Designing a MECH! (POWER LOADER: PART 1)

Designing a MECH! (POWER LOADER: PART 1)

Get away from her you @$#%*! This video has been sponsored by
Skillshare but more on that later. Hey guys! I am super super super excited to
announce our latest and one of our biggest make real projects yet. The power
loader from aliens. Hydraulically powered and able to lift thousands of pounds. If
there is a mid-sized 8 to 10-foot mega bot or Battle BOTS League it would be a
serious contender. It will be able to flip and crush cars. You see I’ve
actually wanted to do this project ever since I started making videos for
YouTube, but the budget and scale of it was just too big at the time. After the exoskeleton is done my next main project I really hope to do is building the EXO loader suit from the alien movies. It’s quite a
bit bigger of a project and it would probably cost at least five to ten
thousand dollars in materials alone I won’t be doing that for a while
unless obviously this channel becomes really big. Though I’m honestly not sure
how I thought it would only cost five to ten thousand dollars we’ve already spent
that much just on one arm. Anyway I mentioned the project again and again as
the channel grew in various interviews, comments on YouTube and videos! I’m planning on doing the Power Loader from the Aliens movie. And that will be able to flip the car not just pick it up. In fact it was in this video that we met Bogdan for the first time. He was a fan of the original pneumatic exoskeleton that I built and
he actually built his own version during high school. Then he volunteered for us
that summer and he’s been working part time with us ever since. He’s now almost
done college and convinced me to finally start the power loader project and he’s
actually been doing a bunch of the design of the arm over the past year so
without further ado let’s take a look at the cad and see how this is actually
going to work! All right, so, how are we actually going
to design the power loader from aliens? Now luckily since the movies been out
for 33 years it came out in 1986 there’s actually a lot of reference material
available online so let’s take a look at this fan-made Wikia of the P-5000
powered work loader. And as you can see we’ve got lots of pictures on here, some
sketches and diagrams and of course they made a whole bunch of little toys. One of
which I actually have right here. It’s pretty cool It can’t really do that much
and it’s a very basic model of the power loader there’s no hydraulic hoses or
anything like that and honestly it’s pretty pretty fragile unfortunately but
let’s read a bit more about the power loader and how it actually works. So the
really neat thing that I can really appreciate on this is they actually made
a full working prop for the movie as you can see right here. The funny thing was
it’s actually it’s a prop that’s constructed around the stuntman who’s
actually moving the suit and Sigourney Weaver is actually attached to the
stuntman. The whole thing weighed about six hundred pounds it was made of fiberglass PVC and aluminum, none of the hydraulics worked but the
grippers did actually open and close but the whole thing was actually kind of
more like a marionette for the actual filming of the movie, and they also made
a miniature for a bunch of the shots including the wide-angle shots during
the fight with the Queen. The next question I have is if this movie has
been out for 33 years and there’s this much reference material online why
hasn’t someone already built a power loader? Is it too complicated to engineer?
Is it too expensive? Unfortunately I think the real reason is: it’s just not
very practical a regular forklift is actually very good at what it does and
there’s no real reason that you want kind of a clumsy suit like this: To replace a forklift. But, luckily Hacksmith Entertainment here,
we focus on building the projects that aren’t commercially viable we’re not
trying to make this to sell it we’re just trying to make it to see if we can
and because it’s a freakin power loader, who doesn’t want a power loader? The
questions back to how are we actually going to design this like it is quite the
engineering feat. So like what we do for most of our projects we’re gonna go to
grab CAD. Now grab CAD is a community site that
allows you to share 3d models of pretty much anything let’s just take a look and
see if we can find the power loader. So there’s some construction equipment… Wow
look at that! So a guy named Dano Vinson actually uploaded a model of the power
loader which looks fairly accurate to the movie. That’s pretty cool he’s done
some renderings of it and I think there’s a video. So yeah he’s done
actually a really good job modeling the power loader from the movie and in
whatever software he used I don’t think he’s using SolidWorks he was able to
even do some dynamic movements like this to show how it actually work. So why
don’t we open up this model in SolidWorks and see if we can use it as a
reference for when we’re designing the real thing. So here it is. That’s pretty
cool. Now the unfortunate thing about this model is it’s actually just a
single body, which makes it really difficult to actually try and use this
model for our design so really what we’re just going to be doing is using it
as a reference for scale and general shape of parts that we’re trying to make.
But to start why don’t we start removing the stuff that just doesn’t work the
funny thing is: hydraulics are a very real thing but they need to be used
properly to actually work. So all these hoses none of this is
realistic. Remember a hydraulic hose can carry high pressure hydraulic fluid
and having connection points like this just doesn’t work so I’m just gonna go
ahead and go through the model and basically turn everything that we can’t
use whatsoever red. So now just you know paint the model
red. All right so there we go so basically as you can see none of these
hydraulic hose locations or fittings or connections are going to work for the
real thing so we’re gonna have to definitely design that on our own. But
what else will actually work and what won’t work? So in the movie it says it’s
actually a combination of a hydraulic system and electric motors. So apparently
the the hips here are electric motors even though they have hydraulic hoses
going to them and there’s also no way, like, how does this joint rotate? how does
this joint rotate? It’s either gotta be an electric motor or… I’m not even sure
so we’re gonna have to figure out how we’re actually going to do that but one
of the biggest issues with this design is these big cylinders on the back. So
we’ve got a joint here that basically allows the arm to rotate back and forth
like this and up and down like this. But the way they show it being powered is
with this one big hydraulic cylinder and as you can see it’s mounted down at the
back near the spine and then attaches there. That’s only going to allow you to
do one movement you’re not going to be able to isolate moving your arm forwards
and back as well as up and down so that’s also something that we’re going
to have to change so I’m gonna paint these red as well. Alright so there’s that. So what will
actually work on this design? Well the bicep hydraulics actually will work. It’s fixed to the shoulder and then it pushes the elbow out
not unlike my original pneumatic exoskeleton that I built years ago. So
that’ll work we can use the general shape and outline of the arm, there’s a
lot cosmetic features that don’t really matter that we can include to
make sure it looks like a power loader. The question for the engineering
standpoint is: Just how are we actually going to make it work? Because like you
saw in the actual movie it was just a prop that was moving around using wires
and movie magic. So to make an actual working power loader we actually have to
think a little bit and figure out how best to approach this. Now because this
is such a huge project we’re gonna break it down and build individual pieces of
the power loader at a time so to start we’re gonna build just the arm. So I’m
actually going to just isolate just the arm and then we can go from there.
Alright so now that we have the ar isolated, how are we going to use this as a
reference to actually design our version of the power loader? And the nice thing
is in SolidWorks is you can do something called a face export to DXF. So basically
I can select all these faces of this linkage that we’ll call the bicep linkage
and if I right-click on that I can do export to DXF. And what we’re left with
is a perfect outline of the arm now this is just about all that we can
actually use from this reference model just the general outside shape of some
of the joints to try and keep it to make sure it looks like the actual power
loader that you can see right here. Because mechanically all the hydraulics
and all the actual working features of the power loader we’re gonna have to
design those from scratch. But this is at least at least save us a bit of time in
making sure that it actually looks like the power loader
I’m just gonna go go ahead and save that. And what we can do is if we open it up
we can import it as a 2d sketch. Now just to show you how simple this is we can
select all these areas, let’s make it half an inch thick. And there you go
that’s the rough shape of the bicep of the power loader arm. So the
nice thing with that is now we can do any modifications we need to actually
mount the real hydraulics and the other joints and how all that’s going to
work but at least having this model means we have a reference to look at to make
sure we’re on the same track to make sure we’re actually making it just like
the actual one from aliens. All right, let’s start designing! There you have it. All right
just kidding we’ve actually already designed the arm and when I say we
I actually mean Bogdan. So Bogdan has been the main driving force behind actually
making this project happen. He’s really inspired by the power loader and he
designed all this, actually a good part of it last year before we had the
funding or the even the ability to build such a thing in-house. And ever since we
got the plasma cutter from Elite Metal Tools it was like: “Hey we could actually
make this now.” So this past Christmas break we actually we started actually
making it for the next design we will actually record it and show you guys how
we actually did the 3d modeling but for this I’m just going to try and explain
how we did the design. So if you can’t wait for our future power loader videos
and you want to start learning SolidWorks right away there are actually some
awesome SolidWorks tutorial classes available on One of the
most common questions we get asked about our projects is: How do we learn how to
do all this cool stuff? And the answer is simple we’re self-taught learners we use
the Internet to our advantage to solve problems. It’s amazing the kind
of resources you can find just like Skillshare is an online
learning community for creators with more than 25,000 classes in design,
business, technology and even lifestyle! Start 2019 outright with a premium
membership that gives you unlimited access to take all the classes you want
on skills you want to learn to achieve your 2019 goals. Wanna learn how to design
cool things in CAD like us? Like, I don’t know… A power loader?! We use SolidWorks on
a near daily basis and you can learn how to use it too right here on or if you’re more interested in making videos like us we use Adobe Premiere Pro
and we’ve learned tons of tricks from Jordy who’s another youtuber and
instructor on Skillshare premium is super affordable with
an annual subscription costing less than $10 a month plus the first 500 my
subscribers to use my link below will get two months absolutely free. Over 7
million other creators use Skillshare so, what are you waiting for?
So for the next design we will actually record it and show you guys how we
actually did the 3d modeling to come up with the actual design that
we then manufacture and fabricate. But for this I’m just going to try and
explain how we did the design. So first I’m gonna roll back some of the features
inside of SolidWorks. There, look familiar? So we did have to modify it a little bit
as you can see, this mounting point for one of the cylinders was originally
a lot lower and we had to move it up here so we could actually get a proper
range of motion for the whole arm. Which you’ll see here. That means that cylinder is
actually going to be able to allow you to have the arm be able to go from a
full curl to a straight arm like that. How we’re actually going to fabricate it
is kind of cool. So what what Bogdan is done is he’s designed a tab and slot
system so what that means is after we plasma cut the whole thing out we’ll
actually be able to just almost like put it together like a normal puzzle and
then once it’s clamped in place we just have to weld those seams in and we’ll be
left with an extremely structural, very strong steel member. We’ve got some face
plates here and then the joints will actually be these big pipes right here.
So moving on let’s take a look at the arm or the forearm. Same idea what
happened was we originally exported a DXF of the outline of the reference
model and then we use that to make sure what we were designing is at least
similar so it ends up looking like the power loader. And again we added some
slots and tabs and if you’re curious about slot and tab design, it’s great for
plasma cutting as well as just laser cutting, which you’ll be able to find a
local makerspace. And there’s actually this really cool website I like and it’s
called So what this does is if you select finger joints you can
actually say: “I want to make a box that’s 12 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 8
inches deep” And you can say how thick the material is that you’re going to be
using for the project. And if you go generate laser cutter plans.
It actually exports the outline that you need to then put in your laser cutter
and actually be able to make that box. And it’s a really cool fabrication
method that you can use with a laser cutter to quickly fabricate project
boxes. Because you wouldn’t want a 3d print a giant box it would take forever.
So with a laser cutter sometimes it takes less than a minute to laser cut all that
stuff out, a bit a hot-glue, a bit of folding it around and bam you’re left with a box.
So basically that’s exactly what we’ve done on just a larger more industrial
scale for the power loader, except our box is made out of steel and we’re
actually gonna be welding it shut. So next up we have the wrist joint which is
kind of cool and to solve the issue of being able to have a wrist that can
actually go like this. Bogdan decided to mount another
hydraulic cylinder on the side of the arm. Now this is not how they did it in
the movie but it’s probably the best way that we can actually do it. So as you can
see this cylinder when it extends will actually allow you to move the wrist
90 degrees in total from one way to the other way. And then the part that we
haven’t quite touched yet is actually the wrist. How are we going to get the
wrist to actually spin like this? There’s a few methods: we could either try and
build something like this hydraulic cylinder or we could potentially have a
hydraulic motor with a gear around this entire plate that allows it to rotate.
And the cool thing with that is if we do that we could potentially have infinite
rotations we could just keep spinning it. Because once this thing’s done we’re
gonna be wanting to add different attachments like say maybe a Bioshock
Big Daddy drill. Which could just continually spin and we
could do all kinds of cool stuff like that. So anyways like I said this CAD
design was already done over actually the past year, so we weren’t able to
record it and show you the actual process of doing that but for future
designs we will be showing you the actual CAD process. But, what this means
is we can start fabricating the arm so, let’s start building! So now we’re exporting all the remaining
DXF for the three inch steel. And then we’ll be ready to start welding! Alright while
we finish plasma cutting the rest of the parts for the power loaders first
arm, make sure you smash that subscribe button and turn notifications on! Because
this is a video series you do not want to miss. We’ll be trying to release one
video per month on the series while still making our regular make it real
content. It’ll just be like the days of the original exoskeleton where we posted
a bunch of updates as the project evolved. Anyway in the next video we’ll get the arm
fully welded and built with hydraulics and do a quick test. But, if you can’t
wait for that next video make sure you follow us on social @theHacksmith as
we’ll be posting real time project updates. Also if you happen to be a
YouTube channel member of the Hacksmith it’s that join button right next to
subscribe. You’ll actually have access to see video number two right now! Do it… Do it now!

100 thoughts on “Designing a MECH! (POWER LOADER: PART 1)

  1. Challenge thrown to ColinFurze 😉 He's already done a full-size Hulk Buster. This shouldn't be too much different. Go!

  2. Didn't a beer company use something like an Exo because the aisles they had were too narrow for a forklift? Or am I thinking of a Dean Martin/ Matt Helm movie?

  3. of course the whole ideal of a power-loader walking on a deck in a space ship is completely ridicules from the start.

  4. I can fix your hydraulics to look normal and to fully work as you need then. Much simpler way. I could be a very useful guy to have around. I'm 51 and know all the old school and state of the art mechanisms. Plus I ce cheap.

  5. After watching this, your poor knowledge of hydraulic systems leaves me little hope of seeing a good result.  To be more specific: 1) Hydraulic hoses are a thing and have been proven to work, no need to eliminate them.  2) Two hydraulic motors in the wrist is a good design, why change to a cylinder that will limit mobility.  3) The hose at the hip joint appears to be passing through to actuate the top of the leg cylinder.  4) The large cylinder on the back is to raise and lower the arms to the sides, not sure how you are going to eliminate that without a major re-design of the shoulder joint.I'm sure that it would be difficult to actually making a working power loader, but you are going to need hydraulics to have any sort of useable lifting capacity, so be careful what you change to electric motors.  Pro Tip: If you want to make the hydraulics work, don't ask an engineer (unless they specialize in hydraulics, ask a mechanic that works on yellow gear or aircraft.

  6. Eight minutes. That's how much of your content it took for me to wanna subscribe. I'm gonna be trawling through your back catalogue for daaays!

  7. It won't work. I always thought that, when I watch Aliens. The loader does not have a counter weight, like a fork lift has. A fork lift has a huge, solid slab of metal in the rear, to counter whatever heavy object you're lifting.And it doesn't have any gyroscope to keep it standing.

  8. Made a Lego minifig scale powerloader with a custom Ripley. I think if you try to make a small version using Lego technic pieces it might help with coming up with ways to reduce costs for the design in the future.. just an idea.

  9. If My memory serves me well, I think they built a Working Power loader , back in the 70s , Tomorrow's World Shown it Operating In a Forge !

  10. Out of curiousity, was the PL from Aliens actually practical and would it offer any actual advantages over a normal forklift vehicle? Reason I ask is things like this seem to be just done for Sci-Fi where it's cool and everything, but films have a way of inspiring the real world. Take for example exoskeletons, pretty basic now but still, they are or will be used in the military to enhance soldiers mobility while increasing carrying weight.

  11. A hydraulic rotary cylinder would have been better for the wrist joint (and a better match for the original).

  12. 16:22 It might be not like how they did it in the movie, but instead it´ll be the new and improved model. And who knows, if this works out they might do another Alien movie because will it´ll be so cool and realistic.

  13. this will be heavy as sh%t! why don't use steppers motors to emulate te movements more precisely? otherwise i'm currious with the end project!

  14. Simple geometry says that you'd have to some serious weight in the legs to stop it toppling if you go to produce a workable design . No use producing something that can't lift a cardboard box incase it topples .then you've got the ground issue of a small footprint on the ground ,will it just crush the floor ? I can't see how you could walk as we counter offset balance ,ie just lift one leg and you naturally fall sideways if you don't counteract weight shift . Its cool to see a mech but by design it will always be fictional as by design it don't work ,surely someone from MIT doing bipedal robots would explain why it won't work

  15. I worked a claim, where i really could have used a power loader. With different options for Arms. This could replace a small excavator.
    Mining difficult claims with heavy equipement isn´t always possible. The power loader could be the product for that niche

  16. I do not agree with a forklift being more pratical. The movie was in space and artificial gravity might fail. Floating forklifts are not practical in weightless conditions.. 🙂

  17. A frisbee where the edges heat up like the lightsaber that heats up like the compound bolt crosbow so you can throw it at the Styrofoam heads

  18. I feel that the best approach to this would be to have upwards proportional master/slave systems behind it. Maybe (and i know the project is 5 episodes in) find one that's been trashed? They cost a heap, but even gleaming a few looks at one is a super leap. Some of them can lift a lot compared to what you "put" innit.
    The video is likely buried under a ton of false hits so i won't even bother, but there was a guy here in the early days of YouTube that "dissected" such an unit and it had some pretty clever hydraulic inner workings. For example, the handle for the hand had a super fine valve body that was so accurate and so precise that you could pick up a raisin or squash a aluminium pipe with the same unit, and yet, the little shuttle inside was a super simplistic stepped design.

    Prolly just rambling because finding one of these in the wild is super rare, but i feel that outside of using some complicated electronics to keep all things kosher, something like that is your best bet..and for some reason (probably because they are rare and custom made) nobody is doing "fun" robotics with them. Even NASA is avoiding them (tho that might have to do with potential leak issues in space).

  19. Not gonna lie om jealous i want a robot to i can Just beat up bullies cuzz im in highschool in 12 btw and every one keeps calling me age but i dont mind😁im a pretty calm person

  20. You're various projects have inspired me i am now sourcing tools and materials to build a powered hazmat suit. You're welcome to make one aswell. Mine is going to be lead and fiberglass and may have durability issues. I'll be using pneumatic for the lifting mechanism and dc motors for mobility. My intention is to encourage a practical purpose for a mechanical suit as there is a lack of need for these suits yet due to cost of production. Hopefully i can create interest in the market for powered suits this way.

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