Scratch Built Amiga 2000 Stacks Up The Mods

Around these parts, we most often associate [Drygol] with his incredible ability to bring damaged or even destroyed vintage computers back to life with a seemingly endless bag of repair and restoration techniques. But this time around, at the request of fellow retro aficionado [MrTrinsic], he was given a special assignment — to not only build a new Amiga 2000 from scratch, but to pack it with so many mods that just physically fitting them into the case would be a challenge in itself.

The final product, dubbed Tesseract, took two and a half years to complete and has been documented over the course of six blog posts. The first step was to get a brand new motherboard, in this case a modern recreation designed by Floppie209, and start populating it with components. With some modifications, the new board slipped neatly into a slick metal case. Unfortunately it quickly became clear some of the mods the duo wanted to install wouldn’t work with the reverse-engineered motherboard. This was around Spring of 2021, which is the last time we checked in on the project. Continue reading “Scratch Built Amiga 2000 Stacks Up The Mods”

Cassette Player Cupholder Is A Useful But Risky Idea

The cup was invented in 1570 BC. Despite this, infuriatingly, the cupholder didn’t become common in the automotive world until the early 2000s. Cars built in the years PCH (pre-cupholder) typically also had tape decks. Noticing this relationship, [thephatmaster] designed this useful cassette-deck cupholder accessory.

The design is simple, consisting of a 3D printed ring with a tab that neatly slides into an automotive stereo’s cassette slot. The design does require that the tape deck be empty prior to inserting the cup holder. Given that few cassette players from that era still work, this isn’t much of a drawback. Of course, if you really do need tunes, it wouldn’t be too difficult to integrate a Bluetooth cassette adapter into the printed design.

[thephatmaster] uses the cupholder in a Mercedes W202, and has posted a special inclined version to suit this model. The creator also notes that using it on vehicles like the Mercedes W210 can be a risk. The cupholder typically places the beverage directly above the transmission lever, where any spills can damage switches or other important electronics. Also, the cupholder isn’t designed to work with vertical tape decks, though modification for this layout may be possible.

This build may look silly or pointless to some. But if you’ve ever tried to pull a U-turn in an old manual car while precariously cradling a steaming latte between your legs, you’ll clearly see the value here. It only has to save one pair of pants before it’s paid for itself.

We’ve seen some other creative cupholder hacks before too, like this nifty laptop holder. If you’ve whipped up your own nifty car hacks, send them into the tipsline.

Printed Propeller Blades Repair Indoor Flyer

Fair warning for readers with a weak stomach, the video below graphically depicts an innocent rubber band airplane being obliterated in mid-air by a smug high-tech RC helicopter. It’s a shocking display of airborne class warfare, but the story does have a happy ending, as [Concrete Dog] was able to repair his old school flyer with some very modern technology: a set of 3D printed propeller blades.

Now under normal circumstances, 3D printed propellers are a dicey prospect. To avoid being torn apart by the incredible rotational forces they will be subjected to, they generally need to be bulked up to the point that they become too heavy, and performance suffers. The stepped outer surface of the printed blade doesn’t help, either.

But in a lightweight aircraft powered by a rubber band, obviously things are a bit more relaxed. The thin blades [Concrete Dog] produced on his Prusa Mini appear to be just a layer or two thick, and were printed flat on the bed. He then attached them to the side of a jar using Kapton tape, and put them in the oven to anneal for about 10 minutes. This not only strengthened the printed blades, but put a permanent curve into them.

The results demonstrated at the end of the video are quite impressive. [Concrete Dog] says the new blades actually outperform the originals aluminum blades, so he’s has to trim the plane out again for the increased thrust. Hopefully the extra performance will help his spindly bird avoid future aerial altercations.

On the electrically powered side of things, folks have been trying to 3D print airplane and quadcopter propellers for almost as long as desktop 3D printers have been on the market. With modern materials and high-resolution printers the idea is more practical than ever, though it’s noted they don’t suffer crashes very well.

Continue reading “Printed Propeller Blades Repair Indoor Flyer”

3D Printed Newtonian Telescope Has Stunning Looks, Hadley Breaks The Bank

Have you ever considered building your own telescope? Such a project can be daunting, especially if you grind your own mirrors. But with a 3D printer, hardware store bits and bobs, and some inexpensive pre-made mirrors, you too can be the proud owner of your very own own Hadley — a 900mm Newtonian Telescope that can cost less than $150 USD to build! Check out the video below the break to get a good scope on the project.

Astrophotography is possible with the Hadley

The creator’s stated goal is to “make an attractive alternative to the shoddy, hard to use “hobby-killer” scopes in the $100-200 range“, and we have to say that it appears to have met its goal admirably. The optics — the most complex part of any build — can be easily purchased online, and the rest of the parts are available at your local hardware store.

While the original build was provided in Imperial measures, a metric version is now available. Various contributors have created a rich ecosystem of accessories and alternative versions of various parts, all in the interest of making the telescope more useful. Things like tripod mounts, phone mounts (for use with your favorite star chart app) and more are only a click away. The only real question to answer is “What color filament will I use?”

Of course, sometimes light waves can get a bit long in the tooth, and for those cases you’ll want a radio telescope, which can also be DIY’d thanks to the availability of satellite dishes and SDR dongles!

Continue reading “3D Printed Newtonian Telescope Has Stunning Looks, Hadley Breaks The Bank”

A sliced digital file of a marker light enclosure. Background is a white and grey grid and object itself is a series of print path lines in red, orange, and green.

3D Printing Hard-To-Find Vintage Vehicle Parts

When I was growing up, my dad and I restored classic cars. Combing junkyards for the pieces we needed was a mixture of interesting and frustrating since there was always something you couldn’t find no matter how long you looked. [Emily Velasco] was frustrated by the high price of parts even when she was able to find them, so she decided to print them herself. She wrote an excellent tutorial about designing and 3D printing replica parts if you find yourself in a similar situation.

All four marker lights on [Velasco]’s 1982 Toyota pickup were on their way to plastic dust, and a full set would run her $160. Instead of shelling out a ton of cash for some tiny parts, she set out to replicate the marker lamps with her 3D printer. Using a cheap marker lamp replacement for a more popular model of pickup as a template, she was able to replace her marker lamps at a fraction of the cost of the options she found online. Continue reading “3D Printing Hard-To-Find Vintage Vehicle Parts”

With A Little Heat, Printed Parts Handle Vacuum Duty

We don’t have to tell the average Hackaday reader that desktop 3D printing has been transformative for our community, but what might not be as obvious is the impact the technology has had on the scientific community. As explained in Thermal Post-Processing of 3D Printed Polypropylene Parts for
Vacuum Systems
by [Pierce Mayville], [Aliaksei Petsiuk], and [Joshua Pearce]
, the use of printed plastic parts, especially when based on open source designs, can lead to huge cost reductions in the production of scientific hardware.

More specifically, the authors wanted to examine the use of 3D printing components to be used in a vacuum. Parts produced with filament-based printers tend to be porous, and as such, are not suitable for fittings or adapters which need to be pumped down to below one atmosphere. The paper goes on to explain that there are coatings that can be used to seal the printed parts, but that they can outgas at negative pressures.

The solution proposed by the team is exceptionally simple: after printing their desired parts in polypropylene on a Lulzbot Taz 6, they simply hit them with a standard consumer heat gun. With the temperature set at ~400 °C, it took a little under a minute for the surface of take on a glossy appearance — the result reminds us of an ABS print smoothed with acetone vapor.

As the part is heated, the surface texture visibly changes. The smoothed parts performed far better in vacuum testing.

In addition to the heat treatment, the team also experimented with increasing degrees of infill overlap in the slicer settings. The end result is that parts printed with a high overlap and then heat treated were able to reliably handle pressures as low as 0.4 mTorr. While the paper admits that manually cooking your printed parts with a heat gun isn’t exactly the ideal solution for producing vacuum-capable components, it’s certainly a promising start and deserves further study.

Custom Printed Knobs In Just A Few Lines Of Code

While not everyone is necessarily onboard for the CAD-via-code principle behind OpenSCAD, there’s no denying the software lends itself particularly well to parametric designs. Using a few choice variables, it’s possible to make a model in OpenSCAD that can be easily tweaked by other users — even if they have zero prior experience with CAD.

Take for example this parametric-knob-maker written by [aminGhafoory]. The code clocks in at less than 100 lines, but if you’re looking to spin up your own version, all you really need to pay attention to are the clearly labeled variables up at the top. Just plug in your desired diameter and height, fiddle around a bit with the values that get fed into the grip generating function, and hit F7 to export it to an STL ready for printing.

Now admittedly, all the knobs generated with this code will look more or less the same. But that’s the beauty of open source, should you want to print out some wild looking knobs, you can at least use this code as a basis to build on. With the core functionality in place, you just need to concern yourself with writing a new function to generate a grip texture more to your liking.

Of course, if you want to make your OpenSCAD designs even easier for others to modify, you’ll want to look into its impressive customizer capability which replaces manually edited variables with friendly sliders and text input boxes. Projects like the Ultimate Box Maker we looked at back in 2018 are an excellent example of how powerful OpenSCAD can be if you give your design the proper forethought.