LIB3 plans to bring contract manufacturing to the masses

LIB3's paste system

LIB3′s paste system

LIB3 is an open source hardware start-up from upstate New York. Thus far, the team has made some interesting products such as the piLED kit. However, they have big dreams for the future. LIB3 plans to become a contract assembly house specifically targeting low volume makers. To do this they have to build their own tools. LIB3’s latest project is a solder paste dispenser for surface mount components. Traditionally solder paste is applied with stencils made of stainless steel. In more recent years laser cut kapton has become a favorite for low volume production.

Both of these systems require a stencil to be made up. LIB3 took a different approach, and modified an old CNC glue dispenser for paste. The team got their hands on an 1991 vintage X/Y glue dispensing system. X/Y systems in this era were big, heavy affairs with powerful motors. LIB3 removed all the control electronics and built their own system from scratch. New features include direct computer control, and a vision system.

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castAR comes to Maker Faire NY 2013

castAR-2

If there was one sentence heard over and over at Maker Faire NY, it was “Did you see castAR yet?” The Technical Illusions team was at Maker Faire in full force. [Jeri Ellsworth], [Rick Johnson,] and team brought two demos:  the tried and true Jenga simulator, and a newer overhead shooter based on the Unity 3D engine. We didn’t see any earth shattering changes from the previous demos of castAR, as [Jeri] has moved into optimization of the Hardware, and [Rick] toward even more immersive demos of the software. Optimization and preparing for market are considered the “hard yards” of any product design. This is the place where a huge amount of work goes in, but the changes are subtle to the layperson.

In addition to her development of castAR’s ASIC, [Jeri] has been hard at work on the optics. The “old” glasses used a solid plastic optical path. The newer glasses use a hollow path for the twin 720p projectors. This makes them even lighter than the previous generation. Weight on the castAR glasses can’t be overstated. They feel incredibly light. There was no perceptible pressure on the nose or ears when wearing them. Also missing was the motion sickness people often experience with VR. This is because castAR doesn’t replace the user’s vision field, it only augments the vision. Peripheral motion cues are still there, which makes for a much more comfortable experience. [Read more...]

PocketNC P5 takes desktop CNC to the 5th dimension

PocketNCp5

What do you get when you put together a husband/wife team of a machinist and mechanical engineer? If you’re [Matt and Michelle Hertel], you get a 5 axis CNC, which we think was one of the hidden gems at Maker Faire NY.

Hobby CNC machines have grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Nearly all these machines have been 3 axis (X,Y,Z). 5 (and more) axis machines have been around for years in the industrial world. These higher level machines never have made the jump to the hobby/home shop world.

The P5’s two extra axis allow for extremely complex parts to be created in one setup. A good example of this would be a turbine wheel. Compound curves on (and behind) each blade would make this an impossible job for a 3 axis CNC. The P5 was machining these parts all weekend at Maker Faire NY. Even more impressive is the fact that it was cutting Delrin, not wax.

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FlowFree goes life sized at Maker Faire NY

Maker Faire 2013SetupWillow Glen MakersTeam PathfinderFlow*26

What began as a smartphone game turned into a Maker Faire New York 2013 project for the [Willow Glen Makers]. FlowX26 is a life sized version of the game FlowFree. [The Willow Glen Makers] wanted to build an extendable, easy to set up grid of floor tiles to emulate the game. A CNC machine was employed to create a plywood framework. Not visible in the picture is the fact that each cross member is cut slightly concave.  This concavity allows the clear plastic top to deflect just enough to activate a micro switch inside the tile. The switch sends a signal to the tile’s Arduino Mega controller. The Mega then uses this data to control an array of RGB LEDs.

The next problem was interconnection and communication between the tiles. [The Makers] used copper tape, along with a 3D Printed latch system between each tile side. Six connections per side allow power and data to be transmitted throughout the grid.

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World Maker Faire: The New Ultimaker

Ult

Just as the the gates opened at the World Maker Faire in New York City the skies opened, sending everyone underneath the tents and pavilians on the faire grounds. Luckily, I was able to check out the new Ultimaker before that happened, and only a day after it was officially announced.

Compared to the older laser-cut Ultimaker, the Ultimaker 2 is much, much cleaner that’s made more for designers and architects instead of students, hackerspaces and tinkerers. There are a few new additions to the Ultimaker 2 – OLED display, heated bed, and a larger build volume. Basically, if you want Ultimaker quality without a lot of futzing around, go with the Ultimaker 2.

Ultimaker will be shipping a pre-assembled version for €1.895,00, with a kit version to follow shortly. As always, the Ultimaker 2 is open source, and no, this doesn’t mean an end to the classic Ultimaker.

Hackaday is going to the NYC Maker Faire!

maker

In just a few short days, the greatest hackers and makers from all around the globe will descend on the Hall of Science in New York City to show off their wares. Our new guy [Adam] and myself will also be there, giving these makers our unending support, putting up a few posts about what they built, and giving out some Hackaday swag.

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Ottawa Mini Maker Faire

Ottawa Mini Maker Faire

The Ottawa Mini Maker Faire took place this past weekend at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. I was in town and decided to check it out. After the break, check out some of the projects that I saw at the Faire.

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