Lish Dorset posted this today on CRAFT:
Wanna share your project builds with thousands of like-minded folks? We’re thrilled to announce that we officially have 10,000 maker community members of all stripes on Make: Projects, our how-to wiki! We launched Make: Projects a little over a year and a half ago as a way to share projects from previous issues of MAKE and CRAFT, and to give our community a place to share their own builds. We now have 960 awesome projects to browse in topics as diverse as the skills and interests of our community.
One of the first community-contributed projects we saw was the Penny Countertop by Shane Selman and Michael Reilly of Artifacture Studios, and their project continues to be one of the most popular on the site, with around 280K views. Not only is it a cool, useful project, but their how-to is well written with great pictures, and they’ve been really active in helping folks troubleshoot their own builds.
The wiki format invites folks to help improve projects on the site, and all fields are editable. It’s been wonderful watching makers help one another solve problems and fine-tune builds. One amazing community member is Martin Schmidt, who has single-handedly made grammatical edits to a whopping 118 projects! When I first saw his edits and sent him a thank you note, he replied: “The maker movement is an exciting one to me and I’m glad to be able to contribute something useful, however small.” Thanks so much, Martin — we’re excited to meet and host you at this year’s Maker Faire Bay Area!
We’ve gotten great feedback and continue to improve the site all the time. If you haven’t checked it out yet, take a test drive and let us know what you think! And if you want to pitch your project ideas for MAKE magazine, there’s no better way than to share your build on Make: Projects.
In case you were wondering, our 10,000th maker is Bill Selberis. We’ll be sending him a Maker’s Notebook.
A big high five to everyone who has joined the community and shared their knowledge. Thank you for helping to build Make: Projects into a valuable resource for all makers! Next up: Who will enter the 1000th project?
As was previously reported here on MAKE, recently, a group of us OpenROVers journeyed to Hall City Cave just outside of Wildwood, CA. The goal of the trip was to do a shakedown of ourselves and the ROV in the field, and as a mission, determine if (inside the underwater cave) the vertical cave shaft connects with the 45 degree sloped shaft. The cave was the original inspiration for Eric to begin creating an ROV, and has since evolved into the open source project that it is today.
Needless to say, we had quite an adventure – driving through heavy snow, trekking along mountain paths with robots and tool boxes, landing single engine planes on snow covered runways. We’re still digesting much of what happened and we’ll be writing up a longer report of the adventure soon, but we wanted to give a quick update on how the robot worked!
When it comes to small ROV design, there are three general fields that always seem to require the most development:
There is a lot more to come in the future, but first we want to get the video working. The code will be hosted on Github.
For our resent trip, development had not gotten us to the point where we could control the ROV with an onboard computer, so instead we just used an RC controller which talked to the receiver on the ROV through a long wire which effectively ducted the RF through the water.
How you can help:
For the Hall City Cave trip, we used a twisted pair of 28AWG stranded wire, and it seemed to work very well- if we had been using thicker tether such as Ethernet, the ROV would have had a much harder time moving around, and the weight of the tether would have made it hard for the ROV to maintain a given depth. We’d like to continue using very thin tethers such as this one (or perhaps extremely thin coax such as RG-178), but the challenge we’re facing is how to send high bandwidth data through it.
There are several approaches to this. For starters, you could go analog and use a video balun to send images from an RCA-output camera up from the ROV while allowing RF signals from an RC transmitter to pass down the tether. Or, you might be able to use one of these fancy devises to convert double twisted pair Ethernet to single twisted pair.
How you can help:
How you can help:
How you can help:
Feel free to check out the OpenROV forums for some of the other strategies we’ve checked out. Also, let us know if you’ve got any other adventure ideas!
Our maker this week is Steve Lodefink. An inveterate tinkerer and “broad-spectrum hobbyist,” Steve just can’t say no to a cool project. At three, he was already reverse-engineering the peanut butter and jelly sandwich: “I figured out where all of the parts were, found a good tool, and built one. I’ve been doing it ever since.” He lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons, two cats, five tarantulas, and 24 African cichlids, and thinks that one of life’s great pleasures is a really sharp aged cheddar cheese. “I’m a simple man,” he says. He looks at life’s debris at finkbuilt.com.
Anyone who’s ever tried woodcarving using a chisel or gouge knows how difficult it can be. It is not trivial to translate an idea — a concept of a shape — from one’s imagination into a physical form. Whether using your hands or a manual tool, manipulating a raw material at will is a demanding task.
FreeD (by Amit Zoran & Joe Paradiso from the Responsive Environments Group at the MIT Media Lab) is a handheld, digitally-controlled milling device. It is guided and monitored by a computer while still preserving the craftsperson’s freedom to sculpt and carve by hand. The computer intervenes only when the milling bit approaches the 3D model, which is planned beforehand. It does so either by slowing down the spindle speed or by drawing back the shaft; the rest of the time FreeD allows the user complete freedom to manipulate and shape the work in any creative way.
With advanced CAD software, free access to tutorials and 3D models, and a vast online community of makers, today we can make, download, or modify a CAD model of almost any desired object. We can then fabricate it directly through a digital process. The idea behind the FreeD is to allow us to engage with the physical material, not just with the CAD environment, freeing us to create our own interpretation of the virtual model. Thus, even though we are working based on a generic design, we can create something that is one of a kind.
In traditional crafts, the craftsperson’s tool techniques and creative decisions immediately influence the final artifact, making the output a reflection of the fabrication process. The same applies to digital fabrication through use of the FreeD. Several users may use the same CAD model, but end up with a different result, reflecting each person’s unique process.
In today’s project on diyphysics.com, David Prutchi shows how to build a Cockcroft–Walton multiplier using a “ladder” of capacitors and diodes on perfboard, submerged in mineral oil, inside a sealed plastic container. The multiplier takes high voltage AC, e.g. from a TV flyback transformer, and both rectifies it to DC and steps it up considerably. David reports outputs of 250kV given 12V input at the flyback driver. A handy feature of his design is that it can provide high-voltage DC of either polarity with respect to ground.
And yes, to be clear about it: Making a mistake here could be very dangerous. You should understand and be comfortable with the proper safety procedures for handling high voltage electricity and charged capacitors before seriously considering a project like this. [Thanks, David!]
Are you a hackerspace member with an event you’d like to publicize? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @johnbaichtal and I’ll post it. Also feel free to subscribe to my hackerspaces Twitter list. Hackerspace Happenings runs weekly(ish) Tuesday(i)s(h).
Jigsaw Renaissance Housewarming Party
(PF looks cool, they’re traveling across the U.S. spreading the good word about 3D printing!)
Louisville’s LVL1 Announces 3 Makership Recipients
See their blog post for more information on the winning makers.
New Jacksonville Hackerspace JaxHax Opens its Doors
Ham Radio License Class at Davenport, IA’s Quad Cities Co-Lab
Looks like the sessions will take place Saturdays, 2/25, 3/3 and 3/10 from 9am-Noon.
Blue Hackers Meetup at Jigsaw Renaissance
The meetup will take place this Sunday, 2/12, from 4-6:30pm. See the event page for more information.
Orlando’s FamiLAB and the Orlando Mini Maker Faire Announce Makerships
If you can endure the relentless puns, the tag aggregator page for MakerBot’s Project Shellter is a fun read. There are cool pics of the denizens of MakerBot’s official “crabitat” sporting their fused-filament homes (such as “Paris Shelton,” above, in a lovely little daffodil yellow number) as well as oddly touching night-time videos of each crab adopting its new home for the first time. [via nerdstink]
HaD writer Caleb Kraft of Springfield, MO, sexed up his VW bus with a lovely (and Cthulhu-esque!) elephant mural as well as stained glass sun visors that complement the painting. Caleb says he “never really painted before” — ORLY!? Looks pretty amazing to me.
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