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SparkItUp

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4Instructables224,304Views76CommentsSydney, Australia
I'm a Kiwi, a maker and a Dad of four kids with a passion for good design, wood craft, technology, and laser cutters.

Achievements

10K+ Views Earned a bronze medal
Epilog Contest 8
Contest Winner First Prize in the Epilog Contest 8
Arduino Contest 2016
Contest Winner Second Prize in the Arduino Contest 2016
Toy Challenge
Contest Winner Grand Prize in the Toy Challenge
  • Slow Dance - a Fusion of Art and Magic

    Sorry, no. You may have to build your own now unfortunately. I don't have any more information about where to get one.

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  • The Ultimate Guide to Laser-cut Box Generators

    You're welcome! Glad it's still helping people. It's a bit old now so if you see anything that could be improved please let me know.

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  • DIY Android Ball Maze - an Introduction to the Android ADK

    Hey, thanks for checking it my instructable. It was not always 1:1, it depended on a lot of factors: mapping and scaling of the gyro output values into 2 dimensions, scaling into the the servo channels, the servos themselves, even the linkages and the angle at which the servos are mounted affected the tilt angles. Since it was a quick-n-dirty hack, I eyeballed most of it and tweaked the rest in software until it felt right.

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  • The Ultimate Guide to Laser-cut Box Generators

    Thanks for stopping by to say "thank you"! It's people like you that make the effort of putting this information together worth it. All the best with your lasering journeys.

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  • Hey jonafellow, thanks for your comment, I'm glad it was useful for you. Like most of the content on this site, this article was written by an Instructables user (me), not Instructables owners - they aren't monitoring comments and I can't do anything about changing demographic options as I'm just a user like you, but perhaps if you contact Instructables directly about it they might be able to change it for you.

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  • So sorry for the long delay replying. It's been a very busy year for me I've just recently moved countries, and in recent months I haven't even had much time to do my favourite pastime, laser cutting!In case you haven't worked it out yet, you need to click the green "Clone or Download" button near the top right of the page. Then click "a download Zip" on the window that pops up.Extract the contents of the zip file when it downloads, and add it to the Inkscape extensions folder. This is inside the Inkscape program folder, wherever you installed it, eg. C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\extensionsIf Inkscape is open you need to close it completely and open again, then you should find the extension in the Extensions > Laser Tools menu.Good luck!

    Sorry for the delay, I just moved countries and things are still very busy. I don't mind sharing them but don't have time just yet to get that organised. PM me to remind me in a month or two and I'll let you know when they're available.

    Sorry for the delay replying. All your settings look ok, did you work out what the issue was? If so, head on over to my GitHub page and log an issue so I can keep track of it. Thanks!

    Would LOVE to get the tabbed box maker rewritten, especially as a plugin for LightBurn. Two impediments: I don't use LightBurn yet as my controller (Leetro) isn't supported. That should be remedied in a couple of months when I plan on swapping it out for a Ruida. Second problem is that last I checked LB didn't support plugins (there's a suggestion asking for it - could be some time coming though). I can think of several tools I could build if it did have a plugin architecture. Watch this space.

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  • Hey sorry for the really late answer. I've been busy moving countries the last few months and things are only just starting to settle. Did you work out your problem? If not, PM me and I'll see if I can help.

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  • Sorry, I need a bit more information. Are you using my plans exactly or have you made some modifications? What have you tried? Can you change the code to start in "on" mode instead of "off"? It's been a long time since I've looked at the code but it is fairly well commented from memory, if you're not familiar with Arduino code, find someone who can work through it with you to help you debug it. Another thing to check is that the pushbutton is connected to the right input on the Nano, you may need to change the input you've wired to, or alter the code to match the input you've wired it to.

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  • Thanks Kiteman! I need to update it, I've found even more projects on GitHub since writing this.

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  • Probably best you ask the author, I haven't had a chance to use that utility yet. Check the reference material here:http://florianfesti.github.io/boxes/html/install.html#inkscapeOr try contacting him on Hackaday:https://hackaday.io/FlorianFesti

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  • Hey, no problem. I can see you're going through all the same thoughts that I did! I had no easy way to test the resonant frequency of the spring steel but realised that as soon as you attach something to it, it's going to change, particularly something long and dampening such as a feather. Instead I used my eyeballometer and the Encyclopaedia of Guesswork and Intuition (TM) to find the perfect piece of steel and make it just the right length :D Of course there are probably much better ways to do this, but my philosophy (drilled into me by watching too much family sitcom while growing up in the form of Tim the Toolman Taylor) was that if it's not working how you want it, you need MORE POWER!)Ultimately I don't think it's worth putting too much time into, but you might find some benefit. Ag…

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    Hey, no problem. I can see you're going through all the same thoughts that I did! I had no easy way to test the resonant frequency of the spring steel but realised that as soon as you attach something to it, it's going to change, particularly something long and dampening such as a feather. Instead I used my eyeballometer and the Encyclopaedia of Guesswork and Intuition (TM) to find the perfect piece of steel and make it just the right length :D Of course there are probably much better ways to do this, but my philosophy (drilled into me by watching too much family sitcom while growing up in the form of Tim the Toolman Taylor) was that if it's not working how you want it, you need MORE POWER!)Ultimately I don't think it's worth putting too much time into, but you might find some benefit. Again, let me know!

    There are some other people selling the PCB still, as there are now a few copies (and some blatant uncredited rip-offs) of Cubic Print's PCB and kit. I've sent you a PM as well, check that.

    Excellent question. I actually started out with an H-bridge for exactly that reason, but switched to a MOSFET and ultimately ended up using CubicPrint's design. From memory this is how the story went:I thought I could do push-pull, and I also thought I could control the amplitude of the oscillation by controlling the power output through the bridge. Unfortunately (with my limited understanding of such things) I hit a bit of a road block. The amplitude thing was no good: the H-bridge started overheating, and I couldn't work out why. A friend of mine who is smarter than I am (not hard) was interested in the project, took a look and explained that when transistors sit between closed and fully saturated, they more or less act like a resistor, dissipating the difference between the input v…

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    Excellent question. I actually started out with an H-bridge for exactly that reason, but switched to a MOSFET and ultimately ended up using CubicPrint's design. From memory this is how the story went:I thought I could do push-pull, and I also thought I could control the amplitude of the oscillation by controlling the power output through the bridge. Unfortunately (with my limited understanding of such things) I hit a bit of a road block. The amplitude thing was no good: the H-bridge started overheating, and I couldn't work out why. A friend of mine who is smarter than I am (not hard) was interested in the project, took a look and explained that when transistors sit between closed and fully saturated, they more or less act like a resistor, dissipating the difference between the input voltage and the output voltage: hence all the heat. He also said that most h-bridges (or at least the one I was using) were not as efficient as a MOSFET, and I'd probably need to put a heat sink on it, even if switching fully on/off on each cycle. He, of course, was right. It still got pretty warm. The MOSFET on the other hand barely blinks with that much current going through it. It quickly and easily saturates spending very little time in that middle ground, so there's little heat to dissipate at the current being used.For the same reason, it's best to just use a square waveform: less natural, but you'll generate less heat by flipping between fully off and fully on. Feel free to test these things, however, that's the best way to learn! :)I hope that answers your question, let me know how you go.

    Hey, sorry I only just saw this, that's amazing! Well done! I love the butterflies, that must look really impressive. If you can post a video I'd love to see it, but I know how hard it is to get a good video of it. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Must have just been a temporary outage, seems to be ok now, but thanks for the feedback!

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  • Thanks, yes I've considered that. It's a little difficult to do nicely due to the plugin dialog design but I'll consider it for a future update.

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  • Hey, thanks for reaching out. Which plugin are you referring to, my Inkscape plugin or one of the others? Yes, it should just be enough to add the files to the extensions directory and restart Inkscape. If you still have trouble, PM me with which extension you're trying, which directories you've tried and which OS and Inkscape version you're using.

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  • Hi, sorry for the delay, I haven't logged in for a while. No, only one power supply is used. The Arduino Nano can take up to about 12V when supplied to the Vin pin, you don't need to feed it with 5V. The circuit from CubicPrint takes care of feeding power to the Nano, you only need a single 12V input. I hope that helps.

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  • Yeah, you got me there... I'm only using 1000uF but have a 2A supply on my board, but the Time Frame calls for 4700uF iirc. That should be ample for smoothing and a smaller supply should be sufficient

    Sorry for the delay replying and thanks for your comments. JohnC430 is correct. The duty on both coil and LEDs is less than 20%, and the instantaneous current draw is smoothed by the large capacitor on the TimeFrame board, so typical current draw is well under an amp, but I recommend 1.5A for safe measure.

    Glad you enjoyed it, well done on yours, it looks really effective with the white background!

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  • Just added Joinery - looks extremely useful!

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  • Had aquick look but haven't really used it yet (long day, time for bed...), but I had to write and say this looks simply awesome, I think I'm going to have some fun with it!I'm going to add a link in my Instructable, which I hope will become a master reference of (free) laser cutter design tools:https://www.instructables.com/The-Ultimate-Guide...If there are other free tools that you are aware of that might be useful to share, I'd love to hear about them.

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  • Me too! Thanks, I'd never considered doing this before.

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  • Fascinating concept, I hope you guys take this further. If you're after realism, you probably want to make the stethoscope as realistic and lightweight as possible. While it's hard to tell without actually hefting it, it looks a little heavy/clunky (yeah, prototype, I know). Some suggestions: - The stethoscope tubing transmits sound remarkably well (it has to, right?) so you could just use a single ear bud speaker connected (and probably sealed so it's airtight) to the bottom of the tubing. Keep the standard stetho earpieces. - The 3D printed casing for the whole kit is an interesting design and looks well thought out, however I'd be concerned that it would detract somewhat from the experience - because an authentic experience is what you're after primarily. Could you use a standard o…

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    Fascinating concept, I hope you guys take this further. If you're after realism, you probably want to make the stethoscope as realistic and lightweight as possible. While it's hard to tell without actually hefting it, it looks a little heavy/clunky (yeah, prototype, I know). Some suggestions: - The stethoscope tubing transmits sound remarkably well (it has to, right?) so you could just use a single ear bud speaker connected (and probably sealed so it's airtight) to the bottom of the tubing. Keep the standard stetho earpieces. - The 3D printed casing for the whole kit is an interesting design and looks well thought out, however I'd be concerned that it would detract somewhat from the experience - because an authentic experience is what you're after primarily. Could you use a standard or slightly modified stethoscope end piece (diaphragm/cup I don't know what it's called, sorry) with a small reader on each side, then wire these readers (with the headphone wire) up the stethoscope and then down into a case that the user can keep in their pocket? Then you'll have more or less an actual stethoscope and the bulk of the hardware is out of the way in the pocket (I'd also add a clip for the women trainees who often don't have pockets) - If you did have two readers, you could then differentiate between the use of one side or the other, and encourage situation-appropriate use.Again, I think this is a great idea and I think education in areas like this is in for a lot of change in coming years - you guys are on the leading edge, keep it up.

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  • Hey everyone, I've just uploaded a new video above showing the frame's full capabilities. Apologies for the flickering, it was unavoidable...

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  • That is absolutely BRILLIANT! Thanks for sharing, that definitely gets a place in my instructable :)

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  • I started off using an H-bridge for push/pull oscillation like you but found that it was far more complicated and in the end the effect wasn't too different than just using a push via PWM to the MOSFET, and letting it spring back.There are two ways of achieving it with an H-bridge:- The easy (and I think wrong) way: use a voltage divider to feed one side of the H-bridge with Vcc/2, then PWM the other input alternately between Vcc and Gnd. When I tried this my H-bridge overheated but I'm not entirely sure why, probably it had to dissipate too much power during the idle part of the cycle.- the second method I think would work but I think the Arduino timer code might get complicated and you'll have to get your hands dirty and learn all about Arduino timers: You need to set up two output pins…

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    I started off using an H-bridge for push/pull oscillation like you but found that it was far more complicated and in the end the effect wasn't too different than just using a push via PWM to the MOSFET, and letting it spring back.There are two ways of achieving it with an H-bridge:- The easy (and I think wrong) way: use a voltage divider to feed one side of the H-bridge with Vcc/2, then PWM the other input alternately between Vcc and Gnd. When I tried this my H-bridge overheated but I'm not entirely sure why, probably it had to dissipate too much power during the idle part of the cycle.- the second method I think would work but I think the Arduino timer code might get complicated and you'll have to get your hands dirty and learn all about Arduino timers: You need to set up two output pins to PWM alternately between Vcc and Gnd but still in phase, so output 1 is high while output 2 is low and vice versa. Two considerations, first you probably want to drive the magnet under its rated voltage, as you won't need all that power and your magnet will likely overheat. Second, you might still be able to control the duty if you use two timers in sync instead of one, but then I think you'll lose your delay( ) function - Nanos have 3 timers: one is used for delay, millis, etc and you need one for your LEDs leaving you only one timer free. If you adjust the frequency of the first timer then those functions will behave unexpectedly.I may be wrong about some (or all) of this, but I did spend a lot of time reading up on it and came to the conclusion that it was all too hard when CubicPrint's code was just easy, the MOSFETs dissipate virtually no heat and (most importantly) it still looks great.Good luck with whatever you decide!

    Wow, sold out of all your kits! I hope you don't mind that I've been sending people your way from my Instructable :) It's proof of how popular this concept is, and thanks again for making it available!

    There is no reason it wouldn't work. Just be sure to eliminate as much ambient light as possible.

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  • You are welcome!I actually bought a few of those myself for a prototype and found two things: the 2.5kg one wasn't quite strong enough, and it tended to overheat quite quickly. The 5kg version was better but still got fairly warm after some time. If you limit the magnet duty in the code to, say 10% and don't keep it running for too long it should be ok.One more thing about these electromagnet coils, they are designed to hold a steel plate, so the N and S poles are both on the same side. One pole is in the middle, the other is on the outside ring. I'm not sure if this is helps the effect or hinders it.Good luck!

    i really don't know sorry. What I do know is that the magnetic field is greatly enhanced by an iron or steel core so I'm guessing you probably shouldn't remove the sliding rod in the middle but instead remove the spring and glue the steel shaft into the solenoid as far as it will go.I know you're trying to make assembly easier for yourself by not winding your own coil, but I think you're just going to have to buy a few different products and see which one works best. I don't think anything will work as well or look as good as a well made hand would coil, but it is a lot of work!Let me know how you go.

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  • Hi, thanks for your comment!As far as I know any "logic level" MOSFET should do. I'm not even convinced that the IRF range is the right one to be using, since the IRL range is logic level (switching between 2-4V iirc), and typically what you want to use for Arduino projects.I'm not an electrical engineer and only know what I've Googled, but SparkFun sell these two models specifically for Arduino switching:Datasheet (FQP30N06L)Datasheet (RFP30N06LE)(Source: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10213 )Good luck!

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    • The Ultimate Guide to Laser-cut Box Generators
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    • Slow Dance - A Fusion of Art and Magic
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      33 comments
  • Thanks very much for your compliment! Unfortunately I didn't invent it, but I agree, it's pretty stunning. I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to make one.

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  • You know, very early on I thought about making a round frame, thanks for reminding me. If I had any wood turning skills I probably would have (it's on my list of things to learn), but I've just now thought that you can probably make quite a nice one out of one of those cheap wood/bamboo bowls that you can buy from most department stores. Either chop the bottom off the bowl for a see-through frame, or leave it on to cut out more ambient light.About offsetting the strips, I don't know that it would make things brighter. It might be slightly more even light, but I'm not convinced that you'd notice any difference.Thanks for your comments, especially the "fly poop outta the pepper", had a good laugh at that :)

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  • I bought one of these and the slightly larger 5kg version for prototypes. The 5kg definitely worked better and the 2.5kg one seemed to get quite hot after a while. They don't have great heat dissipation, but they are still reasonably effective.. I considered hiding these inside the frame, but decided that it would be too hard to adjust, and also that exposing the copper coil would actually add to the effect - that's one of the things I liked about the original Slow Dance. Thanks for the videos, great to see you got yours going!

    That sounds like an interesting idea. One thought, as one of the other commenters pointed out this is vibrating at an audible frequency, and by vibrating your canvas you'll essentially be creating a great big speaker. Also you'll want a much bigger electromagnet to move something that big, or several smaller ones carefully spread across the canvas to set up a standing wave in the fabric. You can't really oscillate it much slower than 80Hz (to make it inaudible), or the effect won't be as smooth.Interesting concept, though, if you do get it working I'd love to see an Instructable!

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  • Find a hackerspace nearby and/or a local woodworking club, there will be plenty of people willing to help you learn the skills and lend you the tools. You can simplify things greatly if you get one of the TimeFrame kits. Good luck, and feel free to post back here or PM me if you have any questions!

    See comment below about the noise. It is actually *really* hard to video it without getting flicker. The video above was one I managed to capture at the hackerspace one evening soon after I completed it, and it's by far the clearest one I have. Every time I've tried since then I've got really bad flickering. I'm hoping I might win a digital SLR in one of the comps so I can adjust framerate to get a better video :)

    It's not completely silent but it is pretty quiet. There's virtually no noise at all from the coil as it's wound tight and glued at the ends. There is only a very slight hum from the spring steel oscillating, but it's certainly not enough to distract from the effect. As I think I've said in the Instructable, the screws attaching the springs to the bracket seem to have loosened ever so slightly over time which does make it more noisy, but this can and will be fixed with a bit of thread locker. Thanks for your comments!

    No problem. I was going to post links to all the items I ordered, but ran out of time (competition deadlines looming). I may still go back and do that if there's interest. Here's the LED strip I ordered: https://www.aliexpress.com/s/item/32429656371.html

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  • Thanks for the encouragement!

    Thanks! If you do, please post back here and let me know, I'd love to see pictures.

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  • Just got my Instructable published, please take a look and vote for me!https://www.instructables.com/Slow-Dance-a-Fusio...Source code is on Github: https://github.com/paulh-rnd/timeframe/blob/master...Enjoy!

    I know this is a late reply, but for anyone else with the same question, check out Step 3 of my just-published Instructable. I've created a spreadsheet for calculating your total coil length, resistance and number of layers based on wire thickness and core dimensions: https://www.instructables.com/Slow-Dance-a-Fusio...

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  • Hmm video doesn't seem to have embedded too well. I got lucky with the flickering issues I think, it turned out quite well - See it here: https://goo.gl/photos/pmpTffmZ7KAoQjMs6

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  • TimeFrame - A time portal to put on your desk.

    Made this for my wife for Christmas. I saw the original Kickstarter and decided I absolutely had to make one so started testing various parts and materials and I set up a prototype sketch on an Arduino Uno, bought some beautiful old reclaimed timber for a frame and ordered parts from China. Then I got a link to this page and saw your code - it was much cleaner than mine, so THANKS! I've used your code but my frame and coil looks more like the original Slow Dance with dual oscillating arms. I adjusted the code somewhat: changed it so it's "off" when you first power it on, added a dim and slowly pulsating LED for the power/mode button, removed "mode 3", and added a third pot to control coil duty. It was a hit with the wife and family (if you don't count the many hours…

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    Made this for my wife for Christmas. I saw the original Kickstarter and decided I absolutely had to make one so started testing various parts and materials and I set up a prototype sketch on an Arduino Uno, bought some beautiful old reclaimed timber for a frame and ordered parts from China. Then I got a link to this page and saw your code - it was much cleaner than mine, so THANKS! I've used your code but my frame and coil looks more like the original Slow Dance with dual oscillating arms. I adjusted the code somewhat: changed it so it's "off" when you first power it on, added a dim and slowly pulsating LED for the power/mode button, removed "mode 3", and added a third pot to control coil duty. It was a hit with the wife and family (if you don't count the many hours I spent away from her making the thing!). Thanks again for sharing, you saved me many more hours tuning the timer code :)

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