Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jetson TK1 enclosures v2.0 for Array Fire

A few weeks back a fellow from Array Fire contacted me about having a couple of enclosures made for his company’s upcoming attendance at the GTC (GPU Technology Conference).  Notice the lovely logo that’s been etched on the top of the enclosure, a nice touch.  This is version 2.0, since Array Fire didn’t need access to the SATA (through the top) or the GPIOs.  After a protracted USPS 2-day priority delivery ordeal (closer to 6 days) the enclosures arrived, here are some pics +Shehzan shot. 

Jetson TK1 Dev Board Enclosure v2.5

Here's a new, improved version of the enclosure.  More insets and cut outs to allow access to ports and sockets (GPIOs, SATA, Molex for SATA, etc).

Monday, February 9, 2015

Jetson TK1 Dev Board Enclosure

Designed and laser cut an enclosure for the Jetson TK1 development board.  This design uses:
  • 1/8" acrylic plastic
  • 1/16" acrylic plastic 
  • 4 x(3mm x 60mm bolts and nuts)
  • 1/4" diameter (1/8" bore) acrylic tubing  

first three layers

two upper layers

1/4" outer diameter, 1/8" inner diameter
acrylic tubes
finished with 3mm x 60mm screws

 Alternate Orientation


Friday, March 28, 2014

The search for precision...

"The search for perfection is all very well.  But to look for Heaven is to live here in Hell"
- Sting "Consider me Gone"

Alright, perhaps the above quote is a touch extreme, but only a touch.  After failing to achieve an acceptable degree of accuracy for my block lifting mechanism with laser cut parts I've started down the path of 3d printed parts.  Many thanks to +Duane Johnson for the use of his delta printer and for putting up with my endless revisions.  The first part I designed and printed was this:

This is the carriage piece that will attach an articulated block to the rest of the lifting mechanism.  Unfortunately, my design had insufficient and/or no tolerance so none of the hardware apertures we're large enough.  Thus ensued a bunch of sanding, grinding and filing until the hardware DID fit.  So, back to the drawing board.  Before I wasted a bunch of PLA on another failure I decided to design a calibration sheet (stepping bore holes up by 0.5 mm for a few iterations).  Designed and printed, it told me what I needed to know about tolerance.  Next came this:

The lift head, a piece that keeps the power screw and alignment shaft in place and stops the carriage from lifting to far.  Made a mistake assuming that a 1 mm wall of PLA was sufficient to hold the nut for a set screw in place, the part broke as soon as I tightened the set screw.  Back to the drawing board.  Undeterred I redesigned the lift carriage and came up with this:

Success, everything fit and was lined up, the linear bearing even pressure fits into its bore hole (eliminating the need for a set screw, wee).  Emboldened by success I redesigned the lift head and printed this:

A good enough part, it warps a bit when the set screws are tightened, I'm probably going to shrink the bore holes a smidgen so the hardware will pressure fit.

Coming soon, I get too fancy with a part's design and need to go back to the drawing board, again.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Laser cut Delrin tsuba

I never bothered to ask the internet whether you could cut Delrin (polyacetal plastic) with a laser cutter.  That is, until last night and the answer was YES, just be careful of the fumes.  I've been wanting to make a better looking tsuba (guard) for my bokken (wooden practice sword, in this case for Iaido).  Here are the results of my first test, I think there's an interesting future in making custom tsuba.

(a lovely customized tsuba)

(doesn't it look nice on my bokken)
(all I need is a darker stopper)

(original tsuba for comparison. Ugly, no?)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Progress on s#!t

Made a little progress on various projects.

Wired up some RGB LEDs for the Alpha sculpture, it's going to need more lights on the damn thing (quite a few more lights).

In other news I cut and planed a variety of different types of wood (fir, cedar, myrtle and purple heart) to glue up on the bokken form (see previous post).  The softer woods I'll be using first for practice so as not to screw up my limited stock of exotic wood.  I'm starting from this instructable I found a while back, modifying it by using 3 strips of wood instead of 2 and a 5/8" round over routing bit (for the blade edge).  Here is some fir on the form:

Still working on the router jig design, almost there.  Then I'll be cranking out bokuto, sorta.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

$#!t I've been working on

It's been a while since I last posted, aside from parenting I've been chipping away at stuff.  These parts are for a scale model of a sculpture that will pay off the laser cutter.

Thankfully, most of this piece is going to end up frosted (in this case roughed up with fine grit sand paper) since the bubbles in the glue job look annoyingly ugly.  The interior will be lit with RGB LEDs and controlled by some manner of Atmel chip.

I continue to attempt to create a block lifter that's properly aligned.  This is my first attempt at 3D printed parts, my thanks to fellow EnjiGo member Duane.  Much to my dismay I set the tolerances too tightly and the parts required a lot of filing and boring before I could install the hardware (which led to a misaligned linear bearing).

Last but not least, behold a laser cut glue-form for making bokken (wooden practice long sword).  I recently started practicing Iaido (which is awesome) and have become interested in creating my own special brand of bokken.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The many novel uses of a laser cutter...

In a mad rush to scrape together a gift for +Shane Wallace and his impending birthday (this all occurred a few weeks ago).  I decided to dig some images out of our collective past and turn them into wood engravings.  We're both Dungeons & Dragons fans so I selected some of my favorite illustrations from the Fiend Folio and throw them into a composition.  Here's the result (note, this was a test run on a smaller pieces of wood):  

(please note this work IS copyrighted, however both myself and the recipient of this gift own physical copies of book containing these images.  Also, no money has changed hands so an argument for fair use is pretty strong regarding this new composition. The original art work was all created by Russ Nicholson.)

It worked out well enough that I might try to make a few more (with public domain images) and see if they'll sell.  If anyone has a specific piece that won't violate copyright I'd be interested in talking about commissions.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Still kicking...

I know that my adoring fan base is wondering, "what the hell's happened to Ian's blog?" (snort, like anyone other than bots and scrapers read this thing).  I've been meaning to add some posts but I've been so damn busy I haven't had the time to put together anything coherent.  So, here's an attempt at coherence and a summary of my recent tinkering and design activity.

A month or two ago I joined a maker space named EnjiGo.  It's a relatively new organization (a merger between MakeSLC and a robot building club), and there are quite a few things that need to be done for the organization.  When I joined there was no logo, no brand and no real identity, which equates to a very slow word-of-mouth growth strategy (though with member attrition it seems like we're lucky to keep a constant number of members).  For those not familiar with maker spaces, these are collective spaces with room to work, shop and rapid prototyping tools and a group of members who have expertise in a variety of different fields (often some brand of engineering).  In EnjiGo's case there's also a mandate to educate the community and share skill sets.  As a paying member I'm allowed to vote on the behavior of the organization and since groups such as this can tend towards apathy we have termed ourselves a Do-ocracy (entitlement through action).  Anyway (back on track to some self aggrandizement), I took it upon myself to design a logo and build a window sign to replace the makeshift, barely legible masking tape on window spelling E N J I G O. Here's the new logo:
 I used the my laser cutter to make the sign from some spare luan plywood I had floating around, learned a painful lesson regarding how tough that shit is (way tougher than birch of a similar thickness and higher quality).  Here's a sequence of images show construction and final result:

(so pretty with just gesso on it...)

(I was going for a sort of plasticy look)

(this was the first time I had experiment with clear acrylic gel medium)

(the result of my efforts, regarding the sign)

Now, an important thing to note is that EnjiGo's space is about 5000 square feet and the rent is not insubstantial and as I previously noted the growth of the organization is happening slowly.  We need more members and we need to communicate what a great organization we are (trying to be), to this end I've started designing printed marketing material.  Here's a poster that should be arriving soon from the printer:

The plan is to slap these up around campus at the U, SLCCC, Westminster College and other locations.  Also, have business cards ready to go:

So, as soon as we get this material printed it'll be time to pound some pavement and distribute propaganda.

More later about other stuff...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Less smoke, no fire...

Having burned up a bunch of balsa yesterday I decided to actually make something today.  This is a prototype of an Me109 balsa flyer I've been working on.  I've been playing with making balsa plywood (see the non-engraved horizontal stabilizer), harder to cut but much stronger.

(laser cutter in action)

(the fuselage is going to be 3 layers of 3/32" balsa)

Alas I've run out of 3/32" balsa, I'll need to take a trip to the hobby shop to get more.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Balsa wood and concentrated light

Toyed with the laser and balsa wood today.  I think the pictures speak for themselves, the higher power settings blow right through wood, the balsa also has a tendency to catch fire which is exacerbated by the high flow rate exhaust fan.  I finally got the settings figured out for a variety of thicknesses (cutting with little or no burning).

(I had finally gotten the engraving settings right and figured full power for a quick cut and it'll be done. Alas, this was a flawed assumption)

(Surely, power 80 out of 100 would be the right setting for this engraving job, NOT!)

(The best of the lot, the cockpit was too finely detailed and burned)

(Another almost there piece)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Laser up and running...

So, at long last, my dream of in-home rapid prototyping is realized.  After much work on the laser shed, electrical, ventilation and data have been run.  Defective water cooling pump replaced with superior pump of greater reliability.  Here are some pix of the laser and an engraving job that I ran on it to get a feel for its capabilities.

(yes, a box with a laser tube in it)

(behold it will cut circles...)

(the obligatory Dark Sol logo) 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A new home for stuff...

UPDATE: Done with sheathing (almost, need to cut two little panels still) the shed.  The shed is now good enough to put stuff in...

I'm now in possession of a laser cutter... YAY!!!  Now comes the annoying part, laser cutters need more than just a power cable, they need air compressors, exhaust fans (attached to exhaust ports) and water pumps for laser tube cooling.  To put it another way a laser cutter needs a home, a home where you can cut holes in the wall and blow all the noxious smoke and cutting particulates out.  Currently this home doesn't exist (and the laser cutter is still in its shipping box), BUT worry not sports fans I'm working away at making a new shed into which I can put all the stuff in our current shed.  Here's a pic of the new shed's framing (this toddler was wandering around the backyard, no idea who she is):

So soon the current shed will be upgraded with insulation, electricity and ventilation.  Then the laser cutter will have a home, won't that be nice?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Balsa wood flyer, anyone?

UPDATE: Been reworking these designs, here's a new rendering.

So, I've been dreaming up uses for the laser cutter I'll soon have unlimited access to.  I remember as a kid spending hours playing with a simple balsa wood glider.  Here's a balsa wood flyer for adults... it would be an electric RC plane in the "park flyer" class.  The fuselage, wings and tail would be reinforced with carbon fiber paneling, sandwiched between laser cut balsa wood.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Aerial installation...

Had an idea for an art installation (ideally in the UMFA's big empty mezzanine, that seems to sit empty much of the time), being filled with a variety of flying and floating drones.  Talked to +Jon D about his WiSEL quad-copter project to see if he'd be interested in working on such a project.  He liked the idea, so I've started dreaming up fairings for his tiny quad-copter design.  This could be a fun project.

(This is a sleek, form fitting fairing)

(This design takes into account the copters angle of attack)

(It seeks to minimize drag by applying streamlining orthogonal to the props' axis of rotation)