The minibike is an American phenomenon which fascinates those of us from countries in which such contraptions are illegal on the road; they seem to deliver bucketloads of low-octane fun in which we are unable to participate. [HowToLou] has one, and as it’s something for use in the Great Outdoors it naturally requires some means of fixing a brew. His solution to the need for a mug of boiling water in out-of-the-way places? A gravity-fed heat exchanger for the exhaust pipe, fed from a reservoir made using an upturned bottle.
As can be seen in the video below the break it’s a simple enough piece of work but surprisingly effective. A piece of small-bore copper tube is passed through a cork into the bottle, then wrapped round a piece of pipe which forms an exhaust The resulting heat exchanger is insulated, the engine started, and the cork loosened just enough to cause a bit of water to flow. The result – a good flow of hot water for that morning coffee.
It may not be the most practical of water heaters, but it’s certainly a bit of fun even if it might not work with all the minibikes we’ve covered.
Continue reading “This Minibike Will Land You In Hot Water” →
3D printing is a great way to create complex geometric forms. However, it can be very slow, and parts may lack strength compared to other alternatives. There are other ways to take advantage of this technology however, as shown in the build of this tidy voronoi lamp.
The lamp is so-called for its voronoi-patterned base, named after the mathematical concept. 3D printing is used to create the base, which would be very difficult to create with traditional subtractive machining methods. A copper coil is then used to give the lamp some height, as well as act as protection for the filament bulb. Here, 3D printing helps out in a different way, being used to create a jig to allow the copper to be quickly wound into an accurate coil shape. The coil also serves to act as a conduit for the mains wiring, giving the lamp a neat finished appearance.
The project goes to show that even if 3D printing is appropriate to produce your final parts, it may be of help to create useful jigs or tools to get the job done. We’ve even seen similar applications before in the microcontroller space!