Dear Wheel friends,
We're experiencing an extended 'almost there' phase. It seems that each finishing touch to Wheel sets us back another week. This update has been delayed several times because all we want to tell you is that shipping of Wheel has taken off. It is not, but be assured we still work as hard as ever and are counting in weeks before Wheel ships.
We'd like to share one of the mundane challenges we've dealt with recently. Wheel contains six custom nylon parts. All of these parts are precision machined out of high grade nylon. For all the great properties nylon has, machining good parts out of it is a challenge. Tool friction during machining causes unwanted burrs and unevenness of the parts.
Many months ago we made the first batch of these parts the conventional cnc way, with adhesive/vacuum fixtures and active cooling of the machining tools. We ended up with a lot of nylon parts that had to be cleaned and deburred by hand. Manual finishing spoils the precision that is needed to make these parts perform flawless.
Alternative techniques and procedures didn't bring us the precision we needed, so we ultimately chose to develop our own vacuum freeze fix device. Freeze clamping techniques are rarely used in the industry. The few existing devices out there are very expensive, very limited and waste a lot of energy.
We developed a new vacuum pressure freeze approach that is simple and works like magic. It freezes sheets of nylon precisely onto the milling machine, and keeps it at a controlled below zero temperature during machining. The new nylon parts we make this way are now clean, burr-free and of exceptional dimensional tolerance, worthy of Wheel.
It's always a gamble if such an effort in time and money will pay off, but this time it certainly did! The vacuum freeze device is added to our growing list of future spin-off products.
Ice cold nylon Wheel parts
Two meter cable
We presented Wheel's power supply with a one meter cable. Some of you argued that if Wheel is wall mounted, a one meter cable could be too short. Thank you for thinking along with us! It was a bit late in the process, but we changed the design. Wheel's power supply is now standard equipped with a two meter cable.
Thank you for your ongoing support and hang on!
Peter and the Wheel team