Tag Archives: prototyping

Dirt Cheap Dirty Boards Offers Dirt Cheap PCB Fab

via Hack a Day» hardware

Dirt Cheap PCB

 

When your project is ready to build, it’s time to find a PCB manufacturer. There are tons of them out there, but for prototype purposes cheaper is usually better. [Ian] at Dangerous Prototypes has just announced Dirt Cheap Dirty Boards, a PCB fabrication service for times where quality doesn’t matter too much. [Ian] also discussed the service on the Dangerous Prototypes forum.

The boards are definitely cheap. $12 USD gets you ten 5 cm by 5 cm boards with 100% e-test and free worldwide shipping. You can even choose from a number of solder mask colors for no additional cost. [Ian] does warn the boards aren’t of the best quality, as you can tell in the Bus Pirate picture above. The silkscreen alignment has some issues, but for $1.2 a board, it’s hard to complain. After all, the site’s motto is “No bull, just crappy PCBs.”

The main downside of this service will be shipping time. While the Chinese fab house cranks out boards in two to four days, Hong Kong Post can take up to 30 days to deliver your boards. This isn’t ideal, but the price is right.


Filed under: hardware

MakerBot Stories | Teen Turns Smartphone Into Stethoscope

via MakerBot

StethIO-stethoscope-stratoscientific-iphone

When high school students learn how to 3D print, they’ll often start with a smartphone case. It seems simple, it’s practical, and it’s personal. Something they’ll have with them — and, while carrying it around, they will think about how to make it better.

Suman Mulumudi didn’t wait for high school. Last summer, between eighth and ninth grades, Mulumudi’s parents bought him a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. Designing his iPhone case took a couple of weeks. Some teenagers customize theirs with a Darth Vader silhouette. Mulumudi added a diaphragm that collects low-frequency sounds and sends them through a tube to the microphone, turning his iPhone into a stethoscope. He named it the Steth IO, made more 3D printed prototypes, and founded a company called StratoScientific, which applied for a patent and plans to seek FDA approval.

StethIO-stethoscope-iphone-prototypes-makerbot

“People have tried to put the microphone over the chest, but that doesn’t work,” said Mulumudi, who is 15 and lives in Snohomish, WA. “Interestingly enough, that’s how the first stethoscope was invented.” Before 1816, he explained, doctors used to put their ears to patients’ chests. Then a young woman went to see the French physician René Laennec. He rolled up a piece of paper like a megaphone, and put the narrow end to his ear.

Mulumudi’s father, Mahesh, is a cardiologist, so heart murmurs are dinner conversation, and Suman couldn’t believe doctors couldn’t record the data from the sound of the heart. (Mahesh and Suman are now business partners.) Suman Mulumudi has also prototyped the LesionSizer, which uses the technology behind an optical mouse to help a doctor performing an angioplasty use the right stent.

When Mulumudi was in sixth grade, a few parents pooled money to buy his school a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. “We put it together. We used it for about half a year. That got me exposed, to the extent that I could see the power 3D printing would have,” he says. So when Mulumudi started on the Steth IO, “the first thing that came to mind for prototyping was 3D printing.”

That was at his old school. He now attends The Lakeside School, in Seattle, where Microsoft founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates went to school. And Mulumudi’s dream is to be an entrepreneur. “People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Howard Schultz — mostly Washington people — they all did one thing: They took an idea and expanded that concept into something that changed the world.”

Arduino at school: People Meter

via Arduino Blog

classe virtuale 2013

After 13 years, Classe Virtuale project is once again an interesting opportunity for students to experiment a bridge between school and work. “Classe Virtuale” is a partnership between Loccioni and technical educational institutions started in 2001 when the group started offering to young students training periods and internships in the company giving the chance to work on a real project together with very skilled people and technicians. In 2012 they worked on a flow meter and this year the project focused on a similar project called People Meter, using Arduino Uno, wi-fi and rfid modules, and a 3d printer.

People_Meter

Below you can find more information (in italian) about the team, the project and the results!

Designing a replacement for an obsolete Electro Cam control system

via Arduino Blog

etched prototype

Patrick Griffin is a  maintenance technician working in the plastics industry for the last 20+ years with primary focus being the repair, upkeep, & design of electrical, electronic, automation, and both relay & PLC control logic. He submitted his project to Arduino blog about using Teensy Arduino on a Maac vacuum former:

This story revolves around one of the workhorse machines in the company where I work: a Maac vacuum former. It is a solid, well-designed machine with a solid, well-designed control system that Maac contracted out to the Electro Cam systems group. As with any industrial equipment, as time goes by the OEM develops new products that replace their old stuff, technologies advance, and eventually they start the formal process of obsoleting their older inventory.
The situation started out years ago, long before I arrived on the scene, when the company I work for hired a contractor to add some automation to the Maac. When the automation was added almost all of the Electro Cam system was necessarily replaced with an Allen-Bradley SLC500 PLC to provide the changes in logic & the additional I/O points to do all of the new functions. The only Electro Cam components left in the Maac are the parts in the 84 zone oven controller.

We have been aware that more and more of it’s components, especially the Electro Cam controls, were being obsoleted. Recently we were put in the position to ask ourselves what our options are when one of these proprietary controls have a permanent catastrophic failure. What we learned was that we would be given few options through the official channels. We would have to leave the machine down and idle for an undetermined amount of time while the failed component was sent to Electro Cam for assessment and possible repair. This would certainly take longer than a week, but my gut says it would be closer to a month. There are also no guarantees that the part could be repaired at all. We were quoted a price for a replacement as starting at $4500, but with no promises.

Not having a replacement for a proprietary single-sourced part on the shelf is scary. Worse is when that single source says that they really can’t help you. This is one of several (maybe many) triggers for the maintenance department that I am a part of to fly wildly into a re-engineering frenzy.

Read the complete story and take a look at the schematics, on his website.

Prototype hooked to spare Electro Cam output boards

The Mood Lamp recognizes your facial expressions and turns them into light

via Arduino Blog

Mood Lamp

The Mood Lamp project by Vittorio Cuculo, is a system using interactions to communicate an emotional state to a physical object and receive back  a coherent response. In particular, through your facial expression you communicate your emotional state to an RGB color lamp . The lamp, at this point, will respond to the interaction by changing the color of the light emitted in accordance with the emotional state inferred.

The aim of the systems is to remove the mediation between human and machine typical of classic interfaces. Among the modes of natural interaction we usually have gestures, gaze tracking and facial expressions. The latter are particularly relevant because they play a fundamental role in nonverbal communication between human beings.

Regarding the man-machine interaction, the ability to recognize and synthesize facial expressions allows the machine to gain more communication skills, on the one hand by interpreting the emotions on the face of a subject, and on the other by translating their communicative intent through an output, such as movement, sound response or color change.

An IKEA lamp becomes a Natural Interaction system which senses human emotional states through facial expression. It uses OpenCV for image processing and analysis to identify emotional state through the movements of face’s fiducial points. The lamp, made with an Arduino Duemilanove, changes its color to represent the user’s current emotion.
In particular, it receives via serial communication, the values of pleasure, arousal and dominance, following the PAD emotional state model, as inferred from the facial expression and changes accordingly the color of the RGB LEDs.

Mood Lamp

Theatrical electronics hero: Ben Peoples

via Arduino Blog

Ben_Working[2]

Ever wondered about the extent of diversity in electronics? Been to a theatre and wondered at the sophistication of the live stage set? Welcome to the world of theatrical electronics. An exclusive inteview with this engineer in Arts – Ben Peoples

Priya: What is theatrical electronics? I always thought that theatres bought standard stuff off the shelves.
Ben: Theatrical electonics is a field of science where we try to rapid prototype electronic items on the stage to make things appear more real. Of course, it is a huge field. With 25 different theatres around the place where I live, my plates are generally full!

P: Interesting! How long have you been associated with electronics to capture such prototyping skills? What are the general tools that you use?
B: I have been prototyping electronics for over 20 years. I have been an ardent user of Arduino for the past 6. I loved the community so much that I even teach it to other people.

P: Oh teach too? Like classes for theatre prototyping? I would like more details on that.

B: (Smiles) Well not much, they are just getting started on how to rapidly put things together and program it using an Arduino to give it an “appearence” of more complex stuff like Time machine on stage.

P: Sounds fun. What are the theatre-specific whacky things that you teach them to build in the workshop? What are the general tools needed to attend your class?
B: I teach them to build Reed-candles, an elevator, wireless fireplace, wireless-dimmer, using Xbee radios for the lighting console and more things like that. I typically teach them inside a theatre wherein they need to bring their own laptops and software. They are seated inside a rehersal space so that they get the exact feel of designing things for a theatre. Other than that, its the usual arduino boards, gear motors, LEDs and of course, loads and loads of scotch tape! (Laughs)

P: Woah! How long does it take for you to teach them these?
B: 2-3 hours to teach math and the basics, 5 hours to explain the basic expriments and seeing them prototype their first objects. So yes, in total, 8 hours.

P: What according to you, is the advantage to pick electronic skill in the field of theatre?
B: There is theatre in colleges, the person could rise up to be a technical director, there is huge demand for lighting design, scenery design and of course in this age of television and movies, every drama theatre wants to stand out and do something extra. I see a huge future for it!

P: Okay one question that intrigues me after all this conversation is how different is theatre electronics from electronic arts?

B: Interesting question! For starters, Electronic Arts is very finished and polished. Theatrical electronics is well.. more raw and duct-taped at the back. They are two entirely different industries.

P: What are the things that interest you other than prototyping and what would be your ideal birthday present?

B: I love Ariel photography. Ideal birthday present is anything photography related. For work, I have to shoot digital, but for art I shoot 100% film, and just love it.

P: Any advice for youngsters?
B: Don’t be afraid to try anything new. Ship early, ship often.

(Ben can be contacted from his blog here. Also he is the author of a very cool book speaking on the same topic and yes, I contacted him via reddit. :P )

Data-logging made simple with Arduino

via Arduino Blog

One of the best capabilities provided by Arduino regards its very high modularity, which helps users to quickly translate ideas into physical artifact, as practically demonstrated by Mauro, which shows on his blog how to build a simple data-logger by properly combining different shields. By using few additional components (mainly resistors and buttons) a fully-functional data logger can be easily implemented.

More information can be found here.

[Via: Mauro Alfieri's blog]

[#arduinotour] Matera Report, Prossima Puntata: Reggio Emilia

via Arduino Blog

Ecco un piccolo video report della puntata dell’Arduinotour a Matera (c’é anche un set su Flickr). Questa edizione del tour é stata caratterizzata dalla partecipazione di un ragazzo francese (partito dalla Bretagna e volato per un week-end a Matera – Grande Baptiste!) che ha condiviso con noi la sua esprienza di sviluppatore di open energy monitor, un framework open source per la visualizzazione di consumi online, di cui parleremo presto in una intervista ad hoc. (il blog di Arduino ha trattato precedentemente questa storia, vai al post).

Causa maltempo il workshop é stato ospitato presso le Monacelle, un bed & breakfast poco l’ontano dall’Incubatore, all’interno dei Sassi. Un grazie a Sviluppo Basilicata per il supporto e l’aiuto nell’organizzazione dell’evento.

Per chi si stesse chiedendo quando e dove si farà il prossimo workshop #arduinotour, eccovi serviti: Reggio Emilia a fine gennaio (26-27), presso il neonato Fablab ospitato all’interno dello Spazio Gerra.

Se volete portare l’#arduinotour a casa vostra riempite questo form. Se volete spargere il verbo fate il like sulla pagina dell’arduinotour su facebook.

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

via OSHUG

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.

Sponsored by:

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

via OSHUG

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.

Sponsored by: