Automated Spool Winder

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pyronaught
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Automated Spool Winder

Post by pyronaught » Wed May 11, 2016 2:17 am

I'm building a machine that produces continuous carbon fiber tubing, and the machine uses bobbin spools that have to be wound with carbon fiber filament. The bobbin winding machine below is almost entirely made from 3D printed parts except for the linear slide, drive shaft, motor and fastners. The thread guide uses a geared mechanism to insure a constant rate of motion from side to side, whereas using a linkage on a rotating disk like what train wheels have would produce motion that is faster at the center and slower at the two ends-- thus causing thread to pile up more on the ends than at the middle. The thread guide is geared for a specific width of thread and would have to be redesigned for each different thread width, so it is not as flexible as a CNC controlled spool winder but then it is also a lot cheaper to build, simpler to operate and less failure prone. Since I need a lot of them, being cheap to reproduce was important.

https://youtu.be/YW_1DHMZ3m0

The carbon fiber winding machine itself uses a great many 3D printed parts too, but that machine is a proprietary money making venture, so no pictures on that one :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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Jules
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by Jules » Wed May 11, 2016 2:55 am

Awesome! :D

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pyronaught
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by pyronaught » Wed May 11, 2016 3:22 am

That's 600 rpm in the video, which is max speed. I'm hoping I can get away with winding it that fast because it would allow me to load 650 feet of filament onto the spool in just under two minutes. If not, I have a variable speed controller hooked up to the motor so I can slow it down. It's going to be dragging the filament through a thermoset resin tub to make it prepreg filament, and top speed might be too much for that. The winding machine needs five spools per layer of fiber applied on the tube, so just a four layer tube would take 20 of these spools! I'm going to have to print the spools out of PETG so I can clean the epoxy off them with acetone. The one in the video is an ABS spool, although the guide bearing on the filament guide arm is PETG because it will get epoxy on it too. I'm going to have to print a whole bunch of those guide bearings too. Being able to print custom size wheels, tube plugs, motor standoffs, spacers, tube flanges, tube guide bearings and oddball curved mounts has been a life saver on this project. No way could I even attempt it without a 3D printer.

I found this parametric timing belt pulley generator recently that was very useful in building this machine:

http://www.thingiverse.com/apps/customi ... 5b2598a644

Another helpful tool is this gear generator that outputs DXF files that you can then extrude into gears in your CAD:

http://hessmer.org/gears/InvoluteSpurGearBuilder.html
Last edited by pyronaught on Wed May 11, 2016 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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Jules
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by Jules » Wed May 11, 2016 3:35 am

Very interesting project, and that spindle is just cool. :)

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jimc
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by jimc » Wed May 11, 2016 4:09 am

another two thumbs up on another one of your very unique projects.

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pyronaught
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by pyronaught » Wed May 11, 2016 4:21 am

Here's the giant roll of carbon fiber I'll be loading the bobbins from. There's 13,000 feet of 24K tow on that bad boy. Normally a roll like that would cost over $800 retail, but I found someone selling them on ebay for $180 each.

Another interesting printed part is the tube roller guides off on the left. This is what will support the carbon fiber tubes as they work their way through the machine. The dowel rod is just in there to test how easily it passes through the rollers, it doesn't get used for anything. The roller blocks are split in half so that you can increase the diameter of tube that can pass through them as the tube gets thicker on it's way through the machine. The rubber on the wheels is just a standard 1/2" rubber band and the wheels are designed for quick removal so you can just swap out the rubber bands once they get too soiled or worn out.
20160424_141731.jpg
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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insta
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by insta » Wed May 11, 2016 5:48 pm

pyronaught wrote:I'm building a machine that produces continuous carbon fiber tubing, and the machine uses bobbin spools that have to be wound with carbon fiber filament. The bobbin winding machine below is almost entirely made from 3D printed parts except for the linear slide, drive shaft, motor and fastners. The thread guide uses a geared mechanism to insure a constant rate of motion from side to side, whereas using a linkage on a rotating disk like what train wheels have would produce motion that is faster at the center and slower at the two ends-- thus causing thread to pile up more on the ends than at the middle. The thread guide is geared for a specific width of thread and would have to be redesigned for each different thread width, so it is not as flexible as a CNC controlled spool winder but then it is also a lot cheaper to build, simpler to operate and less failure prone. Since I need a lot of them, being cheap to reproduce was important.

https://youtu.be/YW_1DHMZ3m0

The carbon fiber winding machine itself uses a great many 3D printed parts too, but that machine is a proprietary money making venture, so no pictures on that one :)
I'm in love with the tic-toc rack & peanut mechanism.
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zemlin
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by zemlin » Wed May 11, 2016 6:42 pm

insta wrote:I'm in love with the tic-toc rack & peanut mechanism.
Yep, that caught my eye as well. Never would have thought to use an interrupted gear like that, but seems like the perfect solution there. Filing that idea away, for sure.

Very well done! Could stand to have a little color though. :D

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pyronaught
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by pyronaught » Thu May 12, 2016 1:21 am

Colors look too... plasticy ;) For machines I use all white or black. White seems to be the stongest color, in ABS at least. Now that the price has come down a lot on PETG I'm thinking of switching over to that for everything. Since getting into gears and revolving pieces, the warpage/shrinkage factor of ABS is starting to be noticeable. When I went to PETG on my bobbin spools I noticed they spin a lot truer than the ABS ones do. I have yet to make an ABS gear that doesn't have a slight amount of wobble on the shaft, so I have to design for the wobble. I'm hoping when I redo them in PETG that issue goes away. The added strength, better adhesion to the build plate and no stinky fumes is worth the switch too. Even with my machines all enclosed I can still get a wiff of ABS fumes when multiple machines are running at the same time. I don't know how the fumes are getting out of the box with a continuous air flow sucking air out the back, but it does. I think it is my old original cabinet that leaks the fumes, the new ones don't seem to do it.
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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pyronaught
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Re: Automated Spool Winder

Post by pyronaught » Thu May 12, 2016 1:29 am

A while back I stumbled across a collection of gear animation videos that showed all kinds of tricks you can do with gears, and this reciprocating rack design was one of them. I can't remember if they were on youtube or some website, but I can't seem to find the videos now. I just happened to remember how this one worked without having to watch the video again. There's a ton of other ones though, both with gears and linkages. I really wish I would have bookmarked it because it made a great visual reference library for mechanical design. A lot of the videos looked like they were physical models on display at some kind of industrial museum and someone had just took video of them in motion.
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

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