Compromises

So I didn’t win any CupCake CNC 3d printer. DRATS! I’ve also hit a financial wall regarding a new CNC rebuild. My choices are to keep funneling money into a CNC rebuild or save that money up and purchase a CupCake CNC printer to get back on track with my robot hand. I’ll be doing an inventory of my most expensive items I can part with to raise funds. Funny how the times in life when I’ve had the most money I had the least amount of free time and how now its the opposite.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep fine tuning my CNC machine in the virtual world.

CNC Rebuild?

So I’ve gotten to the point where I’m happy with the initial design of my CNC project but desire far greater accuracy. My humble rickety design just isn’t cutting it for repeatable, accurate creations [pun intended]. I’m contemplating creating a sturdier frame out of light/medium gauge steel. I have access to an arc welder and even a MIG welder. I suppose learning to weld together a sturdy steel frame will come in handy for future large scale robotic projects. 🙂

Homemade CNC outfitted with router

Some major improvements in accuracy have been accomplished. No where near the accuracy I need to mill a circuit board but I’ll keep at it. Upward and onward!

Simple Shapes:

Text test:

Simple Gear:

Robotic Hand Released into the ‘Verse

I  have submitted my robotic hand into Thingiverse.com to enter a MAKE contest for a chance to win a Cupcake Makerbot. What does that mean? Well, if you have access to a 3d printer you can print out my hand! Please contact me if you do so, I’m dying to find out how it works. I’ve hit a wall, and can’t refine the design until I know the limitations of the machine that prints my hand.

Check it out:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2408

Update, I got a mention on MAKE!:

Secret Project Revealed

For the past 6 weeks I’ve been secretly toiling away at creating a CNC machine. The project was largely on the back burner, until recently. I’ve been collecting scavenged parts since last summer. After my last visit to a job fair I had realized that the job market was in terrible shape. I knew I would probably be looking for work for a long time. So I decided to put that extra time in-between interviews to good use. This project is by no means complete. In fact, I’m just getting started. 🙂

Video and Images to follow.

Continue reading “Secret Project Revealed”

What to do with free time?

I’ve decided to start work on completing a “secret” project. What else is there to do when the job market is as bad as it is now? Project completion date of April 1st, 2010 :-).

Stepper Motor Stockpile

Stepper Motors

So, I’ve been busy stockpiling a massive collection of stepper motors. These have mostly been dug out of old dot matrix printers and laboratory equipment (dumpster diving, LOL). I’ve been able to test the small and medium motors with just a ULN2003A chip but the bigger ones need heavier duty circuitry. My collection is nearly complete. What will I do with these motors? ….. some kind of 3d printer :).