I was trying to come up with a hinge design that didn’t involve being totally in the way of my face and decided that I could make something fairly flush to the mask’s interior if I limited the movement of the jaw to straight up and down. I also wanted to make sure the rails or other mechanism it moved along were hidden, as it would ruin some of the appeal of the effect if you could see bars or whatever across the open mouth.
I did a quick bit of soldering of some brass plate and rod and came up with something that seems to be working alright.
Each brass plate is screwed into the resin in two places. Once I finalize things I’ll probably JB Weld / glue them for a bit of extra strength, but I’m still playing with the mechanism for now. The brass actually has a little bit of flexibility to it, which is good, because the design requires the two rods to be perfectly parallel, which I can guarantee they are absolutely not.
It works! And it’s a totally invisible solution. Right now there’s enough stiffness in the mechanism that the jaw will stay up or down if I move it manually with my hands. I’d like to get it to the point where it’ll freely and easily articulate up and down, but that’ll take a significant amount of refinement. My end goal is to attach a plate that’ll sit under my chin, two extension springs on either side of the back of the lower jaw, and have the mask open if I open my mouth all the way and close itself back up if I close my mouth.