Week in Review -11/18 – 11/22

We’ve been slackers on our Week in Review posts of late, but we are back and posting again. Can’t believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, where does the time go. Here are a few highlights of things happening in the shop over this week.

Junior Oscar Barrera decided to look into machining a part for his project. In order to start working on the lathes and mills in the machine shop, he first made a 3D model and appropriate drawing to help with fabrication. Take a look at his work below.

Also, Junior Nico Polcaro has taken on a unique project, a Maglev Train. Read about his process on his website, or from the snippet below.


This week I have spent the entire week learning about electromagnets and coils of copper wire. Making a coil gun, a gun that uses electromagnetic forces to launch pieces of magnetic metal at high speeds was a good starting point due to the readily available tutorials on how. The coil gun needs coils of copper wire to act as the electromagnets, hence its name. I wrapped a coil by hand, decided that that wasn’t neat enough and would take too long to make at least two more, so instead decided to make a coil winder to wind coils of copper wire.

Making a coil winder is a complex process. To simplify, it was decided that the wire could be guided by hand instead of a precise stepper motor to avoid having to program that and slow the project down. This means only one stepper motor has to be used. However the shaft of a coil winder needs to be properly aligned for well done coils. This means that a flexible shaft coupling is needed to keep the shaft properly aligned.

A flexible shaft coupling is a coupling that connects the shaft of the motor to the winding shaft and allows for misalignment in the motor and that shaft. This is needed because I do not have to tools to make this coil winder so precise that everything is perfectly aligned. This uses a spring system in the middle with set screw locks on each end to hold the motor and winding shaft. The part will be tested next week when 3D printing material is back in the shop.

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