TeenTech – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators

Photo credit: Teentech

TeenTech is a series of one-day events for schools which aim to inspire teenagers to follow careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Since May Dad, myself and/or various members of TVRRUG have taken along our RepRaps to several of these events around the country and put on a short activity for the students to customise and print the word “RepRap”. We try to demonstrate that not only is technology fun and amazing, but also attainable – you don’t need to be part of a massive company and spend lots of money to get involved, and it is possible to build incredible technology yourself. Continue reading TeenTech – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators

Knitting Machine Adventures

My aunt was given a Toyota KS858 knitting machine and 506 ribber that had been in a friend’s relative’s garage for umpteen years. It came with what seemed to be most of the accessories, but was missing a manual and punchcards. On a visit in the summer I found a copy of the KS858 manual online and we muddled through trying to set it up, neither of us knowing what we were doing. The end result looked like it should work, but we couldn’t get it to knit properly. Continue reading Knitting Machine Adventures

Compile/Build Errors in Arduino 0023 on Ubuntu

For a while now I’ve been getting build errors in Arduino-0023 on Ubuntu, so I took the easy way out and used Arduino-0023 on Windows because it worked. Finally I got around to investigating the issue, and thanks to Google have found a solution.

The error:

In file included from /usr/lib/gcc/avr/4.5.3/../../../avr/include/util/delay.h:44:0,
from /usr/lib/gcc/avr/4.5.3/../../../avr/include/avr/delay.h:37,
from /home/hannah/Documents/Software/Arduino_Linux/arduino-0023/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/wiring_private.h:30,
from /home/hannah/Documents/Software/Arduino_Linux/arduino-0023/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/WInterrupts.c:34:
/usr/lib/gcc/avr/4.5.3/../../../avr/include/math.h:426:15: error: expected identifier or ‘(’ before ‘double’
/usr/lib/gcc/avr/4.5.3/../../../avr/include/math.h:426:15: error: expected ‘)’ before ‘>=’ token

The solution:

Comment out line 79 of <arduino installation directory>/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/wiring.h:

//#define round(x) ((x)>=0?(long)((x)+0.5):(long)((x)-0.5)) 

An alternative solution wraps the #define round(x)... line with a check for the problematic version of avr-libc:

#if __AVR_LIBC_VERSION__ < 10701UL
#define round(x) ((x)>=0?(long)((x)+0.5):(long)((x)-0.5))

ElectroMagnetic Field Camp

Photo credit: Natalie Downe on Flickr

This summer hosted the inaugural EMF Camp in Milton Keynes, a weekend for geeks to convene in a field and, well, be geeky of course! More specifically,

Electromagnetic Field is a three-day UK camping festival for people with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things: hackers, geeks, scientists, engineers, artists, and crafters. Continue reading ElectroMagnetic Field Camp

Josh Bitelli – Additive Manufacturing by hand

I am a meta-cognitive, 230 axis, 3D printer.

Josh Bitelli is a recent Design graduate from the University of Brighton who we met at Brighton Mini Maker Faire last year. His work ‘3D Drawings‘ returns the craftsmanship to the additive manufacturing process by creating the objects by hand, using trigger-based extrusion tools such as glue guns or mig welders. It was exhibited as part of the New Designers 2012 exhibition in London, which sadly we didn’t manage to attend.

I love the texture of the pieces. Josh told us that for the stainless steel mig welded items, the nature of the arc welding process creates a unreproducible surface finish every time for truly unique objects.

This also raises exciting possibilities for 3D printers – these trigger-based extrusion tools could open doors to new affordable materials, such as stainless steel. Anyone up for building a mig-welder 3D printer?