Stainless Steel and Polyester Kit Parts

Stainless Steel Faceplate

Stainless steel faceplate picture

Step 1:  12.5 micron steel should be placed on Gel-pak 4 that is adheared to a glass slide.
Step 2:  Cut out the desired pattern with a laser. 
Step 3:  The excess steel can then be peeled away leaving just the faceplate.

Polyester Flexures

polyester flexure picture

Step 1:  Cut a small square of polyester of the desired thickness (e.g. 6 or 12 microns) and place it on Gel-pak 4 that is mounted on a glass slide. 
Step 2:  Cut out the polyester flexure 1mm wide and to the desired length using the laser. 

Alternatively, you can cut out long strips of the poyester with the laser and store it for future use.  When needed, it can then be cut to desired length.

Stainless Steel Beams

stainless steel beam pictures

Step 1: 12.5 micron steel should be placed on Gel-Pak 4 that is attached to a glass slide and polyimide (PI2525) spin coated on it.  The polyimide coating should be soft baked on a hot plate (a minute with the Gel-Pak and then the steel piece should be removed from the Gel-Pak and cured alone for about 30 minutes).
Step 2: The appropiate pattern (cut and score lines) can be applied by the laser.  Then flip the piece over and spin coat polyimide on the opposite side the same way as described above.
Step 3:  Etch the piece. (This can be done by placing the steel in a beaker and pouring a small layer of ferric chloride on top.  Then place the beaker on a hot plate with a magnetic stirrer under a hood.  It is usually finished in a 5 minutes or less depending on the side of the piece.)
Step 4:  The piece can then placed on the folding fixture and folded.  Seal it in place by applying superglue with a thin needle and running the triangle through a triangular channel.  Cut off the beam and repeat the folding and gluing process for as many beams that were patterned.

Example Structure Built from these Kit Parts

1 DOF wrist
               1 DOF wrist

Carbon Fiber and Polyester Kit Parts

Carbon Fiber Links

picture of carbon fiber links

Step 1: The uncured carbon fiber can be cut into strips and stored in the freezer until it is ready to be used.

Flexure Elements

top and side view of flexure joint elements
Step 1:  A carbon fiber layer can be patterned into flexure elements under the laser. 
Step 2:  Place a layer of polyester on top of the patterned carbon fiber layer.  Place a teflon layer on top and then a glass slide. 
Step 3:  Put the assembly in a 150 deg C vacuum oven with a weight on top to be cured. 
Step 4:  The same pattern should then be applied to another carbon fiber layer using the laser.
Step 5:  Place the cured polyester and carbon fiber layer on top of the newly patterned carbon fiber so that the polyester is in between the two carbon fiber layers. 
Step 6:  The whole structure should be cured in the oven in the same fashion as described in Step 3.  When it is finished, the individual flexure elements can then be separated easily with a razor blade.

Example Structures Built from Carbon Fiber/Polyester Combination

5 bar crawling robotic structure example
example crawling robot
flying robot