Amazing Meccano Crane
Marc has kindly let me reproduce his pictures and has provided a lot of detail of how the crane was made. As you can see below the chassis is very solid, this is necessary as the crane can lift the same amount as the real crane (well to scale anyway). Marc has tested it lifting a 20kg lathe.
One of the reasons it can lift so much weight is, like the full sized crane it has operational out-rigger legs. These were one of the custom made items, made from aluminium and steel tube. To protect the table, the pads have foam backing.
The boom extension is constructed from girders and strips and is chain driven to avoid the problems of stretching associated with cables. This also makes assembly and servicing easier.
The slewing bearing is a standard industry part and it sits on the chassis with an adapter ring. The slewing gear pinion is driven by a gearbox motor. Some of the gears are standard sizes but some had to be specially laser cut as Meccano themselves never made such parts.
Not all of the crane is purely functional, Marc wanted some decorative parts too. The drivers cab is fitted out with a chair, opening window and side mirrors. Even details like steps and exhausts have been added.
The control of the system is via a joystick and switches, no computer is needed but as the motors are controlled with relays it should be possible to interface it. There are 13 motors, 8 on the undercarriage, and 5 on the superstructure. The lifting ram has a 24v motor and gearbox. So that the DC motors do not slip when the crane is at a standstill, the motor terminals are shorted out. This effectively acts as an electronic brake.
See the crane in action:
You can read more about the crane and find details of it’s load factors etc over at the MIG Welding forum. You can also see more pictures of the crane at Marc’s Meccano Gallery. Thanks again to Marc for sharing this project with us.
All pictures copyright Marc Van Goozen.
Really a very helpful article thanks for sharing and keep on sharing!