Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dishing Machines - forming metal plate into bowl shap

Starting with a flat sheet of steel this machine makes it into a bowl shape.   There are companies that do "aluminum fabrication services" that would have such machines and could make two halves of my float shape out of aluminum.  Also companies forming plate for ships.   Aluminum is softer than steel and so should be even easier to form.  So 8 of these and some welding and I could have 4 floats for a larger size quadmaran in the future.

There are also Phanishing hammers that are like small rapid dishing presses.  Since aluminum is softer these may work for thick enough size to be interesting, at least for small ones like the red plastic ones we have.

There are general aluminum robot welders:

Here is a page that talks about going from plate to nice dish ends.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Next Quadmaran design

Still figuring out the design but currently thinking of an aluminum frame like the black part below.  The red being the floats.  Center being a net that you would lay down on.  Want the design to be such that if we build 2 we can connect them together in a train as we did the smaller models.  Front would have a hitch but facing forward, not down like a normal trailer hitch.  Back would have a ball but facing back, not up.   Above all this would be some lighter weight frame for some very light solar panels.   People on the trampoline would be in the shade from the solar panels.  

Floats for quadmaran large enough to carry people

 Our floats came today!

 Now to unwrap them.

For packing there is a bar connecting two together and Amoni is sitting on that.

 The two pairs are connected together and Amoni is lifting one of each pair up.
 Easier to just lift a pair together.
 Looking past our Mars Experiment to the new floats outside.
 The volume is close to that of a 55 gallon drum.   Salt water is about 8.6 lbs per gallon.  So 55 gallons displaces 473 lbs.   We only want the float halfway in the water.  We were estimating about 200 lbs usable per float or 800 lbs total usable buoyancy.  This still seems about right.  This has to cover boat, solar panels, battery, motors, and people.
This boat will be large enough to carry people, but the people will be optional.  It will be able to go on its own.   It will use the same software as the smaller autonomous robot boat.