Next Steps — Grazer


These past couple weeks have been filled with more progress on the mass production aspects of the Grazer project, namely, beginning to mill the male part of the joints.

But first comes first, the parts from last week had to be rounded off. I reset the model in the vice, made the computer out a new code, and ran the operation. Surprisingly, it made each piece even more accurate than when I cut them individually. Here’s a really bad picture of the 1/2″ x 1/2″ end-mill making the cuts:


If you look closely, you can see that the tops of all the flanges are beginning to round on the corners. This is still the beginning of this program — by the end of it, each flange will be completely rounded. 

After that program finished cutting, it was time to take the parts out and inspect the finished products. This easier said than done, since I needed to bang out all of the 1/8″ spring pins that were holding the setup together. Once I figured out how to do this, using a vice, a hammer, and another spring pin, I got the hang of it, and the pieces came apart with ease. It did cost me a bad bruise on my finger from the blow of a hammer, but I guess that’s all part of the process.



And the final disassembled pieces:


And that was that, 10 perfectly similar components. No really, I think the tolerances of part accuracy between these parts are significantly better than the individually milled components. It makes sense, since each part is being cut at basically the same time, in a basically level fixture.

After that was complete, I set out designing the other set of components in Fusion 360, by copying the female components, cutting the flange of, and extruding the inside pocket to be the central, male flange. Ended up looking like this:


Female (left) and male (right) joint components on Fusion 360. Please ignore the chopped off heads of the former female components. 

Next, I added two programs to cut the male components. Here’s a video of a simulation of the cutting program:

Next steps involve prep for cutting the male parts, which should hopefully not take nearly as long as the first time around.

In related news, I found a super cool art gallery over the weekend, called MB & F M.A.D Gallery. It’s entirely focused around mechanical and industrial design, and hosts a variety of kinetic artists. From alien walking machines (sounds familiar) to beautiful custom motorbikes to amazing swinging light pendulums, this gallery’s website completely captivated me for hours on Saturday. So much inspiration to be drawn here. Be sure to check out each of the three locations in the top left-hand corner of the page.



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