Wednesday, September 24, 2008


First try at cutting steel

Some time ago I resolved that I would take a crack at making Tommelise cut the thin sheet steel to do the field offsets for the linear tin can stepper that I've designed. I bought a little diamond cutting head for about $9 that works with my Dremel.

Field offsets are how you turn an ordinary air core electromagnet into a multi pole magnet suitable for making what is known as a "tin can" stepper motor. You can see here what I am talking about.

I plan on using a 3/8-24 inch threaded rod for a lead screw for now till I figure out how to cut my own lead screws. You can buy that kind of threaded rod in most good hardware stores. One of the gripes that I have with the Haydon linear stepper motors is that the 3 mm lead screw is far to flimsy for the lengths I'm using. Making my own linear steppers lets me fix that problem as well as controlling the costs. Now I just have to write a little routine that will generate the profiles that I need to cut.

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Awesome work. A hugely important addition to the reprap project.
Interesting stuff. Of course, the manufacturers use stamped and folded steel parts because tooling costs are amortised over thousands of units. Cutting steel is still a good thing for repraps to be able to do, but bending it isnt so have you considered how to make the metal parts as a stack?

Im not a magnetics expert, but all the motor and transformer benefit from laminated construction to reduce eddy current losses.
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