Well I’d planned on spending the evening snapping pics and scratching out the next part in the inkjet and servo lab series, but when I pulled my trusty Olympus SP-350 out of the backpack, I discovered it made some odd grinding noises, extended and retracted the lens a couple times eventually displaying “Zoom Error” on the screen. ARGH!!!

Click to continue reading “Because caucasians are too damn tall…”

EMC2 is a popular choice among hobbyists, academics and a growing group of professionals for CNC and robotic machine control. Most commonly it seems to be used to drive machines using stepper motors for reasons related to low cost and complexity. In actuality EMC2 drives servo mechanisms equally well, but in doing my research in preparation for my own projects I found that there was a need for a simple tutorial laying out basic procedures for integrating servo control under EMC2. As always, the very best way to learn is to do so I ended up playing with a small servo “lab” so I could visit as many concepts and parameters as I could before applying them to a larger machine.

Click to continue reading “Tutorial: Use an Old Inkjet Printer to Learn Servo Motor Control With EMC2 – Part 1″

Another concept for 3D printing on a re-purposed inkjet printer.

 

More Links:

Servo and PID tutorials from Galil Motion Control Inc.

Servo Tuning Tutorial (PDF)  from PMC Corp.

Pololu A4983

Pololu A4983 with a nickle for scale

One of the things I need to do while working towards motion control projects is to practice some of the fundamentals.  I’ve worked with many of the concepts and mechanisms professionally, but more from the support end.  I haven’t touched the stuff for a few years now, and want to learn things at a more fundamental level.  In order to do this my plan is to pull motors and mechanisms from recycled equipment (printers, scanners, etc.) and set up a few labs for myself along the way.  Perhaps I’ll try to salvage some of the electronics as well with some good old-fashioned circuit bending.  I should be able to at least reuse motor drivers that are found, but for now I’m going to rely on inexpensive motor driver kits to allow myself more freedom to experiment.

Click to continue reading “Review: Pololu A4983 Micro Stepping Driver Carrier”

Some links that have turned up while doing research:

Musings on the usefulness of inkjet printers for a variety of applications.  So ok, I’m not the only one who’s been thinking about this, but here I hope to actually do something about it!

Anders is playing with EMC2 and RepRap functionality as well.  I’ve experimented with some of his temperature control ideas already, but need to work at the PID tuning a lot more.

PyroElectro has a bunch of tutorials for all kinds of fun stuff like this basic DIY servo/encoder setup.

 

Background

I started playing with EMC on a simple home-build concept mill I built about 9 years ago and it’s been shelved for most of the time since.  I really enjoyed the experience of getting that to work and have followed several other software/hardware projects online since including EMC2 and the RepRap/Makerbot crowd with great enthusiasm.  A couple years ago I was even able to apply what I’d learned to a job running some small CNC machines for a manufacturer in Aurora Ontario.

Click to continue reading “Project: Thrift Store 3D Printer”

To quote the Bad Astronomer, “This picture is totally freaking cool”
b1509

Click to continue reading “I Can Hear the Creationists Now…”

agc2A number of years ago I read a contractor’s report about Computers In Spaceflight.  It was fascinating to me to understand just how much went into this one facet of space programs, and just how little computing power it took.  Any college student familiar with basic electronics can understand the fundamentals of these early computers, but the true magic was what the programmers did to squeeze so much out of such a “small” package.  Now it’s easier for us to have one of our very own thanks to one man’s hard work.

Click to continue reading “DIY Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC)”

housing-iso_l housing-exploded-iso_l

Click to continue reading “DIY Underwater Video Housing”

pins8lHere’s one of my early projects done while the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team were winning the gold medal in 2002 with the use of my 7×12 minilathe from Grizzly.

These are nesting pin pushers for a couple types of electrical connectors I was using commonly at the time. They combine together into a nondescript brass rod to carry in a pocket.

Click to continue reading “Pin Pushers”

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