Tools category

Dremel Introduces The First-Ever Dremel Digilab Laser Cutter

The Dremel Laser Cutter backed by 85 years of the Dremel brand legacy, will provide a higher level of safety, ease, reliability and quality to users. (PRNewsfoto/Dremel)

The Dremel DigiLab Laser Cutter enables Makers to expand portfolio and business capabilitie.

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill., Sept. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — At World Maker Faire New York, Dremel introduces the first-of-its-kind Dremel DigiLab Laser Cutter. Dremel designed this machine to provide Makers of all levels and practices with an outlet for innovation. As the brand’s latest addition to its lineup of digital fabrication tools, it has the ability to customize a variety of materials quicker and easier than ever before.

The Dremel Laser Cutter backed by 85 years of the Dremel brand legacy, will provide a higher level of safety, ease, reliability and quality to users. This tool can cleanly slice through tougher materials like wood, acrylic, leather and paper as well as neatly engrave tougher surfaces such as glass and anodized metal. Dremel President John Kavanagh shared how the new Dremel Laser Cutter will enhance the productivity of Makers and industrial professionals across a broad spectrum of applications.

The new Dremel Laser Cutter allows a level of precision you just can’t get by hand because it is so detailed,” Kavanagh said. “It is truly designed and built for business owners to personalize any project and improve efficiency. With a higher level of reliability and ease of use, the Dremel DigiLab Laser Cutter eliminates many of the repetitive, laborious steps and allows Makers to create new projects they couldn’t necessarily do before.

Save Time & Money With Our Buy Parts Section

electronic circuit board with processor

In November 2016, we launched our “Buy Parts” section in partnership with OEMSecrets. It is a search engine for electronic parts with many useful capabilities. This is a time saving tool which will help makers find the best offers for their needs by entering the MPN.

By providing a price comparison feature, it becomes one of the leading search engines in the electronics market. In addition, the database is very large and contains most parts and components from leading distributors and manufacturers. DigikeyFarnellelement14, Avnet, RS, TTI are in the list with many other electronics suppliers.

Main features of the engine:

  • Price comparison to help you find the best price.
  • Quantity filter to find you the total cost of the part.
  • Quick datasheet downloads to confirm part specifications.
  • Order with ease with our add to basket ‘buy now‘ buttons.
  • Line by line comparison results dedicated to saving you time.
  • Part images available for visual verification before ordering.
  • Quick-find supplier navigation to find favorites.
  • Currency conversions, your zone your currency.

With over 24 million line items of electronic parts from hundreds of electronics distributors and manufacturers, ordering is easy and simple. Buyers are sent directly into the distributors or manufacturers shopping basket to be ready for a quick purchase.

Try the engine now, and share your experience with us!

Bulgarian National Innovator Creative Spaces

Few days ago, a group of 10 young and experienced people launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new socially significant project “Innovator Creative Spaces“. It is a national network of co-working spaces that cover the whole country of Bulgaria.

The goal of this project is to build creative centers that provide hi-tech workshops for software development and hardware prototypes. It will also have modern tools for prototyping and production laboratories, focused on digital technology, electronics and production technologies.

The creative spaces are targeting enthusiasts, young entrepreneurs and researchers, providing them with required tools and environment to design, make, hack, invent and learn. Their long term goal is to turn Bulgaria into the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe.

This list of tools is planned to be held in the labs:

  • 3D printers and 3D scanners
  • Laser cutter
  • CNC router
  • CNC lathe
  • Water cutting (water jet cutter)
  • Advanced circuits Lab LPKF Protolaser S
  • CNC PCB Plotter
  • Internet of Things
  • Virtual Reality lab
  • Open Hardware lab
  • Arduino kits
  • Sewing Machines
  • Sergers
  • Embrodiery machines
  • Knitting machines, Soldering irons, Grinders, Vises, Electrocautery
  • Woodworking Facilities
  • Assembly test
  • Other electronic equipment, woodworking tools, measurement gadgets such as micrometer, calipers, etc. And other tools (needed for hacking, creating or fixing just about any project)

Besides the main advantages, the teams see that the co-working spaces will also help building a friendly, encouraging, collaborative and supportive community. The community would enable specialists to enjoy a higher standard of living, achieved by qualification training and mentorship.

At the first phase of the project, only 500 of 1300 square meters will be used. The space includes workshops for different types of machines, separated mini-offices, bar and kitchen, library, conference room, exhibition area, and assembly area.

In addition to membership subscription, the project will provide makers with other services such as prototyping, 3D printing, laser cutting, mentoring and business development, design and branding, events consultations , and more.

We are confident that our project not only helps to deal with youth unemployment, but also improves the re-qualification opportunities and entrepreneurship by discovering new possibilities for personal development in Bulgaria. We believe that the future of our country is in the capable hands of young and pro-active people and gives the fact that a lot of successful start-ups around the world.

If you are interested in supporting this project, you can do that by backing it on Kickstarter and by sharing it with you friends.

Meet Bean: The Ultimate Consumer SLA 3D Printer

Kudo3D Inc. is a startup company dedicated to bringing 3D printing technologies to consumers. It released the first generation 3D printer, the Titan 1, via a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014. Since then, they launched their second generation printers, the Titan 2 and Titan 2 HR. Now, they are releasing Bean 3D printer, the ultimate SLA printer for consumers.

Bean 3D printer  is a high resolution, affordable, and reliable resin SLA printer created with the consumer in mind. The quality  of resin printers with the affordability of FDM printers are the key features of Bean! The stylish 3D printer is green from inside and outside; its green cover makes it look so elegant and the embedded LEDs allow a greener energy consumption and longer lifetime. It is also affordable since the team had combined their PSP (passive self-peeling) technology with an ultra-high resolution LCD panel bringing the cost down.

This 3D printer has dimensions of 8 inch x 8 inch x 16 inch (20 cm x 20 cm x 40 cm) and  it weighs only 15 pounds (6.67 Kg), thus the Bean fits well in any office, studio and workshop environment. Bean can print at 50 micron XY resolution (capable of 10 microns Z layer thickness) with a maximum printing area of 2.7 inch x 4.7 inch (12.1 cm x 6.8 cm) and a build height of 5.9 inch (15 cm).
Jewelry printed by Bean

What is special about this 3D printer?

“Instead of using laser or DLP to generate patterns, the Bean has a high resolution 2K LCD panel coupled with a purple 405nm LED lamp to project slices of a 3D model onto the floor of resin container. The average power consumption of the Bean is only 50W which is one of the lowest.”
They developed a special 3DSR high resolution resins and have thoroughly formulated them for different applications.
You can get your own Bean now from the outstanding Kickstarter campaign for $399 including a 250mL bottle of resin, a resin container and a starter kit.
The campaign still has 29 days to go and it has already achieved 883% of its funds! Check out the campaign video here.

EAGLE Autorouter, When & How To Use

Designing a PCB layout is a work of engineering art, includes placing components and routing them through different layers. So when you assign the same job for different engineers, each one would make it in his own way. But sometimes when working on a complex design some help may be necessary to finish the work. Autodesk EAGLE provides an autorouter feature which may assist you in many cases.

The autorouter is a useful tool that creates many routing variations for the current component placement. However, it is not a completely replacement of manually routing method. It can help you in specific situations to augment your abilities, not replace them.

When to use the autorouter?

There are three main uses of the autorouter:

  • Optimizing Placement
    While there is no rule for placing the components of the circuits, you need to evaluate your placement to ensure that you can route all parts. Autorouter completion result could be used as an indicator of your parts placement, if it was 85% or greater this means you did a good job. If not, consider pushing your parts around.
  • Discovering Bottlenecks
    You can also use the autorouter to identify bottlenecks and other critical connection points that you might have missed when placing your components. Maybe you packed a couple of ICs too close together. Your autorouter can show you where you might need to leave more space between components.
  • Getting Inspired
    When you are stuck on a section and don’t know how to route your parts, then you can call the autorouter to see how it takes care of the job, then try routing that same spot yourself with your new perspective. You might just find a strategy for your traces that you didn’t see before your autorouter gave it a try.

Using EAGLE Autorouter

Now when you find yourself stuck on some area or you feel that you need to optimize your placement or discover the bottlenecks, it is time to launch the autorouter. Follow these steps to know how it works:

  1. Open your PCB layout (.brd) file from your Autodesk EAGLE Control Panel.
  2. Select the Autorouter tool on the left-hand side of your interface to open the Autorouter Main Setup dialog.
  3. There’s quite few settings here that you can adjust:
    You’re in complete control of the autorouter setup with settings for effort, CPU threads, and routing directions.
    • Preferred direction: if you need a specific direction of the route, like vertical or horizontal, select it for each layer or you can set it to Auto. N/A means that the autorouter will not use this layer.
    • Effort: this option defines how the autorouter will work, higher effort will take more time and will provide more more routing variances.
    • Number of threads: how many threads of the CPU you want the autorouter to use? This surely will affect the time it takes to finish.
      After selecting your settings, press the Continue button.
  4. Within the Routing Variants dialog, you’ll see a list of all the routing variations the autorouter will attempt. Select the Start button to begin the autorouting process.

    Eagle Autorouting with five potential routing variations
    Autorouting on a low effort mode produced five potential routing variations that the autorouter will attempt.
  5. Once the routing is complete, select the Evaluate button, and you’ll see your completion percentage in the bottom-left corner of the interface.

If you want to unroute your board you can use the Undo (Ctrl + Z), or use the RIPUP command. Just type RIPUP ; in the command line and all of your routed traces will convert back to airwires.

To learn more about routing and autorouting you can read this tutorial, it is a part of series about Autodesk EAGLE features and how to use it. You can also view the previous tutorial about placing components.

XOD, Visual Coding For Microcontrollers

XOD is a new visual programming language for microcontrollers launched now. Pronounced [ksəud], this programming language idea was inspired by vvvv,  a hybrid visual/textual live-programming environment for easy prototyping and development which is designed to facilitate the handling of large media environments with physical interfaces, real-time motion graphics, audio and video that can interact with many users simultaneously.

Like Code, But Better

The basic unit of this language called node, a block that represents either some physical device like a sensor, motor, or relay, or some operation such as addition, comparison, or text concatenation. Each node has its inputs, outputs, and a function. Once you link the nodes together you will define a behavior. XOD will protect you from creating programs don’t compile, by making sure all nodes linked will give the behavior desired.

If it links, it’s likely going to work“.

Fortunately, you won’t need Firmata or another controller PC to export the code that suits your platform. XOD will export for you the needed native code and run it directly. It is already compatible with Arduino, Raspberry Pi and other popular development boards.

XOD gives you the possibility to build your own nodes by merging some nodes together, making it simpler and faster. You can share these nodes with the community and search for trendy ones too once the platform is live.

XOD includes plenty of nodes in their platform. The team believes they are good enough to start your projects just like normal programming!

27 days left for Alpha version although you can still get early access to the XOD private alpha by signing up at www.xod.io!

TRINUS The Affordable 2-in-1 3D Printer

Starting from the fact that most 3D printers under $500 experience technical failures after just few uses, a new powerful 3D printer has been launched to bridge the gap between affordability and professionalism, Trinus!

Trinus can be your 3D printer in a moment and your laser engraver the next one! The $299 2-in-1 printer is all metal, made of high-quality aluminum and steel parts in order to survive with the best performance ever. It also supports many types of filaments like PLA, ABS, PC, Flex, Wood and other materials available at the market.

Check out this video to learn more about Trinus:

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of time while assembling Trinus thanks to its 11 modular units that can be able to set up easily and quickly

This stable and accurate 3D printer is scaled down from industrial-grade machines giving it the ability to be durable.

“We were able to design a low-cost single-axis slide that delivers extremely high precision but keeps Trinus affordable. With all metal internal components, Trinus does not require constant recalibration. Its parts stay in place. Because it is so stable, Trinus maintains quality printing up to print speeds of 70 mm/sec, and is capable of running at a maximum speed of 150 mm/sec.”

Pause/change color, adjust speed and temperature, check elapsed time and percentage of completion are all accessible while operating thanks to the 3.2-inch LCD screen attached. Check this out in action.

Below are the specifications of each the printer and the laser engraver:

A table of comparison between Trinus and other products showing its huge capabilities with such an affordable price, check it out:

You can order your own TRINUS now at this link. A Kickstarter campaign was the way to market this printer and it had done a great job, $1,621,021 was pledged of $50,000 goal at the end of the campaign. Check it out the campaign to know more details.

Meet Obsidian, A $99 Plug & Print 3D Printer

Kodama Inc is a new company that delivers a new generation of FDM 3D printers that increase the possibility of affordable 3D printing. Recently, Kodama launched its new 3D printer “Obsidian“, the first 3D printer made for professional applications starting at under $100.

Kodama, Inc. (PRNewsfoto/Kodama, Inc.)

Most additive manufacturing machines in this price range are not aesthetically designed, nor engineered for accurate printing. Many consumers who are eager to upgrade their skills set are unable to because there is no affordable 3D printer that boasts high-quality printing.

“We wanted to create a 3D printer that defies what’s on the market. A sleek design, high-quality printing, and customizable, all starting at under $100,” said Michael Husmann, the ex-Apple employee and founder of Kodama Inc.

Obsidian is designed to deliver 3D printing functionality and features are more commonly found in devices that cost at least $1,000. It also can print in very high accuracy with a layer thicknesses between 50-350 microns. Obsidian’s design provides a stable printing experience, while the customized internal components decreases the need for frequent maintenance and recalibration.

Obsidian’s features include:

  • Printing volume: 120 x 120 x 120 mm
  • Printing Resolution: 50-micron at a steady 70mm/s speed
  • Plug and Play: Obsidian comes fully assembled, making it easy to get printing started in a few minutes.
  • Smart Display: Obsidian’s UI was tailor-made for Kodama by automobile UX designers to be inviting for beginners while packing all the controls a power user needs.
  • App Control: Obsidian’s Pro’s display runs on Android, allowing a myriad of new features. You’ll be able to remotely monitor and adjust your print settings while recording time lapses and receive prompts when your print is done or if something needs your attention.
  • Wide Filament Compatibility: Obsidian works with most filaments on the market, making it the ideal 3D printer to complete a variety of projects.
  • Heated Bed: Expands printing options by allowing the user to print with ABS, PETG, and other filament types. Only available with Obsidian PRO.
  • Exclusive Obsidian PLA: Obsidian is a naturally formed volcanic crystal. This filament contains real crushed Obsidian powder stones, and is only available through Kodama.
  • Camera: Record time lapses and monitor prints remotely.

Kodama is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign in June 2017, and it will offer limited Early Bird deals at $49 for the basic version of Obsidian.

Last year, Kodama raised over $1.6 million for Trinus, an all-metal 2-in-1 3D printer and laser engraver for under $500. Successfully shipping their breakthrough product to over 3,100 backers in 80 countries helped solidify Kodama, Inc. as an up-and-coming leader in affordable, high-quality 3D printing.

Bosch glue pen teardown

electrobob @ electrobob.com tipped us with his latest teardown of a battery powered Bosch glue pen. He writes:

On the right side we can see the fuse and a IRF3711Z 6mΩ 20V HEXFET driving the heating element. At the glue melting end there is no temperature sensor, they are probably relying on the positive thermal coefficient of the heating element to achieve a rather stable temperature, as the manual quotes “approximately 170 °C”. Also there is a step up converter – used to generate ~12 V to drive the gate of the tranzistor, to keep it in the low ohmic region.

Bosch glue pen teardown – [Link]

1 Cent Lab-On-A-Chip For Early Diagnostics

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a way to produce a cheap and reusable diagnostic “lab on a chip” with the help of an ordinary inkjet printer. At a production cost of as little as 1 cent per chip, the new combination of microfluidics, electronics and inkjet printing technology could usher in a medical diagnostics revolution like the kind brought on by low-cost genome sequencing, said Ron Davis, PhD, professor of biochemistry and of genetics and director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center.

Lab on a Chip – Zahra Koochak

The lab on a chip consists of two parts: a clear silicone microfluidic chamber for housing cells and a reusable electronic strip and  a regular inkjet printer that can be used to print the electronic strip onto a flexible sheet of polyester using commercially available conductive nano-particle ink.

“Enabling early detection of diseases is one of the greatest opportunities we have for developing effective treatments,” Rahim Esfandyarpour said, a PhD and an engineering research associate at the genome center. “Maybe $1 in the U.S. doesn’t count that much, but somewhere in the developing world, it’s a lot of money.”

Designed as a multi-functional platform, one of its applications is that it allows users to analyse different cell types without using fluorescent or magnetic labels that are typically required to track cells. Instead, the chip separates cells based on their intrinsic electrical properties:

When an electric potential is applied across the inkjet-printed strip, cells loaded into the microfluidic chamber get pulled in different directions depending on their “polarisability” in a process called dielectrophoresis. This label-free method to analyse cells greatly improves precision and cuts lengthy labeling processes.

Rahim Esfandyarpour helped to develop a way to create a diagnostic “lab on a chip” for just a penny.
Zahra Koochak

The tool is designed to handle small-volume samples for a variety of assays. The researchers showed the device can help capture single cells from a mix, isolate rare cells and count cells based on cell types.The low cost of the chips could democratize diagnostics similar to how low-cost sequencing created a revolution in health care and personalized medicine, Davis said. Inexpensive sequencing technology allows clinicians to sequence tumor DNA to identify specific mutations and recommend personalized treatment plans. In the same way, the lab on a chip has the potential to diagnose cancer early by detecting tumor cells that circulate in the bloodstream.

Via: Stanford Medicine