Saturday, February 15, 2014

Robot Motherboard Meets Servos.

Some servo motors I ordered from HobbyKing finally arrived in the mail. I'll be using these, along with the robot motherboard I designed, for an upcoming robotics / kinetic sculpture project.

I also ordered a batter and charger, in case I want to go mobile with my robot.

The motors I'm trying out are Turnigy TGY-50090M Metal Gear servos, which are relatively robust and about the size of a quarter.

Servos attached to my robot motherboard.

A video demo of a test-run of the initial system.  Here I am trying to create power-management code that disables any motor that's not being used - to conserve power as I might be running this guy off a battery.

More on this project to come in future posts!

Smell of Red: Solenoid Circuit

My good friend Nathaniel Stern asked me for help with creating a circuit to drive solenoids for a new project he is working on.  We decided to fab some PCBs that will utilize a ATTINY microcontrollers and MOSFET transistors to drive solenoids. Above is the toner image (which I designed in Fritzing) printed on toner transfer paper.

Transfered toner resist onto blank PCB, fresh out of the acid.

Resist removed.

Cut and drilled.


Video demo of the working circuit (I used an old 5v/1a cellphone charger for a test power supply.)

I also made Nathaniel a shield for easily programming the microcontroller, using an Arduino UNO as an ISP.  I designed this for myself last summer, and he liked it enough to ask for one for himself.  Happy to help, buddy!

inter|active at the Madison Central Library gallery

Two of my works, Pung and Pixel Tripping, are currently on display at the Madison Central Library Gallery as part of the inter/active exhibition.  Other artists in this show include Nathaniel Stern, Meg Mitchell and Kemper Smith.

For more information, check out the gallery's facebook page for the event.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

DIY Drill Press

Since I've been fabricating a lot of printed circuit boards for some new electronics/robotics projects, I needed a drill press for finishing PCBs and for smaller, more delicate drilling operations.

Introducing the Flex-Press Print!  After looking at some drill press designs, including my crappy Press and a couple from Stritch's metals shop, I decided I could design my own press to be 3D printed.

**Update: Per suggestion by Google User Mike M, I am including a link to the drill press stand that inspired this design  - in case you are interested in buying one, rather than building your own - but also to give credit to the original design.  Check it out, here.

I had an extra flex shaft tool, so I designed it around that.  A similar one could be purchased here.

The design also features LM10UU 10mm linear bearings to ride up and down a 10mm diameter shaft.

My studio mate, DeLandTree, inspired me to include a time lapse of my initial drawing for this design.  Check out his latest time lapse cad session here.

I decided to design this to print on my Mendel Max printer because: a.) it would be fast, b.) it would be a design worth sharing, c.) it could easily be designed to be printed with zero support material.


I published this design on Thingiverse, here.  Above is all of the parts fit onto one 190x170mm build plate, tho I actually printed each of the parts individually.

The first print: the z-axis clamp.  This includes a small 1/8"x10 ruler for depth specific drilling, as well as a nut-trap for a bolt to act as a clamp on the 10mm shaft.

For the base of the press, I decided to try a little experiment.  Though the base of the press needed to be sturdy and heavy, I designed it to be hollow.

And laser cut a "lid" to screw on top of it.

Then, I used hot glue seal the seams.

Next, I began to fill with concrete.

I sprinkled in some extra bolts to add some weight.

The base, filled with concrete.  I attempted to add some flange nuts so I could anchor this to a table in the future; all but one sank below the concrete (sigh.)

The completed base.

Tho I didn't include images here, the other two parts came out near perfect on the first try.  Also - I tweaked all of the designs to compensate for little bugs before uploading to Thingiverse.

For levers, I cut, bent, and filed some .125x.5x" aluminum strapping.

Drilled and tapped.

Plasti-dipped the handle lever to maximize drilling comfort.

The completed press!