Saturday, July 31, 2021

Lander Legs

In designing the lander legs, I wanted them to be fairly modular and cheap in case I needed to change the design (stance and clearance) later to accommodate future design changes. I also wanted them to be pretty flexible to adjustments, generally. I decided to take this time to exercise for laser cutting steel parts, and also try my hand at some TIG welding. Each of the leg rods has a weld nut at the end, and each plate is laser cut and then welded together. These were some of my first welds, and they did not turn out too bad. I did have an issue with warping on the feet, as I did not provide enough heat sink material on the bottom and my weld current setting was a tad high.

Here are some pictures in no clear order of operations:

Notice the center rod uses clevises while the side rods use spherical rod ends.
The center bracket is ground down a little for the clevis to fit through. The look a little off center, but I promise that's just asymmetrical grinding :)

Without nuts on the rod ends:

The council of legs have spoken
honestly, a little proud of these, they look sick

I also fabricated the cross bar for the center rod and clevis to mount to. This was just a 1 inch steel tube with two brackets welded to hold the clevis in plate. I MIG welded this to the chassis at the correct height for the legs, and made sure each side was at the correct height. All the bolts are 3/8"-24. Also don't get any shavings into the threads and then tighten a nut over that -- good recipe for seizure and needed a cutoff wheel :). 

Oh man, and it looks super sick (first picture is through fish-eye):

A Paddy for scale...

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