Monday, April 27, 2015

Machines that Make - Structure

Over the weekend I started to build the wall that will house my Machine that Makes project. There is a steel stud frame, plywood, sheet metal, lots of metal screws, more plywood etc. I added a hinge to the back panel that will hold the steel rods that make up my machine, for easy access. Eventually, I will also add some trim over the shims that surround the acrylic. Next step is to fill the screw holes in the plywood, sand and paint. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Machines that Make - Making Parts - Part 2

Mocked up X Idler
Mocked up X Idler

In addition to the corners, I also designed new X axis parts this week. Taking cues for the Prusia i3 parts I had already printed, I made a few modifications to allow for 8mm and 10mm steel rod. I started by printing a few test pieces at 2% infill and 2 shells, on Fast.
New Part designs - with modifications after test prints:
 The take a LONG time to print at 45% infill and 3 shells! 

Assembly and testing with the motors: 

 There is a bit of sag in the rod - so hopefully I will be using the smaller, 34mm Nema 17's, instead of the higher torque...

Machines that Make - Corners v2

I designed and printed new corners for my machine this week. They will hold the ends of the rod for the y axis. The strength of this design is far superior to the original round version.  You may ask, "Well, why didn't you just cut a piece of wood and drill a hole in it?" My answer - because it would have been much harder to counter-sink a bolt in the bottom. Is the counter-sunk bolt necessary? No, but it will make it much easier to align and tighten the corners to the mounting material. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Machines that Make - Construction Plans

Ever since I heard a story on NPR about Thad Starner,
I haven't been able to get the idea of social cognition and collective intelligence out of my head. My obsession has been inspiring me to talk more about my work with whoever will listen, in hopes of feedback or ideas.  Lately, my inquisitiveness has lead to many talks about the construction plans for the false wall that will house the mechanism for my machine...

A grad colleague that worked in construction for a while, gave me some good insight on how to construct and deconstruct a possible 3 sided room for the installation... and introduced me to gator board, among other things... Here are some drawings from that chat:

Last weekend when I visited my family for Easter, I also chatted with my Dad about my machine and he gave me some helpful suggestions and drew me a sketch of what he recommends I construct out of metal studs and plywood... 

 While I know I'm probably a little too old to get help from my Dad on my school projects, it sure is fun to collaborate with him, especially since we hardly get to see each other.  We have planned to team up next weekend for the construction...  to be continued!

Machines that Make - Making Parts

Over the past couple of weeks I've been working on sourcing all of my parts for the Machine that Makes project. In addition to the metal, wood and plastic that makes up the facade, I've been 3D printing a few components that will aid in assembly. I have borrowed some of the open-source parts available for the Prusia i3, and am designing a couple of new ones.

Frankie helped me design a part to hold the ends of my rod, which I have pictured below. The MakerBot only successfully printed 92% of the design, so I decided to try and make it work... Long story short - my attempt failed, so I will be printing new parts as soon as possible.