Diary of a Student Engineer Part 2: Progress

How it Started Vs How it’s Going
  • The wheel design: As mentioned last week, I thought that the only way I could achieve the curved spoke design was to use the Surfaces option in SolidWorks, which I haven’t really used since secondary schools. It turns out there’s a much easier way. With the help of YouTube I figured out that by just using the Revolved Boss/Base feature on a suitable sketch, I could get the desired shape far more easily and quickly. On top of this, I made the classic mistake of using the length of the wheel’s radius instead of it’s diameter for one of the sketch parameters. Hence, the wheels in the first draft are half the size they should have been.
  • The 4 long structural rods weren’t long enough: It took me a while to figure out why the initial design was looking so disproportionate in terms of it’s length-to-width ratio. The problem was that the 4 main rod structures actually each consist of two rods (5cm and 2cm) attached together, resulting in a longer rod of roughly 7cm. This was hard to glean from the images on the Amazon website as the joint between the two rods is hidden from view. It was an easy fix anyway, and the robot immediately looked a lot better and had a closer resemblance to the pictures.
  • Redesign of the motors: For the initial render I just used a motor design I found on Grabcad.com as a placeholder. The design was far too big for purpose and not an accurate depiction of the motors used in the actual robot. However, it served as a really good guide when I was designing a more suitable motor for the current render. In fact, the current design is really just a scaled down model of the Grabcad model, but with a few other tweaks to make sure it would be compatible with the wheels and the brackets keeping them in place.
The Re-Designed Motor

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Conor Kennedy

Conor Kennedy

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