FabLab Academy 2012

Manchester Lab

David Forgham-Bailey

Week 4: Computer Controlled Cutting

Vinyl cutter:

Laser cutter:

Assignment: design, make, and document a press-fit construction kit.

My inital thoughts were to make a protoype for a kit which could make mechanical models.
The kit would contain a frame into which the mechanism is mounted. A variet of components such as Rods/ Cams/ Levers/Gears would fit together axels and linkages.

For the prototype I designed a series of A4 sheets, using Inkscape, which would include dovetail type joints to make up the frame and axels and slots to connect the rods, cams etc to the axels.

Since we were to use cardboard, the kit has been constucted using inches as the base unit with a grid set to 1/8 inch.

The frame would be a 6 inch box and the axels would be a square cross-section.

The prototype would be designed to be able to make up a caterpillar whose body moves when a handle is turned.
Once this principle is proved then other components would be designed to allow the kit to be able to contruct a number of type of machine.

One joint was tested with the material to extablish the best tolerances for the joints and slots.

Once the design is created in Inkscape as .svg - save as pdf with line set to .1mm for vector cut.

For raster cut set lines to .5mm

Laser cutter settings in the driver control for printing pdf file depend on the material to be cut.

Photos and drawings:

Caterpillar prototype assembled

Caterpillar prototype

Laser Cutter with cardboard snapfit cutout
Snapfit sheet on
      Laser Cutter
Here are the sheets:


Caterpillar Body