Friday, August 16, 2013

Claw Machine Picker-Upper

mainImage_2.pngClaw from arcade machine on a stick with a handle for picking stuff up.

Here is a video of it in action: (note: video has pay-per-click ads)

.... here is a link

DSCF0642.JPGThe main thing is the claw.  I had a hard time finding these and had to go to a supplier in China. 
I've posted them on amazon here:
Claw Machine / Crane Game -- Actual Claw  (note: this is a link to my own thing on

The other parts are: 1" PVC pipe Stiff wire A spring (optional) A nut and bolt (size 10-24, length is not critical, a  little smaller diameter is okay) Electrical tape Thin strips of wood - for handle (or something better) Plumbers strap - for handle (or something better) Black spray paint

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Super Hero Cake Pops

Super Hero Cake Pops 13.jpg

What is it about Father's Day that makes finding the perfect gift such a challenge? This year instead of another patterned tie or pair of slippers, melt your super Dad's heart with these Super Hero Cake Pops made especially for him!

To make Super Hero Cake Pops you will need:
• Cake pops on sticks, made from your favorite cake pop recipe
• Blue candy melts
• Red soft eating liquorice or Fruit Roll Ups
• Red disco dust
• Meringue powder
• A small, food-safe paint brush
• A styrofoam block or cake pop standSuper Hero Cake Pops - 2.jpg

Start by cutting your Fruit Roll Ups or liquorice into the shapes of super hero capes and chest emblems. Fold the narrower edge of the cape upward so that it will attach to your cake pops. (If you are using liquorice, you will need to flatten the candy with a rolling pin before cutting your shapes.)

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3DPrintMi - Assembly Guide

3DPrintMi is an open source, Reprap 3D Printer designed and built from the ground up. As part of the Reprap movement, it has the ability to self replicate by printing a portion of itself and assembled together with fasteners.  

For more information, please visit the links listed below:

Printer Info and specifications
Printed Parts, BOM and CAD files for download
Build Log

After building my first 3D printer, the Printrbot+, I wanted to donate aka "Print It Forward" a set of plastic parts and share the 3D printing experience to someone else.  There are many Reprap printers out there, readily available to download and print but it's not as easy as it sounds. Most of the documentations to build a Reprap are hard to follow, incomplete or non-existent and can be simply overwhelming for a newbie.  After weeks of searching for a suitable Reprap printer to donate, I became more and more interested in designing my own Reprap printer. Something that's easy to build, print and all the documention to do it. After much debate, I decided to do just that, build my own printer. Well, after 6 months of printing, iterating and more printing, 3DPrintMi was born! I have built two 3DPrintMi so far and wish to see it built elsewhere around the world.

Getting Started
This guide will provide you the step-by-step instructions on how to assemble the printer's frame, assuming that the user has already pre-assembled the electronics before hand. I highly recommend you review the pictorial guide to get a good sense of what to expect. The pictures are self explanatory and the written instructions are there to aid  the assembly. Now let's have some fun!

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Keep Your Top Sheet Firmly in Place on Your Bed with a Knot

Keep Your Top Sheet Firmly in Place on Your Bed with a Knot

You make your bed with the best of intentions, but tossing and turning throughout the night can pull a loose top sheet into strange and tangled positions. If you want to keep it in the right place, redditor Midgers suggests make a knot or two:

Tie a knot at the end of your flat sheet and tuck it into the fitted sheet. It won't come loose during the night. I discovered this while searching for a solution to bunched up flat sheets in the morning as my boyfriend is very tall and very fond of kicking them untucked. It works like a charm and they always stay put.

I've always tucked mine under the mattress, but eventually I manage to untuck it after 1-2 weeks. That said, if you want a reminder to wash your sheets at a regular interval you could just do it every time your top sheet comes untucked.

Tie a knot at the end of your flat sheet and tuck it into the fitted sheet | Reddit

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2.5D Laser Cut Gears

0A GearPile.jpgLaser cut gears are used in a wide variety of projects, from steampunk jewelry to the exposed mechanism of a wooden clock.  By taking advantage of both the cutting and engraving capabilities of the laser, much more realistic and/or interesting gears can be created.  Here I show how to create a basic laser cut gear (in traditional 2D), then how to use three different techniques for adding depth to the gear (a 2.5D effect).  This is referred to as 2.5D because although it is adding a third dimension (essentially a Z axis) it is much more limited than the 3D you could obtain from a 3D printer or 4-6 axis milling machine.

I made this at TechShop

Vector drawing software (I used CorelDRAW)
Laser Cutter (my TechShop has a Trotec Speedy 300)
1/4" thick poplar, slightly larger than desired gear size

This instructable assumes some basic familiarity with CorelDRAW and a laser cutter

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Portal Test Chamber Information Sign

I wrote this up as a post on my blog Apathetic Thursday a few years ago, always meaning to get around to making a tutorial for instructables, but never got around to it. Until now. 

This is a 2ft by 4ft back-lit sign, made to look like the Portal video game. (You probably already gathered that.)

The entire project came in under $200 for me. The biggest cost is going to be your sheet of glass or plastic for the front. I used white glass from a local stained glass shop. 2ft x 4ft was the largest size it came in. If I was going to do this again, I might try to use a white plexiglass or plastic, but I think that was actually more expensive at the time.

Even lighting is probably going to be the most difficult thing to achieve. In the photographs the sign looks very evenly lit, it is less so in real life. (Some of the other pictures show this better. I used two off the shelf light fixtures that had circular fluorescent tube lights. I might look for something different if I were to try again. Maybe this? ("2-D shaped" light bulb.)

One final note: I'm going to talk you through my process for making my light. If you want to make your own there are several dependency routes which you can follow. By this I mean: If you choose your size first, that will determine the panel material, which may determine the lights you can use. If you choose your lights first, that may dictate the size of the sign and therefore what panel materials will work. Finally, if you choose panel material first, that will determine your size and probably your available lights as well.

Okay, on to the materials. I'll list the main ones here quickly and go into more detail on the next pages.

2 ft bx 4 ft sheet of white glass ~ $60
Clear Adhesive Film ~ $10
(I used Grafix Ink Jet Adhesive Film from Amazon.)
Adhesive backed Black Vinyl ~ $10
(Again, from Amazon I got Cricut Vinyl)

Fluorescent Light Fixture of some sort.
I used a GE circular fluorescent light fixture from Menards.

1x4 boards, of various lengths (2x 4ft, 5x ~2ft)

Wall plug and cord
Aluminium foil or other reflective material

Black Paint
Sand Paper

Exacto Knife
Straight Edge
Cutting Board
Table Saw

Total Cost: ~$200, if you don't have to buy the tools.

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