Sunday, January 22, 2017

Today's build - back to the CNC

For today's build I leave 3D printing behind and return to using my CNC.  For a while now I've thought about doing linocut with the CNC and today I'm giving it a try for the first time.  I first hand drew a Hilbert curve in Inkscape, then used it to design a stamp layout.  I saved it as a .dxf file and took that into CamBam to generate the tool paths and the gcode file.  I didn't know how things would go, so instead of testing it on an expensive piece of linoleum I first cut a piece of 1/2 inch plywood.  This is what it looked like after a little post processing to get rid of some fuzzies.

Next it was on to cutting the linoleum.  This is what it looks like with no post processing other than cleaning off the chips.  Linoleum cuts like a dream.  It doesn't make dust but chips, it doesn't fuzz like wood, it doesn't melt like plastics. The next step is to do some block printing with the linocut.

So, here's the result of that printing.  I have a lot to learn about block printing, I did about 10 prints and although not perfect, this is the best of the bunch.  It's printed on greeting card paper designed for a printer so it has a score line down the middle to fold and envelopes that match the size once folded.  I also did some prints of hand cut blocks that were smaller and did get some of those to come out great, so maybe smaller is the way to go for now.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Finished a woodworking project today

This long term project has taken several months but I finally finished it today.  It's a hairdryer and curling iron rack for my wife.  I made it from a piece of reclaimed maple butcher block table top.  The glue had failed on the top and left me with a bunch of 2x2 maple blanks.  I processed them and glued them up into wider stock for the rack.  The joints are simple glued up grooves with no mechanical fasteners.  It's held to the wall with toggle bolts in the drywall.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Yesterday's build - a world apart from robots

I actually started this build months ago when I did the coptic stitching on all the pages for my new journal.  Yesterday I finished it with my first attempt at binding the pages into a cover.  I also cut the linocut for the cover yesterday.  For a first attempt I'm pretty happy.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

One day robot

In all my time building robots I've never built a line follower and thought it was about time. I figured the electronics from a Snappy type robot would work as a line follower, so I decided to give it a try.  I built up another board, re-configuring the light sensors to look at the floor this time.  Then I designed and printed a new chassis.  This is the result...

The software turned out to be incredibly simple, I just added about eight lines of code to the light seeking code running Snappy, and abracadabra the robot follows lines...

Snappy got his name from one of the Smurfs - I'll have to go through the list again and find another one for this guy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Another Robot is Born Today

I posted stills of this little guy a while back when I finished the 3D printing and assembly but couldn't put up any video because I still had some soldering to do.  Well I got that done this evening, and he's up and running now.

His name is Snappy (one of the Smurfs) and he's a real simple ATTINY45 based light seeking robot.  I've got parts to build 7 or 8 more of these, so you may see some other variations in the future, but as is I'm pretty happy with him.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday's build

Today I scratch built a FliteTest Mini Scout while watching the NFL playoffs.  It's small enough that I can fly it in the neighborhood park that's within walking distance of my house.  The build was pretty straight forward and went without a hitch.  I can't wait for the weather to cooperate so I can maiden it.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Introducing Pablo

Well, I'm calling my build of a BoB complete (for now), and I've named him Pablo.  I have another robot named Stella - after the character in the Streetcar Named Desire.  I also happen to have named my CNC machine Stanlee - after the famous Stan Lee of Marvel Comics.  I didn't know it at the time, but in the play Streetcar, Stella's husband is Stanley - So I thought it might be cool to stick with the Streetcar theme and name this little guy Pablo - after one of Stanley's poker buddies.

I had originally thought I would put leds in his eyes, but decided that would be too much and instead printed his eyes and pupils and just glued them on.  I installed his on/off switch in his backside, and I'm calling him done.  All he does right now is walk and I've got ideas for other behaviors, so I'll probably pick him up again some day for further work, but for now he is what he is.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

One day build

Yesterday I not only got BoB's mouth working, I designed, printed, and assembled this.  It's an RC pan mount for my Mobius camera.  It's designed to be temporarily mounted to RC vehicles for onboard footage, and is inspired by Andrew Newton's video.  I won't go so far as to say everything on the design turned out as intended, and I will probably tweak some things and reprint it, but all in all I'd call it a successful one day build.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

BoB's mouth - Custom PCB fabricated and installed

This morning I got the chance to etch, drill, build, test, install, and program the custom PCB that drives the led array for BoB's mouth.  These first couple images are of the board being tested on the bench, before going into the robot.

The leds mount to the back of the board and are spaced to fit in the holes printed into the robot's body.  This meant mounting the board was a simple matter of press fitting the leds into the holes, soldering up power, ground, data, and clock, and adding a few lines of code to the walking program to produce a simple pattern on the array.

The next step is to do *something* with the eyes - what I haven't decided yet, and decide on a name.