Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chompers Lives!!!!!!!!!

Chompers (The creature formally known as Hack-Ness-Monster) lives!!!

Today I came in to finally learn some Autocad.  I attended the Cad Dojo and made some of my first sketches.  From there I learned how to format the sketch into g-code and run the CNC router.  The first sketch I intended to use wasn't going to work well for the CNC.  Thus Chompers was born.  It was the fastest original shape I could think to draw.  I spent the afternoon using and helping others use the CNC.  Another member suggested an articulating lower jaw.  Sketches were made.  Arduino's were commandeered.  A simple servo-fishing wire-hot glue-biting monster was born as a collaborative effort.  Inappropriate jokes were made.  I learned quite a bit.  My innate curiosity quenched; I felt the satisfaction of creating something original.


Torque Wrench Calibration

by Aaron
The metal hardware for this torque wrench calibration tester was made in the Fab Lab at HackRVA. The metal bracketing and all-thread combo creates constant controlled force while the measurements are taken.

3D Scanning - Is and Isn't a Bust

by Aaron

Sweet bust! (is that a large robot arm in background? oh my)
HackRVA member Andrew recently had his head scanned and printed. Yes, you can do that! Read more about it at his blog here. Later he brought in his bust and scanned it on the HackRVA 3D scanner. It came out really well he reported. He said the trick was probably the matte white finish.

If you wan't to take a crack at scanning, it's all set up on the Digital Design Station.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

3D Printer Extruder Upgrade

by Aaron
HackRVA member Chris printed and installed this upgrade to our 3D printer.  This is supposed to be a significant improvement and should make for less failed prints. Happy printing!

Maker Monday Leads to Scarf-Splosion

by Aaron

After recent Maker Monday knitting lesson, a local area Scarf-Splosion occurred. Beware of flying needles and gigantic yarn balls. To join in the mayhem, checkout Maker Monday on the HackRVA Meetup site.

New HackRVA Code/AV Computer

by Aaron

Dustin doing some initial setup. Got help from Lyod and John too!
HackRVA has a new computer. It's positioned in the main room as a machine to develop code, print reliably, and do audio visual tasks. Some programs installed are QT Developer, MS Visual Studio, Unity, Blender, Gimp, Audacity, and more to come.

We've also attached an Oculus Rift for fun and learning. We hope to add additinoal interesting and useful peripherals such as mics, cameras, graphics tablets, and whatever other sweet stuff we can get our hands on.

See the wiki entry for hardware stats and other info.

Jon enjoying breeze of virtual beach with augmented wind interface (fan)

Paper Cut Maps - From CNC

by Aaron

The outlines were traced in AutoCAD from a map image of HackRVA neighborhood, Scott's Addition. After tracing, I loaded the drawing in the CAM program. I set my cut depth to 0.05" for paper because of thinness.

When starting the CNC, I had to back it up to restart several times to get it just right. Too shallow a starting point and it didn't cut the paper. Too deep, and it was cutting into the spoil board at an unacceptable depth.

Here's a link to the design files on thingiverse.

Acrylic Bender from Old Kitchen Appliance

by Aaron

This is an acrylic bender made from an old sandwich bag sealer I picked up from the thrift-store for a couple of dollars.

I routed a grove in the board to mount the ceramic heat resistant piece below the nichrome wire. Did a little solder/re-wire job, stapled, screwed, and got a new tool.

Press the acrylic to the nichrome heating wire while holding the "on" button. After 10 or 20 seconds some melting begins, then take the acrylic off and bend it over an edge before it cools.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Take-Apart Party

by Aaron

Insides of an *old* 3D Printer
This is more of an event than a project, but I wasn't sure where else to put it. Anyway, we came, we saw, we destroyed things in the name of learning, recycling, and fun.

Hopefully some cool projects will be made from the parts we stripped out.

This was posted on Meetup, to find out more about such happenings signup and follow.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 HackRVA Tricopter Build - Prototype Complete

by Aaron

Andy has completed the  tricopter prototype. Now we're getting ready to start the build group. This thing is awesome!

See the photo album for pics.

Learn about the build as we document it on the HackRVA Wiki.

Pallet wood entertainment center

Good use for useless wood!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Breathing Air for the FAB Lab

Breathing Air for the FAB Lab
By George

Flat screen TV portable stabilizers

Flat screen TV portable stabilizers 
by Matt

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Paracord Bracelet

Paracord bracelet by Madison

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

CNC Routed graphics

TEDxVCU was held on VCU campus and the stage letters were cut here at HackRVA. Great job guys. Turned out to be a really great conference. 

3D Printed Objects

3D Prints

Cub scout raingutter regatta

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Manual Pic n' Place

by Aaron

Not sure if the name "pic n' place" actually applies. It's more a souped-up air placement tool, but they call them manual pic n' place around the web.

Basically you're looking at a spring, some 1/4" plastic tubing, a piece of aluminium tube, powered by a computer power supply and this vaccuum pump from sparkfun. The roller bed beneath is a board with unidirectional ball casters and a swivel plate (those hardware links are just examples. our actual hardware came from salvage and other).

Probably still need to add a switch (right now just covering port with finger to release) and a tip and likely a camera. When we originally built this, we could never find an affordable pump solution. We tried sealing and reversing a aquarium pump but it never had enough force. The sparkfun pump was the key.

Once we prove this one out we'll make a parts list and put the whole thing on Inscrutables for others.
Btw, we do realize that this might seem silly compared to just placing with tweezers, and I'm not sure that it isn't, but we specifically wanted to place the tiny PIC chips with a lot of connectors and that can be a challenge with tweezers for some. We'll test out it's usefulness during the 2015 badge build.

Double Barrel Incense Burner

by Michael

Incense burner in its natural habitat
This project started off as a few scraps of poplar, purpleheart, and jatoba.  The original intention was to create a candle holder for 3 votives.

I started by cutting the wood into different sized strips and just layout them out next to each other to come up with a pleasing pattern. After finding a balanced design, I just spread some wood glue on everything and clamped it up.

The glue dried in a few hours, and then it took a trip through the planer.  I ended up sending it through a few more times than I initially intended.  I should have paid more attention to the grain direction; the purpleheart and jatoba kept chipping out because they are very hard woods and the grain was running in different directions...

The board turned out a bit on the thin side by the time the planer was done with it, so I was no longer confident that it would work out as a votive holder.  Back to the drawing board...

The middle groove was planned.
The bottom profile was a happy accident
I took it over to the table saw and started cutting a decorative groove about half way down using the crosscut sled with an additional guide clamped to it.  It was all going so well, but somehow I flipped the board the wrong way on the last cut and ended up with a groove near the edge of the board.  Crap!

I flipped it around the right way and cut the final groove, but now I had to figure out what to do with this new "design element".  A few minutes later, I found myself by one of my favorite tools - the router table!  A quick pass over the router table left me with a nice floating look.  I like it!

This was my first time ever working with jatoba.  I expected the purpleheart to be brittle, but I had no idea the jatoba was much more difficult to work with.  Jatoba scores 2350 on the janka hardness test, purpleheart is 1860.  For comparison, oak scores around 1300, and poplar is less than 600!  Even being gentle resulted in a good amount of chipping...
A lot of sanding and carving was needed to smooth the chip out

I hate sanding.  After sanding for about an hour, I decided I was done.  I know, I know, I should have kept sanding until the job was done.  Too bad.  I wanted to get this done during a single Saturday Hackathon, so I went ahead and applied a few coats of Minwax paste finishing wax that I had brought in to lubricate some drawer runners.  That brought out the beatiful colors of the wood, but it also highlighted my poor sanding job.  The pores and uneven surfaces developed an ashy color due to the wax build up.  Luckily, this is going to be covered in ash as the incense burns, so I felt that it was acceptable.  A couple of quick holes on the drill press finished the job nicely.

All in all, I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. I'm not sure that I would use paste wax again for this type of project.  A polyurethane or acrylic finish would probably be a better choice due to heat resistance.  It was a fun project, and now I'm motivated to try again and work on other laminated designs at the space!

Acetone Vapor Bath for 3D Printed Objects

by Aaron

3D printed pyramid melting
Tis' the season for throwing out crockery? There were three crock-pots newly arrived on the HackRVA salvage pile. Their garbage is our glory.

There are so many things you can make with kitchen stuff that gets hot. Foam cutters, acrylic benders, and, in this case, an Acetone Vapor Bath for 3D prints.

Basically, you just pour in acetone, heat it up, and it melts the plastic. We thought about taking the guts out of the crockpot, but it seemed like hacking just for the sake of it, so we built this cool Frankenstein/steampunk lowering platform accessory instead. It's made from Al sheet, Al hex left over from laser build, and some copper wire.

Here's a MAKE magazine article on the process for more info

more pics after the break: