I am starting construction on another robotics project, and wanted to get
some ideas, and share some as well.
The limiting factor for me has been machinning capabilities. At work, I
build with ABEC 5 and 7 bearings, AGMA 13 and 14 gears, and regularly
tolerance parts to 0.0002". We regularly line bore bearing assemblies, and
do whatever else is required. I use Maxon motors almost exclusively, and use
other exotic components like particle clutches, linear encoders, etc.
Without a mill and lathe in my garage, I am religated to doing things in
different ways for my personal projects. One constant that I have found, is
that one way or another, you pay a price. Like the nomogram of the triangle
that says "good, fast, cheap, pick any two". I have always found it easier
to buy precision, rather than make it. For instance, building a ball bearing
assembly from raw stock would be painful, and mostly un-necessary, but for
less than $10.00 you can buy an excellent bearing. Another way you pay, is
by building a robust assembly. You pay in the components you use, and the
time you spend on design, but your reward is the ease with which everything
else goes together. Feedback is more reliable, and motors work more
My difficulty is in the transition from work related machines, (where I am
capable of spending >$300,000 on a 4 axis lens system) , to home brew
One technique I have found, is to use a laser cutting service. I use
polycarbonate mostly, but I am thinking of starting to use acrylic and
possibly even wood, because of their dimensional stability.
My curiousity, is where people buy the precision, where they make it
themselves, and where they do not build what is necessary, and how they
suffer as a result. What services have you found that meet your budget, and
what sources for components are inexpensive and reliable.
19 years ago