Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cupcake Car Base

Sometimes things just work out. We ran out of table space, for example, but found a way to serve the pizza.

Or this: by chance, Jim had found and repaired a broken large format printer, so it was possible to print out full-sized plans for cutting the cupcake base. (Of course it wasn't strictly necessary, but what a treat to be able to just glue the plans over the plywood and cut on the lines.)

Or this: after eyeing the plan, Emilio went back to his truck and pulled out a circular piece of plywood that he'd found a year and a half ago and been carting around since. It was just 6" wider than the diameter we needed.

Everyone got a chance to help make the base. Cutting with a jigsaw:

Starting pilot holes with a drill: 

Young makers guiding younger makers:

Wheels, casters, and motors were mounted. It may be that the ring cut from around the base will be able to serve as part of the structure, like so: 

We'll have to see how it all works out.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Show-and-Tell Meeting

We were at an in-between stage for this meeting: the power system for the cupcake car is ready, and now it needs a structure around it. Some are starting to think about individual projects. With nothing specific on the agenda, we had a show-and-tell.

Show-and-tell is not just for grade school: it's a good way for members to share what they're thinking about and working on outside of meetings, and the simplest question/answer pair can be both instructional and inspirational.

Here is some of what was brought last week:
Doug's Yellow Submarine, made from a painted soda bottle, 3D printed additions, & hand drawn designs
Leo's gloves with carbon fiber knuckles, brought to show us what the material is like
Dave's r/c-controlled wheelchair base
The Campiz family's surplus computer, ready to be disassembled
the gyroscope Bob got through Kickstarter

Finally, Doug talked us through some design considerations when creating the cupcake car base: sizing it to fit a seated person, making sure the wheels are well spaced for comfort and maneuverability, keeping the parts accessible for adjustment and repair. Getting that started is our next shared task.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Starting the Cupcake Car

Last meeting the boys wired up new batteries to the wheelchair motor controllers and motors to confirm that the system would run as intended. They also learned to write up a wiring diagram for same.
batteries, motors, controllers and wheels
Over the weekend, the tubes and tires were changed out and cleaned.
prying old cracked tires off with screwdrivers
Jim explains the use of grease to help get the new tire seated
inflating the new tire
The bonus of having skilled mentors: when Sebastian wondered aloud how knurling was done, Jim was able to take him to the metal lathe and show him.
the knurling tools next to the metal blank
metal shards from the lathe
We now have a solid basis for some kind of motorized car. The next step will be designing the base and body.