With only a few weeks between deciding to finally step up to the next weight class and build a 12lb and actually needing to have it ready to fight, I had to get moving to get everything finished in time. The CAD wasn’t even 100% done, but I had to start ordering parts to make sure that it would all be here in time. Nothing like a ticking clock to motivate you!
Some of the first components to arrive were the motors and speed controllers. Unlike the lower weight classes where I can just slap them into the frame and expect them to be fine as long as they don’t take a direct hit, 12lbs is the weight class where the G-forces alone start to be enough to break motors. To improve their odds of survival I applied epoxy to both the stator windings and rotor magnets to hopefully keep everything in place when the sparks fly.
Because I chose to keep this design as a fairly direct scale up from my 3lb design (Portable Apocalypse and the Jolt! kits), the motor pulley is going to be mounted directly onto the end of the can again. This probably isn’t the best idea for the longevity of the motors, particularly when the weapon disk is going to be spinning just a few millimeters beneath the pulley, so I decided to add what reinforcement I could. One shipment of bearings from Amazon and laser cut parts from SendCutSend later, and I have a nice beefy support for the far end of the motor.
While I originally designed around continuing to use a 3D printed V-belt pulley to drive the weapon, I decided that it was time to finally make the leap on getting actual machined parts made. The new aluminum pulley came out beautifully, and it will make me less worried about the pulley melting or de-laminating during a match.
The drive motors also deserve a little TLC to keep them in top condition. A printed shield will help keep the loose electronics from entangling or bogging down the rotor, and a bearing at the end of the can will help to keep everything happy.
The overall design is again largely a scaling-up of my 3lb design. The frame is entirely made from 1/8″ 6061 aluminum plates held together by standoffs. As I realize that this alone probably isn’t enough to stand up to the rigors of 12lb combat, the entire perimeter is reinforced with 1/2″ thick UHMW walls that the standoffs are pressed into. Hopefully this composite sandwich is tough enough to hold up. The front section where the weapon shaft mounts gets some additional reinforcement, with another 6 aluminum plates stacked up to increase the thickness, and a thick aluminum spacer to bridge the remaining distance. The result is solid(ish) aluminum from top to bottom for the shaft to slot into and clamp down on. Finally, some thick strips of UHMW are bent and bolted onto the frame to form the armor.
Now I just have to finish getting it wired up and I should be ready for its debut at Norwalk Havoc!