After several setbacks, I have a working proof of concept for a core shaker, adapted from a design from a member over on CastBoolits! It’s not perfect, but it works. But, there are still several problems to solve:
- I’m still fighting some lifting / warping on the bottom, even though this print is much smaller. However, even though the bottom is a little bowed, it will still work. It’s not as pretty as it could be though.
- My hole sizes may be a little large. I’m finding that with ABS, holes (in particular) tend to shrink from the size they’re drawn at. So, after my first prints, I had to enlarge the holes but I didn’t know for sure how large to go. After a few trials, I went with a 7.4mm (.291″) on the drawing. That translated to a 6.6mm (.259″) hole in the plastic. That works for the jackets, but the cores tend to hang up on the edges of the jackets as they’re going in the holes. This may also be solved by making one of the trays a bit higher (so the core is at a steeper angle falling into the hole and less prone to catch on the lip of the jacket). Or, a combination of both.
- Combining pieces together. As drawn, I included a small cut / relief on the base edges thinking they’d align well and be a place for the glue to go. But, with the warping, those edges may need to be at the top, and I’ll glue these together sitting face down. These pieces will make a good test for that.
- Layer alignment. Right now, nothing is implemented to align the top & bottom layers. I’m thinking of putting little nubs on the bottom layer that would align with small divots on the top layer.
- The fence. This part (should) be simple :). This should just amount to a box. But, given the warping / lifting, I anticipate the size of the completed box is going to cause some problems.
So, in case I jumped into the weeds and the concept of this ‘core shaker’ doesn’t make sense, here’s a brief explanation. The cores need to go into the jackets; doing it manually takes time. After stacking the black tray on the white tray & surrounding both with a fence (the index cards for now), empty jackets are poured onto the top of the black tray. Shaking the whole thing around causes the jackets to tip & fall heavy-end first into the chamfered holes. Then, cores are poured on top of the black plate and shaking again causes the cores to drop down the holes and into the jackets. Lift off the top plate and you have them all sitting up, ready to be picked up individually for the core seating die.