Archive for the ‘3D Printing’ Category

An Arduino Mouse Wiggler!

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

If, for whatever reason, you need your computer to stay awake without changing its settings, that’s easy—just remember to shake your mouse back and forth intermittently! If remembering to do that over and over seems like too much work, then here’s a simple solution: a device setup to optically wiggle your mouse using an Arduino Nano and a micro RC servo.

The 3D-printed unit sits underneath a mouse and rotates a printed grid left and right in order to trick it into thinking that you’re moving the mouse, and thus keeping the computer awake.

(more…)

Add voice control to your 3D-printed desk lamp

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Nikodem Bartnik had a small problem. When soldering, he had to move his light around in order to properly see what he was working on. In order to avoid this constant interruption, he built a 3D-printed lamp capable of manuevering like a small robot arm under voice command.

An Arduino Uno controls the light’s movement directly via three servos, and a relay flips the switch on and off. Instead of adding voice recognition hardware to his robotic light, he cleverly linked it with an Android app over Bluetooth, using his phone to translate spoken words into serial commands. (more…)

Project Aslan is a 3D-printed robotic sign language translator

Monday, August 21st, 2017

With the lack of people capable of turning written or spoken words into sign language in Belgium, University of Antwerp masters students Guy Fierens, Stijn Huys, and Jasper Slaets have decided to do something about it. They built a robot known as Aslan, or Antwerp’s Sign Language Actuating Node, that can translate text into finger-spelled letters and numbers.

Project Aslan–now in the form of a single robotic arm and hand–is made from 25 3D-printed parts and uses an Arduino Due, 16 servos, and three motor controllers. Because of its 3D-printed nature and the availability of other components used, the low-cost design will be able to be produced locally.

The robot works by receiving information from a local network, and checking for updated sign languages from all over the world. Users connected to the network can send messages, which then activate the hand, elbow, and finger joints to process the messages. (more…)

Scare your friends with a 3D-printed animatronic eyeball

Monday, April 24th, 2017

With October still six months away, you may not be thinking about Halloween decorations just yet. However, this Arduino-based ocular assembly could make for a spooky yet simple prop!

There are few things more unnerving than an eyeball or three looking at you from some concealed position—such as under clothing as in the project’s video. If you’d like to scare friends, family, or random visitors, Maker Will Cogley has the perfect solution with his 3D-printed animatronic eye and eyelid mechanism. (more…)

A robotic dancing teapot

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

You may have seen robots that wobble around, such as BOB, OTTO and ZOWI. Though their locomotion style of shifting the unit’s weight on huge feet is clever, they all share a rather similar look. French computer scientist Paul-Louis Ageneau decided to do something about this and created his own biped in the form of a dancing teapot a la Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

To accomplish this, he attached four servos to the robot’s hips and ankles, which were connected to an Arduino Pro Mini and powered by a 9V alkaline battery. All the electronics are housed inside the 3D-printed teapot. It’s a neat build in itself, and in a separate post he goes over how to play music on an Arduino, which should make this little guy even more entertaining! (more…)

Why buy a soldering station when you can build one instead?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

As with many products, if you want the best, you’ll pay top dollar for it. After seeing that the supposed best soldering station on the market sells for $500, YouTuber GreatScott! decided to instead purchase the iron and tip for a total of around $100, then reverse-engineer how the station should work.

From there, he used an Arduino Pro Mini along with a little OLED screen to display the temperature, and a toroidal transformer as well as several other components to power and complete his build. Finally, he 3D-printed a nice red enclosure and attached everything together, making his own custom soldering station. (more…)

Turn and film your projects in style with this $8 DIY device

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Using an Arduino along with some 3D-printed and salvaged parts, hacker “notionSunday” made an excellent photo turntable for under $10.

In a masterful display of converting one man’s junk into another man’s treasure, notionSunday used a VCR head as a very smooth-looking bearing surface for a small turntable. A DVD-ROM drive motor, a potentiometer from an old TV, and screws and wires from other electronics rounded out the internals of this build, as well as an Arduino Pro Mini with an H-bridge driver for control. All of this was placed inside of 3D-printed housing, then a disk was added to the top for other contraptions to rest on. (more…)

Testing microswitches with a (not quite) Useless Machine

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Pete “Raster” Prodoehl shows how to test microswitches with an Arduino Uno.

As referenced in his write-up, Prodoehl needed a way to test microswitches that he’d be using for an exhibit. After all, when something is on display, the last thing you want is to have to replace components. Inspired by how Consumer Reports tests things, he decided to build his own setup with a counter and 3D-printed “pusher.”

What he found was that when you’re testing the life span of a component made to work over and over, your testing components have to also be robust enough to handle the very gradual abuse. It’s an interesting exercise, and something that engineers in manufacturing have to deal with constantly. Getting something to work once or even a times is neat, but getting it to function thousands of times for a test or otherwise takes a different way of thinking! (more…)

Converting a coffee maker into a 3D printer

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Heavy duty coffee makers are good for, well, making coffee. On the other hand, if you were to look at the frame without the preconception of what it can do, you might notice that there is space on top where equipment could be attached, and space on the bottom with a built-in heating pad on which to place an object… in other words, a perfect 3D printer frame!

Tropical Labs realized this, and turned the ordinary household appliance into a delta printer with three steppers for motion and another to feed the printing media. An Arduino Mega serves as the brains of the operation along with a popular RAMPS 1.4 shield. (more…)

A 3D-printed e-drum pad

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

After making his first drum with a laser cutter, Ryo Kosaka redesigned it as a 3D-printed structure so more people could build it.

If you’d like to practice playing the drums, but would rather not disturb your family, roommate, neighbors, dog, etc., then an electronic version is probably a good idea. Since you’re reading our blog, making one would be even better!

Although details on how it was interfaced software-wise with the Arduino Uno aren’t included in his log, the drum itself looks quite good. It’s 3D-printed out of several individual pieces, which are glued together using thick paper to help hold everything intact. The sectioned design means that you only need a 120mm x 120mm print area to produce this 8-inch drum pad. (more…)