Brandon began working on designing the Column, which provided y-axis movement for the XY and Tool Plate. The column itself is 540mm tall excluding the carriages. It has guiderails attached to the back of it to allow translation for the XY Plate. The top of the column has a motor support holding a NEMA 23 motor. The column has a shell like shape on the side not shown in the figure below. Overall the column was a very simple piece to make considering we had all the other parts that just need to be assembled to it.
Andrew continued working on the base, which provided z-axis movement (forward and backward) for the Column. The base itself was simply a long hollowed-out cylinder with a flat top for two rails and four feet for support. The trickiest parts he has had to work on were the inner and outer spindles, which had the purpose of holding the milling material, holding it in place or rotating it via motor. The inner spindle obviously went on the inside, but this part would be holding the material. Surrounding the inner spindle were two roller bearings to hold the spindle in place as it rotates, a seal and a spacer to keep grease from escaping into other parts of the machine, a lock nut to hold all the other parts in place, and a coupling to attach the spindle to the motor. All of this, those parts and the inner spindle, were contained in the outer spindle, which also supported the motor and attached all the spindle parts to the base. Everything but the motor and the roller bearings were custom-made, but this brought on a frustrating challenge. The roller bearings were downloaded from a website, but for an odd reason, they simply refused to fully attached to the spindle as Andrew assembled all the parts together, which slightly screwed up the spindle because the inner spindle wouldn’t fully attach to the outer spindle.
On Thursday 7/11/13, we hit a snag in our work: the license for the CREO program expired today, so we were unable to do any 3D modeling. As soon as that is taken care of, we’ll give you another update!