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Plastics in the Automotive Industry

This isn't an in-depth tech article or anything but it's interesting to realize just how much the auto industry runs on plastic: http://www.paxonplastic.com/the-automotive-industry-welcomes-a-plastic-future/ I even read that a 3d printed car might be hitting the market as early as the end of this year. Not sure if that's just a rumor but it doesn't seem far off. 

Topic by PlasticPanama    |  last reply


polypurse- the plastic bag project

Hi! my name is galit and I am an industrial Design student. im doing a project turning plastic bags into fashionable purses. I would love for your help and opinions on my bags and I will be happy to post the instruction for the ones you like. Thank you!

Topic by galit    |  last reply


Is it okay to post recources for sale here? Industrial Plastic Scraps....

In the near future I will have industrial plastic scraps available for people who need random sizes and don't want to have to pay for whole sheets/rods etc. I have perused this site over the years to check out the projects and stuff but am not aware of the community etiquette. I don't wish to spam so I'm wondering if it will be okay to post what i have when i have it or if there are classifieds here... Basically what would you guys suggest for trying to connect with people who may need what I'm trying to part with? thank you!

Topic by catsfly    |  last reply


Where can I get recycled industrial textile material?

 I've been looking for this: http://www.markrobson.fr/page5/files/metisse1.jpg kind of industrial recycled felt(?) type material everywhere and I can't seem to find any source that isn't exclusively sold wholesale with insanely huge minimum bulk orders like 1,000 meters minimum or something. I really really like the look of the material and wanted to use it for home decor things like for furniture or even use as a rug and possibly clothes or something and I also of course like the fact that it's made of recycled materials. Which brings up another question does anyone happen to know if this stuff is safe for those kinds of applications or is it similar to fiberglass insulation which is actually pretty harmful to touch? I really want to use it for clothes or home decor if it isn't harmful but definitely don't have the money or even use for anything over 10 meters of this material and even that's a stretch I really am looking more like up to five meters or so at the moment.

Question by ADIAN HERRERA    |  last reply


New inventor seeks industrial designers......

Hello, I am inventing a new golfing product.  I have a working prototype and I'm filing my patent now.  But I needs some help with improving the design.  I'm not a professional designer but I have some mockups in Sketchup.  I am looking for someone with experience designing commercial products in solid works.   The product is going to be made out of plastic and it's has a few moving parts.  For the most part it is very simple but I want to make it into a higher quality product.  If your are interested in working for me as a consultant, let me know and I will send you an NDA to sign. Thanks, Joe

Topic by dznodes    |  last reply


Bio-fuels from pvc, etc. Some neat advances being made in the bio-fuel areas:

2002 articlehttp://www.brdisolutions.com/news/NewsletterArchive/dec2002.aspThis year....http://biodieselmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=1504&q;=&page;=allAnd then we have this:http://ec.europa.eu/energy/res/legislation/doc/biofuels/contributions/industry/waterman.pdfand a few articles from WIRED:http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/09/64862http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/06/63699plus: http://www.europabio.org/white_biotech.htmhttp://lib.wmrc.uiuc.edu/enb/?cat=2Info on Styrene: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/styrene/

Topic by Goodhart    |  last reply


Where do I get half inch plastic sheet for cheap? Answered

Hey, I have a CNC milling machine and I mill things mostly out of plastic. I'm just looking for a cheap place to get plastic sheet if anyone knows where I can get it. I need 1/2 inch. I am currently getting it on amazon for about $10 per square foot (including shipping). Here is the shop http://www.amazon.com/HDPE-Density-Polyethylene-Sheet-White/dp/B000ILJZNY/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&s;=industrial&qid;=1256085952&sr;=8-13 I really don't care what kind of plastic it is as long as it is cheaper and of comparable strength. Thanks

Question by galaxyman7    |  last reply


How do I clean a 55 Gallon Plastic Drum that contained Industrial Grade Detergent?

I picked up three free 55 gallon plastic drums after seeing them posted on craigslist.  I was inspired by the compost tumbler and rain collection instructables, and I was looking to build my own.  However, the plastic drums contained an industrial grade detergent used in food and beverage processing facilities.  Two of the barrels were FiChlor Foam HD and the other contained Liqualin CC.  Do you think I could clean these out enough to make them safe for these projects?  Would the chemicals have leaked into the plastic? For rain collection, I was going to use the water for flushing my toilet, so it wouldn't be for watering a garden, and definitely not for drinking.  For the compost, would the chemicals remaining in the plastic leak into the compost?  And then would any plants exposed to that compost die? I really appreciate some feedback on this.  I've read most instructables on here that involve 55 gallon plastic drums, and the recommendation is to use Food Grade containers.  I'm just disappointed about the possibility of not being able to use the ones I picked up because they contained a detergent.  The containers are marked as "Corrosive" and "Do not reuse this container unless it is first professionally cleaned and reconditioned."  This is definitely a bad sign. :( Thanks guys, Eoin Here's some information I found from the manufacturer, Chemetall: Safety and Handling Precautions: Oakite FiChlor Foam HD is a highly alkaline chlorinated material containing sodium and potassium hydroxide. Direct contact causes irritation of eyes and skin. It is harmful if swallowed. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Wear safety goggles, rubber gloves and other protective clothing when handling. Wash thoroughly after handling. Avoid breathing vapors. Use only in well-ventilated areas. Do not take internally. Liqualin CC:  Heavy-duty, low foaming, non-silicated alkaline liquid for use in CIP systems or spray washing stainless steel processing equipment in beverage and food plants.

Question by eoingrosch    |  last reply


Paper Bags Are Better Than Plastic, Right?

Paper Bags Are Better Than Plastic, Right? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary: The answer to the "paper or plastic?" dilemma is: Neither. They're roughly equal in pros and cons. While convenient addictions, they both gobble up natural resources and cause significant pollution. Get basic design benefits of a paper bag and plastic bag with our award-winning replacements - the ACME Bags Workhorse (the plastic bag replacement) and the EarthTote (the paper bag replacement). Same brilliant basic design as their wasteful relatives, but designed to be used thousands of times. __________________ Issue 1: Energy and natural resources It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag. ENERGY TO PRODUCE BAG ORIGINALLY (BTUs) Safeway Plastic Bags: 594 BTUs Safeway Paper Bags: 2511 BTUs (Source: 1989 Plastic Recycling Directory, Society of Plastics Industry.) Of course, most paper comes from tree pulp, so the impact of paper bag production on forests is enormous. In 1999, 14 million trees were cut to produce the 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans that year alone. Paper bag production delivers a global warming double-whammy forests (major absorbers of greenhouse gases) have to be cut down, and then the subsequent manufacturing of bags produces greenhouse gases. Issue 2: Pollution The majority of kraft paper is made by heating wood chips under pressure at high temperatures in a chemical solution. As evidenced by the unmistakable stench commonly associated with paper mills, the use of these toxic chemicals contributes to both air pollution, such as acid rain, and water pollution. Millions of gallons of these chemicals pour into our waterways each year; the toxicity of the chemicals is long-term and settles into the sediments, working its way through the food chain. Further toxicity is generated as both plastic and paper bags degrade. POLLUTANTS PAPER V.S. PLASTIC Paper sacks generate 70% more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags. Source: "Comparison of the Effects on the Environment of Polyethylene and Paper Carrier Bags," Federal Office of the Environment, August 1988 Issue 3: Recycling It takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper. But recycling rates of either type of disposable bag are extremely low, with only 10 to 15% of paper bags and 1 to 3% of plastic bags being recycled, according to the Wall Street Journal. ENERGY TO RECYCLE PACKAGE ONCE (BTUs) Safeway Plastic Bags: 17 BTUs Safeway Paper Bags: 1444 BTUs Source: 1989 Plastic Recycling Directory, Society of Plastics Industry. Although paper bags have a higher recycling rate than plastic, each new paper grocery bag you use is made from mostly virgin pulp for better strength and elasticity. Issue 4: Degradability Current research demonstrates that paper in today's landfills does not degrade or break down at a substantially faster rate than plastic does. In fact, nothing completely degrades in modern landfills because of the lack of water, light, oxygen and other important elements that are necessary for the degradation process to be completed. A paper bags takes up more space than a plastic bag in a landfill, but because paper is recycled at a higher rate, saving space in landfills is less of an issue. Do you have any conclusion on paper bag or plastic bag?

Topic by paperbag4u  


Trying to find an instructables article this year... Answered

... about an industrial strength cleaner for age-stained (pvc?) plastic. The article focused on making old pc's / keyboards look new. Tried the search function but no luck. Thanks.

Question by nikorin    |  last reply


Large plastic tube with spirals round it, like a massive toilet roll?

Hi,I need some very large pipe, between 45 cm and say 90 cm. I just need about 150 cm length- again, fairly flexible here.  either thin metal or even better probably, fairly thin plastic (say 2-4mm walls if in plastic.) NOT CORROGATED. And, ideally (pretty vital really but looking a bit bleak to find this) made in the same way as a loo roll: with one or two pieces of material that twist around each other so that the pipe has curving spiral joint along its length. Any ideas much appreciated, I don't know where to begin really. What industry should I phone up and annoy with enquiries? I 'll try builders surplus yards I guess, and I thought people who dig up roads and replace water pipes might have stuff.. Or direct from manufacturers, although so far everything I look at is just straight tube, not made in the spiralled way I'm after. CLUES PLEASE !!! Thanks, Georgie

Question by georgiemaker    |  last reply


I want to make Compost from a 55 gal plastic barrel that contained "Built Liquid Alkali", if washed will it be usable? Answered

 I recently acquired a couple of blue plastic 55 gallon barrels in the hopes of making my own rotating composter(s) and upon doing some reading via I-net found a lot of people saying "Only use food grade plastic barrels".  The barrels contained "Built Liquid Alkali", which is a silicated alkali builder designed for when combining with laundry detergent it makes for better soil removal and improves whiteness retention. Cautions read: Industrial use only, may cause burns, keep away from eyes mouth and skin. The first aid instructions are to use plenty of water to flush or wash affected area(s), leading me to believe that this is water soluble. I am hoping that possibly using OxyClean or some other suitable cleaner that I can make these barrels usable for what I need them for. If anyone has knowledge on this chemical and can provide some insight it would be most appreciated.

Question by WV_Kokamo_Joe    |  last reply


Looking for a particular type of air valve

So 2 parts to this question, one is what would it be called, the other, where would I find it. I am looking for a valve  that would have 3 stems, for lack of a better term.  One one end would be the source, another the output and the last would alternate between pulling from the source and pushing to the output.   Any Googling tips?  Not looking for anything industrial, simple small plastic valve would suffice.

Topic by phdearthworm    |  last reply


3rd Creative Prototyping summer school in Belgium, September 3rd - September 7th 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v;=HQAHsL8dzEE www.howest.be/summerschool2012 Prototyping is a process in which a working model or prototype is developed for the purpose of testing various design aspects like features, ideas, viability, functionality, tactility, output and performance. Prototyping can help streamline creative (design) processes. Industrial Design Center (Belgium) therefore organizes the 3rd Creative Prototyping summer school, which is an opportunity for designers, engineers, (PhD) students, teachers, researchers and creative-technical people from all over the world to meet and train their model making skills.  The program offers 1 week full of maker workshops for people who share the passion for design and prototyping, co-creation and materialization of ideas: quick & dirty prototyping, clay modeling, laser cutting, 3D printing, wood turning, welding, plastic shaping processes, product photography, 3D scanning, foam modeling and arduino open source electronics (makey makey invention kit for everyone). The participants are coached by professionals: Lékué (Barcelona), Jürgen Heinl (former BMW modeler, München), Pilipili product design, Atohms design,.... Industrial Design Center is an open research-through-design-lab and a communication platform between the industry and the product design & design engineering programs offered at Howest University College West Flanders (Belgium).

Topic by bverthe  


My other cars a Jet !

I just wanted to say SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE ONE OF THESE :DAt first glance, this looks like a very well-to-do neighbourhood. One in which Formula One racing cars, private jets, speedboats and the kind of equipment that any fledgling rock band would be proud of are left lying around in the garage.In fact, these utterly realistic images are printed on plastic sheets which are stuck on garage doors - the latest craze for home owners who want to not so much keep up with, as totally freak out, the Joneses.The weather and fire-resistant prints are designed to disguise that boring, flaky, greying metalwork. Held in place by industrial strength Velcro, they are easy to change and virtually indestructible.Source

Topic by spiritwolf7984    |  last reply


What should I use for a hovercraft fan?

I have all the necessary building materials (wood, plastic tarp, foam, etc...) as well as a 22 hp engine and a weed whacker engine (both gasoline). I'm having trouble figuring out what i need in terms of a lifting fan. I've determined that i need something that can provide at least 4000cfm. I've looked at industrial shop fans 20+ inches in diameter which seem to provide enough airflow to work, but I've never seen them used in my research. Can anyone help?

Question by Transience    |  last reply


At Camp, Teens Blow Stuff Up, As They're Told

While some teens use their summers to learn sailing, archery or soccer, Brandon Meadows attends Summer Explosives Camp in Missouri to learn how to use dynamite."Some people like baseball, others like math -- I just like to set off bombs," he said. "I figure here, learning how to do it properly is better than messing around with it at home, right?"Meadows is one of 20 teenage campers enrolled in a weeklong explosion camp in the Missouri Ozarks. At the camp, high school students from as far away as Egypt and Hawaii shoot dynamite, TNT and plastic explosives.The camp's leader, Paul Worsey, a professor at the University of Missouri, Rolla, uses the camp as a way to attract new recruits into the unglamorous field of mine engineering. He recruits students to help carry on the industry, which is facing a serious personnel shortage."It's critically important," Worsey said. "These are our workers to sustain this industry going forward."So far, the camp is working. Meadows has already enrolled in the explosives engineering program at the University of Missouri at Rolla for next fall. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11226636

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


Get the LED Out! Speed Contest Winners Announced

Instructables is happy to announce the winners of the Get the LED Out! contest. As this was a speed contest, all of the voting was done by YOU and (for the random prize) a plastic bin.To see the full list of entries simply check out the group. For a speed contest, the quality and quantity of the entries was pretty amazing and there are several that deserve to be looked at and appreciated. A big "thank you" to everyone who entered and showed us all the cool things that can be done with a tiny light.But enough about that... on with the winners!Pageviews and Ratings Prizes - For receiving the most pageviews and the highest ratings, the authors of these Instructables will each receive an Instructables Robot t-shirt, an Adafruit Industries TV-B-Gone kit, and $75 worth of LEDs from Phenoptix. Ratings Awesome led cube by AlexTheGreat Page Views LED Mood Jar! by joejoerowley Notes about the winners: While it is a great Instructable, Make your own Roll Up Keyboard was disqualified from winning a prize in this contest since the Instructable didn't involve putting any LEDs into the roll-up keyboard. Also, the Awesome led cube was the top of both lists, but was selected as the Ratings winner since it had the bigger lead in Ratings, by ratio, over the second than it did for Page Views.Ratings Prize Runners-up - For receiving the next highest ratings, the authors of these four Instructables will each receive an Instructables Robot t-shirt. Cat Burglar Joule Thief Desk-top Soldering Press! (with L.E.D) LED Light Drawing Pens: Make an LED Blaster Random Prize - For being lucky enough to have its name pulled out of a plastic bin, the author of this Instructable will receive an Instructables Robot t-shirt, an Adafruit Industries TV-B-Gone kit, and $75 worth of LEDs from Phenoptix.and the random winner is...this heartfelt Instructable.

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply


Where do i find this? I am building a toy that requires a small motor extracting and retracting a shaft....

....and I am not in the field. It wont require a high torque and I would say I need a range of 15 cm (approximately) of shaft movement. Something like the picture below(.gif). I wish it would also rotate, but it is fine like that. Anyone please could help me with this...I found it online but they are super expensive because I only saw industrial types for high torque, heavy load use. Do they make it in plastic? or any other cheap material for light use? any suggestions as per substitutes with same action? what name do I look for under?Please help.Very appreciated and a big thank you!!

Question by WG7    |  last reply


Help needed into building a special type of proximity sensor...

Currently i am working on my final project for my study as an industrial designer. at the moment i am developing a product which will need to be triggered and activated by the motion of human hands. the product looks like a simple 6 inch cube which permanently rests on one side. the top side is reserved for other interaction. so what i am dealing with are the 4 remaining sides which surround the cube. the idea is that the closer a moving object [in this case a human hand or body] comes to one of the sides, the brighter the LEDs become. the range of this should be about 0 to 10 inches. the LEDs are not a problem, i just need a sensor that gives me a analog signal i can work with. and preferably this sensor will be behind a layer of around 0.2 inches of plastic material. does anyone know how this can be done? i just can't seem to find the right thing for my project. i heard an ultrasonic sensor might do the trick...but will that work stuffed away behind plastic? this would be great help for me, because i do not have a lot of knowledge on electronics to figure this out on my own. so anyone out there who can help me: i am on my knees right now hoping for a solution...any ideas will do!

Topic by igod    |  last reply


Too all Instructablonians: Rockin an awesome lunchbox? I wanna hear about it.

I currently don a teenie-tiny plastic brown-bag shaped lunch tote that barely fits an 8oz water bottle, sandwich, chips, and ice pack. I need something with a bit more room for food. At an impressive 5'3" and 105 lbs, I'm a growing man, and I need my fuel. But I don't want just some clearance-rack generic latest-movie/pop icon plastered lunchbox, no sir. I want an bullet-proof, high-capacity, industrial-strength lunch transportation system. Something that will make people say "Holy crap, that guy's a MAKER."  I want a lunch box that scores major cool points. Something that has character. Something that has features, like extreme insulation or something. Bottom line: it needs to be big, look cool, and last a long time. Price isn't an issue, Christmas is coming up :D So, ibles, how cool is YOUR lunchbox?

Topic by Labot2001    |  last reply


What can I do with an empty commercial photocopier Toner cartridge?

I can recycle them and get around $5 USD back from each of them, but I don't want to do that! I got them a few years ago, and they just look SO COOL!  Some specs: Model GPR-17   Brand: Canon or Katun Katun's Part number : 37375 2000g contents. http://www.compratutoner.com/image/cache/GPR-17-400x400.jpg THERE ARE MORE PICTURES IN THE COMMENTS I was thinking about placing LEDs underneath the semi-transparent cap and having it hooked up to my music visualizer, but it's a subtle glow, not the INTENSE BRIGHTNESS I'm looking for.  I've completely washed it out, but the inside of it isn't hollow. There's this sort of crazy internal structure that holds the powder/toner. I guess it's so it doesn't cake up? well it's empty and clean now.  I can post pics of the different openings and details on demand.  Preferably an application that is as least invasive as possible. I don't wanna be cutting it up into a billion pieces. I thought it'd be an eye sore, but it's really aesthetically pleasing to me. Let me know if anyone wants some, I can mail them out to you! 

Question by sjoobbani    |  last reply


Create awareness of a particular diet choice...

What would make the world a better place...depends how you define world, and your benchmark for what distinguishes better place.  This contest suggests things that would improve home, neighborhood, society, and planet.  I have an idea that would improve all of the above! Health: Personal back story:  Growing up I drank a lot of pop.  It was not uncommon to polish of a 12 pack of soda in a day or two, and this would happen regularly.  For the last fifteen years I've consumed at least 2-4 liters of cola per week, if you average it out (probably closer to ten).  Thats a conservative 2000 litres of cola.  At ~120 grams of sugar per Liter, that works out to a whopping 240 KILOGRAMS of sugar.  Now, were my parents terrible?  I don't think so - the knowledge wasnt out there that us kids were being fed a high sugar highly addictive substance that really messed with our bodies.   I can personally account that I had a terrible sleep schedule growing up, and I can directly attribute it to sugar/caffeine.  Unlike many friends I know I managed to stay skinny and somewhat 'in shape' through hyperactivity.  The artificial insomnia destroyed my school scores - as I spent a lot of time very tired in class, not paying attention - and was even suggested to go on medications to 'fix' how 'weird' I acted.  Most all of my child teeth and adult teeth are full of fillings where I had cavities - and I can't have cold food touch my teeth because I have almost no enamel left.  Consider now the direct economic cost of this:  At an average of a dollar per liter - multiply by the number of 'addicted' heavy user kids out there, and you have yourself a staggering amount.  I'm not alone.  I know lots of friends with similar stories - some less fortunate with serious health problems like diabetes and bariatric problems.  Economy: The high fructose corn syrup industry has halfway destroyed the cane sugar market in many third world countries.  Soda machines all over, often in schools, rape the pocketbooks of young persons for a product they don't need.  Pretend for a moment you are a drug dealer gang boss.  Now imagine you can put a legal salesman in most every school, "free".  I don't need to explain the rest of the story. Society:  Soft drinks are not 'evil' - they are an enjoyable vice that when taken in reasonable quantity aren't that harmful.  Therein lies the problem - they are marketed as the be-all and end-all to be happy, thirst quenched, and popular.  Couple this with the fact that they contain high levels of two of the most addictive legal substances out there:  Caffeine and glucose.  Our nervous systems don't stand a chance. Environment:  Frankly you'd be surprised how much carbon dioxide comes from the soda industry - that fizz goes somewhere after you *kssshk* open the can.  High fructose corn syrup is bad not just for your body but for the environment.  Some areas are very good at recycling, but still others are brutally abysmal at their three R's.  Many COUNTRIES in fact don't recycle at all.  That's a LOT of plastic and aluminum ending up in the environment, to be there long after we are gone. My proposal:  What I want to see is awareness campaigns of the health risks of being a heavy user - in conjunction with warning labels similar to what the tobacco industry has on their products.  I want to see their huge profits going into the community (like in this contest - more of it!).  Make companies accountable for their products. photo courtesy freefoto.com

Topic by frollard    |  last reply


What should I do with all this?

Hey everybody, I've been MIA in Ible-land for a long time now. In the meantime, some new stuff has been brewing here. Some totally awsome ibles coming, I promise! Recently I aquired at an auction: -a pallet of computers -printers -a 24" color plotter -a photocopier -a microscope on the end of a long arm with a fiberoptic light What should I do with the pallet of PCs, the photocopier, and the microscope? Obviously the photocopier is the big deal here. Copy machines have a loda of stepper motors (most w/ very high torque), lots of electronics, LEDs, high voltage power supplies, a flourescent lamp, belts, pulleys, encoders, shafts, wheels, feeders, speakers, com. chips, MCUs, RAM (good for advanced robots), lots-o-metal/plastic, and some very awsome/complex mechanisms. Pretty mush everything is in a photocopier. So help me out! maybe I'll use your idea to better mankind and destroy the oil industry! Okay maybe not, but it's a nice thought to imagine every car running on fuel cells. Give me some ideas because too many are running through my head. Things like: -Tesla coils -Rendering farms -laser scanners -CNC machines -static lifters -lamps (yeah, not the best idea) -railguns -large, 4x4 robots -trebuchets -sorting machines -combat robots -lasers -net-enabled robots -high-speed home PCs -extra misc. Also, the toner feeder leaks, that is why the copy machine doesn't work. There is a full toner cartridge though, what do I do with that? Well, give me some Ideas and I greatly appreciate it!

Topic by gimmelotsarobots    |  last reply


Grad Thesis survey questions - Please send me your answers!!

Hello! I am a graduate student at Pratt institute in Brooklyn, NY. I am currently working on my masters thesis in Industrial Design. My subject so far is: Hacking, 'making' and craft as a form of recycling and reusing - product life extension by the user. Basically, I am interested in keeping potentially valuable materials out of the ever-growing rubbish pile. Instructables were part of the inspiration for this thesis, and I am wondering if you would take a couple minutes of your valuable time to answer these questions for me. The questions might be a bit cursory or vague so your answers can be the same - I am also interested in the differing levels of humor involved in the motivation, process and results of the hacker and their 'products'. I would really appreciate your input, and I want to thank you for your time in advance! Disclaimer: None of this information will be used for anything other than my written thesis and 15min oral presentation in April (Which you can view, let me know if you want to attend!) - but, please do not divulge any information you dont feel comfortable sharing with my thesis class - use a good false name if you like, (or I can make one up for you) but please be as accurate as you can with all questions. Thanks! So here are some questions! 1 - Who are you (name), and what do you 'do'? How do your friends describe you? (ie- day job, side projects, labor of love, for fun, etc) 2 - What do you carry with you at all times? (keys, phone, wallet, knife, etc) Anything you consider 'unusual'? 3 - Are you a 'gadget person', do you need to have the new thing (iPhone or other smartphone, Macbook Air/EEEpc, etc)? What and when was the last computer purchase? Mac, Win (XP or Vista?) or Linux/other? 4 - What was (were) the last modification(s) you did? (electronic, soft, other) 5 - Do you recycle? (Paper, plastic, etc) How do you dispose of old electronics? 6 - Do you ever take other peoples, or buy old electronics, to hack? What was the last you did that with? 7 - With the popularity of publications like MAKE, CRAFT, ReadyMade - and websites and blogs like Instructables; are we are witnessing a new craft movement? (please explain) 8 - Can you explain the history of this movement (if you feel it exists)? What is your favorite part of the increased popularity of making, hacking and modifying? What do you think is the future of this movement? (looking near or far) 9 - How do think this change will affect Industrial Design, and the design/concept of personal electronics, shoes, tableware, furniture, etc? 10 - Is there a device, object, service, product, etc that you dream about, wish existed, half-joke about with friends? Is there a problem you feel strongly about? Something you feel is overlooked? 11 - Can you recommend anyone, or any resources you feel could be really useful in thinking about this topic? Alright! You are done! Thank you so much for you indulgent participation, I appreciate it so much! -Crankola-

Topic by crankola    |  last reply


Do you have an appreciation of the ocean and are all about open-source? I'm looking for people to share ideas with me.

Hi, I’m working on a project about making society more aware of the ocean. This project is my master graduation project. The envisioned project will involve the open-source community; this is why I am looking for people to talk to on this matter and to share ideas. If you are already convinced, please send me a message. I promise you, I will not spam you to death. I am looking for people that have an appreciation or connection with the ocean and are all about DIY and open-source and are willing to share ideas with me. Some more info on the project: As I see it we (society) are very connected to the ocean, most of the everyday objects are in someway shipped across the ocean. Eventually ending up as plastic bits in the ocean. Even before the Industrial Age we’ve been exploring the world with ships on the ocean.  We’ve been shipping diseases, slaves, religion and tobacco around the world in small wooden ships. The ocean also acts as the source of life, in other words, all of the creatures on land came from the ocean. The ocean provides us also with an import source of protein to feed the world; fish. The ocean houses tiny creatures called plankton that are critical for the planet. Most people don’t realize that a mouthful of seawater contains millions of bacterial cells, hundreds of thousands of phytoplankton and tens of thousands of zooplankton. Although we have this strong connection with the ocean we have yet to explore 90% of it. In our ordinary lives we’ve been so disconnected of the environment around us, the only thing the majority of people see are the beaches, the endless blue, until of course, some oilrig blows up and washes oil up on the shore. The project I am working on sees opportunity in creating a connection with the ocean somehow. This is not an easy challenge, I cannot do this alone, I am asking a community of people that think outside the box, are hands-on and are compassioned about what they do for help. Message me if you would like to be involved!

Topic by frits297    |  last reply


Do you have an appreciation of the ocean and are all about open-source? I'm looking for people to share ideas with me.

Hi, I’m working on a project about making society more aware of the ocean. This project is my master graduation project. The envisioned project will involve the open-source community; this is why I am looking for people to talk to on this matter and to share ideas. If you are already convinced, please send me a message. I promise you, I will not spam you to death. I am looking for people that have an appreciation or connection with the ocean and are all about DIY and open-source and are willing to share ideas with me. Some more info on the project: As I see it we (society) are very connected to the ocean, most of the everyday objects are in someway shipped across the ocean. Eventually ending up as plastic bits in the ocean. Even before the Industrial Age we’ve been exploring the world with ships on the ocean.  We’ve been shipping diseases, slaves, religion and tobacco around the world in small wooden ships. The ocean also acts as the source of life, in other words, all of the creatures on land came from the ocean. The ocean provides us also with an import source of protein to feed the world; fish. The ocean houses tiny creatures called plankton that are critical for the planet. Most people don’t realize that a mouthful of seawater contains millions of bacterial cells, hundreds of thousands of phytoplankton and tens of thousands of zooplankton. Although we have this strong connection with the ocean we have yet to explore 90% of it. In our ordinary lives we’ve been so disconnected of the environment around us, the only thing the majority of people see are the beaches, the endless blue, until of course, some oilrig blows up and washes oil up on the shore. The project I am working on sees opportunity in creating a connection with the ocean somehow. This is not an easy challenge, I cannot do this alone, I am asking a community of people that think outside the box, are hands-on and are compassioned about what they do for help. Message me if you would like to be involved!

Question by frits297    |  last reply


Why participate in Pepsi greenwash?

I don't know about the rest of Instructables community, but I am extremely reluctant to contribute anything to Pepsi's latest (https://www.instructables.com/contest/pepsirefreshproject/)  greenwash campaign, well, anything except criticism. PepsiCo (PEP) is a company that produces semi-addictive, food-like consumables that, in the aggregate, are actually harming people's health. They're also littering the world with PET plastic bottles. Previous Instructables alliances with companies that make tools or building supplies (Black and Decker, Leatherman, Gorilla Glue), these alliances made sense to me since these companies actually make products to help people to build things. PepsiCo is essentially a manufacturer of recreational over-the-counter drugs, similar to beer, liquor, cigarettes.  Thus alliances with entertainment industry (e.g. ball games, car racing, crappy pop musicians) would make sense to me, but not an alliance with Instructables.com, whom I like to think is doing something more noble than just crass, brain-numbing entertainment. If you'd like to see PepsiCo's official explanation of this "Refresh the World" business, but without being tracked by DoubleClick, the direct link is: http://www.refresheverything.com/how-it-works Pepsi says they want to change the world, but I think they just want to sell more soft drinks.  I don't see them as a serious agent for change in the world.  IMHO, the revolution will NOT go better with Pepsi! Update:  Many of people responding to this topic seem to think that I'm lobbying for the prohibition of soft drinks, but this is not my goal. In truth I wish more recreational drugs would be allowed to have the same legal "white market" status that sweetened drinks and snack foods enjoy. The point I was trying to make is that Pepsi is an inappropriate choice for an Instructables alliance because the basic values of the two companies are so different. Pepsi does not embody the DIY (do it yourself) philosophy. Rather the values of PepsiCo are convenience and instant gratification. This is essentially a SEDIFY philosophy (somebody else do it for you), the polar opposite of DIY. The reason I mentioned harm to the heath of people and the planet, is just to demonstrate that Pepsi does have cause to want to improve, or greenwash, their image, which is I suspect the point of their "refresh project", not just pure philanthropy.

Topic by Jack A Lopez    |  last reply


The Dream Factory - Squid Labs and Instructables in Wired September 2005

This was Instructables' big debut. The author, Clive Thompson, came and hung out at Squid Labs for a couple of days, and later on we had a hilarious half-day photoshoot where the photographers couldn't remember Dan's name and had to keep calling him "wrench."Wired 13.09 The Dream Factoryby Clive ThompsonThey're already living that future in a small warehouse in Emeryville, California. It's the headquarters of Squid Labs, run by a gang of five MIT alums who by day create prototypes of new technologies for outside firms - and by night fabricate weird gizmos just for fun."Everything I own is basically one of a kind," says a cheery Saul Griffith, one of the cofounders, as he crouches on the floor of his dust-covered workshop, rooting through an enormous bucket of metal brackets and bolts. A tall, shaggy Australian, he's wearing ragged flip-flops and a pair of cargo pants so stained with oil and grime that I can't determine their original color. Dozens of his group's inventions lie scattered about: a Frisbee embedded with microchip-driven LEDs, a set of robots precision-cut from plastic, a bunch of helmet-mounted laser-and-GPS sensors designed to help firefighters locate one another in a blazing house.Today, Griffith is building a "hybrid electric bicycle" with a hidden battery compartment inside the bike's 4-foot-long, chopper-style front forks. To hold the forks in place, he spent the morning designing a bracket, then cut out a flat template for it on Squid Labs' laser cutter. Now, with that template as a guide, he hacks the shape out of quarter-inch steel, using a terrifyingly loud metal cutter. "I'm really into this 'tractor' aesthetic, getting everything to look like industrial machinery!" he hollers over the cutter's shrieks, while a 3-foot cone of orange sparks flies up and ricochets off his face.Every few minutes, Griffith pauses to snap a photo of his progress. When done, he'll write up a comprehensive guide on how to build his project. This, he argues, is the next crucial step in fab culture: getting hobbyists to carefully document their plans and share them online. Squid Labs is hoping to kick-start such sharing this fall when it launches Instructables.com - an open database of interesting projects and fab techniques, "kind of like a Wikipedia for making stuff," Griffith explains. If people want to build his electric hybrid chopper bicycle, they'll be able to download the CorelDraw design of the bracket and send it someplace like eMachineShop to have their own copy printed."We got inspired when we looked at all these guys who'd engineered these incredible, modded parts for their Harleys. They'd have amazing photos of them, but they'd never post the CAD image," Griffith says. "We were like, Why not go open source?"Later that day, I get a taste of how weirdly transformative this idea is. I'm hanging out with Dan Goldwater - another Squid Labs cofounder - and admiring one of his inventions. It's a pair of plastic gears that sit on a bike pedal and power a tiny generator. As you ride, you can run LED lights or a radio. I tell him I'd love to have a version of it myself. So a couple of Squid Labs guys go over to the laser cutter, pull up the design, and a few minutes later hand me exact copies of Goldwater's gears. Design once, print often. "Pretty cool, eh?" Goldwater grins."Griffith imagines that fab tools could produce new economic models for creators. Suppose a hobbyist made a cool plastic exterior for an MP3 player. Suppose she put the design online, and 700 people downloaded the file and had it printed at eMachineShop. "At what point," he asks, "would a manufacturer say, Hey, there's a market here - and offer to buy the design from her?""So, sure, soon we'll be able to build anything. But should we? "Let's say everyone suddenly can make their own hood ornaments. What if they actually do that? The real world would look like the Internet in 1996, when people started making their own Web sites." Griffith shudders. "Remember those hideous-looking psychedelic backgrounds and stupid animations? And blinking tags?""Rainbow dividers," Goldwater adds.It's a good point - and it makes me anxious about my guitar. Sure, it looked fine onscreen. But what if it turns out to be a monstrosity in my hands? Recalling my decision to use clear acrylic for the body, I break into a nervous sweat. It's going to look like something from a mid-'80s, big-hair heavy-metal band! What the hell was I thinking?Griffith interrupts my panic to announce that his chopper is ready. He wheels it onto the street, all five Squid Labbers in tow. Eric Wilhelm, a lanky designer, offers to be the test pilot. He straps on a helmet and mounts the seat. "Does it have brakes?" he asks."Sort of," Griffith says."It's amazing how often brakes are an afterthought," Wilhelm sighs. Then he hits the electric starter and peels off.

Topic by ewilhelm  


"Sonic" drilling or cutting

If we look up sonic drills today we usually get some fancy machines driving pipes in the ground, preferably softer ground.But the term includes all types of machines that use sonic vibrations to advance through a media.With the ancient and claimed to have never existed technologies in mind I did some digging...In the food industry vibrating knifes are quite common, same for "air knifes" on softer food.Even in the meat industry they find more and more uses now.Ultrasonic cutting or welding is the same thing and included in "sonic".Same for some experimental sub sonic drilling methods currently being tested.The general idea might be as old as using vibrating equippment to compact stuff, like concrete, bricks and so on.What you can compact by vibration you can also make "fluid" by vibration.Industrial feeder systems utilise this to the extreme by even making light and fine particles like flour move like water without causing any dusting.What all the techniques have in common that a suitable tool or tool head is used and that it is attempted to use the most suitable vibration frequency for the job.Anyone operating an ultrasonic welder knows the pain of finetuning for a new electrode or just new part to be welded.What does that tell us now that makes the understanding easier?Take a bottle of ketchup, preferably one that is still quite full.Turn it upside down and noothing comes out.Shake it a bit and you are either lucky or drowned in red.But hold it at an angle and start tapping it and the red sauce flows out easily.What it true for most newtonian fluids is in some way also true for non-newtonian fluids.Ever mixed corn starch and water to make these funny experiments with it?Hit it hard and it reacts really hard and is not sticky at all.Leave your hand resting on it and in sinks in and sticks to it.Stirring it very slowly is easy, go faster and you get stuck.You can do similar things with by using an external source for vibrations.For example a vibration speaker mounted to a smal cup of the goo.If you place sand on a sloped piece of plastic or sheet metal then at a low angle it will pile up easy and stay.Start vibrating the plate and the sand will start to flow off.Works fine with a vibration source mounted to a piece of steel bar or rod and a bucket of sand too.Trying to press it into the sand requires a lot of force, especially once you are a bit deeper.Let it vibrate properly and it slides rights down.If we can do the simple stuff as well as really complicated stuff in the industry then what about other materials?So far we use vibrations to make things move out of the way, compact things, transport them or to heat them up for welding plus some cutting applications.Considering the variety one might wonder why no one tries it for "difficult" materials.Machined surface can be found throughout ancient history.Finding "machined things" were vibrations was clearly used is a bit harder.The great walls are not a perfect example here as the views differ quite a bit on how they could have been created.But if we leave things melting them or a secret concret like recipe for creating for example granite then vibrations start to make some sense.You find some interesting videos on youtube where people use speakers, wires and rocks to confirm you can actually "machine" them by vibrations.Especially granite has some quite musical properties, big boulders as well as smaller ones produce destinct sounds when you hit them hard.Tests and measurements were made on granite and other hard rocks to check how fast sound travels in them , how it is refeclted and where the sound comes out or affects the surface the most.Lets just say every sample gave different results.Shape, density and dimensions affect not just the resonant frequency but also where and how the sound travels in the rock.What if??We can use a simple speaker, a plate and some rice to see how patterns form under various frequencies.Works with sand or other granules as well.The interesting patterns are the so called harmoncis.Here we see clear and destinct patters, sometimes with extremely fine lines and areas of softly vibrating granules.Some people say these harmonic frequencies have all special meanings and uses.We mainly used them to avoid problems.Imagine your new TV would not have a housing tested to be stable with all frequencies the speakers can produce.All of a sudden your back of the TV might start to rattle ;)Same for car engines.Harmonic vibrations are eliminated wherever possible.Otherwise they could multiply and affect other things in the engine or around it.Simply put it means we have various options to detect and measure vibrations on a surface or in a system.Back in the day every half decent backup generator had a mechanical indicator for the frequency of the supplied electricity.A set of tiny forks with the desired on painted red and several on either side of it.These forks were designed to get into harmonic and therfor quite intense vibrations at their set frequency.If the one for 50Hz looked blurry then all was good ;)The same principle god be applied on a big boulder of granite.Place the "vibration meter" at the desired spot and start moving around the vibration source on the surface until you find a spot that causes maximum response on the meter.Best thing here is that if you then place that surface area onto another peice of fixed in place granite both pieces will start to loose substance if vibrations are applied.The fine sediment forming is then usable as an indicator where to move the vibration source to continue once the effect literally wears off.Is it feasable?Well, if we trust mainstream science then the answer is no.A huge amount of vibration energy would be required for such a hard material, despite ancient proof that says otherwise.Semi industrial test also seemed to confirm the theory as only with very high amplitudes (loudness) and while automatically adjusting for the resonant frequency changes a measurable amount of material was removed.I struggle a bit with that as for the testing tool heads made from hardened steel or carbide were used.And that with little or no regards on how the head and tool itself affects the output.I mean in terms of having the max possible movement happening right t the tool contact surface!There is a huge difference between applying a vibration to a tool and using a system, tool and tool head DESIGNED to work at the desired frequency!Otherwise we wouldn't need a computer to design and test a horn for welding purposes or shade a knife spefically so that the vibration go along the right axis and in the right direction.You not break a hard thing with a very soft thing unless it travels fast enough to become harder as the target!This complicated explanation basically just confirms that if you hit water at a too high speed then it will just break you into pieces instead of offering a soft splashPlease do not jump of bridges or such to confirm this yourself!!If that is really true and science says it is, then how about the other way around?Works fine too, or we wouldn't have pressure washers or water cutters.Now for the part where I hope some really smart people leave helpful comments:If we can cut steel with just a stream of water, then I ask:Isn't for example copper much harder than water?Steel is much harder than copper but water cuts through it.The answer here it simple or complicated, depending on how you want to expain how it works.Comes down to speed and pressure plus the right nozzle shape to prevent a beam expansion.But then water is indeed "harder than steel".Questions:Lets say we would use a copper pipe that in lenght, thickness, hardness and diameter is optimised to transmit a frequency so the pipe end sees the max vibration like a feed horn for ultrasonic welding.Not to hard to calculate these days :)Now imagine said "main frequency" would be optimised for the pipe but also be a harmonic frequency of the rock to be worked on.The pipe end would deform quickly, abrasion does the rest and it fails before even making a decent sratch that is not copper metal on granite.No matter how hard we press nothing good enough will ever happen.BUT: If we would add more hormainc frequencies to feed our pipe we can multiply the amplitude quite easy!Just try with a sound generator from your app store, needs 2 or more channels to be usable.Pick for example 400hZ on one and 800Hz on another, then finetune around these number to hear how the tone changes ;)My theory goes like this:If all "working frequencies" would just harmonics of the resonant frequency of the granite, then they can be tuned so the effect on the pipe end is minimised.The overlaying frequencies however should result in the same effect a water cutter has: The pipe becomes ultra hard.The better the match and the more you have to get it right the harder the pipe will be.Adding now a "drilling frequency" or multiple could be used to drive these harmonics slightly out of phase.Like with the sound generator on your phone we end up with a pulsating sound, or vibration.While the pipe still vibrates at the same "hardening" mix the drilling frequency creates a peak like a jackhammer.Try it by using the heaphone output on a small speaker and placing some light and tiny things into the cone.The will violently jump around during these pulsing tones.For a drilling system the output can be mechanically maximised by utilising a pitchfork design.A head holds the vibration speakers and the tynes are tuned good enough to the frequency of the speakers.Always two would have to operate in sync though as otherwise the pitchfork movement that transfers the sound down the center bar won't work.This head could then be desgined to act as a holder for a quick change of work out pipes that are no longer long enough for tuning.I guesstimate that a well tuned design would result in a copper pipe being able to drill at least 10 to 15cm into solid granite before it wears off too much.And we are talking here about just a few mm to get the thing out of tune!But would dare to desing such a thing just to confirm a theory that no one ever really dared to test? ;)And if friction welding works as good as ultrasonic welding, then what would happen if we try this with the right frequencies and vibrations instead of wasting tons of energy?

Topic by Downunder35m  


Ultrasonic cavitation as way to create impossible alloys?

I played around with ultrasonics now for a while and noticed that when it comes to certain things then logic seems no longer to apply.In the normal household you might find some ultrasonic cleaner and that's about it.A few people might have some distance measuring device or sensor array somewhere.As far as the normal human is concerned that is more than enough ;)Playing with certain metals like Bismuth or Gallium is not only but also a nice way to create nice alloys that you can play with even more.Take a portable and simple hydrogen supply as an example.Just make an alloy with lots of aluminium and a small amount of gallium.Cut it into strips, blocks or grind into a powder if you dare.Either way you just add water in a sealed container and get lots of pure hydrogen.The waste product is aluminium oxide, which has additional uses.The gallium itself is not affected by the reaction and can be reused many times.However, with some metals things are just different.As you might know it is hard to impossible to create certain alloys and other wouldn't make any sense.For example an alloy made from Calcium and iron...One of the big problems with alloys is that you need to have both metals in a molten form, then mix them properly and hope it turns out as planned.And well, if the metals in question just on't want to combine we cheat by using slats as a flux for example or by blowing hydrogen through the molten mix to act as a sacrificial binder until the metal cools down.Through ultrasonic cavitation we can not only clean surface, the same effect also destroys cells as the power from the implosion and the intense heat is more than what a cell can handle.There are even tests now to determine how safe and effective it would be to sterilise hospital equippment.A few seconds in an ultrasonic bath would safe the hours in the autoclave...On an industrial scale ultrasonic vibrations are used to weld plastic parts - like the head and tail lights on modern cars or just sealed plastic housings of any kind.With all this in mind my experiments with ultrasonic soldering made me wonder...Science papers state that that for example ceramics are not actually soldered.Appearently it is again hydrogen bonds provided by the ceramic or trapped air inside that provide the means to stick permantly.There is also an effect based on the implosion of the cavitation bubble.Here the solder literally is shot at well aboce ultrsonic speeds onto the surface of the ceramic.Together with the vacuum effect the solder is then pushed into the tiniest of cracks and cavities.Surface tension and other effects finally prevent the solder from just flowing off like it would do if we use just heat.What it means is that there is no real soldering at all happening.In reality it is like millions of big hydraulic presses would push the molten metal onto the surface.Going back to the fun of Gallium with Aluminium....Aluminium does not really go to well with steel.And gallium does not that good with steel either.Melting an Aluminium-gallium alloy is quite simple.With an excess of Gallium in the mix it should be possible to add fine steel powder (steel, not iron!).Of course it would neither mix well nor really melt at these low temperatures.With ultrasoic cavitation however we could force the stuff to not only mix but also create the same effect as used by ultrasonic soldering.The additional metals and minerals in a steel alloy should hopefully prevent any unwanted reactions in the final step...If the steel powder is ine enough then the assimilation of the steel into the aluminium-gallium mix would result in the breakdown of the steel.Once cooled and hard again the big question what would happen if we let water attack it?In theory all aluminium would react to form aluminium oxide and aluminium hydroxide.The gallium again would not be affected and as it is also bound to the steel should form a nice gallium-steel alloy.But what hapens to the voids where the aluminium was???The alloy would either be only affected on the surface or through cavitation and time all aluminium would be transformed.In the best scenario we would get a steel-gallium sponge where the voids are filled with alumium oxide.Forging such a mix could result in a ceramic steel..... !?? ;)Imagine a safe...There is always forceful ways to get in.Like drilling or using a big angle grinder.The pro might use a magnesium torch rod though....The common approach to improve penetration resistance is by filling a space between the outside and inside walls of a safe.Whatever you can imagine that is nightmare for your tools can be used, like thick glass plates, hardened steel bits, carbide studs, concrete with glass fibres....But even diamond tipped tools would already struggle if the steel itself would contain high amounts of a hard ceramic like aluminium oxide.The remaining gallium would also cause very high friction and through this heat - which these tools really can't stand unless you can provide water cooling as well.With the right balance of aluminium and gallium most of the original properties the steel had can be preserved.Just and idea though....

Topic by Downunder35m  


Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death - Fix Your Console Today and Enjoy Gaming Again Without Fear of Freezing

Since the Xbox 360's introduction in November, 2005, a significant quantity of Microsoft's game consoles have experienced a field malfunction that is indicated by three flashing red lights on the front of the console. It's The Xbox 360' Red Ring Of Death or E74 error.The "Red Ring of Death" is a very common problem. In July 2008, Microsoft admitted that over 800,000 people are dealing with it and 30% of all consoles sold are failing and the rest have a chance of failure. With an Xbox which suffer from the red ring of death, you will not be able to play games with peace of mind or any enjoyment and you can't use Xbox live membership without constantly dropping from online games, and losing level progress.Owning a broken $400 game system is annoying. If you don't fix the red ring of death, your system will only get worse with time, and your Xbox may stop working altogether (which will cost you in the hundreds of dollars to fix).The sooner you fix red ring of death the better, but first you should know what is wrong with your Xbox 360?The main cause of the 3 flashing red lights is overheating. In fact, it is an electrical connection failure between the CPU,GPU and the motherboard.due to an engineering flaw in the construction of the Xbox 360. When Microsoft designed it, they downsized the heat sinks ( which keep the system cool ) to accommodate the DVD drive, and they chose a slightly unusual way of mounting to link them to the processors. So when you play on your Xbox for too long, the temperature reaches beyond 120 degree, the motherboard heats up and begins to vibrate and flex against the X-Clamp plastic support . These vibrations loosen the soldering holding the graphics processing unit in place. This causes an electrical failure and the Xbox red ring of death error will happen.** How do we fix this ? **There is a myth going around that to fix the red ring of death errors by wrapping your Xbox 360 in a towel, turning it on for 20 minutes or so, and letting it overheat . BE CAREFUL !!! If you use this bogus repair method, you will risk turning a temporary problem into a permanent damage. This crazy method works for a few hours because when you wrap your console and turn it on, there is no ventilation for the heat to escape. It's like putting vegetable oil in your cars gas tank, sure it may run for a block but you have just ruined you car for a 2 minute trip! Your Xbox 360 is a piece of high tech equipment not a toaster, avoid completely the "towel fix" and any "fix" involving heat.** Is there a secure permanent fix for this ? **Of course, believe it or not fixing the Xbox red ring of death is not a difficult process and you don't need advanced technical skills or special tools to perform the "fix" yourself, I suggest you see a professional Xbox 360 repair guide with detailed clear video instuctions and pictures. These guides are developed by technicians with good knowledge and many years of experiences in the electronics and video game repair industry. They will show you step by step how to take your Xbox 360 apart safely, how to remove the X-clamp and heat sink, how to apply the washers and artic thermal compound, and put it all back together. There is also written instructions with the videos and the 24/7 tech support can assist you to save time and money and get your Xbox 360 up and running within 2 hoursThose Xbox red ring of death errors will be a distant memory and now you can enjoy gaming again without fear of freezing.Be careful there are some repair guides in the market which are a total scam .Here is an EASY step by step Xbox 360 repair guide so you can permanently fix your Xbox 360's 3 red light of death errors!Xbox 360 Red Light Fix Pro Gamer Edition : The Only Xbox 360 Repair Guide with Professional High Definition Video Tutorials, With In Action Camera Zooms , Fix in Less Time than it Takes to Mail Xbox 360 to Microsoft, Use Ordinary Household Tools ,Real Human, Knowledgeable Customer Support , No Special Skills Needed, Guaranteed Fix or Money Back, Be Playing Again - in 2 Hours or Less.Click Here

Topic by TexasHome  


123D Design Vs. Rotary Tool. What is better?

When Instructables gave me the opportunity to be part of its Artist in Residence program, one of the first things I thought was "Blimey!* I don't know 123D or any other design program. What am I gonna do?" (*Of course, in my country we don’t say “Blimey!” but something ruder. But I think you get the point) Let me introduce myself: I'm Mario Caicedo Langer, from Colombia (not "Columbia"). Former Colombian Navy Officer, BsC in Naval Sciences, maker focused in trash art and upcycling. You can see my Instructables profile here. My skills: I can transform almost every piece of e-waste and plastic trash in something useful, decorative or funny. My weak point: the only design program I used in my life was... Paint. Yes, that Paint. So 123D would be my first experience with a CAD program. I have to be honest: I'm not a big fan of CAD programs. Yes, they are awesome. But I am an old school maker who loves to use his rotary tool and his screwdrivers to build stuff, at risk of his own hands. I thought CAD programs were reserved for industrial designers or engineers, even one like 123D Design, developed for the DIY community. THE EXPERIENCE A few weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, I finally decided to take a look the 123D Design installed in my PC. So I started to play with the program. When I got stuck, Randy Sarafan gave me some useful tips. Two hours later, I finished some kind of robot arm. At night, I had finished a "chicken legs" robot. On Saturday morning, I had a futuristic motorbike. On Sunday, I was at the beach in San Jose, eating Deep Fried Twinkies, but that’s not important. By Monday, I had my fourth project ready (not my best work, but still) for the "Show and Tell" meeting at Instructables. I finished my instructable on how to make a transformable robot, my first 3D printed project. And right now I'm working in a futuristic jet. I'm not saying "Oh! I'm a genius! You’d better make a movie about me! (In this case, I want to be interpreted by Ryan Reynolds or Samuel L. Jackson)". No. What I'm trying to say is that, sometimes, we have the tools at reach, but we are too lazy, too coward or too old fashioned to try them. And Autodesk is giving a great tool to the maker community. It's a friendly program (I don’t know how it could be friendlier. Telepathic commands, maybe?) and you can learn it in one weekend or less. It doesn't matter if you are a professional designer or not, you only need two things: the will and visual-spatial ability. And you only get the second thing by being curious about all the things around you: touching, dismantling, cutting, breaking, attaching, opening, destroying and rearming stuff. And, if you are a maker, you are on the right way. 123D Design is an awesome program (and honestly, the only one I learnt), I love it and it's free, but it has two aspects to improve. First, fonts could be very useful. What if I want to 3D-print a plaque with my name? Second, I don’t know if it’s because of my computer, but sometimes the program crashes and, if you didn’t save your progress, you will have a very bad time. So I got the habit of saving on my computer every 4 minutes. That’s all. AT THE END Right now, I’m asking myself “Myself, what do you prefer: a carpal tunnel syndrome for using your computer or a severed hand syndrome for using your jigsaw?”. Then I remember my wise mother telling me “Mijo, don’t say those barbarities because there is no idle words”. Resuming, what is better for a maker, CAD/CAM or traditional crafting? I believe there is no competition, because both are complementary. It’s all about what do you want to do, how do you want to do it and what is the best option for your project. There are a lot of things you will never achieve without a computer. But there are a lot of things a computer won’t be better than the human hands, too. And building stuff with your very own hands is a very rewarding experience. So, it’s up to you! Because for me, 123D Design became just another tool in my toolbox. A powerful, fantastic and awesome tool in my toolbox.

Topic by M.C. Langer    |  last reply


8 Reasons you'll rejoice when we hit $8 a gallon gasoline

This article in MarketWatch written by Chris Pummer mostly matches my opinions. My favorite is #2Here is the text:SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- For one of the nastiest substances on earth, crude oil has an amazing grip on the globe. We all know the stuff's poison, yet we're as dependent on it as our air and water supplies -- which, of course, is what oil is poisoning.Shouldn't we be technologically advanced enough here in the 21st Century to quit siphoning off the pus of the Earth? Regardless whether you believe global warming is threatening the planet's future, you must admit crude is passé. Americans should be celebrating rather than shuddering over the arrival of $4-a-gallon gasoline. We lived on cheap gas too long, failed to innovate and now face the consequences of competing for a finite resource amid fast-expanding global demand.A further price rise as in Europe to $8 a gallon -- or $200 and more to fill a large SUV's tank -- would be a catalyst for economic, political and social change of profound national and global impact. We could face an economic squeeze, but it would be the pain before the gain.The U.S. economy absorbed a tripling in gas prices in the last six years without falling into recession, at least through March. Ravenous demand from China and India could see prices further double in the next few years -- and jumpstart the overdue process of weaning ourselves off fossil fuels.Consider the world of good that would come of pricing crude oil and gasoline at levels that would strain our finances as much as they're straining international relations and the planet's long-term health: 1. RIP for the internal-combustion engineThey may contain computer chips, but the power source for today's cars is little different than that which drove the first Model T 100 years ago. That we're still harnessed to this antiquated technology is testament to Big Oil's influence in Washington and success in squelching advances in fuel efficiency and alternative energy.Given our achievement in getting a giant mainframe's computing power into a handheld device in just a few decades, we should be able to do likewise with these dirty, little rolling power plants that served us well but are overdue for the scrap heap of history.2. Economic stimulusNecessity being the mother of invention, $8 gas would trigger all manner of investment sure to lead to groundbreaking advances. Job creation wouldn't be limited to research labs; it would rapidly spill over into lucrative manufacturing jobs that could help restore America's industrial base and make us a world leader in a critical realm.The most groundbreaking discoveries might still be 25 or more years off, but we won't see massive public and corporate funding of research initiatives until escalating oil costs threaten our national security and global stability -- a time that's fast approaching. 3. Wither the Middle East's cloutThis region that's contributed little to modern civilization exercises inordinate sway over the world because of its one significant contribution -- crude extraction. Aside from ensuring Israel's security, the U.S. would have virtually no strategic or business interest in this volatile, desolate region were it not for oil -- and its radical element wouldn't be able to demonize us as the exploiters of its people.In the near term, breaking our dependence on Middle Eastern oil may well require the acceptance of drilling in the Alaskan wilderness -- with the understanding that costly environmental protections could easily be built into the price of $8 gas. 4. Deflating oil potentatesOn a similar note, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently gained a platform on the world stage because of their nations' sudden oil wealth. Without it, they would face the difficult task of building fair and just economies and societies on some other basis.How far would their message resonate -- and how long would they even stay in power -- if they were unable to buy off the temporary allegiance of their people with vast oil revenues? 5. Mass-transit developmentAnyone accustomed to taking mass transit to work knows the joy of a car-free commute. Yet there have been few major additions or improvements to our mass-transit systems in the last 30 years because cheap gas kept us in our cars. Confronted with $8 gas, millions of Americans would board buses, trains, ferries and bicycles and minimize the pollution, congestion and anxiety spawned by rush-hour traffic jams. More convenient routes and scheduling would accomplish that.6. An antidote to sprawlThe recent housing boom sparked further development of antiseptic, strip-mall communities in distant outlying areas. Making 100-mile-plus roundtrip commutes costlier will spur construction of more space-efficient housing closer to city centers, including cluster developments to accommodate the millions of baby boomers who will no longer need their big empty-nest suburban homes.Sure, there's plenty of land left to develop across our fruited plains, but building more housing around city and town centers will enhance the sense of community lacking in cookie-cutter developments slapped up in the hinterlands. 7. Restoration of financial disciplineFar too many Americans live beyond their means and nowhere is that more apparent than with our car payments. Enabled by eager lenders, many middle-income families carry two monthly payments of $400 or more on $20,000-plus vehicles that consume upwards of $15,000 of their annual take-home pay factoring in insurance, maintenance and gas.The sting of forking over $100 per fill-up would force all of us to look hard at how much of our precious income we blow on a transport vehicle that sits idle most of the time, and spur demand for the less-costly and more fuel-efficient small sedans and hatchbacks that Europeans have been driving for decades. 8. Easing global tensionsUnfortunately, we human beings aren't so far evolved that we won't resort to annihilating each other over energy resources. The existence of weapons of mass destruction aside, the present Iraq War could be the first of many sparked by competition for oil supplies.Steep prices will not only chill demand in the U.S., they will more importantly slow China and India's headlong rush to make the same mistakes we did in rapidly industrializing -- like selling $2,500 Tata cars to countless millions of Indians with little concern for the environmental consequences. If we succeed in developing viable energy alternatives, they could be a key export in helping us improve our balance of trade with consumer-goods producers. Additional considerationsWeaning ourselves off crude will hopefully be the crowning achievement that marks the progress of humankind in the 21st Century. With it may come development of oil-free products to replace the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, fertilizers and pesticides that now consume 16% of the world's crude-oil output and are likely culprits in fast-rising cancer rates.By its very definition, oil is crude. It's time we develop more refined energy sources and that will not happen without a cost-driven shift in demand.

Topic by Keith-Kid    |  last reply


The risks of DIY carpet cleaning and how save a buck or two....

I am writing this partly because of bed experiences with rental angents/landlords and as a general help.Here in Australia as well as other parts of the world it is common pratise that a real estate agent goes through your rented home multiple times a year to check if you keep it clean and undamaged.In most cases these visits go without any hickup until you move out.At this point agents often try to make your life a misery.Some expect you get the house back to the state it was 10 years ago when you moved - an impossible task.Carpet cleaning is usually done with a rented machine.This mean you pay a deposit for the machine and "rent" is made by the highly overpriced cleaning fluid you have to use with the machine.But more and more people see that a $100 machine from the discounter is a "money saver".So lets start with the main differences between a rented, commercial grade machine and those you find at the discounter to buy.The later comes quite small and in plastic, the commercial one is usually all metal and has huge water and waste tank.And lets be honest here, if a good vacuum cleaner sets you back more than twice what your new floor cleaning machine costs.....For me the real difference is in the sucktion.If you start with 10 liters in a commercail machine then you should expect to get over 8 liters back in the waste tank.The added waste often makes it seem much more though ;)The cheap discounter vesion however often struggles to get half of the water back out of your carpet that it drained into it!This is not only due to the weaker vacuum created but also due to the general design and lack of sealing the area that is sucked up.But during a hot summer week this makes no vital difference as it dries off anyway, or does it?Dryness and contamination....If you wash your clothes than you let them fully dry before you wear them.With a freshly cleaned carpet we often don't have that luxury and if the weather won't play nice you might end with a moist carpet for weeks.A proper wash of the carpet would require that water is actually flowing through the fabric.This is achieved by designing water outlets and sucktion areas to be in close proximity.However, most carpets these days are thin and flimsy, the underlay brings the comfort and often the required insulation from the cold floor.Fun fact: Most quality carpets in the EU come with a rubber or foam like backing which prevents that little spills go through and also leave the carpet basically dry after a cleaning.If the amount of water your machine collects does not get very close to what you filled into the tank then you end with a quite wet carpet and underlay.Cold from underneath and with basically no airflow through it.And if you ever removed an old carpet that was cleaned every few years you do know why you wear a protective suit, gloves and a filter mask on your face....It is simply impossible with a handheld machine to prevent water and contaminants from getting into the foam underlay of US and AU style carpet assemblies.Once fully dry there is little chance for anything to grow, but every time you clean the carpet you add the water required...I had it in two rentals that when I cleaned the carpets with a really good machine that stains from within the underlay came back up into the carpet.A job planned for a day then turned into three days of using heater fans and living in a sauna while washing carpets :(The same is true if you end up with fresh dirt or such on the carpet while it is still moist underneat - it gets worked ino the carpet and becomes even harder to clean.Is a commercial cleaning the better option?Sadly I have to say this highly depends on your agent/landlord and how much time and money you have.In some areas agents simply ignore the law and demand from you that the carpet looks at least as good as when you moved in.And if old stains you did not know about come from the filthy underlay a rented machine can come close to the cost of getting a commercail team in to do the job once you vacated.Either way you get an invoice for the service and a statement about the condition of the carpets before and after the cleaning.These guys come with a big van and before it fires up with water only the vacuum is used.Imagine a monster sized vacuum cleaner head on steroids that connects to an industrial sized evacuation fan in the van.It literally lifts your carpet from the underlay and leaves nothing loose behind.The actual cleaning and sanitation works the same way only with the big difference that the water is sprayed with pressure through the carpet and into the underlay.Final round is done dry and with vacuum only, means the carpets are dry enough to walk on them without getting wet feet.A complete dry state is usually reached within 2 days during the summer unlike rented machines that keep the humidity in your house up and high for about 2 weeks until back to normal.Main benefit of a commercail cleaning is that you won't get any issues with your agent/landlord unless you damaged the carpets or made them impossible to clean - ever dropped an ink jet printer refill kit? ;)If I do it myself with a reasonably good machine or a rented one : Do I have options for the cleaning solution used?Trust me, I had to figure that one out quickly when I moved into my first rental down here.4 bedrooms, entire house with carpet except for the kitchen and wet areas.They appeared reasonably clean at a first look but when I used a UV flashlight at night the story was shocking....In what must have a room for a baby the carpet looked like a psychedlic art impression under the UV light.The living room was not much better.As a result the rented machine ran out of cleaning fluid quickly.Bought 2 bottles that were supposed to be suffient for the house size but if you need several rounds per room.I "finnished" the former baby room and was one bottle down already.Called it a day and in the dark the UV light showed a slithly fades art impression but nowhere clean :(The shop had a heavy duty cleaning solution but I did not consider it with a price twice as high.Instead I wondered what would make my carpet different from my clothes in my washing machine....So I got a canister of Oxy-cleaner - sometimes called nappy soaking powder, or similar.Just make sure you get one that does not foam up too much.I used a bucket to dissolve a good amount of the powder before filling it into the machine - at about 40°C.What ended in the waste tank when using this cheap alternative looked digusting to say the least!With that encouragement I decided to make a new bucket with some added washing powder, just a tablespoon worth or just over.Washing powder for front loader does not foam up much, unlike the stuff for top loader, so choose wisely.That was, all counted, the forth cleaning round for the former baby room but after this the UV light showed a clean carpet that also had nice spring fresh smell thanks to the washing powder.Using the same appraoch of lots of oxy cleaner and a bit of washing machine powder in semi hot water made cleaning the rest of the house a breeze!When going slow with the machine it was like mowing the lawn, it left a clean path behind.Not all carpets might tolerate oxy cleaners though, especially if they are quite colorful, so do a spot check first if you never used the stuff to clean up a little spill of red wine before.And please keep some of the commercial cleaning fluid at hand to give the machine a quick wash through with it, otherwise the shop might ask you if you used non approved cleaning stuff with it ;)Tips for adjustable cleaning machines....Some of the rented machines come with several possible adjustments you can make.In the most basic form you can adjust the amount water used and how strong the machine sucks.Keep the sucktion as high as possible unless you actually want to pre soak the carpet.The amount of water should be adjusted to the type of carpet not to how dirty it is!You want just enough water to soak the carpet without going into the underlay too much.A clear sign of using too much water is if you waste tank is only half full when the water tank is empty.A few of the really good machines let you adjust the distance between the water outlet and sucktion area.In most cases there pre-set to what, from experience is the most commonly type of carpet in the area.Your might be different though...A greater distance means more time for the cleaning solution to do its job.This works especially well for thicker carpets with amount of water turned down to below 50%.For thin carpets a short distance is better as the water does not have to go deep into the fabric.Here you can even increase the water flow for very dirty areas without risking to soak the underlay too much.In either case you should check the machine before taking it home and if adjustable have the options explained to you in the store.Anything for really bad areas?The entrance area is often subject to whatever our shoes collected outside, especially if you have kids or playful dogs.A bit of oil from the road, some sticky residue of something, dust, small gravel and sand....Vacuum out what comes out first, then use a suitable, not too stiff brush if your vacuum cleaner does not have a rotating brush in the head.Use a spray bottle and prepare a solution of warm water with a bit of washing machine powder and a shot glass worth of methylated spirit.Slightly wet the soiled area with the spray bottle without saturating it.Use the brush to agitate the carpet fibres - preferably directional and with even strokes.If they are not wet in the deeper areas spray a bit more.Again: you don't want to soak it you want to wet it.Give it about 20 minutes on a warm day a bit longer if the insede temps are below 25°C.Check with your hand if the area is still wet, the alcohol should speed up the evaporation here.Before it dries up repeat the process and check with a paper towel if it picks up the stains already.If so then run over the area with cleaning machine.Best results are achieved if you manage to get the fibres wet all the way down with the brush and won't let the area fully dry off again after the spraying.How can I speed up the drying time?The only way to speed things up is heat and airflow.If outside humidty is quite high then you will struggle.Even in the summer times the humidity levels over night can get well into or even over the 80% region.Opening doors and windows then to get the carpet dry won't really help you.Best time to clean your carpets is actually at night because by the time you are done the sun is out and the humity levels much lower.On a good day below 30%.This is true even for the winter times.Put a few fans up and make sure the temperatures are well above the 20°C mark.If in doubt you have to turn the heater on.Once the humidity inside is sky high you open up all windows and doors to have an exchange of air.A few minutes suffice here unless there is wind at all.If it is a hot summer day you can of course just let it all open until the sun goes down again.During colder times pay special attention to cold areas, like your toilet, bathroom or in general areas that won't warm up properly.Even if the room was not cleaned the moisture can accumulate here and cause mold and mildew.If in doubt make sure the ENTIRE house is warm enough until your carpets are fully dry again.A humidity sensor or gauge certainly helps, two are better so you can check inside and outside at the same time.

Topic by Downunder35m  


Looking for a cheap compressor with a high pressure rating or for airbrush use?

Today a friend of mine asked me if I know a way to reduce the noise level of his compressor in the work shed. With the current heat he prefers to work in the evening and nights, which does not make his neighbours too happy. His main use for several airbrush guns and sometimes for mormal airtools or the big spray gun for an undercoat or similar. So his main concern is oil in the airline and the actual flow rate is of second concern as he has an old 25kg propane cyclinder as an additional air tank. For relative low air volumes I would suggest an old fridge compressor. With a thicker pipe at the outlet that is filled with stainless steel wool most of the oil stays in the compressor. That is if this pipe is a) long enough b) upright c) of sufficient diameter so there is enough for the oil to avoid it being pushed up A second, standard oil seperator will be enough for the oil level required for airbrush stuff - and most other things too. If there is no pressure regulator on the airbrush system it is best to add a small air tank and shut off valve for it. In our case however a fridge compressor would be just enough to keep the bigger airbrush gun running but not to fill the tank at the same time. Not to mention the problem of fluctuating pressure levels. Since we already had a tank and pressure shut off connected to the loud compressor it was only a matter of finding something that keeps the neighbours happy. The first thing we did was to check how often the compressor comes on and how long it runs till the tank is back to pressure. With that and the stated air volume on the compressor we guesstimated that something a bit bigger than the compressor of a window airconditioner should be sufficient. The search begins.... If you don't know what to look for I give you a few hints: Older airconditioners often run on R22 or R12 - both use quite high system pressures which is a bonus, but more on that later. As a rule of thumb for these compressors you cans say: the bigger the higher the flow rate. At the local wreckers and scrap yards we found a few units but noticed the bigger ones often used three phases and not just one :( So we opted for the R22 compressor of a 4.5kW unit. Keep in mind the 4.5kW is for the entire system, so the quite massive fans can be removed from the sum. Usually the compressor alone is the 2.5 - 3kW range. Ok, we found the big thing but how does this help us? First things first ;) The oil was removed as the housing stating the original oil amount. This allowed us to use an oil rated for air use that has little to no water absorption qualities - you don't want water in your compressor. With the usual heat the water should be no problem anyway. Next was a pressure test to make sure the thing actually still works, so we added some plumping in the form of standard connectors to the inlet and outlet. We got well above 200PSI and abondoned the test at this stage as it was more than enough already. The air volume seemd to be well more than expected too so let'S move to the next stage. A fridge or aircon compressor always needs to have a certain amount of oil in it as it will otherwise seize and overheat quickly. But they are also designed so that the oil mixes with the refrigerant to cool all moving parts. So the biggest hurdle is to make sure the oil stays where it should stay and won't enter or get lost in the tank. Only real option for this to use something to catch the oil that is capable of releasing it into the compressor once it shuts off. Now there are several options for this so I start with the most basic: A "catch can" will get most of the oil, especially if filled with stainless steel wool or similar. Downside is that you have to find a way to get it back into the compressor. A step better is a thicker pipe filled with stainless steel wool to catch the oil. If placed upright and the outgoing pipe can be bend a bit upwards you have a good chance that most of the oil will sweep through the valves and get back down into the compressor housing. But only too often the cheap or even free compressor is better than expected and the oil won't get back into the housing as the vlaves are just too good. The last and IMHO best option is a pressurised return system. Most compressors for bigger aircons have a seperate filling port or sealed off piece of pipe. In this case you can do a simple check to see if they are usable for our purposes. Open the port of pipe and use a simple bike bump or similar to get some pressure in it. With a dedicated oil filling port you are best off but they are hard to find. The air you pump in should come out of the high pressure side - you might need a little pressure to overcome the valves. If you hear any bubbling in the housing (use a pipe on your ear or a sensitive microphone) it means you are going through the oil inside the compressor - perfect! You might not hear any bubbling but the port or pipe is still usable. Get ready with your fingers and start the compressor. The fill pipe should be sucking air in, same for the service port if there is one. A dedicated oil port should not suck but instead force some oil up if you cover the high pressure outlet. I assume all is good and no oil is splashing out of the open pipe or port. Add a small amount of oil with a syringe or similar into the port/pipe. If you see an oil mist coming out of the high side it is bad news. Clean outlet air is good. To get the oil back from the catch pipe or can we have to add a hose or pipe with a needle valve. It needs to be adjusted so that there is only a very little airflow (or oil mist) coming out. This regulated outlet is now being connect to the port/pipe with a bit of suction that we found earlier. Now every time the compressor runs the collected oil is forced back into the compressor :) Please double check the port/pipe used is not directly connected to the intake port! The last thing you want is a puddle of oil going into the cylinder and damaging it! They are designed to move gas but not liquid! If in doubt use a hardened sttel nail or similar to create a small puncture in the top of the compressor housing if there is nothing else to use. Check first if the material sound very thick, if so it might help to drill with a 5 or 6mm drill first - only about 1mm to make sure you won't enter the housing and conimate it with metal shavings! Once you have a small puncture hole of about 2mm in diameter get some 2 component metal repair glue mix and add a suitable connection for the collecting pipe/can. If you feel up to it you can of course use a blow torch and solder the connection on. Now we have the compressor working with a oil return system that also gives up very little to no oil at all in our system. You might now think you are good to go but you should at least add a decent and fine filter to the air inlet ;) The compressor noise of a bigger system can still be an issue if thicker pipes are used that allow the noise to travel out. Keep in mind they usually run in a fully closed system.... As we only need to match the noise level of the compressor itself a solid steel can like an old fire extinguisher in the 1kg rage is a good way out. Fill it with filter wool and a fine filter pad after adding some hose connectors either end. You can misuse the trigger nozzle and keep it to seal the top if you braze a connector on it. If the intake here is about 5 times larger than the pipe connection to the compressor itself the air flow going into the thing is low enough for a cheap paper air filter can or box if you have a quite dusty enviroment to work with. The real trick is to have a hose or pipe on the inside of the fire extinguisher connected to the compressor pipe connection. A garden hose is great here as is reduces the noise quite good and is dirt cheap. Make a lot of about 2mm sized holes in this pipe and close the other end of it off. Now the compressor will suck it through the small holes and the soft garden hose reduces the noise, the surrounding padding brings it down to basically nothing. The special case of clean air for airbrush.... If you read this for the sole purpose of airbrush use then this chapter is just for you, all other might want to skip it. The two things you don't want to enter your gun is oil or water. Both are a common thing in normal compressors due to lubrication and pressure difference resulting in condensation of the humidity in the intake air. Oil free compressors of good quality can cost quite a few bucks and often require ongoing replacement of membranes or piston seals. A refrigeration compressor with the above modifications already provides clean enough air for most airbrush users if a proper tank is used to store enough of the compressed air. So you might just want to add a basic oil filter or very fine paper filter close to the regulator. For very detailed work with very sensitive paints you might want to build a filter box containing of several layers of oil absorbent paper. This stuff is often used in the industry to clean up minor oil spills and bind oil very well. A PVC pipe (pressure rated please) with 5-8 layers of filter screens should last about a lifetime before the filters need changing if the diameter is in the 10-15cm range. That leaves us with the dreaded problem of condensation and water contamination. Depending on the type of paint and gun used a small amount of water vapour is usually no problem. Solvent based paints usally show their disliking by unwanted drops or run offs caused by water droplets. Of course you just go and buy a professional dehumidifier and accept the ongoing replacement costs for the cartridges... But if you are in a climated that has above 30% humidity for most of the year than you will have to remove the water one way or the other. A big enough storage tank for the air that is upright usually helps to release any condensated water prior to usage. But if you use a homemade tank you might want to avoid this problem completely and forget about water in the system altogehter. Silaca gel is the answer here, specifically the indicating variety that changes color once "full". A spaghetti glas or similar should be big enough unless you are in a very humid climate - is so just use multiple in a row. The air intake side for the compressor has to go through the silica gel to be effictive. This mean we need two holes in the lid. One with a pipe or hose going all the way to the botom - that is the air intake side. The other right on the lid - this is the air outlet side which continues to the compressor intake. With the color change in the silica gel we can estimate how much usage we have left until we have to heat it up to remove the water. If this color change happens quite fast from the bottom to the top, let's say within three days or less than you really need to use more jars with silica gel in a row or a longer one - like using a long and clear acrylic pipe instead. Of course you can always just cut holes and "viewing glasses" along the length to a PVC pipe.... No matter how wet your climate is you want to get at least 100 hours of compressor run time before you need to recharge the silica gel. This brings us to the recharging.... Once the color changes and you only have about one quarter left to the top you want to get the water out of the gel and re-use it. To do this you simply heat it up in your oven to around 120-150°C - the supplier should state the max temp for this. If you use a gas oven or one with limited accuracy here it is best to stay within the 120° range. You need to stir and mix the gel or use something big enough like an oven tray. But be aware that these little balls are like glass! The roll and bounce like no tomorrow! IMHO it best to use an old cooking pot that has no plastic handles for this and not to overfill it. This allows for easy mixing without making a mess that might cause a bad trpping hazard on your kitchen floor tiles! Once the gel is back to original colr it is time to let it cool of to a safe temperature and to fill it back into our canister or pipe. Tanks and shut off systems.... We have a refrigeration compressor working for us, and since it was for R22 we can use much higher pressures as a simple compressor from the hardware store. The low pressure side is used to 70PSI or around 5Bar of pressure in normal working conditions. The high side often works at pressure in the range of 200-300PSI or 14-20Bar! The tank we used is a big propane tank that was restamped at some stage in his life for the use of LPG - so it was tested to quite high pressures. The lower pressure limit is what keeps the stored gas liquid at the given temperature. For Propane at an imaginary 30°C this would around 155PSI or 10Bar. The stamped test pressure, although outdated, showed 600PSI or around 40Bar of pressure with no problems - and the thing was thick in the walls... The old shut off switch from an old air compressor was adjustable after removing the safety cap with a bit of force and the help of few cold beer. With a little tank attached we adjusted it to turn the compressor off at 250PSI or around 17Bar of pressure. If your tank is old or has no test pressure stamped on do your own test in a safe location. Make sure the area is secured so there is no chance of debris from a brusting tank can go anywhere - this includes to chain down the tank itself ;) Use the aircon compressor to fill it up to 300PSI or 20Bar of pressure - this should be tolerated with ease by any propane or LPG tank. Shut the valves and let it rest for a day or so. It is best to do this in the early morning so the heat from the day will slightly increase the pressure. At the end you still want to have a working tank and no major pressure losses. All of our mods on this tank were done without actually harming the tank. This was possible as the original valve had a release port for filling purposes - as it standard on most refillable ones. Here we removed the valve and added a pressure guage instead - better to know what is happening than to assume things. As this "port" had a seperate connection to the bottom of the brass valve we added as T-connection to allow for the connection to the compressor. Just be be really sure a thin piece of copper tubing was brazed to the exit hole of this port so all incoming air will be going down and away from the outlet connection with the big shut off valve on top - which we use to actually isolate and close the tank when not it use. Last thing required was something to connect the pressure shut off switch and regulator to. That was the only major expense on this project as we had no old BBQ hose or similar to get a suitable connector to the tank. We bought a simple adapter for the use of smaller hoses and cut the unwanted bits off we there was only the bottle conntector with the nut left. After removing the rubber ring we brazed piece of copper pipe onto it. Here we drilled holes and fitted severy connectors. First for the pressure switch, then for the connection to the pressure regulator and two standard ones with a ball valve for air hose connections. One air hose connection female, the other male so a standard compressor can be connected as well or "backfilled" for additional and mobile storage use. As we wanted to avoid any reduction in the safety and burst pressure no release valve was added at the bottom on the tank. The added silica gel filter stage was used instead so no water will get into the system to begin with. Additionally, and painfully for me and me friend, the inside of the tank was coated with a layer of acrylic paint to prevent and rust as it was free from it when we checked it at the beginning. This involved filling a suitable amount of paint into it, closing the top while keeping the thread clean and then to move the tank around to cover the inside evenly. If you do this be prepared for some weird movements with your friends LOL Once we were sure all ust be covered by paint at least three times we released the exxess paint and allowed the inside to dry with the assistance of some air forced to go in with a length of pipe. This was repeated 3 times... Then another two just for the bottom third of it where there might be some moisture after all... Now you don't want to remove the brass valve with everything connected to it just to turn the tank over to releae the collected water. Instead we made sure the added pipe on the former relese port would go all the way to the bottom of the tank. If any water collection is suspected only the connection to the compressor needs an additional valve for the disconnection so the water will be force back out here. To make this easy and fast we used standard quick connectors and a piece of flexible airhose rated to 20bar of pressure for the connection to the compressor. We checked the performance of the moisture removal and oil removal only for a few hours of running time while priming some surface for later use. The compressor oil used was very smelly to say it nice but nothing coul be smelled in the first paper filter after the pressure regulator. To check for remaining moisture levels (65% humidity in the house) we used a 10m length of clear PVC tubing going through an ice bath. After 30 minutes of moderate air release there was no condensation on the inside of the tubing visible. Of course if you only need it for air supply and don't care about a bit of moisture and oil you can keep it simple ;) Benefits of doing such a stupid thing: For starters noise and the peace of mind that you can do a lot of airbrushing until the compressor needs to kick in again. Then of course the benefit of an almost silent system compared to a standard compressor - something you can actually tolerate while doing art. But the real deal is knowing YOU did it and you did it for cheap. Warnings and some advise... I know, it should be at the very beginning but I just hope you read till the end ;) If the compressor fails from overheating you are up for a new one. This means the tan size should be within the limits of what the compressor can handle - same for what you actually use on air. You want an empty tank to be filled before the compressor feels hot to touch - quite warm is fine but if you can't leave your hand on it then it is too hot. Same story for the usage. There is no point in using a tiny 10 liter storage tank if you need that capacity every few minutes. The compressor would only have little pauses and overheat quickly. You want a good balance of usage time before the tank goes below supply pressure and running time of the compressor to get it to full pressure again. This brings us to the safety of high pressures. Where possible only copper tubing or sufficiently rate hoses should be used, the later as short as possible to avoid them acting like a whip if something goes wrong. When it comes to the safety of the tank you want to make sure to stay withing it's rated limits. All benefits of a compressor capable of producing over 500PSI otr close to 35Bar is wasted if your tank and pressure regulator can't handle it. This must not mean that you try to use a gas cylinder of unknow age and pressure rating and assume it will work! If in doubt use a lower shut off pressure and stay within the limits of normal air compressors - which is around 120PSI or 8Bar. Never, ever use a tank that is compromised by inside rust or bad corrosion on the outside! If you don't know how to braze copper tubing, pipes and connectors then check out some of the great Instructables about it! Whenever you know you won't use any compressed air for more than a few hours close all valves especially the ones going back to the compressor on the high pressure side! Some compressors really don't like a huge pressure difference constantly pushing on the reed valves. If your tank is big enough to allow for more than one hour of operation before the compressor has to top it up you might want to consider a one way valve right on the compressor outlet. This will prevent any massive pressures going onto the valves - especially helpful for modern compressors that only rely on the sealing capabilities of the clyinders or rotary system used. One thing you should always consider is a pressure relief valve rated for about 50PSI more than your tank pressure - it can be added to the pipe ;) If the shut off valve ever fails the relief valve gives you the ease of mind that it will blow before your tank does. Maintenance... If modded correctly the compressor should stay in the compressor and the compressor itself should not overheat from use. Having said that your compressor might force out a little more than your best catch system can handle. If that becomes a problem it might help to use an oil with a lower viscosity. If all fails it just means you need to top up oil once the last last paper filter is filthy or use slightly more to begin with so the intervals are longer. The silica gel, if used should be recharged before all of it is wasted - no point in adding it if you use it once full of water. If no gel is used there will be water in the storage tank. Even with the added paint and a good air filter it is possible that nasty things grow in there. Making sure the tank is emptied of any water after long uses and again before the next use is good practise. If no pressure gauge is used on the tank you must make sure the shut off valve is always working fine and within set parameters. I strongly recommend using a gauge and if not to perform a pressure check of the system every now and then to confirm all is within parameters of normal operation. A compressor constantly running means you either use far too much air or you have a leak - same story if the compressos kicks in after some of forgetting to shut it off and close the valves. If you keep the above in mind the salvaged compressor should work just fine for many years to come. Troubleshooting and alternatives.... You put everything together the right way, double checked and something is till not right? Maybe my crystal ball helps me to find something... 1. Always oil coming through the catch system. It usually means you use too much of it. A salvaged compressor, if the refrigent was removed legally from the system should still have a "correct" level of oil inside. Too much oil would mean is being pumped through the system at an excessive rate. Very thin compressor oils tend to do that in the compressor is misude like we do. Changing to standard mineral oil can help here. As a last resort you can use a pressure gauge or good judgement to allow more flow through the needle valve from the catch system back to the compressor. Too much backflow here would mean we loose system pressure to the set level of this needle valve! 2. The R22 rated compressor seems to be unable to produce enough pressure. First do a leak test using soapy water to rule out any leaks. Do a back pressure test on the ports. If you can push air through them in the reverse way with ease it means the valves are damaged making the compressor useless. You need to replace it. A regular cause with our type of usage is a constand back pressure from the storage tank to the compressor. To prevent this it might help to mount an electric solenoid between the compressor and storage tank. Such valve should be off when the pressure switch is engaged and on when the pressure switch is disengaged. This prevents the coil from overheating but requires a "normally off" type of valve. A good source at the wreckers are cars with LPG systems installed, they usually have suitable 12V valves somewhere on or near the tank and filler cap. 3. I am using several kg of silica gel but still get a lot of water in my storage tank. Going overboard in a humid climate can be a good thing here but if moisture makes it into the tank even with great amounts of silica gel there are only two causes: a) the tube or cylinder used is not long enough or not wide enough to allow the absorption of all the moisture going through. b) the flow rate is too high and the temperatures are too. For the first the solution is obvious enough. The second is related to the first for the diameter and lenght but temperatures constantly above the 30°C while operating somehow limits what the gel can do. Using a cooling coil on the intake side or simply putting the gel containers in icy water will help to a great deal here. If that is not an option than I suggest to layer the gel and to seperate it with fine paper filter screens. This will slow and even out the airflow allowing for more contact time with the gel. 4. The compressor gets very noisy after some time. If "some time" means more than 30-45 minutes you simply have it running too much and it overheats. If the noise increases too much when reaching the shut off pressure it can mean the pressure is too high for it. 5. Can I use multiple compressors from smaller units or refrigerators to get enough air volume? Of course you can but it might mean you have to lower your pressure expectations. Consider that each individual compressor would get the back pressure from all other compressors running while it's outlet valve is closed. To avoid premature failure you want to make sure the compressors are shut off at a lowver pressure. 6. I don't want to use a big tank but require a good airflow for airbrush. Two or three fridge compressors working one after the other with a small tank to keep the output pressure even can allow for about 30 minutes runtime per compressor. With three it gives one hour for the the first to cool off and should be enough for ongoing work. Downside is you need to make some sort of automatic switch to "rotate" to compressor working. Last words.... Is you find any spelling mistakes you can keep them. However, if you use them in any way to make a profit with them I kindly ask for 10% of your earning from it ;) Why did I not make an Instructable out of all this? Well the day was very hot, the beer very cold and my mobile phone at home, so I did not take any pics. To top it up the whole thing is now in a seperate box for additional noise reduction so it can be used in the same room where the guy is working. Of course he just used a nailgun for the job without any regard of access or at least easy view of the two pressure gauges. Typical if you have a great idea and the cold beer tells you to forget all about screws or hinges ROFL Only comment was: You created it and it works fine, why would need more than the pipe connections for the gel and regulator? Maybe he will reconsider when the service is due....

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