My initial project with embedded systems/MCUs was to create an automated vehicle. Realizing that my algorithm was too simple too implement, I wanted a real challenge. I decided to create a PC controlled robot. How exactly it will be controlled will be revealed once I get some results. Right now, I wanted to do some CAD modelling/stress and FEA analysis for the prototype.
Seeing as to how I only had experience in CAD since my first year of university, the experience was fairly new but all the terminology and methodology came back really quickly!
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As I said, coming back to CADing was fairly frustrating for me as it was a long time ago for me. Once I started to get a hang of it, it was quite intuitive though. One thing I am concerned about is the misconception of CAD. It simply isn’t just a tool to generate parts (though it is a major part of it!), but it is a tool to simulate a device’s operation and behavior before real world creation so that you don’t run into any surprise problems during construction. If you are not defining/constraining degrees of freedom as in the real thing you are making, some people would argue you’re just drawing, not designing!
Here’s a little demo of what I cooked up after familiarizing myself again with CAD. You can see that the arm has the intended movement and constraints in desired parts. Components shown are Servo’s for joint movement and planned arm parts using actual dimensions. I’d like to make a quick tutorial of my approach once I have enough time to properly do it.
NOTE: I AM NOT A CAD PROFESSIONAL. If I there is any incorrect methodology or terminology I am using, let me know and I will correct myself!