|One of the early CAD models and a discussion of the|
folded over stopper
|Printing the first model|
He dove in, and of course by this time it was child's play for him. But never the less, he was excited to work on something - anything... So we got out all the pictures of historic pieces, he measured stuff, looked at proportions, and started making me CAD models of the inkwells. Once models were made, he started 3-D printing them with his best printer (after he fixed it, tuned it, and generally walked around complaining about all of us neophytes who messed it up while he was in Europe!). So from my conversations with the brass boundary, the assembly of these little inkwells in the way they were made in the 17th century posed problems. We would need to make three tiny pins, two of which looked like nails. One would go through the rotating lid and be smashed on the back to form the hand on the lid. The second would go through both the sliding lid and the square lid and be smashed to allow them to connect and swing. The third was rectangular and was soldered in place, bent over. That was a lot of fiddly work.
|The first finished model of the inkwell. note the extra piece and that the lid with hole had a peg coming out of it.|
|A printed 3x version of the inkwell in the |
new manufacturing idea
But the bent rectangle piece was still going to be a pain. That is when David came up with a great
idea. What if he made the pegs come out of the square bottom and we get rid of the irregular pewter piece. We could put holes in the square lid and the pegs would serve as a way to orient all the pieces before the brass-to-brass soldering (actually called brazing) happened. This was a brilliant idea! Oven brazing of dozens of brass parts can be done at once, it is a known process and can be outsourced. The pegs would keep the parts in place and then we would just need to tap smash the one pin and bend the other over.
Now that we had an interesting manufacturing process idea, would it work?? Needless to say, we spent days of the Christmas vacation working on it. First was making a new set of CAD models and printing them at a larger scale to work on the peg system. David was concerned the the resolution of the holes would be a problem on his machine.
So now that it was big scale, we needed a small scale brass version to test with.