Cable management

A project log for Tardygrade

3D printed quadruped with a tiny BOM

Dejan RisticDejan Ristic 07/14/2021 at 16:530 Comments

In evolution, the term exaptation describes the shift of function of a trait. One example is the feathers of birds, which may have evolved as thermal insulation, and were later adapted for flight.

That's a poncy way of saying I found a secondary function for one of Tardygrades parts.

The original part was devised for mounting the PCB.

Since I've been trying to avoid using any screws in the robot design, I didn't want to use any for mounting the PCB either. Instead I made a sliding block, a pair of which are used to secure the PCB on top of the robot. 

Sliding blocks (orange). Servo cables are a mess.

A separate issue was that I hadn't come up with a good way to manage the servo cables, which are about five times as long as they need to be.

But after making the sliding blocks I realized I could re-purpose them to house the cable slack as well:

  1. The excess cable is pulled through a hole on top of the block and folded up inside.
  2. The block is slid in from the side. It has flanges at its base that fits cutouts in the upper body lid.
  3. The block snaps in place thanks to a small protrusion that fits a corresponding notch on the back of the block.
  4. The blocks overhanging lip holds the PCB in place. Neat!