Automated Window Blinds

Spring has sprung?  Kind of…  There is a big glowing ball in the sky that I have not seen for months.  Its really messing up my Netflix viewing but closing my window blinds would involve getting off the couch and doing manual labor.  So instead I spent weeks designing, building, and coding a machine that will open and close my window blinds for me.  I just have to bark some commands at my google home it it will do all the work.  You can design one for your windows if you join of on Mondays at 7pm or watch the recordings on YouTube.  Part one is linked below and Part 3 will be next week.

Pi Day is Coming!

Every nerds favorite holiday is next week and I am ready.  March 14th is a day to celebrate one of the worlds most famous and useful numbers, also eat pie.  This year I will be bringing pie to work in a ridiculous box.  When opened you reveal the delicious pie inside illuminated by 40 neopixels and are serenaded by a Puffy Daddy instrumental.  It’s so much fun to see people reactions.  

I did a Model Monday on designing the box and creating drawings to print and take into the wood shop last week.  Inside the box is a custom vacu-formed pie holder also made at the makerspace.  I look forward to baking this weekend.

Fusion 360 Electronics

We just finished our first Fusion 360 Electronics project in Model Monday.  For the past 3 weeks we have been dipping our toe into the Electronics area of Fusion.  You can follow the link below to find the videos and arduino sketch on Make Projects.

https://makeprojects.com/project/getting-started-with-fusion-360-electronics?projectid=73776&r=ofrf8

Grow Beyond Earth Contest

3 years ago I started participating in the Grow Beyond Earth contest.  It’s a collaboration between NASA and the Fairchild Botanical Gardens in Florida.  The goal is to create a device that will grow food on the International Space Station.  That sounded like fun to me!  Year one focused on designing the growing area to take advantage of the 0G environment and fit in a 50cm cube.   I was fortunate enough to be a finalist and walked away with some prize money.  I was not able to participate in the 2nd year but I am back in for year 3. 

This year the focus is on creating a robotic harvesting and planting.  If you want to read all about it you can do so at the Make:Projects link below.  This has been a fun project and I learned so much.

https://makeprojects.com/project/0g-garden—year-3-professional-entry

Electronics Experiments

Ever get excited after seeing an YouTube video?  It happens to me all the time.  When I was Thomas Sanladerer‘s video on using an MSLA printer to make PCB’s I knew I had to try it.  In fact I have worked it into February’s Model Monday project.  This month we will be designing an Addressable LED strip control box electronics and all.  You might not know that Fusion 360 can do electronics design but after a few classes you’ll be up to speed and ready to design.

I have been looking for an excuse to learn more about the electronics design work space in Fusion 360 and I had a member request it as a project.  It’s great to be able to have electronics parts and cad design all in the same software.  This is going to be a fun one with lots of new things to learn for all of us.  Join us Mondays @7pm live or watch the recordings on YouTube at your convenience.