Minor Update: Wrecked by life, but still engineering away…

When in the course of human events one is swamped by regular work hours, seeing friends, and scrambling to find housing because poor planning rendered U of M graduate apartments totally overbooked… not much happens. Life pretty much boils away to the bare essentials. Eat, sleep, engineer. And not the fun kind either.

It’s been a shameful few weeks since my last update on motion control, and at the very least I can announce that I haven’t forgotten about the project. It still sits in a corner of my brain, waiting for attention. I finally got around to taking some detailed measurements of some of my parts, like the stepper motor, and integrated them into my 3D model. And here’s where 3D modeling demonstrated its worth. I discovered that my stepper motor was fatter than I’d expected, and would have collided with an axle support piece if I simply picked up some tools and started cobbling together wood. I revised my design to terminate the troublesome axle further away from the stepper motor, averting certain frustration. See? Measure twice, cut once. I can haz good engineering practice.

I have wooden panels cut out for the innermost gimbal (tilt) which I will prepare (sanding, drilling holes) hopefully this weekend. I’ll also do a test-fit of the gears to make sure they will engage with the spacings I have planned, and start fabricating the axles. I considered buying a dozen or two shaft collars, but at nearly a dollar apiece I figured I would try making a few retaining clips for the axles, slotted for some grooves I would cut into the axles with a Dremel. I’m shooting to use either clothes hangers, or some spare solid-core wire I have lying around.

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