sabato 18 aprile 2015


I’m very pleased to introduce you  my last present, just arrived.
The “Buggy”, one of the last technological “toys” from MikroElektronika.
I said “toys”, but we can consider the Buggy a complete development system, useful to study a large number of microcontroller.

Mikroeektronika is very attentive to details. The package is very well done, robust and reliable. It is common for all the Mikroelektronika products.
Inside, all the parts are inserted in a foam base, that protect very well any single item
Kit includes :
–  base Buggy board, with 4 wheel+motors
– 3 Click board sockets
– 3 spare PCB parts, must be soldered, in order to give stability
– a 3.3V  LiIo battery
– USB cable
– Manual with schematic

I choose the kit that doesn’t include any Microcontroller board, since I already have a Clicker 2 x PIC32MX and a Mikromedia for PIC32MX.
All these products have been bought at  RS Components
On the picture below, you can see the Buggy base board from the bottom side.
Battery must be installed on the centre of the board, so the Buggy will be balanced very well.

Very impressive the geared motors.
The gear doesn’t include any part in plastic material, all are made by steel or iron. Basically, it not seem the classic “poor” low-cost plastic gearbox.

Prepare the robot is very easy , you just need an iron solder.
Anyway, the manual included describes very well, step by step, all the mounting operations.
On the next days, I will see to prepare a sample firmware example, to give life to my robot.

sabato 28 febbraio 2015

Practical use of 3D printer

Finally, a practical use of my 3D printer Prusa I3.
Was sunday morning, when a drama happened on my kitchen.
My girl was warming a cup of milk, suddendly, the microwawe stopped to function.
A gloomy silence filled the kitchen. the girl looked at me desperately and a scream broke the sound barrier.
" it is broke"
followed by a series of misfortunes similar to the invasion of locusts ( how can I warm my breakfast, my soup, the boiled potatoes ) .
STOP, I will fix the microwave - was my only statement.
While she was looking which electronic store were open on Sunday, I spent about half hour to open the microwave box, (I hate the torx screws, not having the correct screwdriver :-) )
Once I opened the patient, I have discovered that all was OK ( or , I supposed that ), but .....
the knob.....was only the knob used for time programming.... the center hole was stripped and did not more maintain the position.

IDEA - I can replicate a similar knob with my 3D printer.
Immediately on my computer, launch Design Spark mechanical and draw the my simple knob version.
Very easy and quick design

Then, save the G code file on my Prusa , used a 100 % infill to have a strong and reliable knob.
About 40 minutes and ....dadadadada.... an " economic" but functional knob was ready.

I will prepare a more complete version, just to avoid any claims from her

domenica 8 febbraio 2015

Some parts printed with Prusa I3 & Design Spark Mechanical

Here we can see some parts that I printed with Prusa I3 DIY 3D printer .
All these have been designed with Design Spark Mechiancal, a free 3D CAD, based on Space Claim CAD.
At the beginning I have some issues on have a perfect circle, but, the first failure was due to the low resolution on STL files.

The second image is  not a perfect circle, I will publish the second version that is better and we can see the differences

domenica 11 gennaio 2015

A new adjustable endstop for Z axis

Just finished and tested a new adjustable endstop for Z axis
Now it is possible to adjust the endstop with only a screwdriver ( wrenches are not necessary ) 
Turn the M4 bolt to adjust the zero position.
All the parts have been designed with Design Spark mechanical, then adjusted with NetFabb ( to remove the incorrect mesh ) and then printed with Repetier / Slic3r.

Here the complete vision

a better image of the parts

board plate that attach the original Prusa Z endstop plastic

plastic part that sustain a M4 nut, developed with Design Spark mechanical

Here the same part, adjusted with Netfabb

giovedì 8 gennaio 2015

Prusa i3 rework ready

After about 2 months, using the free time on evening ( and night ) , I can say that my Prusa I3 rework is finished and I'm pretty satisfy of the final result.
I made some small changes from the original design,  in order to improve :
-  the Z axis zero regulation
-  to give some  light /illumination
-  add a blower for the PLA

Some pictures , to show the Z axis zero regulation :
this is the Z axis zero regulation

below the blower and the illumination .
I have used a series of LED smd, soldered below the fan :

Fan and LED light

Below, the LCD board with the SD card socket :

On the next days, I will post some other info.
See you