Crafts

Sandblasting Custom Mugs

by on Aug.01, 2014, under Crafts, Projects, sandblasting, Vinyl Cutter

Thanks to Ben and the Sandblasting cabinet he made for an older project (WordClock) we have been able to make some really interesting things! We used our vinyl cutter to cut the custom vinyl stickers. The stickers served as a blasting mask, to protect the rest of the glass. Sandblasting is quick, you can go from a digital drawing to a custom sandblasted glass in an hour!

 

Come by one of our Open House Meetings on Friday at 7pm to check it out! RSVP at Meetup.com

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Upgrading The Furnace Cart

by on Jul.20, 2014, under Casting, Crafts, Projects, Welding

Ben, Claudio and Eric built up a replacement furnace cart tonight. It should be much more stable to wheel the furnace outside when melting aluminum and burning out your molds.

Come by one of our regular Friday night Open House meetings at 7pm to see it in operation! RSVP at Meetup.com!

 

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First Attempts at Aluminum Casting

by on Jul.11, 2014, under Crafts, Meetings, omgwhathaveidone, RepRap

Scott brought a plaster mold to the open house meeting tonight. He used 3D printed PLA parts and used the forge to burn out the PLA plastic and to melt some aluminum cans and some aluminum heat sinks. We ended up cooking the mold a bit too much, it was rather fragile. We could probably burn it out in under 30 minutes for the next attempt. While not perfect, we learned a lot!

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Halloween Maker Projetct – Lego Minifig Mk. 2

by on Oct.31, 2013, under Arduino Projects, Crafts, Electronics

LegoMk2

This is my LEGO Minifig Head Mk. 2

The original head was starting to get beat up pretty good, so I built a new one. As they are made out of solid Styrofoam, they get pretty warm, so I have a fan system to keep me cool. In the previous version, the fans were activated by a switch in my left LEGO hand and run by a battery pack in my pants pocket. While this worked, it was a chore to get in and out of, and I would usually require assistance getting the wires run and connected.

When I started building Mk. 2, I decided to try to eliminate that issue. I have taken an Arduino Uno and an Arduino Mega 2560 and connected them via two Nordic NRF24L01+ boards. The Uno has 3 switches and is run by a 9V battery. I am currently only using one, the other two are for future plans. When the pin connected to the fan switch goes high, it sends a code (the number 11 in this case) wirelessly to the receiving unit on the Mega. When the Mega receives that code, it closes a relay and starts the fans.

I used Maniacbug’s RF24 Library available on Github – https://github.com/maniacbug/RF24. I found the examples included with the library kind of hard to understand (I’m not a programmer), but I found this example – www.bajdi.com/rf24-library-revisited – and I got my project up and running.

The sketches I used (note, I had a lot of serial.print statements for debugging and I’ve commented most of those out):

For the sending unit:

#include <SPI.h>
#include “nRF24L01.h”
#include “RF24.h”
int msg[1];
RF24 radio(9,10); //define the CE and CSN Pins
const uint64_t pipe = 0xE8E8F0F0E1LL; //Send and receiving units addresses must match
int SW1 = 5;

void setup(void){
Serial.begin(9600);
radio.begin(); // set up the radio
radio.openWritingPipe(pipe);} // Open the radio for sending

void loop(void){
if (digitalRead(SW1) == HIGH){
msg[0] = 11; // Code that is sent to the receiving unit
radio.write(msg, 1); // send code if Pin defined above is HIGH
//  Serial.println(“Switch high”);}}

And for the receiving unit:

#include <SPI.h>
#include “nRF24L01.h”
#include “RF24.h”
int msg[1];
RF24 radio(48,53); //define the CE and CSN Pins
const uint64_t pipe = 0xE8E8F0F0E1LL; //Send and receiving units addresses must match
int relay = 7;

void setup(void){
Serial.begin(9600);
radio.begin();
radio.openReadingPipe(1,pipe);
radio.startListening(); // Open radio in receive mode and start listening
pinMode(relay, OUTPUT);} // Set relay pin to OUTPUT

void loop(void){
if (radio.available()){
// Serial.println(“Radio Available”);
bool done = false;
while (!done){
done = radio.read(msg, 1); // poll Radio
// Serial.println(msg[0]);
if (msg[0] == 11){ // if Radio receives ’11’ from sending unit, set relay pin high
delay(10);
digitalWrite(relay, HIGH);
// Serial.println(“Pin 22 High”);
}
else {
digitalWrite(relay, LOW);
// Serial.println(“Pin 22 Low”);
}
delay(10);}}
else{Serial.println(“No radio available”);}}

Here’s a short video of the system working:

The next plan is to wire a couple of other gadgets to the Mega and I have a relay board I will be using to control them.

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Sandblasting cabinet operational with first results

by on Sep.25, 2013, under Crafts, Projects

Ben finished the sandblasting cabinet, and he, Dan, and Claudio spent last night experimenting with it.

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