DeWuts are the Most Beautiful Things to have Ever Existed. Ever.

Sunday, February 10th, 2013 @ 5:21 | dewut?

A few days ago, I received a package.

Okay, more like five packages. The shop made a concerted effort to ship my parts out before the Chinese (lunar) New Year vacation, and they at least managed to get out of the country in time!

And they are gorgeous.

This picture doesn’t do the quality of finish justice. They’re really, really, really shiny. There’s 4 total parts to a DeWut assembly: the output bearing block, the motor mount (in the back), the motor clamp, and the shaft.

Investigating the intersections of cutting paths and machined surfaces was quite enjoyable as I deduced in which order the features must have been machined. For instance, on the fancy flower end of the shaft, the valleys of the lobes have clearly been bead-blasted and are dull, while the rest of the shaft has a machined finish. Short of somehow forging and finish machining these (highly unlikely), I bet they milled the profile into an entire bar of ~1″ steel first, then machined that down to form the 1/2″ diameter shaft body.

With the Dewalt 3 speed gearbox, motor, and output bearings installed, it looks like a thing that exists!! Like, a real product.

Missing here still is the Nifty Barrel Shifter lock. I laser-cut them out of some 1/4″ Delrin, though I strongly believe 1/8″ is sufficient as they do not take any sturctural loads.

Okay, so that was sort of fail.

First, the raw plate came very warped from McMaster. Second, the action of cutting alone made it even more warped. As a result, I only got a handful of NBS locks from this plate since warping ruins the focus of the laser beam. For now, this is more than enough, but for production purposes, I will probably just hire these out to Big Blue Saw for convenience.

Check out this veritable forest of DeWut output assemblies.

Originally, the plan was to sell complete knockdown kits that have to be assembled by the user. Problem is, after pushing a few of the shafts through the bearings, I realized you really needed an arbor press of 2 or more tons capacity to do it correctly. I sized these shafts for a proper bearing fit – that is, you’re not sliding it in by hand, it’s actually a tight fit. I attempted using a deadblow hammer or just banging it on the table – two methods I’ve historically used to fit shafts into bearings prior to having a few different sizes of arbor press within one wireless router’ coverage – to no avail.

So asking any random builder to do so might be a little too much. The bearings into their housings, too, are troublesome for someone not press-equipped.

Therefore, I’m thinking the new plan is to sell a partial knockdown kit with the front end assembled, the motor mount and clamp (& other residual hardware) separate. Maybe offer an option that includes the transmission already, so you just need to pop in a motor of your choice (DeWalt makes this style motor in 12, 14.4, and 18 volts).

Enough about product, though. Here’s more pretty motor pictures.

These are the 3 motors that I’ve prepared with NBS locks and all which will go into Überclocker. Speaking of which, I really need to post about it. It’s practically finished, which given my recent robot practices, is kind of weird – Motorama ain’t even until Saturday. A week early? Come on now…




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    2 Responses to “DeWuts are the Most Beautiful Things to have Ever Existed. Ever.”

    1. Simon Arthur Says:

      These sure are spiffy looking. How much does each assembled unit weigh?

      The sheets I get aren’t any flatter to start with. Are you sure I couldn’t convince you to make the shift lock out of a beautiful exotic hardwood? Or perhaps a pretty acrylic, it comes in beautiful colors and patterns.

    2. Mark Says:

      This is pretty awesome… I wish I could them in FRC……. crappy banebot p60s…

      Anyways, is there a chance of just buying the shaft? I would rather machine out my own housings (cnc mill equipped) but don’t really want to go though the process of cutting that shaft spine/hardening it.