3D printed simple biped with 4 servos

Here’s a simple biped I’ve printed using my Makerbot. It’s printed in clear PLA, which I think looks quite nice. The design is rather poor, but it walks ok. This one here runs with a standard radio control, but I’ve tried it with Arduino and Launchpad MSP430 also. Maybe I’ll fix it up to look a bit better.

It uses 4 cheap servos from Hobbyking, and a cheap remote from Hobbyking. You can easily build this robot with wooden sticks or similar, without a 3D printer. There are several examples on Youtube of this. This version is not as complex as my other biped, but this one is much simpler to build (and control). It uses a 2 cell LiPo battery and an ESC to convert down to 5V for the receiver and servos.

The 3D model is here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11325

New watch case from Shapeways

A week ago I ordered a new watch case for my DIY watch from Shapeways. I got one of the two I ordered today, and I must say I’m very impressed by the quality. It looks beautiful, I think (well… the design is my own and maybe not the greatest, but the build quality and strength of the plastic is fantastic). I’m impressed that they can offer such a service so cheap, and I wish them all the best. They have a really user friendly web store and have many great materials.

(Never mind that my watch isn’t set correctly 🙂 )

Fra lars.roland.bz

Building a quadcopter

I’m trying to build a version of this quadcopter based on a wireless MSP430 module. I’ve done quite a lot of work on this module before, so I thought it’d be a good starting point. I’ve made a first prototype with some stuff I had lying around, but have ordered some brushless motors from Hobbyking to see if that maybe works better.

Maybe I’ll connect a bluetooth module and run it from my Android 🙂

Thanks to thanhTran for making a really cool concept and provide such great support in the forum.

Note: The motors weren’t powerful enough to make it lift off. I have to wait for some motors from Hobbyking. I just hope the one’s thanhTran mention on the link above are powerful enough. The firmware seems to work, though I guess it has to be tweaked.

DIY Watch

I’ve been making a DIY watch using the MSP430 and a cheap display. It’s quite basic right now, but I’m planning on making the firmware better. It uses a surface mount MSP430 value line.

I’ve done some work on getting a Telit GSM module inside a watch also, but this one here is just a basic version. I had a voucher for a purchase at Shapeways that ran out this month, so I’ve ordered the case from them. That’ll allow me to compare quality differences of my Makerbot and the Shapeways commercial printers.


Building Reprap Prusa

I’m building a Reprap Prusa. This is a Reprap version which is cheaper to build. It was easy to print and easy to build. PLA bearings seem to work ok. It’s not done, so I haven’t actually printed anything real yet, but the controller is working, moving the parts around. The parts are:

  • Plastic parts printed on my Thing-o-matic.
  • Motors from Zapp Automation.
  • Gen7 Electronics. Bought a kit from “Traumflug” (Markus Hitter). Seems to work well so far. Running teacup firmware at the moment. Thanks to “Traumflug” for good support and help.
  • Smooth bars are aluminium rods from Maxbo. The steel ones were much more expensive. Aluminium cost a few dollars per meter. Not sure if they are good enough, but seems ok. I sanded them with very fine sand paper to make them smoother, and the parts move very smoothly.
  • Timing belts and lots of other minor stuff from Elfa. The timing belt was  a 10mm wide belt, split in half.
  • Extruder… not done yet. Trying to make my own.
  • Software. For the thing-o-matic I’m using ReplicatorG, which I really like. I haven’t found something as stable and solid for a Mendel yet. Tried the reprap software and repstrapper, but I’m not really happy.

3D printer live – join the revolution!

I’ve added a webcam to my 3D printer. It’s viewable as a live video here. If you get an error message, it means I’m not printing anything. The web page requires Java.

I am so happy with it. I can really recommend Makerbot Thing-o-matic to anyone who wants to make stuff in 3D. In fact, everyone should have one! I was lucky to get the new stepper based plastruder when I ordered, and it works so well. I had thought the quality would be poorer than Shapeways etc, but it’s really comparable (for the stuff that uses the same print process).

I’ve printed in PLA and ABS. Both are great. PLA doesn’t stick so well to the platform, but is really beautiful. ABS works well, no problems there.

The automatic build platform is cool, though the base isn’t completely fixed (there is a plastic belt, and if the object is pushed slightly the plastic belt lifts off the surface slightly). So for really precise builds, it’s probably better to not use the automatic build platform. But for my use, it works well and I’m happy.

I really feel this concept will create some serious waves. It’s great stuff. Just now I’m printing a holder for Nespresso-coffee-capsules. Yesterday my kids made some designs on 3dtin.com and we printed it on the thing-o-matic. Easy even for a 4 and 6 year old. Sketchup also works well, with the STL plugin, but 3dtin is clearly the easiest (though not as powerful).

(this text is also copied to the 3d printer page I set up)

Thing-o-matic arrived

My thing-o-matic has arrived. All in order, except an error in the shipping. It seems two people called Lars in Norway both ordered a printer that was shipped on the same day, and they switched the printers. So some of the extras were mixed and we have to ship them to each other, but the printer is there.

I built it (took about 1 day) and it’s now printing its first calibration cube.

More to follow 🙂