MTM Machine and Others:

For the last week or so, I have been learning about the MTM machine.    I found a set of plastic sitting next to a trashcan that had been mis-routed, but at the time I wasn't sure how poorly.     All of the pieces are very tight fits, and some holes are offset, so the task has been to try to put them together, and see if the errors can all be put in the same direction to get the pieces to work.

So far, it isn't as bad as it sounds -- the pieces were fitting together and I didn't know how messed up they were.    The main frame is assembled, the tray, and this week I worked on the head, which seems to have the most problems.

For the most part, the material is soft enough to mash into the correct positions.   The snap connectors are quite robust, even with large misalignments!   Great work Johnathan!

To raid the junk box, and reduce expense, I am looking at using found motors, etc.    For the positioning I am thinking:

I don't have bearings, so those I have put on order this morning.

Videos of Johnathan explaining some stuff to the group are here:
   (They are currently uncompressed... so they may be big!)

And photos of me beating on plastic:
beating plastic into positionbig pliersrework on milling machine

Final Project Thoughts:

   My initial interests are in low cost rapid prototyping techniques, and modular machine building/automation.    Neil expressed that I should have a concrete end goal/design in mind, instead of a platform to build machines on, and a bunch of building blocks.

Three concrete applications that come to mind:
    1. Miniature electronics assembly machine:
    2. Object copier
    3. Machinable Wax Recycling Machining Center

Near Term Approach:

   Many of the above use the same underlying mechanisms.    So:

   Bask in success and watch it make things. :)

   The focus in the above is on the high level application.   For that reason I may combine some pre-assembled slides, or other mechanisms to compress development time for this initial prototype.

   Video player to try when I get a chance: