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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 10, 2013 / Comments: None

3-Sweep might just be a viable alternative to 3D Scanning

If you’ve ever been interested in reconstructing objects with your 3D Printer, you’ve probably looked into 3D scanning and the other solution.  The one where a piece of software takes in multiple photos of an object and tries to construct a 3D model of it.  Well a group of researchers might be making the alternative a little bit easier.

Honestly the video looks like some crazy space-age-vaporware if you ask me.  But in the case that it isn’t, I think this could be a huge boost to the 3D Printing community.  The only alternative to this method of using a single photograph is you’re missing the other side where a 2D photograph can’t see.

I don’t think that really matters that much because the technology they are using appears to use primitive shape matching, which should already have the required info for the missing dimension.  The only real thing you would be missing with this is the texture.  Until full color 3D printing comes into it’s own, that isn’t even needed.

If they can add an object export to this software, you could size it up for real dimensions and print one out.  Spiffy!

Published on: September 9, 2013 / Comments: None

Pedal Powered Landspeeder X-34

I decided to make a “bumper sticker” that I think any young “Luke” would appreciate.

One way to intensify your kids workout is to weigh down their pedal car down with a few dozen pounds of wood. However, I doubt that was the inspiration blogsdo had when he turned his sons “Original KettCar” into a Pedal Powered Landspeeder X-34. This dad just may be a strong contender for the father of the year award for this awesome birthday gift.

He did not intend to document his build so there is not a whole lot to report on.  As you can see from the build photos after the break the car was basically wrapped with wood and decorated with a few custom decals. One of which probably had the little ones giggling.


Published on: September 5, 2013 / Comments: 2

Xbox Controller Case Mod

This may be just the hack I need to keep my kids from hogging the Xbox.  Inspired by the late ’90′s film eXistenZ our hacker friend ‘leftmusing’ came up a mod that might just make you squirm a little.

Sculpted Xbox Controller Mod Parts

After carefully opening the case she applied a little dish soap as a releasing agent.  Then she sculpted Sculpey Polymer Clay into the desired disturbing shape.  Parts of the mold were too thin so she broke it into smaller more manageable chunks and then baked it in the over at 275F for about 10 minutes.

After baking she used a little sandpaper to adjust the fit.  She used epoxy to bond the parts back together and also mixed the dust from sanding with a little epoxy to fill in the gaps. She finished it off with a bit or paint and clear coat.  See more build photos after the break.


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 30, 2013 / Comments: None

Octopart is the BOM Diggity!

[su_quote]…multiple parts simultaneously straight from the Octopart front page. Just copy the list of parts from your spreadsheet or document, and paste straight into the box. [/su_quote]For years engineers and hobbyist have been using to source electronic parts. Until now you have only been able to search for one part at a time which was fine for keeping your cost low and finding alternative sources for hard to find components. But since the beginning their users have been demanding more.

Introducing…BOM Lookup!

We had to give it a test so we found an old BOM (Bill of Materials) we had lying around and copied a column of manufacturer part numbers (MPN) into the search box.  After poking around the results page for a few minutes we quickly came up with a wish list of features.  Sadly, we could not find a way to save your BOM.  Also, you can search by distributor part numbers to build your list, but if you search by MPN there is no way to easily update the BOM with your preferred distributor.

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.