Introduction: Transamerican Pyramid Model

Picture of Transamerican Pyramid Model

My wife really likes the Transamerican Pyramid so I embarked on making her a 30" model.  It was a little difficult and I had help from an experienced model maker.  These tips will make it a lot easier.

Materials:

24" x 36" x 1/8" thick black cast acrylic (I used 1/4" thick acrylic but wouldn't recommend that)
tube of Weld-On 16
Square
Weights
masking tape (or rice paper tape)
small utility knife
sand paper
spray paint for plastic (I used Krylon Fusion for Plastic 2423 Satin River Rock)

Step 1:  Laser cut the attached AutoCAD ot Adobe Illustrator file with a CNC laser cutter.

Important!  Score the details like windows and vents through the paper only (not through the acrylic).  After scoring all the detail, cut the perimeter for each panel through the acrylic.

Step 2:  Make a 45 degree miter on all corners that get glued together.  I used a table router with a 45 degree miter bit.  You could also use a table saw or a sander with a 45 degree jig.

Step 3: Tape together 4 pieces that get glued together on a flat surface.  Before applying glue, wrap the four sides together to see if the tape holds and the parts align properly.

Note: Be prepared to do steps 4-6 quickly.

Step 4:  Apply the Weld-On 16 glue to the miter sides.  Try not to apply too much or it gets messy.

Step 5:  Wrap the 4 sides together and apply tape to the first and fourth side. 

Step 6: Make sure that the object is on a flat surface and one corner is against the inside of a square while drying.

Step 7:  Flatten surfaces that mate together.  This can be done by taping emery cloth or sandpaper to a table and rubbing the surface until it's flat.  You can also use a belt sander (much faster).

Step 8:  Glue the pyramid parts together with Weld-On 16.  Glue the 3 main tower sections together first.  Then, glue the triangular side pieces and hold with tape while the glue dries.

Step 9:  Peel off the paper for everything that you want to be painted (i.e. not the windows, vents, and triangular pieces at the base). Don't let it sit around before painting because you want a nice clean surface.

Step 10:  Spray paint (3 coatings). Let dry for a day before going to the next step.

Step 11:  Peel off the rest of the paper (i.e. the windows, vents, and triangular pieces at the base). Try using a credit card at a shallow angle to scrape off multiple windows at once.

Step 12:  Give to wife

Comments

jpsorlando (author)2013-05-11

Great one! Thanks.

snideprime (author)2011-12-31

A PDF template would be nice for those of us without a CNC laser cutter.

gibbon (author)snideprime2012-01-02

I added a PDF. It's set to print at 11"x17".

snideprime (author)gibbon2012-01-04

Thanks!

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