So, I decided to make a transformer, not as complicated as the Michael Bay ones, but more like the vintage toys from the 80's.
The difficult parts are the joints and that everything you make in the robot mode, you have to consider it in the car mode and vice versa.
- 2 arms (car sides)
- 1 main piece: torso, face and thighs (car front)
- 4 wheels
- 4 long pivots (for each limb)
- 4 short pivots (for each wheel)
About the 123D Design software, I have to say: I really like it. It's friendly, you don't need to be industrial designer or engineer to learn it, but having visual-spatial ability helps a lot (relax! most of the makers have it). And it's free! You can download the program in this link.
NOTES: I used the 123D Design 64bits version for PC. My laptop is a Samsung with Intel Core i3-2370M 2.40GHz processor, 4,00 GB RAM and Windows 7.
In the design, I used the orthographic view in almost all of this instructable.
I recommend: when you are working in a project, save it in your computer every time you can, because the program don't have auto-save.
Step 1: Robot's Legs (back of the Car)
I started designing the legs. Each one is a big primitive box with others smaller primitive boxes giving form to feet and decoration. In this design I use a lot of negative extrude for hollowing the pieces where another pieces need to be housed in car mode. For the "knees" I used chamfer. I made one leg, then I duplicated it, verifiying the symmetry. In each leg I use a hollowed half cylinder for housing the wheels. I made a primitive cylinder as wheel, for keep a reference for each robot limb and its place in car mode.
TIP: Negative extrude: Do you want to make a hollow into a piece? Create a new primitive form with a face equal to the form you want inside the piece, and situate it exactly over the place you want to hollow. Use the "extrude" tool over the mentioned face. Extend the face negatively (positively: blue color; negatively: red color) until you finish to carve the piece. It's a very useful tool. In the real world, I love the rotary tool for working with physical objects. In CAD, negative extruding became my virtual "rotary tool".
Step 2: Main Piece: Car Front
With fillet and chamfer tools, I give it the shape of some kind of minimalist futuristic car.
I copied the wheels housing from the back (legs), and I pasted these in each side of the front.
Step 3: Cutting the Front for Making Robot's Arms
TIP: Take away the legs. You don't want to cut these, too.
Step 4: Robot's Thighs and Axes
With all pieces together, I negatively extruded small radius cylinders: one for the body-arms axis, and other for the thighs-legs axis. I did the same for the wheels axis, too. Remember the radius of these cylinders, because you will need it for making the pivots.
Step 5: Wheels
Step 6: The First Transformation
Step 7: Robot's Body Front
Step 8: Face
Step 9: Hands
Step 10: Pieces for 3D Printing
(Later I realized I can print the whole transformer without divide it in pieces, only with a few arrangements. I will keep it in mind for my next 123D project).