[kernelcode] has built this pretty slick looking sequencer/groovebox and shared the process with the world. At its heart you’ll find an AVR atmega168 along with a hand full of buttons and blue LEDs. He says the total cost was somewhere around £15-20, so that’s somewhere under $40 for the American readers. There are tons of great pics of the build and it looks like he’ll be uploading source code soon as well.
Working with easy replication in mind, [Peter] is building a 3D laser printer. The majority of the machine is made from laser-cut acrylic held together by parts that are inexpensive and available at your local hardware store. In the end this will lay down a layer of powder, use a laser to fuse the powder together in the outline of your choice, then repeat. This is known as selective laser sintering which is sometimes used in commercial rapid prototyping and, like a lot of other cool technologies, came into existence as a result of a DARPA project.
Sorry folks, this is not a fully functioning prototype yet. [Peter] is searching for the right laser for the job and a source for the powder. If you’ve got a solution please lend a hand and let’s see this project through to completion.
[Rob Stewart] put in a lot of time and built this lighted display at great expense. It displays four letter words using a word association algorithm to pick the next term to show. What interests us is the motorized display. It is made up of fluorescent tubes but they’re not fixed in place. Each can be rotated, as well as moved along a linear path to form any letter in the alphabet. Check out [Rob’s] build logs for the details on how he pulled it all together.
[Thanks Hugo via Engadget and Switched]
If you find yourself in need of a precision chop saw don’t overlook the value of adding a diamond blade to a spinning HDD platter. [Tony’s] four-part writeup of this build springs out of some very special design considerations for a ham radio that operates in the 47 GHz band. That frequency pretty much rules out using normal components in the circuit and in his case it even makes connecting the components together difficult. He’s using this chop saw to cut small pieces of a ceramic substrate with gold traces on them that will be used to route the signals on the circuit.
We’ve seen hard drives used in a couple of different clocks, and even as a set of speakers. This one makes for a nice addition as a way to reuse those defunct devices that litter your junk box.
When the Department of Natural Resources of Australia decided that they needed to capture data about the natural flooding of a cave, they turned to a hacker to get results. The goal was to photograph the area during these floods with an automated system. In the end, they used a gutted Lumix digital camera mounted in a trash can, covered in aluminium foil. Though it sounds a bit silly, the final product turned out quite nice. You can see the build log, schematics, and results on the project page.