3D printer owners have for years benefitted from using Octoprint to help manage their machines, and most people run Octoprint on a Raspberry Pi. [Martijn] made it run on his PinePhone instead, which turned out to be a surprisingly good fit for his needs.
While [Martijn] was working out exactly what he wanted and taking an inventory of what Raspberry Pi components and accessories it would require, it occurred to him that his PinePhone — an open-source, linux-based mobile phone — would be a good candidate for his needs. It not only runs Linux with a touchscreen and camera, but even provides USB, ethernet, and separate DC power input via a small docking bar. It looked like the PinePhone had it all, and he was right. [Martijn]’s project page gives a walkthrough of the exact steps to get Octoprint up and running, and it even turns out to not be particularly difficult.
Pascal is not one of the biggest programming languages these days; it’s fallen into the background as the world moved on to newfangled things like C#, Python and Java. However, the language has its fans, one of whom put together a new compiler which targets retro platforms – and it goes by the name Turbo Rascal.
The list of supported platforms is extensive, with Turbo Rascal able to compile highly-optimized binaries for the C64, Amiga 500, BBC Micro, IBM PC, Atari ST, Game Boy, Amstrad, NES, ZX Spectrum, and more. There’s a usable IDE and even an included graphics editor for getting projects put together quickly. Also known by its full name of Turbo Rascal Syntax Error, or TRSE, it’s the work of one [Nicolaas Groeneboom].
The compiler runs on 64-bit Windows, Linux, and OS X, and there are extensive tutorial videos available on YouTube, too. Thus, there’s no excuse not to start developing a new retro game immediately. Check out the demo video below, and remember – as long as we keep using it, Pascal isn’t dead!
[Handy Geng] has a knack for fitting his creations with a large percentage of recycled material. And as is exemplified by the video below the break, he also loves to mix the practical with the whimsical.
Using parts salvaged from motor scooters, trash heaps, and likely many other sources, [Handy] has put together a small vehicle that he himself describes as looking like a bar of soap as it slips across the floor. You’ll agree when you see the independent front and rear steering at work, allowing the car’s front and rear to be driven and steered on their own. Crabbing sideways, driving diagonally, and we’re guessing spinning in place are possible.
What’s also clear in the video below is that [Handy] is a talented fabricator. While not taking himself too seriously (keep an eye out for the 360° selfie cam!) he clearly takes pride in the work. [Handy]’s workshop and skill set show that at the core, he’s quite serious about his craft. We appreciate the creative use of scrap materials used in such an inspiring build. The turn signals and “communicator” hand is absolutely marvelous.
If building with recycled materials is your thing, then you’ll love the Trash Printer, too. Thanks to [Fosselius] for the tip!
A critical element of a good blasting cabinet setup is a vacuum system that can suck out the dust, blasting media, and bits of removed material faster than it collects inside the chamber. A cyclone separator can get the job done, but since it dumps all the waste from the cabinet into one bucket, it can make reusing the blasting material a dirty job. But as [Daniel Bauen] explains in the latest Engineerable video, his two-stage dust collector is able to keep the cabinet clear while separating the used blasting material into its own container.
Basically, the idea here is to to use two different cyclone separators: one that’s very effective, and a cheap model that’s only able to remove large particulates. By running the air from the cabinet through the cheap separator first, the used blasting media is captured in a dedicated bucket. From there, the air runs through the high-efficiency separator to extract the finer dust. Finally, the shop vacuum [Daniel] is using has its own washable HEPA filter to catch anything that makes it through the two extractors; though he notes that it only rarely needs to be cleaned out.
Normally this system is attached directly to the blasting cabinet, and it does a good job of capturing the bulk of the used blasting media in real-time. But to make sure the media is really cleaned up being using it again, [Daniel] will actually run the contents of the first bucket through the system a few more times to separate out any of the more stubborn dust that might be mixed in.
Of course not everyone has the space, or even the need, for such an elaborate blasting setup. If you’re just trying to quickly clean up some parts on the cheap, you can make a basic blaster for around $6. Good luck capturing the media though.
Now you likely remember [Pierre’s] work from earlier this year where he was pushing the speed of the displays as high as possible. Using a capacitor discharge trick he made it to 30 fps, which absolutely stunning work. This time around he attempted to do something equally impressive by micro-stepping the dots. It’s a bonkers idea and unfortunately didn’t work. It seems the dots are engineered for two steady states and you just can’t get very good performance with the in-between states.
However, along the way he had an a-ha moment. Part of what he wanted to do with the microstepping was to slow down the change of the state and for that, he just grabbed a viscous fluid that’s thicker than air: Vaseline oil. (We’d imagine it’s not the cocoa-scented variety, but who knows?) He’s taken a page out of the mineral-oil-cooled PC sub-genre and applied it to flipdots. But watch the video after the break and you’ll see that the slower animations are super pleasing to watch, and the clickity-clackity that was driving you nuts while trying to works is now whisper quiet. It’s a new dawn for displays.
It seems like there are two camps, the small group of people who care about UEFI and everyone else who doesn’t really notice or care as long as their computer works. So let’s talk about what UEFI is, how it came to be, what it’s suitable for, and why you should (or shouldn’t) care.
[Staacks]’s Blender plugin to animate growth is behind the sweet animation seen above. It’s an add-on that cleverly makes creating slick growth animations easier when using Blender. It isn’t limited to PCB images either, although they do happen to make an excellent example of the process.
The idea is that one begins with an image texture with a structure showing a bunch of paths (like a maze, or traces on a PCB), and that gets used as an input. The plugin then uses a path finding algorithm to determine how these paths could grow from an origin point, and stores the relevant data in the color channels of an output image. That output is further used within Blender as the parameters with which to generate the actual animation, resulting in the neat self-creating PCB seen above. That PCB isn’t just for show, by the way. It’s the PCB for [Staacks]’s smart doorbell project.