Make a real product instead of a prototype (Buy stuff)

Hello guys,

After learning the basics and sorting the code/hardware out I would like to make my project a bit more professional, hardware wise atleast. I've made my first project in LEGO. Most of it is Lego, some hot glue etc. It's pretty big and takes to much space, and it's rather weak for transport etc. Hence, I call it some sort of prototype. ( pictures at Imgur: The magic of the Internet )

Now the question is, how do you guys approach this?

I'm thinking of buying some acryl, multiplex and gears. The acryl and multiplex is something you can get in any local store. But surely there's online webshops specialised for this?

There's also a need for some better gears, I can buy plastic gears on amazon. But the gears have to 'fit' on some sort of metal beam, diameters arent clear and such. So where do you guys go for buying all the stuff you need? I'm also looking for something so the arduino is hidden but still reachable, so a USB cable to a connector, so you you build the connector in the multiplex box or something?

I basically want everything in a 15cm x 10cm cube or something, sturdy and neath. And, for the cables, I can solder. Just buy a 20x20cm soldering board and cut out what's needed or? A better button, all that.

Youtube has tons of videos showing of projects, help on code and such. But if you're new in this world is rather overwhelming this shopping list. Budget isn't the issue, if spend wisely.

https://imgur.com/a/5bHoqK
You can go to jail for images like those!

((EDIT: The link has been re/moved))

Hi,

Thinking… And WHAT is “Multiplex”?? “acryl, multiplex and gears.”

terryking228:
Hi,

Thinking.. And WHAT is "Multiplex"?? "acryl, multiplex and gears."

It's hobby wood or something, google the word I believe it's called differently in other countries. It comes pretty cheap and is rather easy to work with. I don't have a 3D printer laying around so...

And what happened to that imgur link? Strange.

It's hobby wood or something, google the word

In USA Google gets lots of foam plastic model airplanes...

terryking228:
In USA Google gets lots of foam plastic model airplanes…

Oh okay, I downloaded a picture and uploaded it!

Anyways, so I would use wood and acryl (plastic plate) for making some sort of box, cause I got no better clue.
But I believe that would be the smaller challenge.

The bigger challenge is finding the right hardware used. I’ve seen stuff about ‘Shields’, looking for a 360° servo (not full rotation) and gears on it and such. Do you guys have some websites selling all this stuff?

I find most on Amazon, but I’m not 100% all parts will match. So I figured only 1 supplier would be better?

Your picture shows “plywood”. Same name the world over, I bet.

Paul

Paul_KD7HB:
Your picture shows "plywood". Same name the world over, I bet.

Paul

Hah! Goddamn. Well, actually, I heard 'plyer' in the movies so I tried to google that for you guys.
I live in Belgium and native Dutch speaker, it's multiplex here. But thank you, plywood never forget.

One of the betters sites for well made, versatile hobby robot or machine parts is https://www.servocity.com/

jremington:
One of the betters sites for well made, versatile hobby robot or machine parts is https://www.servocity.com/

Hello, thank you.

So, I'd need to get a servo going 360° but the other side should go more than 360°. I'd like to have my tool I control with the servo rotate several times, so servo should be a big gear and then hot-glue or such a smaller gear on my tool.

Edit: Perhaps some 'chain' system is better? I'm going for a 360° servo cause its easier to always know it's position and control it after a power off.

https://www.servocity.com/64-pitch-nylon-gears-200-face on the servo somehow and then, for example, MOTION - Gears - Hub-Mount Gears - 32 Pitch Hub Mount Gears - ServoCity on the tool. Or would this be a bad approach?

Sail winch servos can do more than one complete rotation.

Mahoke:
Hah! Goddamn. Well, actually, I heard 'plyer' in the movies so I tried to google that for you guys.
I live in Belgium and native Dutch speaker, it's multiplex here. But thank you, plywood never forget.

Interesting. Here, multiplex, refers to housing units that are part of a larger building. Similar to apartments/condominium. Duplex is two attached dwellings. Tri-plex is three, etc.

Paul

Mahoke:
Hello, thank you.

So, I'd need to get a servo going 360° but the other side should go more than 360°. I'd like to have my tool I control with the servo rotate several times, so servo should be a big gear and then hot-glue or such a smaller gear on my tool.

Edit: Perhaps some 'chain' system is better? I'm going for a 360° servo cause its easier to always know it's position and control it after a power off.
...

Most servo motors will turn between 120 and 180 degrees. To get 360 degrees, you'll need to spend a LOT more!

It looks like you are turning a knob through a gear-chain, so why not use the lesser expensive motor, and gear it to turn more than 360, since you are going to gear it anyway.

For "moderate number of units sold", without demanding mechanical concerns, the usual process would be to start with an "off-the-shelf" box (plastic, sheet-metal, etc) and figure out how to stuff all the needed components inside.

You current system of using a servo motor (with limited range and internal gear-train) with additional gearing to get more-that-usual amount of rotation is mechanically inefficient and ... difficult to manufacture in small quantities (because as you've found, gears are a bit difficult to find - they'd usually be custom made and bought in large quantities.) It would be better to buy a gear motor (continuous rotation), connect it directly, and implement the position feedback and movement in the Arduino (although that might mean adding a motor controller and additional parts. Hobby servos are wonderfully convenient, within their limitations.)

"Small quantity" in a more custom form might involve laser-cut plywood or plastic.

3D-printing is a swell buzzword, but probably not economic for this size of thing...

Mahoke:
There's also a need for some better gears,

I found this UK site a few years ago. Never used them, so can't speak to their quality.

Here's their gears and cams page.

Hello everyone,

We're getting somewhere. But I've been thinking, the end object I like to control is a weighing terminal at work. And the part I'm rotating is in fact a precise potency meter. We send a 5~8VDC (depends on the terminal) over our analog scale simulator (potency meter) and get a 2mv - 20mv range in return depending on the load.

I tried to use the digital output from the arduino with some resitors as a digital solution without all the mechanical work. Is there perhaps something better you guys can think of to generate a steady 2,XXX - 20,XXX milivolts signal?

Thank you,
Maho

I think we call those potency meters "load scales".

What path to take depends on how many you want to make. Tens to a thousand or so you might do yourself with different levels of tooling, tens of thousands or more you make your best proto and work with business partners to send out drawings, images, specs to have parts bid on then award contracts to the winners, maybe one is for assembly, when you make a LOT of something it takes a lot of people.

On the small end you could find something already made and find out who made that, they might have kept the tooling.
You could think about moldable materials, fiber and resin or mortar, stamped and bent sheet metal, steamed thin wood. Could an open underlying structure be covered by plastic and heated to shrink-fit?

Speaking of shrink-fit, when you do solder joins and make cables, use heat shrink tube to cover bare metal water and air tight. It is tube that shrinks onto the join by the heat of waving the solder pen underneath. Get all sides, heatshrink is professional gear.

GoForSmoke:
I think we call those potency meters "load scales".

What path to take depends on how many you want to make. Tens to a thousand or so you might do yourself with different levels of tooling, tens of thousands or more you make your best proto and work with business partners to send out drawings, images, specs to have parts bid on then award contracts to the winners, maybe one is for assembly, when you make a LOT of something it takes a lot of people.

On the small end you could find something already made and find out who made that, they might have kept the tooling.
You could think about moldable materials, fiber and resin or mortar, stamped and bent sheet metal, steamed thin wood. Could an open underlying structure be covered by plastic and heated to shrink-fit?

Speaking of shrink-fit, when you do solder joins and make cables, use heat shrink tube to cover bare metal water and air tight. It is tube that shrinks onto the join by the heat of waving the solder pen underneath. Get all sides, heatshrink is professional gear.

I only need 1 of these. This isn't for production, this is for a testing tool at work. Just wanted it to look nicer then it is now and easier to carry around.
Yeah, heat shrink is very handy. :slight_smile:

The box should cost more than the Arduino inside it. Hammond in the US makes a staggering variety. Kemo in Europe have good boxes I have used.

Invest in a Dremel tool for cutting holes and slots. Original brand is better than the copies but the copies are so cheap it is hard to justify the expense of the real one.

A nibbler tool is great for making front panels in metal.

A temperature-controlled soldering iron is useful to work on plastic boxes. Set it to 250C for ABS and it won't burn the plastic.

The ultimate tool for modifying plastic cases is an ultrasonic knife. Expensive but it cuts plastic like butter.

After every holiday I find things sold in tins at discount, sometimes just the box. You may have something in a closet that came in a presentation box you could 'sacrifice'. I once bought a cheap grinder on sale because of the little metal "suitcase" it came in being perfect for something else. Walk through stores with open eyes and seeking mind.

Look up Plastidip and like that rubber-coat what they cover. There is engine paint that makes a hard bumpy black surface that would cover imperfections underneath and might look cool. If you stir sand in paint the painted surface will be non-slip and not show fingerprints which you can point out.