I spent a while wondering how to machine a piece of steel that big and have it balanced. Waterjet makes the most sense because it cuts the center and the OD from the same reference. Anyway, we've got some really nice, clean data now from the regenerative braking circuit. (Imagine spinning those disks up to 3,000rpm and then pushing all that energy into a capacitor.) [...]
I and the group of high school students I work with appreciate the Big Blue Saw service. We've used it now for two summer projects (last year was a DIY segway scooter, which I think has been replicated a few times actually). We have six OMAX machines on campus, and I've used three of them, but it's still easier and cheaper (and often faster) from your site for many things, especially when you factor in material cost. More importantly, in terms of showing students that you can make pretty much anything without necessarily having to be an MIT engineer, it's a great tool.
Thanks for the kind words, Shane.
Shane further notes:
Flywheels this size are pretty dangerous. I wasn't that worried at 3,000rpm. But I wouldn't want somebody to go making a 10,000rpm version and have it fail. A containment is probably a good idea.
In other words, don't try this unless you know what you're doing.