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Published on: September 10, 2013 / Comments: 1

Amazing Nintendo Nixie clock sporting retropie

Bradley does some amazing work. Usually it’s in the form of replica light sabers and what not. This time he was commissioned to a NES inspired nixie clock for a wedding gift, but decided why stop there ? Let’s make it an actual playable NES.

Inside on the clock side is an Arduino Uno with a ArduiNIX Nixie Tube Driver shield + Nixie tubes. On the gaming side is your usually Raspberry Pi running Retropie distro. Controllers are NES style usb controllers, and a RGB led provides mood setting. This is all wrapped in a lovely custom wood enclosure painted to look like a real NES. He’s even put real NES start / reset buttons in there.

Man that’s a site to make anyone envious! More pictures and info can be found on Bradley’s site.

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.