Saturday, April 24, 2010

Action Video!

The Mantis 9 has been hard at work the last few weeks milling wax molds/models and lots of PCBs.  Here is a clip of it in action at 30 in/sec.  At this speed, a stepper driver board takes about 5 minutes to mill with full copper removal.

Friday, April 9, 2010

PID Heater control with any Arduino

I've been controlling the temperature of my extruder with a super simple (yet very functional) Arduino-based controller.  To control your heater with any Arduino-alike you only need to add one resistor and one FET.  It doesn't get any easier than that!

I used my Arduino compatible Fabio board, but anything should work.  Get the full scoop and code on the Makeyourbot wiki.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Youtube + Time = CNC Milling Machine...

We shipped out the first six Mantis 9 machine kits yesterday to locations all around the world.

Thus far I've personally helped everyone that has put together a Mantis machine. But now the machines have flown the coop, so I created a series of 13 videos showing how to get the X, Y, and Z axes completely assembled. The next sequence of videos (in work) will show how to install the motors/leadscrews and leave you with a finished machine!

I've also uploaded photos of the A3982 stepper driver board, and the new 4 axis/spindle controller.

Enjoy the videos, and stand by for more to come.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Parallel rod construction video!

Last time I talked about how to create exactly parallel rods for sliding machine axes.  To make it a bit more clear, Sean (another Media Labber), my Aussie friend Owen, and I created a quick video that shows the construction of a Mantis 9 Y axis.  Check it out...

As much as I'd like for it to, not everything goes to plan in these videos. Here's our first blooper.

More videos soon.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The secret to exactly parallel rods... coming up in a minute ;)

Firstly though, the machines are multiplying!

The new machine on the left is version 9.1 of the Mantis mill.  It has a few design fixes and general improvements over the original machine on the right.

The 9.1 machine isn't going to be the newest for very long though.  Fellow hackers at six of the Fab Academy Fab Labs around the world will be receiving parts kits next week!  The Fab Labs participating are:
  • AS220 - Providence, RI - USA
  • Fab Lab Barcelona - Barcelona - Spain
  • Fab Lab Bermeo - Bermeo - Spain
  • Fab Lab Nairobi - Nairobi - Kenya
  • Fab Lab Vestmannaeyjar - Vestmannaeyjar - Iceland
  • Waag Society - Amsterdam - The Netherlands
All right, on to the feature presentation.
I updated the Mantis 9 wiki page with a bunch of new construction photos and a description of the process used to get sets of axis guide rods exactly parallel.  The best part is that no fancy tools are required, and you don't even have to measure anything!

About Me

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I'm a graduate student in Information Ecology at the MIT Media Lab interested in the creation of low cost machines that enable personal digital fabrication.