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Photo of the setup

We've been working on this project of 10 cabinets (5 in the picture) that follow you as you move. Each moving cabinet weighs a little above 15 kg.

We experimented with two types of normal bearings (probably the wrong kind) but so far they failed us. Either they bend a little, or one of them get too much pressure overtime and starts to create more friction thereby affecting the movement timing/animation considerably.

bearing

What makes this project challenging is the fact that, the bearing has to handle an uneven load, meaning the rotation isn't at the center of that 15 kg mass. And we cannot put any metal road through the cabinet to support (aesthetics are an absolute requirement).

So my question is, what kind of TOP and BOTTOM bearings are more appropriate to handle this massive weight given the rotation axis is on the back (as drawn in this quick diagram)? Any ideas?

enter image description here

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3 Answers 3

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There will be caster wheels that work; possibly one would need industrial rated casters rather than those for furniture.

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  • $\begingroup$ actually we did just that for our first prototype ! on the bottom half only, the downside was too much play and it being too massive it messed the aesthetics. We were hoping for a more compact solution $\endgroup$
    – Reacen
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ There are also casters that do not swivel; not sure if they have a different name , but very little play. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ it could work. but I don't know judging from past experience its kind of messy, for example the wheel socket is a pain to cut and work around, multiply that by 40... isn't there a ready made solution for these kind of bearing problems ? $\endgroup$
    – Reacen
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 16:43
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There are circular needle roller bearings that can take high loads for the bottom, top just needs a simple locating bearing.

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enter image description here

Figure 1. Groove ball bearing race and thrust race.

You appear to have chosen a regular groove bearing which as Figure 1, left, shows gives no support under the bottom of the bearing. The load will be borne by the corner of the groove (on top on the ring carrying the load and on the bottom on the ring supporting the bearings).

You need a thrust bearing (Figure 1, right).

enter image description here

A quick Google image search for thrust bearings reveals a wide choice including #4, the "Lazy Susan" which I saw used on a mobile library's rotating bookcase.

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