45 - Mechanical Bits #

Through all the Engineering pages I’ve focused on electrical and programming solutions, because those are what I know, but they are not always the right answer. For example, in this Reddit post the author asks “What kind of motor can I use for this? I need a lightweight pole to go from 0 to 90 degrees [as fast as possible]?” and the answer really stuck out to me

If you really want fast. Go stored kinetic energy with sudden release.

You can use a motor or other energy source to build up the kinetic energy in some elastic material.

A simple catapult, if you will. If you don’t want old school, you can store your energy in a pneumatic system. A valve controlling how much can go into the cylinder at once would control your speed.

Failing that, electromagnetic (like a solenoid) will probably be fastest.

- u/olderaccount

Now, if you’ve actually read through these guides in order, you’d know there’s a lot of complexity hidden in that answer. You might need a PID (see Control Systems ) to compensate the system to behave as you want still, but the point remains- you shouldn’t look to solve problems solely with fancier electrical parts: use everything you’ve got. While code on a microcontroller can do a lot, at the end of the day, you’ll still need to interface back to reality - and that means hacking away at real materials, using tension in springs, moving gears, etc.

I absolutely do not have the expertise to teach about these things, so instead I’ll do my best to link to resources I find

Gears #

Openscad Gears Library (or This one) (or the better, standalone version)

Springs/Dampening #

Belts #

Thermals #

Materials #

Metals #

Corrorision, weldability, etc.

Elasticity #

Vibration #

Hydraulics & Pneumatics #

Pumps #

Valves #

Viscosity #

Fuels #

Lubrication #

Thinking Outside the box #

Big LED Matrix Becomes Tiny LED matrix Thanks to Fiber Optics (Hackaday, Elliotmade)

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