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Showing posts from July, 2014

Maker Faire Detroit 2014

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This weekend the Inventables Team hit the road and drove from our headquarters in Chicago to the Motor City for the 2014 edition of Maker Faire Detroit.
After about a 5 hour drive me finally made it.  The Faire is hosted by The Henry Ford Museum. The mission of the Henry Ford is to provide unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories, and lives from America's traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation. Their purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future.  That's what it makes it a perfect venue for Maker Faire.
In addition to having a huge parking lot out front they have an incredible number of artifacts that you might call a piece of "Americana".  For example one of the original Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobiles below.
When we got there we were assigned to this spot in a big tent with a bunch of other Makers.  We turned this empty parking spot into a booth that showcased our new Easel software…

Shapeoko Upgrade - Quiet Cut Spindle with TinyG

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We have already seen in a previous post how to upgrade your Shapeoko with the Quiet Cut Spindle when using a gShield. Some people may be looking for the next step up from the gShield and Arduino combination. That my friends is the TinyG.


























TinyG and the Shapeoko make a great couple. The TinyG is created by Synthetos that brought you the grblShield and the gShield.  Not only do you get all the great aspects of the gShield & Arduino combo such as free software to send the G-code, small and economical form factor and USB connectivity, but you get much more. Without getting into all the details, the main reason why you would want to control your Shapeoko with a TinyG are the following...
smoother motion control for better looking cuts4 stepper motor drivers (instead of 3 with gShield)spindle control built in (on/off and RPM) supports limit & homing switches The TinyG + Shapeoko + Quiet Cut Spindle make it even that much better of a match. Being able to control the spindle on and off …

3D carving 101: Understanding Bits

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Choosing the right 3D carving bit for the job at hand can be an extremely important factor in whether a project comes out amazingly, alright, or not at all. Combine that with having more choices of bits than materials, and choosing the right bit can be quite a difficult task. However, by answering a simple set of questions, you can greatly simplify your choice of bit. Here are the things you need to ask:
What material am I cutting? What is my machine capable of? What shape am I cutting?

Let’s quickly go through each of these and what they mean.
What material am I cutting?

Your material is one of the most important single factors in choosing a bit. Materials have a lot of properties that matter both for your design and cutting (hardness, density, size) as well as just for cutting (how does it chip? melting point, thermal conductivity). For any combination of these properties, one thing remains constant: your bit must be sharp. A dull bit will always cut poorly, and can actually be dangero…