Final Project Development
basket buddy 2.0
Over the summer I made a very simple machine for measuring lengths of rattan to be used to make a basket. The idea was that I could model a basket in Rhino as a network of curves, divide those curves based on their intersections with other
curves in the network and feed the lengths into an arduino sketch to drive a motor with gears attached to pull the rattan along. Overall, the machine more or less worked but was very rudimentary.
In general, and with this project, I'm interested in combining digital fabrication and analog ways of making. Most digital fabrication projects are about designing something on the computer and trying to recreate that with the highest
fidelity possible. I like that this process creates a somewhat messier translation from digital to physical. In addition to the particularities of the hand work, the material used, rattan, is a natural material that has bending properties
that I have not yet integrated into the digital model making the output somewhat unpredictable.
My initial proposal for the final project is the second iteration of this machine. Rather than simply measure lengths, my goal is for this machine to also mark and cut the rattan. The machine can be understood as three modules:
- Measuring: Rattan feed mechanism.
- Marking: Device for moving a pencil across the surface of the rattan.
- Cutting: Device for cutting the rattan to length.
My plan is to tackle the modules in that order. Ideally I would at least be able to complete the first two modules, which are the most important, this semester. Before I tackle the cutting mechanism, I might actually devote time towards
developing a GUI for the machine.
The initial design, which I sketched out below includes three motors: one to
drive the feed mechanism; one to drive a linear rail that holds a pencil for marking the rattan; and one to drive a linear rail with a blade attached as a sort of guillotine to cut the rattan.
The linear rails seem to be a bit overkill in this context and upon doing further research, I would like to incorporate a device like the "Ordinary Crank Shaft" from 507 Mechanical Movements.
More on that below.
Sketching out CAD
I am proficient in Rhino and Grasshopper so I decided to try out Fusion 360. Fusion 360 feels very much geared towards manufacturing, whereas Rhino feels a bit more free in terms of the manipulation of objects in 3D space. I could see a
scenario where Rhino could be helpful for quickly sketching out ideas, which could then be brought to Fusion 360 for organization, collaboration and maybe a more streamlined CAD/CAM pipeline. Granted, I have several years of experience in
Rhino, so the clunkiness of Fusion 360 that I experience now would likely go away eventually.
After attending the recitation and watching a few tutorials, I set out to model my initial sketch of the final project. I really like that you can have different part files and that if you update one it propogates through the rest of your
files. That said, I didn't have very much use for that here.
I'm interested in Fusion 360's ability to create joints and simulate movement between parts. I followed this tutorial by Jonathan Odom that goes over modeling a linear
motion device for 3D printing. This is based on the illustration of the ordinary crank shaft above. The movement is sort of mesmirizing and I would like to incorporate this into my machine. A pencil and small saw could easily be attached to
two of these devices to replace the linear rails in the eariler iteration.