I Made Some Furniture

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_I9H7512After several months of working I finally got around to photographing some of the furniture I have been working.  I have been exploring the idea of raw edges and finished edges meeting.  To that end the tables are made out of slabs of ash cut in half and then one side flipped to the other so the raw edges are in the center and not on the side.  This is not a new idea of course.  Googleing the words “river table” will provide lots of examples of this style.  The wood grain of the ash gives the look of a topographical map with the glass serving as the water feature in the map.  I am also working on a floor lamp and entry way table that continue to explore this idea. _I9H7515

The end table features legs turned from ash with a raw edge left on a single leg.  The wood top is a cross section of a maple tree also turned on the lathe to leave the bark on part of the round edge.  I am really happy with how these pieces turned out and would be happy to talk anyone through the process.

end table

Finally the last piece is the table lamp that many of you have seen around the space.  It was fun to blend walnut and concrete into this project.   This was my first attempt at steam bending and it went well.  A couple plastic bags, a hose, a tea pot, and a electric burner got the job done just fine.
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I made a thing!

This project began much like many of my projects at Milwaukee Makerspace have: an off-the-cuff discussion; in this case, with Lance Lamont about a possible project for Maker Faire Milwaukee. After a few rounds of discussion, we came up with the idea of an electromagnetic crane. I decided I’d attempt to build one similar to this style, and that I’d start off with the magnet. I purchased several small electromagnets from Tom‘s favorite website, Banggood. Thus, the MicroMagnetArray was born:

em_array

And failed miserably. Running at 18v (50% more than its rated voltage!), it was only drawing ~200mA, and could only lift 2-4 of the 7/16ths nuts I’d borrowed for use as ballast.

So my inner maker came boiling to the surface and yelled at me, “why not wind my own!?”… Continue reading

Nerdy Derby Wheels Keep Rolling!

checking-print

We’ve been printing wheels… lots of wheel! We tested some at Madison Mini Maker Faire’s Nerdy Derby event last weekend, and we’ve been using Son of Megamax to crank out little plastic wheels.

finished-wheels

Yes, we are printing 37 wheels at a time! And we’re using ABS filament from CoEx in Appleton, Wisconsin. They were kind enough to supply us with some spools of filament to keep SoM busying printing pretty much day and night!

webcam-wheels

I know you’re wondering how we keep an eye on all those wheels being printed. Well, when we’re not at the space we just check out the Milwaukee Makerspace Webcam. (As long as it’s pointed in the right direction.)

nerdy-derby-anime

Coex 3D Printing Filament
(Thanks again to Coex for the filament donation!)

Replacing the Glass Print Bed on the Taz 3 Printer

The glass bed on the Makerspace’s Taz 3 printer recently did what glass does- it broke.  Time for a repair and upgrade!

I started by cutting the under carriage down and modifying it for a three point leveling system instead of the stock four point undercarriage/bed plate bending scheme.

Modified undercarriage mounted on the printer

Modified undercarriage mounted on the printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The original heater was separated from the shards of glass and glued to the 12″ x 12″ x 1/4″ cast aluminum tooling plate using high temperature silicone.  3x #10 countersunk screws and springs support the plate on heat resistant teflon blocks.  The whole assembly stands about 1 cm taller than the original bed plate so I printed a small extension for the Z=0 set screw so it would trip the switch from the higher position.  I tested the heating time and found that the bed gets up to 110C in about 16 minutes- a little slow, but we probably won’t be printing much ABS with this open frame machine anyway.  Next- run PID autotune for the bed heater and adjust acceleration (greater moving mass means lower acceleration and print speeds).

New bed plate and undercarriage mounted on the printer

New bed plate and undercarriage mounted on the printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of you might ask why I would replace the glass bed with a piece of cast aluminum tooling plate.  Thermal performance is one good reason.  Here’s an IR photo of the original glass bed:

 

 

Taz_glass_thermal

IR image of the Taz 3 printer with original glass bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the hot and cool spots- 30C temperature variation across the bed.

Here’s what the new aluminum bed plate looks like:

 

Taz_aluminum_Thermal

 

 

Temperature variation is just a few degrees over the entire surface (the bright almost horizontal lines are not hot spots- they are reflections of the X axis guide rails).

 

I have run the PID tuning on the new bed and modified the firmware with the new constants.  It heats from 25C to 100C in about 9 minutes.

I officially declare the Taz printer ready for action.