Another intense week - including 2 all-nighters trying to get the drive mechanisms designed, build and assembled. The image below has eighteen 3D printed parts, and there are more not shown.

Progress in this update:

  • I have mounted the solar panel which will keep the battery topped up.
  • Designed and built the mirror frame from carbon fibre (hockey sticks) and 3D printed elbows
  • Designed, built and assembled the solar panel brackets
  • Designed build and assembled brackets to hold the elevation drive arm to the elevation pulley
  • Designed built and assembled the cross bar brackets to mount the mirror frame
  • Designed built and assembled the gearmotor chassis
  • Designed built and assembled the motor mount bracket and clamp
  • Installed the elevation drive belt and tested motorized operation
  • Bought a bunch more parts including the big mirrors

A lot of effort went into design. It may not be apparent, but the entire system is very well balanced and the mirror plane is coaxial with the elevation pulley axle - requiring very little motor torque to hold or move the mirrors.

ElevationMechanics

So far I have used almost a kilogram of plastic in my 3D printer - you don't realize the cost of printing a few parts until suddenly you have used a whole roll of filament.

The mechanism seems robust and stable although not quite as much travel as I had planned - making the brackets robust causes early interference.

Here is the elevation motor in action driving the mirror frame:

Here is another angle of the mechanism: You can just see the motor between the forks:

ElevationMechanism

Next I need to mount the azimuth drive motor and then hook up all the electronics and then get on with the software.

 

Relevant Links

MLA Design Challenge

 

The full set of Clear Walk project blogs can be found here:

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