What is Modulox and what does it buy me?
Modulox is a modular gearbox system uses adjustable bearing block assemblies to create countless gearing, output and mechanism options. The variability allows you to optimize designs that may not have otherwise worked efficiently. These efficiency gains can allow you to be more competitive in the market or on the playing field.
Where / How can I buy Modulox?
AndyMark Inc. is currently our sole distributor. Modulox is sold in kits or by the component which will allow you to order what you need and allows for the flexibilty to integrate Modulox into your designs.
Adjustable clamping bearing blocks? Doesn’t that mean the blocks could slide?
Well, yes theoretically, just like a shaft can shear and plates can bend. The blocks use 4 #6-32 each which if torqued properly can each provide 820 lbs of clamping force. We’ve tested the blocks and (see video below) they are able to withstand about 1250 lbs along the slot.
The clamping force far exceeds most applications of force along the slot. If your application exceeds this force consider fixing the output shaft by welding, pinning or designing a custom plate. Fixing the output shaft with a slot adjacent to the output will still allow you to change the gear ratios.
What motors am I able to use with Modulox?
There are many motors that will work with a Modulox gearbox and it is possible to design your own mount using the Extend Blank Block. The current Modulox kits were designed around mounting a CIM Motor, but thanks to the wonders of engineering (and the great folks at AndyMark Inc.) by using a Fisher Price Motor Planetary or a Double Doozy gearbox your open to a host of new motors. According to their website you’ll be able to use both the Fisher Price motor and a RS-500 series motors with those adapters. Standard Servos are also easy to attaching using our Servo Mount Block. When it comes to custom mounts the possibilities are endless, there are some great applications where customers have mounted everything from a Banebot Planetary to a AM Gem Planetary. Don’t believe us? Check out some of these pretty pictures.
What about the weight, is Modulox too heavy for competitive robotics?
Modulox’s lightweight aluminum design is mostly weight neutral, because most of what you add in material volume for the blocks is machined out in the slots. We believe the usability and variability gains will far out way any marginal weight loss.
Additionally, iR3 is committed to offering the most competitive components and will continue to add lighter weight alternatives like .125″ thick Modulox C-Channel coming in January 2012.
How do I set a proper gear spacing?
There are a few ways to set gear spacing so as not to over or under mesh the gear. Typically, sliding the gears until they mesh snugly is satisfactory but if you push too hard it can cause high friction. Make sure the gears are interacting smoothly with each other by giving the gears a few spins with a finger (disengaged from the motor of course).
Another method would be to calculate the correct spacing by using the gears pitch diameter. This can be calculated by using our 3d cad files or by hand by using the pitch diameter formula Pitch Diameter = Number of Teeth / Diametric Pitch (which in our kits is 20dp). You can use this to create a block spacer, measure the distance between the center of the gears or create a unique back block with the correct spacing using our extended blank block. Remember to give yourself a few thousands of clearance as to not over mesh the gears.
The kit gears are forgiving and remember to run new gears in dry and grease them if you plan on using them over a long period of time.
Seriously Dude, will the blocks come lose over time with vibration, ware or anything?
Given infinite time a monkey hitting keys at random will almost surely reproduce Shakespeare’s Hamlet because nothing is impossible just infinitely improbable. That being said, the odds of the blocks loosening are a great order of magnitude more likely than the whole monkey Shakespeare thing, but we’re just saying…
If the blocks are properly installed and thread locker (Loctite) is applied to higher cycle applications than the blocks will not move. There are a few examples below of Robots, in high torque, high vibration applications where there were no issues with the bolts backing out. Oh, and, neither of the applications had thread locker applied, just torqued the bolts and good to go…
The first is example of FRC Team Exploding Bacon’s 2011 Robot. They used Modulox on their roller gripper and elevator with no issues through the 2011 season. See video’s below or their write up here:
The second is the To-Go Box drive train. The video below was taken over 5 hours of driving on a high speed Mechanum Drive. No gears or blocks or were harmed during the making of this video:
Where can I find drawings and step files?
Here! Oh, and they are on the individual parts pages as well. Enjoy!
Click the icon below to download a full work through in PDF form.
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