Over the last 2 weeks I have learned how to use the 3D printers in the ITLL, learned more about the electronics side of things, bought all my parts, and designed the majority of the frame and control panel. I’m going to try to finish the CAD this week so I can prototype and test soon. Below are some screenshots of what I’ve been working on.
This is the central disk that will house the LEDs. The motor with a gear will be inserted on the top disc and the bottom disc’s circular extrude will house the ground wire and will go through a bearing. The small holes on the side are for the LEDs and the larger extrude cut on the top face is so I am able to disassemble it.
Here are 2 views of the bottom half of what I’m calling the truss frame. The top will house the small dc motor, the bottom will house the bearing mount and counterweight, and the left side will house the slip ring. I’m still figuring out how to attach the larger dc motor on the right side to rotate the truss frame. The extruded cylinders are for screws to secure the 2 halfs together.
This is the top half of the truss frame. The 2 smaller extrudes are to secure the motor and the larger extrude is just to cover the motor housing.
This is what I have so far with the overall assembly. So far it weighs 0.8 ounces and has a volume of 1.07 inches. Since this is so small and everything has to be very precise I will be prototyping this on the Lulzbots and for the final product I will pay to use the better printers in the ITLL.
Moving forward I have a good amount of CADing left to do, I need to buy a few more parts, design the control panel, and finish the circuitry.
You’ve done an impressive amount of designing – the truss system you’ve worked out seems like an excellent way to handle the motion and support requirements for the LED orb. Aesthetically, do you have a goal your working towards for the visual effect of the project? I know the main focus will be on the lights and the movement of the sphere, but I just wondered if you had more of an idea now about the aesthetic direction of the piece – are you going to use RGB LEDs for individual colors? What do you envision being the overall effect of the piece visually? It looks like your well on your way, good luck with the prototyping!
I like where your design is going. It looks like you’ve designed it to the point where it fulfills your requirements, but it also happens to look pretty good as well and it’ll only get better with the LEDs. It’s also good that you’re using 3D printing for prototyping, as it’s definitely the fastest way to do so with the limited amount of time that we have instead of machining. The only advice I can give you is to measure twice before cutting. Try to make sure your model is as good as it can be before shelling out for a prototype since 3D printing is expensive. Good luck!
I enjoyed our conversation when I learned more about this and can’t wait to see more of it take form!
For any prototyping that you do, be aware of the tolerances on the Taz 3D printers in the ITLL. Several weeks ago in mechatronics I had to do some re-printing in order to get some motor shaft attachments to work. The original prints were the exact size of D-hole needed, but the dimensions had to be increased so that when the filament was laid down the remaining hole was about the right size.
I like what you did with splitting the truss into a top and bottom! Hopefully that helps later on.