If it can go wrong, it will!

This weekend was supposed to see me wrap up the roll channel of the control columns and publish the video. How wrong I was!

Boeing 737 Control Columns
Prototype 673 of the Boeing 737 3d printed Control Columns

I can say that the design works, the control columns operate fantastically! Now comes the bad news, they only lasted for 2 complete revolutions before disaster struck. At the base of the control columns is a small orange bevel gear. These then decided to stop working. On closer inspection, the gears are only just meshing. About 1mm instead of the full 3-4mm depth of the whole tooth. Once they started skipping, they never worked again.

The 737 3d printed roll channel for the control column & Yokes
The bevel gears driving the roll channel.

The problem now that I face, is to correct the problem I cant just shim the gears like before because I have now drilled the shafts. I can not get anymore shaft tube. I'm now having to re-print the bevel gears with the corrected meshing alignment built-in. I print these gears in PLA at 100%. This takes a long time (around 6 hours) only to find I haven't got it right. Add in the frequent power cuts here and I have lost the weekend. If the design works, I will then use ABS. But I currently only have one roll of ABS filament, so I am saving it until I know it all works.

This will be the last attempt at getting this method to work. If this fails, I'm going to redesign the base mechanism with something much simpler. This build of the control columns is turning out to be my current nemesis. After waiting 9 weeks for my new printer (Ender 3 v2) to arrive which is even more awesome than the Ender 3 Pro. This printer is much quieter and the prints stick to the glass bed like super glue on fingers! In fact, I'm having trouble getting the item off. But I have yet to have a print fail on the corners lifting.

The Yoke design has progressed massively. I was up to the early hours redesigning and trying to get in right. It's still not perfect, but close enough for the time being. It has a much smoother transition and I now think its the centre section at fault. I also have the internals to create again. Once this is done, I will issue the design to the shop as I can not believe how many people are asking for the design right now. (Printed now, it's useless, because there are no operating internals.

3d Printed Boeing 737 Yoke
Version 3 of the Boeing 737 Control Column

That's all for now, just wanted to show you where I am at. In the background, I am also building and printing the 757/767 throttle which I think is going to look gorgeous!

Take care and keep safe,

Karl & Helen

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