Monday, February 28, 2011

Play and used parts

              I didn't get much of a chance to work on the Protobot last week but a lot has happened.
              First, I discovered after adding the Z (vertical) axis that I have a little play in the X (side to side) axis. One of the problems with using salvaged material is that stuff like this happens. Fortunately I have better guides but they are a few inches shorter and will require some add'l machining ( which I am doing by hand right now.) No problem.. If the tolerances weren't so tight I wouldn't have worried about it. but .0125" play can add up as well as cause vibration and mechanical feedback issues in the machine itself. I'll be able to use the current X guides for a less precise machine later.
             I have a few customers already, but can't talk about either one.. bummer. maybe once I've developed a better relationship with them. The friend I made at the USPTO is evidently using the parts I gave him for his invention so progress is being made on other fronts.

Recent macro shot of machine

Y axis ball screws being added to machine

Close up of Y axis screw. I got these on Ebay for $100/pc. 

            I went to try and get parts and found out they were $600 screws and that it would be cheaper to just get other used ones. Fortunately I was able to rebuild what I had. This is common when re-using material, and the next step is to typically try and source less expensive assemblies. The problem then becomes buying overseas or finding a good source for good, inexpensive stuff in the U.S. I have found several and am working on a list to add to the Protobot Industries page.


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