All of the prep of the last couple weeks finally culminated toward the first step in creating ten components.
This has honestly been one the most rewarding weeks in my time with this project. The fixturing system I’ve spent such a long time developing to get something precise enough has finally started to come together. This is the part about building things that I find intensely satisfying: when I can see an outcome in my head that I know is possible, but it takes many steps to accomplish it. Although the completion of the individual step can be frustrating, and not particularly rewarding, it’s when you hang on to the end of the end of those steps that keeps me motivated to continue. And maybe I’m speaking a little too soon. There are still a few more steps to complete the components, let alone to complete the whole Grazer.
On the way to making the maiden cuts into the parts, there were a few hangups. The first was the difficulty in getting the spring pins (the steel, self-expanding pins that hold the stock components sandwiched between the two fixture plates) through all the parts they were to hold, a process which took a lot of aligning and hammering.
Also, for one reason or the other, the coolant pump stopped working one day. It was clear that electricity was being fed to it, put no water water circulated. The next step was to take apart the apparatus, a simple impeller pump with an AC motor. My shop teacher and I first suspected that the problem was with some sort of reduction gears, but when we took everything apart, we couldn’t find any issues. When we put everything back together, the pump miraculously started working again. Coooool.
When it was time to cut the parts, the program was inputted with respect to the larger 3/16” endmill, everything was zeroed and squared, and all ten parts were cut in one fell swoop. The next steps are to make the second passes of cuts to round off the flanges.
In other news, the Westtown robotics team will be in St Louis for the FIRST World Robotics Championships. Watch team 1391 here.