The Beall Clock Forum

General => tools => Topic started by: jltrent on November 16, 2010, 06:02:48 PM

Title: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on November 16, 2010, 06:02:48 PM
Have been dabbling on and off with building a wooden geared clock, and along the way crafted a software tool to assist in generating radial vectors (ie, gears, escape wheels, ratchet wheels, snail wheels, etc) for the purpose of cutting the parts on a CNC machine (in particular, the CarveWright / Compucarve).  Based on resources found on this forum, included in the tool among other profiles is the ability to generate the grasshopper escapement per Guy D Aydlett's well written paper, along with cycloidal gears using the module method.

I've been in the software business for many years and don't wish to turn my woodworking hobby into another job, so am offering this software tool as freeware (with all its warts) in the event that others might find it useful.  The core application is written in VB6, and in order to make it easily extensible, the individual radial profiles are generated via VBScript.  [This also permits scrutiny of the mathematical algorithms used to generate the various profiles.]  Currently it will export the rendered profiles in the following formats:  BMP, Adobe Illustrator, and SVG.  In the case of the Adobe Illustrator format, this can be converted into CarveWright / Compucarve Designer files (MPCs).

Note:  The software tool is attached to this post as a ZIP file, and has been scanned with Symantec v11.0.6005.562.  It appears that you must login in order to see and download the ZIP file.

===============

Sept 2011 (v1.3):  Updated tool, with two primary fixes:

* Incorporated capability to input parameters in either Inches or Millimeters.  Note that the output files (SVG and AI format) all make use of points (ie, 72 points / inch).

* Accommodated the European standard of using the "," as a decimal separator.  (This is determined through the Regional settings of Windows.)

Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: Ya-Nvr-No on November 20, 2010, 06:23:00 PM
Nice job, Thanks

Any chance the source is available?

Also:
Have you seen
http://gearotic.com/downloads.html
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on November 28, 2010, 07:32:16 AM
I've been in the software business for many years and don't wish to turn my woodworking hobby into another job, so am offering this software tool as freeware (with all its warts) in the event that others might find it useful.  

Thank you very much - it looks very useful indeed!
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on December 01, 2010, 04:59:56 PM
Any chance the source is available?

For the time being, I prefer to keep configuration control of the source code.  If there are any specific techniques that I've employed that you're interested in, please PM me, and I'll point you in the right direction.
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on December 05, 2010, 07:04:07 AM
Two questions. 1. Is the grasshopper shown with the pendulum dead center? 2. Can anyone suggest settings for a grasshopper which keeps the arc small, the pivot point of the pendulum in line with the escape wheel AND yet still manages to have short legs (i.e. the pendulum pivot isn't 8 inches away from the wheel center?

Oh and again, nice work. Thankyou.
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on December 05, 2010, 09:57:08 AM

In answer to Q1:  Per the attached JPG, the tool will generate the cut path for the grasshopper escapement, and also provide the wire frame for the critical points and lengths of the pallet arms and pallets.  Although the Pendulum Pivot in the resulting drawing is not dead center (ie, straight above the escape arbor), as I understand it, there's nothing prohibiting one from moving the Pendulum Pivot point anywhere around the escape wheel, as long as the critical lengths and angles are maintained.

In answer to Q2:  There's a couple of parameters that one can adjust to shorten the legs: smaller escape wheel Radius is one quick way to shorten the legs... smaller pallet Span... larger Pendulum Arc.  Or a combination of the three.  Of course, adjusting some of these might bring on other challenges, such as smaller pallet nibs, which will call for more exacting tolerances...
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on December 07, 2010, 01:29:00 PM
Thank you for the reply. Q1 - what I mean is, is that the configuration of the wireframe with the pendulum hanging straight down, rather than at the extreme of the swing. What I'm trying to work out is where the stops should be. Also for a 3 deg swing, is that 3deg either side of the straight down or 3 deg total arc (1.5 deg each side)?

I didn't realise I could rotate the whole frame - that solves the aesthetic of hanging the pendulum off to the side!

I've played with the params but haven't got anything as compact as I'd like. I guess that's just a downside of the grasshopper although This (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwgXHLVx7ZA&feature=related) suggests I could do better, or perhaps use two escape wheels like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azwXGvcjzMk&feature=related) or more traditionally this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rluQpoV8638&feature=related).
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on December 07, 2010, 08:17:52 PM
From my limited grasshopper experience, the Entry, Exit, and Pendulum Pivot Points are of course fixed relative to each other, but at the Pendulum Pivot point, the Pallet Crank Arms and Pendulum are adjustable relative to each other.  In other words, view the grasshopper and pendulum as separate components, but on the same arbor at the Pendulum Pivot point, with both components adjustable on the arbor to provide for a balanced Entry and Exit Pallet action.  Once satisfied with the balance, the Pallet Crank Arms and Pendulum are then fixed in place on the arbor.  This is how I designed and adjusted my first grasshopper.  (It was a prototype "vertical gear stack" clock that I never finished, but could get to run for a few hours.)  The pallet stops, of course, were attached to the Pallet Crank Arms, yet adjustable relative to the Pallet Arms.  (Refer to Guy Aydlett's paper for the terminology.)

On the clock I'm working on now, I'm attempting to combine the grasshopper and pendulum all in a single component, which in effect (I believe) is a compound pendulum.  This is forcing the need for adjustable counter balances on the pendulum to permit the adjustment of the balance between the Entry and Exit Pallet action.  (Ie, I shift weights around to get the compound pendulum to lean a little further to the left or right which alters the balance between the Entry and Exit Pallets.)  This is still "work in progress", and time will tell whether this will ultimately function, although I feel confident it will once I lengthen the pendulum.

As to the pendulum arc, by my calculations (based on Guy Aydlett's paper posted in the Grasshopper section), it represents half the swing.  Ie, a 3 deg pendulum arc will swing a total of 6 deg.  That being said, in practice I haven't measured this on my initial grasshopper to confirm this, and at the moment, don't have ready access to do so...
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on January 30, 2011, 10:54:54 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH2BXEamxwk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH2BXEamxwk)

First ticks of a grasshopper escapement based clock. Grasshopper and gear geometry from the radial vector tool supplied by jltrent (beginning of the thread).

Seems to work well. Again, many thanks.
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on February 10, 2011, 07:12:10 PM
Glad to hear that the tool worked out for you, and that you were able to figure out what I was trying to convey in my previous post!  The grasshopper you designed has nice clean lines, and an overall pleasing appearance.  Noticed you posted another video of a working prototype of the entire clock.  Looks good!

Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on February 19, 2011, 09:55:19 AM
Final ... very very nearly finished clock.

(http://www.moletrap.co.uk/Pic/clock/main_clock_sml.jpg)

(http://www.moletrap.co.uk/Pic/clock/full_Len_sml.jpg)

@jltrent - for your radial vector tool - is there any chance you could increase the number of teeth you can specify in a gear? I'd like to try a clock with a huge gear.
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on February 19, 2011, 03:56:07 PM

Nice clock!  The oak frame really gives it that finished look.  Nice accents at the top, and with the pendulum too...

========

With respect to increasing the number of teeth specified in a gear, all the VB scripts are editable.  Simply go to the "RadialScripts" folder, and open up the "Wheel and Pinion via Module Method.ws" file in Notepad.  Look for the following line:

        validate = (16 <= Nw and Nw <= 128)

Simply change the upper limit of 128 to whatever you desire.  (I now notice that I inadvertently throw the following error if you've specified too many wheel teeth, "invalid Number of Pinion Teeth", when I should actually have indicated "invalid number of Wheel Teeth".)  Save the file, and then restart "Radial Vector Generator v1.2.exe".

As a test, I just upped the limit to 400 myself, and generated a pinion-wheel pair of 20-400.  The program sat there and took some time, but generated the pair nonetheless...
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on February 20, 2011, 07:57:32 AM
Worked a treat. Thanks.
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: Dave on February 20, 2011, 11:52:46 AM
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the layout is wrong, the long pallet should be vertical to the wheel teeth, have a look at Mr Beales bow clock and see what the layout should look like, regards Dave
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on February 21, 2011, 02:09:19 AM
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the layout is wrong, the long pallet should be vertical to the wheel teeth, have a look at Mr Beales bow clock and see what the layout should look like, regards Dave

Why? Effectively the whole escapement has just been rotated so the fulcrum (is that the right word?) is in line with the rest of the arbour centres. I don't really see what would necessitate the long pallet to be vertical, it's pushed into the wheel by the stop so no gravity issues and ... well, it works.
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: rabbit on February 21, 2011, 02:53:30 PM
i too hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you're wrong, Dave.
the pallet carrier pivot ("fulcrum") can be moved anywhere around the escapement. the only thing affected is the location of the counterweights, which pcstru addressed.
i've built an "upside-down" grasshopper (escape wheel on top) with NO counterweights. Guy Adlet's dissertation on the grasshopper is the best i know of, but it even doesn't tell the whole story. there are infinite variations, some surprising.
and, pcstru - your clock is BEAUTIFUL! i especially like the frame; so much that i'm going to rip you off  on my next clock. (imitation is a sincere form of flattery.)
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on February 22, 2011, 12:27:23 AM
pcstru - your clock is BEAUTIFUL! i especially like the frame; so much that i'm going to rip you off  on my next clock. (imitation is a sincere form of flattery.)

Thanks rabbit. Rip away! The clocks on your website have provided much inspiration to me over the years so it's an honour to be able to return a small measure of that.
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: Dave on February 23, 2011, 04:51:08 AM
Just trying to give some constructive advice and if your happy with it-----, its not the first time i have designed something and then a while later did not like the look of it, my mistakes are usualy costly engraving brass and high quality carbon steel but i have destroyed them and started again, all the best David
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on February 23, 2011, 09:18:53 AM
Just trying to give some constructive advice and if your happy with it-----, its not the first time i have designed something and then a while later did not like the look of it, my mistakes are usualy costly engraving brass and high quality carbon steel but i have destroyed them and started again, all the best David

Ok, thanks for the advice. I was just a bit curious, when you said it was 'wrong' I assumed you meant it wouldn't work (or would be horribly inaccurate/inefficient) for some reason. I've seen some your work you've linked to and it's amazing stuff, so any advice always welcome :-).
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: GeorgK on September 15, 2011, 01:01:17 PM
Realy great job. Is it possible to add the option to use mm? On my german Windows the , has to be a dot to work. Is it possible to get the source code to make the modifikations and to add some more funktions?

Thank you Georg
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on September 17, 2011, 01:21:44 AM

Georg,

1) With respect to the use of "," as the decimal separator, I can fix that.

2) With respect to the use of millimeters (as opposed to inches), to clarify, are you referring to both the input parameters and the resulting file formats (ie, both SVG and AI)?

3) As to adding some more functions, I presume you're referring to additional vector profiles?  If so, all the profiles are individual VBScripts, stored in the RadialScripts folder.  There's nothing prohibiting you from creating your own scripts, although I will have to document how to go about creating new scripts.

By the way, I'm a bit indisposed right now, so won't be able to make the necessary changes until about two weeks from now...

Jon
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on September 28, 2011, 07:31:02 PM

Per previous post, the Radial Vector Generator has been modified to:

1) support the regional decimal separator of a comma, and

2) support input parameters in terms of either inches and millimeters.  Note, though, that all vector output files make use of points (ie, 72 points per inch).

The updated tool has been attached to the first post of this thread as "Radial Vector Generator v1.3.zip"...
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: John Hilgenberg2 on October 15, 2011, 01:23:43 PM
In order to incorporate the output of the radial vector tool in my drawings, I need either the numerical outputs like those provided by the old spreadsheet, or a dxf formatted file.  The problem with the spreadsheet is that there seem to be some unresolved errors.  This leaves me with Aydlett's drawing layout method, which I am proceeding to do, but it would be splendid if anyone could point the way to use the output of the radial vector tool in .dxf, not only for the grasshopper but for the other useful profiles as well.

John Hilgenberg
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on October 15, 2011, 02:50:59 PM
John,

Using the Radial Vector Tool, you can save the resulting grasshopper profile as a SVG file, and then open it up in Inkscape (freely available), and save as a DXF file.  In a quick test, I was then able to open up the resulting DXF file in OpenOffice Draw (also freely available), and it appears to work.

Another alternative, although a bit more unconventional, is to open up the resulting SVG file in notepad, and copy the raw numerical output...

Jon
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: John Hilgenberg2 on October 17, 2011, 10:59:50 AM
Thank you, Jon!  Inkscape was the translator I was looking for, and it seems to work, subject to adjusting the scale.

John
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: Dennis Hill on November 20, 2011, 02:53:23 PM
Hello, do you happen to have a Mac version of your tool?
thx, Dennis
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on November 21, 2011, 05:00:38 PM

The only platform supported is Windows.  I know what I'm about to say might be considered sacrilege, but it might be worth trying to run it in Wine on the Mac.  No guarantee that it will work, but worth a try...
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: Dennis Hill on November 22, 2011, 08:17:12 AM
I actually tried to run it under CrossOver which uses WINE, but it didn't work because some component was missing.
Do you happen to have any plans for a grasshopper escapement?
thx, Dennis
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on November 22, 2011, 03:21:51 PM

Take a look under "General > The Grasshopper escapement > The Grasshopper Escapement revealed".  There, JR posted an excellent resource authored by Guy Aydlett that I based all the calculations on.

By the way, what component was missing when you attempted to run the tool in CrossOver?
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: Dennis Hill on November 23, 2011, 09:54:39 AM
The message from Crossover for "wheelProfileGenerator" was "msscript.ocx or one of it's components was missing". This Crossover environment is configured to run WinXP. Thanks for the info on the Grasshopper document. I'm reading through it now and putting the formulas into Excel.
thx, Dennis
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on November 23, 2011, 06:10:49 PM

With respect to the msscript.ocx error, appears as though you can download the ocx file from http://www.ocxdump.com (http://www.ocxdump.com).  Might be worth a try under CrossOver / Wine.  On my Windows machine, this particular file is the c:\windows directory...
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: Dennis Hill on November 24, 2011, 05:36:16 AM
I'm making progress.. I added the OCX file and a missing DLL file. RVT ran but threw the error
shown in the attached file.
Thanks for your help getting this running..
Dennis

Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on November 24, 2011, 07:18:34 AM

Did some googling, and CrossOver might just be missing a registry entry now.  I sent you a private message, so that if interested, I can send the necessary export from my system's registry.  (Didn't want to post the registry export on the thread at the risk of someone inadvertently opening / loading the registry keys on their system.)
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: keverett on October 16, 2012, 07:40:40 PM
getting back to your clock photos, pcstru... Nice clock design.  Any chance I could get copies of the the cad files--as dxf or stl?  are they available or for sale?    I'm new to some of this and trying to land on a good project and your clock is great and doesn't look far out of my capabilities as a craftsman   I may find out I'm terribly wrong on this, however, but still willing to give it a shot.    Even if the files are not available, still a real nice looking clock.
keith
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: pcstru on November 09, 2012, 12:22:15 PM
Keith, all the design work was done in VCarve Pro. I've meant to tidy it all up and release it for a while now, but haven't found the time. I will try and do something over the next few weeks - please kick me if I don't (via email - piers at moletrap dot co dot uk)!
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: Troy Hendricks on August 09, 2013, 12:44:39 AM
Hi,
   Thanks for giving this useful information.
 
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: twinotter on June 24, 2016, 08:48:57 PM
The files are giving me a 404 error when I try to download them. Is the program available anywhere or could someone mail me a copy of it?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Radial Vector Tool...
Post by: jltrent on February 24, 2017, 05:35:33 AM
Haven't been on the forum in a l..o..n..g time, but per previous post, have uploaded the latest version of the Radial Vector Generator to the original post in this thread...  Enjoy!  R, Jon