Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kick off.

Hi, and welcome to my third blog. This one is for my Tech Stuff.

I am currently working on my RepStrap. Whats one of those ? see www.reprap.org.
It will hopefully lay down layers of hot plastic with precision under computer control in order to make things of almost any shape. As long as they are plastic. I started a design, changed my design, got sidetracked, ordered a load of driver electronics from America (www.rrrf.org) assembled and tested electronics, ordered a complete plastic extruder from www.bitsfrombytes.com and then set about designing my own design extruder.

As I blog, the laser cut parts I designed are about to be cut by a local service (www.acornlaser.co.uk) and I am hoping to collect the parts tomorrow. I also need to order mundane stuff like bearings and bushings from RS Components.

I have a Arduino to drive this lot - but I am in great admaration of the RRRF chap who has created an upgraded version called Sanguino (http://sanguino.cc/) and I have a plant to bung a Atmega644 SMT on a mini PCB that will plug into the Arduino where its old brain was. The mini PCB will pick up the old brains clock, IO, power etc and have a header for the extra I/O lines.

Looks like I will need a online shop so I can share this hardware with others.

Other possible projects :
My brother-in-law recently purchased a hand held plasma cutter which I need to automate sometime soon. I will also develop a system for engraving things on the outside face of wafer-mount check valves - I design the valves for a local manufacturer but they need a good way to mark up batches.

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