Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Impact Driver Idears

  1. Dec 30, 2006 #1
    Next semester I am taking a class called Product Engineering and Manufacturing. It's a one semester course where we work with Dewalt tools. Luckily, we have the same tool as last semester, a cordless impact driver. We have to go through the process of finding something to fix on the impact driver, and actually make the improvement on the tool. We will have access to a rapid prototyping machine to make parts. We will sign a NDA with Dewalt at the start of the class, so I dont know how much specific details I will and will not be able to share once the class starts.

    So basically, I'm looking for any ideas anyone has. We will have to bench test the impact driver and compare it to leading brands. Then there is a whole bunch of other crap we gotta do as well. Some stuff like cost analysis, statistical analysis, bla bla bla.

    Here is a picture of the impact driver.


    This is what people did last semester:

    • redesign the case (got it to work)
    • change the cooling fan geometry (did not work)
    • tried to reduce vibration (could not get it to work)
    • added a battery meter indicator (I think it worked, not sure)

    So, any idearzzz? :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Edit: Obviously, Dewalt they will give us impact drivers to modify. At the final presentation, Dewalt will come in an evaluate/grade our project.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2006 #2
    tim tayor [tool time] mode MORE POWER
    rewind the motor for MORE POWER
    nitro hemi option??
  4. Dec 30, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Hi Cyrus, In the past few years, I've been responsible for developing a project like this for students twice. But both times I gave them a project as opposed to asking the students what they wanted to do. What's with that? Do you have an engineer at DeWalt you'll be working with that will be guiding this project? If so, he should tell you or give you a number of ideas to select from.

    Some of the engineers I've known that set up these projects don't get involved too deeply in the project because they simply don't have the time. But that's typical of every day life in industry. When you need information you may need to pester your contact a few times a week. Don't be shy! Engineers in industry often forget how quickly a semester goes past (I did). Lesson to learn: Find out who you need to talk to and work on the communication.

    If your contact at DeWalt isn't helpful enough, perhaps you could get warrenty and repair information and find out what's the most costly warrenty repair they have to do. Let's say the switch fails (my DeWalt screwdriver had this problem). DeWalt should be able to tell you the most likely failure, how much it cost to repair, and how many times they have to make that repair. Once you sign the non-disclosure agreement, they should be free to give you that information. Also, this is great information for all those less than enjoyable tasks like a cost analysis! Note that if you're sticking to mechanical issues, then just select from the most expensive mechanical repairs.

    If they can't tell you what needs attention, try going directly to a repair place. The repair tech's there should be able to give you plenty of ideas from their own experience. Never underestimate the value of these guys, they're the ones that see all the crap first hand. Go to their services web page and find a service location near you and ask them for suggestions.
  5. Dec 30, 2006 #4
    :rofl: Classicccccccccc.

  6. Dec 30, 2006 #5
    As far as I am aware, it is up to us to figure something out. I think they will come in and give us a talk about the product. As for finding what to fix, my friend said they did a 'house tree?', where they evaluated all the pros and cons of their ideas to see which one is the 'best' thing to fix. I'm guessing well have to do something along those lines.

    This class is going to be a pain in the butt. Lot's of work.

    Edit: Oh, and it does not have to be mechanical. It can be ANYTHING on the drill. You can add an op-amp circuit if you want to for all I care.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  7. Dec 30, 2006 #6

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I would redesign it in five fashion colors. And the case could be prettier.:cool:
  8. Dec 30, 2006 #7


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I have no idea whether or not there's already one in that kit, but I always like an ambidextrous side-handle on high-torque or heavy tools. Also, how about an on-board torque meter and/or programmable clutch?
  9. Dec 30, 2006 #8
    A torque meter sounds like a good idea. A clutch would be too much work, I think.

    Edit: Actually, im not sure why you would need a clutch?
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  10. Jan 2, 2007 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    By clutch, I just meant the sort of device as on an electric screwdriver to decouple the chuck when the required torque is reached.
  11. Jan 9, 2007 #10
    Im going to bump this thread, any more ideas?
  12. Jan 9, 2007 #11


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I have good hand strength (guitarist), but short fingers, so high-torque tools can sometimes break out of my grip. I would suggest not only an ambidextrous side handle (if there is not one already) AND two grip inserts - one for people with large hands and one that effectively reduces the size of the grip so that people with smaller hands can get a better finger-wrap on the grip. The ambidextrous side handle should mount instantly so lefties and righties can use the same tool in a production environment. I suggest a button on the end of the handle that engages/disengages a ball-bearing lock similar to those found on two-part keychains. How's that?
  13. Jan 9, 2007 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    On the idea of a clutch, well, there's a very simple (and elegant) way to do this for an impact driver which may not at first seem obvious.

    Since it's an impact driver, (ie not a drill), having a torsionally flexible bar between the drive and the socket (as an adapter) will allow the desired torque to be limited with no need for any mechanisms whatsoever. The torque is simply limited by the torsional strength of the socket adapter. Once the torque is reacher, the impact driver will keep hammering away at the adapter, which will keep flexing, preventing the socket from overtightening the bolt.

    How about you design a set of socket adapters of different torsional strengths, based around the most common torque settings you're likely to require (cylinder head bolts, wheelnuts, rocker shafts etc).

    Oh, and if you've ever used an impact wrench, you'll know that they're not high-torque devices (like, say, a drill), in terms of grip strength required to hold them. The inertia of the heavy handle is sufficient to dampen out the 'pounding' action of the driver so that you really don't need to 'lean on' the wrench very tightly at all.

    My ideas:
    - A battery meter which actually works
    - Poke yoke to ensure that only impact sockets can be fitted (rather than normal square drive hand sockets). It'd be extremely interesting to get this to work whilst still being able to use standard impact sockets!
    - 240V/110V AC power adapter which fits into the battery slot, to allow corded use
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  14. Jan 11, 2007 #13
    Just something I thought of, Is there any way you can make it so it has like 2 speeds. We have a drill that is like this, one is slower for like screwing, and the other is for drilling with high speed bits.

    Why I think this would work well, is that there are many times that you need a bit more "torque/ummpphh)".....to get a rusty nut loose or to put a final torque on a nut.
  15. Jan 12, 2007 #14


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's the whole point of an impact driver in the first place. Note that the OP wasn't asking about a cordless drill, it's an impact driver.

    Another idea: Make the maximum "clockwise" torque less than the maximum "anticlockwise" torque. That way, you'll always be able to undo fasteners again.
  16. Jan 12, 2007 #15
    I understand what a drill and an impact are. I am a student now, but have worked carpentry and on the farm, many years.

    What I was getting at, was the impacts(cordless.....not like air), do not have enough power in most cases. BUT, also in most cases they do....so it would be nice to be able to switch down a gear(like on a drill....).

    I do like your idea though brewnog.

    Another idea, i just thought of........relating back to the drills again. We have a ridgid drill(cordless 18v)....and when the battery goes dead, it just stops. Until that point, it pretty much runs at full charge(18v). Most other drills/impacts kinda "run down" before the battery dies. I like the idea of being able to use all of the battery possible.....comes in handy, when you can't charge your battery....and need the driver.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
  17. Jan 12, 2007 #16


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Just thought of something else, which I would have found immensely useful on a variety of tools in the past... a built-in work light (switchable, to conserve battery power).
  18. Jan 12, 2007 #17
    Nice Idea Danger.
  19. Jan 13, 2007 #18


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ooh I like the worklight idea.
  20. Jan 13, 2007 #19
    I guess a led light would work
    as impacts will kill a bulb quickly
  21. Jan 16, 2007 #20
    More ideas?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Impact Driver Idears
  1. Mechanical impact (Replies: 0)

  2. Torque driver (Replies: 2)

  3. Deep Impact (Replies: 2)

  4. Deep Impact (Replies: 1)