Sunday, September 10, 2006


The Borg Becomes Stronger

Today I got some more work in on my model. The main focus was strengthening it and making it more stable. First, I added diagonal cross bracing to add strength. Then, I fixed the error that I had made last time. I had made the boards only go long enough to attach to the vertical pieces. I didnt think it out well enough so the horizontal boards didnt come together to form a square. When I replaced the side boards with longer ones, the strength of the thing increased quite a bit. It is really sturdy now and I think will be able to stand up to quite a bit of action.

Secondly, I attached the mid level supports where the Y/Z stages will eventually be mounted. Since the unit was designed with the dimensions of the rods that I have, they didnt actually have anything to rest on, so I attached some 1x4's to the inside. In the picture, that is what the rods are resting on.

This Wednesday, my friends and I are going down to the surplus sale to see what useful things we can find. Theres a good chance we'll be able to get a copy machine to gut for parts, along with all the other strange assortments of things that are always for sale at surplus. Hopefully we'll make a good find!

LOL! That cross bracing is good for the Borg. :)

I've found small switches in photocopiers, might even find optical ones. Very good source of parts. Big old printers are good too, but I haven't had the luck to get a hold of the really big old ones with the bigger stepper motors.
Why was it that you only cross-braced it in one direction?
When you get to the point of mounting the guide-rods, take it slow and really careful. Know what order things will be in, and design pieces that can be shifted if the device needs to be realigned.

Nothing sucks more than drilling 6 holes off-center and off-angle without a drill-press and having to scrap the parts of the frame it was made from. (I start off by making an undocumented unsuccessful mothra, that sucked very badly.)

I suggest drilling one side out one side as perfect as possible, then drill through those holes to make the carriage and second side. On the second side, file out the hole where you need to align it better, if needed. By the end you should have a full carriage running smoothly.

I'm sure you'll figure it out, and then the borg can go about assimilating other aspects of reprap into its own design :-)
I've been wanting to mention a trick I've found for aligning two rods. Usually you can set one rod solidly on both ends, and the second rod solidly on just one end. The last and fourth end can float, and be used to adjust the whole thing.
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