Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hunkered Down

I created this art piece for my Sculpture class Fall 2013. The project was to make piece from found/made objects that had a deeper meaning. I decided that I wanted to make my entire project from scratch and I wanted to use the 3D Printer to create some of the elements. I drew inspiration from my own life and ended up making a deeply personal piece. The name of the piece is “Hunkered Down.”

The supporting “C” frame of the piece is made of extra strength cardboard. I needed something that could stand on its own and support the weight of 3D printed pieces on top. I hand sew the 21 individual pillows and affixed them with hot glue. The two figures are 3D printed. I had to sand, spray paint a white base coat, and hand paint the figures in acrylic to get the look I wanted. The tree on top is also 3D printed, sanded, base coated, and hand painted. I found that sanding and applying a white base coat of spray paint is the only way to get the plastic to take acrylic paint smoothly. I wound rope to make the noose and made each individual tag on the tree from card stock and jump rings.

This piece is supposed to reflect the coping mechanisms children employ to shield themselves from domestic abuse. The two figures, one small and one large, represent siblings together making lemonade out of lemons. The pillow fort/bunker represents barriers children create to escape from all the bad. The tree represents family and on each tag hung on the tree is a word that represents parts of life that become corrupted when a child is not raised in a stable home. The noose around the tree simply means that family can be a source of great anguish and pain that could lead to death.

3D printer enhancement

My Innovation house project is the hardware portion of my research into extending the functionality of 3D printers. For further information you can visit the project website at ryanthecoder.github.io

Version 1 of my machine connected to the MakerBot Replicator 2
Version 1 of my machine connected to the MakerBot Replicator 2

Three dimensional printers have taken off in the past three years, and home models are now able to make intricate and interesting designs. As professional- and consumer-grade versions increase in popularity, extensibility will need to be addressed. This project explores the idea of expanding the normal 3D printer and adding a second range of motion. To test the feasibility of this I have built A electromagnetic crane attachment capable of inserting objects into a printed object.

Version 1 of my machine connected to the MakerBot Replicator 2
A side view of the crane arm and how it goes into the printer

The crane is based of the Shapeoko machine but features several modifications includingi a enlarged work area, a lighter frame and most importantly an arm capable of holding several tools. The first tool implemented was the electromagnet but others could easily be used. Development has begun with the Makerbot Replicator 2 but will include other 3D printers in the future. Here is a demo of the two machines functioning together.

version1_1

 

Joystick Gaming Chair

The inspiration behind this project was to create an alternative controller to explore virtual environments, particularly to help increase the sense of immersion in that environment.  As an extended motivation, it can also be used by people who might not be able to easily use more traditional controllers, such as a keyboard and mouse, or a console controller.

This chair builds off of the work by SparkFun, and their design of a joystick, which implements two potentiometers to collect analog data about the rotation about X and Y axis.

Potentiometer

Using XBee Modules (seen below), the chair will be able to send the movement data over a wireless network to the main computer using a Fio micro controller and an XBee USB Dongle (Nickels for scale because no one ever uses them).

Fio MicroController20140207_18224920140207_182541

With this, the joystick housing for the chair still needs to be constructed.  It should look something like the following which is based on the joystick listed above:

Joystick-Chair-Dataflow

I have decided that a series of wood, screws, and springs would work best to modify an office chair into the joystick chair.

20140207_183809

This chair model was chosen for it’s simplicity and the fact that it was not already pre-made, so it would be easier to modify.  Below are all of the materials I have bought to construct the joystick.  A few springs and hooks should work to keep the chair upright when not in use.  As it seen in the left image, the chair’s base is is not attached yet, so a new base for the joystick will need to be creates, as well as a new place to attach the original base.

 

  Materials 1    20140207_181840

For wood I decided to go with Aspen for the planks (because it was cheap and the signs at Lowe’s said that it was good for furniture) and Popular wood (what ever that means) for the dowel, which will provide the actual stick for the joystick.  As you can see from the image below, the wood will need to be cut before it can be used.  Once the wood it cut I will need to print more components so that it will act like the joystick detailed above, as well as be able to use the potentiometers.

20140207_182815

For future, I will need to build the joystick housing and attach it to the chair.  I will also need to solder the components together where needed and finish programming the chair to work with the computer.

I will provide more updates once building begins.

 

The Replicator Replicates

Stetson library now has two 3D printers available for student use. If you would like to use one of these printers ask at the circulation desk. Although they are Makerbot products like the one at Innovation House, they are slightly different. These are the Makerbot 2X machines, which feature dual filament extruders but with a slightly smaller build plate. Also note the hour restrictions in the attached photo. Still, they are there to be used, so go nuts on them. When you get kicked out you can always come back to Innovation House on the sketchy side of campus.

library_printers1 library_printers2