Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Building a Loop

For this week, we spent a lot of time prepping the track to be put together.  It took about 2-3 days to get one loop up and built for the bogie to be tested on.  The track still needs to be fine tuned since there are flaws.  Some parts do not have enough clearance for the bogie to run through. Others do not have enough clearance for the top bearings to clear.  There are small issues that can be fixed within the week. Below is a picture of the track that was built.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CAD Design

This week, I worked on revising the bracket to support the posts that will be holding up the solar panels.  The previous design was very bulky and not very aesthetically pleasing to look at. This design was shown in the previous weeks blog. Below is the revisions done for the updated bracket. The middle square tubing is the post that holds up the track. The three outer square tubing are used to support the weight from the solar panel. Not shown in the picture but there is a hole for a set screw to make sure the bracket stays at a fixed height.  The three outer square tubing will be held in by nuts and bolts.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


This weeks update is pretty small. At this point we are finishing up welding the brackets to the bottom and top rails.  Once done, we can start assembling the track. I also did a CAD design for a support bracket to help the posts that will carry the load of the solar panels. This is a very rough design and will be revised in the next week or so. Shown below is the design. The design is quite bulky.  Since this will be 3D printed, the part will have to print at an awkward angle to fit my printer bed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Set Backs

This week we are getting prepped for welding. We are double checking all our dimensions since there is no easy way to undue a weld. We encountered problems along the way such as our straight pieces on our bends are not long enough.  So we made the call to cut them short.  This should not be an issue for other sub teams.  I made the changes to the track so other teams have a visual of the change. This also makes the overall dimensions of the track smaller. Roughly becomes 10 ft by 10 ft.  3D printed was put to a haul since filament ran out.  The track should be up within a week.  We planned to be done by March 1st but we went through some set backs.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Welding Practice

This week, Andrew and I took a welding class over at the Tech Shop to get certified to use the TIG welder there. In this class we welded with 1/16th gauge steel.  We found that it is a lot easier to weld this than aluminum. We went back to Tech Shop to practice our welds to find the proper settings. We were able to weld our aluminum pieces but they were not pretty.  During this week I was able to print about half of the brackets needed for the track.  My printer was out for a good while but I changed the hot end on my printer and now is printing fine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Problems Occuring

Last week, our metals came in so we started to measure and cut. As we were cutting, we realized that our measurements were wrong and we stopped cutting. We doubled checked our dimensions and will start to cut again this week. The metals that were cut are still usable for other parts of the track but it is also a good thing we bought extra.  The 3D printing of our brackets have been put on a halt since my 3D printer hotend died on me. I am currently waiting on replacement parts so I can install and get back to printing.  With this in mind, the brackets will still be finished by March 1st.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

First Workshop of the Semester

The previous week we were able to get on the same page with all of twelfth scale.  We figured out our important days since paseo is coming up.  During the break, my 3D printer went down so I am currently trying to fix the hot end so we can get our parts printed and ready for build.  I also took apart a section of the track to see what we can reuse.