Desktop CNC – Work In Progress

To make my projects smaller and more durable, it would be better to make custom PCB’s rather than jamming a wad of wires into already small cases. To make this possible, I’ve made a desktop CNC. To keep the costs down, it will be made using mostly surplus parts. To cut back on costs further the sides and 3D printed parts where redesigned to fit 8mm smooth rods, rather than 12mm, which are considerably more expensive and harder to find. There are many revisions of the CNC design I chose and I had to piece together parts from 2 or Continue Reading →

MP3DP v2

After rebuilding the center of my MPCNC, buying another router and converting it to dual axis independent motors, I wanted to test it’s alignment by making the MP3DP v2 – another V1 Engineering project. Some of the core components came from my aging Prusa i2, which had significantly less build volume (20x20x7) There was a small issue with the parts being CNC’d using the new firmware. rounded corners seemed to be randomly hit and miss – I found out that the firmware didn’t cut arc’s very well, so they had to be removed from the g-code Core components removed: stepper Continue Reading →

Arduino CDP Revisited

During some down time I’ve decided to revisit the Arduino CDP sniffer and add extra features. This will be a running post and will be updated periodically. As mentioned in the comments of the other post I will be looking at adding LLDP support and an export feature to a mobile/laptop. The export or “history” addition will allow a log to be saved to an external device as easy as possible. As a prototype, it’s had an ESP8266 added to it with a web server running showing modified serial output. Initial results work, but I’m again getting plagued with power Continue Reading →

Mini Virtual Pinball Cabinet

While smoking some meat in the drum smoker, I had some time to kill, so I decided to build a smaller desktop virtual pinball cabinet. Hopefully one that would be portable, but still big enough to provide a similar experience to a full size cabinet. The base cabinet was cut and monitors fitted during this time, the rest was done over the following few weekends. Similar to the other one I built, this too would be mainly build from recycled/cheap parts: The laptop inside has a smashed screen and no battery, which would have other wise been thrown out, but Continue Reading →

Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS)

This project started when I was doing a pork leg and it was too big (and tall) to fit in my old charcoal BBQ (18″ Eurochef kindly donated by a good mate). Old bricks  and clamps where to hold the lid down. After some research I found a DIY smoker called a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker). After much thought and research, I opted for a food safe drum (stupid move) from a chocolate factory, formally it was full of sucrose. So far I’ve invested $5. . Checked the local fire laws – unfortunately our shire does not allow burn off’s,incinerators Continue Reading →

Virtual Pinball Machine

Virtual pinball tables consist of the same basic elements as regular pinball machines with a few replacements; The playfield and backglass are replaced with monitors and controlled by a PC. The buttons (and sometimes the plunger) are replaced by buttons and a game controller or keyboard emulator. In more advanced tables the LED dot matrix display replaced with a compatible replacement or a 3rd monitor. This previous project was the perfect test bed to see if the PC I was planning on using was good enough to run the games smoothly. The first test run was running Future Pinball with a Continue Reading →

Bartop Arcade

I’ve wanted to build a bartop MAME cabinet for a while, my first attempts last year led to 4 failed CNC jobs, infact the first side panel I did for this project ended up the same way (top left): The Z axis fails; instead of going up, it skips the instructions to raise, and then drills down into the wood, going further and further until either the bit snaps or I turn it off (to prevent fire). This second attempt was successful – I worked out that if I don’t put the front and top panels on the CNC machine Continue Reading →

Augmented Reality Sandbox

Found this neat project by Oliver Kreylos, and gave it a go over a weekend using only spare parts. It came together well on a Toshiba i5 laptop. I found there to be issues using the Intel graphics card/drivers, so I swapped to an AMD Athlon 2X4 with a Radeon HD47## card (no longer supported by AMD). It did refresh faster than the Intel graphics card, but had the same ‘unknown’ issue when trying to render water. After swapping out the Radeon with a slower Nvidia card, it all displays correctly, but the frame rates where pretty slow. I reduced the quality Continue Reading →

Mostly Printed CNC (MP-CNC)

Having a CNC machine to cut panels for projects has been a wish for a while. Then I found this awesome project: Mostly Printed CNC (www.vicious1.com). As the name says, most parts are 3D printed and the non-printed parts are easily accessible. The controller is a RAMPs 1.4 board with Arduino Mega, easy to find cheap online. I used the Marlin firmware because it’s the same as both my 3D printers. After destroying my Mendel i2 trying a new printing surface I had spent many hours printing the parts on my Solidoodle2 with a printing volume 6″ x 6″ x Continue Reading →

Hot End Failure

While trying to print out the LCD mount for the “Internet Radio” project. I returned later to check the progress on the print after it finally starting due to temperature issues. I found this: The temperature sensor had pulled free and had a piece of plastic lodged between it and the hot end. When I removed the hot end for inspection, the sensor broke apart. Clearly it was time to replace the entire hot end. It has served me well and is only the second one used in my Prusa Mendel i2. The new hot end is 95% metal with Continue Reading →