short. You can’t always lug your
carpet roamer over to the workbench
so that it’s within 36 inches of the
power supply. My solution is to buy a
spool of 16-gauge speaker wire and a
few connectors, and make DC power
extension cables at 5, 10, and 15 feet.
You’ll wonder how you debugged
your robots without them.
Cable and Lead Storage
Extra cables and leads aren’t
useful unless you can find them at a
moment’s notice. Avoid the shoe box
approach and go for efficient hanging
fixtures — sometimes referred to as
claws — designed for cables. My
favorite is a 14-slot holder from
Pomona ($15, Amazon). It’s colorful,
easy to mount, and the edges are
finished so that they don’t cut into the
cables. I have one for power cables
and one for test leads. Amazon sells
larger, more expensive claws as well.
3D Printer Alignment Tools
Assuring that your 3D printer
platform is flat and at the proper
distance from the printer nozzle is no
small task. When the temperature
changes significantly or I switch to a
new filament formulation, I inevitably
spend an hour or two with business
cards and feeler gauges to get the
distance right. Or, at least I used to.
Today, I use a Mitutoyo 2046SB
dial test indicator ($90, Amazon),
which has a resolution of 0.01 mm.
It’s easily the most popular plunger-type gauge in use on hobby-grade 3D
If you have deep pockets, then
you might consider one of the many
ultrasonic non-contact distance
sensors on the market, but you can
easily spend more on a sensor than
on the printer proper.
That’s my list of top accessories.
Your list might contain others,
depending on the type and size of
robots you work with. If so, please
consider sharing your top accessories
with your fellow readers. SV
SERVO 07/08.2018 7
Design New Ideas
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