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I'm a Mechanically Oriented Guy, Seeking to Pick the Brain of Electronics Gurus

Posted by redhatman 
I'm a Mechanically Oriented Guy, Seeking to Pick the Brain of Electronics Gurus
December 08, 2015 08:07PM
Well now that I've got your attention, I hope some of you can help me out here. I've taken on a few projects involving 3D printing lately, however, most of them do not include electronics. I have a relative that is looking to have me make a "Transformers Birthday Cake" similar to the one here:

[www.youtube.com]

More info on his blog: [russellmunro.blogspot.com.au]

Although he has offered plenty, and I mean plenty of info on his build, I will be primarily starting from scratch. This project is still in the very early stages, however, I feel like I will be able to take care of the mechanical design. The trouble is, I need to know which electronics I should use (and why). In relation to most people on this board familiar with in depth electronic development, I would be considered a novice. I am familiar with most components, terms, etc, most of my issues are related to which boards/drivers/software I should use to drive the electronic components.

Goals;
- Somewhat small budget considering it's going to be a one-time use birthday cake ($100 on components?). The cheaper, the better
- Possibly a double throw switch, where the transformer would be in it's "resting state" vs. the "transformed state".
- 3D printing most, if not all parts besides the electronics and hardware necessary.

So, onto the bullet pointed questions;
- For moving components, I forsee a use for motors of some sort. Should I use stepper motors? If so, once sized, how do I choose an adequate controller to prevent it from being a firey birthday mess?
- Which boards, motor controllers, drivers, should I be looking into? I would assume overkill by a slight amount is not a bad idea, again this would be to prevent any overloading.
- Hypothetically speaking, if I were to integrate some sort of linear actuator or solenoid, can these boards control that?

As always, I would like to thank you all for your input, both professional and experienced views. I'm sure I've left out some info, however any and all information/comments/questions/concerns are very much appreciated.

Thank you!
-Pat


- "Project Locus" - Mostly all printed parts, Corexy, Bowden Setup, 12x12 heatbed, ~1 cubic foot build volume
- SeeMeCNC Rostock Max V2
Re: I'm a Mechanically Oriented Guy, Seeking to Pick the Brain of Electronics Gurus
December 09, 2015 10:11AM
Steppers are expensive, and then need expensive controllers.

If I was a clever mechanically oriented guy, I'd base the whole thing around a single DC geared motor... turn it on and it turns some gears or pulls a string or something like that. Looks like one mechanism repeated twice would do the job... basically it's just a 90 degree rotation. If you use gears, then reversing the voltage would make it run backwards. A double-pole double-throw switch could be used to do this voltage-switching. A couple of microswitches would be a good idea to prevent over-running the end positions.
Re: I'm a Mechanically Oriented Guy, Seeking to Pick the Brain of Electronics Gurus
December 09, 2015 07:19PM
Get yourself a Lego mindstorm NTX

[www.lego.com]

[www.youtube.com]

Click the components together, plug the wire together, program it
cover it with cake!

Done!
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