Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Hydra: Cartesian Robot Assembly Completed

So after about 7 hours straight working in the shop on Monday, the assembly for the cartesian, 3-axis robot is completed. We ended up working through lunch so you might see some tired people in the pictures. It was pretty exciting to see the machine start to take shape after all the hard work we had put in making the aluminum parts. Here are some pictures from the build

Most of the parts laid out at the beginning of the morning

Y-axis assembly completed with the X-axis carriage in place. The X-carriage has mounting holes for 4 different Z-axis assemblies. 2 on front and 2 on back.

X, Y, and Z axes completed and assembled. We have a 2nd Z-axis assembly that wasn't in this picture too

Another angle showing the Z-axis and X-axis details. The screws at the bottom of the Z-axis weren't tightened because we have a slight alignment problem we need to fix first. Also, the writing on the side of the Y-axis uprights and several of the other pieces will be faced off before our final presentation to make everything look a little cleaner.

We were able to test out the "feel" of the movement along each axis and it was surprisingly smooth. I was pretty impressed considering we used some pretty cheap plastic sleeve bearings. That said, I am sure using skate bearings or something of that nature would have been much smoother, but our initial calculations said we might have problems with the radial forces during heavy machining. We still have 1 or 2 holes that need to be fixed to make everything fit perfectly, but for the most part, the assembly of the 3-axis robot is completed and we can move on to the subassemblies such as the extruder, heated build table, and spindle mount. Pretty exciting day!

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It's quite impressive looking.

And you're going to mount a Porter Cable spindle on it? :D


That will move the goalposts a bit, RepRap wise.
The spindle is actually a Bosch Colt. We originally looked at the Porter Cable, but the Colt apparently has much better runout numbers which is very important when you are doing 8 mil traces for isolation routing :)
Have you considered babbit bearings?
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