Progress With Alibre – Day 34

2.24.2009 (Monday) – Day 34 –

Alibre CAD accommodates the best of both worlds when working in 2D or 3D sketch mode. So much of the way it works just feels natural. That doesn’t mean I’m not struggling to find some features but when I learn the procedure is makes sense.  For instance, I’m used to specifying accurate positions for drawing elements as I place them in other CAD systems. With Alibre I sketch out the general shape first then through the use of dimensions the drawing starts transforming into the precise figure I’m wanting. To top it off, these dimensions can be entered in the form of equations that allow the entire part to be resized by changing a few constraining dimension values.

Labyrinth Game Platform Corner Closeout.

Labyrinth Game Platform Corner Closeout folded and unfolded.

Designing in the Sheet Metal Workspace is almost magical by creating folded parts from out of thin air. When you identify a surface then an edge where the bend takes place the folded part just appears. When you create a new sheet metal part you should review the properties settings to specify the material type and thickness you’re working with. You can adjust the K-Factor value associated with the material so it accurately includes any additional material needed to represent an acutal bend properly. Once everything is folded up as in the Labyrinth Game Platform’s Corner Closeout shown above you can unfold everything to get the sheet size and pattern to construct the part from.

My first attempt at modeling the corner closeout piece is close to the part I’m wanting to build but still needs some work. I have a couple of end pieces with chamfered corners that aren’t wanted. I still have some things to learn about controlling the chamfer tool or learning a different way to remove material from the part.

Read on, check out: Day[98] = 4.29.2009
Yesterday, check out: Day[33] = 2.23.2009
Or start from the beginning: Day[0] = 1.21.2009

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Resolving Technical Difficulties – Day 33

2.23.2009 (Monday) – Day 33 –

GSpot Codec Information Appliance

GSpot Codec Information Appliance

I need to get our Robotic Labyrinth game platform modeled in Alibre CAD before the trial period runs out. So, I started catching up on some more of the free training videos from the Alibre web site. Their videos formatted in the WMV format are working fine but I’m not able to get other video sessions using the AVI file to work. I tried searching the Internet for solutions to this problem. One suggestion I found was to use Handbrake to convert the AVI file into something I knew was working. I downloaded Handbrake a few weeks ago so I gave that a try. It worked but was taking over an hour to convert the file so I kept looking for solutions.

The solution comes from the GSpot Codec Information Appliance which analyzes a video file and identifies the codec’s that are not supported on your computer. When I ran the program it identified the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) as the culpret. I found the TechSmith web site and downloaded the TSCC file and installed the solution.

The GSpot Appliance will come in handy resolving some issues I noticed a few weeks ago when trying to view AVI files using OpenCV.

The Alibre Training Videos are a great resource I only wish I had the complete set to learn from.

Read on, check out: Day[34] = 2.24.2009
Yesterday, check out: Day[30] = 2.22.2009
Or start from the beginning: Day[0] = 1.21.2009

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Taking A Day Off – Day 32

2.22.2009 (Sunday) – Day 32 –

Not a very productive day today on Science City’s Robotic Labyrinth. Between catching a cold and some family activities I didn’t get much done today.

I decided to try downloading some video I shot of the Sheetmetal Workers Union into my computer. I bought a new S-Video cable the other day to connect between the camcorder and Dazzle. For some reason the Radio Shack cable gets fat at the point where it would be plugged into Dazzle. That doesn’t work so I need to find another cable.

Read on, check out: Day[33] = 2.23.2009
Yesterday, check out: Day[31] = 2.21.2009
Or start from the beginning: Day[0] = 1.21.2009

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Pivot Plate – Day 31

2.21.2009 (Saturday) – Day 31 –

Building the center pivot base.

Building the center pivot base.

Today we’re making progress on the Robotic Labyrinth’s central pivot and base where the game platform will rest. Even after spending most of the week in the hospital, Tom came by with a drive shaft for the project. He was feeling a little weak and had to leave early, hope he gets feeling better soon.

We cut a 3/4″ sheet of plywood in half and rotated the pieces 90 degrees from each other then began gluing and screwing the pieces together.

Designing a template pattern.

Designing a template pattern.

Reminiscent of Junk Yard Wars, we began cutting the drive shaft apart to use it’s universal joint for our pivot point. While I was out looking for parts Rich and Bob began cutting out a template to build a plate for our plywood base to sit on. This plate will connect the universal joint and the base together. I brought back u-bolts  from an auto parts store to fit around the bearings, this kit is the Dorman 81002 U-Joint retainer kit. The drive shaft was from a 73 C2500 chevrolet 4×4. It was the from shaft for the transfer case.

Read on, check out: Day[32] = 2.22.2009
Yesterday, check out: Day[30] = 2.20.2009
Or start from the beginning: Day[0] = 1.21.2009

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Keeping Balance – Day 30

2.20.2009 (Friday) – Day 30 –

John Bergin sent me an email about an old short film the LabyWiinth reminded him of.

Read on, check out: Day[31] = 2.21.2009
Yesterday, check out: Day[29] = 2.19.2009
Or start from the beginning: Day[0] = 1.21.2009

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Progress Update – Day 29

2.19.2009 (Thursday) – Day 29 –

We got an update from Tom on our Robotic Labyrinth Base, he said we’re on track for assembly next week. Ax0n said he has a Linux appliance assembled now too. Jestin is still planning on taking his WiiFit apart to see how to supply external power and a reset line. Rich is working on the actuators and motors for our motion.

The game platform design is coming along but we still don’t have the materials yet. The foam core materials are going to cost around $500 and the aluminum will cost somewhere around $700. We are looking for donations so we can get these items.

We are working on some fund raising ideas. John is working on some ideas for t-shirts slogans and graphics.

Read on, check out: Day[30] = 2.20.2009
Yesterday, check out: Day[28] = 2.20.2009
Or start from the beginning: Day[0] = 1.21.2009

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Chasing My Tail – Day 28

2.18.2009 (Wednesday) – Day 28 –

Local Social Media Sites

Local Social Media Sites

Trying to get design and development work done on the Robotic Laybrinth for Science City is tough enough without getting posts up to date. It seems to be a never ending challenge. If you miss a day then two of a daily progress report it seems to take forever to get everything caught back up. One of the items on my to-do list today is get some posts about this project in more public sites. Today I have added information to the Social Media Club of Kansas City (SMCKC), the Kansas City Online Community, and on the Cowtown Computer Congress (CCCKC) web sites.

Kansas City Woodworkers Guild

I was looking at variable speed controllers at Harbor Freight a few weeks ago and before leaving the parking lot I noticed a store across the lot called Metro Hardwoods. I almost left without checking closer thinking it was probably  one of those places that sell unfinished furniture. To my surprise it is a business that sells fine hardwoods at reasonable prices.

While there, the owner told me about the Kansas City Woodworker’s Guild. I’m curious about the organization and how they support their workspace for members. From time to time I need to work with wood on projects too. One project I’m wanting to continue with is building wooden patterns for casting aluminum parts. I have plans from Lindsay’s Technical Books to build one of the Gingerly Metalworking Lathes.

Read on, check out: Day[29] = 2.19.2009
Yesterday, check out: Day[27] = 2.17.2009
Or start from the beginning: Day[0] = 1.21.2009

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