This is my team’s second year, and it is our first year using pneumatics. We are trying to find a way to safely fasten our system to our bot while still allowing a good range of motion. What seems to be the best way to attach it all?
I am assuming that you are talking about cylinders (actuators). What cylinders are you using? If you are using Bimba, then please check their site/page on pneumatic actuatorsand then look at the accessories.
There are also bad ways, like zip ties, so avoid those…
The cylinder rod end is usually attached through a Clevis using a nut and bolt.
The cylinder end is often attached to the end pin with brackets which are then bolted to the robot. Resist the temptation to remove the pin and bolt the cylinder end directly to the robot - this can limit movement.
Also, remember that ALL pneumatic components must be held as sacred, and never modified in any way (read the rules in this regard please), which includes machining or even significant scratches.
Aside from connecting the cylinders to what they need to move, the rest of the pneumatics system components also offer mounting challenges. The air tank, the manual pressure valve, the regulators, all seem to keep us busy figuring out how to secure them well.
Rubber cushioned loop clamps (also known as “Adel clams” or “Aircraft clamps”) are helpful. Although it might be hard to find the larger ones. Smaller ones are often available at a local hardware store, larger ones from places such as McMaster-Carr.