I’m working on a simplified Omni Base / Clawbot (all hail the Clawbot!) out of the 35 long C-Channel. Rather than bolting components together I want to “notch” and bend the 35’s and make the corner a little more rigid with the 45 gussets.
My normal way to notch is to “nibble it out with the bandsaw”. I’m looking for a easy way for other teams/roboteers to do this. The spectrum seems to lie between “use a square file” (hours) to “Cody’s Plasma Cutter” (milliseconds), with associated costs.
I haven’t used it on an actual robot but have played around with it, and I just used a Dremel. Unless I’m misunderstanding what you mean, it’s just 2 small cuts for each notch. A hacksaw also works, you just need to find which angle works best to clamp it.
Different Cody? Because if I had a plasma cutter, oh boy that’d be awesome!
I’d bust out my big Dremel 4000, buy new brushes for it (because Camaron is crazy lose with that thing and burned out one of the brushes) and I’d use that to make the rough cuts.
BUT those cuts suck (very inaccurate). So… As much as it sucks, a hacksaw with aluminum cuttings blades and one of those small jigs that holds the saw upwrite would probably produce a nice cut, I’d cut the sides and then score the length with the dremel and bend it away.
I’m assuming you want to cut the sides with 1 hole on them and bend the larger flatter part in, basically making the 35 long C channel stick into a 35 long boomerang. Though, I guess what I’d do works for whichever way you’d want to bend it.
I’d hacksaw (or bandsaw) two straight lines along the beginning boundary and ending boundary then just take the little sliver that’s left and bend that straight, then hacksaw (or bandsaw) that little part off, then just file (or belt sand) the notch to look nice.
Then bend however I want it after I do the other side as well.
Check out “nibblers” from you tool sources. Aircraft Tool Supply 64823 Hand Nibbler is about $14 and works with the aluminium channel. I tried it last night.
There are several styles and brands of hand power nibblers(safer for students) and many air and electric versions for a lot more money.
Nibblers take small bites (1/16 x 1/4) of sheet metal and can be started from a 5/16 drilled hole in the middle of sheet material.
Grinders and abrasive cutters that create waste material can be disastrous to electronics and controllers.