Vance joined the Hackspace just before Christmas and has wasted no time in completing his first project. In that time he has mastered use of the laser-cutter, got to grips with programming wifi-enabled ESP8266 chips, designed his first printed circuit board, had it made by a board-house, and brought it all together in this ingenious bedroom clock.
Laser-cut, wifi-programmable, RGB-LED, light-sensitive bedroom clock
The time is represented with twelve radial segments of frosted acrylic that are lit in red, green and blue according to the positions of the hour, minute and second hands. As the hands pass each other they combine to illuminate the room with an ever-changing pattern of coloured light (see video below). What’s more, he has made all the CAD design files for the parts, the code, and the PCB design in a repository and written a blog post to document how he did it.
A brilliant project Vance – great idea, great design, great finish, brought together at great speed. You’re making the rest of us look like amateurs!
Here’s a great example of what you can build, if you set your mind to it, with the facilities here at rLab. This remote-control robotic cocktail-maker was made from laser cut acrylic, some RGB LEDs, cheap peristaltic pumps and an Arduino. All in a couple of evening’s work. Now sit back and let the robotic bar-tender do the rest…..
A while back I promised a write-up of the soldering lamp project that I made at rLab. Using less than £10 of materials, some of it scrap, I built a bright table-top lamp to illuminate my soldering. None of this would have been possible without rLab’s fantastic facilities and the advice of other members.
There’s a full write-up with list of materials, diagrams, and some of the lessons that I learnt along the way [here].
Soldering lamp head exploded
Today there was a build-your-own-quadcopter workshop at rLab. The quadcopters were designed by one of our members (Jon), the main elements of the airframe cut from acrylic with our laser cutter, and all of the parts ordered and assembled into kits in advance.Total price per quadcopter – ~£100!
The build was a great success, with eight out of nine of the quadcopters in flight by 5:30 – the ninth had a faulty motor.
The kits ready to assemble
The workshop was supported by some slick step-by-step training materials
The build underway
An example of the finished article
For the bill of materials and the presentation used for the workshop click the ‘Read More’ button below
What do you do when you need a hose adaptor for a band saw to your hover and you just took delivery of a nice shiny lathe and someone upstairs is playing with welding acrylic?
Well you hack an adaptor of course..
See parts 1 – 6 on the youtube channel above.
Matt has done some pretty interesting experiments on solvent welding acrylic to acrylic and acrylic to PLA, with some very interesting and sturdy results, you can get the full low down from his blog here http://heknowswhoheis.co.uk/acrylic-pla-and-solvent-welding/
Here’s some handiwork from Matt, for 3D printing some captive nut traps/stand offs, he’s also been doing some work on gluing acrylic to PLA which hopefully he’ll share soon – http://heknowswhoheis.co.uk/simple-nut-traps/
Last night Scott and I hooked up the Chiller to the Laser cutter and was cutting some beautiful pieces and most importantly consistently!
The basics are that you use 2mm per second cut speed and a power output of 18-20ma.
Remove the plastic covering if you don’t want the edge to ride up.
The bed height is imperative it must be 60mm from the surface of the material and it MUST be flat!
Temperature is also a critical factor too, colder isn’t better it seems to be optimal and consistent at a temperature of 19.5 degrees c.
Every bit we cut once we cracked it – a good 8 or so pieces were perfect, nice lines and the extractions just fell out with no effort.
Here’s a quick run through…
We also had some success with 3mm acrylic at 5mm per second and 15-20ma, but this could probably do with some more testing.
Cheers Scott!! You rock!!
From Dean: below are pictures of a case I made for a single board computer, turning it into a desktop system.
A stunning Reading HackSpace sign, made at the HackSpace by Dean on our very own laser cutter!
All members can get training on the laser cutter and other machinery!