by Connor Archard and Feiran Chen @ cornell.edu:
Our final project was to create a rapid prototyping machine for electrical circuits by repurposing an old pen plotter that we fitted with an electrically conductive pen. Our plotter utilized an atmega 1284P to control the x and y-axis motors, and to raise and lower the pen. We created a web app that allowed a user to draw out circuits quickly, and then send them to be printed out on our plotter over a wifi network as our host computer that maintained the serial connection with the atmega 1284P. The atmega 1284P would receive vectors of x and y coordinates from the host computer that would instruct it on how to move the plotter head. By measuring the position of the plotter head on each axis through the on-chip ADC and two servo potentiometers, we were able move the plotter head to an accuracy of approximately 1/10th of an inch on a typical piece of A4 paper.
Rapid Circuit Prototyping – Circuit Plotting - [Link]
by Suzanne Deffree:
The holiday season is in full swing and you may still have a few people to check off your gift-giving list. If you’re at a loss for what to buy the open-source-focused engineer or maker in your life, take a gander at these 8 open-source gifts.
In this list you’ll find out-of-the-box devices, kits, and components for DIY designing, some starting as low as $19.99, with others topping $2100. Be sure to share your own open-source favorites in the comments section and let us know what you think of the ones we’ve included on this list.
8 open-source holiday gifts - [Link]
A state-of-the-art, mobile maker space, that brings the richness of hands-on making to you.
Tesla Truck (www.teslatruck.co) – is a mobile maker-space and a cutting edge prototyping facility equipped with 3D printers, Laser Cutters and CNC machines. Tesla Truckʼs mission is to enable students, teachers, makers, and other creative minds to collaborate, innovate, and create in a dynamic and accessible space. Tesla Truck brings the richness of hands-on making to your community by delivering a cutting edge fabrication facility on a mobile platform.
Tesla Truck: A Mobile-Maker Space for the Masses! - [Link]
by Morgana Matus:
Since the first wheels of mass production started turning during the Industrial Revolution, fine craftsmen and DIYers have found it more difficult to sustain their crafts. Until recently, those handmade-focused entrepreneurs who wanted or needed access to the latest technology would have to assemble a large amount of capital for items such as 3D printers or CNC machines. Those who couldn’t afford the high overhead were left to envy those wares and hope for a price decrease.
Makerspaces: A Revolution in Sustainable Production - [Link]
Making your own PCB boards for DIY electronics projects is not difficult. Doing so as a DIY project is extremely handy and allows almost anyone to custom design one-off, or small batch circuit layouts relatively quickly and cheaply, without the need for the volumes or costs involved in using the services of professional circuit board manufacturers. With care, DIY PCB project results are usually of extremely high quality and are very satisfying. Even more interest can be added to projects when printed circuit boards are combined with CNC cutter designs for shaping of the circuit boards.
There are various different methods for making PCB boards. Each method has various pros and cons, with most considerations being linked to cost, quality of finished product, accuracy required for fine circuits and availability of chemicals and materials.
DIY Etching of Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) - [Link]
Applied Science @ youtube.com writes:
I built a microbalance based on a design by Paul Grohe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n90whRO-ypE
It is has a precision of about 5 micrograms, and I measured a single eyelash at about 35 micrograms. The balance is built from an analog panel meter that is controlled by a servo loop which optically monitors the meter’s position. Adding mass to the meter’s needle requires that the servo loop add more current to maintain the needle’s position. This additional current is read, and converted to a mass value.
Measure the mass of an eyelash with a DIY microbalance - [Link]
Tutorial on how to make your own custom LCD at home!
DIY Custom LCD - [Link]
This welder, thanks to the limit switch, after lowering the upper electrode arm, automatically enables the welding process in a safe and proper way. First, it waits 1 second so that the user have time to clamp electrodes on welded material, and then turns on the weld current for time in the range of 0 – 4 seconds, which is set by the potentiometer. This allows both hands to be free, and there’s no need to use the foot switch.
Semi-automatic spot welder 2,6V 1kA - [Link]
In this mini tutorial we introduce a quick and cheap way to make your own Nixie Tube sockets to use them on your next Nixie project. A socket enables you to change a damaged Nixie Tube quickly and with minimum effort.
- plastic stand-off bases that comes with many of the Nixies
- universal IC socket header
- glue (optional)
- common tools
Reka Kovacs writes:
We are building an ArduSat (according to the Cubesat standards a satellite 10 cm long at the edges and 1 kg or less), on this satellite we would put up to 5 Arduino’s and plug in 50+ sensors into them as well as 2 optical and 1 IR camera. Once the satellite is on orbit we would then give access to the general public/citizen scientists to the payload ( Arduinos, sensors and camera) to upload their own scientific experiments. We plan to capture the attention of the DIY community, hackers and makers, amateur astronomers and in general those interested in space exploration and the next frontier.
Sensor wise we have so far magnetometers, tachometers, plasma sensor, photometer, thermometer, pressure sensor, space radiation (bitflip) sensor, Geiger counter and 2 optical and 1 IR camera etc.The idea is that people can rent scientific packages for a week, during the week they run their experiment we will send data constantly back to them to analyze. Imagine general public, including teachers having access to experiment platform in space for a couple of hundreds of dollar and they analyze data and engage students, friends etc., it could revolutionize the way people see space. Also we are looking for feedback from people interested in the project. We want to hear their ideas or sensors and experiments!
ArduSat – Your Arduino Experiment in Space - [Link]