Desktop mill built as a high school project

This desktop mill would be impressive coming from anyone, but we’re really excited that it was made as a high school project. [Praneet Narayan] built it during his design and technology class. As his build log shows, he worked with a range of different tools to make sure he had a rock-solid platform on which to mount the motors and cutting head.

The uprights of the frame are made from two steel plates. After hacking them to rough shape with a plasma cutter he finished the edges with a mill. The two parts were then tack welded together so that the mounting holes could be drilled in one step, ensuring alignment between the two sides. The rest of the frame parts are built from extruded rails but he did machine a set of mounting plates to pull it all together. You can see the finished machine milling a message in MDF in the clip after the break.

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Batarangs for The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises is out now, and [Christian] over at MakeIt Labs decided to show up everyone at this year’s Halloween party with these custom made Batarangs.

After the Batarangs were plasma cut out of 11-gauge steel, [Rob] beveled the trailing edges of the wing, powder coated them, and sharpened them with a grinder and a diamond stone. Yes, these Batarangs are probably much better weapons than the on-screen logo shaped shuriken, but it’s questionable how useful they are compared to perfectly balanced CGI weaponry. They’re a really awesome looking build perfect for this year’s Halloween costume.

One small word of warning for all the commentors: We know a few of you have already seen the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, but posting any spoilers will result in a member of the Hackaday team hunting you down and savagely beating you. Also, given the shooting at the premier in Aurora, Colorado you probably don’t want to bring weapons – even prop ones – to a movie theatre.

You can check out the making of video for [Christian]‘s Batarangs after the break.

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Printing a boat made out of milk jugs

Today, groups from all over the Pacific Northwest will take up their oars and head over to Green Lake for the 42nd annual Seafair Milk Carton derby. The team who builds the fastest boat made out of milk cartons wins the regatta (and $10,000). This year, we’d put our money on the 3D printer group from the University of Washington; they printed a boat large enough to carry a person using crushed melted milk jugs.

After building a huge extruder to feed shredded HDPE plastic through a nozzle, the team repurposed an old plasma cutter to serve as an 8-foot-long 3D printer. There were a number of problems the team ran into – getting layers to fuse together, finding a suitable printing surface, and perfecting the art of squeezing melted milk jugs through a heated metal tube – but the final result is impressive, to say the least.

As far as how lake-worthy the UW team’s boat is, we have no idea. The milk jug regatta will be held later today, and if you have an update of how the team fared, send us a tip.