After hours of CAD-ing, many analyses and drawings, it is finally time to manufacture!
I started with the balconies, 12 L-shaped aluminium parts linking the supporting grids to the vertical connectors. At first sight, this seemed as an easy part, L-shaped, three countersunk screw holes. However, I didn’t really have any experience in manufacturing so I first had to learn how to use the milling machine, drill and saw (which was fun :D).
We started by selecting the raw material, a long L-shaped 4 mm thickness aluminium bar. We cut it into 24 rough parts ( yeah, we knew we were going to fail some of them). With the milling machine, we adjusted the dimensions of the balconies and finally used a drill to realize the countersunk screws. Meanwhile we had received the vertical connectors (perfect timing!). These parts, which are quite sophisticated, were ordered. After several hours spent in the workshop with my pleasant manufacturing buddy Vlad, we were finally done and the balconies were screwed to their connectors ( and they fitted :D)
After the balconies, I started to work on the steel plates used to restrain the ejection cable. As the cable is also made of steel, it is better to have a steel-to-steel connection; otherwise the cable would just dig into the aluminium. Cutting these plates took us more time,steel is harder than aluminium… With the help of the engineers from the workshop, we set up a horizontal saw to cut the steel plates. Next week, I will mill them and add the screw holes.
That’s all for today! One more thing though: good luck to the new KTH team heading to ESTEC next week for the REXUS/BEXUS selection workshop! 😀