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April 2009 Entries

Functional Papercraft: The Laser Cut Takeout Box

In the past I designed and posted the Functional Papercraft: Folded Box, this project in that same vein. This box is perfect for carrying stuff with it’s built in handle, which is surprisingly strong. It also makes a good gift box. This copy of the container is cut from a 8x8in of paper area, and when folded is 2x2x4, big enough for small trinkets. The design can easily be scaled up to hold bigger items, all you would have to do is printing out the design larger. Check out the projects page for more details and downloadable files on the...

posted @ Thursday, April 30, 2009 12:03 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Laser Engraving with Highlight Paint

Last week I posted about a coin that I laser engraved and enhanced with some paint, but did not post step by step instructions. With a recent project for Midnight Research Labs, I had a chance to take some more pictures. I engraved the coin in the regular way and then painted over the whole sheet with a standard acrylic spray-paint.   After the paint dried over night I used a random-orbital sander to sand off the excess paint. I also sanded the back sides of the coin so the back finish matches the front...

posted @ Tuesday, April 28, 2009 7:46 PM | Feedback (4) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Art Laser ]

Fail Whale Stencil

For the most of Monday my ISP and connection was having issues and the site was up and down all day (mostly down). In honor of the occasion I decided to make a Fail Whale stencil, something fun for the whole family for when the site goes live again. Making stencils with a laser is as easy as it sounds, the most time consuming part is making the design. This version is loosely based on the twitter's infamous fail whale. Download the Fail Whale Stencil DXF file.

posted @ Tuesday, April 28, 2009 1:33 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Art Laser ]

Theo Jansen on "Robots Podcast"

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Theo Jansen’s work, he is the inventor of the Jansen Mechanism that I used as the basis of my recent Jansen Walker project. Jansen was recently interviewed on the generically named "Robots Podcast" where he spoke about his thoughts on if he was a artist or scientist, if the Strandbeest have thoughts, his building materials, the design of the legs, how he would like the Strandbeest to outlive him, also microcontrollers and commercialism. Check out the podcast over at Robots Podcast.

posted @ Monday, April 27, 2009 12:09 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Tech Art Robotics ]

Jansen Walker Beta 1 Official Release

I’m officially releasing my Jansen Walker as a beta with the source files and a video! 4volt Jansen Walker Beta 1 Video Jansen Walker: An openly designed Creative Commons licensed robot. What you see here is the Beta 1 version of the walker, a laser-cut robot, based on the Jansen Mechanism. It has 8 legs and scuttles similar to a crab walking sideways. The brain is a Arduino, and the legs are powered by 2 micro-servos modified for continuous rotation. If you would like to buy a kit of just the plastic in its current state, check out the...

posted @ Sunday, April 19, 2009 2:24 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Laser Robotics ]

Modifying Micro Servos for Continuous Rotation

There are many ways to power your next project but I’m quite partial to the continuous rotation servo because it’s very easy to hook up to your micro controller, you don’t need to build or buy a separate controller or h-bridge to power the motor. In a servo all that is built in. All you need to do is connect the power directly to your battery and send a low-voltage control signal to tell it what you want it to do. Servos out of the box are meant to rotate in a fixed range of 180 degrees, but modifying them for...

posted @ Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:29 PM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Photos Robotics ]

Jansen Walker: The story so far

Update Note: While I'm keeping this post for historical value, this post is not kept up to date with my Jansen Walker, look at the Jansen Walker project page for the latest details and plans. Original Post: If you’ve been following my posts lately I’ve been putting a bunch of my time into a robotics project that uses the Jansen mechanism for movement, if your not familiar look below for an animation. I've spent quite a bit of time on the mechanical design on this robot, maybe more then was strictly necessary since I used this opportunity to learn SolidWorks, and since...

posted @ Saturday, April 18, 2009 12:33 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Laser Photos Robotics ]

Laser Cut Coin and New Marking Technique

I took a break from my Jansen Walker project to do a few other smaller projects, and one of them was this membership coin for a Lovecraft board game a few of my friends have been playing. The coin says “Secret Society of Arkham” and has a little icon of Cthulhu. Getting text on laser cut acrylic is hard to see unless you are looking at a specific angle, and kind of leaves something to be desired. I wanted distinct black engraving on the acrylic. My new technique involves engraving the item, painting the whole part, then after...

posted @ Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:50 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Image: Pet Godzilla

Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec Aperture: F/6.3 ISO: 1600 Focal length: 35mm Here in Portland on some of the old streets you’ll find metal rings embedded in the curbs that were originally installed in the early 1900’s and were made to tie your horse to. Eventually people started ironically attaching toy horses to the rings, and just the other day I found this dinosaur / Godzilla attached to a ring. Very clever. On another note, I’ve decided to discontinue my image-a-day posts, I’ll still be posting pictures from time...

posted @ Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Papercraft Folded Box Generator

Zignig from Thingiverse posted a python script called "Parametric Papercraft" that will draw boxes of any size based on my folded box design. It’s a cool idea that I highly recommend checking out.  

posted @ Wednesday, April 15, 2009 10:59 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ DIY Tech Code ]

Laser Cut Gears 2

I spent most of last night designing the gears that will link the servo to the drive train on my Jansen walker, I'm hoping that a 1:1 ratio will be okay, the servos are surprisingly strong for how small they are. I used a playing card as my test material, they are stronger are more ridged then cardstock. The hardest part of the design was getting the teeth on the inside of the servo gear just right, I wanted to just slip the gear onto the servo horn and have the teeth grip the ridges that are on the horn...

posted @ Thursday, April 09, 2009 10:04 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser Robotics ]

New Laser-cut Business Card

I went to the first MAKE:PDX meeting on Sunday and decided I should have some business cards to give out, so I whipped these up really quick. I’m able to cut 10 of these from one standard piece of letter-sized cardstock. I was pleased at how thin I was able to get the stencil markings on the letters to be, when you see the card your don’t immediately think the letters are stencil-cut. I suppose if one were more vandalism-oriented then I am, one could use the card to spray-paint the 4volt logo all around...

posted @ Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:35 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Jansen Walker Post 4: First Prototype

Update Note: While I'm keeping this post for historical value, this post is not kept up to date with my Jansen Walker, look at the Jansen Walker project page for the latest details and plans. Original Post: So I updated my plans make a medium sized version and fired up my laser cutter. This version is about 5 by 4 inches and seems like a happy medium in terms of size. I think I'll be able to use 2mm plexi-glass for the material, though I managed to break several parts while I was separating them from the sheet. I suspect that...

posted @ Saturday, April 04, 2009 7:56 PM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser Robotics ]