6.6: Design Activity: Create an Object Manipulator

After receiving some background on object manipulators and accumulators, teams of student designers must now determine a mechanism to grab ONE of the game objects from the challenge outlined in Unit 5.

To accomplish this, one must use an engineering process known as BRAINSTORMING, which was described in Unit 1.  Brainstorming is an exercise in which groups of individuals work together to generate large numbers of ideas.

Some important rules for brainstorming:

  • When brainstorming, teams focus on the quantity of ideas generated, not the quality.  The premise is that from lots of ideas will come a few great ones!
  • Reserve judgment. There are no bad ideas during the brainstorming session, because even the most outlandish concept could inspire someone else to come up with something great.
  • Record everything.  Student designers should document all the ideas generated during brainstorming in their engineering notebooks.

Activity:

1.  Using brainstorming, determine many ideas to grab ONE game object. Record all ideas in your engineering notebooks.

2.  Choose the best three concepts from the brainstorming pool and sketch them in your engineering notebooks.

3.  Choose one manipulator concept and design it in Autodesk Inventor and/or build it out of VEX components.

 

A claw gripper assembly project in Autodesk Inventor is presented to show students an example of designing one manipulator idea using 3D design software.

 

In this project, there are 8 videos, including the Overview and Summary. To use the videos, click the link and review the content. Pause, rewind, fast forward, and stop features are available as the student reviews the content.   

To be able to complete this unit you should have a good understanding of the Autodesk Inventor user interface, navigation, and know how to work with assemblies and sheet metal parts. For review, please refer to Appendix 9, 'Basic Inventor Commands Overview' for further information on these.

Note: The videos illustrate the workflows used in creating the claw assembly and are aimed at students with an Intermediate skill level of use with Autodesk Inventor.

The workflow in these videos includes:

  • Modeling the Gripper Bracket
  • Assembling the Gripper Bracket
  • Modeling the Claw
  • Modeling the Claw Gripper
  • Assembling the Gripper
  • Documenting the Assembly

Overview

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In this video, all the key phases of designing a Claw Gripper in Autodesk Inventor software will be reviewed.  

Video 1: Modeling the Bracket

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In this video, students will design and model the Gripper Bracket using a Sheet Metal part drawing. The students will use the Sketch command to draw the main profile of the Bracket, they will then use the Face tool to draw the side profile of the bracket. They will finish the part by using the Cut and Corner Chamfer commands.

Note: The files required for this activity must be downloaded, and data sets in imperial and metric units are available.  The data sets provided will work for Inventor version 2013 onward.  Download and unzip these files and save them into a new project folder called ‘Claw Gripper.’ 

Inventor 2013- Imperial.zip

Inventor 2013 - Metric.zip

Video 2: Assembling the Bracket

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In this video, students will model the bracket assembly. They assemble a bearing flat, bearing pop rivets, Beams and fasteners from the Content Center to create the Bracket assembly.

Video 3: Modeling the Claw

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In this video, students will design a new manipulator claw. The students will model the Claw finger, creating an initial 2D sketch and Extruding it to produce the initial finger profile. They will then produce a shared sketch profile to extrude cut material from the original finger profile at different depths of cut. The cut extrusions are then Mirrored about a Center Workplane onto the bottom face. The outer profile of the Claw finger is then completed using a series of Sketches and Extrusions, using the Slice Graphics command to be able to sketch on the Mid Workplane and using the Fillet and Hole Commands. To complete the Claw Finger design the students create a Rectangular Pattern of a hole along a curved line.

Video 4:Modeling the Claw Gripper

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In this video, students will create the Claw Gripper. Using the Claw finger part from the previous step, the students will create the Claw gripper. The Project Geometry command is used to create the initial gripper profile and the Extrude command is used set the profile to the required depth; the same workflow is used to produce the location pin extrusion profiles. These Profiles are then Mirrored on the center Workplane onto the bottom face. The main body of the Gripper is then created using an additional Sketch and Extrude command. The Gripper profile is then completed using a series of Sketch, Extrusion and Pattern Commands.

Video 5: Assemble the Gripper

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In this video, students will look at the Claw Gripper Assembly. 

Video 6: Document the Assembly

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In this video, students will create a series of Engineering Document drawings of their Claw Gripper Assembly.

Summary

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In this video, students will review the workflow required to design and model the Claw Gripper Assembly. Designing and modeling the Claw Gripper requires the following workflows in Autodesk Inventor:

  • Modeling the Gripper Bracket
  • Assembling the Gripper Bracket
  • Modeling the Claw
  • Modeling the Claw Gripper
  • Assembling the Gripper
  • Documenting the Assembly

 

 

Want to try more projects based on VEX robots and other exciting challenges? Click the link to access the Autodesk Design Academy.

academy.autodesk.com