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This page is archived material from a previous course. Please check for updated material.

    Lab 4 Mech Bootcamp (2014)

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    Intro to hand tools: Make a tape follower    (June 3 and 5, 2014)

    tape follower 2014s2tape follower real 2014m

    • The goal is to make one tape follower per bench (=two per team), to be used on June 12: PID control lab.
    • Still, with the exception of rear wheels/tires we want all students to make one of everything, to practise tool use. You will have more parts than you need per bench!
    • Here’s a list of the parts each student will make. For assembly (step 16), pick the best from those that you have several of.
    • Stay at your bench unless you need tools and machines in the back of the lab.
    • No rush! Missing bits can be completed in the coming days.
    • Download the Solidworks model files here. Drawings with dimensions and main layout here.
    • Look at a video of the model here. Click thumbnails above to see up close.


    • Return tools to their spots right away when you’re done.
    • Work in groups if you want.
    • Help others.
    • But: Do not make things for your friends, instead let them learn to use the tool themselves.

    Videos: Watch, Then Do (please wear goggles)

    Skip to next if all tools are taken. Come back later.

    1. Have a quick look at these putty instructions
    2. Video: make one front tire (one per student). Let cure while doing other things on this list.
    3. Video: make one rear tire (one per student). Move on while it cures.
    4. Video: lay out the chassis (transfer drawing to aluminum sheeet)
    5. Videos about snipsnibblers and more: practise on aluminum leftovers, not your square sheet for this
    6. Video: learn how to use a hole punch: practise on leftovers. Don’t change dies, punches are set up with all sizes needed.
    7. Video: use a wood saw to make a plywood block
    8. Examine the sample tape follower in the back of the lab.
    9. Make all the aluminum sheet metal parts just like in the sample
    10. Video: make a wheel (one per student)
    11. Video: make the caster wheel assembly
    12. Video: use the riveting tool (practise on leftovers)
    13. Video: make a spring (one per student)
    14. Video: a trick to quickly make sheet metal screw holes
    15. Video: how to make simple standoffs using ABS rod and silicone tubing
    16. Video: chassis assembly with screws and rivets
    17. Assemble your tape follower.
    There is no shape provided for the battery holder! Please design your own. Also, where
    to position the battery is up to you. Think hard about it. Don’t just copy the sample.
    Batteries are heavy, and will influence how your tape follower works. To make your
    personal best battery holder, use aluminum leftovers from your sheet and the recycling bin.
    More Things To Learn To Become A Pro
    • Video: how to use a battery drill, and how to care for drills.
    • Video: knurling, “skills you never knew they existed”.
    • Video: how to use epoxy. You will definitely need this later for your robot.
    • Videos about bending: Herehere and here.
    • Video: spot welding.
    • Video: designing a sample robot chassis in Solidworks
    • Video: preparing a Solidworks file to be used on the waterjet
    • Video: how to use the waterjet
    • Slides: how to use the laser cutter
    • Video: how to solvent weld PMMA (aka Plexiglass, aka acrylic)
    • Video: clean up! Yes we know, you don’t really need a video for that.


    Videos from the past:

    One, two, three, four, and then you can still look for more.


    Feedback: Please tell us if you think something is missing here, or wrong.