Make Lehigh Valley Make Hardware, Make Software, Make Art

13Jul/170

(Mis)Adventures In Laser Cutting

Member Katie has started a blog on her site Crafty Kitsurou about her (mis)adventures in using our laser cutter.  Katie is doing really cool stuff with halftones and engraving photos that we've pictured here in the past month or so.  Check it out below!

(Mis)Adventures in Laser Cutting

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22Jun/170

What’s up @MakeLV! (6/22/2017)

I thought maybe I'd try a new title as our updates turn out to be a little less frequent than weekly :)  Plus that's our twitter thing.. see what I did there?

The newly-appointed board met for the first time on 6/14 and it was certainly a busy meeting. You can take a look at the complete minutes here.  Some important highlights:  We've been discussing the purchase of a new 3D Printer for the space, and are trying to narrow the field selection-wise as well as determine how much we're going to spend.  We've fired off a discussion on our mailing list (join!) and are hoping to get some consensus prior to our 7/12 meeting at which we're planning to make the purchase.

DSC_1134_sm   (sad face)

We also scheduled our next Space Pride Day for Saturday, July 8th beginning at 12PM.  We use these days to clean up and improve the space as a group.  At some point during the day MakeLV will be buying everyone lunch!

We had a pretty small crowd at the 6/15 Open Hack, but here is what happened Thursday 6/22!

A busy Open Hack, Katie is burning photos into wood and making some other small ornaments, Ed is modeling a trailer for his quad and golf cart in SolidWorks, Jeff is troubleshooting an inexpensive CNC controller he picked up for a robotics project, and Twilly is working on a Frankenstein skirt.

DSC_1138_sm DSC_1137_sm DSC_1136_sm DSC_1132_sm DSC_1126_sm DSC_1140_sm

 

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25May/170

This week-ish at MakeLV (5/15-5/25/2017)

I'm batting 1.000 on putting up some news on a weekly basis, aren't I?  It's been a busy few weeks at the space;  we had our Annual Meeting, BBQ and Elections on Saturday May 20th (minutes here) which was a ton of fun and some well-attended Open Hacks on those few Thursday nights in there.

In case you missed it, our new Board of Directors is as follows:  President Jared Steckel, Quartermaster Ed Kilburn, Secretary Will Weik, Treasurer Jonas Wood and Director of Public Relations Danny Mardis.  All honors and thanks to Mark Benning (Former President) and Alex Cloak (former Quartermaster) for their service and many accomplishments this past year.

DSC_1094_sm  Danny, Will, Ed and Jared

Here's some more from a few nights around the space!

A bustling Open Hack night, Dave is building a desktop air conditioner for his desk at work out of some spare parts lying around, tron is reclaiming some valuable parts from some electronics scrap, mobius is working on rebuilding an old air compressor, Jonas is scrapping an old refrigerator (not to worry, we have refrigerant reclamation equipment!), Jeff shows a power connection and some wiring he's made up for his awesome sign on the steps, and Ralph troubleshoots (successfully!) a partially-functional LED strip.

DSC_1028_smDSC_1029_smDSC_1043_smDSC_1040_smDSC_1036_smDSC_1034_smDSC_1113_smDSC_1033_sm

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10May/171

This week at MakeLV (5/1/2017)

One of the most common things we hear from visitors and newcomers is that we don't update our blog and there aren't any pictures of what goes on here, etc.  I don't want to make all sorts of commitments I won't keep, but I recently got my first DSLR and am enjoying taking photos of whats going on.  So, for the first time in years, here are some actual pictures from this week at MakeLV.  From left to right are the descriptions below.  I promise to learn a nicer way to throw these into a post with descriptions, honest 😉

Photon got an old Pentium 166 loaded up with DOS 6.22, Windows 3.11, and a copy of ImpuleTracker and was playing some old MOD audio files.

Mobius was working on our audio system in the space, adding a 15" Dayton Audio 350W (RMS) sub in a custom-built folded horn box that stands waist high.

Photon jumped in on the stereo work and replaced the caps in an Altec Lansing single-channel 31-band EQ destined for the sub.

Ed started assembly on an enclosure and bench for the CNC mill he and Tronwizard have been working on.

Ed and Ben are working on some Python on a Raspberry Pi 3 which is using the pygame library to produce some graphics for an upcoming project.

DSC_0883_smDSC_0902_smDSC_0911_smDSC_0960_smDSC_0965_sm

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13Feb/170

MakeLV T-Shirts

MakeLV is proud to announce that we are offering T-Shirts for sale to members and non-members. Available by pick-up only, the shirts are on a soft, light material, and cost $15. Check the sidebar for ordering information.

mlvshirtback mlvshirtfront

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17Sep/160

World Maker Faire Bus 2016

We're excited for our annual bus trip to World Maker Faire in NYC, come ride with Make Lehigh Valley!

We have a luxury coach reserved and will be leaving from DaVinci Science Center at 8AM on Saturday October 1st to head to NYSCI in Queens for the Faire.  You can park in the DaVinci lot while we're gone, and we'll be returning there around 10PM the same day.

Details and tickets available at the link below.  Purchase your tickets by September 29th 2016 at 6PM!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/world-maker-faire-2016-with-make-lehigh-valley-tickets-27374344401

 

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21Jul/140

Member Project Spotlight: Frank’s Filament Extruder (WIP) Updated

Frank just sent us another update on his filament extruder. Some progress has been made, and he's almost ready for testing. This is shaping up to be one of the more ambitious projects from one of our members and we're excited to see it in action.

"I am nearing completion of the clutch for the extruder and have completed the adapter to be able to turn the extruder with a variable speed drill.  My thoughts on the clutch are to place hose clamps on each side over top where the slots are cut.  The tighter the clamps the higher the torque until it slips (that is the theory anyway).  If I need more torque applied, I am thinking of a steel can with bolted flanges to tighten down on the plastic coupling.  There is a floating steel rod inside (not shown) that maintains the alignment between the aluminum halves.  The plastic is a PVC pipe union connector with slots cut so clamps can compress the plastic coupling. Progress has been slower than I hoped due to other projects, but I am getting close to being able to conduct the first trials which I plan to do at the space. "

"The clutch assembly is complete and the extruder end has been drilled for a pellet hopper and a small aluminum hopper added.  My plan is for a full-size hopper would set on top of aluminum block.  The only thing I need to do to allow an initial test is to make some nozzles to fit in the "T" connection.  I am going to try to drill some brass plugs with a 1/16" drill as a start.  1/16" (0.0625") may be close to what is required to get a 1.75 mm (0.069") figuring it will swell as it comes out the nozzle."

Extruder Assembly (1) (Large) Extruder Assembly (2) (Large) Extruder Assembly (3) (Large) Extruder Clutch Assembly (1) (Large) Extruder Clutch Assembly (2) (Large) Extruder Clutch Assembly (3) (Large) Extruder Clutch Assembly (4) (Large) Extruder Drill for Testing (Large) Extruder Overall View (Large) Drill Adapter Extruder Clutch (1) Extruder Clutch (2) Extruder Clutch (3) Extruder Clutch (4) Extruder Clutch (5)

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4Jul/140

Donate to our Laser Cutter fundraising campaign!

Hey, fellow makers!

We're trying to raise the last bit of cash we need to purchase a Red Sail X700 Laser Cutter/Engraver for the space and we need your help!  

As of 7/4 we're a little under halfway to our goal. Show your support and help us out, receive some cool stuff for your troubles, and get that warm feeling inside knowing that you helped out a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the community. Just follow the link below to send us a donation via our Indiegogo campaign. Remember, we are a non-profit organization and every little bit will help!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/make-lehigh-valley-laser-cutter--2

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5Jun/140

Member Project Spotlight: Frank’s Filament Extruder (WIP)

Our member Frank has been working on a heavy duty piece of hardware for extruding 3D printer filament. This all started when we got a 3D printer and were interested in making filament on the cheap instead of paying someone else to manufacture it. Filaments can be made from many different materials and self producing it can save up to 80% of the cost of commercially produced filament. We had seen several  other DIY machines  to do the same thing, but one of our members decided to take on this project himself and has really gotten pretty serious with it. Here are his progress notes so far and some info on the work that's going into this project.
Work completed:
  • Extruder shaft machined to accept bearings on both ends
  • Bearing supports for both ends of the extruder - hot end is a bronze sleeve bearing, drive end is a tapered roller bearing to handle the thrust of extruding
  • Extruder mounting plate machined to accept the extruder and gearbox mounted and rough aligned
  • Mounting plate for future motor drive / gear reduction assembly installed
MakeLV Filament Extruder (1) MakeLV Filament Extruder (2) MakeLV Filament Extruder (3)-extruder support MakeLV Filament Extruder (4)-bearing housing MakeLV Filament Extruder (5)-bearing spacer MakeLV Filament Extruder (6) MakeLV Filament Extruder (7)-extruder end bearing MakeLV Filament Extruder (8)-gear reduction set
Remaining work:
  • Machine coupling between extruder and gearbox
  • Clutch system between gearbox and extruder to prevent over-torquing in the event of a jam
  • Machine adapter for gearbox high speed end to allow connection to variable speed drill for testing to validate required speeds
  • Machine hole for plastic pellet inlet
  • Machine nozzle orifice - considering using removal orifice similar to jets in carburetors to aid in cleaning if required
  • Design / fabricate hopper - 3D printed in ABS?
  • When this point is reached, it would seem some basic testing could occur
  • Design / install sensor, heater and controller - Arduino based?  probably nichrome wire based similar to existing unit (for initial trials, I am thinking external heating via heat gun may allow for testing)
  • Design / machine supports for gear reduction sets for motor drive - one gear needs a support shaft added to one side of the gear (large metal gear shown in photo)
  • Design / motor supports - with the high gear reduction, planning to use stepper motor to allow adjustment of speed
  • Design / construction motor speed controller - Arduino based?
  • Probably a bunch of other items I have not thought of
Currently extruder section is short, not sure how much length is required to get necessary pressures at nozzle end.  I have other tubing available to lengthen that section if it is determined to be necessary.  The parts are designed to move around to test other arrangements.
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We're looking forward to seeing more on this amazing project. Keep up the good work, Frank!
22May/140

Large LED Clock from Recycled Components

Finished Clock

Finished Clock

One of the first things I noticed after joining Make Lehigh Valley was that there was no easy way to tell what time it was if you weren't near a computer. After discovering a box of LEDs that had been recently donated to the space, I decided I would fix that problem. The LED clock itself is made of mostly recycled and donated parts. The 7-segment displays are made from laser-cut cardboard and tissue paper as the diffuser. The LEDs were rather unusual in that they were arrays of dies in a rectangular metal package; this lent itself well for the 7-segment arrangement.

Control Board

Control Board

The control board is about as simple as it gets. The Atmega328 communicates to two MCP23016 16 bit I/O expanders and a Dallas DS1307 real-time clock chip via I2C. Also onboard is a DHT11 temperature and humidity sensor. This allows the clock to function like one you would see at a bank. The display cycles through time, temperature and humidity - three seconds each.

 

Testing the Drive Method

Testing the Drive Method

Since the LEDs are actually small arrays, they have a forward voltage of about 7v - I was thinking I would need to multiplex the display and use additional transistors to handle the voltage, but the LEDs were plenty bright enough at 50mA (the output rating of the IO pins on the expander IC) so I was able to use a dual rail power supply to power the LEDs with the IO expander directly (well, with current limiting resistors anyway). The LEDs are connected in a common anode arrangement to the +12v rail of a power supply scavenged from a 10mbps ethernet hub. The logic runs from the 5v rail. When the pins on the IO expander go high (+5v), there is only 5vdc across the LED and so it stays dark. When the pin goes low, it gets the full 12v through 220 ohm resistors, limiting the current to about 22mA.

 

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