Comicpalooza Animated Sign

So, in the Houston area they call a comic con, Comicpalooza. I’m a member of a maker space called Creatorspace ( and we were asked to make a sign for them.

There was a miscommunication between what they described and what they eventually told us they wanted. Miscommunication aside, I designed this sign in about three hours.

I have a lot of problems with the cutting. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the machine, it’s just operator error.

The first picture is an rendering of what I hoped it would look like.

First attempt with acceleration in Fusion 360 accidentally turned off.

Second attempt with Z-axis not calibrated right, resulting in cuts not going all the way through.

The final product, kind of. I need to 3D print some guides to keep the sliding panels vertical. I also still need to print the letters (#CPX2018) and glue them on with the LEDs. Then lastly I need to print and install the gears to connect the servo to the shaft.


Looking good! I can’t wait to see the final design. When the servo goes will all of the paddles wave?

Did you do another cut with the z-axis adjusted?

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They’re supposed to raise up and down, but I think some waving will happen if I like it or not.

The third time I cut it out I had the Z-axis adjusted right. I think I need to put an elastic cord around the top of the router to try an eliminate the backlash. I read it in another post.

I also like @MeticulousMaynard’s Z-axis modification. The one with the rails and lead screw. I just need to get the okay from my boss (wife) to buy it. Hiding the receipts of my recent purchases is making it difficult to buy new stuff.

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A second horizontal piece with the same slots should take care of any waving. Not sure if you could fit it under the existing one, but that might make for an easy solution.

That’s a good idea, one of our members made a similar suggestion this morning. I’ll have to see if I can cut one out tomorrow.

Any update on this? I want to see a video when it’s done!

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So, here’s what’s been happening. (Sorry, long post)

I ‘finished’ the sign to the level shown in the picture. Then I brought it to the meeting to give it to the person in charge from our end. He informed me that the event organizers didn’t want an elaborate animated sign. Not at all, emphatically did not want what we(me) had made. So I talked about modifying the sign for our own purposes. So far no one had any desire for me to continue.

After looking at the cuts and how the finished assembly looked, I found several problems.

  1. The cam shaft is lower than it should be according dimensions in the 3D model. This results in the cams hitting the bottom of the box.

  2. I haven’t printed the guides for the letter paddles. Since the need to build the sign has dried up, I haven’t wanted to do anymore on it. Although I’d like to have a sense of accomplishment.

  3. I apparently measured and modeled the servo to the wrong dimensions. I printed the gears for the servo and the cam shaft, then found that the space between the servo mount and left side was too small. I sometimes get tunnel vision on modeling projects, it happens in my day job too. At work (piping designer) I get caught up in making a particular piping arrangement work and forget that it has to be fabricated and installed. All things that get in the way of my really elegant design. This time it was the layout of the paddles and the placement of the servo.

  4. Work, family and upgrades. Work picked up and I haven’t had enough time to model changes and the other parts I need to make. I tend to do most of the modeling at work when I have down-time, and I didn’t have much for the past few weeks. Family, my grandmother died the day I was finishing the sign. It was expected and she’s in a better place and not stuck in a bed. Had a really good life (she was a “Rosie the Riveter”), not sad, just happy she is with my grandpa now. Upgrades, I have trouble getting to things in my garage with the Maslow in the way. I modified the frame to hold extra plywood sheets, and the entire cart is really heavy. I roll it out of the garage, but have a heck of a time rolling it back in with the two concrete ledges at the garage door and the driveway/garage seam. I poured a concrete ramp to help, but it’s not right yet. I also broke my garage door and had to fix it and reset the springs. They’re not right yet and I keep catching the light on the door when I try to roll the Maslow out.

That’s about it. I do plan on finishing it to some extent, just not sure when.


Thanks for the update. I’m sorry it got rejected for its original purpose, but I’m sure you will find another one…and hopefully time to return to it. Thanks again for sharing it with us!