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.

Makers help with Ukraine surgical supplies

Responding to an urgent call for help in Ukraine, MMS member Steve Birkholz is making parts for much-needed surgical supplies. Steve, a retired orthopedic surgeon, is in touch with Polish surgeons who are in Ukraine helping to treat people injured by Russian attacks. The Polish doctors have asked for supplies to stabilize badly broken leg bones. The materials will be shipped over ASAP. Members Glyn Livermore (at right) and Jon Drayna (not pictured) are helping, as Steve tries to set up a mini-assembly line to make around 100 pieces.

Steam engine progress update

If anybody’s curious, here’s a video update on my steam engine project. I upgraded the oil burner, although I’m having trouble getting it dialed in. I also decided the heat needs to transfer through the wall of the boiler better, so I welded numerous little tabs on it to create a sort of reverse heat sink. It does run, as you can see in the video (which for some reason I can’t post directly here). This link takes to you Youtube for a 1:10 expo.

We’re having some fun now!

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.