OpenSCAD – The Programmers Solid 3D CAD Modeller

OpenSCAD – The Programmers Solid 3D CAD Modeller – [via]

OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD objects. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Mac OS X.

Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as the famous application Blender) it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modelling but instead on the CAD aspects. Thus it might be the application you are looking for when you are planning to create 3D models of machine parts but pretty sure is not what you are looking for when you are more interested in creating computer-animated movies.

OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeller. Instead it is something like a 3D-compiler that reads in a script file that describes the object and renders the 3D model from this script file (see examples below). This gives you (the designer) full control over the modelling process and enables you to easily change any step in the modelling process or make designes that are defined by configurable parameters.

OpenSCAD provides two main modelling techniques: First there is constructive solid geometry (aka CSG) and second there is extrusion of 2D outlines. As data exchange format format for this 2D outlines Autocad DXF files are used. In addition to 2D paths for extrusion it is also possible to read design parametes from DXF files. Besides DXF files OpenSCAD can read and create 3D models in the STL and OFF file formats.

OpenSCAD – The Programmers Solid 3D CAD Modeller – [Link]

MiscEl – A program with lots of electronic calculation

The program contains a lot of pages with different electronic calculations. Each page contain one or more different calculations. The program is free to download and use, but the program is timelocked. A new version will have to be downloaded after about 1/2 year

MiscEl – A program with lots of electronic calculation – [Link]

5 minute SOIC-DIP adapter

Basic kludges: 5 minute SOIC-DIP adapter @ Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories – [via]

So, you’re almost done building the new circuit board when suddenly… Doh! We’ve got the right chip handy, but only in the wrong package

5 minute SOIC-DIP adapter – [Link]

Toilet Buddy writes:

Toilet Buddy uses a Propeller Platform USB to remind you when the seat is up, when you left the lights on, and it plays a ‘courtesy flush’ sound. Source code and circuit on Instructables. Instructions also include how to re-purpose Toilet Buddy as Grandfather Clock;

Toilet Buddy – [Link]

Counterfeit Parts Found on P-8 Posiedons

Counterfeit Parts Found on P-8 Posiedons @ Defense Tech – [via]

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich) just dropped a couple of very alarming tales during a hearing about counterfeit parts making their way into brand new U.S. military weapons.

Earlier this year, Boeing and the Navy found that the ice detection system on a brand new P-8 Poseidon was defective. The ice detection system is a critical piece of hardware designed to prevent tragedies by alerting pilots to the presence of ice on an aircraft’s control surfaces. Where did this defective part come from? China. A whole batch of a key piece of the ice detection hardware that was sent to the P-8 production line turned out to be used and worn out parts that were badly refurbished and sold to P-8 subcontractor BAE Systems as a new part, according to Levin. Boeing and BAE first became aware of the problem in 2009, he added.

The fake P-8 parts are just one of many examples of how counterfeit parts — often made from 1980s and 1990s-vintage junk computer parts that are sanded down and remarked in China and then sold back to the U.S. as brand new computer chips for advanced weapons systems. One witness at the hearing just described growing counterfiet semiconductors seeping into critical weapons systems as “ticking time bombs.

Tinkercad – Design physical things in your browser

Tinkercad – Design physical things in your browser – [via]

Have your first 3D project ready for printing in minutes. Tinkercad is a new and faster way of creating designs for your 3D printer. With the help of the latest web technology you can now use a solid modeling CAD directly in your browser.

The user interface is designed to get things done fast and to be quick to learn. With only three basic tools you can create a wide range of useful things. Once your project is ready simply download the STL file and start your 3D print.

Tinkercad – Design physical things in your browser – [Link]

Open 7400 competition winners

Ian writes:

Thank you participating in the Open 7400 Competition. All the entries were amazing, check out the full list here.

Four judges, Dave Jones from EEV Blog, Jayson Tautic CEO of TAUTIC ELECTRONICS LLC, Marc Alexander from Freetronics, and Dino Segovis from Hack A Week, and Ian from Dangerous Prototypes each made a top ten list. The projects with the most votes were awarded prizes.

With unanimous consent of all judges, and also the reader’s choice winner, 7400 Capacitive Touch Array (Capacitive touch sensing the hard way) wins the grand prize of $100 and first pick of the prizes.

Nine entries took second place with votes from 2 judges. These winners get next pick from the prizes.

22 entries placed third with the vote of at least 1 judge. They get to pick a prize too.

Thanks again for entering, we hope to see you again next year! Thanks to the sponsors is a sponsor and offered :

1 x  uOLED-32028-P1T graphics display module + P1-EB expansion module + uDrive-USB-G1 SD module + uUSB-CE5 module + 64MB microSD card + adapter and a mass of electronics related books

for winner entry: Telephone Intercom From TTL

Thanks everyone who participated.

Open 7400 competition winners – [Link]

Talking Digital Calipers for Engineering Accessibility

Whether itʼs software engineers and their compilers or electrical engineers and their oscilloscopes, engineers and makers of all kinds rely on tools to build great things every day.  We depend on tools so much that we often take our ability to use them for granted.  The NerdKits team was contacted by a blind mechanical engineering student, and combined technologies from two earlier projects to produce a set of talking digital calipers that turn a distance measurement into an audible readout.  The video includes a clip where Terry explains his passion for engineering and shows how he uses the talking calipers in his job and classes, so be sure to take a look.

Talking Digital Calipers for Engineering Accessibility – [Link]