2016-10-07 (F) Weekly Summary

It has been a few months since I published two Weekly Summaries in a row. Two Cyborgs and a Microphone has been every other week since Tim and I started publishing which meant the summaries were just kept to every other week. Perhaps summaries should fall on a different day but that's something I'm not going to decide right now. This week is another one without a podcast episode being shown here because of the scheduling error. They've been published regularly but the blog got ahead of the schedule somehow. Oops. You can head over to the show page and make sure you're up to date on your cyborg podcast.

Show page on Twin Cities Plus

Tim is the maniacal looking one on the right

Work on the Clockwork Theremin continued. It has been severely slowed since gear cutting finished and sanding began. If you read the daily posts you'll know just how much I despise the sanding. All of the two smallest gear sizes were sanded by hand with the makeshift, but effective, sanding tool.

Smallest gear sizes after sanding

I needed a break after all the sanding. It was tedious and the progress was unrewarding. The focus shifted to the player's enclosure. The sides had already been cut from 3/4" MDF so plastic panels were cut for the top and sides. Fortunately, this was a painless process since the sides were an even distance apart it was simple to cut strips of plastic then trim them to the desired length. These sizes were calculated in a CAD print but it was simpler to just place the plastic on the panel and make pencil marks. The panels will be drilled and mounted to the MDF with short screws after being outfitted with instruments.

Enclosure with plastic panels

Sanding, and the dread of doing more, finally fell behind resourcefulness. A plan was made to build a belt sander from hardware store parts, 3D printed parts and a power drill. Normally a benchtop sander would cost more than $100USD but this should be less than $10 if a drill is freely available. Hardware store parts include 5/16" (8mm) threaded rod, 608ZZ bearings, nuts, bolts, and washers.

Unlike too many projects before this project started by showing the concept in pictures instead of just a description in words. Hopefully, I remember to continue this trend.

Diagram of belt sander

Modeling for all the parts took a day. Actually, it took a couple days. There are four unique parts, two duplicates times two pieces then the whole thing is mirrored. In the end, twelve parts were modeled.

Modeled parts

Printer slop wasn't accounted for when modeling the parts so some of the hardware store parts, like bearings and bolts, didn't fit. Measurements were taken on the printed parts to get an idea of what needed to change.

Taking measurements on the printed parts

One of the benefits of parametric modeling is that it is possible to change one parameter, like the overall thickness of walls or the radius of a bearing, and it will simultaneously change everywhere. When done correctly, it is possible to change a single variable and all the measurements in the model will act accordingly. In this case, it was done well enough and the changes only took a moment.

Animation showing the effects of lengthening the bolt sockets


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