pic: BWD-101, 1-part multipurpose belt welder

BWD-101 is a multipurpose urethane belt welder with only a single unique machined part. It’s designed to weld 1/8", 3/16", and 1/4" diameter round belts and up to 1" wide flat belts (1.875" if you don’t use the clamping screws).
The top assembly shows BWD-101 in the round belt configuration and with 10-32 shoulder bolts acting as sliders for pushing the belt ends together manually. The bottom assembly shows it in the flat belt configuration, fully clamped down.
The steps to use BWD-101 are as follows: clamp both belt ends with the end clamps, head the belt, push the two ends together, and close the middle clamp to keep things flat/straight.
CAD files are available here: https://workbench.grabcad.com/workbench/projects/gc8mrFALmKICo4R9VHLXRcuk-mX7BOz2JCA6ISgFtmNUQy#/space/gcSTdRRbtyPVJLJ_9o0kq0T2DyGoJ3GMIQSQ0z1UVX5D8O
Look in the “BWD-101v2” folder for STEP and a zipped pack-and-go.
Please keep all discussion in this picture’s thread.

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Ive actually been looking for a belt welder but found nothing that is reasonably priced. But I do have a cnc, really hope that this works out and would appreciate if you posted the files :D.

It was really cool seeing this design go from concept to real!! Belt welder setups are so expensive and this is a really unique way to solve a very frc-specific problem.

Great job and I’m excited to buy it in the coming season (not really but I totally would)

What might you use as the heat source with this setup?

Looks like it was designed to be used with a heat gun just cause that’s more accessible for most teams. A soldering iron type device with a very wide and tall but thin tip is what my team uses and came with a super expensive kit, but that tool could also totally work here assuming you had 3 hands or mad skills.

Good to hear! CAD is available here: https://workbench.grabcad.com/workbench/projects/gc8mrFALmKICo4R9VHLXRcuk-mX7BOz2JCA6ISgFtmNUQy#/space/gcSTdRRbtyPVJLJ_9o0kq0T2DyGoJ3GMIQSQ0z1UVX5D8O
Look in the folder labeled “BWD-101v2”. I’ll have STEP and a pack and go posted soon.

Thanks Marcus! I’m hoping to make a few sets with 1072’s soon-to-be CNC, and refine the design a little if it needs it.

Heat gun is what I planned on. The disadvantage is that the center block might get hot, so you would need gloves to operate it safely, so a super wide, flat soldering iron tip would probably be a better option. There are heat gun attachments like that as well.

I’m not entirely certain I’d call this an “FRC-specific” problem. Being able to do a custom length of belt rather than design to a COTS belt length has certain advantages in certain non-FRC applications…

I look forward to the release of the STEP file(s).

Eric’s right, not an FRC specific problem per-say, but these specific belts and a solution designed in this way to use common hardware/frc machines is nice. My point is, typical belt welders are likely as expensive as they are because they are designed to work with many different applications and while expensive, work out of the box.

Not an FRC-specific problem, but it seems to be an FRC-specific solution.

Hmm… I think my team has a soldering iron that can’t hold a consistent enough temperature to solder with. I wonder if you could get a beefy paint scraper, take the blade off, make a cut out of the profile of the iron, then weld the scraper blade onto the soldering iron?

Either way, the blocks look great Anand!

Don’t try this at home

Anand just made solution to work with a 20 dollar heat gun off Amazon. If your team doesn’t have one already, please just invest in that regardless of your need to belt weld. Now it can, so even better!!

Thanks Cothron! That’s an interesting idea with the iron, I don’t think it would be too difficult to make something out of thin sheet metal for it. Maybe using a shaft collar to clamp it to the iron could work without needing to take a welder to it.

Well said. I don’t think belt welders are worth $400+, but I can see why they would need to cost more than this would. This McMaster kit seems to have a lot of custom parts in it: https://www.mcmaster.com/#62065k41/=190mspc
And I can’t imagine too many places where one would need to weld urethane belts enough to justify the kit.

Thank you! STEP files are in the Grabcad release. Check the link in the image description.

You have such unique and well thought out designs. I love that you post all your work, but have you ever considered profiting from your designs? I would think that you could come up with some really cool and profitable products if you decided to go that route.

My team’s been using my SMD rework station to pretty good success. It’s got variable (digital) temperature, air speed and several tips. It lets you really experiment with what works best for your belt.

It’s similar to this model: https://www.amazon.com/WEP-858D-Soldering-Station-Suitable/dp/B0055B6NGE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1503205363&sr=8-2&keywords=Atten+858D%2B

But be warned, I did redo some of the wiring because internally, the neutral was connected to the fuse rather than hot, which can be dangerous because you wouldn’t expect 110VAC to be inside after the fuse blew. It was a pretty easy job though.

You guys got to try out belt welding with a hot plate. It’s really easy, there’s no need for a jig. I’ve yet to have a belt fail using this method.

Could you provide some more details on how this works? Stuff to buy? Videos? Pictures of welds made using this method?

Looks really cool! We’d be happy to donate machining services for all the parts needed to make a prototype (assuming our production schedule has enough capacity for me to fit it in). Shoot me an email at sam@anchorlabs.io if you are interested.

  • Sam

We use a blowtorch and a piece of steel but this definitely looks like it would be easier :P.

As it stands I’m currently at an internship with CTRE, so I’m definitely working out some interesting stuff there. :stuck_out_tongue:
All FRC suppliers monitor Chief Delphi, and if one of them wants to turn this into a product the option is always there. This is one of the things that I would actually want to make COTS due to the CNC machining that’s beyond the resources of many teams.

Ooo that’s a great idea! The variety of tips is super useful; using a thinner tip could focus the heat on the belt (and spare fingers).

Ditto, I need video of this black magic please.
On of the main goals I hoped to meet with this design was to have the ability to do belt joining while the belt is on the robot/around the pulleys. That’s why it incorporates the option to have a thumbscrew tensioning method, with other options possible. Doing the same with other types of welders is difficult.

Thanks Sam! I’ll send an email your way.

Ha, thanks. We had 2 aluminum blocks with a round channel cut through it on 115, and we don’t do anything on 299 or 1072 (yet).

Have you thought about how to machine the custom part? It looks like each one will take a lot of separate operations with different tools in different axes. Manufacturing time (=money) alone could substantially increase the cost of mass production.

If one of our customers were to send in an RFQ for these, the price breakdown would look something like this:

qty 6 (1 assembly): $46.67 per part
qty 12 (2 assemblies): $28.33 per part
qty 30 (5 assemblies): $17.33 per part
qty 60 (10 assemblies): $13.67 per part
qty 150 (25 assemblies): $11.47 per part

Each part is 3 setups and the smallest tool needed is a 1/8" EM (to do the grooves).