This Automated Teflon Wrapping Machine Is Simply Amazing
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Did you know that wrapping electrical wire in Teflon makes it considerably more heat resistant? This is great for wiring that needs to be used in very hot environments or come into contact with hot surfaces.
While you can manually augment your wire with Teflon tape, it might less time-consuming, not to mention more fun, to devise a machine to do this for you.
Like most projects of this nature, you'll need a few basic tools (listed below) and some other bits and bobs to get the job done.
We have included links to some of the products in case you need to buy them:
- 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick plywood or MDF board
- 1 no. 25/64 inch (10 mm) aluminum sheet
- 1 no. Length of aluminum square rod
- 1 no. 7.87 inch (200mm) GT2 rubber belt
- 2 no. 12V geared DC motors
- GT2 toothed pulley
- 13/16 inch (20mm) steel rod
- 1/4 inch (4 or 5mm) thick plywood
- 3D printed crank, tape holder, and pulley
- 3 no. 6001 ZZ ball bearings
- 1 no. roller bearing
- White Teflon tape
- 1 no. custom PCB board (or just use a sandwich board and connector wiring).
- Various microelectronic parts (resistors, potentiometers, etc.)
- 1 no. M10 X 500 bolt
- M5 threaded rods
- Various bolts and nuts and acorn cap nuts.
- A belt sander
- Tape measure
- T-shaped screw threader, or similar accessory.
- Soldering Kit
- Screwdriver set
- Rotary tool
- 1/2 inch (1 no. 12 mm) spade drill bit.
- Electrical wires and soldering gear.
- Assorted PCB wire female connectors and male pins.
With all these bits and pieces in hand, it is time to get on with the build.
The first step is to take the plywood and cut down to size, as shown in the video. Belt or rotary sand, or hand sand, the cut edges and round the edges off.
Mark out set intervals as also shown in the video. These will be required later on. Next, take the aluminum plate, and cut two pieces to the size shown in the video. Like the wood, also round off the corners.
After that, take the smaller of the two cut aluminum pieces, mark out, and drill a hole to accommodate one of the threaded bolts.
After that, take the M10 bolt and place it into your rotary tool. Drill a hole in both ends. You will want to make the bolt completed hollow as the wire to be wrapped will pass through it.
Next machine down the thread end to remove any burs, as shown in the video. This bolt will hold into place the main wrapping arm of the machine.
Next, 3D print the parts needed. No plans are provided so you will have to mock them up and experiment to replicate them. You will basically need to design and print the plastic wrapping crank that will do the actual cable wrapping.
The center of the crank's larger eye will need to be big enough to fit one of the ball bearings snuggly inside. The wire to be wrapped will run through the center of the ball bearing later.
Trim down and clean up the printed models once complete.
Take the bolt, a couple of nuts, one ball bearing, the smaller aluminum plate, and the 3D printed handle. The larger drum of the crank will need to be toothed to accommodate the rubber belt.
Now assemble the main wrapping assembly, as shown in the video.
Next, take the rubber belt. Place around the drum of the crank, and mark out the rotating arc when fully taut on the aluminum using a marker pen, or similar.
Mark out the longest point of the crank's turning arc, print off the drilling template shown in the video, and glue into place on the aluminum sheet.
Now drill the holes into the aluminum sheet using the paper template as a guide. You will need a drill hole in each of the holes around the circle's circumference, and the larger central hole.
These holes are to hold the DC motor in place and allow its main shaft to pass through the aluminum sheet through the larger hole. This motor will turn the main wrapping crank.
Secure into place an appropriately sized pulley to the motor's shaft, as shown in the video. You may need to modify some parts to fit snuggly.
The next stage is to make the motorized wire threading assembly. Cut to size, clean up, and drill holes as shown in the video.
You will need another of the paper templates for this stage too. The creator also machined a metal pulley to attached to the second motor's shaft using a piece of the aluminum rod.
See the video for more details. Assemble as shown in the video.
Now, grab the plywood board you lovingly crafted earlier. Mark out and drill holes, and use the spade drill head, to attach the previously assembled parts.
Watch the video for more details. You will also need to cut a suitably sized length of aluminum rod and drill a hole near the top to guide the wire later.
Attached main parts as shown in the video to the base.
With most of the mechanical parts sorted, the next stage is to sort out the electronics. See the video for more details on this section.
Here is the circuit diagram:
Now assemble and solder the parts needed, as shown in the instruction video.
Attach the circuit board to the plywood base and wire up the motors and circuit board, as required. The potentiometers will be used to manually control the RPM of the motors so no code is actually needed for this project.
You will need to tinker with these to perfectly sink the two motors prior to threading the wire to be Teflon coated.
Next, attach the tape to the previously printed tape holder. Bolt the tape, and holder, to the arm of the 3D printed hand crank assembly. Secure in place using a washer, spring, and an appropriately sized wing nut.
And that is pretty much the DIY Teflon wrapping machine complete. Now grab a length of electrical wire that you want Teflon coated and thread through the machine, ready for wrapping.
Now fire up the machine. You may need to further refine the RPM of the motors to ensure successful Teflon tape wrapping on the target wire.
Now, just fire up the machine, sit back, and enjoy watching your hard work pay off in front of your very eyes.
The process isn't completely automated, however, as you will need to replenish the tape when it runs out. Apart from that, this is a masterpiece of automation.
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