Week 9 - Mechanical Design

This week we made the group practice in León. We moved there Maria Santiesteban, Luis Diaz, Marta Green, Victoria Retama, Paco Gonzalez, Borja Lanza and I, on a journey of about 4 hours long from Madrid. The rest of the team came from different parts of Spain, with the same travelling time.
The assignment was to create a machine. We chose a hot wire cutter machine, following last year´s machines from Singapore, Puebla ...


The team


Luís Díaz. Fab Lab León

Paco González-Quintial. Deusto Fab Lab

Borja Lanza. Fab Lab León

Jose Real. Fab Lab UE

Victoria Retana. Fab Lab CEU

María Santisteban. Fab Lab CEU

Marta Verde. Fab Lab UE




To assemble the machine we made two groups: Developers and builders.
I was on the builder’s team . I worked with Maria, Victoria and Paco in the development of the machine, how it should work and I especially focused on the clamping of the hot wire’s design.

Developing 3d pieces we did together, passing through various phases for each group member. I do not think I or other colleague has designed a particular piece 3d. For example, Maria and Victoria designed the piece of attachment to the base, MDM wood and PLA. We discovered that the piece might work better with unions with chamfers and I continued with the development of the piece.


Design and build

The clamp design had several alternatives , but we came to the conclusion that “less is more” and made it as simple as possible: a screw embedded in a parallelepiped, two modified nuts and two washers make up the final piece.
In addition, to hold the alligator a simple specific piece was attached to the inner box platform .


It was all printed in Makerbot Replikator 2 in pistachio PLA, resulting in a simple and functional part.
In the future we will add a spring to move the boxes from the Z axis separately.

We have designed more 3d pieces:





The instructions are very friendly “like ikea”.




To know more about the project, click here

MachineBuilding_v5 from Marta Verde on Vimeo.

What I have learned?

I have learned that the most positive thing in this assigment is the working proccess and the connection with the others group components. We have collaborated in all the tasks in differents phases of the process.



In the future we must make a bigger machine and make the z-axis move independently. We will make more complicated pieces. Next step will be to make the machine parametric, so anyone can build your machine with the size they need or they can even cut with it in the laser cutter.




Explained your individual contribution to this project on your own website
Shown how your team planned and executed the project
Described problems and how the team solved them
Listed future development opportunities for this project
Included your design files, ‘hero shot’ photos of the machine and a short video of it operating