Iterative Design Process

A project log for Motion Kits For Makers

Build robust and precise motion platforms with modular components. 1, 2, and 3-Axis Systems

Mike VladimirskyMike Vladimirsky 07/28/2019 at 22:480 Comments

Because I didn't learn about Hackaday until some time after starting this project, I'm posting to discuss the iterative design that led to the end result of Axys Actuators.

I had the fortunate circumstance of having a 3D printer at work, which allowed me to prototype and refine the design to its current form. The goal was to achieve as many different orientations and combinations of parts, with as few parts as possible. The picture below shows the evolution of each part as printed, then machined.

Pulley Evolution: After being designed, the pulleys were pretty straight forward. First, went for a coated steel, but decided stainless steel was a better option.

Endcap Evolution: The original endcap didn't fit solidly with the extrusion, so fitment was solidified by adding more metal where the extrusion interfaces with the endcap. Set screws were also added to securely fasten the endcap.

Cart Evolution: The original cart was designed for 2x linear rails, 1 on either side of the extrusion. This design was expensive and hard to align perfectly. The final product has a larger, single rail with load ratings sufficient for our envisioned customers.

Belt Clamp Evolution: Starting with a Misumi stock belt plate, overall height was reduced by creating custom belt clamp plates that work to tension the belt, as well as secure it to the cart.

H-Bot Bracket Evolution: The original H-bot bracket was designed to be 2 parts attached to the 2x rails of the original concept. After reducing to 1 larger rail, the H-Bot bracket was modified to be a single, albeit complicated part.From there it further evolved to clamp the extrusion, creating a rigid crossmember for increased travel (up to 1 meter!)

Besides the move to stainless steel pulleys (more expensive) every other iterative modification decreased cost, while increasing modularity.