Marble machines roundup

[Denha's] been building marble machines for years and decided to look a back on some of his favorite marble-based builds  (translated). There’s a slew of them, as well as some thoughts about each. Our favorite part is the digital simulations of the projects. For instance, the image above shows a flip-flop marble machine that was built in a physics simulator. This makes it a lot easier to plan for the physical build as it will tell you exact dimensions before you cut your first piece of material. Both of these images were pulled from videos which can be seen after the break. But this isn’t the most hard-core of pre-build planning. SolidWorks, a CAD suite that is most often used to design 3D models for precision machining, has also been used to model the more intricate machines.

[Read more...]

Let there be light inside picture frames

[Limpkin] picked up a beautiful painting of Budda while in Bali because he thought it would react well with different colors of lighting. His overall goal was to create a picture frame with built-in LEDs. The major design specification for the project was to provide an indirect light source that would not shine in the viewers eyes. He got down to business designing a frame using SolidWorks for his modelling. The final design has a separate track from the paining with small dividers for each diode.

After about four hours on the CNC machine it was time to get down to soldering. [Limpkin] had 576 RGB LEDs on hand. He’s not looking to drive them individually, just to have independent control of each color. This makes the soldering a bit easier as there will be just three MOSFETs to drive each color. The final product looks great and can display any mix of colored light. Not bad for 50 hours of soldering.

3D Magnetometer mouse in processing

FFB4SV5G0SD7J7G_MEDIUM

[etgalim] works in Solidworks extensively and wanted a more intuitive way of rotating objects onscreen. To do this, he created a mouse that responds to rotation. He put a 3D compass module inside an old mouse and wired it up to an Arduino. The Arduino then relays the I2C sensor data to the computer. So far, he has a Processing script that uses the mouse to rotate a cube, but eventually he wants to write a Solidworks plugin. It’s a bit shaky, and we think it would be a bit smoother (and cheaper) if he used gyros like the jedipad. Video after the jump.

[Read more...]