Webster: A Geometric Pattern Weaving Machine Using Arduino

Webster (1)

We are three students from California College of the Arts in San Francisco in the Architecture program.  This studio is called Creative Architecture Machines and is taught by Jason Johnson and Michael Shiloh.  Webster is a geometric pattern weaving machine that takes inspiration from Islamic tiling, geodesic dome construction, weaving machines, and conventional 3D printers.  This 3-axis robot was an exploration in the geometric control of stepper motors, the texture variability of hot glue extrusion, and weaving facets through script-generated density difference and form repetition.  Harnessing the structural capacity of the glue texture, the movement of the z-axis motor, and the variability of the weave, Webster was used to rapid-prototyping domes through an additive web-like process.

Webster (1)

Please see the attached video for more visual information on the process and final product.  If you are interested in more information about the process or have any questions regarding the setup please feel free to contact us.  We would love to hear feedback or suggestions as well.

Cassondra Stevens, Colette Rixey, and Megan Freeman

Step 1: What You’ll Need

[box color=”#985D00″ bg=”#FFF8CB” font=”verdana” fontsize=”14 ” radius=”20 ” border=”#985D12″ float=”right” head=”Major Components in Project” headbg=”#FFEB70″ headcolor=”#985D00″]

For the Body…
(5) 3D Printer belts. You can order one length of belt and cut it down to 5 separate pieces.
(10) Pullies. Make sure they fit to the printer belts.
(6) Aluminum Rods (5/32″ D).  The height of the rod depends on the height of your desired Z axis.
(2) .5″D Wooden Dowels. Same length as base.
(2) Steel Rods.  The Diameter needs to match the motor head diameter.  Length of the rod depends on the width of the base.  Ours       were 18″.
(2) 3″ Long Aluminum Tubing.  This is need to snuggly fit over the steel rod and the motor head (it attaches the two together).
(2) Acrylic Spacers.  Diameter needs to fit over the standard chosen screw size.  We used 6/32″ D.
(10) Linear Bearings.  These need to perfectly slide over the 5/32″ D Aluminum Rods.
(3) Sheets of 1/4″ Plywood (24″ x 48″)
6/32″ Screws.  We bought 3 boxes of 100 screws at various lengths .75″ 1″, 1.25″
(100) Lock Nuts
(16) Wing Nuts.  To allow you to adjust the belt.
(100) Washers, Nylon and Metal
Set of Small Rubber Clamps to be your extra hands.
For the Extruder…
(1) Low Temp Mini Glue Gun.  You should buy multiple backups.  We went through 10.
Tooons of hot glue
(4) Gears.  Various sizes.
1′ x 1′ Sheet of 1/8″ Acrylic or Wood
Screws 6/32″ D.  You can use the screws that are listed for the body.
Multiple Packs of Mini Glue Sticks .27 Diameter
(3) Stepper Motors, one is single headed and two are dual headed
(1) Continuous Loop Servo Motor
(1) Quad Shield Motor Driver
(1) Small Computer Fan
(3) Heat Sinks
Female Headers.  To solder to motor driver
(2) 12 Volt Power Adapter
Stranded Wire
Soldering Iron and Solder
(2) Arduino Uno’s
(1) Blank Shield
Tons of zip ties [/box]

Step 2: Building The Base (X and Y)

Building The Base X and Y (1)

Start at the bottom and build up.
Cut out a 19″ x 23″ piece of 1/4″ Plywood.  This is a base for the machine to rest on.
Cut out the structure for the X and Y bed, a 19″ x 19″ x 1/4″ D Plywood Square with 13″ x 13″ hole cut out of the center.
You’ll need to cut out 4 sets of holes at each corner.  Please refer to laser file attached.
Cut out remainder of pieces on laser file. Please refer to image for assembly.
Screw “A” pieces into the corners to secure wooden dowels.
Place Aluminum rods down perpendicular to wooden dowels.
Make sure you slide 2 linear bearings on to each aluminum rod before securing it down.
Sandwich aluminum rods between “A” and “B” pieces.  Do this in each corner.
Add the vertical “C” pieces in 3 corners.  The fourth corner will have two vertical “D” pieces that sandwich the X motor in place.
Run a screw with a Nylon spacer over it through each pair of “C” tabs.

Place the remaining two aluminum rods perpendicular to the ones directly below them.  Make sure to slide one linear bearing onto each of these before securing down.  Please refer to image to see how the aluminum rods attach to each other.
Now you attach the bed. The linear bearings need to be directly across from one another and the held in place by the bed.

Step 3: Building Vertical (Z)

Cut out the four sides and top of the machine out of 1/4″ Plywood.  Refer to laser file.
You can make these panels as tall or short as you want.  The height will determine how tall you can print.
Glue 3 “A” pieces together. Insert linear bearings tightly into the holes and slide over aluminum rods.
These will fit into place when belt is secured with clamp.  Piece “C” glues onto piece A on one side of the notch where the belt will be clamped.
Glue another set of “A”s together and screw pulley into center notch. These will be placed at the top of machine where the Z belt will attach.  Glue each to underside of top of machine directly in between the aluminum rods.  Secure dual headed motor to base directly below pulley.
Attach belt to pulley and motor and clamp into Piece “A” and “C” for the Arm.
Attach steel rod to inner end of dual headed motor at the base to stretch to both sides of the machine.

The Arm piece, “B” needs to be glued together with the narrow pieces notching into the holes of the arm.  This will make a more secure arm piece for the extruder to rest.  The Arm, once glued, will fit directly onto the “A” pieces of the Z axis.

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