Inspired by some of the experiments with “ring wings” in the early 20th Century, researchers iterated on various toroidal propeller geometries until arriving at one that significantly reduces the sound produced by the rotors, particularly in the range of human hearing. The team suspects the reduction in noise is due to vortices being distributed over the whole propeller instead of just the tips.
Experiments show the drones can get twice as close before becoming a nuisance for human ears which should be great news for anyone hoping to launch Skynet commercial drone deliveries. Since the rotors are easily fabricated via 3D printing they should be easy to adapt to a number of different drones.
We say it’s a tribute rather than an exact replica, as it only implements the “present time” section of the time circuits. However, for those of us without time machines, that’s more than enough. In any case, the build is a very faithful recreation. It uses a lovely sheet metal enclosure complete with era-appropriate sticky labels.
Naturally, the numerals are all shown on green segment displays, though [Stephen] used 16-segment devices instead of the more typical 7-segment parts. What really helps add to the look is the shaded acrylic windows, which adds a very nice effect.
If you aren’t up to speed on [Frank Herbert]’s sci-fi epic, the Fremen are a warrior race that populates the sands of the desert planet Arrakis, which is inhabited by giant sandworms. The worms are attracted to vibrations, and thumpers are supposed to be mechanical devices set into the sand to lure worms. Thumpers are only vaguely described in the text, and have been imagined to varying degrees of success in the filmed versions of the story.
[Attoparsec] decided to take a stab at a working version, with the twist of making it plausible within what’s known about the Fremen in the stories. He settled on a pneumatic drive, which seems like something the Fremen would use. Using compressed CO2 cartridges, he discovered that it’s far easier to make a high-speed pneumatic vibrator than it is to make a piston move slowly up and down. Several iterations were needed to get to a mechanism capable of the more stately movements seen in any of the film versions of the story, and even then the thumping seems a bit fast for our liking. The triggering mechanism was very cool, though, and somewhat unexpected — [Herbert] describes “lighting the candle” to trigger a thumper, which led to the use of a thermal pressure relief valve and a fuse.
The video below goes over the design and build in some detail, as well as demonstrates the thumper in action with a clever cosplay bit. Hats off to [Attoparsec] for this dive down the fandom rabbit hole, maybe a faithful version of the “pain box” will be next up on the project list.
Obviously, the most iconic piece of fictional hardware from the Back to the Future films is Doc Brown’s DeLorean DMC-12 time machine. But we’d have to agree with [Jason Altice] of CodeMakesItGo that the second-most memorable gadget is the modified Futaba remote control used to control the DeLorean from a distance. Now, thanks to his detailed build guide, you can build your own version of the time machine’s controller — complete with working speed readout.
Now to be clear, [Jason] isn’t claiming that his build is particularly screen accurate. It turns out that the actual transmitter used for the prop in the film, the Futaba PCM FP-T8SGA-P, has become difficult to find and expensive. But he argues that to the casual observer, most vintage Futaba transmitters are a close enough match visually. The more important part is recreating the extra gear Doc Brown bolted onto his version. Continue reading “Back To The Future Prop Can Tell When It Hits 88 MPH”→
Three years ago, [Enza3D] put together a 3D printed version of the Eye of Agamotto as seen in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. It was a good looking prop, but there was definitely some room for improvement in terms of screen accuracy and scale. With a new Strange film now in theaters, it seemed a good a time as any to revisit the design and tighten up some loose ends.
As you might expect for something that’s supposed to be magic, the internal mechanism required to get all of the moving parts going is quite complex. Not only does the iris need to open and close, but the rings need to spin at different speeds to recreate the effect seen in the film. Impressively, there’s not a single line of code or a microcontroller to be seen here — everything is done with a carefully designed set of a gears and a single N20 motor.
[Enza3D] tried to simplify the construction of the clockwork-like mechanism as much as possible compared to the earlier version, and made some nice improvements like unifying the size of the screws and shafts used in the assembly so there’s no danger of using the wrong part. Despite their size and fine pitch, all of the gears can be printed on a standard FDM desktop printer, in this case a Prusa Mini.
That said, [Enza3D] did switch over to resin prints for the outside of the prop. Incidentally, in another clever design decision, the outer ornamental case is completely separate from the internal powered mechanism. That lets you easily take the unit apart for maintenance or repairs without risking damage to your finish work. Check out the video after the break for a breakdown of how the device is assembled, as well as some tips on how to make shiny pieces of plastic look like aged metal.
Some guys get all the breaks. [Guy Dupont] had the honor of building a working, interactive wall-mount landline phone for the red carpet premiere of a certain TV show. The phone was to be an Easter egg inside an 80s-style pizzeria set. About every two minutes the phone would ring, and anyone brave enough to answer would be greeted with either a fake pizza order, an old answering machine message, or a clip from The Show That Cannot Be Mentioned.
So the phone doesn’t work-work, but the nostalgia is strong — picking up the receiver when the phone isn’t ringing results in a dial tone, and button pushing leads to the busy signal. Those old pleasant-but-stern operator recordings would have been cool, but there was only so much time. (Your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please check the number and try again.)
[Guy] used a SparkFun RP2040 to handle input from the DTMF keypad and play the tones, the dial and busy signals, and the various recordings into the ear of the receiver.
Instead of messing around with the high voltage needed to drive the original ringer and bell, [Guy] used a small speaker to play the ringing sound. Everything runs on eight AAs tucked under the keypad, which is stepped down to 5 V.
This project was built under fairly dramatic duress, which makes it that much more exciting to watch the build video after the break. With just five days to get the phone working and in the mail, [Guy] holed up on the floor of his office, his messy mid-move refuge from a house plagued by COVID. Unfortunately, the whole pizzeria thing fell through, so [Guy]’s phone will not get to have its moment on the red carpet. But at least it’s on the site that’s black and white and read all over.
If you’re looking to add a little more sci-fi authenticity to your gaming setup, you could do much worse than this functional control lever replica that [ZapWizard] has entered into the Hackaday.io Sci-Fi Contest.
Taking inspiration from Disney’s The Mandalorian, this functional prop is almost identical to the throttle seen on the bridge of the Razor Crest gunship, piloted by the television show’s eponymous bounty hunter. The electronic heart of this build is relatively straightforward – a Trinket M0 measures the resistance of an ultra-thin potentiometer, and masquerades as a typical one-axis USB throttle.
The mechanical components and aesthetically pleasing housing is where this project really shines. Helical 3D printed gears smooth out the movement of the solid aluminum throttle shaft, and a simple detent mechanism ‘catches’ the throttle at the middle point. The ballast and baseplate are cut from stainless steel, giving the throttle considerable heft, aiding in its stability on a tabletop (it’s also possible to secure it down using screws or powerful magnets). The throttle case is 3D printed and covered in aluminum foil tape, which is then chemically blackened and aged for that well-loved appearance.
Of course, the most iconic part of this build is the spherical knob, which screws onto the aluminum shaft for Grogu’s convenience. [ZapWizard] put in an order for one over at Custom 3D Stuff, and it absolutely ties the entire build together.