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  • Got everything printed and assembled and seems to be doing the job. Did a few spotting drops to see how it worked and...



    That being said (or shown) there are still a lot of adjustments I need to make on the table itself, including the gearing. The motors themselves have the braking power needed but I am going to need to swap out the rack and pinion with nylon printed materials (or carbon filber PLA) as I know everything is going to fatigue really fast being only standard PLA plastic. I could also have my gears custom cut out of metal but we'll see if I need to go that route.

    And for fun, here is a quick failure:

    Attached Files
    - Shaun R.
    - Web Developer / Programmer

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    • Have you considered trying to find suitable metal gears and rack kits that are already out there? It might be worth a look rather than trying to create custom profiles as a first step. Unless you really need something that's not out there, checking existing product might be a good start. At that point, the only change you might need to make would be the code for the stepper motor controller.

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      • Check McMaster-Carr for off the shelf gear racks. They will probably have something you can drop in place without much work.

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        • I have a few racks and pinions sitting around currently that work but with incorrect sizes. At the moment, I am more or less still in the "testing" phase of whether I want to stay with the R&P design or if I want to go with a control arm linkage for both decks. I have a few pieces printing to test the linkages so that I can swap out and test both methods, especially once I get the table mounted and get everything moving that direction.

          Right now, even with the printed pieces for the racks, the success rate is pretty decent to continue testing. The "failure" video was due to an old gear that I had pretty much stripped out early in the design process that I used accidentally. As of now, the gear itself is tension held with no set screw so I can easily swap out without tools. Absolutely not a final design but works for testing.

          My main worry was getting clearances and tolerances somewhat in check before I do anything final. A lot of the parts right now are prototype printed which much lighter infills just to test. As things get more finalized I will be printing with larger infills and different materials to gain more stability.

          A question for coasterp , if you don't mind me asking, where do you purchase your aluminum extrusion? As I continue to design everything, I plan on using wood to get the framing of everything going (for ease of change) but once finalized I will want to swap over to a more rigid structure.
          - Shaun R.
          - Web Developer / Programmer

          Comment


          • Originally posted by s323790r View Post

            A question for coasterp , if you don't mind me asking, where do you purchase your aluminum extrusion? As I continue to design everything, I plan on using wood to get the framing of everything going (for ease of change) but once finalized I will want to swap over to a more rigid structure.
            The company I use is named Framing Technology in Rochester, NY. I use 40mm tubing with different slot sizes for different purposes. 80/20 is another T slot tubing but from my experience, they tend to be on the higher priced side. I would scan ebay for used or surplus tubing people are getting rid of. That's where I got all the 1" tubing I used to build my prototype. 1" tubing would probably be more than adequate for your home lane. I use the bigger stuff due to having to move the machines and lanes for installs.

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            • Wow, that is looking pretty slick! Love the bloopers video as well.
              If it can't be fixed with a hammer, try a bowling pin! They're heavier and more surface area for whacking!

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              • Well some time has passed and once again, tweaking still underway.

                I've redesigned the stepper motor rack and pinion to be more finite in control with a smaller toothed but larger gear for both the spot and respot decks. While testing though, I realized that there were absolutely some issues with the spotting deck size and weight. After some reconfiguring, I printed a new deck eliminating a lot of extra and unneeded material and cut the weight from 3.5lbs (without pins) to just shy of 1.5lbs [Picture 1, new on left, old on right].

                With this change, the deck functions very reliably compared to before. After this change, I realized that the original format of the respot deck pin support section wasn't working ideally. Because of the natural slippery/oily surface of using PLA, while the deck kept the pins from dropping out of the table (sometimes, as seen in the video before), it wouldn't keep the pins restrained in a very contained position and pins ended up usually being tipped towards the backend of the table, so a new respot deck was in order.

                I went back to the drawing board and reformatting it in a similar way that Andy's new setting mechanism is demoed out in his thread, I moved the support section to the front of each cell and expanded the support to wrap around nearly 190 degrees of the pins outer circumference. Now, the respot deck can support the pin vertically pretty securely without any other interaction. With this change, this removes the need to park the deck at a specific point and brake it from movement as the spotting deck pushes forward and drops the pin directly into this support section which supports it in full. [Picture 3: old cell, Picture 4, new cell]

                Now it's back to full reassembly and testing. I will post more videos once I have everything together and working. I can already tell I am going to have to reprint the base table with a more dense infill as the deck flex is pretty noticeable, but at this point it is not hindering at all.

                Work continues...
                Attached Files
                - Shaun R.
                - Web Developer / Programmer

                Comment


                • I like the work you've done. You are certainly keeping the filament industry in business. The fine tuning is really where the hard work begins. I am in final assembly of my pin mechanism. I should be able to shoot some videos in the next few days. When I do, I'll post them here. I'm pleased with the result. But as is always the case, I can see many improvements I can make on the next version.

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