Hackaday Links: Saturday, June 18th

Tripod CNC Machining Setup:


Here’s a strange “tripod” device using the EMC software package generally used for CNC machining.  In this case it looks like something that (when scaled up) might control a sky-cam-like device that one would see at football games.

The Off-Grid Container House:


Project to make an off-grid container house.  Pretty crazy idea, but definitely not developed yet. This seems like a cool idea, so hopefully this guy will come through. It may give you some other ideas, so check it out. Pizza in a cup anyone?

Iphone Window Pocket


Iphone window pocket – This Instructables article shows how to make a “window” in your pants for your Ipod. The combination of bad style and nerdiness gives a great first impression every time. Not sure how it works with the capacitive touch screen, but it should be good for viewing at least.

The Multiple AC Unit Experiment


Here’s someone who’s done some experimenting with using a central AC unit with several window units. Not bad, considering he documents shaving about 1/3 off his power bill.  Maybe it could inspire something even better!

Incredible CNC “hexapod” Milling Center


Finally, this machine isn’t exactly a “hack”, but a professionally designed machining center. It uses a machining setup similar to a delta robot. Six linear actuators are coordinated to allow this CNC robot to move in five degrees of freedom with incredible speed.

12 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: Saturday, June 18th

  1. Hexapod CNC is amazing.

    Shipping container house has promise but you need to consider quite a bit – building with containers has very little in common with building with wood and nails. Of course, it is vastly superior to building with wood and nails as well but you have to think outside the box quite a bit to do it right. Insulation is tricky, modifications aren’t hard but you need to approach them the right way and with the right tools. That sort of thing.

  2. A 20′ container really isn’t THAT portable. In order to modify it to be broken down as the author intends… not only will you have to undertake SUBSTANTIAL modifications but doing so with hand tools…. that’s almost a disaster waiting to happen. Containers flex when you cut the walls – which are corrugated. They also happen to be extremely heavy. So even if you were able to convert one to break down (which isn’t impossible), you still have to have robust mechanisms to not only “open” fit back up (and lock it there to prevent it from filling the occupants) but you also need to consider that pulling 8000 lbs of metal for the container alone isn’t exactly energy or gas efficient.

    $20,000 for a 150 sq ft house is roughly $133 per sq ft. That is on par with most higher end homes and also includes land. I recognize that the idea is to include the “fully off grid” features in that price – however this doesn’t include land costs and doesn’t include anything about labor involved (which is presumed to be free). There are also economies of scale involved in building a 1500 sq ft home vs a 150 sq ft “shelter” but $20,000 of estimated costs invariably have a tendency to become $30,000 or $40,000 in costs.

  3. I understand YMMV is very applicable to using shipping containers to build a home. IMO, in my location doing so doesn’t make sense. Buy the container. Purchase the lumber need to get a decent R value of insulation, and to apply the interior wall ceiling surfaces on. In most locations one would want a pitched roof. To shed snow or provide a ventilated shade for the container’s metal top. Certainly most would cover a scabby looking exterior, using that opportunity to and additional insulation. Most would install a fished floor. Of course any home will have windows so that’s a draw. Where I live I can enclose, finish the same amount space that a shipping container with a materials cost that is close to the same cost of the container Those containers may be a bargain if one lives near a port, but in the middle of Kansas they are expensive. Another thing to consider is stick or other construction has the flexibility of designing a home that enclose the same sq. ft. that a shipping container does in a more friendly foot print. The only options with a shipping container is a old mobile home or large travel trailer lay out. In that most Shipping container homes are DYI projects I’m not considering labor cost at all.

    So the TX AC experiment is one persons rediscovery of what people have been doing for years? I’m more impressed with this http://ulceet.com/site70.php ; http://homes-across-america.org/search/details.cfm?who=153&Feature=all&action=showDetails&Query=byState couple’s rediscovery as to how to live in Louisiana WITHOUT AC. With due respect to Sean O’Hara,it’s going to be the Adrians that will show us how to live comfortably in a world of declining resources, by diligently researching what worked well in the past,in their location. The locations of others are sure to require other methods.

  4. I missed the additional details on the shipping container project. Collapsible, why? They are extremely portable as is. Even with the addition of the material required to make one into a home they a still wouldn’t be prohibitively heavy as to preclude to be transported by a 3/4 ton truck using a gooseneck trailer. I don’t know what it is about shipping container that awe so many people so much. In the event one plans to build it in one place planning to move it to another place that has code requirements good luck with that, even if it’s built in a place that has identical code requirement, and was inspected during construction. Commercial mobile homes have HUD stickers that are recognized by most municipalities if not all. You could install inspection panels so an inspector where you move it to can inspect it, but there’s no guarantee that will be acceptable.

    I have an old mobile home here that’s being used as storage. At one time I was considering of rebuilding it to have a small inexpensive home to live in that I could move it to where needed, if things really turn South here in the US. Several things nipped that idea in the bud. I have no title for the chassis, if I did it’s so old many cities wouldn’t allow it within the city, even in a MH park, and the inspection thing I mentioned.

  5. The portability and strength of a container house makes it somewhat justifiable.
    It’s better then spending $500 a squarefoot on one of the stupid high end condos that are over here.

  6. uhh, I think “collapsible” means that all the stuff outside the container (solar panels, shade structures, water filtration, etc.) fits into the container for easy transport

  7. I love shipping container projects, but I would never in a million years trust that guy to do it right. It doesn’t help that he has the thing sitting at an angle on some cinder blocks… there are plenty of safe ways to mount a container, he seems to have decided against them all.

  8. shipping container? really? they have things called Motorhomes and Mobile homes for a fricken reason, for 20k he could buy a very nice motorhome or mobile home that won’t have code violations all over the place and won’t have a problem of people not allowing it near them because it looks like the clampets built it.

  9. the central A/C with two window A/C’s is not a hack. I am sure plenty of people out there with central A/C have figured out that using window A/Cs or fans to cool the bedrooms will save on energy cost.

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