a guide on how to make this particular cube.  It is more of a record of what I did, and some notes and files that might be helpful to anyone making a similar project.
crazypj6 months ago

Personally I would find it far easier to do on a manual machine

I could probably make it quicker than doing renderings for CNC

There really isn't too much to it if you have a rotary table

The main diffeence would be making more than one, that's where CNC is a major advantage

crazypj6 months ago

Personally I would find it far easier to do on a manual machine

I could probably make it quicker than doing renderings for CNC

There really isn't too much to it if you have a rotary table

The main diffeence would be making more than one, that's where CNC is a major advantage

crazypj6 months ago

Personally I would find it far easier to do on a manual machine

I could probably make it quicker than doing renderings for CNC

There really isn't too much to it if you have a rotary table

The main diffeence would be making more than one, that's where CNC is a major advantage

crazypj6 months ago

Personally I would find it far easier to do on a manual machine

I could probably make it quicker than doing renderings for CNC

There really isn't too much to it if you have a rotary table

The main diffeence would be making more than one, that's where CNC is a major advantage

PAWZ7 months ago

That is a thing of beauty!

Brainss1 year ago
I wish I could be awesome enough to make this...
repguy20201 year ago
What a fantastic gift, especially for a Portal 2 fan. Beautiful work and a great instructable!
nerd121 year ago
if i were to make this, it would Be With My Bare Hands.
i only have a 15 year old drill and some hand tools, is there any alternative material i can use? though i would prefer Al.
spaceman8742 years ago
hey, i really love this and i would want to try it myself using my homemade cnc (40cm x 40cm x 20 cm spindle speed at 30000 rpm) would it work?
builderkidj2 years ago
That is full of win!


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sockless2 years ago
Good job on using a manual mill! I find using manual machines to be a lot more rewarding myself.
Markoid2 years ago
Well done. Some people would not even attempt this on a manual mill. Good for you! I think it would be great to put Gyroscope inside. Then when you picked it up and tried to move it in certain directions it would resist and have a strange feel to it. Just a thought.
christopherhesse (author)  Markoid2 years ago
That is an interesting idea. Maybe just putting a water balloon inside would be cheaper, and potentially hilarious.
is.* typo :P
there us also a sort of pet that looks like this in EQ2 (everquest 2). if you havent heard of EQ2, go look in sonys online gaming section on their site.
lkaplan22 years ago
Very impressive! For instructions on how to make personality spheres from Portal 2 check out the Objet Blog. The instructions are for fully functioning models. (Picture here of Wheatley, Rick, Space Core and Fact Core). It's pretty cool. http://ow.ly/8Zjau
Portal2 Personality Spheres.jpg
ezolotko2 years ago
This is so good man
kiete52 years ago
I'd like to make one thats 2x2x2 inches.. It'd make a great paperweight.
bwise12 years ago
Nice Project! Can you export all of your Inventor Part Files to a universal file extension like IGES/IGS or STP/STEP? I'd like to scale your project down to a solid "desk sized" version.
christopherhesse (author)  bwise12 years ago
The Inventor version is all in pieces and the proportions are slightly altered to fit my materials. I'd use the model from Turbosquid for CNCing a solid one. I would convert those and post them but I doubt the Turbosquid license allows it.
gossumx2 years ago
Well that's just crazy awesome!

I want to build one so bad that I'm totally overlooking the fact that I have no access to a CNC machine.

So in roundabout figures, how much did it end up costing in all?
christopherhesse (author)  gossumx2 years ago
The aluminum for the final pieces was $200 with shipping I believe. TechShop Membership is like $100 a month. Screws + elwire + vinyl + electronics maybe $50. If we factor how much time I spent on it, it would be insanely expensive.

Also that doesn't include milling cutters that I bought just for this project.
thinkdunson2 years ago
freaking awesome without the pink light... with it, it's even more awesome.

so, it's a weighted companion cube...  but how much does it weigh? 
have you tested it to make sure it can hold down a 1500 Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding Super Button?  i'm thinking you need to make one of those too, just to be sure.  but remember to keep it in a safe place once you've finished it, as "the effects of prolonged exposure to the button are not part of this test."
christopherhesse (author)  thinkdunson2 years ago
It may be weight-challenged as well.
thayray2 years ago
Would someone please tell me what the hell this is?
It is a "character" in the game Portal. It's a cult following kind of thing.

Basically you use this weighted cube in the game to hold buttons down in big puzzles to try and get to the next stage. Look up Portal as it is one of the best games ever made
venecha2 years ago
This rocks! I need to work on my CNC machine so I can make one!
"He can't figure out how to get it open."


ha ha ha ha.....I don't think that's how it works
A companion cube doesn't open up, you have to open your heart to it.
P.S. Christopher you are fantastic. This will definitely be my first project when I finish my DIY CNC mill
This is completely fantastic! You rock!
TheHawkeye2 years ago
Wow ... this is amazing! Great job!
monsterlego2 years ago
Nice!
That is awesome!