Tag: DIY

DIY Tron Identity Disc – Designing the Electronics

DIY Tron Identity Disc – Designing the Electronics

Following on from the mechanical design on my Tron Identity disc I jumped straight into designing the electronics to go inside. Check out how I did it!

Tron Identity Disc

Tron Identity Disc

I had the crazy idea to try and design a Tron Identity disc. Follow along below to see how I did it and some of the decisions and processes I made along the way. Background Tron is a science fiction franchise created by Steven Lisberger. 

Wooden Jet Plane

Wooden Jet Plane

I was walking around the mall the other day and noticed a metal plane decoration. My immediate thought was “I can make that”. So I did.. well with some slight modifications, the first being my plane was made out of wood and not metal.

I wanted the plane to be solid wood. This eliminated the use of wood 3D printing, but still left open laser cutting and CNC carving. I wanted to make the plane fluid and smooth while remaining in the capabilities of the machines i have access t. I decided that I would CNC carve the plane body and laser cut a stand for the plane. Knowing how I was going to manufacture it, I jumped straight into designing.

I googled pictures of planes until I found one that I liked the look of, and used those images for reference. I decided to create my models in Fusion360, instead of my usual solidworks, this was to improve my CAD skills and my ability to move between different software.

Modelling the plane was a interesting task. utilising a various array of tools available from the software to make the curves and various parts of the aircraft. I also had to make sure that the entire thing was manufacturable. This was a difficult task at times to make sure that I had the least amount of tool changes, the shortest cutting time and the ability to put it all together in the end.

Here is my final model, with a stand and everything

After I had modelled it all, the next task was to turn it into gcode. This would involve using the Manufacture section in Fusion. I have only played with the manufacture section, never tried to make anything with it before this, so this was definitely something new. With lots of googling I managed to produce some tool paths that I liked the look of and got them ready to post process.

Since I was using the carvey I had to make sure the tool setup and the post processing watched that machine. This was an easy step as it’s already provided by inventables, and lots of documentation available. One thing I noticed was that when producing the different tool paths for easel , you will need to export each different bit separately , rather than all of the different tool paths together.

I tried to make sure that I didn’t have to move the piece once I started milling. I was very close but only didn’t manage it as I wanted to make sure the multiple parts lined up first time.

Some of the rough cuts from the carvey.

So here is the final product. Its slightly different to the orignal models as i modified them later to make them smoother around the cockpit.

I am very happy with how it turned out, with almost every part being a press fit into it’s place. But I ended up gluing it just in case. I also applied a clear coat of lacquer to bring out the colour of the wood. I also now know how to use the carvey more, Fusion360 more and a better idea of different things could be made on different machines.

Some things I would do differently next time:

  • try to use less drill bits to reduce time changing bits
  • make sure the piece doesn’t move between paths

Overall I enjoyed this project. It allowed me to put my engineering skills to the test and create something for form, rather than function.

Let me know what you think and happy making!

Discrete Logic Clock Update

Discrete Logic Clock Update

My digital clock is finished, and here’s what it looks like.

Discrete Logic Clock

Discrete Logic Clock

Most digital clocks these days are made from microcontrollers, but I wanted an added challenge to use it using only logic chips trying to focus on using the TTL (74xx series) integrated circuits. So, my plan was to design and build a discrete logic clock 

Creating a Website

Creating a Website

I have always wanted to build my own website, who hasn’t wanted to have a website with their name on it? I don’t have a business or anything but that doesn’t stop me – or anyone – running a website. Now I am no expert, but this is my experience with building up this website.

Originally I would play around with HTML, CSS, and Javascript, but when I ended up publishing this site, i rarely did any straight coding. This of course doesn’t mean you can’t, but for my first website it was 10x easier to not have to worry about flaws in code that could jeopardize my site.

First Steps

What were the first steps? Firstly I looked into domain names  and extensions. what domains were available and what extensions I can and can’t use. So domain names are the websites name that you see in the URL bar of your browser, (ie. example.com or in this case AndrewWilkie.me), and the extension is the few letters at the end of the domain name, (ie the .com, .me, .gov ,etc.). I ended up trawling through heaps of domain registrars to find out what they had available and ended up settling on my current domain (AndrewWilkie.me). When choosing your domain name, it’s always best to make it reflect what your website is going to be about. Since mine is about me i named it after myself. Another thing to consider is the memorability of your site. So keep your name short and use keywords, this will allow your name to be remembered when someone tries to search for your site again. There are many other factors to consider when choosing your domain name and you can find plenty of resources by looking up something like “Choosing a Domain Name”.

Hosting

After you have got yourself a domain name, you need to get your domain name to link to your website. There are a few options on how to do this, self-hosting, or a web hosting service(like Digital Ocean and Blue Host).  I went with a web hosting service as they are able to implement a lot more features and control the security and other features on my website without me having to worry about it, but all of these features come at an additional cost. If you just want to test your website without putting it on the internet you can host it yourself through a local hosting program on your PC.

Security

You will want your website secure, even if you never plan on having a massive audience (like myself). If you are using a hosting service this shouldn’t be too much of a worry for you, as the hosting service should have their own protocols in place. You can still do little things to secure your website, including SSL Certificates and HTTPS.

 

 

Appearance

One big thing that matters if you want your website to become big is it’s appearance and usability. You can skip a lot of the hard steps of creating a pretty website by using pre-built templates. Lots of these can be accessed through WordPress if you decide to use that. It’s always easier seeing what other people have done and using that for inspiration and looking at what they did wrong so you can avoid it. When designing you website’s appearance, the overall look depends on your target audience and of course your personal preferences.

Content

You will need content, whether it’s blog posts like I have or products you’re selling or whatever. This is the main reason why people visit your website, so making quality content will be essential to creating an awesome website. So when creating your awesome content and posting it, make sure your content is free of major spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

Explore

The best way i found out how to do this was exploring. I went around looking at LEGO Explorerwebsites I enjoyed visiting and looking at to see what they had that I could incorporate into my website. Just remember that your first website might not be great, but it is an awesome learning experience – and you can update your website as you get better at using the software and learning more about the audience you’re targeting.

Building a website is a great way to learn about what is happening behind the scenes when you are on the internet. It is also an awesome why to promote your brand and get a lot of content to a lot of people simultaneously. Plus its fun, well for me at least – being the nerd I am.

 

PCB Design

We decided to make this project extra special by design almost everything from scratch, this includes the circuit board.