Today, conveyor belts are used in almost every kind of manufacturing facility—from airports (for luggage transport), moving walkways, agricultural and mining applications, to various grocery stores’ checkout counters. They are even used for pretty unique purposes such as in delivery of food choices to clients in sushi bars. If you are DIY enthusiast, you’ve probably at one wondered how you can make yourself a conveyor belt. Without much ado, here is an overview of the step that you can follow:
How to Make a Conveyor Belt: Steps to Follow
1) Locate a skateboard that is still in good condition (it shouldn’t be broken) and using a duct tape, stick a motor (9 Volts) to the underside of skateboard (just in front of the wheels) so that it runs parallel to the board’s axle.
2) Stretch an elastic tape to forms a loop which you can then fit around the wheel and down to the board’s axle. Basically, this will be your driver belt. Never tighten it too much.
3) Take the duct tape again and cut a strip to make a loop with the sticky side facing outwards. Now place the loop around the two wheels so that the moving duct tape enhances or encourages the board’s wheels to follow suit. You can add more tape to tighten the loop if the movement is a bit loose. On the other hand, if the movement is considerably stiffer, you may be forced to cut the tape and start over again; this time you have to exercise a lot of caution to avoid tightening the duct tape.
4) Find some lollipop sticks and cut them such that they are of the same width as the duct tape. When you are through, you can lay them side by side (on top of the duct tape); you can also spin the wheels a bit to cover the entire tape. This will have created a boardwalk-style belt.
5) Lastly, you need to power your motor by plugging the wires from the motor to opposite ends of 9V dry cell batteries. You may find that your conveyor belt is not moving at your ideal speed. Don’t panic; you can easily adjust speed by adding more layers of the tape or taking some away. Alternatively, you can use two motors (you can attach one at each end of the skateboard) to give your conveyor belt more power. Nonetheless, you should be careful to install them correctly so that both operate in the same direction.
In a full-sized design conveyor belts (for instance, those used in manufacturing facilities), the concept is the same though larger and more durable components are used. Instead of using rubber bands to transmit power from the motors to the pulley system, larger systems employ roller chains or conveyor chains for power transmission.
If you’ve managed to follow the highlighted steps carefully, you will have made a simple working mini conveyor belt that you can use to transport your TV remote, armloads of firewood, or small plates. Although it might not be as impressive and functional as those developed by established manufactures, it will be pretty cool, nonetheless. What’s more, you can always adjust the performance of your conveyor belt by using bigger wheels, powerful motor, and ironing board.