Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Project Video

Maker Faire 2010 Detroit

We have returned from the motor city. We had an amazing time seeing and meeting creators from all different fields and the inventions they brought. It was also a lot of fun to show the 22,000 people that came what we have been working on for the past 6 months.
Photos from the trip:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dry Erase Drawings

Doing new tests with a dry-erase marker set up due to issues with paint flow in the airbrush. Found it to be much more straightforward and what we'll be using in Detroit for demonstrations.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Troit WHAT!!!

Maker Faire Detroit 2010 is a faire for Makers. We made something so we are going. Check out the promo video they put out. On the 0:19 - 0:20 (an entire second) you can see our machine printing some goodness!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dots Dots and More Dots

After reconfiguring the Z-Axis control we proceeded to make a drawing consisting of (roughly) 1700 dots. It took around 100 min for it to complete the entire drawing and we only ran into one clogging issue along the way, maintaining the dot size and spread fairly consistently.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Demonstrating one of the many possible uses for the machine.

Friday, June 18, 2010


There have been about 4 or 5 moments when Nick and I have given each other a high five after doing something with this machine... and this was one of those. The first successful 2.5 axis vector plot. We had a couple more kinks to work out, but a $5 run to the hardware store and 15-min of work were all it took. 
After the plane we moved on to a new drawing. We wanted to do a drawing that only the machine could do and not a skilled human with an airbrush. Well... maybe someone else could do it, but it would be difficult. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now off to the Real World

We have officially graduated and are now making steps towards an architecture of reality.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What everyone has always wanted... a machine to paint smiley faces.

Our machine reads (code) at a first grade level. You can kind of tell what it is trying to do, but it's pretty sloppy. Many things need changing, but it is just fine tuning. Each drawing should get successively better from here on. 

What we told it to paint.
What it painted.

and finally, the setup.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Go go gadget CNC AIRBRUSH!

Trying out one of the more exciting of all the possible z-axis mounts.
Soon we will attach this to the rest of the machine and have some
real fun.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All 3 axes working (mostly)

You fix a problem... you find a problem. This seems to be the
way this whole project has gone. All three axes work, but now
we can see that the x axis is skipping steps and the y axis is
snagging, causing it to jump.

Along with the list of things to do is create a rig that can hold
an airbrush so that we can spray paint on any surface.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Z-axis control

Using an 8 foot brake cable line from Sunflower Outdoor as a remotely located motor control, testing its ability to maintain strength through bends and in directional transfers. This may be the last piece towards full functionality. Now we can simply build several 'media heads' that attach to the y-sled and each are dedicated to a specific media type ie airbrush, dry erase marker, chalk, etc.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Technically, Nick opened this fortune cookie, but I was with him at the time so I will assume that the "You" referred to here is plural.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Work Continues

The machine gets better every time we work on it. A small tweak here and there, making sure nothing will break later on. Most the work recently has been moving the Z axis motor from the Y axis sled to the X axis sled (I think Nick and I have developed our own language to describe the project). The good news is that two potential clients have proposed projects for our machine. We will see where those lead too.....

Friday, April 2, 2010

A "Dry" Run (dry erase)

With the X and Y axes mostly completed, it was time for our first test. The Z axis that controls the moving of the pen off the board was not yet installed. Hopefully we will have that running soon. There is also a large amount of fine tuning to be done, but this big step keeps us motivated.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Atleast it looks cool.

We completed our first test of the entire assembly. The x and z axes are working great but the y axis is horrible. First, it would only go down, then when we got it to go up it would sometimes slip. Once we got those problems fixed, we realized that when the sled would move up and  then down and then back up, to what should have been the exact same position,  it was about 5% lower than the origin point. We think we have a solution, but only the next test will tell.

First Full Assembly Test from tim williams on Vimeo.