2015-04-12 (Su) Miscellaneous Layered 3D Printed Rotary Encoders COMPLETED

When tracking rotary position, like wheels on a robot, some kind of rotary encoder is used. These encoders may merely track the direction and speed of a wheel or they may be able to determine the absolute position as well as speed. They may read position by physically moving switches but many use optical sensors and a wheel, or multiple wheels, with spokes which interrupt the light. In place of spokes some sensors use a clear wheel with patches to interrupt light.

This project sought to create encoder wheels which could be stacked and each read with a simple photo interrupter. If multiple wheels were printed at different bit values (different fin counts) and stacked uniformly the absolute position could be determined by reading the values of the photo

Screenshot of rendered encoder wheels

Prebuilt rotary encoders are inexpensive so this project should serve to be instructive about the function of rotary encoders rather than a practical implementation. Although it is certainly possible to implement these devices.

OpenSCAD encoder generator file

More posts like this one have been arranged by date.

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.

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2015-04-06 (M)