Friday, January 5, 2024

Lab Upgrades


We spent a good amount of time cleaning, organizing, and upgrading our build space over the past few months. Below are some of the highlights.

3D printers

  • Our Bambu Labs X1Cs are now equipped with LightYear G10 build plates; we no longer need glue sticks with PLA, TPU, or PACF.

  • Prusa Minis now have input shaping firmware so they can print at similar speeds to the Bambus and we added wifi modules and ESP-CAMs to be able to wirelessly print and monitor them with PrusaConnect.

Tapping Station

  • We purchased a Vevor Pneumatic Tapping Station and a #10 tap chuck for it, which should make tapping parts much faster this season. It can always have a #10-32 spiral point tap installed and ready for use.

  • We also built a spoil board drill area and T-track clamping area around it. This lets us quickly hold plates down to tap or drill, etc. There are vises clamped to the table for easy workholding as well.

CNC Router Spoil Board and Vacuum Updates

  • We changed our CNC spoil board to have 3 separate sections and T-track between them. Our plan is to always have a 1ft x 2ft sheet of 060, 090, and 250 aluminum on the router so we can quickly cut parts from the sheet sizes we use the most.

  • We added a crossbar above the router to support the dust collection hose.

  • We added some sheet storage under the router, using a pots/pans holder from Amazon.

Chop Saw Stop Block and Measuring Tape

  • We added a fence, stop blocks, and adhesive measuring tape to the evolution chop saw, so we can quickly cut shafts and spacers.

Laser Cutter Computer Mount and Camera Install

  • We mounted a computer to the laser cutter so we can operate both our laser and CNC router at the same time. Before they were both running from the same machine so you couldn’t set up jobs on both machines at the same time.

  • In addition, we purchased and installed a lightburn camera for the laser that allows us to easily layout cut on oddly shaped scrap or engrave on already cut parts.

M12 Tool Storage

  • We built a storage box for our M12 tools. We wanted a way to keep them stored with their batteries installed so they are quicker to grab and return. This is dense so that we can also use it at competitions by placing it on a table. (Before we just stored them all in a Tstack bucket)

HDX Organizer Racks

  • We created some simple racks for the HDX organizers that we use for small parts organization.

Powder Coating Oven

  • We purchased a new powder-coating oven from Light Armor.

New Laptops and Laptop Storage and Charging

  • Our school's IT department granted us 4 new Framework 13 laptops and we reorganized our laptop storage and charging area.

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