Let's Make Robots!

Cutting the pieces, and putting them together

2 kilogrammes of various colours of plexiglassAfter waiting longer than expected (some issues during transit) I finally received my batch of plexiglass a few days ago. While waiting for it, I used my time to carefully design the body parts in a CAD program.

Luckily I did not yet have the plexiglass yet because I discovered a few "bugs" in my drawing which I had ample time for to review a few times...

Now that my package finally arrived I can start making my design a reality!

As I have only worked with plexiglass in highschool -- and that's quite some time ago -- I looked around for various tips on working with it, i.e. cutting and shaping.

For cutting, the method that I decided to give a shot was the "cut and snap method". By making a few straight cuts with a Stanley-knife, about a millimeter deep, the plexiglass becomes most weak there....  if then placed on the table, with the cut aligned on the edge of it, you can slam the piece that should be cut off. And it does so beautifully -- much straighter than I could ever do with a jigsaw. [OK, I have to admit it can go wrong, just be careful not to drift at all while cutting. I did so and that non-straight line wasted a piece of wonderful plexi -- but I'm sure I can still use it for something else :)]

A Dremel with a small metal drill attached works perfectly to cut out the holes for the 90-degree angled screw-thingies that I made earlier:

Displayed on the left is the front part, which attached to the piece displayed on the right, which is the bottom. The bottom should have those corners marked "X" cut out, that is where the wheels ought to go. This will be impossible to "cut and snap" easily so I shall have to resort to cutting with a small, easy to use, iron saw which I don't yet have (as I write this I'm waiting for the DIY-store to open.... I also need a lot of M4 and M3 nuts and bolts). After I have all that, I can continue making the body.

If the body is ready, I can think about the inner parts.... I have an interesting "challenge" with the  DFrobot DC motors that I have... These are tricky to attach without some special bracket. I have a couple of ideas but I'm still unsure, I'm leaning towards a little hot glue between the motor and the plexiglass body, and a custom metal bracket to keep it in place. (But if I want to replace one motor I'm sure I will hate that glue being there...)

(At this point I am unsure whether this if I can still call it Bot v1 -- it is visually going to be quite different....)

Oh, look at the time, the DIY will be open if I hop on my bike now... Byebye!

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Hot glue is always nice for mounting things. It holds pretty well, but can be removed fairly easily. You can hotglue the motors, then when you are sure you have them where you want, design and test fit brackets for a more permanent position.

I haven't tried. the cut and snap method. I have a compound mitre saw I have used successfully for making straight cuts.

I also build a plexiglass bender, which has worked pretty well for me.