Attaching control cables to silicone mask

Hello!

I'm making an animatronic head with silicone skin. The goal is that it should be able to "talk" as realistically as possible. Currently I am working on casting the silicone skin and working out the bowden control cables coming from the servos and how they attach to the skin.

My initial idea to attach the silicone skin to the control cable was to embed small neodymium magnets in the skin that would snap to soldered metal points on the cable. I think this will work well on the eyebrows but in the upper and lower lip the magnets would be so close together that I think they will snap to each other instead of the control cable.

I haven't seen any images/videos or any information on how other people make their silicone mouth stick to the control. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions?

If it's not clear what I'm trying to do I can provide some pictures/drawings.

Best,
Martin

Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Admin Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Martin,

    You can have your cables attach to small fabric pads that glue to your silicone skin with silicone adhesive.

    /Chris
  • Hi Chris,

    Thanks for answering! This seems like a very permanent solution - is there any technique you know of where the mask can be taken off and put on again?
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Admin Los Angeles Admin
    In my experience you can still peel the pads off.

    I do like your magnet idea.  I just wonder how that will work in practice since it may put a lot of stress on the skin.  I use magnets a lot in projects, and one thing you have to be careful with is over time they will start to discolor the surface, as they attract all kinds of metal particles.

    Another option would be to embed a threaded stud with a fabric backing into the skin, so you could bolt things in place.  That's not something I've ever tried though!

    I'm working on a animatronic puppet now that will have a silicone skin, so these are all things I'll be tackling soon as well.  In my case the I just need to hold the skin in place, since there are no moving parts (the animatronics are independent of the skin) but I do want to attach the skin in a way that it will hold onto the underskull but be easily removed.  My plan was to use silicone adhesive and just peel it up when needed. 

    /Chris
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