December is busy with quite a lot of non art related things. Looking forward to the new year!
What’s Happening Now – November 2022
- Well, November is a slow month!
- Rich went on vacation.
- Updated the sign a couple of times…
- Continuing work on the Bell project and the Voronoi boxes. There’s quite a lot of yellow paint everywhere.
- Getting ready for Winter.
What’s Happening Now – October 2022
Things have been pretty busy in October!
- Continuing to 3D print cases for the IO card for the Bell Project. Past 60 of them now!
- Also, designed and printing cases for the LCD display for each bell.
- Upgraded the sawdust storage for the CNC Router to use a full size garbage can to catch the chips and dust. This was a very messy job!
- The Voronoi box project is continuing. Brooke has been working hard painting and doing final finishing on the boxes. They are looking great!
- I built a rotary table for welding. I used the components of a CNC Router 4th axis, with an Arduino to drive the pulses and direction. This is all in a box with a speed control and a foot switch, and a direction switch. Using the Arduino allows me to add functionality later if I want to – like unwind the table between welds so that the ground cable doesn’t get caught. I can also set the foot switch to be momentary contact, or latching, and I can even use a foot control in order to control the speed of the table! But, all that’s for later. Just using the basics now, with the Arduino controlling the pulses and direction based on the switch input…
- I’ve been practicing welding a bunch of metal trees. I want the joints to look good straight off the welder – without a bunch of grinding. So, this means dealing in the settings and training the person who welds! (Me.)
- Updated the sign outside our studio, with a sort of an exasperated message, which seems to resonate with a lot of people!
- We are hearing that a disaster has befallen Knuckle Bump Farms, in the form of avian flu, which has killed most of their birds, and Emmanuel is fighting for her life! We wish them luck in their crisis. Emmanuel was featured in one of our sign messages last month.
- I’ve been continuing to work on getting my old G0704 CNC mill up and running again. I’ve decided to abandon the old PlanetCNC controller, and upgrade to a new smooth stepper, and Mach4. This may be a brilliant move, or just causing myself a ton of work for no reason…
- We updated the sign to say “KAATU BARADA NIKTO” from the 1951 movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still”
- The wifi card in our Vestaboard has bit the dust. The support people at Vestaboard are excellent, and are “on it.”
- I built a rolling storage cabinet for Stanley Organizer bins. This is my go-to bin system.
- I had a bunch of scraps after practicing welding thick walled pipe to 1/4″ plate. So, I decided to weld them all into a 3D shape. And it turned out quite ugly. So, I am calling it a pumpkin, and I put a flame-bulb in it.
What’s Happening Now – September 2022
- We are getting back into things in September – after a very busy month of travelling in August.
- We’ve gone through 4 iterations of the IO card for the Bells project. We are hoping this last version has all the issues dealt with. It’s amazing how quick and easy it is to do board revs these days – even getting boards done in China.
- And we’ve been tuning the case design for the IO Card in Fusion 360, and 3D printing it.
- And, related to that, we’ve set up a small 3D printer farm to crank out all the pieces we’ll need.
- Zeph finished working on the software at the end of August. We’ll be seeing how well is scales soon.
- All the Voronoi boxes have been completed in the woodwork department. They have now moved along to painting. We are trying out the 3M paint guns with disposable innards. They are working well so far (though we keep cleaning and reusing the components, because we can…
- And just for fun, I’ve reassembled my ancient CNC converted Grizzly G0704 mill here at the shop. I haven’t used it in about 4 years. The mill hardware went together easily, but now I’m having issues with the software and finding a laptop to run it on, licensing, etc. The issues you’d expect bringing up some old hardware and software.
- Also, we updated the sign a couple of times – put up a school related sign, and then one for the Queen, RIP. I haven’t updated the sign page yet…
- Our 3D printers are churning out stuff every day – we have about 500 things to print! They are busy.
What’s Happening Now – August 2022
- August is a traveling/Vacation month for me, so not a lot happening… (Cottage/Dallas/Victoria BC/Vancouver BC)
- I’ve been working on testing out the IO boards for the bell project. V1 and V2 had a couple of issues, but I feel confident V3 will be the one! As I use the boards, we’ve been changing the design as well – dropping an expensive display for a simple 2×16 LCD, for instance. Not as sexy, but works more reliably.
- I’ve also changed the IO board to have barrel outputs to drive motors etc with 12V, and to have 3.5mm plugs for switch inputs. This simplifies things a lot.
- I’ve also been iterating designs for the display and IO card cases. Doing this in Fusion 360, and printing on Prusa 3D printers. It’s worth iterating the design since we’ll be printing a hundred of each, or more.
- Software guy Zeph is Rocking the code for the Bell system! I’m especially happy that we have OTA (Over The Air) updates working for the Bell Control computers – we can update all the 100+ bell control computers using a single script, automatically. Nice!
- We continue working on Bell stands
- We are continuing to work on the Voronoi cubbies as well.
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