What it does
Using the light-weight composite materials provided by Dixie Chemicals, I designed, a gantry bracket to be used in high speed linear motions systems where low momentum is desired. An example use case is in laser cutting systems, where the laser lens has to move quickly and reverse direction quickly.
By using this lightweight composite and adhesive assembly, a weight reduction of over %50 is possible in the plate alone. In this particular situation, the composite is replacing what would normally made of aluminium. Aluminium has a density of approximately 169 lb/ft^3, and the composite I used has a density of 24 lb/ft^3. That's 1/7th the weight given the exact same volume!
How I built it
I used Fusion 360 to design the part, run shape optimizations and design the CAM. Once the gcode was exported, I installed and operated the Harvard machine shop Shopbot CNC router.
Challenges I ran into
I do not normally use Fusion 360 for designing, since I am more familiar with SolidWorks. I'm not experienced in shape optimization, so I gave my best attempt.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Running the CNC machine and using Fusions shape optimization simulations.
What I learned
How to use more of Fusion 360, and how to machine these new composites and operate the Shopbot.
What's next for Composite linear motion gantry
Better shape optimization and more complex geometry. Currently the shape is a flat plate, however more complex 3D models could be machined.