Tuesday, December 31, 2013

tv: 3d Printable Rubber Band Gun

Designing a printable rubber band gun has always been on my bucket list. I used the holiday season as an excuse to finally do it. You have to fight consumerism somehow, right? And what better way to fight it than to print rubber band guns for your relatives.

Of course I'm releasing this to the community. Here are the files you will need to print one for yourself:


Saturday, August 10, 2013

tv: The Scratch Flight

Building a remote controlled plane from scratch has always been at the top of my bucket list. This week I popped it off the stack, built, and flew! You could argue what I did isn't really flying. I might agree with you. Ha. But it's a start. I just need LOTS of practice!

I built this plane out of dollar tree foam and packing tape by following the masterful tutorials of Experimental Airlines.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

How to Organizing your Tools with DIY Modular Magnetic Strips

I'm not the most organized person by nature. But the more organized I get, the more I realize how important it is for productivity. The more organized I am, the more productive I am, plain and simple. I've been looking for a way to be more organized with my tools. Before today I kept them in some random bins if they were for a specific project, or in my toolbox if they were for a general purpose. But I still had difficulty finding what I needed when I needed it. I couldn't see them!

A few days ago a friend shared a link to an article on Cliff Stoll, a real life mad scientist. He's even got the hair to prove it. Here's the article. In the article there's a picture of how Cliff organizes his tools using magnetic strips. How simple!

I looked around amazon for some magStrips, but I didn't like what I found. They were expensive, and none of them were modular. I like modular. So I looked around craft stores and home improvement stores and came up with a jaw dropping DIY modular solution!

First, I needed a surface to mount the magnetic strips. I created a frame from pine 1X2s to support a panel of Tempered Service Perf.

I then bought 100 0.5in diameter 1/16in thick Neodymium magnates.

I made a 5 layer sandwich of:
  • 0.5in X 1/8in steel flat
  • magnets spaced 1in apart
  • 0.5in steel tube
  • magnets
  • steel flat

I then printed ends that snapped into the center of the steel tube and hooked into the perf board. Here's the part, if you wanted to print it: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:99852

Since the magnetic strips are perf board compatible, and since I have a wall of perf board now, I can arrange them in any way I need. I can also use any of the existing perf board hardware, like hooks and baskets. Here's the finished product:

If you found this info helpful, let me know! If you have tricks you use to organize your tools and your workspace, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

RepRap - The Viral 3d Printer

Midwest RepRap Festival: Video 4 of 6 | 14:34

This is the 14 minute RepRap documentary from my trip to MRRF. You (my subscribers) and the RepRap community have given me so much! This video is my attempt at giving back. It took a lot of late nights in the editing room, but I'm finally done! Please help The Viral 3d Printer go even more viral!

I traveled to Elkhart Indiana to get more information on the opensource 3d printing movement called RepRap. I interviewed core developers and users of the technology, as well as kids who are growing up with the technology.

On top of the people who allowed me to film and interview them I would like to thank:


Jeff McAlvay works on Board Forge with folks from around the country.
Visit http://boardforge.com for more info.

RepRap IRC:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3D printed Quadcopter at MRRF

Midwest RepRap Festival: Video 3 of 6 | 6:02

While at the Midwest RepRap Festival I was able to sit down (while standing) with Russ Reese and get some information on his quadcopter. I don't know what it is about quadcopters, but it's a must have for every robotics loving maker! Russ did a beautiful job on the quadcopter he demos for us!

We would like to thank the following people for making the Midwest RepRap Festival possible:

All the volunteers!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The new pico Hot-end by B3 Innovations

Midwest RepRap Festival: Video 2 of 6 | 5:02

While at the Midwest RepRap Festival I was privileged to sit down with Will and Mike from B3 Innovations. They have a new hot-end design that is about to hit kickstarter. I'm really excited because it looks like a flawless hot-end design! I'm hoping to get their hot-end in a few months and no longer have hot-end issues on my reprap 3d printer.

You can stay in the loop through their website, http://b3innovations.com.

We would like to thank the following people for making the Midwest RepRap Festival possible:

All the volunteers!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3d Printer Guinness World Record Attempt

Midwest RepRap Festival: Video 1 of 6 | 3:01

I traveled to Elkhart, Indiana last weekend for the first annual Midwest RepRap Festival. I brought my camera equipment in hopes to capture a piece of opensource hardware history. As it turns out, I did just that! And got to know some amazing people in the process.

This is a Guinness World Record attempt at the most 3d printers printing at once. The attempt was held on March 16, 2013 at the First Annual Midwest RepRap Festival in Elkhart, Indiana, USA. We would like to thank the following people for making this possible:

Printer Operators
All the volunteers!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vacation at Midwest RepRap Festival

Last weekend I took a vacation day so that I could spend the whole weekend at the first annual Midwest RepRap Festival. It was a blast! I thought about bringing my printer, but it's practically an antique and I didn't know if it could manage the trip. Instead, I brought my cameras! All of them! Stay tuned for some amazing footage!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

tv: Measuring Battery Use

Season 3 : Ep. 12 | 3:46

In this episode I use the ACS714 Current Sensor to attempt to measure battery use of my dogbot leg. But will it work?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

tv: Solutions for Wire Flexibility

Season 3 : Ep. 11 | 6:49

This episode reviews some of my favorite viewer contributed solutions to my wire flexibility problem. Thanks to all who contributed their ideas!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Soul of a Maker

In the last few months I have had a lot of time for introspection. It turns out I'm not just a guy who likes working with computers and dabbling in robotics in his spare time. I'm a guy who just likes making things. All things! Robotics is just a category of the things that I like to make.

I've always been this way, although I didn't realize it until recently. I don't want to make a wordy post about all the things that I've made in the past or present, but I do want to say that ever since I realized that I just like making things, and started embracing this part of myself, I've been happier.

Here is one example of how I am now happier. Before realizing I just like making things I would have gone into this weekend pressuring myself into working on my dogbot and making a video. I would have measured my enjoyment by my progress, but that is no way to live! Instead, I went into the weekend wanting to work on my dogbot, but getting side tracked. I was researching braids so that I could braid a collection of wires running to the dogbot foot when a few ideas and desires collided.

My belts (the ones that hold up my pants) are getting old and falling apart. I don't want to buy anymore leather belts because... [whispers] I'm a vegetarian... and I don't want to spend the money for an organic "trendy" belt. I have 1000' of parachute cord and worn out belts with working buckles. I like making things.  

Fast forward 2 hours and I have a new belt!

Old belt buckle:

New belt!:

Making this parachute cord belt was not what I planned on doing this weekend, but the act of making it has made me very, very happy. To all you makers out there, be encouraged to embrace the true you. It's OK to jump from one project to another so long as you keep your work-space clean, and finish a few projects every once in a while. Adam savage has helped me realize that "achieving the end of the exercise was never the point of the exercise to begin with, was it?"

Saturday, February 16, 2013

tv: Measuring Wire Flexibility

Season 3 : Ep. 10 | 10:30

I noticed a trend in the comments from the last video. I got a lot of comments about using a smaller gauge wire. In this episode I test the flexibility of 30 gauge, 26 gauge, and 26 gauge shielded wire. Thanks for all the feedback from the last episode! In the next episode I'll dive deeper into that feedback.

Music: I Need to Know by Sweet Danger http://www.jamendo.com/en/track/1001531/sweet-danger-i-need-to-know

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

tv: A Problem of Flexibility

Season 3 : Ep. 9 | 3:13

I need your help. I'm stuck! I need a way to receive information from the DogBot foot without restricting it's movement. Any ideas? Please leave a comment if you have any ideas!

Here are the background videos leading up to this one: