Modeling Slide Barriers

Tags: innovate and design
Personhours: 2
Modeling Slide Barriers By Kenna

Recently, we added polycarb barriers to our linear slide system. They were created as a temporary measure by bending the polycarb with a blow torch and are less exact than we would like. I am not personally one of our common modelers. We use PTC Creo Parametric, and I only have experience with SolidWorks. However, CAD is CAD is CAD; the basic idea is the same all around. Even as a senior, there's still opportunities to learn new skills as part of Iron Reign.

My first lesson was that I create models in a really janky way. This came up during my internship where I was tasked with modeling a manufacturing aid, and my coworkers couldn't understand how the model was even functional. My personal brand of modeling generally turns out okay on SolidWorks, but not so much on Creo Parametric. I originally tried to overlap 3 rectangles, and Creo didn't register it as an enclosed shape and wouldn't extrude. When I was following internet tutorials to teach myself CAD, I missed some features that most know about. For any self-taught modelers out there, constructed lines are your friend. If, like me, you got bored of the tutorials and started messing around on your own to learn, you might have missed them. Especially for any geometric shapes you want to extrude, constructed lines in sketch mode make it much easier. They ensure that everything is perpendicular, but also that your shape will still enclose so you can extrude it. Armed with constructed lines, I finished our models (with some help from Abhi, one of our more experienced modelers). Our models printed in roughly 30 minutes using nylon on a Taz printer.

Now, I can proudly say that I can model with Creo Parametric (if necessary). However, I'm excited to get more experience with it as the season progresses. Apart from blog posts, I tend to stay on the physical, and not digital, side of the team. It was fun to cross that imaginary boundary to help out with build. I'm glad that even as someone who only has a couple months left as an FTC member, I can still try and learn new things.

Next Steps

Though nylon has its many uses, it's still not as strong as polycarb. We're looking into whether or not the printed version will withstand the slide system. Perhaps, we may need to pursue a different material or a more exact method of creating polycarb barriers. Any posts continuing this thread will be linked here.

Date | January 4, 2019