Step 15: Felting

Picture of Felting
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Now we need to make the RoboBrrd not look like a skeleton anymore! We will be adding felt to the outside edges of RoboBrrd. The most difficult areas to felt are the front face and the beak.

For the front face, you will want to begin with a piece of felt that is a couple of cm larger than the size of the front face (10cm). From there, we will poke some holes for where the LEDs will appear through. When doing so, you will want to make sure that the top edge (with some excess felt on it) will be remaining straight, parallel with the top edge of the front face.

Now, we have to measure and estimate where we should be cutting for the beak opening. The best way to do this is by holding the felt on the front face, and marking it from the inside of the RoboBrrd. We will want to mark where the beak edges are, creating a diamond shape.

Begin by cutting a small ‘plus’ in the middle of the diamond. Place the felt on RoboBrrd’s face and see how much more longer the plus sides have to be. The beak should be poking through the plus a little bit. Keep on repeating this process until the entire beak can pop through, and the felt is flush with the front face. Now you can glue the felt onto the front face on all edges.

For the beak, we will need to divide the process into felting the ‘top’ sides of the beak (the one with the nose bridge), and the ‘inside’ of the beak (where teeth would be if birds had teeth).

Take a piece of felt and measure to see how long it would need to be to wrap around the entire top side of the beak. Cut it to the length, and add a little bit of glue in the middle near the side of the longest edge. Stick this onto the bridge of the nose as close as you can get it to where it meets the front face. If it sticks to anything other than the beak, be sure to cut it.

By pressing the felt across the nose bridge and onto the sides of the beak, you can create a nice smooth shape. You will want to ensure that some of the felt is attaching to the edges of the beak, which may be hiding behind the front face, on the inside of the RoboBrrd.

When everything is smooth, add glue to the edges of the beak and press the felt onto it. When it dries, cut away the excess felt, leaving an extra 3mm. We will wrap this extra felt onto the inside of the beak. Add some glue to the inside of the beak nearest to the edges and press the extra felt into it. The tip of the beak may need some additional gluing.

Repeat this same process for the other beak half.

Now we will be adding the felt for the inside of the beak. We will want the beak to be open at its widest point for this. Take a piece of felt and measure how wide it should be and how long. For the length, add an extra centimetre. Start by gluing the top-center of the piece of felt to the tip of the top beak half.

From there, you will want to move the felt down, towards the tip of the bottom beak. There should be some extra slack in the middle creating a bump. The bump should be about a little less than a centimetre  tall. Glue the bottom-center of the piece to the tip of the bottom beak half.

Now, press the bump of excess felt through the opening between the two beak halves. This is used for creating a seamless feel between the two beak halves. Ensure the felt is laying flush with the insides of the beak. When it is, add glue to the inside edges of the beak and press the felt into it. Cut off all the excess felt, and it is done!

For the side faces, create a 10cm by 10cm square (with a bit extra if you want to be able to trim it to length), and add an opening for the wing servos. Be sure to only glue this along the top edge, and along the side edge to where the opening is. We do not want glue on the bottom or opposite side edge as we will need to lift the flap to be able to see the insides of the RoboBrrd.

The back and top face is a similar approach. Only the top edge will be glued on, so we can lift it to reveal the inner workings of the RoboBrrd.

For the wings, we will do the same process as we did with felting the top of the beaks. Cut the felt to the proper length, then add glue to the top of the diagonal piece. Then smooth out the felt for the other edges, add glue, and press the felt into it. Cut away the excess felt, leaving an extra 3mm to be used to wrap around the the bottom of the wing. Add glue and press the extra felt into it, and the wings are done!

When everything is felted, we can move on to the next step.
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