A robot assistant would make the lives of many much easier. Luckily, it’s possible to make one of your own with few fancy materials. The [circuito.io] team demonstrates this by building a robot arm out of recyclables!
With the exception of the electronics — an Arduino, a trio of servo motors, and a joystick — the arm is made almost completely out of salvaged recyclables: scrap wood, a plastic bottle, bits of plastic string and a spring. Oh, and — demonstrating yet another use for those multi-talented tubers — a potato acts as a counterweight.
Instead of using screws or glue, these hackers used string made from a plastic bottle as a form of heat shrink wrap to bind the parts of the arm together. The gripper has only one pivoting claw for greater strength, and the spring snaps it open once released. Behold: your tea-bag dunking assistant.
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A little MDF, a little plywood, some bits of threaded rod – put it all together and you’ve got this low-cost desktop CNC build using very few parts you’d need to go farther afield than the local home center to procure.
We’ve seen lots of e-waste and dumpster diving CNC builds here before; what’s appealing here is not only the low price tag of the build but also its approachability. As the short videos below show, [Thimo Voorwinden] does an admirable job of using the tools and materials he has on hand. We also appreciate the modularity of the build – the X- and Y-axis carriages are nearly identical and could be interchanged to alter the dimensions of the work area, or even replaced with a larger carriage if needed. The Z-axis is a little different from the usual low-end CNC build in that it doesn’t use a Dremel or other small rotary tool but rather mounts the handpiece of a flexible shaft rotary tool. Keeping the motor off the machine allows for more torque, less vibration, and reduced dead load.
The end result is a desktop CNC for about €200 with a work area large enough to fabricate small wooden and plastic parts, or to mill foam blocks for use as casting molds. It looks like [Thimo] has more in store for his little CNC machine, and we’re looking forward to seeing what improvements he can come up with.
Continue reading “Pint-Sized, Low-Cost CNC Machine”
Sheet metal. Beer cans. Pieces of chain. Not items you’ll typically find on the BOM for a custom guitar. But nobody told [Maarten van Halderen] that, and so he threw them all together into a gitaar van schroot, or scrap guitar for the Dutch impaired (YouTube link).
The video shows the build process, starting with plasma cutting and welding sheet steel for the body. The neck is fabricated from rectangular steel tube, with nails serving as frets. Overall it looks like a Les Paul, except for the sink strainer basket mounted in the sound hole and the crushed beer and soda cans tacked to the body for decoration. The chains are a nice touch too. And this doesn’t appear to be [Maarten]’s first attempt at scrapyard lutherie – toward the end of the video we see that the beer can axe joins a very steam-punk looking older brother. They’re both good-looking builds, and the video after the break proves they can sound pretty good too.
For a more classical take on the building of string instruments, check out this post on mandolins and violas. Or maybe you can just 3D print your next guitar?
Continue reading “Gitaar van Schroot – The Scrap Metal Guitar”
[Hackett] calls it a “transmission problem.” You’ve scavenged the pieces for your build, but nothing fits. Metric and standard hardware clash, a successful weld is as reliable as duct-taping. You’ll hear about plenty of these obstacles as [Hackett] tries to tackle a tripod build in this video.
He was contacted by a group looking to make a bicycle-mounted portable projector. Their request: build them an easy-to-use tripod on a shoestring budget that is strong enough to hold a 30-pound projector. Garbage and scrap turn into a functional device as [Hackett] grinds and welds the tripod together.
The video’s greatest contribution, however, is the advice near the end.
You need to retrain your eye, so you’re not looking at a thing as to what it is, what it’s branded, what it’s originally intended for. What you’re looking at is what it is at the core, and once you start looking at things for what they really, really are, you have the power to completely remake the world.
A desire to re-contextualize everyday stuff is probably the reason you’re a Hackaday reader. Hopefully [Hackett’s] succinct advice strikes some chords and encourages you to keep abstracting and re-purposing the world around you. If you’re new to hacking and need somewhere to start, why not build a robot?
Continue reading “Hackett’s tripod and some advice on abstraction”
[V0R73X], who is 17 has been working on a project, to build A robotic arm. This project started out as a challenge put forward from one of his school teachers to build a robotic arm for $200. [VoR73X] accepted, and the challenge began.
He came up with a robotic arm that can be controlled from his mobile phone and other bluetooth enabled devices. He also designed it so that he can control it from the infrared remote control of an old tv set. [VoR73X] decided to kept the design simple, to make it easy for others to build. [VoR73X] has shared the code and a step by step process of how to build in the hopes that others would also like to take up the challenge. Watch the video after the break for further details on his project.
Continue reading “Bits and Pieces Robotic Arm”
This peculiar instrument, called the Dronitar, is completely made from scrap. Interestingly, it sounds pretty good. You can hear the dronitar in action in the video after the break.The call this a “2 stringed” instrument,and most who are instrumentally savvy will find a bit of confusion here. They are referring to the string that you play as well as a small string that is struck against the other by a motor to create the droning effect. The result sounds very much like a sitar mixed with a bit of surfer rock styling. You’ll note that they’re even using a second motor as the pickup!
Continue reading “The Dronitar; a scrap made motorized sitar”
Some of our favorite hacks are those made with scrap materials, so we were delighted to see a contest being held by the German technology magazine c’t which focuses on using salvaged components. “Mach flott den Schrott” is the name of the competition, which loosely translates to “Make fast the scrap”.
German builder [Mario Lukas’] entry into the contest (Google Translation) is definitely unique, and certainly fits within the theme. He built a toilet paper printer that uses a bunch of recycled components to write anything he desires on a roll of the soft white stuff. His blog walks through the build details, including a bill of materials for all of the scrap bits he used to put it together. Several CD-ROM drives, printers, and even inline skates donated some components to the printer, while an Arduino controls the entire printing process.
Though [Mario] is using RSS and Twitter feeds as a data source for his toilet-side scribe, we imagine it will only be a matter of time before advertising companies seize upon this sort of technology to create personalized advertisements geared towards a decidedly captive audience.
Continue reading to see a quick video of his toilet paper printer in action.
Continue reading “Toilet paper printer made from scrap parts”