Author Topic: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm  (Read 12274 times)

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Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2019, 03:30 AM »
Hey, Installation is so easy, you can just do it by eye.  [blink] [big grin] [eek]


Offline RobBob

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2019, 05:02 AM »
Can it be mounted from the ceiling?

For a typical two car garage, an eight foot radius might not be enough if mounted on a wall.  Mounting on the ceiling in the center of the garage might work?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 09:17 AM by RobBob »

Offline Bob D.

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2019, 06:24 AM »
Can it be mounted from the ceiling?

For a typical two car garage, an eight foot radius might not be enough unless mounted in the center of the garage (from the ceiling)?

Seems like that would be possible with a braced pylon mounted to the ceiling and swivel joints. That would make a good accessory kit to the standard boom arm. You'd loose some headroom so if you had a low ceiling (or joists if not finished) in your garage. For me my garage shop ceiling is 10.5 feet. I have multiple LED shop lamps hanging at 9.5 feet AFF, but I could raise those. I also have dust collection running at 10.1' AFF and can't be raised any higher. I think I could probably clear a path between 9.0 and 9.5 feet without too much trouble for the boom arm to swing all around if mounted near the center of the shop or 180° if mounted to a wall. My shop is 24' x 24', with an 8 foot radius I could reach just about any place in the shop where I might use a tool. since most of the walls have benches or stationary power tools occupying space on them, I don't think I would need more reach than 8 feet.
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Offline denovo

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2019, 08:30 AM »
I would be interested in the 8' version in the next year

Offline KescoNY

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2019, 08:36 PM »
  I would take 1 possibly 2 8-10ft version as soon as it’s available if it’s suitable for commercial use.
I would like to run vacuum, 2 electric cords and air to meet my needs.

Would it be possible to mount a shorter version off the ceiling to an I beam ?
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Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2019, 03:05 AM »
I suppose I could look into designing a ceiling mount, but it could not give you 360 degree rotation. There would have to be a stop at the back, mainly for a support gusset.

However, a ceiling mount sounds nice at first, but then you have to ask, where is your vacuum hose coming from? Your vacuum hose would need to be nearly 20 feet long just to reach a nearby wall.

The design on my end would be easy for me to do. But the engineering you would have to do to ensure your ceiling structure could support it is more complex. At a minimum, you would have to use a large mounting plate on your ceiling to distribute the load across multiple joists.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2019, 06:56 AM »
" At a minimum, you would have to use a large mounting plate on your ceiling to distribute the load across multiple joists."

Agree, it is possible but maybe not that practical for most applications.

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Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2019, 11:29 AM »
While they may be other mounting options, let's not sidetrack Rick with ideas. Let him get this model into production. Different configurations and mounts are things that can come later. For this application wall mounting is a known quantity as it is consistent with a product Festool sells.

Offline KescoNY

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2019, 06:14 PM »
I suppose I could look into designing a ceiling mount, but it could not give you 360 degree rotation. There would have to be a stop at the back, mainly for a support gusset.

However, a ceiling mount sounds nice at first, but then you have to ask, where is your vacuum hose coming from? Your vacuum hose would need to be nearly 20 feet long just to reach a nearby wall.

The design on my end would be easy for me to do. But the engineering you would have to do to ensure your ceiling structure could support it is more complex. At a minimum, you would have to use a large mounting plate on your ceiling to distribute the load across multiple joists.

I currently have a ct48 on one of the pallet racks and have the hose coming down from the ceiling at the sanding station to prevent the hose from snagging or scratching the workpiece. I also have 4 ct36 on the shop floor with the boom arm and the workcenter attached to them.  Having your design would eliminate the ct36s on the shop floor, stored in the corner and used when needed.
It would not be necessary to have it ceiling mounted but would be a nice option on one of the units
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Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2019, 06:44 PM »
While they may be other mounting options, let's not sidetrack Rick with ideas. Let him get this model into production. Different configurations and mounts are things that can come later. For this application wall mounting is a known quantity as it is consistent with a product Festool sells.

I'm probably going to stop by the welding shop tomorrow to discuss the details of how we will proceed with this. Need to work through the business details. Instead of ordering the laser cut/formed components for a single prototype, I'll be ordering enough for 20 first-article units. The cost of doing that is a trivial risk, and I've gone through this design enough times that I have fairly high confidence in it. (I rarely ever need to make full prototypes for any of my designs.) Considering the comments here, I'm going to see if his guys can handle the cut list necessary for doing both 8 and 6 foot lengths right off the bat. We'll have to see about that, because it will also require figuring out shipping for two sizes too.

After I get the business details worked out, I'll probably get the website active for initial ordering.

Offline Tom Gensmer

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2019, 11:10 PM »
Pending specifications I'd be interested. I'm in the Minneapolis area, would there be an opportunity for a local pick up?
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Offline Alan m

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2019, 03:36 PM »
i wish this was in europe. i would love one.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 04:32 PM by Alan m »
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Offline James Biddle

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2019, 06:31 PM »
Rick, a couple of questions...

will the hose for the vac be antistatic for Festool vacs?

what would the weight of the unit be, roughly?

how much weight will the unit be designer to support?

any plans to make accessories such as hangers for various sanders, etc?

will there be mounting holes at various locations or some other method to attach counterbalances?

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2019, 06:45 PM »
Pending specifications I'd be interested. I'm in the Minneapolis area, would there be an opportunity for a local pick up?
There's not a whole lot of specifications to give. I'm NOT going to be doing the engineering for anyone's structure. That's up to the buyer. What I will give you is the Moment of Force that an empty boom arm will apply to your structure, and another moment at the maximum rated accessory load (which I haven't decided yet). I plan on keeping the rated accessory load rather low, because there is no reason to need a lot of load, plus it just increases the moment on the structure...and I don't want any "hey, hold my beer and watch this" type stories.

Other than that, I'll come up with some basic guidelines, like minimum bolt size, and maybe a few things about reinforcing. Again, I don't want to be too specific because that could open me up for liability.

Yes, if you're local you could pick it up. You could do that even before I figure out all the normal shipping details.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2019, 07:29 PM »
Rick, a couple of questions...

will the hose for the vac be antistatic for Festool vacs?
I haven't decided whether the supply-side hose is included versus an optional add-on, because I'm not sure whether every buyer needs one, nor a specific length. But, in any event, any hose coming from me would be anti-static specifically to ensure there are no problems with CT-vacs getting their control boards zapped. Having it as an "option" isn't really a cost issue, but to keep the product flexible to everyone's needs.

what would the weight of the unit be, roughly?
I just added all of the material densities into SolidWorks last night so I could estimate the weight, and it came out way lighter than I had been expecting. It came in so light that I'm contemplating using a thicker walled tubing to make it easier for the welders. With the thicker tubing, it would still only be 35 pounds. It's a lot lighter than I was expecting, because the Festool ASA5000 weighed a couple hundred pounds, according to my memory.

how much weight will the unit be designer to support?
This is still up in the air, but I will be rating it for far less than the design can take. My own 16-foot boom arm has all the typical features on it, and only has a few pounds added to it. Maybe something around 25 pounds of accessory loading. I plan on hanging weights from the prototype to see how it behaves up to a yield point.

any plans to make accessories such as hangers for various sanders, etc?
Not specifically, because everyone would want a different setup. You don't want to hang a bunch of tools from a boom arm, because they'll just end up whacking you in the head as you swing the arm around for usage.

will there be mounting holes at various locations or some other method to attach counterbalances?
I haven't decided if I'm going to add any by default, because it is so easy to add your own, specific to what you want to add. Adding holes to the Festool ASA boom arm is very problematic, because you would end up drilling right into the tubing. However, for my design, I deliberately left a gap between the tubes so you can drill through-holes into the side bracing.

One possible option I have considered is a universal mount with a bunch of tapped holes, and this would bolt to the side plates.

Speaking of a tool balancer (for the hose), I just bought one (for something else) on eBay for somewhere around $10. I could offer something like that up as an option and have any holes pre-drilled. We'll see.


As you can see in the picture below, this is how I have my ASA5000 rigged up. I have a couple Home Depot hooks for hoses, a tool balancer for the vac hose, a quad box pendent for 2 circuits of power, and 2 air hoses. There isn't anything else I wish I had.

You can also see how I had to mount things to the ASA. Nothing is drilled into their arm, because the main tubes are right where you'd want to drill holes. So I had to make U-shaped wooden brackets to slip over the top of the ASA arm. Mine arm, you will at least be able to drill through the center.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2019, 07:48 PM »
P.S. If you're wondering why my boom arm can be so much lighter than Festool's, it's because I'm a better engineer than they are.  [poke]  No, seriously. All of their critical fasteners are self-tapping screws and are in tension.  [scared] All of my critical fasteners are in sheer.  8) Mine is pound-for-pound, much much stronger than theirs.

They had to make the entire length of their extruded aluminum boom and jib arms full thickness to accommodate the final 2 inches where screws were inserted. Only the end-caps need to be that robust, and they couldn't do that with an extrusion. My welded design takes more labor to build, but it puts the strength where it is needed.

Offline James Biddle

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2019, 09:09 PM »
Rick,
Thanks for answering my questions.  I'm sold.  I can see a place for two of them in the shop.  I like that shorter lengths may be available. In some areas, a 16' sweep may run into issues.  Any idea when they will be available, roughly?

As an aside, would the pivoting mechanism stand up to something such as needed for a small CNC's dust collection?  My CNC is too big for that, but I could see that as an additional market for you.

Offline Mdr6407

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #47 on: May 28, 2019, 09:21 AM »
I would be interested in a 12’ version as well but could make the 8’ work if that’s what’s produced.

Offline Bhend18

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #48 on: May 28, 2019, 07:44 PM »
I would be interested in an 8'.
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Offline Tim Morris

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2019, 03:44 PM »
Rick I've read all of the comments and your responses. Please keep me in the loop. I'm interested. THANKS!

Offline BJM9818

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2019, 02:11 PM »
I’d be interested in either a 8’ or 12’. Also interested in size of the tubes. If I could fit my plasma cutter torch and grounding wire in the other tube that would be awesome.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2019, 05:23 PM »
I’d be interested in either a 8’ or 12’. Also interested in size of the tubes. If I could fit my plasma cutter torch and grounding wire in the other tube that would be awesome.

Both upper and lower tubes are 2-inch ID, so you should have plenty of room for running whatever you need through the lower tube.


I haven't mentioned much about the shop that is helping me fabricate these, but I probably should because they are not just a typical welding shop. The welding will be done by Full Blown Motorsports (FBM), and no, I could never dream of affording their expert welding for something like this, except I am very close friends with the owner. They do stellar TIG welding, and I do a lot of design and consulting for them. FBM is a high-performance automotive tuner and parts manufacturer just down the road from me.

We've been working together for over 7 years, and I do the work because....well....IT'S FUN!!! I haven't sent them an invoice in years. We just figure out ways to make it even, like doing custom work on my vehicles and such.

Here are a couple pictures to show a good example of their work and my work. I designed this custom cast aluminum intake manifold and cast aluminum oil pan for the BRZ/FRS Boxer engine, and they sell them. They also fabricate and sell the custom turbo header and charge tubes for the same. Their aluminum and stainless steel TIG welding is second to none. I had them put a custom dual exhaust on my GMC pickup, and it was a blooming work of art!! Sitting in his shop right now is a project with multiple 30-foot long aluminum welds that are spotless, perfect dimes down the whole length. Impressive.

So yeah, the boom arms will be lookin' sweet!

Oh, P.S., I'm hoping to have the metalwork parts in the shop sometime this week.  Once I've inspected the parts for fabrication, I'll get the website active for taking orders.





« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 05:53 PM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline don4logo

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2019, 04:54 PM »
I'd be interested, if it were possible to use without mounting to a wall (my MFT sits in the center of my shop as an island). One thing to mention: if you want/need marketing help, I'd be open to a barter arrangement. I'm an advertising creative director at my day job, and I'd be happy to create some branding/selling materials etc. in exchange for product. Just let me know. My work is at ApplyTheCraft.com if you're curious.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2019, 05:05 PM »
I'd be interested, if it were possible to use without mounting to a wall (my MFT sits in the center of my shop as an island). One thing to mention: if you want/need marketing help, I'd be open to a barter arrangement. I'm an advertising creative director at my day job, and I'd be happy to create some branding/selling materials etc. in exchange for product. Just let me know. My work is at ApplyTheCraft.com if you're curious.

How you mount it is entirely up to the buyer, and I don't want to get into the liability concerns for providing advice in that regard. The simplest answer, however, is to install a column  where your vac sits, and mount the boom arm to that column. You could possibly mount it to the ceiling, but I'm not going to speculate on methods for doing this.


I just got word a few minutes ago that the parts from the laser cutter should be arriving tomorrow. I will inspect them to make sure everything is on track.....
..... and then we'll get this party started.




Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2019, 08:10 PM »
I'd be interested, if it were possible to use without mounting to a wall (my MFT sits in the center of my shop as an island). One thing to mention: if you want/need marketing help, I'd be open to a barter arrangement. I'm an advertising creative director at my day job, and I'd be happy to create some branding/selling materials etc. in exchange for product. Just let me know. My work is at ApplyTheCraft.com if you're curious.

Shameless self-promotion is way out of line here.

Offline ChuckM

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2019, 12:23 AM »
The PM is a more suitable channel for such suggested offer of service in exchange for a product or discount.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2019, 12:25 AM »
Let's get back on track, Ok guys?

Offline James Biddle

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #57 on: June 20, 2019, 04:38 PM »
Rick, any target for shipping?

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #58 on: June 20, 2019, 04:54 PM »
As I think I mentioned before, when the laser-cut parts show up, that will be my "kickoff" date. Well, I just got back from the shop, and have the laser-cut parts in-hand.

I'm ordering all the McMaster Carr hardware at this very moment, so that should be here Monday. We should be making the first prototype early next week, and should then be able to go straight into production welding for the remainder of this batch.

The website for ordering should go active sometime in the next few days. I anticipate being able to ship in the next 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how smooth everything falls together. Having the first one ship in 2 weeks seems like a reasonable prediction.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2019, 07:05 AM »
I forgot about the long holiday, so that set me back a few more days than I planned. Last week we welded up the first prototype boom, but the main tubes got ordered at the wrong diameter, and I decided to not make a whole boomarm (both booms) until the correct tube size arrives (hopefully this morning). So after a quick nap this morning, I'll head to the shop to oversee welding up the second boom that makes up a whole boom arm.

Over the long weekend, I solidified a bunch of decisions that I had been pondering. Number one, is that I decided that instead of the natural aluminum material, I will paint the main booms. They are too big to sandblast, and after welding, they just didn't have consistent color. So instead, the booms will be my RTS-Blue, and the remaining mechanical pieces will be black. (This picture below is just a mockup. The boom is in a painting fixture, and I loosely put a couple of the knuckle parts in place to show their contrast. Also, the boom does not have the side plates that a finished boom will have.)



Secondly, I have solidified the naming of the boom arm, and created the artwork for the main decals (shown above). The main product name will be "Prometheus" for the following reason:

Prometheus: The Greek Titan of forethought, responsible for bringing civilization to mankind for the arts, sciences, metal working, and woodworking. With the Prometheus Boom Arm, RTS Engineering brings some civilization to the workshop........ 

I've been staring blindly at the website for days, but I write based on pictures. So it has been a little tough writing the copy until I had pictures of the prototype. With that complete, I'm hoping to get the website live in the next day or so.


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« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 07:23 AM by Rick Christopherson »