Maybe it works!

This is so exciting! I put everything together today and, while there is still a way to go, now I definitely have a feeling like this is going to work. My first machine!

Assembling it I soon noticed small things which I could quickly address by printing new parts — mainly the bubble ring needing sufficient clearance on both sides, so I printed small spacers.

I decided to go for rubber bands instead of GT2 tooth belt, because I had no idea of how to glue a tooth belt to a continuous loop of a certain length, and, well, I want to publish this and a GT2 tooth belt isn’t exactly someone people have at home normally. Common broad rubber bands like we use them at office for large acts have a too small diameter. So I used elastic ribbon, the kind you have in your underwear. I used needle and thread to make a continuous loop; you have to take care that it’s just tight enough to have enough friction on the pulleys, but loose enough so you don’t have too much friction by skewing the axis. Well, it does work and it looks fantastic — when I have one on either side and the wood painted black as well, this will surely remind people of a jet engine! Well, maybe, at least:

wpid-20150730_182536.jpgwpid-20150730_182738.jpg

Well, it works sort of. Problems remaining:

  • I need black elastic ribbon!
  • the large pulley behind the bubble wheel is so large that it pops most of the bubbles; I’m currently printing a smaller one, but if it get’s too small, my mechanical advantage might get too small, too. We’ll see in, let me see, 13 minutes!
  • the belt retainers on the pulley are too small for my rubber band, which keeps getting of after a short time, but I already accounted for that with the pulley printing just now;
  • my tank is not completely water-proof; it’s okay for now, but it get’s soapy on the outside. I’ll try making the walls a little stronger and with more infill for the next tank.

Aaaah. This feels very good.

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