Eventorbot Upgrades

Since getting my Eventorbot 3D printer I have not had much luck in getting it to print. The frame was welded off square, the extruder design is not very reliable, and the y-axis sways like a drunken sailor. While this was all quite disheartening I now have a plan of attack. I have been working on some new parts to hopefully sober up this printer and get it working.

The first step is to stabilize the y-axis and add in turn take some strain off of the z-axis which currently sounds like a hamster in its death throws when you move the bed up and down. I am going to add a 16mm linear rod to the open end of the machine and attach an arm from that to the y-axis arm which should solve the swaying problem and stop the table from wanting to tip down under its weight. If that is not enough to fix the z problem I am thinking I will move the z motor out and do some gearing so the weight of the bed is not directly on the motor.

To solve the extruder problem I just designed a new one based on spring tension. There were a few out there but the files were very messed up or would have required more work than I felt like doing for something that was not my own design (really though, who puts a 3D model of something that is supposed to be laser cut up but no dxf or svg?). If this design works out well I am going to try and cast them in aluminium so they do not degrade over time.

There is still some work to do on the arm and the mount for the linear bearing but I should hopefully get everything printed this weekend. Maybe I will even get to print something on my printer. Wouldn’t that be grand?

Bottom Bracket</br> Top Bracket</br> Bottom Linear Rod Mount</br> Top Linear Rod Mount</br> Extruder Arm</br> Extruder Body

2013 RadioShack Hackerspace Challenge

I was on vacation last week and as per usual I got sick on day one and spent the week sick. While this was no fun at all it did leave me with plenty of time to catch up with some of the things I have been meaning to learn but have not had the time. One of the things I picked to give a shot was cross stitch. Why cross stitch? well, firstly because the gender binary is stupid and why not, secondly because I have heard it is really relaxing, and thirdly because I found a book called Manga Cross-Stitch: Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework when I was at a Goodwill a month and how could one not want to cross stitch giant, stompy robots?

Links:</br> Manga Cross-Stitch: Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework

2013 RadioShack Hackerspace Challenge

Every year (meaning this year and last year) RadioShack and Popular Mechanics hold a Hackerspace challenge. They get two hackerspaces from across the country to build something with the same idea in mind. This year that idea was old meets new and my Makerspace was lucky enough to get chosen.

We decided to build something we call the M6. It is a Rube Goldberg style machine that incorporates the different disciplines in the Makerspace by passing the ball from one areas section to the next. If you watch the video My friend Tom does a kind of walk-through but to summarize it goes from a laser cut Miulwaukee Makerspace logo that accepts the coins and then through the craft lab slides. From there it goes over to the over-engineered section (the only you can engineer anything at a Makerspace) which triggers a drop into the milling and CNC section. A switch gets triggered there which kicks off the Weld shop thing that is amazingly one of the most repeatable sections (it is the large metal thing in the middle) and that drops a gumball into a teeter-totter that was made in our forge. That arm throws it into a cup which funnels it into my section. A gumball roller coaster.

My section represents the 3D print area. I am the “area champion” of the print lab so when we came up with the plan for what to do I decided to take of on my favourite toys as a little kid and use something distinctly new to make it (well 3D printing is not new but the hobby market for it is). I printed out the clips and rings then used some spare 3mm filament we had lying around for the track. Several hours of straining my already strained relationship with super glue later and it was complete. A few track jumps, some caged track that works quite nicely, and a dish at the end for the gumball to swirl around and it makes a nice end to the chaos that is the M6.

Marble Run Pieces

Click here if you would like to vote on the winner.

Taking the New Server For a Test Ride

After the great computer-crash-and-realizing-I-need-to-get-better-at-backups debacle of ‘O thirteen I have decided to re-evaluate my server choice. I was paying for a Microsoft server because the site I was playing with ASP.Net MVC at the time. Just before the loss of code I had moved back to my roots a bit more and been playing with a lot of other things that I would rather do on a linux box, on part of that reasoning is because I dispise IIS and its 1.25 trillion config settings.

I had been playing with OpenShift for a bit but that is not really suited to website hosting and besides, I have many more fun projects I can think of for 3 free hosted node.js apps. A friend of mine pointed me here and here I am. I like it thus far. I can use git without having to do anything, it is free, nice blogging engine to play with, and not to mention it is free. I like free. It is a good price.