Feeling a bit of little inspiration from this idea for a battery

“Harvard University researchers say they’ve developed a new type of battery that could make it economical to store a couple of days of electricity from wind farms and other sources of power. The new battery, which is described in the journal Nature, is based on an organic molecule—called a quinone—that’s found in plants such as rhubarb and can be cheaply synthesized from crude oil. The molecules could reduce, by two-thirds, the cost of energy storage materials in a type of battery called a flow battery, which is particularly well suited to storing large amounts of energy.”

Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/523251/new-battery-material-could-help-wind-and-solar-power-go-big/

Un-clogged MakerBot and BlueSmirf prep

A quick test print after filament

A quick test print after filament

Our MakerBot Replicator Dual needed some help. One of the extruders was clogged. It was the type of clog that could only be fixed by partial disassembly. It seems to be pretty happy now but the filament loading sequence seemed to produce an extrusion that periodically sounded like it was slipping. This test print seems to have worked out fine, so we’ll just keep an eye on it.




bluetooth for Arduino

Bluetooth hardware with pins added

A BlueSmirf is a bluetooth modem that can be integrated in to Arduino based systems. I’ve added some pins that I’ve bent to allow the card to be positioned vertically from a breadboard for easy test and hopefully better range. The bent pins will likely work well if we plan to integrate it in to a headband or other wearable project later on.

Scallop 3D Cut Out of Clay – CNC Router

So… I finally got around to trying it out. The scallop that I scanned some time ago and have 3D printed in ABS plastic and CNC carved in wood now has been done in clay. I used a chunk of “bone” dry clay and a two stage router bit series. I’m pretty happy with it for a first go round and still have to trim and fire it.


CNC routed Scallop with a ShopBot

Trimmed the excess before firing.

Trimmed the excess before firing.

This video shows the router on it’s second finishing pass with a finer bit:

This video gives you an idea of how thick the block is/was:

Can You 3D Print a Bike?

During a week when the students were on break, I was thinking about what could be the largest usable item that we could 3D print? There are lots of models of motors, cars, and other junk for download on thingiverse.com but I was wondering if we could print a skateboard, a scooter, a bike!

I had all but forgot about the idea until recently when Shad had brought up something similar and then we started to brain storm about it and decided to see if we could at least start with making a scooter.

Here is version 0.2 of a wheel for the scooter. (3D printed in ABS, Fill 15%, Shells 2, Layer height 0.2mm)

scooterwheel v02