Your source for daily hacks

Published on: October 24, 2013 / Comments: None

Oozby lets you design with OpenSCAD using Ruby

OpenSCAD is pretty popular amongst the 3D Printering community.  You can design your 3D modles using a meta language that describes what you are trying to build.  Frustrated with some of the methodoligies that OpenSCAD implements, Bluebie created Oozby.

While I can’t say that I’m much of a Ruby person, I’d much rather prefer using Python variants like SolidPython or pySCAD I can appreciate the goal to make technology more accessible to other people with different backgrounds.

Check out more on the Oozby site, and the source code on Github.

Published on: October 4, 2013 / Comments: None

Converting your 3D Printer into a lightweight laser engraver

Following the same idea as this previous post, it I stumbled on this company that has the same concept for turning your 3D Printer into a low power laser cutter/engraver.  They appear to actually have a kit ready to go now which seems to focus primarily on the old Makerbot thing-o-matic, but I’m sure can be adapted to other designs.

The laser is mounted in front of the plastic extruder, and the 2 watt laser driver board is tied to the motor on/off signal from the existing electronics.  From there a little special G code is required to get it going .

Check out a video of it cutting 1/32″ wood with a 445nm Blu Ray laser after the break.


Published on: September 19, 2013 / Comments: None

a 3D scanner for mobile devices like iPad

3dscannerusbWhile 3D tv’s didn’t seem to take off, 3D printing sure has.   And once thing leads to another.  Now 3D Scanning is getting kind of hot.  There’s a project on Kickstarter that is promoting a 3D Scanner for use on mobile devices.   It can also do regular USB so it can be used on other devices or home-brew applications as well.

The device seems to be battery-powered, and uses infra-red LEDs and a camera to measure distance and scan.  The range is 40 cm to 3.5 meters and promotes an accuracy of 1%.  The current things demonstrated are a room scanner app that lets you take dimensions of a room by panning the camera around.  An object scanner that can let you make a 3D model (for use in CAD or 3D Printing).  And a virtual reality game.

Cool technology, it just means that this type of stuff is getting closer to being a cheap commodity for regular users.

Check out the video after the break.

Published on: September 17, 2013 / Comments: None

GitHub adds 3D model diff viewer

You already know that GitHub is pretty awesome for hosting your source files, but how about your 3D object STL files ?  Awhile back they added a 3D file viewer to give you live previews of your 3D objects.  Now they’ve added the capability to see the differences between revisions.

When you compare 2 versions, one object is in green, one is red.  Then there is a slider to let you transition between the old version and the new version.  This method of comparing 3D models is much better than doing a side by side comparison, as sometimes the difference is so slight.


Published on: September 16, 2013 / Comments: None

Building a Delta style 3D Printer that does ceramic

Printing with plastic like PLA and ABS is cool, or even something more unique like Nylon or Tglas… but people are always looking for more.  In Johnathan’s case, he wanted to print in clay.  Novel idea.  This brings all sorts of ideas to potters.

The design is based on of a delta style 3D Printer, and uses MDF, plastic and steel rods with linear bearings.  On the electronics side its a set from Fabster3D which is a RAMPS board and runs a modified Marlin firmware.   The print head uses clay cartridges that extrude out of compressed air at about 30 psi.  The clay extrudes out at about 1mm per second.

Check out the full writeup on Johnathan’s site. More pictures and video after the break.


Published on: September 10, 2013 / Comments: None

Jack the Ripper is an automated DIY disc changer

Andy had a problem that a lot of us have, we’re ready to move into the future and stream all of our movies (that we legally own of course) to our XBMC media center (or equivalent).  But who wants to take the time to rip your entire collection?  Not me.  So Andy started to rip his and came to the same conclusion.

So he built a robot to automate the boring process of taking a disc from the stack, putting in the drive, taking the disc out of the drive, put it in the finished stack, and repeat.  The build uses mostly 3D printed parts and servos.  The process is controlled by a Raspberry Pi and a laptop.

While the original source function for this is for ripping DVDs, I don’t see why this couldn’t be adapted to ripping audio CDs, or automated cd burning by inserting cd blanks, or direct-to-cd printers, you know to get that freestyle demo of yours out!


Published on: September 10, 2013 / Comments: None

Makerbot announces flexible filament

There are lots of filament choices out there for your (hobbyist class) 3D Printer, but a flexible one isn’t one of them.  Earlier we saw you could make flexible links using sugru but full on printing would be a more optimal solution.

A little more digging shows a recent blog post on the makerbot web site referring to an entire dress they printed on the Replicator 2 (don’t kid yourself, it still took a long time!).  It looks like the filament contains polyester which allows it to move after extruded.

They currently have a stub on the makerbot store which makes me believe they are pretty close to getting this to market.  Can’t wait.