Duke University Motorsports is a student group that designs and builds open wheel, single seat race cars to compete in the Formula SAE competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The team consists of Duke students from both Pratt and Trinity, in all classes. The purpose of the team is to provide students with a way to gain practical design and manufacturing experience in a fun and challenging setting.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mill broken...

Our mill is broken.  The 3 phase converter powering the spindle motor went up in smoke...
The internals of a Phase-A-Matic static phase converter.  Yes, that is cardboard.

The 3 phase converter hooked up to the mill was a static 3 phase converter.  Since a static phase converter only provides two of the three legs while running, the motor can't be run at full power.  This approach was probably the wrong one, but I never noticed it until it broke.  I've decided to go with a VFD for the mill over a rotary phase converter since a) they're actually cheaper right now, b) quieter, no moving parts, etc, and c) even though I doubt we'll use any of the extra functionality, it'll be there just in case.  But mostly a).  We'll see how that goes, but luckily right now mill downtime isn't going to affect our schedule so long as we can get it fixed by the end of the week.

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