riparian rap

First full-scale Em3 dual tilt base this week!

Abandoned screw jack design for Em3 dual tilt.
Em3 concept, mid 2011.
Geometry sketch, Em3 tilt concept.

This week we’re building the first full-scale dual-tilt base for our Emriver Em3.

I can’t wait to finish it, after hundreds of hours of work.

In 2010 we spent nearly a year redesigning our already excellent Em2.  The Em2 now does its job as well as modern materials allow, and we’re shipping them as fast as we can build them.

We design our Emriver models to reveal river processes for teaching and research.  It’s not that difficult to run water through a box full of sand.  Add design for low cost, efficient production, safety, durability, ease of use, quick set up, and reliability, and things get terribly complex.

Our new three-meter Em3’s design is based on years of studying what university engineering and geoscience departments need.

This design includes lab space, budget ranges, curriculum, portability, and alternative uses like outreach to recruit students.

We’re now finishing up design of a dual-tilt system for our new Em3 that will allow both roll and pitch (long profile) movement of the model.

The first image shows an inevitable part of the process, the nice-looking dead end using screw jacks and stepper motors.  It used off-the-shelf components, but was too slow and too expensive.  Close to a hundred hours of design effort gone.

This week we’re building the final Em3 dual-axis tilt prototype.  Can’t show everything of course.  This part is magic to me — seeing years of knowledge and hard work turned into an elegant metal teaching machine that will populate museums, labs, and schools all over the world.

Machining prototype parts.


Me with finger I sacrificed in this prototyping effort.
The exciting, tedious, process of converting ideas to precise metal parts.