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  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 15:40
    MET Stencils Metal Etching Technology – APEX EXPO #adafruitAPEX @IPCShow #IPCshow #apexexpo

    Img 2326
    At APEX we were thrilled to meet our stencil maker, MET. We search for the best stencil maker in the world and it is MET! – they have a facility in New Jersey, so we get the perfect stencil fast and at a great price. If you’re looking for a great company to provide your stencil for your stencil printer, check out MET. They’re also very nice people :)

    Adafruit 2805-1

    MET is ready to meet your stencil requirements. We manufacture Electroformed Stencils,Laser Cut Stencils, and Chemically Etched Stencils for various solder paste and glue printing applications. We have the technology to provide stainless steel, nickel, step down, or step up solder masks. If you’re looking for tube, cast, Vector Guard, Wizard or any other type of stencil mounting system; we have it.

    MET maintains state of the art laser cutting machines to produce the finest and most accurate stencils available.

    Our newest lasers are capable of a wide range of thicknesses with repeatability of +/-2µm and overall positioning accuracy of +/-10µm @ 68° F +/-1° F.

    Through the use of these high speed cutting machines, we provide the greatest value for your stencil dollars.

    Learn more.


    What is APEX?

    Thousands of industry professionals from more than 50 countries attend this premier event— featuring advanced and emerging technologies in printed board design and manufacturing, electronics assembly, test and printed electronics! Find new suppliers with new solutions and connect with colleagues from around the world.

    There is even a hand soldering competition on Weds 1pm to 4pm at booth 2713 (more special events here).

    Adafruitapex
    This year’s show brochure is here follow along our coverage on Twitter @adafruit with the tag #adafruitAPEX here is the mobile version of the schedule, directory and more.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 15:30
    How to get started with your Arduino: An Adafruit tutorial! #ArdunioD14

    NewImage

    With Arduino Day 2014 fast approaching, there’s no better time to get started with your first Arduino project! The Adafruit Learning System has a bunch of tutorials to help get you up and running with your new Arduino. Get started with our first lesson here. If you’re a brand new beginner we suggest picking up one of our starter kits like the Adafruit ARDX or a Starter Pack for Arduino.

    NewImage

    Take a look at Adafruit’s extensive selection of Arduino products here!


    Arduino adafruit industries blog

    March 29th is Arduino Day 2014! Arduino day is “a worldwide event bringing together Arduino people and projects. It’s 24 hours full of events – both official and independent, anywhere around the world – where people interested in Arduino can meet, share their experiences, and learn more.” Adafruit will be celebrating with 24 hours of Arduino posts on our blog as well as a special Saturday night LIVE show with Massimo Banzi, co-founder and CEO of Arduino. Join us Saturday, March 29th at 7 PM EST to celebrate Arduino Day 2014! Be sure to check out our extensive learning system tutorials on Arduino as well as our Arduino blog coverage and products.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 15:28
    Panasonic AM100 : Modular Placement Machine – APEX EXPO #adafruitAPEX @IPCShow #IPCshow #apexexpo

    Panasonicam100
    We are at the APEX Expo looking for additional pick and place machines, we are checking out the Panasonic AM100 : Modular Placement Machine.

    20130509-Am100

    The AM100 was designed to evolve with fluctuating market needs while remaining a cost-effective solution to produce the necessary products with the necessary quality and within the necessary timing. In order to respond to these market needs, the AM100 can place from 0402 micro chips to large components such as long connectors with the newly-developed super multi-14-nozzle head on a single machine with high productivity of 35,800cph. In addition, numerous line configurations and supply variations can be combined to process an array of EMS production needs from mobile phones to industrial equipment, and more.

    The combination of a newly developed super multi-14-nozzle head and a new recognition unit enables component mounting up to 14 mm at high speed with no tact time reduction due to component size. The super multi-14-nozzle head can place components from 0402 micro chips to 120 x 90 mm or 150 x 25 mm. It also reduces the number of nozzle changeovers, and achieves high performance and flexibility by incorporating mechanical chucks for odd-shape components.

    Learn more & PDF here.


    What is APEX?

    Thousands of industry professionals from more than 50 countries attend this premier event— featuring advanced and emerging technologies in printed board design and manufacturing, electronics assembly, test and printed electronics! Find new suppliers with new solutions and connect with colleagues from around the world.

    There is even a hand soldering competition on Weds 1pm to 4pm at booth 2713 (more special events here).

    Adafruitapex
    This year’s show brochure is here follow along our coverage on Twitter @adafruit with the tag #adafruitAPEX here is the mobile version of the schedule, directory and more.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 15:18
    Pillarhouse JadeMKII Selective soldering – APEX EXPO #adafruitAPEX @IPCShow #IPCshow #apexexpo

    Jademkii
    We are at the APEX Expo looking for a selective soldering machine, we stopped by the Pullarhouse booth to check out the Jade Series – specifically the Pillarhouse JadeMKII Selective soldering machine.

    Adafruit 2803

    Selective Soldering is the process by which conventional leaded components are soldered onto a printed circuit board. This process is usually conducted after the surface mount reflow soldering operation. With the increasing popularity of Lead Free solder and its associated high cost to fill a large conventional wave solder machine bath, Selective Soldering offers a significantly lower cost approach with inherently smaller bath design and the added advantage of quick change capabilities i.e. from lead free to eutectic and vice versa.

    It is often necessary to process leaded components which are in a very close proximity to surface mounted parts. Selective Soldering offers the ability to accurately control a nozzle flow under nitrogen inertion so that parts can be soldered without any damage to the nearest surface mount devices.
    
In some cases we can solder points as close as 1mm to the nearest surface mount component, thus offering a highly flexible and cost effective solution.

    For users who demand a small footprint but large board capability the new JadeMKII is the perfect fit. by incorporating a board support system that can hold a PCB of up to 457mm x 508mm (18″x20″) along with its simple hand load operation provides the user with great flexibility for quick changes in small batch processing which keeps the cost down and the production up.

    • Integral PC and Machine Mounted TFT Monitor
    • Inerted Nitrogen System
    • Auto Solder Top-up (Wire Feed) & Solder Level Detect
    • Drop Jet Fluxer
    • Two AP-1 Solder Nozzle Tips
    • Internal Fume Extraction
    • Colour Programming Camera
    • Universally Adjustable Tooling Carrier
    • 457mm x 508mm Maximum PCB Handling Size
    • PillarCOMM Windows Software
    • Lead Free Capability

    What is APEX?

    Thousands of industry professionals from more than 50 countries attend this premier event— featuring advanced and emerging technologies in printed board design and manufacturing, electronics assembly, test and printed electronics! Find new suppliers with new solutions and connect with colleagues from around the world.

    There is even a hand soldering competition on Weds 1pm to 4pm at booth 2713 (more special events here).

    Adafruitapex
    This year’s show brochure is here follow along our coverage on Twitter @adafruit with the tag #adafruitAPEX here is the mobile version of the schedule, directory and more.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 15:08
    Speedline Technologies MPM – APEX EXPO #adafruitAPEX @IPCShow #IPCshow #apexexpo

    Speedline
    We are APEX EXPO and one of things we are not shopping for is a stencil printer, only because we got the best one a few months ago! A Speedline Momentum Elite stencil printer! We are so happy with this stenciler and the company / service is fantastic.

    Adafruit 2430-1

    Adafruit 2431-1

    MPM provides a complete line of fully automated, high-precision stencil printers that incorporate state-of-the-art technology. The results……. higher throughput and yields, low cost of ownership, and a printer that will withstand even the toughest manufacturing environments. MPM offers 12.5 micron @ 6 sigma accuracy on every printer in the product line, an attribute that is unmatched in the industry.

    With a heritage of process knowledge and expertise, MPM has industry-first technologies, including Automatic Pin Placement, look-up/look-down vision alignment, and closed-loop print pressure control.  Our recent innovations, including enclosed-pump print head technology and texture-based bridge inspection, minimize material consumption, improve product yield and maximize printer uptime.
    
We invite you to review our latest product line-up in which we’ve incorporated our patented Parallel Processing, Edgeloc™, Advanced board and stencil 2-D inspection, Process verification and traceability, Adjustable Stencil Shelves and our renowned Benchmark operating software. 

    Learn more & PDF here.

    You can also see the stenciler in action here.


    What is APEX?

    Thousands of industry professionals from more than 50 countries attend this premier event— featuring advanced and emerging technologies in printed board design and manufacturing, electronics assembly, test and printed electronics! Find new suppliers with new solutions and connect with colleagues from around the world.

    There is even a hand soldering competition on Weds 1pm to 4pm at booth 2713 (more special events here).

    Adafruitapex
    This year’s show brochure is here follow along our coverage on Twitter @adafruit with the tag #adafruitAPEX here is the mobile version of the schedule, directory and more.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 15:01
    Telepresence Robot Proves It’s A Small World After All

    jolvoy[Chris] works as part of a small team of developers in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US. [Timo], one of their core members, works remotely from Heidelberg, Germany. In order to make [Timo] feel closer to the rest of the group, they built him a telepresence robot.

    It was a link to DoubleRobotics that got the creative juices flowing. [Chris] and his team wanted to bring [Timo] into the room, but they didn’t have a spare $2499 USD in their budget. Instead they mated a standard motorized pan/tilt camera base with an RFduino Bluetooth kit. An application running on [Timo's] phone sends gyroscope status through the internet to the iPad on the robot. The robot’s iPad then sends that data via Bluetooth to the RFduino. The RFduino commands pan and tilt movements corresponding with those sensed by the gyroscope.  A video chat application runs on top of all this, allowing [Timo] to look around the room and converse with his coworkers.

    All the source code is available via GitHub. The design didn’t work perfectly at first. [Chris] mentions the RFduino’s Bluetooth API is rather flaky when it comes to pairing operations. In the end the team was able to complete the robot and present it to [Timo] as a Valentine’s Day gift. For [Chris'] sake we hope [Timo] doesn’t spend too much of his time doing what his homepage URL would suggest: “screamingatmyscreen.com”

    [Thanks Parker]

    Filed under: news

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 15:01
    Creative stencil designs :) – APEX EXPO #adafruitAPEX @IPCShow #IPCshow #apexexpo

    Stentech01
    Stentech02
    Stentech04
    Here are some fun examples of stencils from StenTech!


    What is APEX?

    Thousands of industry professionals from more than 50 countries attend this premier event— featuring advanced and emerging technologies in printed board design and manufacturing, electronics assembly, test and printed electronics! Find new suppliers with new solutions and connect with colleagues from around the world.

    There is even a hand soldering competition on Weds 1pm to 4pm at booth 2713 (more special events here).

    Adafruitapex
    This year’s show brochure is here follow along our coverage on Twitter @adafruit with the tag #adafruitAPEX here is the mobile version of the schedule, directory and more.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 15:01
    3D Design Software – Autodesk Labs Project Shapeshifter: Generative Design Models Produced Via 3D Patterning Engine #3DThursday #3DPrinting

    ProjectShapeshifter

    3dersOrg

    3D Design Software – Autodesk Labs Project Shapeshifter: Generative Design Models Produced Via 3D Patterning Engine.

    Project Shapeshifter is a free* technology preview from Autodesk Research.IL group created to assist designers and makers cope with the task of modeling complex 3D printable geometries in a simple way.

    Project Shapeshifter is built on top of a 3D Patterning Engine which offers an alternative approach to generative design, avoiding scripting of any kind. The commands (design operations) used throughout a design sequence are captured separately from the object geometry, allowing repeat, alter, or apply to any given mesh object. The commands pattern includes a parametric object builder, subdivisions, transformations, offsets, and population information. Shapeshifter technology offers a simple slider based interface for shaping a 3D mesh object parametrically based on a selected topology. The 3D mesh object is automatically converted to a cellular shell where each cell can be populated with a selected component to form a 3D pattern. The populated mesh can be exported as .obj file for 3D printing locally or through a 3D printing portal online.

    With Project Shapeshifter, exploring design alternatives is an easy and playful task. The simple and straightforward approach of Shapeshifter to Generative Design allows creating complex models for 3D Printing directly from the web browser.

    Features:

    • Parametric Mesh Builder with more than 20 Degrees of Freedom
    • More than 30 pattern components
    • Share your design as a URL
    • Export design for fabrication (.obj file)

    * Free technology previews are subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license and services agreement that accompanies the software…

    Read More.

    ScottSheppard

    ScottSheppard

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 14:01
    Artists Explore Relationship Between Humans and Code in apexart “Coding the Body” Exhibition: March 20 – May 10, 2014

    CodingTheBody

    The ApexArt “Coding the Body” Exhibition, curated by Leah Buechley, explores intersection between humans and machines, humans and code:

    Codes and machines are claiming more and more of our time, our attention, and our physical selves. With each year, we spend more time interacting with computers and less time interacting with people and the natural environment. And yet, software is revealing vast new spaces of knowledge, expression, and experience—introducing us to entirely new ways of thinking about and interacting with the world.

    Coding the Body interrogates the relationships between humans and code. It turns to cyborgs, robots, fashion designers, geneticists, artists, and others to explore how code is being used to understand, control, decorate, and replicate us. The exhibition celebrates the beauty of code and its manifestations while casting a wary eye on its ever-expanding power.

    Read More.

    Apexart org images buechley buechley pdf


    649-1
    Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

    Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

    The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 14:00
    How To Make a Cute, Pint-Sized Captain America Costume

    captain america

    When Instructables user mrcrumley noticed his four-year-old son was pretending his frisbee was Captain America’s shield, he realized he needed to make him a Captain America costume for Halloween. Steve Rogers has never looked so adorable. Mrcrumley was able to hunt down many of the materials at a thrift store, and he was resourceful. He found a pair of duffle bags and stripped them to provide the buttons, snaps, straps, etc. that he needed for the costume. He made the mask from papier mache using this process:

    To make a mask pattern that would fit well, I wrapped my son’s head in plastic wrap and applied little pieces of tape (paper-mache-style) to the plastic. Then, I slipped it off his head and cut it out into pieces that would lay flat. These pieces became the patterns for the mask. Then, I sewed together the pieces into a rather fashionable mask (if I do say so myself).

    Pressing the mask’s seams was a bear (particularly the eye-holes). And in the end, I had to resort to hot-gluing the seams to the underside of the mask. This was the only way I could keep them from poking into my son’s eyes.

    Read more at Instructables.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 13:00
    Boombox Beach Bag with Audio Amp and Speakers

    Summer is coming up, so why not build a project just for the beach? Upgrade your old beach bag into a hi-tech beat blastin’ bag with a MAX98306 3.7w stereo amplifier and mini speakers.

    A flexible 3d printed enclosure will hold the electronics and this 3.7 watt amp will power a pair of these 3W stereo enclosures speakers. Hook up the speakers buy following our guide on the Adafruit Learning System.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 12:00
    Hackaday 68k: So You Want A Kit?

    68000

    It’s yet another update to the Hackaday 68k, the wire-wrapped backplane computer that will eventually be serving up our retro site.

    This is also a demo of Hackaday Projects, our new, fancy online documentation tool for all your adventures in making and tinkering. Did you know we’re having a contest on Hackaday Projects? Make something sci-fi, and you’re in the running for some really good prizes. There’s soldering stations, o-scopes, and a lot of other prizes being thrown at the winners. It’s awesome. First one to build a working Mr. Fusion wins.

    In this update, I’m going to go over the beginnings of the video board, why Hammond enclosures are awesome and terrible at the same time, and some thoughts on turning this into a kit or product of some type. Click that, ‘Read more…’ link.

     

    The Video Board

    Like I’ve said before, I’m using the Yamaha V9938 video display processor as the graphics chip on this computer. It’s the easiest way I can get an 80×24 text mode – perfect for that *NIX goodness – and should be able to pull off some cool demoscene stuff. It’s pin compatible with the V9958, so I have that option, and it’s also fairly simple to interface to the rest of the computer:

    V9938

    That’s from the V9938 Technical Data Book. Big PDF warning there. On the right side of that graphic is the DRAM interface for the video memory and the pins for video output. There are a few different configurations ranging from 16k of VRAM to 128k of VRAM. Of course I’m going with the 128k option, using a quartet of TMS4464 DRAM chips I picked up from Jameco. Here’s the schematic of the VRAM interface:

    Dram

    V99X8I don’t want to wire wrap that. It’s a lot of fiddly, short bits of wire. It’s also extremely simple and won’t be seeing any changes in its design.  The solution to my laziness is, of course, to make a PCB.

    Because the connections to the V9938 are just an 8-bit data bus and a few control signals, and the output is dead simple for composite output, this greatly minimizes the amount of wirewrapping I’ll need to do. Even if I tried wrapping a V9938, I’d run into a problem: the pin pitch isn’t 0.1″, rendering all my wirewrap adapters useless.

    If you’re wondering about the physical size of the board, it’s just a wee bit larger than an Arduino. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but a 128kB V99X8 will not fit on a standard Arduino shield. 16kB, maybe. In any event, when I get these boards back, I’ll have a go at driving it with an Arduino. Just because.


    Mechanical Considerations

    Yeah! Fancy Video!

    Import DXFI’ve never had any luck with Hammond enclosures. The die-cast aluminum guitar pedals? I’ve ruined dozens of them drilling holes for pots, switches, and jacks. The enclosure for the 68k is no different. It’s a beautiful case, no doubt about that, but I am cursed with a mystical ability to always mess up the drilling, painting, or some random thing when it comes to Hammond enclosures.

    The original plan for this backplane + enclosure combo was to have a small extension board on the front (hence, “frontplane”) that broke out the power and reset lines so this computer would at least look the part of an early 80s homebrew computer. Also, having a power and reset switch on the outside of the case is a good idea anyway.

    PhysicalBecause of the complete failure of my ‘frontplane’ plan with the stock front panel, I’m going for something much, much cooler: a custom CNC’d aluminum panel. Right now I have holes for a power switch, a reset button, and a 5mm LED for power indication.

    The basic circuit for this frontplane is very simple: The lines on the backplane are broken out on a huge 2×32 pin header. There’s also a small three-pin header for the PS_ON and POWER_OK lines for the ATX power supply. Ground the PS_ON line with the switch, and the power… uh, turns on. The PS_ON line provides +5V when the power is on. Attach the LED to that.

    The reset circuit is the same from the CPU board: a Maxim DS1812 supervisory and reset circuit in a single TO-92 package.

    wireframe

    Creating the milled front panel and new, improved frontplane was an interesting exercise in mechanical design. First, I created the front panel as a 3D model, exported the top view as a DXF, and imported that into Eagle. Then, I took the board file for the backplane and overlaid the holes. Then it’s just a simple matter of removing the parts and traces from the backplane I don’t need – everything except the pin headers – and making a board.

    Betterfrontplane

    Apparently the Dimension layer in Eagle has a keepout. This board is far too simple for me to care about doing it properly.

    So there you go. Fun adventures in mixing mechanical design with circuit board creation. This, like just about everything else relating to the 68k project, is up on the github.

    Oh yeah, a kit

    For some reason I can’t comprehend, a lot of people have asked if I’m going to make the 68k into a product, or at the very least a kit. I don’t quite understand the demand; the fun of homebrew computers is designing and building them.

    That doesn’t mean I won’t entertain the idea. In its current form, though, a 68k kit would be absurdly expensive, take hours and hours to assemble – the RAM card alone would be three or four hours – and would have an extremely high number of unsatisfied buyers. It only takes one misplaced wire to screw the entire thing up, you know.

    So, an improved,  single-PCB kit is the only option. This is months and months in the future, but here’s what I’m thinking:

    • Uses the currently-in-production 68SEC000
    • Already assembled.
    • A MiniITX or MicroATX motherboard form factor.
    • Uses 30 or 72-pin SIMMs for the RAM.
    • Some sort of expansion port.
    • User-updatable ROM.

    That last bullet is the sticking point. I’ve been turning this around in my head for a while, and I can’t come up with a good way of doing it. The problem is I need a small amount (~64kB) of EEPROM or Flash that can be accessed on a parallel bus. That means 15 address lines, 16 data lines, and control signals. I need a way of reprogramming this, in system, with few additional parts, cheaply.

    The obvious solution is to throw a big FPGA in the system for address decoding, an SPI bus, and in-system reprogramming of the ROM. That may end up being the eventual solution to this problem, but I’m thinking there’s an even more clever and cheaper way of doing things.

    I’ve toyed around with doing the whole ‘in system ROM reprogramming’ thing in a 6502-based retrocomputer, and it is possible by using a microcontroller and a bunch of shift registers to program the ROM. This takes up a lot of board space and is extremely kludgy.

    Another solution would be something like this amazing retrocomputer that actually should be a product. It uses a 40-pin PIC microcontroller as the RAM, ROM, and ACIA. It is, without question, the most innovative project in the retrocomputing world for the past few years and presents an interesting solution to the problem of in-system ROM programming: just put the ROM on a big microcontroller.

    Are any of these ideas the right solution? I don’t know, because I’m not designing this computer as a product right now. This problem has been bothering me for a while, and I’d love to hear some more ideas. In any event, there’s plenty of space on my ROM board to prototype some in-system reprogramming. Come up with a good idea and I might put it in.


    That’s it for now. You can continue to follow the progress of the Hackaday 68k over on Hackaday Projects. Be sure to comment and give a skull to the project. Seriously, give the project a skull. I’m losing to [Mathieu]‘s Mooltipass project in the skull department. I need more skulls.

     

     

     

    Filed under: Hackaday Columns

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 12:00
    ZBrush Sculpting Face Offs and Tech Demos at 3D Printer World Expo #3DThursday #3DPrinting

    ZBrush Sculpting Faceoffs and Tech Demos at 3D Printer World Expo:

    Over the final weekend of January, Pixologic attended the 3D Printer World Expo in Burbank, CA with two days of industry specific presentations and a fistful of live demos including a clay slinging showdown between top ZBrush artists!

    Adding to the action happening at the booth itself, the Pixologic Team was proud to present industry seminars with the likes of Legacy Effects and Neville Page (whom you can also currently see each Tuesday night on SyFy’s “Face Off”).

    Part of the action was an event where 8 leading artists from studios like Blizzard Entertainment, Sony Santa Monica, Insomniac Games, The Aaron Sims Company and many more squared off in head-to-head sculpting action to create their own “Aliens From Beyond”. Their creations were printed in 3D and then shown on Facebook for community voting, with Raphael Grassetti coming away as the victor….

    Read More.


    649-1
    Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

    Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

    The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 11:00
    Soft Robot Glaucus Moves Without Spine, Armature, or Hardware #3DThursday #3DPrinting

    From the description for Super-Releaser Robotics‘s recent soft robot Glaucus:

    We’ve been developing methods for creating durable, inexpensive soft body robots. Fundamentally, the technology involves designing a robot in CAD, 3d printing molds for the interior and exterior of the bot, and casting it in silicone. 

    These methods offer a few advantages over traditional subtractive fabrication. First, iteration is fast and dynamic. It is simple to design a parametric bot in CAD and simultaneously print multiple experiments and prototypes to flesh out and understand new forms.

    Second, casting is inexpensive and incredibly repeatable. Once a successful design is fleshed out, creating an army of exact duplicates of this winning robot is as simple as casting the mold multiple times. The mold can even be duplicated for mass casting. This means stress testing never risks destroying one precious irreplaceable prototype.

    Third, the designs that are developed using these methods easily translate into a manufacturing context. Printing and machining high volume production molds based on the initial CAD follows the same tool chain as any other industrial casting process. If a project calls for thousands of identical silicone robots, HTV (high temperature vulcanizing) silicones can be injected into machined molds just like any mass produced plastic part….

    Read more.


    Featured Learning System Tutorial!

    Pasted Image 3 26 14 11 13 AM

    Soft Quadruped Robot: 3d print your way to a walking quadruped with no hard moving parts. This robot may sound complex – a silicone robot with intertwining interior chambers that walks using air pressure – but the process to make it is relatively simple. Even though it’s got a lot of stuff going on all you really have to learn is how to mix and pour silicone and you’re well on your way to having your very own quadrupedal soft robot. (read more)

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 10:00
    Doctors Use 3D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe #3DxMedicine #3DThursday #3DPrinting

    Nicole Haley

    Doctors Use 3D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe:

    Ever since the day Garrett Peterson was born, his parents have had to watch him suddenly just stop breathing.

    “He could go from being totally fine to turning blue sometimes — not even kidding — in 30 seconds,” says Garrett’s mother, Natalie Peterson, 25, of Layton, Utah. “It was so fast. It was really scary.”

    Garrett was born with a defective windpipe. His condition, known as tracheomalacia, left his trachea so weak the littlest thing makes it collapse, cutting off his ability to breathe.

    …So the Petersons contacted Dr. Glenn Green at the University of Michigan, who specializes in conditions like Garrett’s. He teamed up with Scott Hollister, a biomedical engineer who runs the university’s 3-D Printing Lab, to create a remarkable solution to Garrett’s problem — a device that will hold open Garrett’s windpipe until it’s strong enough to work on its own.

    …3-D printers have been used to build jewelry, art and even guns. But Hollister is using the technology to create medical devices. He uses a 3-D printer that melts particles of plastic dust with a laser. He has already built a jawbone for a patient in Italy and has helped another baby with a condition similar to Garrett’s. But Garrett is a lot of sicker and his condition is a lot more complicated.

    “It’s just been issue after issue with breathing, and just trying to keep him breathing at all,” Jake Peterson, Garrett’s dad, says.

    At 16 months old, Garrett had never been able to leave the hospital. Every time he stopped breathing, it was a mad rush to save him. And the doctors weren’t sure how much longer they could keep him alive.

    “In some sense we were thrown directly into the fire,” Hollister says. “We characterized it as sort of a Hail Mary pass.” …

    Read More.


    649-1
    Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

    Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

    The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 09:01
    3 DOF Open Source Robot Arm Is Just the Beginning

    Arm3-v1

    [Dan Royer] of Marginally Clever had a dream. A dream to build an open-source 6 DOF robot that anyone can make! To do so, he’s been learning robotics for the past two years, and has just finished the first step — he’s designed and built an open source 3 DOF palletizing robot!

    He’s based this little guy off of the commercial ABB 460 palletizing robot, which is a tried and true industrial robot. It features all laser cut parts, a few nuts and bolts, some stepper motors and an Arduino UNO for the brain. He’s released all of the design files on Thingiverse and the firmware on GitHub – yet another project we’d like to build if only we had a laser cutter!

    And don’t worry, the Arduino UNO is only being used for this first prototype — he’s already started writing code for the RUMBA (Reprap Universal Mega Board with Allegro-driver) controller for revision 2.

    Stick around to see it write its first greeting with a marker — Hello World!

    It’s an exciting project and we can’t wait to see further development! Keep up the good work [Dan]!

    Maybe we can teach it manually in the future too!

     

    Filed under: Arduino Hacks, robots hacks

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 09:00
    3D Design Trends: “UpKit” Accessories and Add-ons for Quin 3D-Printable Fashion Doll #3DxToys #3DThursday #3DPrinting

    Pasted Image 3 26 14 10 49 AM

    3DKitbash created the Quin fashion doll originally for a crowdfunding project last year. Recently, designer Quincy has been creating and sharing a lot of exciting add-on printable content for the doll platform, including items they have been calling “UpKits” (like the hair and fist options here from Thingiverse) that they are posting all over the web where designers are posting 3D content for free or paid downloads. To my taste, the quality of these pieces are stronger than most of the paid 3D printables posted online so far, and speak to the potential strength of this marketplace.

    (ABOVE) Quin G1: Mop1: A Thingiverse Exclusive accessory for 3DKitbash’s Quin: 3D Printable Fashion Doll and Inventing Platform. Simply print (support-free) and snap to your pre-printed Quin Doll. (read more)

    Pasted Image 3 26 14 10 37 AM

    Quin G1: Fist1: A Thingiverse Exclusive accessory for 3DKitbash’s Quin: 3D Printable Fashion Doll and Inventing Platform. Simply print (support-free) and snap to your pre-printed Quin Doll. (read more)

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 08:30
    Here’s some tips, tricks, and techniques for using your Arduino in preparation for #ArduinoD14

    Adafruit industries blog 2

    Arduino Day 2014 is this Saturday and we’ll be posting our favorite tutorials, projects, and products for Arduino all this week. This tutorial from the Adafruit Learning System is useful to look over, especially for those just getting started working with Arduino. Get the most out of your Arduino! Here’s a little background on Arduino from our Arduino UNO FAQ page:

    There’s so many Arduino’s out there, it may get a little confusing. We wanted to clarify for people some of the changes in the latest version.

    But first…some history! First there was the serial Arduino (what’s the name of it?) with RS232 which was not used outside of the Arduino team & friends.

    The first popularly manufactured Arduino was called the NG (New Generation, like Star Trek, yknow?) The NG used the Atmega8 chip running at 16 MHz and an FT232 chip for the USB interface. The bootloader takes up 2KB of space and runs at 19200 baud.

    The next version was the Diecimila. The Diecimila updated the chip from the Atmega8 to the Atmega168. The great thing here is double the space and memory (16K instead of 8K). It still ran at 16MHz. The Diecimila also added two extra header pins for 3.3V (from the FTDI chip) and the reset pin which can be handy when a shield is covering up the Reset button. The bootloader takes up 2KB of space and runs at 19200 baud. Auto-resetting was also added which makes life awesomer for everyone.

    In 2009, the Duemilanove was released. This one also upgraded the chip again, to the Atmega328. Yet another doubling of space and memory! Another upgrade is now the power is automagically switched between USB and DC-jack which removed the previous jumper. This makes it easier and faster to move from programming to standalone and got rid of some confusion. The bootloader takes up 2KB of space and runs at 57600 baud.

    In 2010, we have the Uno! The Uno still uses the 328P chip and the power switcher. It has a smaller bootloader called OptiBoot (more space for users’ projects) that runs at 115K. So even though the chip is the same, you get another 1.5K of extra flash space that was previously used by the bootloader. The FTDI chip has also been replaced with a atmega8u2 which allows for different kinds of USB interfaces. Finally, there’s an extra 3.3V regulator (LP2985) for a better 3.3V supply. whew!

    Read more.


    Arduino adafruit industries blog

    March 29th is Arduino Day 2014! Arduino day is “a worldwide event bringing together Arduino people and projects. It’s 24 hours full of events – both official and independent, anywhere around the world – where people interested in Arduino can meet, share their experiences, and learn more.” Adafruit will be celebrating with 24 hours of Arduino posts on our blog as well as a special Saturday night LIVE show with Massimo Banzi, co-founder and CEO of Arduino. Join us Saturday, March 29th at 7 PM EST to celebrate Arduino Day 2014! Be sure to check out our extensive learning system tutorials on Arduino as well as our Arduino blog coverage and products.

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 08:00
    3D Printed Tape Measure #3DThursday #3DPrinting

    3D Printed Tape Measure by angrymonk55:

    Fully assembled, 3D printed, 4ft tape measure with 114 separate parts. Why do this?: Because its awesome. Is its useful?: Questionably.

    Read More.


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    Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

    Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

    The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 07:00
    3D Design Software – Marius Watz’s Modelbuilder Processing Libraries – Parametric Design for Digital Fabrication #3DThursday #3DPrinting

    Marius watz modelbuilder

    From the workshop description for “ITP 2013: Parametric Design for Digital Fabrication” where Marius Watz shared the latest version of his Modelbuilder Processing libraries:

    We will use a range of tools to produce output in industry standard formats (PDF, STL etc.) Our primary platform will be Processing, a Java-based coding tool that facilitates experimentation with coded processes without the constraints of conventional CAD software or design tools.

    To describe 2D and 3D structures in code we will rely heavily on principles from computational geometry. An understanding of mathematical concepts like vectors and trigonometry is essential, as these are the atomic units of geometry. These topics are introduced as part of the course, along with strategies to simplify the math involved through helpful workflows and existing code. The real challenge is not math, but rather the translation of spatial ideas into code. Sharing of code and other resources will be done through Dropbox and Github.

    To this end we will use libraries like Modelbuilder, Toxiclibs.org and Hemesh. These libraries extend the core functionality of Processing, providing higher-level abstractions that aid in the articulation and manipulation of geometry. From the basic task of constructing a valid 3D mesh to more advanced concepts like physical simulation and kinetic behavior, most challenges will be resolved through a combination of hands-on code and knowing when to use an existing tool.

    Other possible tools include Rhino/Grasshopper, Meshlab, Netfabb and Pepakura, as well as any CAD or Open Source software participants may find helpful in their chosen projects.

    Read more.

    modelbuilder

    MariusWatzSpaceFiller

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