Getting a cheap CO2 laser cutter is great for your workshop needs, and while you might get a weaker-than-declared laser tube, it’s still going to cut whatever you need to be cut. That might not be the case for the cooling equipment you’re getting alongside it, however, as [RealTimeKodi] shows in a post-project blogpost. They bought a CX3000 “chiller” and found out it had no chiller components (Nitter), only equipped with a radiator, a fan, and a pump.
Having your laser tube water be somewhat close to ambient temperature is something you can already achieve with an aquarium pump and a bucket of water — and it isn’t worth paying $100 for. Left with the sunk cost and an unfulfilled need for a proper chiller, [RealTimeKodi] started looking for paths to take – first one was using TEC elements. The upgrade process was fun, but the result was subpar, as the elements gobbled power with hardly any useful output to show for it.
[RealTimeKodi] didn’t give up, and eventually found an old water fountain chiller with chiller-like components inside, sold for $200. They could’ve used the water fountain as-is, but a few design issues and thirst for adventure got in the way, indisputably forcing them to stuff the fountain’s guts into the CX3000’s case.
Buying a laser cutter can sometimes feel like buying a 3D printer a decade ago — you get a K40, learn to use it, add the missing safety features, mod in autofocus, upgrade the control board, expand the work surface… That said, our experience shows that you don’t need any of those if A4-sized 3 mm wood cutting suit you, but a proper chiller is still worth its weight in gold-plated acrylic.
Continue reading “Gutting And Upgrading Laser “Chiller” With No Chill”
One of the problems about learning too much control system theory is that you start to realize almost everything is some sort of control system. That’s the case with [Fernando Zigunov]. After observing a Rayleigh-Plateau instability in his kitchen sink, he decided to build a little display piece that shows water apparently defying gravity that he calls The Piddler.
We’ve seen things like this before, of course. A coffee pump, a check valve, and a strobe lamp with a controller is all that it takes. What makes this project interesting is the over hour-long video lecture on the theory behind why this works and how it relates to aliasing and the z-transform. You can check out the video, below.
Continue reading “Piddler Illustrates Aliasing And The Z-Transform”
That profile picture is full of pure joy! Meet [infinityis], aka [David Hoelscher] — don’t worry, we’re not revealing his secret identity; he posted his real name on his profile page.
His entry for The Hackaday Prize is a functional show piece to greet guests when they step into his home. His Waterfall Wall will serve as a way to separate the living space from the entryway. The top portion of it is a water feature which will be edge-lit with LEDs whose color will be controlled wirelessly. The bottom part of the wall will provide some storage space.
Join us after the break to find out more about [David], and check out his THP video for a brief introduction to his Waterfall Wall.
Continue reading “THP Hacker Bio: Infinityis”
After seeing our recent post on Laminar Flow Nozzles, [Richard] decided to share with us his family’s summer project — a computer controlled water show (translated)!
The setup uses a Raspberry Pi at its core and a set of USB relay boards to turn the valves and lights on and off to the music. They wrote the program in Python and have posted it on their website to share.
They used common household solenoid valves because they are easy to control by relay, but unfortunately they are on/off only, so variable flow is not possible. A challenge they encountered was equalizing the water pressure — one to make sure the pump didn’t over heat when the fountains were off, and two, to equalize the height of each fountain stream. To solve this they used a pressure regulator for the pump, and organized the plumbing in such a way with additional control valves that the pressure differences were minimal.
The setup doesn’t sound like it cost that much, and now the family has their own music activated water fountain in their garden — how awesome is that! Stick around after the break to see it in action.
Continue reading “Computer Controlled Water Show”
If you’re tired of drinking mere water, like from the toilet, then you should definitely install a Brawndo drinking fountain. Apparently, in addition to being what plants crave, geeks also enjoy this futuristic beverage.
As with many hacks, this fountain started out with a broken piece of equipment – a water fountain. After searching unsuccessfully for a new pushbutton valve [Dave] and [Craig] decided to use a solenoid valve instead. Logically, they decided that if a new valve was needed, some new features to go along with it were also needed. Along with this valve, a peristalsis pump was installed to add flavoring to the water if Brawndo was selected (as opposed to toilet water).
The hack was finished off with some nice decals and a switch plate. As you may have suspected, the Brawndo fountain was custom made for a makerspace. In this case Kansas City’s own Hammerspace. Be sure to check them out if you’re in the area!