The image below shows a SolidWorks improved design using larger slits, continuing with the fire hose design while also doing a bottle cap implementation. There are threads within the connector to help lock it in place at a precise measurement. The threads also produce a stronger seal.
The design was improved by creating a larger space in the slit, as shown in the image below. Its purpose was to create a greater accuracy for when the connectors come together and close.
This design, shown in the image below, should have a greater accuracy to combine two connectors together since there’s a lot more smoothed surfaces and the gap between the threads that stick out are much larger than the previous gaps as the treads were reduced to two.
The image below shows the fifth and final design of the connectors. The circle in the center was added for the magnet or the steel plate, depending on if it’s the connector for the magnet or for the steel plate. If the connector is on Limbi then in the circle will be the magnet, if the connector is on the modules then the steel plate will go in the circle. The was also an outward ring added to the outside edge of the connector as well as tabs to disrupt the beam in the photo-interrupter. More information can be found in the Limbi: Cubic Modules blog post.
Flower Petal Soft Lock
Shown below is the international NASA docking standard design for a “flower pedal” soft lock. They implemented soft permanent magnets and train like hooks. The idea behind this design is that the petal helps guide the connector in place, it turns, and locks in place via hooks. The reason we could not design this connector in time was because it has many electronic components for the small cubic module we have causing a significant size constraint. The documentation for the picture can be found by clicking the following: International Docking System Standard. The video shown below can by found by clicking the following: NASA Docking Test.
We stumbled upon implementing the flower petal design and the fire hose idea. The reason we wanted to do the connectors this way was due to the fact that combining both ideas would reduce the need for too many electrical components within the cubic modules themselves. We were restricted on its size and weight due to our requirements. Below is the flower petal design made in SolidWorks however, it is incomplete because we ran out of time to think of an implementation between this design and our fire hose design.