Once a semester my eldest son’s school send the class pet home with him.  It is only a stuffed pet, but we are instructed to take it everywhere we go and to take plenty of pictures.  The class pet is named “Harry the Hedgehog”.  In true maker fashion, my wife and I wanted to do something different.  She decided to make him a scarf, and I decided to make him a house.  I had some scrap 1/4″ plywood and a bit of free time.  In 30 minutes, I designed the house below and cut it in about 10 minutes.  Its amazing how fast you can go from design to real implementation with some of these technologies.  Comments are welcome!

Tagged with:
 

Along with the case for the Papilio Pro, I wanted to also make one for the Papilio One.  I originally thought they were the same format, but as it turns out they are not.  Though I haven’t cut it yet, you can see the photo rendering from solid works.  I think it looks pretty spectacular.

Tagged with:
 

One of my friends Xnaron wasn’t happy with the way the arms worked on his rostock max and decided to make a new setup using magnets.  The arms are made using carbon fiber tubes with printed end caps.  The magnet resides within the cap.  The mate for the magnet is a steel ball jbwelded to a screw.  I completed the modification and I am really impressed.  On one hand its very smooth and stable.  The other advantage is that the end is easily swapped.  I’ll add some links later.  check out the pic …

Tagged with:
 

FPGAs are a technology that I am very enamored by.  A long time ago I purchased a de0-nano to learn how to use them.  I never really got very far into it because of other priorities and the complexities involved.  More recently I decided to get a Papilio Pro which used a xilinx.  At the same time, I got a book called “Digital Design and Computer Architecture” which came highly recommended.  The advantage of the book is that it takes you from basic digital logic all the way through building your own MIPS computer.  Even more advantageous is the coverage of Verilog and VHDL for all examples.

Anyway, it occurred to me in the course of pursuing the book that having a loose board flopping around was less than ideal.  I designed a laser cut case for it.  I think the result is spectacular.

Tagged with:
 

A friend asked me to make some bronze bushings for him.  This was my second time using DolphinCam.   I followed a similar path to my previous post on DolphinCam.  This time my friend sent a DXF directly.  I brought it in to DolphinCad and defined the profiles first.

Here you can see the outline of one side of the part.  Its important to remember that you only want to draw a single side.  Defining the profile takes about 1-2 minutes, then you can pull it into DolphinCad. Below is the operation in DolphinCad.

Again, this was extraordinarily simple.  This is a part that would have been extraordinarily difficult to do with the wizards or by hand.  And I was able to make 12 of these in under an hour because of the simplicity of the software.  See a video of some of the cutting below.

Tagged with:
 

After 2 years in the making, I’ve finally anodized my first part.  Sort of …  As it turns out the wire anodized very well, but the part did not.  I will do another run with better surface preparation. I’ll also work to improve the contact with the part.

Tagged with:
 

I’ve done two posts recently on how to use DolphinCam with the lathe.  I finally got around to using it with the mill.  I’ve included similar screenshots as before.  This time there are a few more profiles to worry about.

This one presented a bit of a dilemma.  I wanted to cut it out of a piece of aluminum that was a bit bigger than the part.  At the same time, I didn’t have a good way to hold down the center once cut.  I used the created tabs easily in the software which made it much easier.  You can see them in the iso view below.

Tagged with:
 

About a year ago I purchased a precision vise for my mill.  Unfortunately it did not come with hold downs that would work with my mill.  I finally got around to making them.  Though it doesn’t appear so, it was a lot of work to finish all six sides and create the appropriate countersink holes.  I need to work on repeatability to make operations easier.  These parts were very rewarding to create.

Tagged with:
 

One of the challenges with anodizing is finish preparation prior to the actual procedure.  Using a polish wheel is one option, but its very cumbersome.  Another option is to use a vibratory tumbler.  Below is my first experiment with the tumbler.  The green fragments are fiberglass resin.  You can see the circulatory motion as the parts move around.

The first experiment had a rusted gear holder (steel) and a sample piece of 6061 aluminum.  You can see the progression in the picture below.  The time frames are 15m, 1h, 2h, and 3h.  Much of the rust has been removed.  The aluminum polished well up until it became impregnated with the fiberglass.  My next test will be to use ceramics, then fiberglass, then walnut shells.  Stay tuned.

Tagged with:
 

One of the things that I’ve been trying to do on my mill/lathe is to make the alignment and calibration easier.  One of the add ons for mach3, MachStdMill makes this a lot easier through the use of probes.  Unfortunately some of the probes are normally open and some are normally closed.  He provides a schematic to make 3 varied probe types work to trigger the same input.  I put the board into Eagle and had some made at oshpark.  Then I made a 3d printed enclosure for it.  You can see the board, and the video below.  I’ll upload the Eagle files if anyone is interested.

Tagged with:
 
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.