Onca Onca is coming alive!

Its been some time since the last update.  Wow time flies.  But forget the small talk, lets get to the important details:

  1. 3D Printed Hub Design
  2. Mount Assembly
  3. Remote Control
  4. Solidworks 2013 Rant

The Hub

So, in my recent post, you saw a 3D printed hub.  Yea, cool for rapid prototyping, sure.  But I've sent off an updated version to shapeways.com for a black nylon printing.  According to Shapeways, its their strongest material...We will see how it holds up to the torque, but i'm actually not too concerned.  And best yea, the job was $30 each!  I could even sell it through them!  Pretty cool.   It arrives at my door, this Monday!  Here is the new drawing:

Motor Mount Assembly

Not too much to report here, other than the shop is in the process of building it.  I have updated it a bit since I last posted.  Note, i'm now bolting to two points on the truck, and have added support ribs to minimize flex.  Of course, this is mostly theoretical, although my initial rides gave me a lot to work off of.  When riding, and flex in the system will create slack on the chain and can easily lead to the chain coming off the gear.  But with these precision parts, I don't think i'll be having that issue much longer.
Here is that drawing:

The Remote

So, I know i reported that Onca Onca went wireless, but i've worked out all the major kinks, too.  If i do anything further, is just sugar on top (which i probably will).  So now that the wireless and electronics are worked out, i still need a case for the darn thing!  So i got working and here is where i'm at.  I left this in transparency, so you can see the internal details...darn thing is more than just a soap box, for sure.  There are a few parts not shown here, cause i haven't modeled them:  The Joystick, its PCB, connecting wires and external switch.  But in the very base is the Arduino fio with XBee stack and the mini usb port sticking out the bottom.  The block in the middle is the battery, and the posts will hold the joystick.

SolidWorks 2013 Rant

I'm not sure where to start, here.  Many people know of SolidWorks.  If a staple software suite in the 3D community.  There are a few (really bad) free applications out there, but they're pretty much useless for anything beyond a simple sketch.  SolidWorks, as an application is really great.  But my experience with their "Authorized Dealer" CADDEdge was just plain awful.

I'm just going to relay the story, for what it was, with some of my own $.02 mixed in there.

  1. I went on the SolidWorks website, and found my way to a form they have titled: "Request a Trial."  So I filled it out, with a high hope that i'd be directed to a download page.  I wasn't.  I was prompted with a message that said a SW rep would contact me.
  2. Fortunately, i was contacted.  I explained to the guy why he was in fact calling me, cause he didn't know.  He then told me that SolidWorks (Dassault), doesn't fulfill trials, that is done by their Authorized Dealers.  For my territory, the entire North East, that is CADDEdge.  So he gave my info to them, and said they would contact me.
  3. I got an email from CADDEdge, offering me more info on 3D printers.  I emailed the bozo and had to explain to him why he, too, was contacting me.
  4. I got a response that was essentially brushing me off and denied my request, for fear that i was only interested in finishing my project.
  5. I responded with a big WTF.  I'm your next potential customer;  I want to try it on my primary computer's virtual machine, and make sure it runs smoothly.  Regardless of how much potential i had in buying it, i would never buy it without trying it first.  Especially in a virtualized environment.
  6. The first bozo pawned me off to some other bozo who told me he'd give me a 15 day trial, if and only if i gave him my credit card info, and on the condition that if i didn't tell him otherwise, he would charge me for the full license at the end of the 15 days.
  7. I thought about this for about a week.  Then one crisp morning, i wrote my first raging email.  I let them have it, and i copied their support department as well as SolidWorks support - to let them know what was going on with their Authorized Dealer (cause i would never authorized it, if i were them).
  8. Within about 2 or 3 hours, i got a call from the Regional Rep, i think.  I apologized for my hash words, but expressed my frustration.  He almost conceded for the mistreatment from his co-workers, but didn't exactly want to let go of control.  After about a 30 minute phone call, our negotiation led to them giving me a free 15 day trial, under the condition that I would sit with one of THEIR support technicians, for 30min-2 hours, at a location of my choosing, to supervise the install and assist in giving me some quick tips!  I tried to refuse.  I tried really really hard.  I told him i didn't want to be babysat, and i found his demands flat out insulting.  I actually did refuse, but he was gonna back out, which left me with no choice, because they are the ONLY North East Dealer.  So, i said okay.  and we'd email the coordination of the rest.  But I got the DVD in the mail, and the serial.  And never scheduled a meeting.  Friggin bozos.  Bottom line, I would find any possible alternative to doing business with them.  But if it comes down to using SolidWorks or the other crap free software - use SolidWorks.