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Maker Fair June 1, 2009

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Awesome, Toys.
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Better bloggers will tell you more about this annual pilgrimage, but as always I had a wonderful time, and don’t get enough mental stimulation, ever (although I now have a splitting headache.  I’m not sure it’s not related).

The one project (among many, many nice projects) that intrigued me most was titled “Rapid Prototyping of Rapid Prototyping Machines”, presented by two clever fellows from MIT, Ilan Moyer and Maxim Lobovsky (there were others there as well, but I didn’t get their names).  They built IP-addressable stepper motors which form the core of the rapid-prototyping machines they made from concrete, plaster and (my favorite) foam-core poster board:

S6301827

Bottom inside view

S6301828

Top inside view

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Back view showing support of Z-table

This CNC machine shows another nifty feature that I hadn’t noticed in other machines, the stepper motor shaft rotating within a wire stretched the length of the table tightly enough to insure reproducibility in the direction of travel:

S6301829Top view showing wire around stepper motor shaft.

The IP-addressable  steppers makes their control possible from any browser.  These guys made theirs in Python, but probably anything would work…their spokesmodel said they could use this kind of control on a bunch of different types of machines, and that in fact she was controlling one at MIT from the laptop at the table their in San Mateo.

Awesome.

Ilan’s descriptions and some very nice photos can be found at http://projectspace.sabertoothinvention.com/viewproject.php?pid=16 when it gets finished.  Sundry other of his projects can be found at http://web.mit.edu/imoyer/www/portfolio/index.html including the Holy Grail of technology, the AbsolutZero Rapid Beverage Cooler, which can cool a beer to 5C in under two minutes.

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