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Archive for the ‘3D printing’ Category

If you’d like to build a walking biped robot, this 3D-printed design by Technovation looks like a fantastic place to start. Each leg features three servos that actuate it at the hip, knee, and ankle for a total of six degrees of freedom.

Control is handled by an Arduino Uno board that rides on top of the legs, along with a perfboard to connect to the servos directly.

Movements are calculated via inverse kinematics, meaning one simply has to input the x and z positions, and the Arduino calculates the proper servo angles. The bot is even able to take steps between two and 10 centimeters without falling over.

How do we know that planets exist outside of our solar system? While too far away to observe directly, with extremely sensitive equipment like the Kepler space telescope it’s possible to detect changes in light as these exoplanets pass in front of a star. For an excellent visualization of how this all works, check out Marcin Poblock’s simplified model in the video below.

The 3D-printed apparatus employs an Arduino Nano that controls the motion of two planets around a light bulb “star,” via a stepper motor and gear system. The variable light is then sensed by an LDR on a separate Nano-driven device. This sends info to a computer over serial to be graphed in real-time, and can also store it on an SD card for later analysis. 

While this project won’t necessarily help you explore our galaxy, it will provide you with a fun way to learn about the principle of exoplanet detection using the transit method.

3D printing allows us to make a wide variety of shapes, but adding interactive features generally means somehow strapping various electronics to them. The AirTouch project, however, presents an alternative option by enabling a fabricated object to sense up to a dozen different touch points with no components or complex calibration necessary. 

Instead compressed air is pumped into the 3D-printed item, which escapes via up to 12 tiny holes. As each hole is touched, a barometric sensor picks up the pressure response, which is then interpreted by an Arduino Uno board as user input. 

The system has been tested on a variety of interactive figures, from a model rabbit to a bar graph. A short demo can be seen below, while the project’s research paper is found here.

As a fun weekend project at home, Arnaud Atchimon and his son came up with a DIY laser blaster game comprised of a 3D-printed shooter and target setup.

Both devices are controlled by an Arduino Nano, and when the gun is powered up, you can either have 10 shots on target before a reload delay or go into “Stormtrooper” mode for full auto-blasting.

The target assembly senses hits with an LDR sensor and features a 24-LED NeoPixel ring that makes it easy to spot. When struck, it falls either forward or backwards under the power of a micro servo motor, allowing the unit to be used on a flat surface or mounted to the wall.

Will Cogley, known for his awesome animatronics, has created a robotic mouth that’s already a work of art and could form the basis of something even more amazing. 

The device features an array of servo mechanisms to actuate its jaw, forceps, cheeks, and a tongue. The cheek assemblies are particularly interesting, employing two servos each and a linkage system that allows it to move in a variety of positions.

For control, the project uses a Python program to break typed sentences up into individual sounds. It then sends these to an Arduino, which poses the mouth in sequence. Cogley has also experimented with microphone input and hopes to explore motion capture with it in the future.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and while making your own medical equipment isn’t normally advisable, Johnny Lee’e project explores how to turn a CPAP machine into a ventilator.

The idea is that since these machines are basically just blowers controlled by a brushless DC motor, an Arduino Nano equipped with an electonic speed controller could allow it to act as a one.

Such a setup has been shown to provide more than enough pressure for a ventilator used on COVID-19 patients. This device has in no way been evaluated or approved for medical use, but it does provide a starting point for experimentation.

You can find additional details on Lee’s GitHub page.

When you step out in public, you’ll often be filmed by a number of cameras and perhaps even be analyzed by tracking software of some kind. The Watchman robot head by Graham Jessup, however, makes this incredibly obvious as it detects and recognizes facial movements, then causes a pair of eyeballs to follow you around.

The 3D-printed system — which is a modified version of Tjhazi’s Doorman — uses a Raspberry Pi Camera to capture a live video feed, along with a Raspberry Pi Zero and a Google AIY HAT for analysis.

This setup passes info on to an Arduino Uno that actuates the eyeballs via a 16-channel servo shield and a number of servos. The device can follow Jessup up, down, left, and right, making for a very creepy robot indeed!

If you have multiple applications open in Windows, you may want one to be louder than the other, but what if you want to adjust levels with physical sliders like an actual DJ? If that sounds interesting, check out this controller by “Aithorn.

The device uses an Arduino Nano to read signals from each slider and pass this info over to the computer. A Python script, along with a VBScript helper, runs on the PC to control the master and program-specific volumes. 

Code for the project, which was actually written by Omri Harel, is available on GitHub. You can see the original version of it the video below, working its magic on a shoebox stand. Print files for Aithorn’s new enclosure can be found here.

Although you might not be able to build or house your own SpaceX Starship, YouTuber “Embrace Racing” has created a levitating lamp model that will be much more attainable for non-multi-billionaires. 

The lamp’s landing pad features an Arduino Nano inside, which is used with WS2812 LEDs to simulate the smoke plume of the rocket through a 3D-printed “clear” PLA diffuser.

The base also contains a levitating module capable of supporting up to 400g to suspend the spacecraft in midair. While its height would tend to make it unstable, the onboard levitating magnet lowers the center of gravity, along with a battery and three LEDS that provide light from the bottom of the rocket itself. 

Print files and other project info are available on Thingiverse.

What is part way between a printed circuit board and a rats-nest of point-to-point wiring? We’re not sure, but this is it. [Johan von Konow] has come up with an inspired solution, 3D printing an Arduboy case with channels ready-made for all the wires. The effect with his 3DPCBoy is of a PCB without the PCB, and allows the console to be made very quickly and cheaply.

The Arduboy — which we originally looked at back in 2014 — is a handheld gaming console in a somewhat Gameboy-like form factor. Normally a credit-card sized PCB hosts all the components, including a microcontroller, display, and buttons. Each has a predictable footprint and placement so they can simply be wired together with hookup wire, if you don’t mind a messy result.

Here the print itself has all the holes ready-created for the components, and the path of the wires has a resemblance to the sweeping traces of older hand-laid PCBs. The result is very effective way to take common components — and Arduino pro micro board for the uC, an OLED breakout board, and some buttons — and combine them into a robust package. This technique of using 3D prints as a combination of enclosure and substrate for components and wiring has an application far beyond handheld gaming. We look forward to seeing more like it.

[Via the Arduboy community forum, thanks [Kevin Bates] for the tip.]



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