Introducing Foambot

foambot 01

In my continuing quest to drive down the cost of grisbot, I’ve had to reconsider using acrylic. The material costs $3, and then on a good day the local hackerspace charges $18 to cut it. And then depending on the cutter and the person who inputs the settings, the holes are either too large or too small. So I’ve had to reconsider using acrylic.

Foamboard is a material commonly found in arts and crafts stores. A 2′ x 3′ sheet goes for about $3. It has a thickness of 1/4″ and can be cut with an Xacto knife. It’s not the sturdiest of materials but it does appear good enough for the rigors of tabletop robotry.

On Sunday, I spent an hour or two making the rounds of local hardware stores to look for a small plastic L-bracket that I could drill into the base of a foamboard robot in order to mount the servos. No go. Then I went online and found them in a hobby store, for about a dollar each. For a little tiny piece of plastic. And I would need four of them per robot, which is not helping my goal of keeping the robot’s price point as low as possible.

That’s why I came up with this layered approach.

foambot 03

The servos are snugly sandwiched inside the foamboard layers. It’s a lot of cutting, but on a per-minute basis the labor cost is much less than the hackerspace cutter cost, and besides, I’m the laborer so it’s going into my pocket (for now).

How will the layers stick together? I’m thinking either glue or a standoff. Anyhow, the next step is to buy the foamboard and a cutting mat and see what is practical.

About engineerzero

Once and future engineer.
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