Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Project Egress Apollo Hatch!

Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Project Egress Apollo Hatch!

September 11, 2019 93 By Kody Olson


earlier this year I worked with the
National Air and Space Museum on a special build to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission we called it project egress and it was a
life-sized replica of the Apollo 11 command module hatch or door using 3d
scanned data and original technical drawings from the Air and Space museums
archives an incredible engineering student named Andrew Barth modeled every
single intricate mechanical component of the hatch using fusion 360 that detailed
digital model of the hatch was then separated into individual mechanical
components which Jen Schachter the project manager of this entire process
sent out to more than 40 different makers all over the world each of them
replicated the piece in their preferred medium and I assemble it with an
incredible group of makers live on the floor of the Air and Space Museum on
July 18th here’s how the build went hey it is game day I am in the moving beyond
Earth gallery at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum they have generously
donated the space to us today to do this build and we’re ready all of our helpers
are in place all 45 boxes from all the contributors including a giant crate
from Microsoft are here they’ve made it through the mails and in about 10
minutes we’re gonna start building a command module hatch and hopefully if
about eight hours you’ll be seeing a piece to camera from me very grateful
maybe a little sweaty and satisfied with our results oh great okay hey these two look like
the holes line up yeah that’s definitely how it works and they made like people
made these beautiful pieces and enclosures for them so I think one of
the next things we’re gonna do is pull the Microsoft base and door frame out of
their crate that’s the biggest part that’s the anchor of this thing but
still there’s whatsapp etiquette just to look inside oh wow so none of these have
this hasn’t been assembled each one is just and it’s there’s some aluminum and
there’s some 3d printing that’s amazing this is from intermediate educational
campus at Waynesburg so right now we’re unboxing all the parts and labeling each
of them with their part ID numbers so that we can locate them in the total
assembly bottom middle bellcrank which is that’s this one or that one that one
this one we’re sure certain it’s the middle right Baker Ripley Fab Lab which
is part number 12 we’re good dude oh and there’s an NFC tag in here which
if you hold your phone up to it points to the project page on the Smithsonian
website so it’ll permanently be tied to the project sophie was amazing apparently this part was sent to a
hundred thousand feet elevation before it was sent to us a level of specificity
that is truly magnificent oh my goodness this is like unboxing an Apple product
yeah oh my god there’s more than one that’s beautiful it’s got you got with
actual balls that’s fantastic and then what is this oh they’re slides it is in
slides of them making this that’s amazing oh wow yeah and they’re all Oh
with all of their images I got to put this bag that is incredible oh that’s
beautiful this is a one of the hinges made by Jimmy to Resta hardwood and
brass I mean the degree to which every single
contributor deeply engaged with these parts and then put their own stamp on it
is super inspiring and seriously unwrapping these boxes is like the
greatest Christmas ever oh this is Ryan nagata’s dude classic Ryan the gotcha the stamps
are all correct and even there even a little bit crappy like slightly not
quite perfect he went to visit the real hatch and took extensive close-up
pictures because he knew at some point he would be making a replica is it is it
like MDF yeah it’s a machined it’s a CNC machined MDF bursting and higher layers of film Oh so right now they’re unpacking the main
hatch frame this is what all the pieces of hardware are going to attach to and
it’s really exciting to see it in person we’ve seen pictures and it’s absolutely
beautiful from the cardboard model we literally assembled one of these out of
Amazon boxes to look at that’s that Wow I might have actually got
ciao I didn’t expected you that right no
bubbles or anything nope what okay maybe one here’s a question
how do you align a hole that you can’t see with my flashlight point it through
there Oh genius yeah beauty oh yeah by all means movement we have our first engineering
problem which is too close tolerance we expected this got a part that’s maybe 15,000 you guys to come over and watch
us build all the time that was lovely I’m bright welcome to oddly satisfying no yeah yeah just a little bit oh just a
little bit it seemed easy that’s awesome yes here I’m gonna fix that right now I’m assembling the outer handle right
now which is multiple pieces that slot together
Andrews over there working on the gearbox which is a pretty massive
assembly it’s gonna take them a little while and Adams over here putting the
window on to the inside of the hatch so what
when you cast things they can tend to shrink and when Ryan they got to cast
this beautiful window shroud it shrunk about 10% which meant that only 10% of
the holes to line up so I was able to get about eight screws
across the top the rest I had to use very high bond double stick and then I
am literally gluing in sliced off the screw heads to complete the look at this
point it’s whatever works how’s it going Jen ah let’s go in I
think I can I can bolt on the outer window frame I have one stubborn bolt
that won’t go through on the outer handle that maybe you could work some
magic on sure I totally will and the Bell cranks okay all our bags a couple of these parts are built
literally so that they could probably go on the actual door and this is one of
them this is the most beautiful look at that oh my god a masterpiece I think the
women we sort of like to at least two hours three I think technically so where
it will be don’t watch me at this time when one lines up perfectly I’m like oh
thank you right so we’re a little nervous about time and because of that
we pulled in lots of makers that are here that actually made pieces to help
us build this thing on stage so right now Kate and a Stephanie and Sophie and
Mel are all helping us to find all the hardware for each piece and then map out
where it goes onto the door and we’re gonna begin attaching it all as soon as
that’s ready we’ve got the window in both sides we are working on all the
linkages there’s a whole bunch of linkages linkages all the way around the
outside perimeter that are very self similar but they’re all slightly
different so there’s a team working on that I’ve just gotten jimmied orestes
hinges mostly mounted I have a little bit more solidifying to do of this one
but that’ll happen later in the day and this beautiful part is in and fit so it
feels like we’re going good but I’m not feeling optimistic just yet I’m not
allowing that so yeah so they’re all and the hardware is all ready to go so we
can just hand them to you one by one and you just boop-boop-boop let’s start
doing it okay awesome so it should be
thank you yeah this is our piece yes right Andrew they always face outward
because the linkages are around the perimeter right now I’m feeling pretty optimistic
we’ve got 75 80 percent of our outside linkages installed and it’s exceeding my
expectations it is a calico exquisite corpse of a
collaborative construction and it looks like it looks like we’re gonna finish on
time again folding off my full optimism for a minute you know we’re all gonna
write our little names inside of one of these or something so many of the
builders are here instead all of them yet just really little places all the
way around great the alignment awesome awesome yeah so we can start we
can start putting them on the actual mechanical function of sing which we’ll
go over and a little bit it’s kind of mind-blowing but really 90% of the parts
are on and the screws are all fitting so there we go
yeah just forced my way past it and we that’s why do we strip the screw enough
yeah three six very you were ready send me in coach fabulous we are like two or three linkages away
from being done and frankly I think we’re all a little surprised how well
it’s gone despite a bunch of difficulty in alignment which is totally to be
expected we can have 45 different makerspaces building parts for a thing
to be honest our fit and finish has been way better than it should have been for
that kind of dispersed construction and we’re close to the end this is a very best part oh you’re
peeling off oddly satisfying oh yeah like a pro huh all right let’s try that
I adjusted my eyeball right like that crying it’s done please give a huge round of applause to
Jen’s Schachter who shepherded a hand for all the makers president who
contributed to this beautiful object again seriously a hand for the
Smithsonian for allowing a bunch of makers to come in and mess up the joint and Andrew Barth took a scan from the
Smithsonian of this hatch that was basically like a surface scan and
somehow in his brain figured out how all these linkages worked and threw them all
in like I don’t know two months ahead for Andrew and then also a bunch of our extended
tested family came to this so please give a hand to them for helping us out
Ryan Zoey mal Hey okay now I’d like all the makers who
contributed to come up on stage and sign their work please if you would at
Industrial Light & Magic whenever we’ve built a large spaceship which we stopped
doing after episode 1 Star Wars but before that they’ve built lots of
spaceships and whenever you did it was always with like 7 to 20 people and when
you were finished with the spaceship everyone signed in some discrete parts
so I guarantee you on the 5 foot Millennium Falcon on display there’s 20
signatures hidden throughout the thing and on every other star warship and this
one’s no different it’s part of spaceship 45 builders participated we’re
all gonna sign a little signature here and I’m gonna give it the start here we go Jen there it is 45 contributors 10 helpers 8
hours and one command module hatch that is as we’ve been saying all along at
calico exquisite corpse of a collaboration and I could not be more
blown away by how it came out it exceeded all of my expectations
including more parts fitting than I thought would fit together I find that I
love making stuff in front of people like there’s a very different kind of
stakes to it and also an audience interaction I’ve done a lot of stage
stuff but this is something wholly other and the way the crowd gets involved with
the build and the way the group of us putting the build together gets involved
with the crowds in motion it’s something really unique as is this beautiful new
piece and new member of the Smithsonian’s incredible collection in
this palace of stories