So, the March Madness 1 program a day challenge is in full swing. Here’s my contribution. Its not much in the way of code, but there definitely was coding involved in writing the scad file for the doorknob. Yup, its a programmatically generated and then 3D printed doorknob for the NYC Resistor front door. Made with OpenSCAD, QCad, and my MakerBot. Oh, its open source too and you can download it from Thingiverse.
Pants Status: Keyboarded
I had a blast today at Diana’s fashion hacking event, and I made these nifty pants that sort-of function as a keyboard. I can play tetris at least! It was fun to make them, and if you’d like to make your own you can download the files from Thingiverse. It was nice to spend the day working on a goofy project with no real value with my friends. Oh, and now I have some super-sexy nerd magnet shorts. Awesome.
Arduino vs. Sanguino vs. Arduino Mega
Confused/excited about all the cool things happening in Arduino-land lately? Well, luckily for you we’ve taken a look at the various Arduino families and blogged them over at the MakerBot Industries blog.
The result? They’re each awesome and it’s pretty easy to pick which one is right for you.
MakerBot Industries Full Speed Ahead!
As part of our grand plan to Take Over The World® we’re happy to announce a new and exciting development! A few of us (Adam Mayer, Bre Pettis, and Zach Hoeken) have formed a new company called MakerBot Industries to do awesome things. What is MakerBot Industries? Well, we make open source hardware. To be more specific, we make robots that make things! If you really wanna get into the nitty gritty, we created a RepRap derivative called CupCake CNC which is a cheap, easy to build 3D printer!
If you’ve been at NYC Resistor lately, you may have seen random prototyped bits laying around. We’ve done pretty much all of our R&D for this machine using our laser cutter and the other various tools we have at the hack space here. I’m personally really happy to see something like this blossom out of our shared space, and I’m looking forward to hacking on this machine much more in the future. If anyone wants to try and design a 3D model, we’d be more than happy to try and print it out for you. We’ll have the machine fired up and printing stuff out for craft night this Thursday, and hopefully all the Thursdays after that as well!
Do you want to learn more? Check out the MakerBot Industries website, or watch the video below.
Thingiverse: ‘Tools’ Galaxy Discovered
The friendly scientists over at Thingiverse have posted an exciting new discovery on their blog. Basically, they’ve uncovered an entire galaxy composed entirely of tools that the denizens of Thingiverse can use to search, sort, and categorize the things that make up their universe. It doesn’t answer the eternal question of why are we here?, but it does answer the question of what can i make with a lasercutter?
Thermal Imaging For Efficiency
My friend Lou Amadio up in Seattle decided to really find out if his home was efficient, and if not then where the problems were. He turned to a really AWESOME solution: a thermal imaging camera. His blog entry is filled with all sorts of cool pictures of his house. I really want to do this in my tiny apartment for no reason other than to get some cool pix.
I had a great idea for a new, drastically simplified extruder design for RepRap. I decided to spend a day on it, and if it proved fruitful, then I’d pursue it more. Thank god for the laser cutter at NYCR, because I had a working prototype made up in an hour. After that, it was fairly simple to design a nice layered housing for it and make it into a reliable little beast.
There is a much more detailed post on the RepRap blog, you can look at my flickr set, or check out the design on Thingiverse.
Kysan DC Gearmotor Teardown
We’ve been using GM3 gearmotors for our RepRap extruder motors, but they have a few problems (most notably being underpowered and having cheap plastic gears) so I decided to shop around and try to find a motor that I could be proud of. I stumbled onto the site kysanelectronics.com and ordered a bunch of their 12v DC gear motors. I got about 10 different motors with various gear ratios, sizes, etc. I decided to sacrifice one and take it apart. Turns out I was actually (miraculously?) able to piece it back together again, in working order too!
Here is a flickr set with the teardown.
Anyway, here are a few observations about these motors:
* they are all-metal construction (gears, housing, shafts, etc) the only plastic was an insulator on the terminals
* they are very powerful (my test is attaching vice grips and letting them rotate the vice grips, then trying to stop the rotating pliers with my hands. all could easily move the pliers, and most took a decent amount of force to stop)
* they are pretty cheap! for a single motor, they are $9.07 for a single unit and at volumes of 100+ they drop to $7.34. Not as cheap as the GM3, but they have dramatically higher strength, etc.
I think I may just have to place an order for a hundred of them. =)
PUMPOTRON 3000 XL
PumpoTron 3000 from Zach 'Iowa' Hoeken on Vimeo.
Get the files for laser cutting your own pump at www.thingiverse.com.
Danger Shield Build
Marc de Vink posted a nice video demoing the Danger Shield I created over at MAKE Blog. This little board was designed for teaching people how to program for the Arduino and if you sign up for classes, I’ll teach you how to program an Arduino using one of these little guys.