3D printing from an Android device

[skullkey] over at the House4Hack hackerspace in Pretoria, South Africa wanted a way to get kids excited about technology and desktop fabrication labs. Wanting to give kids a visceral feel for the march of technology, he created Makerdroid, an android app that allows for the creation 3D objects on an Android tablet and preparing them to be printed on a Reprap or Makerbot.

What’s really interesting about this build is not only the fact that [skullkey] and his lovely beta testers are generating .STL files on an Android device, the object files are also being converted to GCode on the Android, without the need for a conventional computer. Makerdroid uses the very popular Skeinforge to generate the instructions for the printer (although a lot of people are switching over to Slic3r).

Makerdroid doesn’t need a PC to print objects out on a 3D printer, but we think the process of shuffling GCode files from a tablet to the printer with an SD card is a little archaic. It might be possible to print directly from an Android tablet over Bluetooth with the Android Bluetooth Reprap app that is currently in development. Still, we love the idea of printing objects we just created on a touch screen, as shown in the Makerdroid demo video after the break.

Continue reading “3D printing from an Android device”

Hackaday Links March 8th, 2012

Solder Your Pin headers Straight

straight-header solder

If you’re worried about how to solder your pin headers straight, why not try this simple trick and put them into a breadboard before soldering?

Etiquette for Open Source Projects

soapbox Phillip Torrone

If you use or develop open source projects, it’s worth checking out [Phillip Torrone]’s Unspoken rules of Open Source article. You may not HAVE to do all the things he says, but it’s certainly a good starting point for being ethical with your hacks.

The [GoAmateur] Camera Mount

go-amateur camera mount for bike

If you can’t afford a professional camera mount for your bike, why not make one yourself? As pointed out in the article, normal cameras aren’t really made for this, so do so at your own risk. If this isn’t shoddy enough for you, why not make a mount for your 4 year old dumb-phone (Env2) out of a block of wood?

A 3D Printer BOM

If you’re wondering how much a 3D printer will cost you, or where to source the parts, this Bill of Materials for a Prusa Mendel should help. We would assume this project will be updated as everything is built, so be sure to check back!

MakerBot Assembly Time-Lapse

makerbot time lapse

Along the same lines, if you’re wondering about getting into 3D printing, this time-lapse of the Thing-O-Matic being assembled may give you some insight into what’s involved in getting one functional!

Print huge stuff with the Makerbot Replicator

The folks at MakerBot Industries are introducing their new 3D printer at CES this week. It’s called the MakerBot Replicator and features dual heads for 2-color prints and a huge build envelope for huge objects

From [Bre Pettis]’ introduction video (available after the break), the build area is about 9x6x6 inches, compared to the about four-inch cube-sized volume for the MakerBot Cupcake and Thing-O-Matic. The Replicator also features optional dual Makerbot Mk. 8 extruders for two-colored printing. We’ve seen valiant attempts at printing multicolored objects with one extruder, and if you’d ever want to print with two filaments dual extruders are the way to go.

The replicator also features a nice control panel (which includes a Snake game), something that’s relatively rare on the 3D printers we’ve seen. The single extruder model will set you back $1750, while the dual extruder adds another $250 to the price. We really want one of these, but don’t take our word – check out [Bre]’s intro.

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This Panavise Jr. Speed Winder should be in every maker’s toolbox

panavise-jr-power-winder

Like many makers, [Chris] has a Panavise Jr. on his workbench that he uses for just about everything. The tiny vise is great for all sorts of tasks, and is often considered an indispensable tool. The only problem with the vise is the amount of time it takes to open and close the thing.

[Chris] estimates that it takes somewhere between 2 and 3 million turns of the crank to move the vise’s jaws from fully open to the fully closed position. He figured that his drill is far better at mindlessly turning circles than he is, so he sat down and designed a bit in Google Sketchup to spin the vise’s crank knob.

He fired up his MakerBot and printed out his first “Speed Winder” drill bit. It was decent, but he thought it could be better. After a handful of revisions, he was finally happy with the results. He says it works great, and has posted the model on Thingiverse so that everyone can print one of their own.

Continue reading to see how [Chris] created the bit along with how much time this thing saves him. Continue reading “This Panavise Jr. Speed Winder should be in every maker’s toolbox”

Hackaday Links: October 28th, 2011

An accidental radial engine

Hack A Day’s very own [Jeremy Cook] was trying to figure out how to push four ‘arms’ out one at a time. What he came up with is a very nice model of a radial engine. Everything was cut on a CNC router and a motor from an air freshener provides the power.

Using a candle to produce light

[Chris] sent in his Candela Amplifier. It’s a Pentium 4 heat sink with a very bright Cree Xlamp LED attached to the base. A bunch of Peltier thermoelectric units are attached to the underside of the heat sink. Put the whole thing on top of a candle, and you can light a room. With a candle. Oh, he’s selling these, by the way.

Objectification and video games?!

We really feel sorry for our lady readers. Guys have so many choices for Halloween costumes, but just about every costume available for women can be reduced to, “Sexy [noun].” Whelp, here’s the Sexy Game Boy, just in time for Halloween. [kazmataz] gets a few bonus points because she went with the DMG-01. It’s better than Sexy Chewbacca, so she’s got that going.

Prototypable 32-bit uCs

[Ng Yong Han] wrote in to tell us about some newish 32-bit PICs that are floating around. The datasheet for the PIC32MX1xx/2xx chips is pretty interesting – USB support and an audio and graphics interface. Oh, they come in PDIPs for ease of prototyping as well. We haven’t seen much from the PIC microcontroller faction recently (Atmel is winning the holy war, it seems). Anybody feel like building something with these?

Makerbot dual extruder


[Lomo] at TU-Berlin is taking a class in rapid prototyping. He built a second print head for his department’s Makerbot Cupcake with a few other students. The result are pretty impressive, although from what we’ve seen, it’s generating the G-code that’s a pain in the butt.

Multicolor 3D prints the hard way

After drooling over the Makerbot dual-head extruder, [Brett] decided to get off his duff and make a proper multi-color print.

[Brett] has been making a few bottle openers for friends and has been successfully experimenting with switching filaments in the middle of a print. For his “Saturday Killer” bottle opener, he decided to push multicolored prints to the limit. For the “Saturday Killer,” [Brett] decided to print an abridged version of the classic Simpsons quote, “Beer, the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems” on the side of a bottle opener in 4 different colors.

The files necessary to print the Saturday Killer were generated in OpenSCAD. The general principle behind the design is to generate separate .STL files for the bottle opener and the sides, split those files into 2-layer chunks, and print those files while constantly adjusting the z-height. It’s not called the Saturday Killer for nothing, so [Brett] had to change the color of his filament 25 times.

A much simpler version of a complex multi-color print is [Brett]’s Shepard Fairey inspired self-portrait. Still, we’re thinking a dual head extruder is somewhere in [Brett]’s future. At least he’s got the technique down.

Cheap Ikea camera boom ensures shake-free video

ikea_webcam_jig

[Chris] recently got himself a nice web cam for documenting his Makerbot builds, and much like [Dino], he was looking for a way to get a bird’s-eye view of the action while keeping the camera nice and steady. While [Dino] ventured off to the hardware store, [Chris] tried a few different options that included tape, before heading off to Ikea to see what he could find.

$9 and a few Swedish meatballs later, he was on his way home with a “TERTIAL Work Lamp” that can be mounted on virtually any desk-like surface. He had to remove most of the web cam’s useless mounting hardware, doing the same with the lamp’s light fixture. He put together a small bracket in Google Sketchup, which he then printed out using his Makerbot.

It fit perfectly, and now he can get steady video of his Makerbot prints every single time.