Work Flow
Design Stage Manufacturing Stage Assembly Stage Documentation Stage    

The whole project was divided into a few stages, as we mentioned before in the introduction part. Basically the first stage is the design stage, followed by the manufacturing stage and the assembly stage, last but not least the documentation. In the following part, the work done in each stage are recorded and presented in detail.

Stage 1: Design Stage
In the first week we worked mainly on the design of our product. Given the topic of our project and briefly learnt the objective of the project, we first have an investigation on the existing design of horizontal milling attachment which is already in use in one model of the vertical milling machine. We then worked on the principle of the horizontal milling attachment, by focusing on how it can turn vertical rotation into horizontal rotation.
Having this main focus in mind, we did some researches on the theories that make this move possible. We have also investigated the target vertical milling machines which we are working for, and made notice about the dimensional difference, functional difference and the difference in design compared to the other model. After investigation, we found that the vertical milling machine which we are working for has not much difference in term of the outlook design, so we decided to use the same method to mount our attachment on it, which is shown in the picture above. The two circles showed that mounting of the attachment on the vertical milling machine, the left hand side part is connected with the vertical spindle while the right hand side part is mounted on the stable support of the arm. We made this decision because we think that firstly we must connect our attachment with the spindle in order to transfer the movement, then the right hand side support is the best position that the attachment could be mounted on, simply because it has a similar horizontal level with the spindle and they move coherently.

bevelbox.jpgThen we worked on the main part, which is how to turn the rotation from vertical to horizontal. Since we cannot disassemble the attachment to investigate the inner design of it, we did some research on the methods that can turn vertical rotation into horizontal rotation. We found that there is a simple way that can achieve this goal mechanically.
As shown in the above illustration, there are two 45゚gears which contacted with each other. When either one of them move, the other one will move. Then the principle became simple and it can easily be applied in our design. So we based on this principle and then developed our own design for the attachment.
After having a bigger picture on our project, we then proceeded to generate our detailed design drawings. We use the Solidworks software in drawings generation part. We have also considered all the dimensions and components that we need, such as the bearings and some washers. We then worked together to generate the engineering drawings of our attachment. Then we have combined our drawings and did an assembly and simulation of our attachment to make sure that all the dimensions were well defined and each component worked properly with the others, without any crashes and overlapping. So at the end of the design stage, we generated the bill of material (BOM) for our project and we started to prepare our materials required for manufacturing this attachment.


Thanks to the help of our supervisor, Mr. Sin, helping us to look for the best supplier and finally we have all the materials we need with us and it is within our budget. Then we proceeded to the next stage.


Stage 2: Manufacturing Stage
In the manufacturing stage, basically we can separately it into four sub-categories. First of all is the manufacturing methods designation. Having all the materials prepare, we have to decide the manufacturing methods for each component based on the material used, the allowable tolerance and the cost, including the actual cost and the time consumed. After making the final decision, we started our actual manufacturing work. Throughout the project, we used mainly the following technology, including sand casting, non-conventional machining such as wire-cut for profiling and cutting, and mainly the traditional machining technology such as milling and turning. The detailed description of the manufacturing of each component will be discussed in the later part.

Then it came to the actual manufacturing, we have gone through the design re-adjustment part. We made some minor changes on our design, such as some dimensional changes in order to make the components work more harmonically, we also did some changes on the outlook of our attachment in order to make it safer and reduce the weight of the whole attachment. 4.jpg

Upon completion of each component, we did a deep investigation on every part to make sure that the component is free from defects and have a very precision dimensional that meet the allowable tolerance. We discharged the imprecise components or those having an unacceptable defects and manufactured again to make a more preferable part.
At the end of the manufacturing stage, we did some surface finishing such as gliding and chamfering to make a more decent appearance and make sure the attachment is free from sharp edges.


Stage 3:  Assembly Stage
After the manufacturing stage, the project was almost approaching to the final stage. After we have all the well manufactured components, we started to assemble all the components.
In this stage, we mainly did the assembly and the calibration part. We tried to match different components up and installed and mounted it to our target vertical milling machines. We have also installed the washers and the bearings in the right positions. Then the most important part will be the calibration part in order to make sure the installation is proper. This assembly and calibration part will be elaborated more in the later discussion. After completing all the installation, we have a test run on the attachment and we actually tried to mill a slot using this horizontal attachment.

Stage 4: Documentation Stage
In this final stage we mainly focus on the preparation of the presentation and the final report. We did some evaluation on each stage and identified any rooms for improvement for future development. So basically the project came to the end.