Friday Robot Fight Night (Beta)

Robot Knife Fight is ready for some player testers.  Ted and I will be at the  shop this Friday (2013-06-28) starting at 8pm to help people get up to speed in how to compete and run a game.  Bring your laptop with the Arduino IDE already installed.  If you want to help improve the arena’s python code, clone the git repo. If scheduling permits we will be doing this every Friday until Detroit Maker Faire 2013.

RBCreation: Down to the wire–30 minutes remain




We are down to the last 1/2 hour of the competition, an dour team is working so hard!


Huge thanks to Lincoln Electric and Torchmate for the awesome Plasma-cut logo



our team is exhausted — but they are finishing right down to the last second

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The “WhirlyTubulator” will go live for demonstration at 6:30pm.

We know our team is really focused on getting their creation finished because we have not received an updated photo of Matt’s hair…

but here’s a snap of it on the live-feed; along with Eric and Sean!


We’re confident that our team will get rave reviews!


PrintrbotLC lives!!


BEHOLD!! Once again the means of production is in the hands of the proletariat (That’s us)!
Free puppies for everyone!

Car hacking update, laser art recap

Event update: Friday’s car hacking meetup is cancelled, as I’m traveling and probably won’t be back in town in time to host it. If anyone wants to come hack on cars anyway, well, that’s always a welcome activity!

Now, on with the post. The sort of work you do with a laser cutter can depend a lot on its material capacity. Some things, like Greg’s wood inlay and Lego-compatible gears, work fine in any size of machine:



Others, like Donny’s picture frame matting, might not fit in a table-top machine:



And then you have projects that really take advantage of a giant cutter bed, like Andy’s dinosaur:



So, with access to 150 watts of CO2 creativity, what will you make?


A better fuse block

As part of revamping i3’s front-door wiring, I needed to distribute several circuits of overcurrent-protected DC power. First, I grabbed an old bakelite fuse-block:


(Side note: Are you as sick as I am of trying to read the markings on a blown glass fuse? A little Sharpie solves that!)

This left two unsolved problems, though: Gathering all the return leads, and replacing fuses if I shorted something while wiring. I decided to make a little power distribution block, instead:


The yellow discs are a 900mA Polyfuse and two 2.5A Polyfuses. The LEDs (and 1k resistors) don’t see voltage until the associated Polyfuse “trips”, so they indicate a faulted circuit. That allows me to commit stupidity while wiring things up, know about it, and not spend a glass fuse each time. It was also trivial to add extra screw terminals and a return bus, solving the other problem.

The next trick was mounting the thing without shorting out the traces on the bottom. It turned out to be easiest just to stand off a second piece of perfboard below it. These boards are so cheap ($0.39 ea?) it wasn’t worthwhile to make a dummy panel out of some other material.


Then a little Dual-Lock for mounting, and it’s done…