printer pcb

I have a couple of laser printers i no longer use is it possible to convert them to print directly onto a flat surface like a pcb and skip the whole iron transfer process that never works right?

Topic by pattyshaw 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


What's the best kind of printer to buy for electronics development?

My ageing desk jet 610C is playing up, so thinking about getting a new printer. Was thinking of getting a used colour laser so that I can do toner transfer PCBs and print schematics. I guess the other option would be to keep the DJ and get a B&W laser for bulk printing and PCBs. Any ideas if the color laser would cost much to run?

Question by rparrygbr 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Whats the best Laser Printer to buy to make pcbs ?

Whats the best Laser Printer to buy to make pcbs using the toner transfer method ? alot of people seem to use HP but dont know what model to buy, is there a certain type of toner to use are they all the same please help

Question by welder030 9 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


How to print PCB images on laser printer to scale?

I have a Samsung laser printer. Many of he PCB board designs found on he internet are only simply image files and are not associated with a specific PCB design program. My question is what free mage software is available to print an image of a PCB board to scale. Thanks for any help Bob T

Question by bobt_arizona 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


PCB toner transfer? Answered

Hey all- back with another dilemma. Whilst trying to make a PCB for the second time (first failed miserably), Im stuck on toner transfer. I printed my design out from eagle and laid it out, and Ironed it for about 2min on each side (mostly because the first time i tried i did it for about a minute and i only got about half the design on). When it cooled down i took it off and nothing got transferred. I got some residual lines from I think heat stress on the paper, but I was able to take them off. So naturally I tried again- but this time with a different method. I found some t-shirt transfer paper upstairs, and tried that. NEVER doing that again. I ended up having to sand my board down for like 5-7 min trying to get all the gunk off. Any ideas why my printer method doesnt work? Im using the same brand of photo paper as last time (Costco Kirkland brand), but a different printer- a canon instead of a brother. I have access to the brother printer, a hi quality photo printer (1200 dpi I believe), a dell laser printer, and the canon. I think I used the brother printer last time I tried (or possibly the photo printer- also a canon). Could that be the problem? Thanks in advance- Astroboy907 P.S I also have some transparency sheets if anyone has a method to get that to work.

Question by astroboy907 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Laser engraver from a printer? Answered

Hello, I was wondering if it would be possible to create a laser engraver from an old printer? I want to create it from a printer because it would be a cheap and easy project. It also gives me the advantage that I don't need to create driver electronics and programming tools for creating the cutting pattern. It would work just the normal way as a printer works: You create an image, in Paint or something really simple. You press Print, and then the cutter starts printing the pattern. I would need a contact or relay or something that closes right at the moment when the laser needs to go On and Off. (The laser I already have, that's not a problem). Is there any contact inside the printer like that? (perhaps some signal that tells the cartridges when to spray ink and when not to. The cartridges will also have to be removed, without me getting the "please replace your cartridges" message. (how can I do that?) It might be a little weird project, but if you think about it, it should be possible! The cutting process is for engraving plastics, not for really Cutting trough objects. I also know that the printer won't move backwards, only sideways and forwards, but I want to try it. Thanks in advance, Electorials

Question by DELETED_Electorials 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Latching Laser Alarm?

I'm here again guys to ask you this question, will this circuit work? More Importantly, is the LDR placed correctly? 'cauz I'm having doubts on this circuit :S  And I'm going to make a PCB for it, and I'm too lazy to test it on a bread board (too lazy to solder wires on parts with big pins, e.g. DC Jack). If this circuit will not work I'm going to switch to relay laser alarm types. Just give me the answer please. Thanks :D 

Question by Charles Mendoza 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


What is the best program to use for making PCB designs that will be printed with a laser printer ? Answered

I saw that there are a lot of PCB designing programs but i don't know which one to use for some home made PCB-s ... can anybody tell me what's the best one to use for such a project ?

Question by Vladmakesstuff 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


inkjet printer part question expectation ?

I pulled them out of a laser ink printer but what do i have as far as build a gadget wise??????WHATS A PANASONIC MASQ6MB8LA-DC24V11339RPM-18MAR94NA??????????whats a 94v-0 md-pwb 0050gc sharpwhats a sharp ne49s?what can i use them to make???????......?

Question by causffect 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Printing a circuit on clear plastic?

Hi Guys Inside most modern keyboards, you find a rubber membrane that presses a sandwich of three layers of plastic, with the upper and lower parts having circuits on them that make the contact. Is it possible to 'print' this type of circuit at home on standard laser or inkjet printers?  I could use Amanda's method with bare conductive ink, but printing would be better. Any info appreciated ;)

Topic by wizer 5 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Making printed circuit boards without laser printer? Answered

I am into electronics, but have had to use pre made PC boards. there is nothing wrong with this, but it can sometimes be inconvenient, and more difficult when the time comes to put the circuit board together. I have seen instructables on how to make custom printed circuit boards, but they all used laser printers. I do not own a laser printer, and cannot really afford to buy one. Is there a way to etch boards without a laser printer, and if so how?

Question by Higgs Boson 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


I need a 3D printer for under $300!!!

The 3D printer must be under $300 including materials, electronics, motors etc. It must also run on an arduino mega 2560 which is not included in the cost. It must print at least 30cmx30cmx30cm and a maximum of 45cmx45cmx45cm. It must be able to run on a mac!!!!! it can be made of anything but I don't have a CNC router or laser cutter. I live in australia so sadly we don't have a TechShop!!! The printer must be able to print in high quality! I am only 12 years old!!!!

Question by Harry Park 6 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


I need some PCB help

I'm trying to help a friend make a PCB for a project of his, but I've never made one myself. Using westfw's design rules in Eagle Free Edition, the board is riddled with jumpers, but there are only three with the default-width traces. I ask you, O wise Instructables community, what should I do?We were going to use the iron-on laser printer resist method, but that won't work if it is too sloppy to make thin traces. How thin can the traces be made with this method for a beginner? We also are considering using this film, in hopes that it will be a little easier to use...does anyone have experience with it?The other option that comes to mind is transferring everything to ExpressPCB instead of Eagle, in an attempt to make a bigger board that could use bigger traces.

Topic by CameronSS 9 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Transform a conventional ink-jet printer into a 8000$ laser etcher?

I believe everything is possible, with a little bit of help and that's what I need now. I can't build out those fancy CNC machine found here, since it's beyond my knowledge and skills. However, I thought about modifying a cheap ink-jet printer to make it into a DIY laser etcher this way: -Replace the ink part with a custom laser - instead of giving a current in order to flow ink, the laser will be powered. Laser requires different power level depending on the material, perhaps a potentiometer knob on the laser power supply could do it? -Remove any rolls and paper-only specification: instead, make THINGS able to go inside by simply destroying the printer, rising it up, and use the bottom paper rolls as the Y axis motorization. (The ink-jet head will be the X axis). Why would I do this? I have no idea how to programm small electronic chips, even less how to hook them up to computer or software. I, however, am able to print black and white images, and believe the black can simply be a signal to "laser on". I strongly believe this is possible. Since I can't, as stated above, mess with microcontrollers, I suggest adding potentiometers to the motors and laser and calibrate it myself, and adding physical marks (e.g: sharpie marks) to mark my settings. My question is: Do you think it is? What else could be required? Did I miss some obvious point that would render the previous idea totally worthless, and is this point solvable? Please comment :)

Question by matroska 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Craters on home made PCB tracks ??? How to avoid ??? Answered

Hi ... I would like to ask how do you do your own PCB - so that you have nice/solid tracks ??? I did mine by using laser printer - iron - Ferric Chloride (FeCI3). When I've finished the board ... I've took it under 30x magnifying loupe and saw a lot of craters in those copper tracks - which sometimes lead to NO CONNECTION between the copper. Or I made this = I saw a track that did transfer signal (I've checked it for continuity) but it seems to be very thin. So I've decided to put solder over it to make it solid.  But to my surprise ... as soon as I put solder over the "weak spot" ... the connection get lost. I had to make a "bridge" by using a small wire. Could you explain me, why this happened and how to make the track NICE and SOLID ??? Thank you in advance. Zholy

Question by zholy 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Is there a ceramic extruding head for a 3D printer application?

I have followed the evolution of the 3D printer and I can see its potential as a real tool for home use. Ceramic krafts have been a fairly easy home size cottage kraft for centuries. Now If you had a small kiln and you were able to model Items from house wares to mechanical parts to ceramic molds (ie Cookie or decrotive bread pans or a Ceramic motor block to an Air Motor). I thought if you Cure/ dry it (ceramic paste) as it was extruded on to the model with focused lasers (ready for deburing and then a bisque firing) as in using lasers for curing/ hardening of a polymer mediums. The variety of Ceramic Mediums/ materials that could be used to fuel a boon to the unemployed as a way to make money. Maybe printing out one use molds, to form cores to Graphite products that could be washed out after and have the mold material reused. If there was away for me to follow through with the possibilities. Extruding those oven cured clays, that could stretch its usefullness. I am trying to figure out a way to get out from under the pile and recycle as much as possible and use as many American made parts and electronics as I can. Graphite fiber empreganted ceramic material, is there such a product out there that could be utilized in 3D printed parts? Is there a Market for Products made of these types of materials? So many questions, so many possibilities.

Question by bigfoot03242 7 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


TechShop Menlo Park Open House -- Saturday May 31, 2008 10 AM to 5 PM

Jim Newton at TechShop wants to let you and the other people in the SF bay area maker community know that they're having an Open House at TechShop Menlo Park on Saturday, May 31st from 10 AM to 5 PM, and everyone is invited.NEW TOOLS AND EQUIPMENTYou'll be able to check out all the tools, machines and workspace and see how TechShop can help you build all those projects you've always wanted to make. They have a bunch of new tools, including the brand-new 45-watt Epilog Helix laser cutter with 18 x 24 bed and a rotary attachment for etching bottles and cylindrical objects (now they have two of these Epilog Helix 45 Laser Cutters), 4 brand new computers packed full of 2D and 3D design software including SolidWorks (CAD), a plastics vacuum forming station, and a super easy-to-use computer-controlled ShopBot CNC router that can cut out and carve any piece of plywood or solid wood or plastic up to 4 x 8 feet!BRING YOUR PROJECTSPlease feel free to bring your projects to the Open House to show off...completed or not. It will be fun for everyone to see what you're been working on.THE DETAILS o TechShop Open House, Saturday, May 31, 2008, 10 AM to 5 PM o TechShop, 120 Independence Dr, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (Near Marsh Road and 101) o Guided Tours Will Be Given Throughout the Day o BBQ and Pot Luck -- Please Bring Your Favorite Main Dish, Side Dish or Dessert o Tell Your Family and Friends, and Bring Them With You o Kids Are Welcome Too! o Lots of Parking, All Free o No Need to RSVP...Just Come On By!Event details are available on the TechShop Events Page TechShop Events Page.SECURE YOUR TECHSHOP MEMBERSHIP SLOT WHILE YOU STILL CANTechShop 1-month, 6-month, and 1-Year memberships are available. May 31st -- the day of the TechShop Open House -- is the very last day to take advantage of our special membership pricing...membership prices will go up on June 1st. With over 160 memberships sold in just the last 3 weeks, we are quickly approaching our membership cap of 500 members. Buy your membership online right now or at the Open House...save money, and make sure you reserve your membership slot and don't end up on the waiting list!We all look forward to seeing you at the Open House on May 31st! TechShop120 Independence DrMenlo Park, CA 94025(800) 640-1975[mailto:info@techshop.ws info@techshop.ws]http://www.techshop.ws/

Topic by TechShopJim 10 years ago


The Best of Instructables Book Has Been Sent To The Printer

The Best of Instructables Book has been finalized and sent to the printer. We're cutting it awfully close, but it looks like we'll still be able to release it at the Austin Maker Faire, even if the copies will be arriving directly from the printer on the first day! Getting it out in time seems to have nearly killed Gareth. I read all of the final proofs yesterday morning, and The Best of Instructables is excellent. It reminded me of my first electronics book, Build Your Own Laser, Phaser, Ion Ray Gun & Other Working Space-Age Projects, which completely captivated me on my first read. The high-voltage projects especially appealed to me -- "I could make and control high-voltage sparks?! Cool!" I count this book among one of the first things that convinced me to become an engineer. The Best of Instructables has that same flavor, and because there is so much more available on the website, it is that much better. I know this book will inspire a lot of people to build, bake, and create some incredible projects, and I can't wait to see what they are.See the latest news about The Best of Instructables Volume 1 here.

Topic by ewilhelm 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Where to go If I want to implement one of the step-by-step Instructables in Germany - Augsburg ? Answered

Dear All, I will be in Germany for like 4-6 months within the next 3 weeks. I don't know anything there so I wanted to ask: 1) Will be the tools expensive there? (like bread boards, PCBs, Multimeter, etc) 2) Is it something handy if I have a design (like Bed design in one of the Instructables) to go somewhere and get it done? like carpenter or CNC or something? 3) Where should I go if I wanted to buy some circuits or electronics parts or get some metal or steel to be cut into certain design? I hope the questions are clear! I just want to do some instructables while being there. But suddenly I remembered that I don't know where to go there to do or buy these stuff! so I thought there must be someone who knows it all in this large helpful community for sure :D Thanks in advance ^_^

Question by tdk4 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


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 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


New type of 3d printing

This is a sample of a new style of 3d laser printer. or Stereolithography. I  have not seem a similar setup like the one im proposing (please let me know if it already exist) I have a good understanding of mechanics, but I'm clueless on computer programing and electronics. What I propose would be a rotating laser device that would create SLA model from 3d printing design. The main benefit that i would hope this design offers is a quiet smooth operation. Would Ideally work with high rpm ( Similar to conventional cd/dvd burners operation, except the laser rotates instead of the cd). Ideally this setup would allow for fast production of multiple prints in a single process. If anybody has a computer/electrical background who would be interested in working on this type of desgin , please let me know. Here are some pictures of how the setup would work

Topic by james123cb 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


how can I find schematics for used microchips?

I've got a number of old TV's, printers, and computers etc. I've used the diodes, capacitors, transistors, and wires for my attempts to learn and experiment w/ electronics... now I have a good number of PCB boards with chips and timers, and a fair number of other things that I'd love to play around with; How can I learn the schematics for these chips n' things? ... and is there a place that shows me the "code" for reading the color stripes on the resisters? I'd love any info that people can give me.

Question by zomfibame 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


How to control Stepper Motor with Integrated Controller, with Arduino

I salvaged a few big stepper motors from a large Laser printer. Unfortunately they all have integrated controller boards. I would like to control them with an arduino. I am aware that an option is to remove the PCB then use a regular contoller. I would prefer to use the integrated board. The boards have the following inputs: 24V GND P/S LD CLK +5 GND The high and low voltage and ground are obvious. CLK is the clock speed (which I half understand). LD is Load?? P/S is pulse?? The board has an SLA6024 with a nice heatsink. (perhaps that helps. I am after a wiring diagram and arduino sketch to control the motor for a CNC machine. Your help is appreciated. Attached are a few images.

Topic by craigevert 7 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Make it Real Free 3D Printing Giveaway - EXTENDED!

DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND, THE 50 PRINT GIVEAWAY IS BEING RENEWED THROUGH JUNE 4TH! Instructables is giving away FREE 3D prints to the first 50 projects to enter the Make It Real Challenge this week that get featured on the site! Simply enter your project into the contest, and if it gets featured, you get a FREE 3D Print. The Make It Real Challenge is open to any project that was at least partially designed using a computer: it could be a preliminary digital sketch, a sticker, an electronics schematic, laser-cutter files, a 3D design, or even an inkjet printer template - anything digital!  And the prizes are insane - we're giving away a $50k Objet 3D printer, 11 UP! personal 3D printers, and even more free 3D prints.  To win your FREE 3D print, just enter your project into the Make It Real Challenge this week and meet our featuring criteria!  Everyone who does will win a 3" x 3" x 3" 3D print of anything they choose, a 3D printed Instructables robot, or 5 pieces of their choice from the Free Universal Construction Kit.

Topic by randofo 6 years ago


how to desing a case (box) virtualy ? Answered

Hello everybody. (Dr. Nick accent) I'm currently doing some electronics projects (atx PSU, clocks, getting my brother into electronics, ...), and i reach the inevitable step of where to put them. I want to put them into nice cases (boxes), tried to find some already made and adapt them to my needs but TOO EXPENSIVE!!!! so i thought, if my PCBs for my projects are DIY why cant my cases be DIY too? I tried to make case projects manually but there was allways some thing not right (most of times i forgot the thickness of the materials D'OH), so i tryed Google SketchUp, and now i caught up 123D by Autodesk, both not very through investigated. I'm trying to get a piece of software that let me do my plans (3D if possible), and if let me deconstruct the project into some printable layouts  to guide me cutting some wood derivate or plexiglass (no acess to a laser cutter). What do you think i should use, one of the already mentioned or a new 1? thank you in advance instructables community (for all the english communicators i must apologize for the grammer)

Question by TiG00b 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


your opinions on HEENA ©

Hello, My name is Arylic and i am electronics engineer and a mechanical specialist. For the past couple of months (14 months exactly) i have been in development of one of my greatest creations called HEENA © which is a home artificial computer being. It was designed and made by me and two of my best friends assisted by a sponsor who supplied us with free materials. Well you may be wondering what the hell is a HEENA ? . Well you see i saw some movies where there is a computer which runs the house and stuff that could talk and accepts owners commands with out any input device. Which could also run a couple of electronic devices and so but currently i am lacking of ideas to enable the computer to do. Here is a couple of things it could do and also its features. - No input device required - Output devices which follows : Printer, projector, laser light show, Visual display, etc - Accepts voice input from owner or chosen candidates - Controls on and off of lights in the house ( currently my room only) by voice commands and motion detection - kitchen appliances operation using voice commands - laser alarm system which also sends a text message to the owners cellphone if not at home. - 2 huge cpus - lcd display in all bedrooms and sitting rooms (currently in my room only because of high cost) - Small widgets which include: - digital calender - eye toy games - Heencam chat with another HEENA owner - clock - automatic reminders - Auto chatbot And many other features Now i need your ideas to improve my HEENA ©

Topic by arylic 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Is there a DIY Arduino or Raspberry Pi Coordinate Measuring Machine published in "Instructables"? Answered

I wish to build a coordinate machine using x-y-z movements controlled by a microprocessor that can measure a scale model by touch of a probe or by reflection of a microwave.  The base machine would handle an envelope of 8" x 8" x 8" and use one or a combination of the best of the CNC laser cutters, 3D printers, etc.  Whether the microwave non-contact, crash avoidance, technology is sensitive enough would be interesting.  A couple of contact probe articles have been published and are the basis of commercial "Coordinate Measuring Machines" (CMM) and would be interesting if they are sensitive enough as a DIY project.  The end result would be to write a file with the x-y-z coordinates of say a model car, and knowing the scale of the model, one could multiply the data by the scale factor and have "Full Scale" coordinates of the cars' surface for building a kit car body.  A 1939 version of this project is on display at the CORD/AUBURN  Museum in Auburn, Indiana.  A 1939 Cord in 1:10 scale is shown as a clay model with half of the car finished.  The coordinate machine's purpose was to measure the right hand side completed in clay and produce a finished 1:10 scale model by finishing the left hand side symmetrically from data obtained from the opposite side. While interesting, it is a manual machine.  I am seeking an electronic, programmable, DIY version.

Question by chestef 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


LED Car Badge/Emblem/Shield

Hi there, Firstly, I am a mechanical engineering student with a limited knowledge of circuits and electronics, so therefore I may be a little out of my depth. However I am very keen to learn about electronic circuits and have completed other simpler projects and that is why I am attempting this project. So onto my dilemma, I want to use my universities Shield of Arms to make a car badge for the single-seater racecar we are building as a project. However this badge won't just be a run-of-the-mill plastic car badge. I want it to be made from stainless steel (laser cut) and acrylic with the idea that I will solder a bunch of LEDs in series and when the ignition is turned on, the LEDs light up one at time until they are all lit, after which they all flash three times together and then remain lit up until the ignition is turned off. The LEDs I intend on using are 0603 SMD LEDs and the aim of this whole design is that it is reasonably thin (No more than 1/4 " or 6.35mm thick for the PCB however ideally I would like it to be as thin as is physically possible. The dimensions of the badge will be very similar to a Porsche badge (51mm by 69mm). I have included the Shield of Arms in question and also the Porsche emblem for comparison. Also price is an issue since as I am a student, I have limited resources, so if someone could point me to some cheap electronics parts shops etc it would be greatly appreciated. (I live in the United Kingdom so a lot of American shops will be unavailable to me) I don't really know how to read schematics but I do have friends working on this project who do,  however if anyone can guide me in the right direction with maybe a couple of how-to's (particularly the requirements for the lighting up process) and some really good pointers, it will be very much appreciated. If I have not made myself clear I do apologise and I will be happy to explain further should you need to. Thank you all in advance. I hope to hear from you soon. H

Topic by hmacdonald1 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


my summer as AIR at instructables

My time as an Artist in Residence at Instructables went something like this:  I arrived in San Francisco and arrived at the Instructables office. I was (to be honest, though now I'm so embarrassed by this assumption) expecting cubicles. Instead, there was energy, vibrancy, and TONS OF COOL PROJECTS!!I There were electronics scattered about (which is, like, enough to lure me in for life :).  I  met Noah and a few others. After discussing some contract stuff, he told me to come by for some pizza and ice cream in the afternoon. Sounds pretty cool... So, I went to Tech shop, I was blown away by the amound ot 3d printers, laser cutters and other amazing fabrication tools all under one roof, all waiting for me to use :)  Then ... free pizza and ice cream, and a bunch of new people... sounds fun. I arrived at 4:30 and it wasn't  quite a party, just yet. it was a talk. And an extremely interesting one, with a big portion of the Autodesk community present. So I really started to get a sense of who was in the community, and where does Instructables fit in. Then, I got to see .. DRY ICE ICE CREAM!!! So cool. Actually  enough to entice me to order dry ice for a near future party! Anyway, I somewhat rapidly began to feel right at home. I ordered some parts for some projects and I began working straightaway. I started working on small electronics projects and other experiments related to water and boat robots.  The next day (Thursday) I got a call at 10 PM in the evening… It was Noah. I was working at Tech shop at the time (I tried to work at Instructables office in the morning then head to T.S. in the afternoon to do some bigger scale construction work in the woodshop.  Well, the Redbull challenge had been announced ("games") and they had begun brainstorming how to make… yes, remote control electric wheelchairs, that were controlled by a user who had a blindfold on, and would be listening through a wireless radio to commands from the person in the wheelchair with no control over themselves. Anyway, I headed straight over to Instructables, and the 72 hours began… The next morning, I head over with Randy to pick up our will-call items from Jameco, including arduinos, wireless arduino shields, xbees etc etc. Then we headed to Noah's shop in Emeryville… and the hacking began. An unfortunate thing was that I had to go to teach Arduino at Tech Shop Sunday evening, which is when the actual fun of riding the wheelchair occurred. Anyway, it was a super cool weekend of collaboration and intense work. Oh, and by the way, see here how to make your own: PSYCHO SCOOTER scramble, here.  The rest of the summer continued on, the biggest accomplishment for me was getting Sneel_003 built and tested in the water. A really cool next step would be to get some 123d catch of underwater objects, trying it out at the aquarium, then do some 3d printing of cool underwater stuff. I did various other projects involving wireless communication, using Arduino for various electronics projects, programming joysticks and remote controllers, etc. A really neat thing is that every day at 2 pm there is "show and tell" which is just a quick "go around the table and say briefly what you've done in the past day". So I really got to get a feel for the way that things were working, who was operating on what, what was happening in the office and out of the office. So I felt immediately a part of the family, in a sense. Instructables is a super cool place: the facilities were amazing, the people were vibrant and knowledgable and motivated and fun, and the experience was super. The facilities I used most were: laser cutter, vacuum forming machine, woodshop, tons of electronics, 3d printer… Everyone I met from Instructables and AutuDesk as a whole was super helpful and great to talk to. It is really a great community. Before I left, I gave a presentation of my work during my time at Instructables. Here are the slides:

Topic by gabriellalevine 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


First Day Interning at Instructables

Today is my third day as an intern at the downtown SF Instructables office. I thought I'd recount Day 1 as a day-in-the-life! It starts off with: "Don't come in before 10am" from Eric, and a mention from Noah (my more direct boss): "We recommend that folks bring their computers, a contractor trash bag, a good pair of running shoes, a banana and hard hat on their first day - that way, they are prepared for whatever challenges may await them at Instructables." So I walked out to the office, found the robot-painted door wedged between the liquor store and the Mexican restaurant, and walked up the stairs. It's one big room- open tables everywhere covered in stuff of all sorts: duct tape, paper towels, electronics, crocheted Pac-Man, a giant styrofoam face, an electric toaster. Everyone is at their workstations- one folding a 3D paper alphabet, another fiddling with a breadboard. The devs coding on one side of the room while walking on treadmills at the computer and DJ'ing the room. Anyway, I walked in and looked around, and was greeted with a tentative "Hello?" from someone at a desk*. I clarified that it was my first day of work, and that cleared things up. Bilal, the artist-in-residence, gave me a shoulder tap, and I was welcomed by Eric and Noah. *Apparently random strangers occasionally wander up the stairs. We now have a laser cut "days since a random stranger walked up the stairs" counter for the office. Noah showed me around, introducing me to the editors' corner, the marketing team, showing me the rooms along the back wall: "Office, sewing/electronics lab, office, store room, office, prize room, woodshop/laser cut room, 3D printer. Probably ask someone before you use the 3D printer. Test kitchen, game corner." And that was it. Back at his place in the editor's corner, he nodded. A brief pause, and then I asked, "Is there anything in particular I'm supposed to do?" Noah laughed. "Good question! Since you're just here for the summer, you'll be doing a lot of making stuff. You can use any of the supplies, or if you need to buy anything, let me know." There are a few other things I get to do, too. I can feature Instructables, and am encouraged to do outreach to people who aren't on Instructables but ought to be. But right now, most people in the office are working hard on entries for the Make it Real contest. So I got to work. You can check out my page for the fun things I've begun to make here at the office. A few other key points of the first day experience: -2pm check-in: everyone in the office meets around the lunch table to say what they've been doing that day. -Membership at TechShop- lots of fun toys for making things! -Picking up things from the MakerFaire -Getting project cards Since then, I've gotten some fabric and done some sewing for a project I haven't posted yet and worked with CNC paper cutting, 3D printing, taught myself Google SketchUp and Silhouette, and have begun to list all the things I'd like to work on this summer All right, that's enough writing. Time to make!

Topic by SelkeyMoonbeam 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


masynmachien's time as an AIR

I had the honour and pleasure of spending the month of July 2013 as an Artist in Residence at Instructables HQ. An unforgettable experience! I feel like I cannot even begin to describe it, so forgive me for keeping it simple. The most tangible amazing thing is the unbelievable workshop, a true makers heaven! I mainly worked on the laser cutters and the 3D printers myself, but these are just a part of the new workshop set up at Pier 9. There’s also the experimental kitchen, the sowing corner, the electronics lab, the high-end CNC machines, a complete wood shop and a full blown metal shop. More importantly however was working among the people behind Instructables. To experience up close how they work very hard to make Instructables not only the biggest and best Show-and-Tell buy also the best “maker medium” ever. Having just moved to the new facilities at Pier 9, there was a lot of extra work to get the workshop accessible and operational, but they moved mountains to get us Artists in Residence onto the machines and making things. Working alongside three other Artists in Residence was also unique chance. Usually, when I’m surrounded by makers, most of them aren’t older than 12. But even as each of us had his inner kid very much alive, having some serious making going on around you is very inspiring (as some of my Instructables will show). I also very much appreciate how my daughter Tika was warmly received when see joined me at Instructables HQ. One month was far too short to spend with the people at Instructables HQ.  I was constantly torn between on the one hand getting to know the people better and on the other hand leaving them continue there hard work and trying to make as much things as possible myself. And to make it even harder there were the lures of the magnificent city of San Francisco and of the Bay Area. My conclusion is clear: I want to come back! But then, being a month away from home is not easy either. Tika joined me during the second half of my stay, which was great, but I missed my wife and youngest daughter. Back home in Belgium I’m first taking some rest, spending time with family and friends, working on some due home improvements and preparing some kids workshops. Writing up the Instructables on the projects I did will take some time. They will be published over the coming months. After all, I have about 15 new projects to document. The thread through my AIR was a laser cut (advent) calendar. A series of toy/gift assembly kits designed to be laser cut out of one acrylic sheet and to be wrapped into a cardboard package opening separately on each kit. The only parts added to the laser cut parts are some elastic bands, screws and nuts. The idea is to have a calendar that is easily made in several copies, with designs accommodating for thickness variations in the acrylic sheet and a concept of cutting and wrapping it all with little handwork. I managed to design, cut and test 13 different toys/gifts. I consider it the first chapter of a full advent calendar. I will make an Instructable on each of the 13 and put them in a collection, together with an Instructable on the calendar concept. The eye catcher of my stay was an iPhone/iPad (or Android) controlled RC Blimp with video feedback. For this I used the plug-and-play Dension WIRC system. This system leading to rather heavy build (200g) comparted to my other blimp projects, I decided upon using a large spherical balloon. From this (and from watching Doctor Who) sprung the idea to make it into a large eye. I named it ‘In the blimp of an eye”. The project that was the most of a learning experience was designing and 3D printing nested dolls. Deviating from the classic Russian dolls, I learned how to design these in 123D Design, how to calculate sizes and experienced the possibilities and limitations of different 3D printing techniques. I hope you will enjoy reading the resulting Instructables, just as I enjoyed doing these projects at Instructables HQ. I want to thank once more the people at Instructables and Autodesk for this wonderful opportunity. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Yvon Masyn aka masynmachien

Topic by masynmachien 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


My Month at Instructables as an Artist in Residence

It's easy to see Instructables as a single entity who's persona is summed up in one yellow robot. During the month of November I had the good fortune to spend a month as an Artist in Residence at Instructables HQ and had the opportunity to look behind the yellow curtain and learn more about the people who craft the website and the work that they do. During my stay I met artists and technicians, crafters and programmers, and I was allowed to peek into their world and see the inner cogs whirling away. Oh yeah, I was also let loose with a million dollars worth of 3D printers and laser cutters with no more direction than to have fun and make stuff! Day to day life at the office was not what I expected. Before arriving I had envisioned a, well, a madhouse. I figured that there would be 10 ft cardboard robots beeping away in one corner, office supply archery in the other, and paper airplanes gliding over the top of it all. When inside though I didn't find a room of chaos, but a room of people quietly working. I soon found out that between community management, site development, contests and other site duties there is a massive amount of work that goes into making the Instructables DIY hub function. It wasn't all business though, there was certainly time for liquid nitrogen ice cream, communal lunch hours, and pizza Thursday! I am very much a robot / tech person, so one of the highlights of my visit was getting to talk shop with randofo and amandaghassaei, Instructables technology editors. They had the coolest gadgets, and both fit the role of tinkers perfectly. Randofo had a huge bin of motors, gearboxes and other electrical delights that he patiently let me riffle through, and Amanda's work area was mass of dismantled keyboards, wire and test equipment. They practiced a type of electronics where novelty is the main function, and it was amazingly fun to see their projects come together. And yes, of course, the 3D printers were a blast. I really was allowed to dive in and try anything I wanted with the Objet machines so I took every spare moment working with them. I spent a fair amount of time running test prints of the different materials and testing their physical and mechanical strength, (aka breaking them). Once I had a feel for the UV cure pseudo plastic, I had just enough time to print everything I wanted plus some. I should also mention that this same building had two of the fastest laser cutters I've seen, and all the plastic and cardboard I could possibly need for my scale of projects. I can't possibly relate how liberating it felt to be able to think of an idea, draw up the CAD, and have a working prototype in less than an hour. The Instructables office is found on a busy street of San Fransisco, above a deli and a bar that plays full Talking Heads albums. This was my first time in California and I loved every minute of it. There was this creative energy all about and it seemed that there was some kind of art plastered anywhere it could fit. I felt like I was on an expedition, seeing for the first time things that I had only read about; I saw subway performers, photographers, and a silver painted robot guy. I ate at a Kwik Way and bought guitar string from the store that the Mythbusters bought their trumpets from. Not only that, but there are celebrities in California and I'm almost positive that Elton John rode the same bus as me every day. I could be wrong, but he had these huge glasses and the hair cut and everything. (I've never seen a celebrity before.) I visited California for a month but it felt like it flew by in minutes. After giving a small presentation over a Thai lunch and a short goodbye, I left San Fransisco and Instructables with a greater awareness and appreciation of the creative community and the talents of its members. Visiting the office and meeting the Instructables crew was an unforgettable experience and I hope to visit again someday. I would highly recommend the AIR program to any one in the position to participate, I had the time of my life.

Topic by Tomdf 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


looking around for tutorials

I am suggesting tutorials on the following. All passive components and prefereably vacuum tubes can be used to build the following circuits.   Analog computers that are programmable and hopefully intellegent. with these you should process many signals at the same time. and instead of displaying results on an oscillscope, make a monitor and a gui.   I have a theory for a power supply. I think it works im not technically able to build the entire circuit yet. It's all passive. its a passive AM radio that sends a 60 hz sine wave. then on the other end you have many many antennas attatched to a passive receiver circuit. because each antenna will induce an electric field from the air, you should be able to get lots more power out of the circuit than you put in. and because its antennas, its compact and light weight.   And if you can figure it out, you can build plasma rockets too. I need some more information on how plasmas travel through an electric field.   but you know if you want to, you can build cars, boats planes, houses, cookware, sensors, surveilance, recording studios, 3d printers etcetera in passive electronics and post tutorials on it.   I am getting somewhat close to growing carbon based electronic components on a tree. I have some(a few) molecules in mind and I am starting to research and make progress on sequencing DNA.   If you want this information it is simply yours. but I need analog flight simulators, spaceflight simulators, weather simulators that use chemistry and math to predict the weather, ocean simulators that simulate all of the bathymetry of the ocean to predict surf and erosion.   aircraft designers. I have a motor that i am designing like the following. It only uses permanent magnets at the moment and it works similar to an alternator. If you can figure it out, you can build it too.   I have an alternate way to make bearings by using cylindrical magnets(the kind with the hole in the middle) and one is attracting and one is repelling. this should be able to make it so that the magnets levitate and spin freely.   Again if you want this information it is yours. YOu can also make analog computers compatable with software that exists today like linux. it is possible. it just takes some time and some thought.   ANyhow anything you want make it wireless make it programmable and make it and post tutorials on it.   I want EVERYTHING to be wireless from the computers to the recording studios to the rockets.   ANyhow thanks and have fun and stuff and it might be fun and it would help everyone and would help your compnay to produce these tutorial but you know wireless guitars, wireless amps, wireless record players wireless cnc machines, wireless laser cutters wireless induction cooktops etcetera. you can even make a record player that instead of using that metal thing to vibrate, you can use like sonar. You know this is just some cool stuff to consider developing. The radio based power supply will work, it just needs some fine tuning and same with the motor, but yeah have fun and be easy with this stuff itll take a while. but you know if you build rockets, spin the rockets to create a strong electric field, but you know i could use tutorials on how plasmas move and accellerate through an electric field etcetera. and for god sake, build EVERYTHING!  

Topic by tyandisi 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Ch. 1 In which SHIFT! comes to Instructables and is very excited to begin

Hey Instructabrarians, So here I am.  Headquarters of Instructables.  In 82cd Second St, San Francisco.   AND IT'S FREAKING AWESOME! Seriously, I still can't believe I get to come here every day!  While the outside may appear small, the entire facility is huge.  Immediately upon entering the building you are greeted by a long  ascending brick encased stairwell, which gives a very good impression of a classic London bookstore, which lead up to about a 15 foot high rise above the SF Streets.  Then, at the top of the stairs the whole building unfolds to reveal the entire HQ of Instructables, a place where you can instantly tell there's always something new going on.  It's quite filled with different projects, and various workshops that decorate the interim of the facility.  Exactly like an oversized engineering student's dorm room might look.   This place is amazing!  As soon as you enter you can immediately tell this is a place where DIY and homebrew are the norm.  Each room is actually organized like the Category section on their site- they've got a Kitchen for Food and Cooking, an awesome Workshop (complete with Laser Cutting Printer), Electronics and homebuilt ardruino Robot table, shelves filled with Arts and Crafts.   As a huge fan of the site I couldn't help but point out how many classic 'ibles I recognized.  Another awesome fact about instructables. While most companies would provide the usual simple shed or bike rack to employees, Instructables is smarter and more creative.  They hang their bikes on the wall. WOW.  I can say I never would've thought of that. Even their bathrooms are awesome- they decorated one of their doors with a Portal Cake sign! Honestly that alone is worth several points on the TV Tropes "So Cool It's Awesome" factor.    And I haven't even come CLOSE to describing the rest of the facility!   However, most important to me, is that the people are so friendly.  I was really worried about my first day job, but everyone was extremely nice and welcoming to me and I can't wait to begin work!   But the truly best part is that they're not just awesome Instructabrarian Employers, they themselves are also huge fans of the site and have their own personal instructables.  Tuesday is show and tell day where everyone presents something new they're working on and I can't wait to see it!  They're also completely understanding and are even giving me some time to work on my DIY PIXAR booth for the Maker Faire!   Thanks!  Anyway, today is Wednesday so not a ton of people are in today.  Luckily I got a chance to talk with Instructables gurus such as Sarah, Christy and Eric Wilhelm (yes, THE Eric Wilhelm!).  Right now a NBC new crew, or is it CBS?, is filming a special report on Fenix on their latest project- a portable power generator for the Middle East!  Overall, this is such an amazing introduction for me.  I'm still totally geeking out about all of this and I hope this dream doesn't end soon! -ME PS I'm sorry if I forgot to mention anyone.  Also, 3-DMO (my N3DS) pictures will be uploaded on my flickr site soon.

Topic by SHIFT! 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


List of Upcoming Contests (updated 1/8/19)

Hello everyone! Below is a partial list of the 2019 contest calendar. Keep in mind that this list is subject to change and contests will continue to be added throughout the year. The contests below are already in planning, and I've left off ones that we're still trying to decide on. The months indicate when the contests will be launching. All contests will launch near the beginning of each month. Keep in mind that the list below is not set in stone. All contests and dates are subject to change!FebruarySweet Treats ChallengeThis is a quick challenge for all recipes sugary and sweet.Organization ContestShow us your tips, tricks, and tools for keeping your workspace, home or calendar organized!Build a Tool ContestUse your tools to build more tools!Paper ContestBack again by popular demand! All paper, all the time! There is a judges' prize for paper machines.Remix ContestThis contest is your chance to take an existing Instructable and use it as inspiration for something new.MarchWeaving ChallengeOh, what tangled webs we weave...Tape ChallengeAnything that uses tape is eligible to enter.Trash to Treasure ContestAnother contest back by popular demand! Take your old junk and turn it into a keepsake. Pie ChallengeWho doesn't like fresh-baked pie?Pocket-Sized ContestThis project is open to any contest that can fit into a pocket. The general rule is that if you need to describe the pocket your project can fit into, it is too big.AprilJewelry ChallengeDesign and make your own custom jewelry for you chance to win.Fat ChallengeThis is your chance to cook recipes with fats. You get no extra points for any weight you gain.Leather ChallengeIf you couldn't guess, the Leather Challenge is open to all things leather-working.Arduino ContestMake something with an Arduino and really wow us to win some awesome prizes.Woodworking ContestThe Woodworking Contest is once again back by poplar demand!Gardening ContestApril showers bring May flowers. Get out in the dirt and get planting.MayColors of the Rainbow ContestWe had so much fun with this contest last year, we decided to run it again. There will be special judges' prizes for each color of the spectrum.Fandom ContestShow us how you are a super fan of a video game, TV show, movie, book, music group, or (really) anything else!IoT ChallengeThe IoT (Internet of Things) contest is open to all electronics projects that network with other devices and make new friends. Party ChallengeYou gotta fight for your right to.... Paaaar-ty... Challenge!CNC ChallengeHere is a quick challenge to show us what you can do with your CNC machine. This includes mills, lathes, 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters and any other computer controlled manufacturing machine. *All contests and dates are subject to change. Please leave suggestions for prizes here. You can also leave suggestions about contests here. Have a contest question? Check the Contest FAQ!

Topic by randofo 6 years ago  |  last reply 4 days ago


Amazing Visit in Pier 9 (2015 Summer)

Dear Community,        !!Spoiler Alert!!         Last summer, my family took a vacation to the California America!! My parents only planned 2 day in SF!! It is such an vibrant city! i wish i had stayed longer! In our brief stay we did went to ILM's lobby and Pier 9 under my strong request!! A super friendly Community manager helped us to sign up between our DM.          We began in the lobby, a gentleman Jacob was our guide! He took us through a round of self introduction, the tour size was 9. And i was the only instructable member! After learning about the exhibit in the lobby and what role does pier 9 serve for Autodesk's development, we headed to the little showroom next to the kitchen. I saw projects i read about in real life! The feeling was incredible. My father was picked to try out the cocktail mixer from Manhattan project. We also learn from example hoe artist's work give feedback to software design and the cycle goes on and on, resulting in better iteration every time.        We then are instruct to wear lab goggles since it is time to see the CNC milling room. Luckily, there were only 2 machine in used. We got open up and see the inside of the machines with its extensive variety of drill head. We also get to hear from those who are currently using  the machines! Pass this door, is the wood and metal work room. Behold the Killer view(see attached pics). All members of the tour asked interesting questions. I was wondering if the metal chips and bit can be recycled in house, turn out they don't. We didn't spent much time there, since there is nobody working there. But hey, who would mind so decent carpenter metal-smith experience, making game related armor and weapons.       I was taking picture with my Canon DSLR. At this moment, the battery flated out despite being fully charged the night before. I continued with my Phone Camera. Which turns out that my Camera was shorted and formatted the sd card. Luckily recovered some pics later.        Up stairs we went, to the 3D print farm!! There is also the laser cutter. It is the busiest room in the pier. People on computers, setting up the printers, washing the water soluble support away. I am so overwhelm by the fillament, powder, even paper based printer which eat A4 and pumps 3d models out!! A massive amount of 3d print works are on a shelf. There are multicoolor print, a sabertooth skull, Human ears. A continuous track that i was told that it was printed that way without any assemble, which was made possible by the water soluble support! It was also one of my favorite room as a 3d artist. How i could quickly prototype parts and toys!      Afterwards, it is the skywalk of over the top of the milling room. there is this fun over head track with handles. I certainly took a spin!! haha that is what i mean by tech meets fun!!      Across the skywalk, we saw the Arduino and electronics room next to the internship area, where host XYZen-Garden and mini clear King Kong!! Many more!! The sewing room with so sewing machine mounted to the wall! With every equipment and machine i see, i can see myself using it to create interesting PROJECTS!! My brain was constantly bouncing into storming mode!! Unlocking new possibility of creation! New present idea i can surprise my Girlfriend with!!      The tour ends with the restaurant grade kitchen! Which was brief, since we were running out of time. We asked so many quality questions along the tour and time is almost up. It was the most interesting workshop i have ever been to!! As a scientist-artist hybrid, I really wanna work there some how!! To put my ideas to the test!      Enough about my visit, there are so many things i didnt wrote about though. Have you been there? Any fun ideas about HQ? Please tell me!! draft and  Craft, Mchau2 Who am I? I am joined instructables at March 2013, I published my first instructable about a year later!! It was a paper ironman that i built without peps. Being picked as featured the first time was my honor. I am from HK, apart from Digital art, I focus on prop making and D.I.Y. Toys. I tried my best every time. Until next time, Happy instructabling.

Topic by mchau2 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Funny Labels

These are hilarious!!! There all REAL funny product lables that people have found. Here's the link to where I got them: http://www.rinkworks.com/said/warnings.shtml Product Warnings: • "Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet." -- In the information booklet. • "Caution: The contents of this bottle should not be fed to fish." -- On a bottle of shampoo for dogs. • "For external use only!" -- On a curling iron. • "Warning: This product can burn eyes." -- On a curling iron. • "Do not use in shower." -- On a hair dryer. • "Do not use while sleeping." -- On a hair dryer. • "Do not use while sleeping or unconscious." -- On a hand-held massaging device. • "Do not place this product into any electronic equipment." -- On the case of a chocolate CD in a gift basket. • "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking." -- On a toilet at a public sports facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. • "Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover." -- On a pair of shin guards made for bicyclists. • "This product not intended for use as a dental drill." -- On an electric rotary tool. • "Caution: Do not spray in eyes." -- On a container of underarm deodorant. • "Do not drive with sunshield in place." -- On a cardboard sunshield that keeps the sun off the dashboard. • "Caution: This is not a safety protective device." -- On a plastic toy helmet used as a container for popcorn. • "Do not use near fire, flame, or sparks." -- On an "Aim-n-Flame" fireplace lighter. • "Battery may explore or leak." -- On a battery. See a scanned image. • "Do not eat toner." -- On a toner cartridge for a laser printer. • "Not intended for highway use." -- On a 13-inch wheel on a wheelbarrow. • "This product is not to be used in bathrooms." -- On a Holmes bathroom heater. • "May irritate eyes." -- On a can of self-defense pepper spray. • "Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth." -- On a novelty rock garden set called "Popcorn Rock." • "Caution! Contents hot!" -- On a Domino's Pizza box. • "Caution: Hot beverages are hot!" -- On a coffee cup. • "Caution: Shoots rubber bands." -- On a product called "Rubber Band Shooter." • "Warning: May contain small parts." -- On a frisbee. • "Do not use orally." -- On a toilet bowl cleaning brush. • "Please keep out of children." -- On a butcher knife. • "Not suitable for children aged 36 months or less." -- On a birthday card for a 1 year old. • "Do not recharge, put in backwards, or use." -- On a battery. • "Warning: Do not use on eyes." -- In the manual for a heated seat cushion. • "Do not look into laser with remaining eye." -- On a laser pointer. • "Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven. • "For use on animals only." -- On an electric cattle prod. • "For use by trained personnel only." -- On a can of air freshener. • "Keep out of reach of children and teenagers." -- On a can of air freshener. • "Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you." -- On a motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror. • "Warning: Riders of personal watercraft may suffer injury due to the forceful injection of water into body cavities either by falling into the water or while mounting the craft." -- In the manual for a jetski. • "Warning: Do not climb inside this bag and zip it up. Doing so will cause injury and death." -- A label inside a protective bag (for fragile objects), which measures 15cm by 15cm by 12cm. • "Do not use as ear plugs." -- On a package of silly putty. • "Please store in the cold section of the refrigerator." -- On a bag of fresh grapes in Australia. • "Warning: knives are sharp!" -- On the packaging of a sharpening stone. • "Not for weight control." -- On a pack of Breath Savers. • "Twist top off with hands. Throw top away. Do not put top in mouth." -- On the label of a bottled drink. • "Theft of this container is a crime." -- On a milk crate. • "Do not use intimately." -- On a tube of deodorant. • "Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice." -- On a box of rat poison. • "Fragile. Do not drop." -- Posted on a Boeing 757. • "Cannot be made non-poisonous." -- On the back of a can of de-icing windshield fluid. • "Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage." -- On a portable stroller. • "Excessive dust may be irritating to shin and eyes." -- On a tube of agarose powder, used to make gels. • "Look before driving." -- On the dash board of a mail truck. • "Do not iron clothes on body." -- On packaging for a Rowenta iron. • "Do not drive car or operate machinery." -- On Boot's children's cough medicine. • "For indoor or outdoor use only." -- On a string of Christmas lights. • "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." -- On a child sized Superman costume. • "This door is alarmed from 7:00pm - 7:00am." -- On a hospital's outside access door. • "Beware! To touch these wires is instant death. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted." -- On a sign at a railroad station. • "Warning: do not use if you have prostate problems." -- On a box of Midol PMS relief tablets. • "Product will be hot after heating." -- On a supermarket dessert box. • "Do not turn upside down." -- On the bottom of a supermarket dessert box. • "Do not light in face. Do not expose to flame." -- On a lighter. • "Choking hazard: This toy is a small ball." -- On the label for a cheap rubber ball toy. • "Not for human consumption." -- On a package of dice. • "May be harmful if swallowed." -- On a shipment of hammers. • "Using Ingenio cookware to destroy your old pots may void your warranty." -- A printed message that appears in a television advertisement when the presenter demonstrates how strong the cookware is by using it to beat up and destroy a regular frying pan. • "Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand." -- In the manual for a Swedish chainsaw. • "Do not dangle the mouse by its cable or throw the mouse at co-workers." -- From a manual for an SGI computer. • "Warning: May contain nuts." -- On a package of peanuts. • "Do not eat." -- On a slip of paper in a stereo box, referring to the styrofoam packing. • "Do not eat if seal is missing." -- On said seal. • "Remove occupants from the stroller before folding it." • "Access hole only -- not intended for use in lifting box." -- On the sides of a shipping carton, just above cut-out openings which one would assume were handholds. • "Warning: May cause drowsiness." -- On a bottle of Nytol, a brand of sleeping pills. • "Warning: Misuse may cause injury or death." -- Stamped on the metal barrel of a .22 calibre rifle. • "Do not use orally after using rectally." -- In the instructions for an electric thermometer. • "Turn off motor before using this product." -- On the packaging for a chain saw file, used to sharpen the cutting teeth on the chain. • "Not to be used as a personal flotation device." -- On a 6x10 inch inflatable picture frame. • "Do not put in mouth." -- On a box of bottle rockets. • "Remove plastic before eating." -- On the wrapper of a Fruit Roll-Up snack. • "Not dishwasher safe." -- On a remote control for a TV. • "For lifting purposes only." -- On the box for a car jack. • "Do not put lit candles on phone." -- On the instructions for a cordless phone. • "Warning! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants." -- On the packaging for a wristwatch. • "Do not wear for sumo wrestling." -- From a set of washing instructions. See a scanned image. ________________________________________ Assurances: • "Safe for use around pets." -- On a box of Arm & Hammer Cat Litter. ________________________________________ Small Print From Commercials: • "Do not use house paint on face." -- In a Visa commercial that depicts an expecting couple looking for paint at a hardware store. • "Do not drive cars in ocean." -- In a car commercial which shows a car in the ocean. • "Always drive on roads. Not on people." -- From a car commercial which shows a vehicle "body-surfing" at a concert. • "For a limited time only." -- From a Rally's commercial that described how their burgers were fresh. ________________________________________ Signs and Notices: • "No stopping or standing." -- A sign at bus stops everywhere. • "Do not sit under coconut trees." -- A sign on a coconut palm in a West Palm Beach park circa 1950. • "These rows reserved for parents with children." -- A sign in a church. • "All cups leaving this store, rather full or empty, must be paid for." -- A sign in a Cumberland Farms in Hillsboro, New Hampshire. • "Malfunction: Too less water." -- A notice left on a coffee machine. • "Prescriptions cannot be filled by phone." -- On a form in a clinic. • "You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside." -- On a bag of Fritos. • "Fits one head." -- On a hotel-provided shower cap box. • "Payment is due by the due date." -- On a credit card statement. • "No small children." -- On a laundromat triple washer. • "Warning: Ramp Ends In Stairs." -- A sign, correctly describing the end of a concrete ramp intended for handicap access to a bridge. ________________________________________ Safety Procedures: • "Take care: new non-slip surface." -- On a sign in front of a newly renovated ramp that led to the entrance of a building. • "In case of flood, proceed uphill. In case of flash flood, proceed uphill quickly." -- One of the emergency safety procedures at a summer camp. ________________________________________ Ingredients: • "Ingredients: Artificially bleached flour, sugar, vegetable fat, yeast, salt, gluten, soya flour, emulsifier 472 (E) & 481, flour treatment agents, enzymes, water. May contain: fruit." -- The ingredients list on a package of fruit buns. • "100% pure yarn." -- On a sweater. • "Some materials may irritate sensitive skin. Please look at the materials if you believe this may be the case. Materials: Covering: 100% Unknown. Stuffing: 100% Unknown." -- On a pillow. • "Cleans and refreshes without soap or water. Contains: Water, fragrance & soap." -- On the packet for a moist towelette. See a scanned image. ________________________________________ Instructions: • "Remove the plastic wrapper." -- The first instruction on a bag of microwave popcorn; to see the instructions, one first has to remove the plastic wrapper and unfold the pouch. • "Take one capsule by mouth three times daily until gone." -- On a box of pills. • "Open packet. Eat contents." -- Instructions on a packet of airline peanuts. • "Remove wrapper, open mouth, insert muffin, eat." -- Instructions on the packaging for a muffin at a 7-11. • "Use like regular soap." -- On a bar of Dial soap. • "Instructions: usage known." -- Instructions on a can of black pepper. • "Serving suggestion: Defrost." -- On a Swann frozen dinner. • "Simply pour the biscuits into a bowl and allow the cat to eat when it wants." -- On a bag of cat biscuits. • "In order to get out of car, open door, get out, lock doors, and then close doors." -- In a car manual. • "Please include the proper portion of your bill." -- On the envelope for an auto insurance bill. • "The appliance is switched on by setting the on/off switch to the 'on' position." -- Instructions for an espresso kettle. • "For heat-retaining corrugated cardboard technology to function properly, close lid." -- On a Domino's sandwich box. ________________________________________ Requirements: • "Optional modem required." -- On a computer software package.

Topic by LoneWolf 8 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


China's first Maker Faire !

April 6th was a long night that would be followed by an even longer day. Hours stretched like taffy as the Airplane pulled me across time zones. I was on my way to the Shenzhen Maker Faire which was being put on by Eric Pan, the founder of one of the largest open sourced businesses I know. Eric is a visionary, and his vision to inspire more makers in China connecting them with a global maker movement through the concepts of openness, sharing, and innovation inspires me and hundreds others to come to Shenzhen to share in the first Maker Faire in China! Hours ago I was at Instructables cooking my Last Breakfast for the office and gaving my Last Hugs. Qarly, my new friend, had helped my stay up all night organizing my tickets and suitcase. She went with me to the Payless shoe store on her bike as I walked barefoot. Yes, I started my journey shoeless. I had traded in my Vibrams at REI for a large backpack so I could cram as many arduinos and 3D printers into it as possible before leaving to go spread the good words. Here are the good words as I see them right now: "It Can Be Done." Yes, with a solid mission, a relentless attitude and accepting being shoeless (or jobless, or hungry, or ...) it's possible to accomplish the things you dream. Boom, back in that tin can flying over the Pacific. My schedule starts with a trip to Hong Kong to meet up with instructable's member Prank. Alex Hornstein and I had recently completed an adventure in 3D printing called the Pocket Factory in which we traveled across America seeking the business models behind low cost 3D manufacturing. He is now back in east Asia being the revolutionary philosopher engineer he is. I land at 8pm and head out into the city of the future. Hong Kong is a city of millions, beautifully lit tall buildings, zippy public transportation, and the largest pay inequality in the world. Looking out the window I keep wondering if this is the rich part, or the poor. Then I was there. I made it to IFC - a gigantic mall in the heart of Hong Kong. The metro stop inside it is called "Hong Kong Station". Yep, shopping is big here. We hung out on the roof of IFC talking projects. Without giving too much away too soon let's just say Alex is on his way to revolutionize the micro solar industry. We took the familiar ferry route home and I spent the night organizing and updating the social world since I knew in a few hours I'd be in China... and in China, no one can hear you tweet. Before I knew it I had to be off! It was 6:20am (HK time) and the ferry leaves at 6:40, I had a long day ahead of me and I haven't slept yet. Holy crap! I ran and got right back on that ferry from Lama to the mainland. Passing all the tall buildings once again and rushed onto the MTR. As we sped along the Hong Kong landscape of tall towers slowly turned into green rolling hills and the people on the train spoke less and less english. I crossed the border into Shenzhen and it was there I met Ani, the Monk. What a beautiful lady! We had a great conversation involving LOTS of smiling, drawing and almost no words. She was from Hong Kong and we were now friends. We traded bracelets and now I have one more reason to learn Mandarin! I finally made it all the way to Xi Xiang, the metro stop which was walking distance to the Maker Faire! I was getting pretty excited, I had lugged all this stuff across the world, and finally I was going to meet the makers of China! After a long and potholed walk I finally made it to the gate where a nice young Chinese lady helped me carry my stuff, we walked down a long outdoor hallways at F518 the "First Experiential Sharing Space in China" which was filled with sculptures and art. Billboards around me advertised hip hop dance classes and robots peeped from the windows. I knew I was in the right place. Right near the entrence of the Maker Faire was a strange robot. It was the size of a small house and it served books. They have robot libraries in Shenzhen. Wow! The more I learn about this place the cooler it seems! The faire is a large three story space with a media space on the first floor where people can buy "chinese make" a magazine called Radio that has been teaching people how to make stuff since 1955. The publishers of this magazine are also the ones who do the translation for Makezine! The second floor is filled with long tables of makers, a huge hall filled with running robots, dancing droids, DIY laser 3D scanners, touchless IR interfaces, octocopter (no, not tacocopter) and all the awesome stuff you'd expect to see in San Francisco, except this is Shenzhen. There are makers everywhere! Upstairs there are people making clay figurines, another instructables user - Star - runs a workshop around Canidu (yes, you can do!), her company which makes an electronics learning tool. This movement is obviously global and the Shenzhen Maker Faire has pulled makers not only from all over China, but all over the world. Eric Pan, the founder of Seeed Studio employs 70 people through an open source project and through this faire has inspired hundreds. At the after party, you can really tell how proud Eric was to have brought amazing makers like Mitch Altman and David Li from the Shanghai hackerspace together. Eric has a new project in the works right now. He's soon to be a father! I can only imagine how proud he will be when baby Eric Pan picks up his first blinky LED kit. Now that's some serious making! +Bilal Ghalib PS. Eric in the last picture is not dead, only extremely exhausted!

Topic by lamedust 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Field report: Mads Hobye as an Artist-in-residence at Instructables

Mads Hobye was granted an artist-in-residence at Instructables for September 2012. Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share projects they do, and how to do it. Because of the creative nature of the website, Instructables also have lab facilities for their own co-workers and for artist-in-residences. During September, Mads had the honor to use their lab to build and document multiple prototypes to be shared on their website. I choose to put my focus on building interactive noise machines, since this ties into my PhD and my interest in creating non-trivial internal complexity. I have been working long into the night most days and it has been really interesting to have the chance to focus on one thing at the time. Although the primary purpose of the stay was to explore the potentials of designing interactive sound machines, a couple of other side outcomes were also planned. First, to see how Instructables organized their creative workspace and get inspiration for organizing the upcoming Connectivity Lab at Medea. Second, to see if Instructables would be a suitable platform for documenting the creative practices at Medea. Take aways from Instructables as a creative workspace Although Instructables primarily is a company running a website, they have quite extensive lab facilities. This consisted of a small lab at the office (sewing, electronics and woodwork) and two blocks down they had a whole space filled with laser cutters and 3D printers. This is located right beside the Techshop, which is a full-fledged lab for everything from metal to 3D printing. I have picked up the following things that struck me as really good ways of structuring lab work: Documentation table: A documentation table with lamps, camera and a white sheet of paper as background enables people to quickly document their projects with a nice white background. It was interesting to see how this improved the overall quality of the documentation. Suddenly a breadboard and some wires became a piece of art or a pedagogical platform for show and tell instead of an unfinished project. Show-and-tell meetings: Twice a week they meet at two o'clock to do a show and tell. Here they take a round and everyone says what they are working on in one or two sentences. This is a really easy way to get everyone updated and it takes no time at all. If you are not present you can email out one sentence telling everyone what you are doing. Once a week it is about the specific day and once a week it is about the coming week. Have everything in the same lab: The separation between the labs has confirmed to me the importance of having everything in the same space. It takes time to walk two blocks to lasercut which limits the creative process of iterating between e.g. lasercutting and soldering. Instructables as a workspace was one of the most easy going creative loving workspaces I have ever had the chance to be a part of. Although I never got to know the formal rules, you had a clear sense that people had the freedom to prioritise their own work day and combine it with creative side projects (as long as they documented them of course). Instructables as a knowledge sharing platform for the Medea Connectivity lab Instructables works well for sharing individual recipes for others to use, but what came as a surprise to me was the ability to create groups as individually branded websites. This enables a group of people to collect their recipes under a common theme or brand. We will use this as a common platform to share the knowledge created in the Medea Connectivity Lab. This way people can get an overview of the projects done in the lab. This will become a mandatory part of using the lab in the sense that students and co-workers will be encouraged to document their projects and publish them in the group. So far my experience with posting instructables has been quite interesting and overwhelming. Where projects normally ends as interesting portfolio documentation, the detailed documentation of the build process enables others to recreate your designs or their own versions of them. So far this has resulted in multiple people making their own version. One example is the Arduino implementation of the touche shield (https://www.instructables.com/id/Touche-for-Arduino-Advanced-touch-sensing/). This was published in May 2012. As of now, I know of ten people who have recreated the design and just as many has made suggestions for improvement. Another project has been rewritten by an enthusiast in Dubai. It now runs faster and uses less memory. You can find the preliminary group for Medea connectivity lab here. Non-trivial-internal Complexity as facilitator for curiosity = making noise machines As a part of being an artist-in-residence at Instructables, I took it upon myself to build of couple of noise machines / music boxes. My interest was in designing objects that would enable people to explore the world of sound synthesis and for me to get a better understanding of how the different interfaces enables different interactions and sound qualities. This is a part of an ongoing investigation on creating interactions for curiosity. It has been an intense experience. Trying to build as many interfaces as possible within one month. I have tried to make all of them stand-out as finished, while still being hackable pieces. Everything I have done is published on Instructables for others to experiment with. All of the projects consist of a few basic components: An interface and sometimes a screen or a led matrix. The basic sound component is either a Gameduino or a software synth written for the Arduino platform. You can find an overview of the results here and I will introduce them in this article as well. Although arduinos are good for simple action <-> reaction interactivity, there are a limited amount of examples that work with more complex interactions. Here I mean beyond game design’s way of working with narratives, but more in the sense of adding personality to your projects. Personality not as much in the way of looks (e.g. putting an Arduino into a teddy bear), but more in the way of complex interactions that makes you curious about its devices potential possibilities. My interest as an artist-in-residence at Instructables were to design different machines that would spark the user’s curiosity. Here, simply put, curiosity lies between the extremes of chaos and predictability. Where chaos becomes uninteresting (from an interaction design point of view) because of its uncontrollable nature and order becomes so predictable that the interaction itself slides into the background of the end-product of the interaction itself. One such example is the light switch. As an adult you usually do not notice your interaction with it. The core question then became how to make people who are interacting with it drawn by their own curiosity of not being able to decode the interaction pattern, all at the same time having a sense that their actions are the main contributor to the sounds. Most of these machines would have been simpler to make as software programs on a computer or even as multitouch applications on a smartphone, but I wanted to have an aesthetic criteria as a frame for my experiments: I wanted to create simple tangible interfaces that would inspire curiosity. The objects themselves should welcome the user to try out and explore their interfaces. Last, I wanted each experiment to be self-contained. Instead of them becoming interfaces for a laptop, they should be the ones who created the music. The end results are still crude and mostly serves as interaction enclosures with future potentials, although they do hint at different interesting interaction qualities. You can find an overview of the boxes here. The singing plant plays with a classic trick of sparking people’s curiosity by adding unconventional interaction qualities to a familiar object. The Kaosduino serves as a platform to explore the complexity of touch on x-y surfaces. The Matrix machine serves as a platform to explore the potential of emergent sound patterns converted from particle systems. The algorithmic noise machine serves as platform to explore the boundaries between chaos and order through complex bit shifting algorithms. Better ways to debug the internals of the Arduino board As a side project, I decided to improve on the debugging capabilities of the Arduino platform. This was in line with working with internal complexity which can be hard to comprehend as the code grows. The program enables you to visualize realtime data on the Arduino board. You are usually stuck with the standard serial output. As the complexity of your Arduino code grows, this makes it impossible to comprehend what is actually going on inside the board. To solve this I have created a little library that will enable you to create your own custom GUI for your Arduino projects. Watch this video to get a demonstration of a basic hello world with a potmeter and a diode: The following are a few key features of the tool: Custom design your interface from the Arduino board: You define which sliders, graphs and buttons you need for your interface. You do this in your Arduino sketch which means that the GUI program acts as a slave to the sketch. All information is stored in your board. Visualize and manipulate realtime data: Whether you are making an RGB light controller or a robot arm, getting a graphical feedback is crucial to understand what is going on inside the board. This enables you to understand whether it is your hardware or the code that is causing problem. Further, the sliders and buttons enable you to tweak the individual parameters in realtime. This way you can see what effect different thresholds have on the interaction. Use the same app for all your Arduino projects: I have made tons of small apps for different projects. My problem is always to find them again a year later. Because we save everything in the Arduino, I only need to keep one app around the Arduino and it will automatically configure the app for the current project. Prototype the interface before you turn on the soldering iron: Because you can design the GUI as you like it (within reasonable limits), you can prototype the interface before you have made a physical interface. This also enables you to divide the tasks between multiple people, e.g. one person is working on the hardware and another person is working on the code. When you have made the physical interface the Guino will integrate seamlessly. You can find the instructables for the Guino interface here. About the author Mads Hobye (b. 1980) is a PhD student in interaction design at Medea Collaborative Media Initiative, Malmö University, Sweden, and co-founder of the Illutron collaborative interactive art studio. He focuses on how digital material can be used for exploring social transformative play situated in the context of everyday life. He has done several large-scale installations and working prototypes, which he is using as a basis for his PhD research. More information is available on Hobye’s work at www.hobye.dk.

Topic by madshobye 6 years ago


Ceiling fan generator mod to the max

I stubled upon several mods to convert a standard ceiling fan into a more or less usefull generator.So if you are looking to go this route then I might have some nice improvements that can be implemented.People like these mods for some weird reason, despite the fact that it requires quite a bit of extra work to make them weather proof.However, when it comes to the fundamentals then to me it looks like some folks out there are missing out.On the available power that is...Always the first step for a mod like this is to replace the induction ring with a lot of magnets.Second step usually is to remove a lot of the coils, especially the inner ring.Now, these two stator designs are common for fans with two speeds.Those with three or even reverse might have a different configuration!Lets start on the magnet part:The recommended way of placing the magnets is by creating an air gap as small as possible - makes sense.But then it is always the same amount of magnets as there is coils - and the spacing is also the same as for the coils.In the general generaotr design world this configuration is prefered as it allows for the best performance.If you dare to go a bit further and cosider how the magnets react to the stator configuration then you might want to consider a different option.You see, these two sets of coils for two different speeds mean just one thing:A different amount of poles is created, with the outer ring having more poles than the inner ring of coils.The core is split around the coils, not just to allow the windings to be made but also to provide independent paths for the magnetic field - resulting in the two pole configurations.Amounts differ by diameter, power level, manufacturer and so on.What is always the same is that the inner ring has less coils and that the outer segments of the poles created have even spacings.In the normal mods you see posted these gaps in the core for the outer ring are closed by inserting lamitaed pieces from some old transformer.And you end up with ONE usable coil configuration and ONE power output.The slightly advanced mod uses the inner coil to add some load depending on the speed to prevent spinning out of control in high winds.If you try a normal DC motor with permanent magnets than you will notice the strong binding forces, it is like the rotor sticks in certain places.The better ones use and uneven configuration to reduce this binding effect ;)In my mod the magnets are selected in size to almost be the same length as two stator poles next to each other.This allows for the best induction while still allowing "to experiment".Bringing the magnets and the coils into play...As said an exact match of the number of magnets to either coil ring is not ideal.The prefered option is to go somewhere in between.For example:Outer ring has 18 coils then the inner ring will have 9 coils - exactly half.360° divided by 15 make a nice 24 degress per magnet.But with 12 magnets you get an even 30°, which is far easier to deal with.16 magnets at 22.5° is another option.So, what does that exactly do for us?The bad thing is we get slightly less performance if you only see the standard mod with one coil ring.The good thing we get far lower binding forces and through that the thing will even spin in very light winds.Adding both coil rings with a suitable rectifier however results in a pulsing output of two sine waves.With just the rectifier we get a ripple that is easier to deal with through a capacitor.The extra power available is in the range of about 40% and make more than up for the "reduced" amount of magnets.Going the extra mile once more ;)Having created a much fancier ceiling fan mod now you might wonder if there is not a way to get even more out of it.And there is.For example by utilising a gear system or belt to get a far higher rotational speed on the generator than what the blades would provide, prefably then with quite big blades too and an automatic break for high wind conditions.With the reduced binding forces the generator will be happy to spin at quite high speeds in low winds.Downside is that you will need to build a far more sturdy bearing housing.In return though you get more stability and durability.You can do the math yourself based on the number of poles per ring and magnets to get the output frequency based on the RPM's.Perfect would now be to use a switch mode power supply configuration to directly transform the provided output into a stable DC per ring.And yes, it is possible to use mechanical systems to provide a fixed output speed from the blades to the generator - but way to complex and lossy!Lets do some lame math with no regards to realities:If the original fan would spin at 100 RPM at full speed than we could say our generator should provide the mains voltage at about 100 RPM.Keep in mind we utilise both coil rings and not just the high speed one!Geared and with the blades spinning at 100 RPM we might get as much as 1000V from this little generator....And even with the lower amount of magnets we migh see frequencies above the 500Hz range.The good thing now is that normal iron core transformers can still operate at these frequencies.A bit lossy in the upper range but acceptable for the purpose.Put simple: A 10 or 20:1 transformer per coil ring would provide us with a far more suitable output voltage and much higher amps.If you made it to here than you certainly wonder about other magnet configurations.Checking the stator configuration you will by now realise why I selected the magnet lenght accordingly.The magnets "activate" one coil after the other.The spacing between them means there is always some overlap where the magnets only cover one half of the stator for a coil.This is ok because we don't really have to worry about the resulting messy output.Ideally though you would want to have a magnet activate both coils, the inner and the outer at the same time.What we did though was to make sure that at no time more than ONE magnet fully covers more than ONE coil!It is the best option to cover both coil sets while minimising binding effects and increasing the avialable output.To go the last step you would need to invest a lot of time re-winding all coils :(You don't want to do this unless you have the means and no friends and family that might miss you for a few days....I found a far simpler way to change the coil configuration, although it is not as good a re-winding.So let's go full scale shall we?Ceiling fan reconfiguration!If you take the usual 18 to 9 configuration than one thing jumps to mind reight away: 3-phase power!Cutting the wire that goes from coil to coil might not always be possible and if it is then you need to know how to handle it.Magnet wire can be hard to solder.Burning the coating off results in corroded copper that is even harder to solder.If you are lucky though than a reall hot soldering irong will be able to melt the coating.The flux from the solder will start to cover the wire from the cut and the solder will follow.If not then using some fine sandpaper and time is the other option to remove the coating...Ok, you seperated all coil and have two wire ends per coil?I hope you did not cut off the ones going out to the actual connections to the outside world ;)Properly solder each wire end and take your time to check it is really proper and not just a few spots.Mark or number the coils on the rings!For the inner ring we have 9 but need only 3, so we start at one connection to the outside world and check if this connection is on the outside or inside of the coil.For this example I assume you picked the one that goes to the outside of the coil.Connect the inside wire to the outside wire of coil number 3, assuming we start with 1 here ;)From the inside wire of 3 you go to outside of 6 and the inside is you first new output connection.Do the same with the remaining 6 coils and where needed add the required output wire.It really helps to have wires with three different colors here, one color per new coil set.Note which color corresponds to to the three coils used!!!The outer ring with 18 coils is sightly different here.You see, we want a "flowing" magnetic field that makes best use of the new coil configuration!We can not simply bridge them in any way we feel like without considering how this might affect the electrical side of things.As we now take the approach of a three phase system it makes sense to use a more suitable magnet configuration as well.So before go to the outer ring of coils lets have a look of the best option for the magnets first:The stator packs are evenly spaced in our example and will alow us to use 18 magnets.This provides the best performance with the downside of a higher binding effect, but we need this configuration to get the best possible output.As said at the start I selected magnets that are just shy of being the same length as the corresponding stator segments.In a "free" setup these magnets would now be quite hard to place in a makeshift ring.Even harder in the original casing.A 3D printer certainly helps but some common sense too ;)Wood is easy to work with and if you select the right stuff than making a suitable ring to hold your magnets and attach to the drive system metal parts is not too hard.Bar or brick type magnets can be quite easy be utilised on a wood setup :)The key is that you add Flux Capacitors - sorry couldn't help the reference to Marty....What I mean is to add some magnetic material between the north pole of one magnet and the south pole of the other.Lets say your magnets are 15mm long and have a spacing of 5mm.Then a little plate of 12mm would be next to perfect.This plate needs to connect the magnets on the backside, the side facing away from the coils.Use a dremel tool or what you have to first create slots for the metal strips or bars, then the same for the magnets.Glue in the metal first and once set add the magnet, making sure the always go north to south with their alignment.Ok, and what does this do for us?I hope you are not one of these persons who starts building while reading...What we created now is a shortcut for the magnetic forces.The field between the magnets is severly compromised in terms of being usable for the coils.We do get a much soother run though...I only did that to have some fun and check if you paid attention - sorry :(What we really want is an effect similar to what you see on a loadspeaker magnet that is still in its metal shielding.A ring magnet with one pole on the inside and one on the outside is used here.The shielding provides a path for the magnetic field that is not going through the speaker coil - hence the little air gap for the coil.If we do the same then our efficiency will be going up quite a bit.Take two identical steel parts, like some butter knifes, and prefarbly a force gauge.If you try to pull your magnet at a 90° angle from the blade you will get a certain reading for the required force to lift it off.Most people now think that this would be the max a magnet can hold.So take the other knife and place the magnet between them.If you pull the knife off with the gauge now the reading will be higher than what you get from just the magnet ;)Taking that to our model and keeping the field lines in mind we now know that we could even use slightly longer plates if our magnets happen to be a bit short :)Just place them right behind each magnet !Back to the outer ring of coils....With 18 magnets we get an even system for both coil rings.However we want to make sure that our output waves are syncronised and not at random order.We need to combine two coils to be back on a 9 coil configuration as on the inner ring.The other option is to provide two sets of outputs for outer ring, resulting in 3 3-phase outputs.Both have their pros and cons....But if you check the 18 magnet configuration ina ction over the coils it becomes clear that combining two coils the usual way is possible but also that our inner ring does not get a proper north south action from the magnets!Only the outer coil ring works properly!For the inner ring we never get only a north south combo, instead a lot of mixes.Did I mention to read first? ;)Of course we can only use 9 magnets in our configuration, but at least I did not traick you on their size....You see, we need to account for the fact that the coils are not just evenly spaced but also that all configurations in terms of coils to stator pack are doubles or halfs.Makes a lot more sense if you know how these asyncronous motors work :)With 9 magnets we actually get both inner and outer ring coils activated properly.Plus we now have the benefit that there are always twoouter coils in sync with each other.Means apart from the same way you wired the inner ring you make this addition to the outer ring:"One" outer coil is created by going from one coilinner connection to the outer connection of the second after this, skipping one coil.The resulting output is again just 3 phases but with double the output voltage.The key is to again take notes of how you connect and wire the coils - and the colors used for the output wires!Let me give you an example for the correct order:I we take the number 1 coil on the inner ring then coils number 1 and 18 would be next to it on the outer ring.You want to combine 1 and 3, 2 and 4, 5 and 7,....And you want the resulting three coil packs and wires colores to correspond to the inner coils in the same order!That is true for the always same way of combining coils from the inner to outer connection - or the other way around but never mixed!Ok, we have done the magnets and the coil configuration now properly, no jokes this time!With two simple 3-phase rectifiers we get two DC outputs that can be combined or used seperately.As we end up with roughly double the output voltage on one output but all coils are the same it makes sense to treat them independly.For those who wonder why:If you add a load than one coil system would take a higher loading of it.Meaning while one coil set is stll fine the other will already start to overheat - if the load is too great.So we use two rectifiers with some filtering.In the basic form just a really big electrolytic capacitor of suitable voltage or a full LC filer system with multiple stages.Either way we can now utilise some better DC-DC converters to get going.Considering the equal max watss the coil rings can handle it make sense to include some current limiting.A good converter will provide this option.Both converters can now set to the desiered output or with some added protection diodes and adjusted properly to the same voltage combined for just one DC output.Compared to the standard mod of removing coils and bridgning stator packs the resulting output power in overall Watt will now be about 40-60% higher - depending on the model and quality of parts.Special words of wisdom:Consider the orignal max speed of the fan when used as intendet - see this as a theoretical max output that equals your mains voltage.Just ignore losses and such things - better to be safe than sorry.It becomes clear that it quite possible that your output will be far higher than mains voltage and that you need use transformers for the two 3-phase systems so you can use standard DC-DC converters, which have a max input voltage of around 50V only.This means your converter must be able to handle the higher amps!The fan might have only used 100W or less than 500mA but at high speeds and a ratios of lets say 10 to 1 for the gearing high wind speeds might get it up to over 5 amps on the transformer outputs.Please do the math first for your gear system in relation to the max wind speeds you want to use with your blades!If in doubt use a converter that has some reserves to offer, especially if you aim to charge batteries as quickly as possible.The most vital part however is to ensure that all previously cut wires are isulated properly!!!Magnet wire of the standard kind is good for about 1000V max, so don't drive it higher!Heat shrink with a hot glue liner is prefered but hard to apply in these thight spaces.Since nothing moves consider using long enough wires for your connections so you have enough space to solder without affecting the heat shrink tubes.Liquid insulation or rubber is the last option and should only be used to finalside the heat shrink security measures.Best option once all is confirmed to be working fine would be to make a custom mold and to fully enclose the staotr pack and wires with casting resin or an insulating casting mix.Make sure to keep the output wirese free at the their ends ;)What if I don't want to build a complicated three phase rectifier and just use a single phase system as it was?Firstly chances are your coils are already connected in a three phase configuration, just all in series.But working out a suitable magnet configuration to suit this is much harder if you want to use both sets of coils.In a series configuration like the original you also have to accept the losses from these connected coils.The higher the overall resistance the lower the possible output ;)Main problem however is to get the magnet working properly.The standard 9 or here even 18 magnet configurations still works, especially with the added shielding from behind.But the coils also produce a magnetic field, which grows with the load.Means that an top of all you also have the coils working against the magnets and create even higher losses.Explains why the simple folks prefer not use the inner coil set if they go with a single phase system.So either accept the losses and just use the outer coils or do it fully and get far mor output.And by the way: a 3-phase rectifier modlue is only a few cents more than a standard bridge rectifier ;)Ok, and why do I bother to write all this?People like to tinker but most don't really invent.Following some simple instructions is easy, trying to work it yourself much harder.The reward however is that you actually start to know what you are doing :)And what works for a ceiling fan can be used for these ring style washing machine motors too ;)Anyways...We need to get back our roots.Start thinking for ourself again, work things out instead of just looking them up.If people would be aware that a simple ceiling fan could provide about 3 times the output power of its rated installation value instead of only just about half......Super strong magnets allow real output even without re.winding all coils.And what works here works for other things too.We only learned to use magnets in a striaght way because we can not bend them.But we can bed the magnetic field lines to our advantage!The simple shielding used in this mod is nothing more than a shortcut to enhance the field strenght where it is is needed.By a simple coil modification we basically bet two electrical generators for the price and size of one.Apart from stating how easy it would be to place multiple stators and magnet rings into one generator the magnets itself also allow for even more output.If you ever played with hook magnets or speaker magnets then you know how much stronger they are compared to just the magnet once they seperate after hours of fun for you.Imagine you would replace the single bar magnet with two block magnets that are joined by a magnetic shunt like out simple shielding before.If the magnet blocks now would have a slightly smaller footprint than your individual poles:Imagine you create a hlaf ring shaped magnetic connection between the two blocks that also goes aruond the outer perimeter up to the outside of the magnets surface?I mean the surface facing the stator poles?Damn your imagination is good, yout it right away!Of course we would then have a magnet that allpies its full strength focussed onto each pole of a coil!And of course the resulting field would be far stronger than just using the magnet blocks itself and still significantly higher than just adding a shielding or connection between them.The affect of the next coil coming is also drastically reduced, which in return also increases the efficiency.In terms of numbers:If a fixed neodymium magnet would provide us 100$ field strength as the base point with no shielding (just the magnet blocks alone);A fully shielded and connected system, like in a hook magnet combined with a U-style magnet, would reach above 400% here.....Adding witchcraft to the mix ;)Although I know better I just assume some of you have now a working double-three-phase-ceiling-fan-generator.And that would mean you also have some fans to spare from your long experiments.Modern ignition coils seem to have nothing in common with our ceiling fan or resulting generator.So why do I try to use them anyway?For the ignition only one polarity is prefered so the spark works and travels as intendet.Means the "wasted" energy from the othe half of the pulse seems to be lost.The electronics do a lot here but magnets too ;)The core of the coil has magents at either end, turning it into one long magnet that still has the right properties to act as high voltage transformer system with the coils.The coil appear to be pre-loaded and with the ignition pulse it has to overcome the magnetic field pre-set by the magnets.And when the electrical impulse is off the same magnets also accelerated and increase the resulting fall back impulse - which provides the spark.Unless you have a suitable laser cutter or simlar cutting tech available somehow it will be hard to modify the metal plates of the stator.But if you could...Imagine you could add magnet inside the plates that are inside a coil.The same pre-loading would happen.Does not really help in terms of adding outpur as our rectifier would suffer badly here.It does give ideas though...Shielding works fine for the magnets, same for field shaping.Electromagnets use the same techniques...So why not use some leftlever transformer cores to add more "shortcuts" for the coils?Strips of transformer core sheets added either side of the coils increase their field strenght and result in better output!Three packs either side of the stator pack are usually no problem.Now take your leftovers and do a standard mod.Compare the max output on the same windmill with what you get from my mod(s).The only real magic I used here is that I actually bothered to combine multiple and already used methods to drastically increase the available output of an otherwise utterly useless generator mod ;)Warnings:If you take the above mods serious and to the their extreme than it is imperative to make sure you have safety measures in place!Assume the lowest rating for the magnet wire and if in doubt stick with a max output voltage of 800V.These mods are potentially lethal if you don't follow what is common sense to everyone dealing with high voltages for a living!Most people will start without any gearing or belts and use the wind directly.Even here it is easy to get far higher RPM than what the thing ever did under your ceiling.Without some fixes you will need transformers to reduce the output voltage accordingly.Only other option is to limit the max speed to what your DC-DC converter can handle.Making mistakes with mangets can cost you a lot of time and work, make sure to mark their poles somehow to prevent putting them in wrong.If in doubt then double check!Always keep in mind what the magnet wires and your connections can handle!You don't want any arcs or overheating.Some added electronics to monitor wind speed, rpm's, load and temperature of the coils can turn out vital once you upscale.Before letting your new generator do its thing make sure you tested all to the max!Use a drill or so to speed it up and check the limit regulation for the converters.Measure the actual volts and amps going through your coil sets at assumed max speed and max load.Monitor the coil temp while doing so to ensure nothing is out of limit!You are kidding me here right?A scrap ceiling fan shall provide more output as a wind generator than what was used to spin it as a fan?And of course I need not one but two 3-phse transformers...Pretty clear it is all a fake because nobody could replicate any of it unless limited to what the converters can handle...Didn't I say to think outside normal restraints already?A single phase transformer uses two coils in the most basic configuration.For example one side for 240V and te other for 12V.But some of them are more efficient than other ;)A 3-phase transformer uses 6 coils, two for each phase.And there are plenty of standrad transformer cores out there that would allow us to use this configuration.The worst being the MOT, or microwave oven transformer.Very lossy for a reason but good as an example as these have three core stems ;)Now that you see that you will that a lot more transformers actually allow you to replace the two coils with 6 ;)Ok, but why not use a rectifier first and not use a transformer or two at all?The resulting output voltage will without a gear REDUCTION be much higher than what a cheap DC-DC converter can handle.And at such speeds the effiency would be very bad too.You would need huge capacitors of good quality to deal with the now more impulse like output.And considering the primary side of the transformer does not require anything thicker than the wire on the coils of the fan...Not hard at all to find some suitable tansformers to salvage - or to use some nice ring transformers ;)No kidding around, just facts and possible options you might want to explore.Does that now mean I get free energy?Sure, if you mean you get the free nergy from the energy of the wind at no cost.No if you think a ceiling fan could ever power your house.Internal resistance, size and wire/connection properties set our limits.Not to mention that they are designed to be dirt cheap.If you are in a windy region and assume a realistic 300W minimum output from a 100W fan then adding more stage multiplies this.These fancy upright windmills are not just powerful but also would allow to use one modded fan either end.If big enough and with enough wind force throughout the year you could just add a second or third stage to ech end.With 3 on both ends the resulting output would then be suddenly 1.8kW per windmill....And all from scrap parts with only the costs for the magnets...No wind? Then use water....None of it? Get some greyhounds and build a big hamster wheel :)You get the general idea I hope...

Topic by Downunder35m 8 weeks ago  |  last reply 8 weeks ago