Archive for the ‘Mechanics’ Category

#RepRap Workshop a Officine Arduino

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
What a Printer!

Picture from Josef Prusa’s Flickr Photostream

We are happy to announce the upcoming Josef Prusa’s and Alessandro Ranellucci’s workshop @ Officine Arduino / Fablab Torino, on February 16th and 17th. This two days workshop will cover the making & fine-tuning of the latest Prusa I3 with Prusa nozzle AND Ranellucci’s how-to slic3r lesson on Sunday.

If you ever want to jump on the reprap world, this may be the best opportunity. If you don’t feel like buying the printer but just want to follow the workshop taking notes & make questions, we do also offer a spectator admittance.

The workshop is part of the celebration of the first year of Officine Arduino and Fablab, soon more details about the complete program (stay tuned).

read the full description of the workshop on the [Arduino Store] or read the (italian) post on the fablabtorino website.

Arduino based Milling Machine

Monday, June 25th, 2012

This is a working model of an Arduino based Milling Machine created using FischerTechnik. For those of you who are unaware of FischerTechnik, it is similar to the LEGOTM Building Blocks.


A group of four Mechanical Engineering students at the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) created this project as part of their Mechatronics class in their Second year of Bachelor of Sciences (B.Sc.) Program.

Laurens Valk, one of the creators, explains the essence of Arduino in the project:

“The system uses the Adafruit motor shield to run two stepper motors, and the Sparkfun EasyDriver for the third stepper motor. The Arduino runs code that listens to Matlab commands over USB. We expanded that code a little to make it possible to add the third stepper motor and some other commands. Most of the actual code was programmed in Matlab, with the Arduino as the interface between computer and motors/sensors.”

We had a little chat with Laurens. Here is the excerpt:


When did you first hear about Arduino, and when did you first start using it?
I’ve seen a lot of Arduino projects over the years, but this was the first time we used it in a project. Personally, I usually build robots with MINDSTORMS NXT, but this felt like a good opportunity to combine mechanical work (the printer hardware) with real electronics (Arduino).
How did you end up making a Milling Machine/ 3D Printer for your project?

We chose to come up with our own design challenge and decided not to do the standard exercise. Initially we thought about making a (2D) plotter or scanner. Then quickly we started thinking about the same things, except in 3D. One of the projects that inspired us was the LEGO Milling Machine by Arthur Sacek. Both a scanner and printer would still be doable in 3D, but the time was limited, so we settled with the printer idea.

All construction had to be done in one workweek for logistical reasons. To make sure we were able to finish in time, we prepared much of the electronics and software outside the lab. We finished just in time, but unfortunately we could do only one complete print before we had to take it apart. Not surprisingly, it was very exciting to wait for the result of the one and only complete test run. We couldn’t see the result until we used the vacuum cleaner to remove the dust.

Here is a video showing the working of this machine. [And the Vacuum Cleaner Laurens is talking about]:

This gives an Insight into the many feats that an Arduino can accomplish.


Some advances in aerial vehicles: bat-inspired smart wings

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Researchers from Centro de Automática y Robótica (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) and from Brown University carried out a very deep research about the specific behavior of bat flight, whose ultimate goal is to replicate the capabilities of bat’s wings by means of an ad-hoc designed micro aerial vehicle (MAV).

From the home page of the project:

[...] this research is oriented towards the development of a biological inspired bat robot platform, that allows to reproduce the amazing maneuverability of these flying mammals. The highly maneuverability is achieved by reproducing the flapping and morphing capabilities of their wing-skeleton structure. This structure is composed by several joints and a membrane that generates the required lift forces to fly.

To mimmic the muscular system that moves the joints of the wing-bones, Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) NiTi wires are used as artificial-muscles. Several challenges in controlling this SMA-based actuation system are regarded in this research.


Circuit Milling With Roland iModela, Now Available on Arduino Store

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

[Enrico Bassi] from FablabTorino brought to the extent the use of the Roland iModela, using the little (and inexpensive) desktop milling machine for pcb milling.  (in the picture we milled the overexposed Fritzing Parking Assistant).

He wrote some Scuola Lessons (here’s the first) to explain how he realized the pcb, starting from Fritzing.

Roland iModela is now on sell on the Arduino Store.

source [FablabTorino]

MTM Snap: A snap-together Arduino-powered desktop CNC milling machine.

Friday, May 20th, 2011

MTM Snap, the Martha Stewart Edition

Jonathan Ward from the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms has designed a snap-together, desktop-sized CNC milling machine. The MTM Snap (part of the Machines that Make project) is made from 1/2-inch high-density polyethylene (HDPE) – itself milled on a ShopBot – and can be assembled for about $700. This three-axis CNC machine can mill circuit boards, wax molds, and harder materials in a 5x3x1.75″ working area.

Version five: now with the screw terminals on the other side

The MTM Snap is controlled by an Arduino board running grbl, a full-featured and robust g-code interpreter. A custom shield (designed by Nadya Peek) with three Allegro A3982 chips drives the machine’s stepper motors, and the whole thing is controlled from a simple GUI written in Processing. The advantage of this setup is that you can use the machine from pretty much any computer: desktop or laptop, Mac, Windows, or Linux. We use the CBA’s Kokompe tools for generating g-code files, but grbl should handle most files from other sources (like PCB-GCode).

You can’t yet buy the MTM Snap, but the machine has been designed to be as easy as possible to assemble yourself. All the design files are online if you want to cut out your own pieces on the ShopBot. The complete bill of materials is available, as are the documentation for the Arduino shield and software instructions.

If you’d like to see the MTM Snap in person, drop by the ShopBot booth at the Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend. It will be running off of an OLPC laptop.

The Rhythm of City

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

This is an art project born as the collaboration between Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet. During the last couple of years they have been collaborating in the creation of several interactive installations, some of them containing Arduino boards. The Rythm of City is about to be presented in the following weeks at the Czec Festival Enter5 and has pretty good online documentation, so I think it is interesting to show it here.


2011 Rythms by Canet and Guljajeva

(c) 2011 Rythms by Canet and Guljajeva

The Rhythm of City(2011) is a mixed reality real-time artwork that applies geo-located social data for an artistic purpose. It is an art installation that explains in original way digital geo-located social content and characterizes cities [...] Moreover, we would like to give an alternative meaning and purpose to the location-specific invisible online data. In short, the artwork makes invisible information visible and even audible.

[...] Important thing is that we do not rely on single social network but multiple. At the moment we are applying Twitter, Youtube, and Flickr. We plan extend our selection.

The installation controls 10 metronomes via servomotors using one Arduino Mega2560, The data to decide whether the metronome should be active and how active it should be is taken from geo-tagged posts to social networks. The following video hints how it works with 5 linked cities represented by 5 metronomes:

For more information visit Varvara Guljajeva or Mar Canet‘s personal websites, this blog explaining the process, the technical diagram, or the festival page with information where to see the piece in action this April.

Gears, if you know them, you work with them

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Gears are easy to understand, make, and use, if you know the vocabulary and can space the gears at the correct distance apart. One nice thing about gears is that if you know any two things about them – let’s say outer diameter and number of teeth — you can use some simple equations to find everything else you need to know, including the correct center distance between them

have a look at the simple equations on the excellent (and free) design guide published by Boston Gear [PDF].

via [HackADay] source [MAKE]