Since I started designing binaural microphones and dummy heads, one of the main issues I’ve had were related to size and portability.
The second obvious issue is that using any kind of binaural head, draws a lot of attention from all kind of human beings which ask stupid questions like what TV are you from, not realizing that they just destroyed your field recording…
It also makes react to certain animals, specially dogs, which can bark incessantly for extremely long periods of time.
Many of this experiences made me think about more camouflage for the whole rig, making it somehow smaller and more portable.
The result is the HexaRig which nicely reduces the size and makes it look more like a gadget than a humanoid.
So I have started designing this piece in a CAD program to go from ideas to prototype in a tidy way.
The main idea is basic, make the smallest possible enclosure out of wood and accommodate some tripod screws for an extension bar. Originally the idea was to use a round shape but it would make difficult to add screws for easy access to the inside, so the hexagonal shape seems better for that and it also looks way cooler like my Logo :)
I decided to use wood since I love working with it and because it has good acoustic properties, the CNC is going to be my best friend here since the CAD design make things extremely easy.
I’m using FUSION 360 at the moment because I simply love the workflow and the CAM or CNC related options, the satisfaction of how everything fits after milling is just awesome.
I used different wood colors in the CAD design to see better the different parts, but I have to admit that I quite like the look of it, so that’s is going to be the look to attempt.
Both end caps, or front/back covers will be colored using some water base dye. I love this stuff because it leaves a very homogeneous finish, is very easy to apply and clean any mess afterwards. The only problem is that it makes the wood wet and pulls the grain a lot, so needs sanding between layers slowing down the process.
After the drying of the parts, I proceed with varnish, also sanding in between layers to achieve a nice and smooth touch.
Several layers are needed to make sure it will be protected enough from some water, easier to clean and have some degree of scratch resistance.
Gluing the parts:
Since I want the front to be removable but sturdy enough, I’ve decided to install the screws from the inside out so they hide once the whole enclosure is closed. To achieve the strongest connection the three screws of each side are glued with Epoxy resin.
The same is done with the tripod screws of each side, this are also critical and must be strongly installed, again some Epoxy works wonders here.
The main body and bottom cap are then glued together for a permanent connection. Alignment here is nice to get it right, then applying some weight helps make the joint flush.
Project finished! I will now mount everything in the extension bar using the tripod screws and take some pictures of the unit so you can see it properly from all angles.
I love the result of the rig and makes very easy to access inside, change ears, capsules etc. In a future post I will show the system I came up with to make the capsules easy to install or store away.
Hope you liked it and got some ideas from it!