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Old 11-21-2019, 03:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A funnel for spheres

I'm trying to look at hoppers in a different way, and turn it into a bit of a design challenge.

The jist of the idea is that a hopper is basically a funnel for spherical objects, right? So there must be a way to design the perfect hopper, knowing the size and weight of the spheres, so that the funnel can align the balls as they travel. There's a bunch of hoppers that try this kind of idea, like with splitters and shells and troughs at the bottom. Could a spiral shape work? multi-tiered shelves/splitters?

I also tried looking in industry to see if there is anything maybe like a funnel for ball bearings or something on an assembly line? My guess is no, and i couldn't find anything. But maybe someone else has some experience.

Just curious what your thoughts are, either new design ideas, or existing ball handlers
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've been wanting to try to print a .7" diameter hollow helix, with a bottom that goes right onto a 45 degree feed neck. A twisty feed. I haven't thought of one real benefit for it though.

For bins, I know you want to stay away from unit (ball size) dimensions that promote stacking. The bottom angle can't be so steep as to push the balls into a support (bridging), which might just be less than 45 degrees (?), but angles over 20 degrees don't seem to work so well, so there's something else there.

There's lots of stuff on sphere packing, but I haven't found much on anti-packing/jamming. With the number of balls varying in the space, it is hard to calculate anything.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For a lesson in what not to do, look at the Viewloader Quantum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6XkqrFL1B8
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Old 11-24-2019, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That loader looks awesome!
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