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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: August 31, 2013 / Comments: 1

Threadless 3D printer ball screw

threadlessballscrewWhile the stock Solidoodle probably prints just fine with its OEM equipment, there’s always room for improvement.  Tim thought so too.  So he came up with this neat adaptation of a threadless ball screw he saw on thingiverse to fit his Solidoodle 3D Printer.  I’ve heard of people complaining about the ball screw on Solidoodle printers before and people switching out the rods for acme threads but never something like this.

He made the model in OpenSCAD (3D preview here) and it uses 3 skate style bearings at an angle.  The fit is real tight.  Reading the thread it looks like there were some kinks in the beginning getting the step size calculated right but it looks like he has it dialed in.

More details on the Solidoodle forum thread.

Published on: August 29, 2013 / Comments: None

507 Mechanical Movements

As more and more people join the new age of home manufacturing and engineering, we need some inspiration.  This site has captured 507 ‘mechanical movements’.  That means odd shaped gears, pullys, yankers, shakers, clickers, scissors, and engine designs.  A lot of the designs are static, but some have been upgraded and animated.

Sometimes it’s cool just to make things move mechanically for the hell of it.  A lot of this has a real ‘steampunk’ vibe if you are into making that.  These designs can be re-created and possibly 3D printed, laser cut or CNC’d.  Either way you should check them out.

View all 507 mechanical movements here.

Published on: August 28, 2013 / Comments: 1

Making flexible links with your 3D Printer

Unfortunately unless you have access to a flexible material you can extrude on your 3D Printer, you’re going to have to get creative.  That’s what Robogrrl did.  The concept is simple (the execution is a little more complex however).  Use your 3D Printer to print the pieces you want joined by a flexible member, then 3D print a mould of the flexible link.  Pack sugru into the mould.  Boom!

The complicated part is designing the hub and mould.  Luckily Robogrrl has a pretty in-depth tutorial on her process.  She’s using inventor for her design.  The end result is pretty astounding!

Full tutorial is up on her site.

Published on: July 26, 2013 / Comments: None

3D printed rifle shoots real .22 bullets, the grizzly

This has been a pretty well-lit target of the mass media, 3D printing firearms. And regardless of if you are for it, or against it, I’m not really into politics so … it’s emerging technology and its amazing. If you’ve ever fired up a 3D printer and printed your own model, you can appreciate the structural engineering that goes into making a gun that actually fires.

About a month ago there was some news of a 3D printed handgun, but this is the first rifle that I’ve seen fire. It’s only a single shot, and its a pretty light-weight bullet. I can’t say much for the safety on this one either seeing how the guy is using a string to fire it and hopefully is hiding behind a wall :)

What I personally would like to see is to take a step backwards and 3D print a custom cap gun (do they still make cap guns?) or those toy guns that used to shoot the little yellow balls.

Anyway check out this video.

Published on: July 25, 2013 / Comments: None

PCB antenna design, for dummies… well almost

I love how this article starts out, the age-old saying about RF and analog being taboo… so true!  Anyhoo, Colin takes you on a quick rundown of antenna basics, focusing on tuning PCB antennas.  This is one of those articles you see AFTER you need it, personally I totally could have used this months ago.  So we’ve all seen these PCB antennas, those little squiggly lines on your board that do the voodoo RF magic, but what do you do when you need to tune it ?  Well start by reading this article.

With the recent boom of cheap SDR’s flooding the market, more people are getting back into RF design.  Although I wouldn’t recommend using a fixed-tune antenna for a SDR, the theory by its self is worth the read.  Of course the biggest hurdle here for a DIY’er is going to be having access to a spectrum analyzer.