Delta development

This is version 4: The development of this part of the Impulse Portal has been very difficult. Many hours of coding, and then recoding was poured into the creation of our chair rig. I had to learn a few new applications just to get it to move properly, but it finally works! The motors are driven by an Arduino, by re-purposing a RAMPS 1.4 driver board which is actually for 3D printers. The commands are sent from the PC via an GUI application written in “Processing”. This was a huge step up from typing code into a serial monitor, and it
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The new workshop

Our holidays are over and we are now renovating our new house, complete with double garage: also known as the new workshop! I am thrilled with the idea of moving into a larger work space to build and tinker. There is only so much one can build in a large garden shed.     It doesn’t look like much, but stay tuned. We will update as we make progress. All it needs is some benches, some tools and some better lighting. And maybe a better photographer…  

End of one project and on to the next

The schools printer is operational – The kids were really excited to have their 3D printer up and running. We have printed all their designs at a reduced scale (to save on an already compressed timeline). The whole class has individually given a presentation on their journey and what they have learned to the rest of their respective classes. The rocket lesson went well, but I need to make a few changes. Overall the final rocket design included and used most of the important tools, but it was a little bit too hard for the kids in it’s current form.
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Kids can really surprise you

We have had 4 lessons with the children now, and they are going great! At first the teacher assisting us was skeptical of the idea that 10 and 11 year olds could build a 3D printer, but they have proven to be very adaptive and quick learners. The class has 8 children, half from both grade 5 and 6. Some are from OC classes, enrichment classes and others from the standard groups. For the first lesson we had the children split into groups of 4 after a quick talk. Each group worked on a triangle section, either the top or the base. The
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Business, business, business

This month has all been about preparation. I have been organising new shirts (complete with embroidery) ready for my first lessons at my local primary school. I have drawn up lesson plans which include structure but with the need to keep interest, coupled with the actual building of the 3D printer. I have had a many meetings with the school over the past few weeks preparing for the build. This Thursday will be the first class with the kids, I am confident but nervous. Tactile learning is the focus of the lessons, with the medium of 3D printers and design. I designed
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An old hobby with a new direction

I started out my 3D printing hobby with the belief that one day it will become something big. Now that is finally happening. I have been talking to anyone who might listen about 3D printing, it’s benefits and it’s bright future. Most people have stopped listening (sorry for raving on), but someone who didn’t is my daughters principal at school. My wife and I have been a part of the P & C for years now and every so often we would chat to the principal about technology. He has always showed a fascination in 3D printing, and that gave
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Feedback loops and instability

Big steps forward and a few small losses, but altogether positive. I have now finished incorporating the code for the optical encoders, but as you would expect with such feedback, the system has become slightly unstable. As the pitch axis moves towards it’s setpoint (as determined by serial input) it is travelling at full speed. When it reaches the destination there is enough momentum to carry the gimbal past it’s setpoint. Then the system tries to correct by driving full speed in the opposite direction. This action is repeated indefinitely, and is something I knew was coming. It is the
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Information pipeline integration.

Christmas time is busy, much more than usual. I would like to have found a little more time for this blog and my home projects, but I guess that’s how it goes. Still I have made some progress. I’ve finished rewriting the code which drives my prototype, and it now includes communication modules for talking to Simtools. The information pipeline is complete. Now I need to modify the type of information being sent. The flow of information goes as follows: * Video game (position data such as X, Y, Z coordinates and Pitch, Roll and Yaw heading): * * Simtools
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3D Printing Gallery

As I have had a few people recently ask about 3D printing, and what sort of things can be done with this type of technology, I thought I’d elaborate a little bit here. I finished building my Prusa Mendel I2 back in June of 2013. It has had a few upgrades and replacements since then, but the overall design has remained the same. Just to clarify, I have a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) type of 3D printer which uses rolls of filament as the source material (at the moment I used various colours of ABS and PLA plastics). This filament is fed into the
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So…, what else does Phobos Industries do?

Ok, until now I have focused exclusively on the development of the motion simulator. While this is great fun and has a very promising future, it is not the only thing that I work on in my shed. I have a good/bad habit of being interested in a great many things, a lot of which don’t have much crossover just yet. Good because variety is great for the mind, and bad because my spare time is already pretty thin.                         Other then the Motion Sim what else does Phobos
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