Day #22 – EXPO DAY!

Lab opening time: 8:30am

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Today was Clark Magnet High School’s expo which is our words for “open house”. The team got to the lab early to make sure that everything was in ship-shape for when the expo started. While most members help to set up tables for selling light bulbs, getting computers ready, and sweeping up the leaves that had collected inside the lab because of the wind, the CAM team spent some time setting up and running the second operation of the groove plate.

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Mika explaining Snapdragon to visitors

This task proved to be harder than we thought. While running the part we realized that the first pocketing we were doing was plunging too fast and was going the wrong direction. We went back into to OneCNC check our profile and found that the stock size we had inputted into OneCNC was a quarter too short so we increased the size of the stock, re-picked the tool path, re-posted the code. When we got back to the machine, and tried to load the program, the Mini-Mill was unable to read the flash drive and crashed on us giving us blue text full of hex code. After a restart, we were able to run smoothly.

After a few more minutes, we noticed that the machine did not do a finish pass at the bottom because it was a high speed open pocket and OneCNC does not do finish passes on open pockets so we had to go back in and do a mill profile. When we posted the mill profile, the profile plunged right down into one of the washers that was holding one of our fixture screws. This causes one of the teeth on the endmill to get nicked. After finding the problem, which was that the wrong profile was selected, we were able to complete the operation. After doing a final measurement, the part was 40 thousandths too thick after lowering the offsets, we were able to finish just the first of eight groove plates before the expo started.

The ½ inch end mill before it is chipped. That is close to the bolt. This was a very noisy part.
The ½ inch end mill before it is chipped. That is close to the bolt. This was a very noisy part.

After that one plate was finished, it was time for expo which started At 11:00 am, the lab opened its doors to community members, students and prospective students. The expo was a huge success. The robotics team placed prior years’ robots around campus along with students to talk about the robot and help people find their way around. We also had lightbulb tables set up in two locations to help maximize our sales. In the robotics lab, we had HAAS simulators running, 3D printers running, the Techno Router engraving the Clark seal, Daniel driving the VEX swerve robot, and Snapdragon(2014’s robot) running. It was quite an impressive sight.  We even had some Clark alumni come back to see how the lab has changed, prospective students come in, and current Clark students interested in robotics. The turn out was good and many lightbulbs were sold. Most people who came into the lab were blown away with the advanced machines we have and the program in general.

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After the expo ended at about 1:00pm, it was back to work as usual. The CAM team finished the left groove plates without any more problems, prototyping team helped to clean up after the expo while Mica, Daniel, Lauren, and Karin went to Mountain Elementary School’s science fair.

Kids interact with Snapdragon at Mountain Avenue Elementary School.
Kids interact with Snapdragon at Mountain Avenue Elementary School.
Fully assembled swerve module.
Fully assembled swerve module.

The web team did a “soft release” of the team website: www.team696.org. The web team is still updating the website but has done a nice job of adding continuous scroll and a new font and color scheme for the website.

Media team also helped the web team by editing a video that will be playing as the home screen to our website instead of just our team picture.

Business team was able to design and print team business cards for potential sponsors and visitors. Speaking of visitors, during the afternoon, a Disney Imagineer stopped by our lab to visit and see what he and his company could do to help support our team.  We are pleased to announce Disney Imagineering as a new “Gold Sponsor” of our team!

The prototyping team worked on another new intake roller system that would be able to hinge and close in for transport configuration but would be able to open wider to load a tote but not collapse in on itself. Joshua and Alexander worked on the pneumatics that will help to keep the recycling can in place while lifting it up.

Some of the many swerve parts necessary for assembly.
Some of the many swerve parts necessary for assembly.

The Matlab group worked on finding the maximum speed in which our robot can travel before falling over. The have determined that our speed should be no more that 6 m/s.

Shay worked on the CAD of the frame and placing of the electronics while Cynthia was out. Anthony, one of our animators, worked on an exploded view of the entire robot.

The CAM and CNC team worked on the right groove plate. The right groove plate was also tricky because the tool offset was not set correctly which meant that 30 thousandths were left in the machine and had to be taken off after lowing the offsets by about 30 thousandths. We think that the offset was wrong because the tool moved up in the spindle while under the pressure of making the deep cuts in the groove plate. It was difficult to get the 30 thousandths in the middle off and in the process, we chipped a flute again, now on our new ½ inch end mill.  Such is the cost of making parts in a hurry, without proper fixturing.  When we did the next plate, the depth of the cut combined with the chipped tool caused the spindle load to near its peak output on the Mini Mill. So, to help fix this process, we decided to do some clean circles before our pockets so that the machine would have less to cut. This seemed to work and the rest of the groove plate came out fine.

The naughty groove plat finished complete with bearings 10 thousandths above the surface.
The completed groove plate shown with VexPro 3/8-inch hex bearing installed.

The CAM team also worked on assembling the swerve module, which turned very slick and smooth. The steps to assemble are as follows.

First, we start with the 84-tooth gear and insert the screws into the gear that attach the wheel system to the swerve tube. Next, we assemble the wheel. The process is: bearing, bearing holder, spacer, 44-tooth gear, wheel, bearing holder, bearing.

Wheel assembly with 84-tooth gear.
Wheel assembly with 84-tooth gear.
Wheel Assembly
Wheel Assembly

After the wheel assembly, we assembled the swerve tube with a bearing, shaft, bevel gear,spacer, 30-tooth gear, and then a bearing to finish it off.

Swerve tube assembly.
Swerve tube assembly.

After the swerve tube, came the groove plate. We needed to put in the bearings and the bottom bearing did not slip through like we wanted it to but after a press in the arbor press, the bearing was only sticking out 10 thousandths and we did not want to go through the trouble of redoing the bearing bores. We then placed the bearings in the ball groove alternating steel bearing balls and Delrin bearing balls and then attached the wheel assembly, the swerve tube and the groove plate together.

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Top hat assembly

We then worked on the top hat placing two bearings in the top hat, a shaft, and a bevel gear.

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Isn't she a beauty?
Isn’t she a beauty?
The almost finished swerve module!
The almost finished swerve module!

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Finally, we drilled and broached the 14 tooth timing belt pulley for the CIM motor, and installed the top plate, which also includes the 49:1 VexPro VersaPlanetary.  A picture of the completed module is shown below.

Fully assembled swerve module.
Fully assembled swerve module.

Lab closing time: 8:00pm