Cell Parts

A program for laying out flotation cell components.

When making the parts for a flotation cell designed by Plop or another program or method, reasonable precision is needed, especially for the hole locations. The simplest way to get good precision is to use a milling machine, but many ATM's do not have easy access to a milling machine and do not wish to pay a shop. The alternate is to lay out the parts by hand and drill the holes with a drill press or even a hand held drill. Precision suffers. Cell Parts prints the layouts for the bars and triangles of a mirror cell. Most modern computer printers have quite good printing accuracy. The layout accuracy should be much better than 1 millimeter.

Cut out the part layouts and glue them to the metal with spray contact adhesive (not water based). Then carefully center punch each of the hole locations. This will go a long way toward creating accurate hole placement. The best first step in drilling is to use a machinist's center drill bit to start the holes. A center drill bit is very short and has an even shorter pilot tip that is designed to start the hole with a minimum of wander. Once a hole is started with this pilot tip, a normal drill bit will follow much more accurately. Use only a sharp bit in good condition and lubricate it with a bit of oil. A drill press is best. In any case, the work should be clamped.

This version of Cell Parts is my first. It is pretty simple minded and doesn't have a lot of features. It will work in inches, mm or cm. It will also work with either dimensions relative to the mirror diameter, or absolute dimensions. Most data entry errors that could cause trouble are trapped. There is provision for adjusting the printer scale in both directions, in case your printer doesn't quite produce correct scaling.

In Version 1.0.0, there is no help file, not even a readme.txt. Also, the menu items for storing and reading setup data do not function.

Cell Parts is a Windows Program. I am sorry, I do not have the capacity to write for other platforms.

The setup files are in zipped format. You will need WinZip or a similar program to uncompress them.

Cellparts uses a freeware printer control called SwiftPrint. SwiftPrint requires that your computer have Microsoft Foundation Classes Version 4.2 installed. Many, but not all Windows computers have them installed. If the Cell Parts setup program gives errors referring to SwiftPrint, it is probably because you need to install MFC4.2 Instructions a links for the MFC4.2 files are at http://www.atmsite.org/contrib/Holm/coudermask/couderma.html

The .zip file for Cell Parts version 1.0.0 is 1,825,236 bytes long and contains 15 files. Click here to download.

I am happy to receive constructive criticism and suggestions. I can't promise that I will implement all of them.


Copyright © 2003 Mark D. Holm