Dan loves fire! It’s a fact! For Maker Faire Milwaukee we made a fire poofer which was triggered by pressing a button. Tons of kids (and adults) pressed that button over the course of the weekend.
While Dan the Blacksmith (and John McGeen from BBCM) were the primary builders of the fire poofer, I did the trigger electronics and enclosure.
I’ve written up a blog post with lots of images explaining the (somewhat rushed) build of the device. It’s Arduino powered, has some relays and a beeper, and looks semi-nefarious. Read more about The Detonator.
The Turndrawble is a drawing machine I designed, based loosely on an old vinyl turntable, but instead of playing records, it creates drawings.
The construction was done using stacked layers of wood and acrylic. I wanted to avoid using the typical laser-cut “box” enclosure I usually use. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
The Turndrawble is meant to be used to create 12″ circular drawings. One of the knobs controls the platter speed, and the other sweeps the arm in and out. Since it’s a new drawing device, it hasn’t been mastered yet, but we’re working on it!
Here’s a short video showing the turndrawble being operated. I’ll probably have it at some future art events for people to try out and see what they can create with it.
I built a QWERTY keyboard that types the letters Q, W, E, R, T and Y, and nothing else. No space, no return, no escape.
It’s a fully-functional USB device, you know, as long as you just want to type words that can be composed with Q, W, E, R, T and Y. (WET, WRY, YET, TRY, there’s a bunch of them!)
I wrote plenty more about this project on my blog, and if you want to read about the history of the QWERTY layout, and its connection to Milwaukee, and why the way we interact with technology is interesting and sometime ridiculous, well… I got that too.
MegaMax has been and continues to be my main project for the last 2+ years. I am currently working on some upgrades that will make him more Mega and even more Max. The Y axis is being converted from belt drive to screw drive and the round guide rails are being replaced with linear guides and bearing blocks. The X-axis will also get converted to linear guide and bearing block and change from 5mm pitch belt to 2 mm pitch belt drive. I feel confident saying that once these modifications are complete the flaws/errors in prints will be due primarily to the nature of liquid plastic squirting through a nozzle, not positioning system errors.
I recently updated my web site with a sort of historical look at the project, including all the mistakes I’ve made along the way and the often failed attempts at correcting them. Here is the page that shows how it all started, how it has ended up, and where it is going. http://mark.rehorst.com/MegaMax_3D_Printer/index.html
I also got in on the action, with two Instructables that (sort of) go together; littleBits Serial Data and littleBits Serial Controller. All of our projects make use of the Arduino module, which add some great programming functions to the littleBits world.
If you didn’t get a chance to play with the ‘Bits yet, we will have four littleBits Deluxe Kits and a bunch of Arduino modules at the space to experiment with. They should be treated like a LEGO set; build something, then take it apart. Hopefully having some fun and learning something new along the way.
Have you heard of littleBits? It’s an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. If you’re the kind of maker who tends to avoid the Electronics Lab, littleBits might be just what you need to start experimenting with circuits.
If you come up with something cool, we’ll help you post a step-by-step Instructable for it, so others can enjoy your creation. If you need some inspiration, check out some of these littleBits projects.
These events will be free, just bring yourself (and your ideas!) to 2555 S. Lenox St. in Bay View and make something cool with littleBits.
I repaired the Budaschnozzle hot-end over the weekend and bolted the SnakeBite extruder to it and then to MegaMax and tested it last night. There’s plenty of tuning to do, but the first print looks promising:
I made a few RTC / LCD clocks and disliked setting the time using an Epoch converter so I found a solution that uses 2 buttons to advance the Hours and Minutes. I substituted toggle switches for the buttons because I didn’t want to have to hold down the button while the Minutes were advancing, thus enabling me to move on to determining how long it is until Spring!.
I first came across BrownDogGadgets on Etsy back in 2011, and was excited to see a kit-maker in Milwaukee. Somehow I never managed to connect with the man behind BrownDogGadgets until recently when we somehow became friends on Facebook, and I then realized that Joshua was the driving force behind BrownDogGadgets.
BrownDogGadgets makes a variety of fun electronics kits, many of which center around solar energy, and many of which fit in empty Altoid tins. (There’s also some Arduino-compatible kits which look pretty interesting.)
We’re glad to have Joshua as a new member of Milwaukee Makerspace and look forward to having someone with kit-making skills in the group.
I want to open my first blog post with a statement that continues to impress me: Milwaukee Makerspace is a wonderful place! I mostly show up for the free meetings. MMS provides an excellent environment to be social, to learn (happens every time I go!), to teach (when I can!), and to get the creative juices flowing.
I had recently started working with Arduino (after a failed run at Microchip’s PIC series of microcontrollers), and was making progress quickly. I learned how to read infrared remote control codes, how to use an infrared motion sensor, and how to control servos. What I did not have, was a sense of direction as to where to go with all of this!
After listening to the Bay View Neighborhood Associate pitch their idea of MMS helping with the Pumpkin Pavilion, and listening to Royce Pipkins describe his idea of animatronic pumpkins singing along to a song, I was struck with my own idea: an animatronic skull.
I’ll post more details in a following post about how I built this guy. :)
Many thanks to Royce, Tom G., and Ed C. for their help on this project!
At Wisconsin State Fair Park, the same weekend as Harvest Fair. Admission is free. Thanks for a great 2015! See you next year. A joint presentation by the Makerspace and the Betty Brinn Children's Museum.
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