I tried a solenoid I scavenged from underwater valves on my 3D printed valve system and it didn’t work (duh). It was just too weak. The original valve spreads the force from the high-pressure side across a larger area, so I guess the spring return can be comparatively weak. My design didn’t do that. I also didn’t cut my compression spring down very much, but I qualitatively determined that the solenoid wasn’t generating a useful amount of force by holding it on the magnetic core while turning the power on and off a bunch of times. I am a terrible engineer.
So I went back to square 2 and decided to remake the original brass valve body in lighter ABS plastic using our Makerbot 3D printer. The beta version looked like this: Continue reading
The hull is done for now. As I mentioned before, I have some improvements in mind (mainly to get rid of the outer bolts), but it took about 34 hours to print all eight pieces and I’m not eager to do it again. If I ever get around to putting motors on this thing then I will have to re-print at least four of the semidemihemispheres, as the current ones don’t have any mounting points for motor attachments.
Pictures and video follow:
I printed four copies of the semidemihemisphere and refined it a bit as I went. Here’s the whole thing, including the hull that I covered in my last log entry. The only difference in the hull is I removed the top hole, as only two of the semidemihemispheres need it (as valve mounting holes).
Tweaked version of the AUV model.
I made a few interesting changes to the cutaway portion though:
I did a bit of testing on my AUV hull design, and finally got a prototype ready to go. I’ve been working on the design for several months in Autodesk 123d, which is a pretty great program if you can put up with the crashes, corrupt save files, and slowness (hey, it’s beta).
Here is my current design in full, including the support structures:
The 3D model for my spherical AUV hull.
This is one eighth of the hull; I call it a semidemihemisphere. Eight of these will make a sphere 18 cm in diameter. I split it up into eighths because I’m using a Makerbot 3D printer and its build platform is limited to a cube about 10 cm to a side. Also, this way each piece can be identical (or nearly so).
One limitation in the Makerbot is that it can’t print overhangs very well, so I had to add some support structures that can be cut away. In this entry I will ignore that and focus on the hull design: