For the frame of the Mega Claw we figured we would start with a regular canopy. It was affordable and much more portable than the original one we started working with. In this segment We’ll talk more about how the main structure was put together and why it was designed that way.
We popped off the top and planned to add some pvc pipes and joints to form a large bin.
The bin would then be covered with a tarp for the balloons and to hide the tarp we would buy some inexpensive black cloth.
Here I am next to the frame at the lowest height. The off the shelf canopy was great because we could lower it when we needed to wire the electronics or fix things up.
We could attach the machine to the canopy using ropes and hooks. This made the machine less stiff and alignment wasn’t as important.
This is the original rigid design. It probably wouldn’t have been as convenient.
Just like the claw we started out with many 3D models before we started building the sliders.
These are the three sliders used on the machine. They are upside down in this photo. The one with the rope has a built in winch as well.
The sliders work like a clothes line. The motor below turns the black plastic pulley. That pulls the second pulley which pulls the rope.
Test video before we added a u joint. You can see the other side fall off the rail.
The pulleys are made of 3 stacks of 1/3″ wood.
They worked really well.
Here is a snapshot of the unpowered side and the axle we finally added to make it move.
Here is a better picture showing how both sides are now connected with an axle.
We were worried that the axle would buckle since the rails were suspended. We made two sets of universal joints out of pvc. This way even when the machine bends the axle will compensate.
u joint attached to pulley
THE PRIZE BIN
The prize bin was made of PVC pipes. The hardest part was remembering where everything belonged.
To secure the tarp and cloth we used grommets. These make the little brass rings on the tarps
Now all we needed to do was drill some holes into the pvc and we could use regular 1/4-20 bolts to secure it.
Makes a good bunker too.
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