Here is the step by step on how to do a functional steering rack mockup.
A Mockup is a a model or replica of a machine or structure, used for instructional or experimental purposes.
With this project we can undestand and explain how a simple steering rack works.
This tutorial includes the file of 3D model in Rhinoceros 2016 to cut the principal piece in MDF or your material of choice by a CNC of 3 axes.
Feel free to ask any questions if needed.
MATERIALS & TOOLS:
CNC router of 3 axes.
MDF 12 millimeters
Step 1: Create a 3D Model of Your Steering Rack
Follow the basic concepts of a steering rack, remember this is a representation of how a real steering rack should work so you must understand every part.
Use a 3D modeling program of your choice, such as Rhinoceros, MAYA, Inventor, Solidworks, etc.
Step 2: With the 3D Model, Create the Coordenates So a CNC Machine of 3 Axes Cuts It.
We used MDF of 12 millimeters.
We used a sheet of such material so the process of cutting would be easier and faster. You can use this method by cuting your 3D model in Inventor so it matches the thickness of the material (12 millimeters and cuts multiple pieces and then when is put together matches the original thickness of the 3D model) or cut the general volume of a build up sandwich of multiple sheets of MDF so it has the same thickness of the original 3D model (note that this may take longer).
After is done cutting (using the first method) take care of the edges, you can use a table router to perfect the pieces faster.
Step 3: Glue the Pieces, Make Sure That Is Even
Use sand paper if necessary.
Step 4: Create a Steering Column
Use an acrylic tube to create your steering column, use a heat gun to bend it.
Be careful with the heat gun, do it slowly and not so near to the tube, so you don't create bubbles inside the acrylic.
Step 5: Create a Rotation Axis
Use a PVC pipe that fits the hole of your steering rack general body.
On the bottom, put a ring arround the PVC pipe so the general structure of the rack hand hold and spin left and right. Use epoxy glue for this step.
On the other side of the tube put a top or limit, so the rack doesn't move put of it's ideal position.
Step 6: Assemble All Your Pieces
Create a base so the pieces can hold better in place (MDF)
As well as a column to hold the acrylic tube so you can be able to roll it (MDF)
You can paint them, we use acrylic paint and we added engraved acrylic signs for directions of use (this is optional).
Step 7: Finished Product
Try it out!