A heliostat with integrated motors to minimize mechanical complexity, for use in cooking, smelting and energy production.
The alignment issues are too much of a headache with the radial stepping design, and the precision is quite poor with that configuration. Inspired by a YouTube video, I've switched directions to pursue a worm drive transmission.
A bearing ball mounted on a shaft, and a piece of hdpe with a drill hole to centre things. There will be an opposing force holding the hdpe (and mirror) down caused by two more bearing surfaces, one on each of the axis rotors.
To prove the concept of integrating the motors into the structure, I need to test that I can actually move a single axis. This video shows that there is enough force generated to move things. As the structure gets heavier I may have to increase the number of turns of wire (and the voltage).
I tried to operate this motor with three coils to allow continuous travel, but I could not align them in such a way as to allow the rotor to hang free without binding. I think that if I can just get the axle of the rotor to be more rigid without drastically increasing the friction, the alignment will be less of an issue.
Access to 3D printed parts would greatly accelerate this project. I would use the printing time to produce the mirror mounting brackets, radial rotors and the fulcrum tower. I would be able to iterate on my initial design right away!