Saturday, 28 July 2012

MOSI Mini Maker Faire

I went to the Mini Maker Faire at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry today.
It was great. Not on the scale of US events (hence mini) but there was some interesting stuff:

A huge model railway. They wisely kept the model railway enthusiasts isolated from everyone else by keeping them in the power hall. No idea what gauge it was but it was bigger than OO:

The majority of the exhibits were in the 1830's warehouse:
This guy had a Atmega based audio synthesiser. Just plug in a MIDI keyboard and go. The analogue filters could be patched with leads Korg style:

This stand had a pair of metal chimes that were played by a solenoid powered hammer. The hammerwas moved to the appropriate note by a stepper motor:

This lady inspired my son with a collection of model spaceships made from bottles and other bits. We bought her book:

More wacky audio:

This 13 year old kid had made all the models here:

Nophead and Mary + Wes at the mendel90 stand:

Lifesize Operation!:

Crazy golf with Minecraft inspired finale:

Audio generation and art mixed. This set up seemed to be designed to make as much noise as possible with as much redundant (i.e. glued together with no power applied) circuitry as possible. The kids loved it:

It was a great, free day out. MOSI is a great place to take the kids at any time. But we really enjoyed the Faire. Can't wait for the next one.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Domination Tube

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I've just finished designing a PCB for a Milestag Domination Tube.

My son has asked for a King of the Hill game and this is the only solution that I know of.

I've mixed SMD and through hole components for no reason other than I have the through hole parts in stock. It's a small board at just 40mm x 24mm. I probably could have made this PCB at home, but for the time it takes me, I've started getting all my PCBs done at ITead Studio. It is much less effort for me, and the finish is much better than I can achieve.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Mendel90 Hot End

I've just finished making a new hot end for a new extruder: It is based on one of nophead's designs and has a few interesting features:

There is a grub screw to prevent the brass nozzle from working loose.

The brass nozzle is screwed into both the peek and an 8mm internal PTFE liner. The nozzle thread has been coated with high temperature silicone to improve the seal.

At the other end there is a 4mm high, M9 threaded brass plate with a slot to push down on the PTFE liner to prevent it moving.

Haven't had chance to try it yet.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Child's Play

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My 9 year old son Josh was asked to create a board game which incorporated maths as part of a school project. He devised a game where players used pre-allocated cash reserves to buy weapons, which could the be used against 'the bad guys'. Of course, he suggested that the pieces might come from my 3D printer...... First I insisted that he drew the pieces that he wanted:

Here are the coin emblems:

After scanning, adding values with CoCreate's font function and vectorising(?) with AlgoLab we got this:

And after printing:

We did the same for the weapons:


3D Print:

And the player pieces:

The CAD and a baseplate, with the initials for the game name 'Castle Quest'

After printing and gluing and painting:

And the game in all its glory, you may recognise the castles......