Overhead Trolley Helps Clear the Air over CNC Router

[Frank Howarth] has a shop most woodworkers would kill for, stuffed with enough tools to equip multiple hackspaces — four radial-arm saws alone! But while the CNC router in the middle of the shop, large enough to work on an entire sheet of plywood, is a gem of a machine, it was proving to be a dusty nightmare. [Frank]’s solution was as unique as his workspace — this swiveling overhead dust extraction system.

The two-part video below shows how he dealt with the dual problems of collection and removal. The former was a fairly simple brush-bristle shroud of the type we’ve featured before. The latter was a challenge in that the size of the router’s bed — currently 8′ but soon to be extended to 12′ — and the diameter of the hoses needed to move enough air made a fixed overhead feed impractical. [Frank]’s solution is an overhead trolley to support the hoses more or less vertically over the router while letting the duct swivel as the gantry moves around the work surface. There were a few pitfalls along the way, like hoses that shorten and stiffen when air flows through them, but in the end the system works great.

Chances are your shop is smaller than [Frank]’s, but you still need to control the dust. This dust collector for a more modest CNC router might help, as would this DIY cyclonic chip separator.

Continue reading “Overhead Trolley Helps Clear the Air over CNC Router”

Parts: 133MHz-16.2kHz programmable oscillator (DS1077)


The DS1077 is a 5volt, 133MHz to 16kHz programmable clock source. The internal frequency divider is configured over a simple I2C interface, and the chip requires no external parts. Not bad for under $2. We used the Bus Pirate to test this chip before using it in a project. Grab the datasheet (PDF) and follow along. Continue reading “Parts: 133MHz-16.2kHz programmable oscillator (DS1077)”

Microfluidic art

Microfluidics expert [J. Tanner Neville] decided to turn his work into art. Along with his student, [Austin Day], they turned lab chips into miniscule works of art by developing a technique of patterning proteins onto substrates. Each colored line you see is actually a groove full of liquid about 20 microns in width. Another student of [Neville’s], [Albert Mach], is currently working on a method of preserving the liquid for longer amounts of time. As you can probably guess, the dye tends to dry up within a few days. He is also taking submissions for artwork, so we encourage you to submit! We’re certainly looking forward to what else [Neville] and his students come up with next.

[via io9]