Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Construction Toy" by Wouter Scheublin Lego's for functional projects!

A recent Post by Wouter Scheublin where he debut's his " Construction Toy" concept. I will add this to my long list of things to build. more info on this and other designs by Wouter can be found at

Monday, April 11, 2011

Z axis Initial design

I sat down for a few hours and reviewed my drawings for the Z (vertical) axis and decided to beef it up since I want this to be a quasi-gantry mill. ( ie, capable of medium duty milling ) I decided to do away with the original guides and get some square NSK's. I am trying hard to maintain a +- .005" tolerance and I figured they would make it easier.

Note the salvaged metal being used. I know it looks tacky, but it is free and believe it or not was machined flat/square and in some cases ground before being powder coated..

Note the guides have been oriented in two planes instead of the usual single plane so they can reduce deflection in two axis.. That is 3/8" channel and angle being used!

Pinewood derby races are this week so I probably won't post until next.

Completion of Y axis!

So this is it for the Y mechanicals. I designed the parts on sketch up and had them made ($20/pc!) the turn around was about a week out of florida.

here are the blanks before assembly.

Here they are after assembly with the motors and couplings attached.

No I only have the X and Z to complete!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

RepRap Entry

I just entered the Protobot in the RepStrap area at I want to explain the Rep-Strappedness of the machine to any who may venture here.

I built the majority of this machine from parts liberated from an italian hair sorting machine that was being scrapped. It is considered Version B, Unit 0.1 because it is what my brother ( musings in futility ) and I consider to be a mid-sized machine. We want to build a Version A, which will be something like a Ultimaker or a Janome JSG where there are redundant guides on upper (X,Y) axis.

Claimed innovations in our design include the redundant guides coupled with the fact that the machine will be capable of reproducing itself in metal. We will also go to the effort of creating a process of creating metal parts from base material ( ie, aluminum cans ) as well as plastic parts from base material that has one way or another been taken from previously used material.

VB0.1 will be self reproducing and capable of the following:

          3D scanning with physical probe and/or a laser scanner
          Routing wood, composites and plastics.
          Cutting stencils, vinyl and other sheet material with Vacuum hold down.
          Cutting Foam using hot knife process.
          Performing typical Cartesian Robot functions
          Plotting using a typical pen plotter as well as traditional human implements ( pencil, markers, brushes.)
          Light milling to include  aluminum and light steel
Many processes exist in metal working that I feel have not been exploited by the RepRap community. These include the use of low temperature alloys, DIY lost foam metal casting, electroforming etc. Our work will parallel the RepRap community in the sense that VB0.1 for example will use metal taken from recycled sources and utilize it for self duplication and creation of it's younger, smaller sibling ( VA0.1 ) which will go on to self duplicate..
My major argument being that I don't see the difference between a machine that can duplicate itself in metal ( which is 100% recyclable) and a machine that is duplicating itself with plastic and metal parts that are not sustainably created. furthermore the PROTOBOT series will have a higher content of parts that are self created compared to COTS ( commercial off the shelf )
I have seen a lot of RepRap users of late build parts for the purpose of repairing previously made parts because the plastic has certain wear characteristics. this will not be the case using aluminum or other machined composite parts.


Friday, April 1, 2011

X axis final Rev linear guides/bearings installed

Todays work, I had previously installed round shafts and guides but felt they moved too much. These do not move at all with several hundred lbs on them.

Here it is in detail. ( note chunk of aluminum is being used as an alignment guide and will be replaced by solid bracket with Z axis attached.)