Friday, August 31, 2012


For all the students of the new semester out there,  you already found this blog!
Nice !

If you havent got any news from the TU Delfts blackboard system, make sure you enroll yourself to the

AR1AE015 - D1 Bucky Lab Design - Design (2012-2013 Q1

 blackboard course, we will send infos via this blackboard site.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Today we received a brand new set of 3 Walko workbenches, we already had the chance to work with these great workbenches tha last semester. For the new semester our partner Romazo the dutch organisation for the dutch sunshading industry thought it would be a good investement in our students and a solid platform to develop new sun shading solutions for the future.

We have to thank Romazo for these great tools. We are looking forward towards our symposium and are curious what the next semester will develop.

more infos on


We worked the last months very hard to finish the last bits and pieces of our mobile workshop. Now we can officially call it ready for the next semester. Every tool has its place and all the Raaco boxes are also included. The hettich Arcitec drawers runs like cream and the ABB Busch Jaeger Ipod Dock served nice music while preparing the workshop.

Have a look, we cant wait to get in action ...and of course we still have some space left ...and yes a workshop is never really finished ..its grows with its tasks.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


from Javier Zaratiegui Fernandez

Numerical control (NC) refers to the automation of machine tools that are operated by
commands, as opposed to controlled manually . The first NC machines were built in the
1940s and 1950s, based on existing tools that were modified with motors that moved the
controls to follow points fed into the system on punched tape. These early servomechanisms
were rapidly augmented with analog and digital computers, creating the modern
computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools that have revolutionized the machining

In modern CNC systems, end-to-end component design is highly automated using
computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs. The
programs produce a computer file (G CODE) that is interpreted to extract the commands
needed to operate a particular machine via a postprocessor, and then loaded into the CNC
machines for production. There are several comercial programs to generate the G CODE
that translate the geometry from the digital models into the necessary movements of the
machine, but I would like to point that, in the last years, also free versions for Linux systems
have appeared. (1)

Many different tools can be attached to a CNC machine. Some examples are router machines,
drilling machines, plasma cutter, etc. The most advanced can change the tool automatically
and perform many different tasks. One of the main topics in these machines is the number of axis in
which they can move and, therefore, work. The size of the working area and the number of axes
are the main criteria, along with the type of work to be done.

The basic one with three axis (X, Y and Z), is the most common, capable of many operations
but without the complex movements that those of five or six axis.

There are several parts in a CNC. First of all is the table. It could be a static table or movable. The most common among home made CNC is the static table. Its size would determine the range of motion and the working area of the machine, so it should be the first decission when choosing or building a CNC. It
contains the X axis along which there will be the rails.

The table will support the material, so it has to be stiff and easy to clamp and heavy enough to minimize vibrations. A set of aluminium profiles would perfom well for many cases.

Rails: several linear motion systems would fit in the machine, such as bearings, but the
smoothness and quality of these will be an important part of the performance, maintenance
and durability.

Motors: a motor per axis is needed (two could be used also, specially for the longest one) to
move the machine. Both, servo motors or stepping motors will do the job. The first ones are
used in the comercial machines as they perform better, but they are more expensive also.
The torque, speed and step should be considered when selecting the motors.

Transmission: There are different options to transmit the movement of the motors into the machine.
Roller chains and gears are able to transform the rotation into steps that would determine the precision
and speed of the machine. A leadscrew or translation screw is a screw designed to translate turning
motion into linear motion. They are classified by the geometry of their thread, and the pitch and lead
would determine the precision. Although there are also other things to consider like the backlash (2),
precision of decimals of milimeter is easy to obtain. Other posibility is using a rack railway in which the
number of teeth on the gear will determine the speed and accuracy.

Couplings are good at making sure your motor shaft fastens to the lead screw. Couplings are simply used to
enable a motor to turn a lead screw, or other type of shaft.

Electronics: a power supply that provides electricity to the motors and controllers. Three motor drivers
that will controll the microstepping of the motors, and one board that will connect all these. It is possible
to make your own boards and drivers. For such, there is information on the internet on how to build your
own printed circuit board. Other cheap solution is arduino boards.

Example of a home made CNC on plywood. The wood requires a treatment against humidity to minimize
any expansion. Wiser choice of the material would be aluminium.

more infos about this on Javiers blog:

DIY (Do it yourself)
Patrick Hood-Daniel and James Floyd Kelly (2009), Build Your Own CNC Machine, Springer,
ISBN-13 (pbk): 978-1-4302-2489-1. Book with detailed information for building a CNC
machine. Author blog posts under CNC label. This has infomation for self building a machine, but they also
sell theirs. As commented, linux open software to control the CNC. Linear rail systems (among other things).
CNC milling
CNC laser cutting
CNC carving
5 axis

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


As already mentioned earlier we will have a mini symposium with Romazo the dutch sectorgroup organisation for the dutch solar shading industry.

For our students this event is obligate, we also organized a bus from the TU. If you are interested you are very welcome to join. To manage the number of guests we would like to ask for a short notice on

Monday, August 6, 2012


Every year there is a best docent competition within the TU Delft. The Students are asked to to give a vote for a docent they think should be gain the best docent title of the year.

This year for the first time Marcel Bilow the head of the bucky lab was already mentioned at the end of the competition. He did not made it to the next round, but beeing already mentioned gives our whole team a boost and encourages us to keep on our job. So lets hope for the next year !

Here two nice notes that were mentioned:

"He is not only a very passionated teacher and knows everything about production technologies and materials, 
but he also takes his time to explain everything. The bucky lab rocks !"

"Marcel heeft zich afgelopen jaar hard ingezet om het onderwijs van Bucky lab zover mogelijk te verbeteren. 
Hoewel de structuur van het project aan het begin nog erg onduidelijk was, waren de begeleidingen altijd erg 
inspirerend. Hij weet veel en is up to date van de laatste praktijk en theoretische technieken, probeert je eerst 
te pushen je eigen uitweg te vinden maar helpt je ook verder als dat mis gaat. Marcel is altijd bereikbaar en 
staat als docent dicht bij de student en legt en onderhoud belangrijke contacten met bedrijven om de kennis 
flow zo optimaal mogelijk te maken. Zoals elk mens maakt hij ook fouten maar die erkend hij direct en zoekt 
gelijk naar een oplossing of verbetering."

Have a look on the TU Delft website to read more about it. 


by Erald Varaku

Scientists and engineers have developed maglev trains which levitate above a magnetic ! eld
(magnetic levitation = maglev). This system is achieved by making use of the superconductor
technology. This type of suspension systems (EDS = electrodynamic suspension) are still being
developed. This type of transportation is quiet promising and has its own advantages.
-The train cars are less expensive to build than traditional railway cars and are relatively quiet.
-The tracks take up less land.
-These trains use far less energy than other types of transportation and don’t pollute.
-It may reach high speeds (450 km/h, actually in Japan it has reached 570 km/h but it is still not in
use for the public).

The beauty of maglevs is that they travel on air. The consequent elimination of friction means
much greater ef! ciency. Just as electrons move more ef! ciently through a superconducting wire
because there is no resistance, so maglev travels more ef! ciently than a regular train because
there is no friction between the wheels and the track.
The train itself is equipped with several superconductors, while a series of electromagnetic coils
run along the length of the track. When the train approaches these coils, the superconductors induce
a current in them that works to both levitate the train several centimetres above the track and
to centre it between the guide rails.

That’s a pretty neat trick, but it gets much neater once you get the train moving.
That’s achieved by a second series of electromagnetic coils, which run alongside the levitation/
guidance coils. After the train reaches a certain speed, these propulsion coils kick into gear. They
receive a constantly alternating electric current that changes the polarity of the coils in such a
way that they are always arranged to push or to pull the onboard superconducting magnets of the
passing train. In essence it’s a motor. It is not a circular one, like the one in the automobiles, but
linear, running the length of the entire track.
Another Advantage of this system is that only the coils that are in the vicinity of the moving train
at any point in time need be engaged. Which means that there can be saved energy because not
all the track will be under electrical power.

These trains have also wheels, which after reaching 140 km/h will take of, like in the aeroplane
example. These wheels are also used for emergency situations and also as a secondary breaking
In conclusion, these trains can be the future of the public system in the cities in between cities
and why not all around the globe.