For our 50th issue, we’ve collected a small sampling of these Makers who’ve had great influence in the Maker Movement.
Today we are releasing our newest set of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. This is our fourth year, and fourth set of cards: The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards, and the 2015 set included love, hearts, and arrows.
This year’s set of six new cards features a note about warming Pluto’s cold heart, at least one embarrassingly bad pun, and the perfect card for your robotic expression of love.
“I was supposed to solve for x. So glad I found u instead.”
And, from the distant reaches of our solar system:
“Just knowing you’re out there warms my heart.”
“ROSES ARE RED
VIOLETS ARE BLUE
THIS VALENTINE AUTOMATICALLY
GENERATED FOR YOU”
You can download the full set here, which includes all 24 designs from all four years (a 1 MB PDF document).
As usual, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, personalize, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.
— New Sarepta Library (@NSPublicLibrary) January 16, 2016
The New Sarepta Library in Alberta, Canada posted this video on twitter saying:
Our new EggBot is up and running! Come check it out!
We’re super happy to see libraries including our tools in their makerspaces.
A Utah Teapot is an ideal design for a geeky ornament. For this one, I generated a vector stipple drawing from a photograph of the source object for this digital design icon. There are certainly many other ways to create a Utah Teapot ornament, including, of course, 3D printing.
I removed any background stipples and plotted it on an ornament. The ornament is 2.6 inches in diameter and I used a 0.2 tip Copic Multiliner SP. I have posted the design on thingiverse.
We’re getting into the spirit with a couple of seasonally appropriate decorations. The Rebel Alliance Ornament and the Imperial Crest Ornament for EggBot are both available on thingiverse. Our guide to printing ornaments with the EggBot may be helpful, too.
Both designs are derived from a set of silhouettes from vecteezy.com.
Our friend Fran has been making holiday ornaments with the EggBot and writes:
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have finally gotten to be able to use the Pilot Gold/Silver Markers.
She suggests dividing the drawing into layers so that after each layer you can take the pen out to shake it to keep the ink flowing. We’ve added her tips to the wiki page about choosing pens for the EggBot.
If you have other tips for which pens you like to use or for working with ornaments, we’d love to hear about them!
Introducing the Boldport Buggy kit.
The first version of this circuit board was created as a badge for the hardwear.io hardware security conference in The Hague. This new version of the Buggy is a complete kit, featuring an updated circuit board, with a power switch and six candle-flicker LEDs.
A cool detail is that its six legs are actually the current-limiting resistors for those six LEDs. They are posable (giving it quite a bit of personality) and we have given it little red tubing socks to cover up the otherwise-conductive feet.
Inside of one of these you’ll find the actual DC motor itself, a set of plastic gears, a potentiometer (pot) connected to the output shaft, and a little circuit board that controls it all. The gear train is used to convert the high-speed low-torque output of the motor into its high-torque low-speed output, and the pot reads the orientation of the output shaft so that it can be controlled (servoed) to the correct position. However for today, we’re primarily interested in the case, and most of what’s inside doesn’t really matter.
The lower part of the case comes off with four very skinny, very long screws.
And then, you can pull out the tiny little circuit board.
The DC motor slips out easily, but the three wires to the pot are soldered in, and need to be clipped.
Incidentally, it’s straightforward to hack servo motors, repurposing the circuit board such that (1) the two outputs to the DC servo motor actually control something else and (2) that the input signal from the pot comes from something else. You can read our article about how to make a one-ton servo motor for a good example.
And then there is the matter of the cable. We don’t actually need that much cord hanging out the end — and it weighs something — so we can clip it shorter.
A dab of hot glue secures the cut-off end of the cable to the bottom of the case.
And the finishing touches: Reassemble the case, add the servo horns and finally the earwires. The final weight of each one is about 6.5 g, and the total weight of the components that we removed (motor, wires, circuit board, and cables) is about 5.6 g. As we have left it, the output shaft feels solidly held in place. Turning the output shaft still turns the gear train, and its motion is limited to the servo motor’s original range of travel; about 2/3 of a turn.
You can make it even lighter — all the way down to 5.4 g per piece — by opening it up further and removing the pot and all of the plastic gears except for the output shaft. It looks mostly the same from the outside (with the exception that the gears are no longer visible), but does not feel nearly as nice: The output shaft is only loosely held on its axis, and now able to turn freely through a full circle.
One might imagine taking it the opposite direction too: Building in a little battery and microcontroller, so that the servo motor would turn on its own while dangling from an ear. That version is left as an exercise for the reader, hopefully one with short hair that won’t get tangled.
Windell is the guest on the most recent episode of Embedded.fm, titled Please Don’t Light Yourself on Fire. This episode’s contest prize is a signed copy of The Annotated Build It Yourself Science Laboratory.