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77 T-Based Lathe Final Report


Rashed Al-Rashed

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Table of Contents
1. Project Summary ....................................................................................................... 3
T-Based Lathe: Overview and Learning Objectives ..................................................... 3
Summary of Final Results ............................................................................................ 4

2. Initial Design Goals ................................................................................................... 5


Overall System Requirement ....................................................................................... 5
Cutting Forces.............................................................................................................. 5
Error Budget................................................................................................................. 6

3. Linear Module Design ............................................................................................... 7


FRDPARRC ................................................................................................................. 7
Initial Design & Sketch Modeling.................................................................................. 7
Linear Motion Module Testing ...................................................................................... 9

4. Rotary Module Design [lead screw] ....................................................................... 10


Initial Design & Sketch Modeling................................................................................ 10
Rotary Module Testing ............................................................................................... 12

5. T-based Lathe Assembly & Testing ....................................................................... 13


T-based Lathe Assembly ........................................................................................... 13
Test Cut and Surface Analysis ................................................................................... 14
Final Remarks ............................................................................................................ 15

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1. Project Summary
T-Based Lathe: Overview and learning objectives
The intent of this project was to gain experience with deterministic design, and to
become comfortable with closing the design loop (design, predict, test, compare). This
was accomplished through designing, manufacturing, and testing a T-based lathe. The
overall goal was to face a ½” diameter aluminum part, at a maximum depth of cut of 0.5
mm, within a maximum allowable surface height deviation (peak to valley) of 15 µm.

Spindle

Cutting
Tool

z
Linear Module
[X Axis]
x
y

Linear Module
[Y Axis]
Base

In brief, the procedure for designing the T-based lathe was as follows:
• A FRDPARRC was created, detailing the overall functional requirements that the
T-based lathe must satisfy
• An error budget was formed to relate the individual lathe components to the
overall error in surface finish, initially seeded with approximate values, and
continually updated as the design took form
• A linear motion module and lead screw actuation mechanism were individually
designed, analyzed, manufactured, and tested to compare to predictions
• An additional actuated linear motion module was manufactured and assembled
with a motor, tool holder, and base to form a complete T-based lathe
• A test cut was performed, and the resulting surface profile was analyzed to
compare to predictions

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Summary of Final Results:
After completing the manufacturing and assembly of the T-based lathe, a test cut
was performed on a piece of aluminum stock (1/2” diameter, 1” long), at a depth of cut
of 0.50 mm. The resulting surface finish is shown below.

The resulting face was analyzed using a ZYGO laser inferometer with a 2.5x lens
attached, from which the surface profile was extracted.

The resulting error was measured as the Target Error < 15 µm


peak-to-valley distance radially across the
surface. Measurement of the resulting surface led Predicted Error 7.3 µm
to highly satisfactory results that acceptably
matched predictions. The measured error Measured Error 8.1 ± 0.7 µm
(averaged over 3 data points) is compared to the
predicted and targeted error to the right.

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2. Initial Design Goals
Overall System Requirements
To guide the fabrication of the T-based lathe, I started by qualitatively listing the
overall functional requirements of the lathe.
• The lathe must be able to machine a flat face round stock, to within a specified
degree of peak-to-valley accuracy on the surface
• The lathe must consist of two actuated linear motion modules, and a rotary
module
• The lathe must be “within reason” with regards to manufacturability, operation,
and transport (uses readily available stock and tools, can be moved between the
shop and the classroom, etc)
After setting rough goals, I then expanded on my requirements more quantitatively,
following along with coarse-to-fine design methodology. I decided to machine on ½”
6061 aluminum round stock, and set a goal of 15 µm for maximum peak-to-valley error
along the faced surface. With these details in mind, I could then move on to initializing
my error budget.
Cutting Forces
With a material and stock size selected, I could estimate the cutting loads my
lathe would need to withstand. I wrote a spreadsheet to determine the forces induced by
cutting ½” 6061 aluminum round stock, shown below.

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With an estimated cutting force of 10N, I could then move on to error budgeting.
Error Budget
With the knowledge that I would be designing a 2-axis machine with a known
targeted error and estimated forces, I could then start developing my error budget.
Using a modified version of an error apportionment spreadsheet written by Professor
Slocum, I began by detailing my rough expectations for dimensions and stiffnesses for
the various components of the T-based lathe, to develop a sense for how sensitive each
components’ resulting stiffness and geometry would affect the error in the most
sensitive direction (the direction perpendicular to the face of the part). As the design
took shape, the spreadsheet was updated with predicted and then measured values for
components such as module stiffnesses and error, steadily increasing my confidence in
the reported error values. The final result of the error budgeting process is shown
below.

Above, the X axis is the sensitive direction, as it represents the direction


perpendicular to the face of the cut stock. The axes orientation for the T-based lathe
can be seen in the lathe image above. The most important value, highlighted in green
above, represents the total expected peak-to-valley error along the surface under load.

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3. Linear Module Design
FRDPARRC
With the overall system detailing in place, I began designing the linear module. I
started by creating my FRDPARRC for the module, reproduced below.

Initial Design & Sketch Modeling


After creating the FRDPARRC seen above, I explored and analyzed a number of
sketch models, shown below, and fabricated the boxway design on the left.

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After inspecting various sketch models, I settled on a boxway design for my
linear module, due to its combination of high stiffness and ease of manufacturability.

The linear module assembly consists of a carriage, keeper plates, and rail. Slots
are included in the rail so that the mounting screws do not inhibit the motion of the
carriage. I chose to make my rail out of aluminum, my carriage out of acetal delrin, and
my keeper plates out of Teflon. All of these materials were relatively easy to obtain and
manufacture, and the frictional coefficient between Delrin/Teflon and aluminum was
very low (µ = 0.15 and 0.05 respectively), meaning I could forgo bearing pads. I was
concerned about creep reducing the preload of the keeper plates. To remedy this, I
fabricated additional keeper plates to replace them as necessary, and loosened the
preload when the linear slide was not in use. Ideally, I would reinforce the Teflon with
thin steel plates. The initial CAD and first fabricated linear slide are shown below.

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Linear Motion Module Testing

Recording sheet
[~16m] away]

Laser pointer

Linear Stage

In order to verify my predictions, the repeatability and stiffness of both linear


modules were tested. These tests were performed by repeatedly cycling the carriage
through motion, or applying a known force or moment to the carriage, while using a
laser pointer or dial indicator to measure the repeatability or deflection of the system.
Property Target Predicted Measured Measured
st
[1 slide] [2nd slide]
Yaw Repeatability [°] <0.15 0.11 14±2E-4 46±2E-4
Pitch Repeatability [°] <0.15 3E-4 2±2E-4 5±2E-4
Roll Repeatability [°] <0.01 6E-3 5±2E-4 8±2E-4
Yaw Stiffness [N-mm/rad] >10E5 3.9E6 1±0.1E6 1.2±0.1E6
Pitch Stiffness [N-mm/rad] >10E5 4.5E6 1.2±0.2E6 1.4±1E6
Roll Stiffness [N-mm/rad] >10E5 1.1E6 0.98±0.1E6 1.1±0.1E6
Vertical stiffness [N/µm] >0.7 25 18±2 17±2
Horizontal stiffness [N/µm] >0.7 21 15±2 14±2
The results above show that my predictions were reasonably accurate, the one
exception being yaw repeatability. My linear motion module was designed around
manufacturing tolerances potentially leaving a gap between the rail and carriage,
leading to “wiggle error”. Yaw repeatability was calculated using the worst case estimate
of gap size. In practice, careful manufacturing lead to a practically nonexistent gap,
vastly decreasing my yaw error. It is worth noting that my initial estimates for linear
stiffness were much higher than my measured values. After taking a closer look at my
analysis, I noticed a number of oversights (such as the neglecting of shear) that lead to
much more reasonable predictions.

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4. Rotary Module Design [lead screw]
Initial Design & Sketch Modeling
After fabrication of the linear motion module, I then explored various ways of
using a lead screw to actuate my carriage. In particular, I wanted to minimize the effects
of backlash on my carriage’s motion. I first started out by performing basic analysis and
fabricating a sketch model of a lead screw mechanism.

At this stage, I discovered that the design of my linear motion module left me with
little clearance within which I needed to design my actuation mechanism. As such, I
considered various methods of constructing an anti-backlash nut.

Of the three options I considered, I thought that the middle option would be both
effective and relatively straightforward to implement, however, I had concerns about
whether or not I had enough clearance to implement such a mechanism. As such, I
modified the design slightly, by forgoing the use of a nut and instead threading the outer

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casing itself. The turning of the set screw provides a radial force on the lead screw,
which should eliminate backlash.

Below is the exploded view of the completed actuated linear motion module. The
lead screw is held in place at the front end plate by two sets of nuts, tightened against
each other. A wave disk washer/Belleville washer is used between the nuts and the end
plate to more accurately know what the preload applied at the end plate is. A threaded
handle is included on both ends of the lead screw. While each handle can only drive the
lead screw in one direction, together they allow the lead screw to be driven in both
directions.

After finishing the CAD and performing the necessary analysis, I then produced my
drawings and manufactured the anti-backlash nut and end plates. I had little experience
manufacturing items of that small scale, which lead to a tumultuous yet rewarding
manufacturing session. The completed rotary module is shown below.

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Rotary Module Testing
With regards to testing, there were three primary parameters that I cared about
most: axial repeatability(/resolution), axial stiffness, and driving torque. For axial
repeatability, I placed a marker on the lead screw handle, turned the lead screw through
2 full revolutions, then returned the lead screw to its original orientation, measuring the
new location of the carriage with a dial indicator. For axial stiffness, I applied an
increasing load through use of a ziptie and digital scale to apply a known axial force on
the carriage, then used a dial indicator to measure the carriages’ deflection. For driving
torque, I attached a digital scale to an extension of the lead screw handle. The
important results are summarized below.
Property Predicted Measured (5 data points)
Axial Repeatability [µm] 11 7±12
Axial Stiffness [N/µm] 1.8 1±0.005
Driving Torque [N-mm] 12 19±9

The axial repeatability test of the linear stage was difficult to study, as the results
were barely observable by the dial indicator available (0.0005” resolution). This does
indicate that the predicted value is within reason, however. The other measured values
agree reasonably with my predictions.

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4. T-Based Lathe Assembly & Testing
T-Based Lathe Assembly

After fabrication of both actuated linear modules and updating my analysis


accordingly, I was ready to work on the complete T-based lathe assembly. The
completed lathe solid model can be seen above. At this stage, the tool holder and motor
mounting plate were fabricated out of aluminum and assembled. The motor mount
connects the face of the motor to the face of the carriage, allowing the motor to rest on
the top of the carriage. The additional force and moment caused by the extension of the
motor behind the carriage was calculated. This force is counteracted by the ample
preload force supplied by the keeper plates. A 12”x12” aluminum breadboard was used
as the base. The fully assembled lathe is shown below.

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Test cut and surface analysis
Soon after the T-based lathe assembly was complete, I performed a test cut on a
prepared ½” 6061 Aluminum round stock. The resulting surface is shown below.

The resulting face was analyzed using a ZYGO laser inferometer with a 2.5x lens
attached, from which the surface profile was extracted.

The resulting error was measured as the Target Error < 15 µm


peak-to-valley distance radially across the
surface. Measurement of the resulting surface led Predicted Error 7.3 µm
to highly satisfactory results that acceptably
matched predictions. The measured error Measured Error 8.1 ± 0.7 µm
(averaged over 3 data points) is compared to the
predicted and targeted error to the right.
One interesting observation is the variation in surface height along the
circumference of the sample. In my test cut, I briefly stopped driving the lead screw,

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roughly halfway through the procedure. This lapse can be seen in the accompanying
uploaded video of the test cut. I believe this lead to some chattering effect, leading to
the irregular height along the circumference of the sample.
Final Remarks
Over the span of this course, I have learned of the tenets of deterministic design,
and had the opportunity to repeatedly implement and practice the design-analyze-
predict loop. This culminated in the deterministic design of a T-based lathe. The list of
lessons learned is quite long and varied. A few examples include:
• When generating drawings, it can be useful to not only think of ordinate
dimensions within an individual drawing, but also to work around a “global
ordinate reference” which is consistent across the various parts. This seems to
help reduce overall alignment error.
• If not confident in a certain portion of performed analysis, fabricating a simple
sketch model to test and verify uncertain predictions can be a good use of time.
• When designing a part that is to be machined, it is helpful to walk through the
entire manufacturing process for that part before approaching any tool. This both
helps save time when manufacturing, and reduces the chance of any impossible-
to-machine features going unnoticed.
Comfort with predicting the error motion of machine elements, performing first-order
analysis on everyday items, and various machining practices are all additional valuable
takeaways that will provide long-term benefits.
On that note, I would like to take a moment to thank my classmates and peers in
GEAR Lab for their help and support. In particular, my peer review team (Sahil Shah,
Guillermo Diaz Lankenau, and Victor Prost) were continuously helpful and supportive,
both in and out of the peer review meetings. As a “gentle machinist” myself, their
experience and willingness to help was thoroughly appreciated.

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