Open-Source Extruded Profile systems are a mature breed these days. With Openbuilds, Makerslide, and Openbeam, we’ve got plenty of systems to choose from; and Amazon and Alibaba are coming in strong with lots of generic interchangeable parts. These open-source framing systems have borrowed tricks from some decades-old industry players like Rexroth and 80/20. But from all they’ve gleaned, there’s still one trick they haven’t snagged yet: affordable springloaded T-nuts.
I’ve discussed a few tricks when working with these systems before, and Roger Cheng came up with a 3D printed technique for working with T-nuts. But today I’ll take another step and show you how to make our own springs for VSlot rail nuts.
Continue reading “How To Make Your Own Springs for Extruded Rail T-Nuts”
At this point, the internet is crawling with butt-kicking homebrew 3D printers made with extruded profiles, but it’s easy to underestimate the difficulty in getting there. Sure, most vendors sell a suite of interlocking connectors, but how well do these structural framing systems actually fare when put to the task of handling a build with sub-millimeter tolerances?
I’ve been playing around with these parts for about two years. What I’ve found is that, yes, precise and accurate results are possible. Nevertheless, those results came to me after I failed and–dry, rinse, repeat–failed again! Only after I understood the limits of both the materials and assembly processes was I able to deliver square, dimensionally accurate gantries that could carry a laser beam around a half-square-meter workbed. That said, I wrote a quick guide to taming these beasts. Who are they? What flavors do they come in? How do we achieve those precision results? Dear reader, read on.
Continue reading “A How-To in Homebrew Design, Fab, and Assembly with Structural Framing Systems”
A Remote Sphero-Control Trackball
Sphero is a cool little ball that can roll around under the control of a smartphone. Although super-cool by itself, in this application it’s been hacked into a sort of trackball to drive a remote control car!
Arduino Voice Control
[Sebastian] Wrote in to tell us about this article about using the Arduino EasyVR shield to add voice control to your project. Worth a look if it your application calls for voice-control.
OpenBeam Tiny 80/20-Like Extrusion
Openbeam is a Kickstarter project designed to produce an aluminium extrusion for building stuff. Although we’ve seen lots of this kind of thing, the small 15mm profile is quite interesting, and it’s designed to use off-the-shelf hardware, which should save on costs!
Hexapod + iPad = Fun for All
There’s not a lot of information on this hack, and the price or this hexapod device isn’t even listed, so we’ll assume it’s quite expensive. On the other hand, it’s got a cool video of it being controlled by an iPad, so maybe it will give you some hacking inspiration!
USB Sound Card Write-Up
[George] wrote in to tell us about his USB sound card write-up. Before you think that this is a dupe of this post, he freely admits to building it nearly identically to the one previously posted. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but [George] is also requesting some feedback on his blog and the aforementioned post. feel free to let him know what you think in the comments. Please be polite!