Adding a Third Axis (Yaw)

I’ve been working on a new frame design that allows for three axes of movement instead of two.  Adding that final yaw axis with any large amount of motion freedom significantly increases the frame size, but it might be worth it!

I have two design variants right now, one that uses axis yokes supported on two ends (like the current design), and one where every axis is cantilevered, “hanging” off of the new bearing design.  Here are some images of the cantilevered design concept:

“Cantilevered” gimbal design.


“Cantilevered” gimbal design – another view.


“Cantilevered” gimbal design, allows for very aggressive motion!


“Cantilevered” gimbal design – concept shield for safety.


And here are some images of the “supported” design:

“Supported” design. A full yoke on the roll axis may improve rigidity.


“Supported” design – side view.

The cantilevered design may be tricky, but if we can get it working, it would be amazing!  The primary issue is that because every axis connects at a single point, there is a lot of torque on every joint, with the potential to cause a lot of flex.  And because all the axes are connected serially, deflection on one axis is felt by every axis to follow.  So the frame and bearings have to be rigid, or it won’t work well.

And because the axes are all axially driven (as opposed to the actuator-driven design), backlash on the gearboxes and chain sprockets will be really noticeable.

Finally, the distance between the user and the moving frame is actually fairly small.  You could easily reach out and touch the frame.  Or you could reach out at the wrong time and (*gulp*) chop your fingers off.  So we’ll need to build protections into the design to prevent accidental dismemberment…

Altogether, I really like this design concept and I’m eager to try it out.

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