Tag Archives: prototyping

Over the top UCload

via Dangerous Prototypes


Sjaak has published a new build, uC controlled dummy load:

I’m mostly a digital guy, but I’m wanting to design my own power supply. If I’m wanting to test that i need a dummy load. I got inspired by the re:load (www.arachnidlabs.com/reload ). I added a microcontroller, rotary switch, external powersupply input and the obligatory 128×32 OLED :)

Project info at smdprutser.nl.

Via the project log forum.

A DIY Seizure Alarm based on Arduino Micro

via Arduino Blog


Chad Herbert’s son Daniel was diagnosed with Benign Rolandic Epilepsy in 2014. It’s a type of epilepsy the Epilepsy Foundation says accounts for about 15 percent of all Epilepsies in children and the good news is that most children grow out of it.

The bad news is that Daniel’s most affected by his condition at night or early morning while he sleeps. That’s why Chad invested in a sleep monitor/alarm for his bed that detects when he’s having a full tonic-clonic seizure.

At the same time though, he decided to work on a DIY version of a seizure alarm  running on Arduino Micro. The starting point was Arduino’s “Knock” example project with the sketch code originally created in 2007 by David Cuartielles and modified by Tom Igoe in 2011:

While shopping around for the exact type of monitor/alarm my wife and I wanted, I found out a few things:

  • They are hard to find. I believe the one we ended up with was manufactured by a company in Great Britain.
  • They are expensive. The one we ended up getting cost in the $400-$500 range.
  • The one we have isn’t totally cumbersome, but it’s not easy to pack up and take with you somewhere.

Figuring these things out, I decided to search for a way to build a simple seizure alam that’s both relatively inexpensive and easy to transport. I’m sure there are people out there who have children that suffer from seizures that simply cannot afford equipment such as this even though they truly need it. Thanks to the folks in the Arduino community, I was able to accomplish both things I was setting out to do.

Discover how it was made on his blog.



Explaining the misterious technologies driving everyday objects

via Arduino Blog


Every year the students of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) attend the Physical Computing class as part of their curriculum.

Having a small delegation of the Arduino team teaching this class has become quite a ritual. This past March Ubi De Feo, Alice Pintus, and Lorenzo Romagnoli runned the two-weeks-long intensive class.

Teaching at CIID is great experience, since you are surrounded by incredibly motivated and curious students, that are doing everything possible to design amazing projects and prototypes.

The topic of this year was prototyping interactive installations for a Science Center that would explain in a playful and engaging way how a technology works. For most of the students this was the first experience with physical computing, but even in such short time they were able to build eight different prototypes. The projects explain in an interactive way the science behind computer viruses, allergies, video compression, machine learning, laser printing, digital music synthesis, binary numbers and neuroprosthetic.

In Explaining laser printing Victoria Hammel, Chelsey Wickmark, Ciaràn Duffy, Feild Craddock demonstrate how the laser printer works. By using 16 servomotors connected to an Arduino UNO to move a matrix of magnets they were able to attract iron filings and draw letters on paper.

In Troyan 77 Karan Chaitanya Mudgal, Liliana Lambriev, Gunes Kantaroglu, Dhruv Saxena visualize the effects of a Trojan Virus harming your computer. Connecting Processing to Arduino they were able to create an overlay projection on top of the maze representative of the effect of the viruses on a computer.

Sound Blocks by John Ferreira, Alejandra Molina and Andreas Refsgaard is an musical instrument that explain how to compose sounds combining multiple soundwaves. The prototype was built using Arduino as a midi controller for Ableton.


The Cardboard Modular Robots of [m]MTM

via MakingSociety


The success of the class on “How to Make Something That Makes (almost) Anything” taught by Neil Gershenfeld and now a vast international fab lab team at the MIT led to the creation of a module called Machines that Makes (MTM).

James Coleman followed the course and was particularly interested in making modular robots, neatly called Modular Machines that Make ([m]MTM).

Idea is to build open source low-cost robots that can be build and used in many ways. All the documentation to build your own modular robots is online.

MakingSociety asked James a few questions on the machines that he created and how to make modular robots more accessible.

[m]MTM Cardboard CNC by James Coleman and Nadya Peek

[m]MTM Cardboard CNC by James Coleman and Nadya Peek

Along with Nadya Peek, James Coleman has been a prolific maker of modular tools. His focus on building low-cost machines out of cardboard definitively grab my attention.

It resonates well with the series on cardboard prototyping published a few months ago.

MakingSociety: Why did you decide to integrate the Machines that Make module?

James Coleman: Well, if you have a look at the mtm.cba.mit.edu website you will see the results of the class “How to Make Something That Makes (almost) Anything”, taught every 3 years at MIT. It is a follow up class to Neil Gershenfelds’s “How to Make (almost) Anything” class.

I was apart of it in 2012 and worked on a 5 Axis Desktop Milling Machine. There have been a lot of great machines created over the years but a problem we noticed is that each project was in a way ‘siloed’ from the rest. Carry over knowledge from project to project was limited and each new machine battled similar issues.

The modular machines project hopes to get around this by using reconfigurable hardware and extensible controls to streamline the creation of bespoke fabrication machines.

[m]MTM Cardboard CNC

[m]MTM Cardboard CNC

MakingSociety: Who are your machines made for?

James Coleman: My machines are made for me! Your machines can be made for you, or a friend. We hope that by lowering the barrier to entry of machine design personalized fabrication machines are possible.


Endless options of kinematic options from simple parts.

There is lots of talk about 3d printers creating ‘factories in every home’, but if that is the case everyone’s factory will have the same production capabilities!

I much prefer a ecosystem of different home factories, and I think it’s possible if machine design and control is simplified. As for the type of user, people who like to make things and enjoy working with their hands and their computers.

MakingSociety: Which of your machines is your favorite and why?

James Coleman: Each new machine I make becomes my favorite, but I recently made a 5 axis (4 axis with rotary table) hot wire cutter that was really fun to use. The geometry you can produce with it was mind bending, I cut wacky parts that could thread together.

MakingSociety: Do you have advice and tips for makers prototyping with cardboard?

James Coleman: Not all cardboards are created equally! They have vastly different strength and stiffness, keep things simple.

"Apple" CNC: a CNC drawing robot made out of an Apple iMac packaging box.

“Apple” CNC: a CNC drawing robot made out of an Apple iMac packaging box.

MakingSociety: Do you see any social or/and commercial applications for your modular machines that make? Under which license are they placed?

James Coleman: The work is the combined efforts of a whole bunch of people and is released as open source. I would love to see how the machines can be incorporated into K-12 education for teaching STEM content. It’s on the to do list. Really I hope it helps people use automation to pursue their own interests, projects, and curiosities.

MakingSociety: Where can the community share their own modular machines and replicas build from your instructions?

James Coleman: I have been putting tutorials and mmtm results on monograph.io , a project documentation website that is really easy to use and makes everything look nice. It would be great to see projects, software, and configurations shared between users.

Find all instructions and documentation to build your own modular machines that make on monograph.io website.


The post The Cardboard Modular Robots of [m]MTM appeared first on MakingSociety.

Manufacturing (Breadboard to Finished Product, Arduino Shield, Modular RepRap Electronics)


At the sixteenth OSHUG meeting we will be hearing about first-hand experiences of taking an open source hardware design from being a project to a product. With insights into prototyping, some of the manufacturing options available and the challenges that may be encountered.

From Breadboard to Finished Product

You have a cool project, people are sending you emails asking where they could get their hands on one and you find yourself googling "electronics manufacturing"... Should you get yourself a toaster oven and start a miniature production line in your living room or should you just outsource it? What challenges await you if you decide to go down the contract manufacturing route? This talk aims to give the audience an overview of the electronics manufacturing process, using a project recently completed by the speaker as a case study.

Omer Kilic is theoretically still a research student at the University of Kent, although he intends to submit his thesis (which is about a reconfigurable heterogeneous computing framework) pretty soon. He likes tiny computers, things that 'just work' and beer. He currently works for Erlang Solutions in London, exploring the use of Erlang programming language in the Embedded Systems domain and develops tools and support material to help the adoption of this technology.

Arduino Shield: From Design to Manufacturing

The Arduino CAN-Bus shield gives the Arduino CAN-Bus capability. In this presentation we will learn about the design process from PCB layout and prototyping, to testing with a simulator and eventually testing with a real car. And about the perils of using a simulator, small scale production and outsourcing.

Sukkin Pang is a design engineer and a director at SK Pang Electronics Ltd. He graduated from the University of Hertfordshire and has over 20 years of industrial experience. He is passionate about open source hardware and has four Arduino shields published. He used to tinker in assembler on the Z80, 6502, PIC and AVR, but nowadays he mainly uses C and C++.

Design and Build of Modular RepRap Electronics

After meeting at OggCamp 2011 a number of people decided to form a Thames Valley area group for those interested in using and building RepRap 3D printers, and Thames Valley RepRap User Group (TVRRUG) was born. Alan Wood offered to help out with the electronics side of printer builds, expecting that only a handful 3D printing geeks would join up. One month later the group were organising a build of 20 RepRaps and 30 complete sets of electronics! They had originally decided to go with a kit-based approach for this, but couldn't find a modular candidate that would meet their requirements. So they took matters into their own hands and Alan and the group designed a new modular kit [See: DSMM and OMC] that can be used both with RepRap and other Cartesian robotic platforms. In this talk Alan will go through the distributed design and build process they adopted, as well as covering details of the design itself.

Alan Wood originally trained in systems engineering, got lost in software engineering and open source for a decade, before returning back to his hardware roots via the open source hardware and makers movement that has gathered momentum over the last few years.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the talks will start at 18:30 prompt.

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