As the digital photographic revolution took off, and everyone bought a shiny new film-less camera, there was a brief fad for photo printers. The idea was you’d have the same prints you’d always had from film, but the media for these printers would invariably cost a fortune so consumers moved on pretty quickly.
Now the pop up in second-hand stores and the like, which is how [Amen] acquired a Canon Selphy 740. It didn’t work, and on investigation it was found that a particularly tiny plastic gear had failed. Most people would have tossed the printer in the trash, but they instead opted to CNC-machine a new gear. It’s not everyday you tackle a job this small, so it makes for an interesting tale.
While the first instinct might be to reach reach for a CAD package, [Amen] instead wrote a script to create the raw GCode. The machining is done with a 0.2 mm bit ground to the desired profile. The result: a gear that gets the printer working again. It’s a dye-sublimation printer that leaves a negative image in the cartridge, allowing negative prints to be made with a bit of cartridge rewinding. And for those who might have ended up with a Selphy of their own, there’s a further post about using cheaper aftermarket cartridges.
Continue reading “New Gear Saves Old Printer”
A press is a useful thing to have, whether you like destroying stuff or you simply want to properly install some bearings. [Retsetman] decided to build one from scratch, eschewing the typical hydraulic method for a geared design instead.
The benefit of going with a gear press design is that [Retsetman] was able to 3D print the required gears himself. The design uses a series of herringbone gears to step down the output of two brushed DC motors. This is then turned into linear motion via a rack and pinion setup. Naturally, the strength of the gears and rack is key to the performance of the press. As you might expect, a fair few of the printed gears suffered failures during the development process.
The final press is demonstrated by smooshing various objects, in true YouTube style. It’s not really able to destroy stuff like a proper hydraulic press, but it can kind of crush a can and amusingly squash a teddy bear. If you’re really keen on making a gear press, though, you’re probably best served by going with a metal geartrain. Video after the break.
Continue reading “3D-Printed Gear Press Can Squash Stuff, Kinda”
When [Morley Kert] laid eyes on a working time card-punching clock, he knew he had to have it for a still-secret upcoming project. The clock seemed to work fine, except that after a dozen or so test punches, the ink was rapidly fading away into illegibility. After a brief teardown and inspection, [Morley] determined that the ribbon simply wasn’t advancing as it should.
This clock uses a ribbon cassette akin to a modern typewriter, except that instead of a feed spool and a take-up spool, it has a short length of ribbon that goes around and around, getting re-inked once per revolution.
When a card is inserted, a number of things happen: a new hole is punched on the left side, and an arm pushes the card against the ribbon, which is in turn pushed against the mechanical digit dials of the clock to stamp the card.
Finally, the ribbon gets advanced. Or it’s supposed to, anyway. [Morley] could easily see the shadow of a piece that was no longer there, a round piece with teeth with a protrusion on both faces for engaging both the time clock itself and the ribbon cassette. A simple little gear.
After emailing the company, it turns out they want $95 + tax to replace the part. [Morley] just laughed and fired up Fusion 360, having only caliper measurements and three seconds of a teardown video showing the missing part to go on. But he pulled it off, and pretty quickly, too. Version one had its problems, but 2.0 was a perfect fit, and the clock is punching evenly again. Be sure to check it out after the break.
Okay, so maybe you don’t have a time card clock to fix. But surely you’ve had to throw out an otherwise perfectly good coat because the zipper broke?
Continue reading “Printable Fix For Time Card Clock Has Owner Seeing Red Again”
When it comes to making gearboxes, 3D printing has the benefit that it lets you whip up whatever strange gears you might need without a whole lot of hunting around at obscure gear suppliers. This is particularly good for those outside the limited radius served by McMaster Carr. When it came to 3D printed gears though, [Michael Rechtin] wondered whether PLA or resin-printed gears performed better, and decided to investigate.
The subject of the test is a 3D-printed compound planetary gearbox, designed for a NEMA-17 motor with an 80:1 reduction. The FDM printer was a Creality CR10S, while the Creality LD02-H was on resin duty.
The assembled gearboxes were tested by using a 100 mm arm to press against a 20 kg load cell so that their performance could be measured accurately. By multiplying the force applied to the load cell by the length of the arm, the torque output from the gearbox can be calculated. A rig was set up with each gearbox pushing on the load cell in turn, with a closed-loop controller ensuring the gearbox is loaded up to the stall torque of the stepper motor before letting the other motor take over.
Continue reading “Resin-Printed Gears Versus PLA: Which Is Tougher?”
A cycloidal gear drive is one of the most mesmerizing reduction gears to watch when it is running, but it’s not all just eye-candy. Cycloidals give decent gearing, are relatively compact and back-drivable, and have low backlash and high efficiency. You probably want one in the shoulder of your robot arm, for instance.
But designing and building one isn’t exactly straightforward. Thanks, then, to [How To Mechatronics] for the lovely explanation of how it works in detail, and a nice walkthrough of designing and building a cycloidal gear reducer out of 3D printed parts and a ton of bearings. If you just want to watch it go, check out the video embedded below.
The video is partly an ad for SolidWorks, and spends a lot of time on the mechanics of designing the parts for 3D printing using that software. Still, if you’re using any other graphical CAD tool, you should be able to translate what you learned.
It’s amazing that 3D printing has made sophisticated gearbox designs like this possible to fabricate at home. This stuff used to be confined to the high-end machine shops of fancy robotics firms, and now you can make one yourself this weekend. Not exotic or unreliable enough for you? Well, then, buy yourself some flexible filament and step on up to the strain wave, aka “harmonic drive”, gearbox.
Thanks to serial tipster [Keith] for the tip!
Continue reading “Do You Need A Cycloidal Drive?”
If there’s one thing you can say about [Stefan] from CNC Kitchen, it’s that he’s methodical when he’s working on an improvement to his 3D printing processes, or when he’s chasing down a problem with a printer. Case in point: this root-cause analysis of extrusion inconsistencies with an entry-level 3D printer.
The printer in question is a Cetus MK3, a printer that found its way onto many benches due to its ridiculously low price and high-quality linear bearings. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot to be desired about the printer, and its tendency for inconsistent layers was chief among [Stefan]’s gripes. Such “blubbiness” can be pinned on any number of problems, but rather than guess, [Stefan] went through a systematic process of elimination to find the root cause. We won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that the problem was subtle, and could probably be the cause of similar problems with other printers. The fix was also easy, and completely mechanical — just a couple of parts to replace. The video below shows the whole diagnosis process, as well as the before and after comparisons. [Stefan] also teases an upcoming treatment on how he converted the Cetus from the stock proprietary control board, which we’re interested in seeing.
If you haven’t checked out any of [Stefan]’s other 3D printing videos, you really should take a look. Whether it’s vibration damping with a concrete paver, salt annealing prints for strength, or using finite element analysis to optimize infills, he’s always got an interesting take on 3D printing.
Continue reading “An Easy Fix For Inconsistent Layers In Cheap 3D Printers”
Placing two motors together in a shared drive is a simple enough task. By using something like a chain or a belt to couple them, or even placing them on the same shaft, the torque can be effectively doubled without too much hassle. But finding a way to keep the torque the same while adding the speeds of the motors, rather than the torques, is a little bit more complicated. [Levi Janssen] takes us through his prototype gearbox that attempts to do just that, although not everything works exactly as he predicts.
The prototype is based on the same principles as a differential, but reverses the direction of power flow. In something like a car, a single input from a driveshaft is sent to two output shafts that can vary in speed. In this differential drive, two input shafts at varying speeds drive a single output shaft that has a speed that is the sum of the two input speeds. Not only would this allow for higher output speeds than either of the two motors but in theory it could allow for arbitrarily fine speed control by spinning the two motors in opposite directions.
The first design uses two BLDC motors coupled to their own cycloidal drives. Each motor is placed in a housing which can rotate, and the housings are coupled to each other with a belt. This allows the secondary motor to spin the housing of the primary motor without impacting the actual speed that the primary motor is spinning. It’s all a lot to take in, but watching the video once (or twice) definitely helps to wrap one’s mind around it.
The tests of the drive didn’t go quite as planned when [Levi] got around to measuring the stall torque. It turns out that torque can’t be summed in the way he was expecting, although the drive is still able to increase the speed higher than either of the two motors. It still has some limited uses though as he notes in the video, but didn’t meet all of his expectations. It’s still an interesting build and great proof-of-concept otherwise though, and if you’re not clear on some of the design choices he made there are some other builds out there that take deep dives into cycloidal gearing or even a teardown of a standard automotive differential.
Continue reading “Differential Drive Doesn’t Quite Work As Expected”