All posts by Kelie Bailey

So much stuff, so little space…

We have recently received an absolutely massive donation of supplies and equipment from a very generous member of the community. The only problem… it’s all in Salt Lake and our current space in Provo is already packed to the brim.  On a busy night, it starts getting pretty cramped!

Included in the donation is a massive fully-functional 3D printer (can double as light-duty mill), 4-axis lathe, and several other unfinished printer/CNC projects.  We have countless boxes and shelves filled with motors, actuators, hydraulics, pneumatics, bearings, gears, fasteners, wires, belts and so much more…but nowhere convenient to store it. If we could combine these resources with the tools and supplies from the existing 400 square foot ProVolt Makerspace, we think could have the biggest and best-equipped space in the nation.




Electric Longboard Project

A couple moths ago I was standing on my longboard while talking with John, and glanced down at the trucks and said to him “I wonder if I could put a motor on this”.  Discussion ensued for a few minutes afterwards. Within a couple weeks, I started designing something that could clamp to the truck and offer support to a motor mount plate. The first test cut looked like the first picture below. I don’t have any good renderings of the “completed” version 0.1 but the but long story short; the flexing c-clamp nature of the design made this bad. It was later switched to a two-part clamp.


Interestingly enough, within a couple days of my first designs, I met another ProVolt member, Mike, that already had the electric motor, speed controller, and remote to actually build this thing! So we put together a quick improvised single-piece clamp that actually worked quite well for a while. I’m not sure that this dimensions used in this next rendering are correct, but you should get the idea. It had some limitations.. we couldn’t use very thick metal, or else the motor shaft was completely covered. But it worked for at least a few miles worth of riding, even if it was vice-grip’d on for the first test ride.


So I played around with the design some more and cut this next one one! We put quit a few miles on this mount, eventually the outer clamp cracked through one of the thread holes and was showing some pretty extreme signs of abuse. It would need beefed up and also modified to not rely on friction fits anymore.




So we gave it TEETH so it could BITE!
RAWR! Each tooth adjustment gives 10 degrees or rotation. In practice, this seems to be the right amount. The first one had a circular insert before we had square trucks to clamp to.


The assembly is driven based off of the pulleys’ teeth count and the belt size. All I have to do is export and cut it. I’ve relied heavily on solidwork’s ‘configurations’ in this design. The three-piece motor mount shown above was modeled as a single multibody part, and each configuration mated to itself the the assemble level. Leaning new things is fun! This has certainly been an iterative process.


And here’s the most recent version that’s up and running! It goes up to 24 MPH, and will happily run 8 miles from two new 5000mAh 4s lipo airplane batteries (10Ah, 33.6v). The batteries we’ve been testing with are pretty worn ad barely last half the distance. The next step is to build some beefier battery packs out of 40 LG HG2 18650 cells in a 10s4p configuration. That’ll be a 120 Ah 42v pack, I’m very curious what kind of range we’ll see.


More edits to come with video of it in operation and the fancy lights!

Bat-Claw grappling hook.

Yeah, it’s exactly as awesome as it sounds. A fully functional grappling hook and self-releasing jaw clamp. Cut from stainless steel on our waterjet. I I was inspired to design mine after seeing what theHacksmith came up with. It’s a hefty piece of hardware, for sure. No need to ramble, check this thing out:


The finished batman grappling-claw!
The finished batman grappling-claw!
Grappling claw, retracted mode.
Bat-Claw, retracted mode.
Claw can clamp onto bars, or sink its teeth into wood.
The bat-claw can clamp onto bars, or sink its teeth into wood.
And of course, it can grapple with the outer hooks.
Of course, it can grapple with the outer hooks.
Before bending the bat-hooks.
Before bending the bat-hooks.
Almost finished, laying out for assembly...
Almost finished, laying out for assembly…
Cutting on the waterjet is going well.
Cutting on the bat-waterjet is going well.
Testing with the polycarbonate
Testing with the bat-polycarbonate
Cutting the polycarbonate
Cutting the polycarbonate


Modeling and clearance checking. More than half of the two days it took to complete this project were spent producing this.
Modeling and clearance checking. More than half of the two days it took to complete this project were spent producing this.


Polycarbonate Gift Box

I found a wonderful little necklace with pressed flower embedded in acrylic that I wanted to give as a gift. However it didn’t come with a gift box so I decided to make a fancy one myself. It was modeled in Solidworks as a single multibody part and each body added to the same drawing as separate drawing views allowing for easy dxf export for final cutting. The model is parametric, allowing for different thickness materials to be used, or to scale the X/Y dimensions of the box. I was lucky enough for this design to work first try; only a minor bit of filing was required to allow the two halves to fit together. Took less than 10 minutes of total cut time. All pieces press-fit and it stays together quite nicely without glue.

Final resultsIMAG0640


Solidworks modelcube1

2D Drawing

Cut on the JetIMAG0634


Greetings! Although we’ve had a bit of bad news lately, all is not lost! The shelving units and majority of our useful/interesting/random stuff has been relocated to the garage housing the waterjet. It is a bit cramped [I prefer to say compact and efficient] but still just as functional if not more so than before. We don’t have the great big back yard for some of our particularly ‘combustible’ projects, but I’m sure the asphalt in front will do just fine. The space isn’t internet ready, but that could very well change; for now you’ll need to download and plan ahead of time unless your phone can be tethered. No more comfy chairs or extra computer workstations at this time; there simply isn’t the square footage for some of the things we had before. More so than ever, will we have to tidy up after ourselves to maintain a usable space. I hope to see more of you stopping by on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

I apologize for the vertical video, but it looked better for a walkthrough. Check it out.



Quadrocopter frame test

A few days ago we had some scrap 2.5mm 1/8″ titanium end up in the workshop, left over from a previous job. I had never handled the raw material before. I could tell it was strong and resistant to flex like steel, but it feel light like aluminum. I knew this metal would be great for an aerospace project, so I designed some hub mounted arms and cut a prototype out of slightly thicker aluminum. This has some of the smallest holes and details that can be cut on this machine. The triangle fillet radii were cut slightly larger than my model specified.
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Here they are all together. I think it looks quite nice, though It’s a bit on the heavy side and I think the aluminum could be thinner. Not as thin as we could go with the titanium. There are certain features that can definitely be thinned a bit more to shave off some weight. It’s so much fun to see an idea transform from a drawing to a tangible object!

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I love modeling in Solidworks. Here’s how it can fold.

Continue reading Quadrocopter frame test

Stone shape cutting

When I realized I would have access to an industrial waterjet what’s the first thing that came to mind? “What fun stuff can I cut up?” of course. Starting off the list is a regular slab of rock. It’s abundant and we hadn’t tried it yet.  I scrounged a local dried up creek bed for a few prime candidates and it cuts like butter, especially considering the thickness. Check out this geology!

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We wanted to get interlocking spinning gears, but need to play with the teeth pitch a bit more and cut at a slower speed. The gear on the left (below) was cut significantly slower than the two on the right, but all show a bit of ghosting (for lack of better term) at the base.
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And a short video of the first gear