Recent content by Tim Wescott

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    LibreCAD

    I watched over the shoulders of the mechanical engineers at FLIR back at the turn of this century. At that point, AutoCad (I think that's what they were using) had a finite element analysis that couldn't quite accurately predict the frequencies of resonance of a structure, but they'd get them...
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    Workholding -- itty bitty polycarbonate cones

    @BaronJ : You're assuming I'll make the big flat first, and then machine the rest. I'll think about whether that's the right approach. I had been thinking that I'd machine the little flat first, then the cone, then I'd glue the thing into a fixture with conical holes in it and finish off the...
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    LibreCAD

    LibreCAD is a fork of QCAD that was undertaken when the QCAD folks abandoned their open-source branch. It's what I use on my Linux machine for 2D drafting. I find it adequate, but it could have more features. I use FreeCAD also, but I find it's a steep learning curve -- it seems to be a...
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    Workholding -- itty bitty polycarbonate cones

    FWIW, the included angle doesn't have to be exact -- 20 - 25 degrees is fine. I'm not a machinist, I have no pride to uphold in that regard. I just need surfaces that are flat and polished, and a conical section that fits a conical hole.
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    Workholding -- itty bitty polycarbonate cones

    Here's an idea of what I'm making. Half inch diameter, 104 degree included angle on the conical part. Our optics guy has repeated to me enough times that a 40 degree included angle is insane, and I finally heard him -- so that'll change. But this should give an idea of the workholding...
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    Workholding -- itty bitty polycarbonate cones

    Oh, thank you. I was not looking forward to the necessary web searching to find a document like that.
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    Workholding -- itty bitty polycarbonate cones

    I should have done my web search first -- isopropyl alcohol removes hot glue. I'm still concerned about the strength of the bond, but -- hmm.
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    Workholding -- itty bitty polycarbonate cones

    How strong is the bond? Could I glue them in and then run a milling cutter across the top? I assume "meths" means methanol -- that should be compatible with polycarbonate.
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    Workholding -- itty bitty polycarbonate cones

    It was our optics guy who came up with the name. Don't ask me. Drawing to follow.
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    Workholding -- itty bitty polycarbonate cones

    Not a model engine question, but for work: I need to make some little (about 1/2 inch in diameter) "chicklet" prisms that fit into cone-shaped holes, don't stick out much, and have nice flat, sloped faces on the outside. I'm planning on machining a sloped flat on the end of a rod, then cutting...
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    Steam engine with a Reuleaux triangle instead of an eccentric.

    Mechanical governors can be more complicated than they appear. But the ones in hit & miss engines are pretty simple in operation, getting you down pretty much to the mathematical complexity of the thermostat in a stove. I love that article, BTW. I want busts of Newton, Maxwell and Einstein in...
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    Model generator build from scratch

    Just like building a physical model of a generator (see how I'm trying to pull the thread back on track?) You need to decide which parts you want to model accurately and which parts you don't care about, which parts will just naturally work and which parts you need to have to change because...
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    Model generator build from scratch

    The big thing about any kind of simulation is that you have to either know what the simulator is doing under the hood, or have a good idea of what you should see. Because sometimes they go crazy. Just trusting the simulator sometimes gets you garbage. (And I've used FEMM -- it does its job...
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    LTD Stirling

    The mounting features of the block are finished. If I got my math right, then that screw in that hole, tightened on the post that holds everything together, should clear the 3/16" shaft by 0.01". If not -- there's cutting tools. The hole was cut by first using last month's setup to drill a...
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    Keeping 01 free of carbon buildup while hardening.

    @trlvn : I've always wondered why the "fancier" steels had the rep for not taking as keen an edge. Now I know!
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