Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Finals > Servos

Progress has been slow the past couple of days, between studying for finals and working on the boat I haven't had much time to do anything. One of the biggest issues I can foresee with this project is making the main mounting plate (pretty much the most important part) easy to manufacture. So to remedy this I am going to go through the process of MY servo first, and then once i get a working model i'll produce a second design that can be made with simple hand tools (drill,hacksaw,hammer,etc...).

Finding gears the right size and ratio are proving difficult, I'm trying to design these servos so that they can be produced for under $10 each; and the gears seem to be adding up quickly. There are a few options that I am considering:

1. Machine a set myself, and cast a rubber mold to produce ABS/resin gears
a. This would allow you to make sets as you need them
b. However you can only make a small amount at a time
c. The other drawback is that the gears will be weaker then machining metal versions.
2. Design the gears to be machined, and run a large batch
a. Gears can be made quickly and in large batches
b. You can't just make one set, you'd have to produce 10-20 sets to be cost effective.
3. Design the servo around available gears
a. you can buy sets as you need them
b. Expensive

The third option is at the end of the list for a reason, doing this would almost double the size of the servo; which frankly will not work with my prosthesis. I'm going to consult the machinists handbook and design some gears myself when i get a chance.

Don't expect any other updates until early June, I leave for the "Solar Splash" competition the 25th and will not get back until June.

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