Arduino meetup Thursday 12/8. Featured: The Chronotune’s guts

We’re kicking off i3 Detroit’s new Arduino meetup series with a show-and-tell project that’s near and dear to our hearts: The Chronotune, (as previously covered all over the freakin’ place).

For those following along at home: The Chronotune’s user interface is a rotary encoder, read by the Arduino. Year is indicated on 7-segment displays, and audio files are handled by a uMP3 board. (That’s what we had sitting around. If we had it to do again, we’d use an mp3 shield.) The speaker is driven by an LM386. The dial is moved by a stepper motor from an inkjet printer, with an EasyDriver.

Anyone tinkering with the Arduino experimenter’s platform is welcome to attend, as are those who are curious but don’t know where to begin. We’ll also have a look at the Arduino-LabVIEW bundle recently offered by Sparkfun. Things get under-way this Thursday (12/8) at 7pm.

Makerbot Cupcake CNC is up and running!

Last week, i3Detroit’s new Makerbot CupCake CNC Ultimate kit arrived. This is a 3d rapid prototyping tool, which extrudes tiny bits of plastic to build up an arbitrary shape, according to the CAD model you send it. Similar in capability to the RepRap, the Makerbot isn’t designed to build more copies of itself, but just to make any plastic part you need.

Assembly and testing started Thursday and continued through last night (this morning, technically), culminating in the successful printing of the adorable little failwhale pictured here.

This is just the latest addition to i3Detroit’s fabrication tools, which already include two welders, a large lathe and Bridgeport mill, an industrial sewing machine, and more. Watch this space for class announcements!