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Making the body

A project log for Autonomous tracked robotic platform UGV

One of my most advanced projects to date. A tracked robotic development platform that [hopefully] raises the bar for hobby robotics.

Maximiliano PalayMaximiliano Palay 09/18/2021 at 22:300 Comments

Printing

Each of the 4 pieces took about 22 hours to print. I'd say the longest prints I have done up to date. Material is black PLA+, printed with a layer height of 0.2mm and 0.4mm nozzle.

First test fit of power train components.
First test fit of power train components.

Everything seems ok, so lets print the 3 remaining parts.
The 4 parts of the main body.
The 4 parts of the main body. 3d printed in PLA+.

Some parts have a rough look because I sanded them down a bit. This allowed for more sharp edges where I would paste the parts together, and helped remove some supports that just didn't want to separate.

As mentioned in an earlier log, I will join these parts together using some epoxy and threaded rods for increased stiffness.

Assembling the body

I cut the threaded rods to proper length, then filed the edges. With a small hand Dremel, made a groove so I can screw it in place with a flat screwdriver, and leave them totally inside the plastic.

Cutting rods to length.
Cutting rods to length.
Filing the ends of the rods.
Filing the ends of the rods.
Cutting a groove to make a flatscrew head.
Cutting a groove to make a flatscrew head.

Joined the pieces into two long halves first.

Joined the pieces into two halves.
Joined the pieces into two halves.

Then joined the halves to get a pretty sturdy body! Alignment was tricky, had to reposition the pieces removing the threaded rods and inserting them again. In the end, everything seemed quite square.  Sanded the excess epoxy from the joints to make them smoother.

Fully assembled main body.
Fully assembled main body.

The grooves for using a flathead screwdriver ended up working a bit poorly. As the holes were tight with the rod, I ripped apart a couple of grooves using a bit too much force. Perhaps I should have made the channels that go through the body a little bigger in diameter.

Following, I will get this into better shape with sandpaper, plastic putty, primer and some black matte paint.

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