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Published on: October 23, 2013 / Comments: None

Keerbot uses steppers and g-code to draw on walls

Although it’s not a new concept, you can’t deny that it is awesome.  The Keerbot is a wall drawing robot.  By hanging on 2 known-length strings, the Keerbot uses stepper motors to shift from left and right, and move up and down by  contracting and letting out string on either side.  While moving a pen/marker/drawing aid makes lines of art.

In some of the demos I see the guys working on getting a spray paint fixture to work.  That could be more interesting than just dragging a marker.  Currently the guys are using vector art, and known CNC utils to generate g-code.  Very similar to how one would do laser cutting/CNC/and 3D printing.

Check out a few more pics and video after the break.  Also make sure to check out the full lineup of videos and details on keerbot.com.

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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.

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Published on: October 2, 2013 / Comments: None

DIY Skee Ball Machine

With the help of  “Because We Can”, creator fungus amungus made his own Skee Ball Machine. The game was built from 3/4″ plywood cut to shape on a ShopBot. Everything appears to fit together like a puzzle with a few screws to secure the parts.

The brains of the game is hosted on an Arduino UNO and it uses 5cm Optical Distance Sensors to detect when the balls go through the holes.  The traditional rules were tweaked a little to include among other things the ability to score bonus points for combos.

Check out the video and links above for more details.

 

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 21, 2013 / Comments: None

Learn a little more about Baltic Birch

You’ve learned how to use your local hackerspaces’ laser cutter and cutting acrylic like crazy but you want to start getting into some wood projects.  Well one favorite among the DIY community is using Baltic Birch.  It’s a plywood, so it’s strong but also available in real thin increments.

Dan was nice enough to create a post describing some of the details of Baltic Birch.  Apparently you can tell the number of ply’s by the thickness, also what kind of grading scale is “CP” ?  If you’re trying to buy wood off the internet for your laser cut box you may want to stick to grade “B” because seeing those patches will look ugly when stained.  Or you may be OK with a lower grade wood when building a structural piece.

Whatever your reason, you should read the post if you intend to work with this medium.

Published on: August 19, 2013 / Comments: 2

Making laser cut boxes

This topic recently came up during a conversation with a friend about making laser cut boxes.  If you’ve ever bought a kit that has some laser cut wood or acrylic, or looked at a maker bot or something you’ve seen it.  Those cool ways that the ends join together (with and without screws), the snap in tabs etc.

So how do you design something like that for yourself ?  Well we’ve got a few resources for you.

MakerCase – An online site that allows you to plug in your own dimensions and tab type and it will generate a file you can laser cut to make the box (or edit in another editor)

BoxMaker – Like MakerCase, a few less options in some areas, and some finer settings in other areas.

Tabbed Box Maker – A plugin for InkScape (This is real cool as InkScape is Open Source and you could easily make modifications from within the application)

I also remembered this cool post on Make about different types of joinery that you can laser cut (or CNC).  This goes beyond boxes, we’re talking all types of joints, even flexible ones!  Since this post has been around awhile there’s also more gold hiding in the comments like bookmark lists to books.