[modular] Machines that make: cardboard stages

The previous reconfigurable stages were made out of aluminium and polymetal, but to make it quicker to prototype motion we designed a version of the stages made out of tri-fold cardboard, the kind you use for science fair displays. These stages can be used to experiment with configurations before making a final machine design, or used as the final machine itself. We have another spot for documentation here.

The stage is folded out of laser cut tri fold cardboard, which we have been calling SCIENCE. The rhino model is parametric, and you can adjust the model to accomodate different thicknesses of cardboard to generate different cutfiles.

The fold lines are scored on the laser, while the rest is cut through. Here are our cutfiles for the SCIENCE cardboard listed on the BOM, where blue lines are cut through and red are scored. We used 60% speed and 50% power at 1000 pps for cutting, and 100% speed and 15% power at 500 pps for scoring on a 150W CO2 laser.

If you have only a 2' by 1' laser, and you're using the ULINE cardboard from the fab inventory you can use this cutfile instead.

They use motors with integrated lead screws, anodized aluminium rods as guide shafts, and nylon bushings. Here is the current bill of materials.

Stages made with SCIENCE

Stages made with ULINE

We are still using gestalt to prototype the control systems. You can download the latest gestalt library here and the schematics for the control boards here. Bas Withagen made another version of the control boards with 2x4 connectors instead of 2x3, you can get the milling files and board outline.

last updated by Nadya Peek May 2015