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  • It is in storage at Atomic and will be installed tomorrow!

  • I was thinking of calling it Roto-Rooster. What do you think?

  • It’s alive! It’s alive

  • Wow! That is awesome! The painting robot is on it’s way! Soon it might even paint molten mozzarella cheese on a pizza! So, I see this version does not run on any x or y-axis rails, just on wheels.

  • The rails are at the top. There is a pair of rails for the gantry. And the truck on the gantry rides on two rails too. The little wheel at the end of the gantry comes off and it isn’t needed.

  • Here is a note I sent to the manufacturer:


    I’ve had my machine for a little while now and have still not gotten it working well.

    I started to work on it more seriously yesterday and I figured out the problem. My bed is not flat. It is warped so I am not able to get a consisent raft except for a very small part. When lying flat on another surface parts of the bed are 5mm above the surface.

    In order to keep the project on the road my plans are to:

    A) Make a quick bed on my CNC mill or laser cutter.

    B) Make another bed that is heated (perhaps after I prove the machine is working).

    Here are a couple of questions I have about the machine.

    Q1) I have a question about the dimensions. I measured it but are there official dimensions for the bolt positions and other measurements?

    Q2) Is there a known design of a heated bed for your machines?

    Q3) I made some small parts with support. When the machine switches betwwen materials it pauses to warm the filament. This takes a profoundly long time. Is it possible to keep both filaments warm?

    Q4) I’ve had no luck with the official software for the machine since it is very slow and none of the parts were coming out very well. I am moving to Kisslicer. Do you forsee any problems with this?

    Q5) I noticed there is a metal plate inside the bed (there is a magnet that is clinging to the bottom of my bed). What purpose does it fulfill?

    Darcy Whyte


  • In terms of making a temporary bed, James mentioned that the surface can be covered with tape:

    3M Scotch blue kind, its #2090 for multi surfaces. Its pretty much the same blue painter’s tape you see at any hardware store.

  • I got a nice tip from the sales department at BFB. They said there is a new Axon 3 software that is faster.

    As it turns out I can’t use it since the latest firmware available for my machine (3000 plus) is V4.2.2 and Axon 3 requires firmware V5.4.0.

  • Andrew Plumb mentioned I can get a piece of glass made at Voxel in Montreal.

  • Part ordered in Montreal! 39.5×28.5cm

  • Another cool tip from Andrew Plumb. For the glass:

    Hair-spray the glass for ABS and for PLA just lay down a layer of blue painter’s tape.

    Also from François from Voxel Factory in Montreal: For PLA you can print directly on it, for ABS, you can try, if it doesn’t stick, you could try with PET tape.

  • I am totally stealing that picture of me. 😀

    IIRC Kapton tape is the way to go on heated beds. But the tape is really expensive. But you won’t be reapplying it lots.

  • @James, I’ll forward the original picture to you. I think there’s a couple pictures.

  • I’m having a discussion with François from Voxel in Montreal. We are talking about just getting the prefab heated bed he has (214mm x 214mm). If he hasn’t processed my order for the piece of glass I could be in luck.

  • Okay, this is what I got:

    Prusa I2 Pyrex Glass
    MK2a heat bed


  • Think it’ll be in for next Monday? 😀

  • Looks like it’s in. Four parcels in today and one is from Montreal. I’ll report back tomorrow when I open them…

  • It is in. I guess I have to figure out how to wire and mount it.

  • Another problem with the printer. The filament is jammed. It literally shattered by itself.

  • Andrew Plumb mentioned the temperature:

    Usually around 110C for ABS.

  • We’ve got four adopters on the project so far. Rick, Sanjay, Steve and myself.

    Both Sanjay and Rick have one of the panels pictured above.

    The crank generator suffered a mechanical failure although it looks like it was working before that.

    I suspect the crank doesn’t give enough juice to run most phones in real time. Also that the solar will take too long to charge.

    It will be interesting to see the discussion that comes forward!

  • 110C ABS and 40C PLA

  • Sanjay’s numbers at the moment:

    Battery voltage: 3.475V
    Solar cell: 3.805
    Solar cell: current: 25.852mA (max)

  • I think at that rate it should take like 20h to charge. This will take a few days. It would be interesting to have a few amp readings throughout the day to get a sense of how much solar energy your getting. Also to know when it is occurring exactly.

  • I plugged my cell phone onto this with about 1/2 bars and it fully charged it.

    After the charge was complete and I disconnected the phone, the system was at 9.43V. I disconnected the USB buck and it went to 9.63V. Hmmm, I guess I need to recharge the lead acid.

  • I’ve got this cool battery meter application for Android that is quite helpful. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.manor.currentwidget

    Here’s a note from the author in case more information is needed than the app gives:

    Look at the battery driver folder : /sys/class/power_supply/battery (root isn’t required).
    It has text files with with all the values that the battery driver exports. You can use Astro file manager to view them (some file manager can’t open those files for some reason).

  • I’m using it with 9 chargers at the moment!

  • Printrbot shipped! I got a note from them yesterday. Should have it any day now!

  • Okay, it’s Saturday around 1pm. The solar panel is bringing in about .37A at about 12.3V. That’s pretty impressive. The USB charger I assembled doesn’t seem to work with my phone (from overnight). I just added a 120V inverter and am charging three batteries at once. That seems to be going well.

  • The three batteries charging is drawing about .8A.

    So we’re loosing charge. We’ll have to see how long it takes to finish charging the three batteries and how much sun is left in the day.

  • It’s 2:40pm and one of the three batteries just finished charging. I added another.

  • 3:40pm, I now have two batteries that are charged from the system. The voltage is around 12 a the battery and 12.07 at the solar panel.

    I just removed the battery from the phone that was plugged in (the newly charged battery). I transferred one of the batteries from the inefficient chargers into the phone.

    I suspect I will get 3 batteries charged and will still have some sunlight left to charge the system.

  • 5:49pm, I now have a third battery charged off the system. Voltage was 12.01V at solar side. There is still a battery on the system, I hope it’s done shortly.

  • 6:12pm, the forth battery is now charged. The voltage at the battery is 11.42V.

  • This is based on the Peace Plane. There is a video if you get stuck: http://www.rubber-power.com/paper-airplanes-and-rubber-band-planes.htm

  • I just went to do a batch of 25 of the new boxes and my box-o-matic needs a repair. I just glued the gantry roller so that should be ready to run in a couple of hours.

  • I have no sound on my computer. I’ll check if that’s a good youtube video shortly.

  • Brash!!?? Who you callin brash?! Jk
    You are totally right- we are working on stellar documentation. Things have moves so fast I am horrified by my old videos, etc. hang in there!
    Happy printing,

    • Hi Brook!

      Thanks for the note! I have finished the machine and actually have done a test print!


  • As you can see by the pictures, it’s time to make a spool for the filament!

  • By the way, I stole one of the pictures from Andrew Plumb. 🙂

  • Two new timing pulleys and a couple of nuts appeared in the mail today! This will help as my X pulley is slipping on the motor shaft!

  • By the way, the label on the thermopile faces the cold side. I initially had it on the warm end and I got voltage but no current.

  • Copper melts at 1kC and the *average* temp in a candle is about 1kC.
    Alcohol burns much cooler, as low as 250C and the evaporative cooling effect also comes into play.. I think acrylic melts around 150C but softens much lower.

    Desolder braid as a wick is probably a good one..
    Unless the copper oxidizes really quickly but I think it will be ok if not fuel starved…
    Desolder braid does have additives, flux of some kind to facilitate wicking the solder.
    So it’s unlikely safe with food…

    Steel wool will likely ignite and burn, it’s quite reactive.

    Perhaps SS window screen rolled into a tube…
    Normal window screen is about a 16 mesh I think.
    Some smaller stuff on eBay but it’s expensive.
    I think rolling normal stainless steal window screen would suffice…

  • You got a shot of Omeron!

    Met that guy at the Permaculture Convergence.

  • Okay, I have three family members. Birthdays, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Christmas comes to 7 Cards.

    After that I have two friends with a mothers day and birthday (kick in Christmas). Comes to 6 cards.

    Add a few valentines cards, thank you cards and a couple of Christmas cards. Comes to 15 or so.

    So if I can get 28 cards done in one short session then I’m on top of this. 🙂

    I think the method will be to lay out the cards, make and lay all assets onto the cards, glue them, sign them, make the envelopes. I estimate 3h. 🙂

    If I make a DIY of it, perhaps 5h.

  • DANGER! When clipping the battery wires, do so one at a time!

    Clipping both at once with a conductive tool will pop a nasty spark and possibly ruin your tool. The battery will not like it either.

    I recommend completing the whole process of clipping, soldering, and insulating one power line before starting on the next. That way the battery leads cannot be shorted together.

    Good Hack!

  • Good point and thinks for the note. If anybody else tries it, it will be safer. 🙂

  • Awesome!

  • I found a good answer, you can buy the bulbs on the cheap on ebay. But I’m still looking for a solution that uses less electricity (and generates less heat).

  • I’m looking at spot lighting on my work surfaces too.

  • Hey Darcy, those look great! But I hope some truly classic don’t get cut up! Vinyl records are valued today. Mind you some records might be less valued.

  • Thanks for the comment Sanj,

    If I get them from collectors they’ll be sure not to give me anything valuable. But one never knows what’s valuable in the future. The more that get destroyed the more valuable the surviving records will be. 🙂

  • This is a really great idea!

  • Thanks guys. This went to Stephen Aplin. So I’ll have to make another for myself. I have another one that doesn’t have a battery but that’s only good if I also have grid power available.

  • I just looked up the wire and it’s about 25 gauge. It’s about .02 inches.

  • Records are 15cm radius. Label 5cm radius. Thickness at edge is about 2mm. The disk is about 1.4mm.

  • I got some new bulbs in. Very strange. All three lamps don’t work.

  • I just ordered a couple of those articulated-clamp lamps from Hong Kong. That might help.

  • A selection of clock parts from Lee Valley: http://www.leevalley.com/en/home/Search.aspx?action=n

  • Hey, they’re playing my song…

  • Thanks Andrew. I have some clock parts on order. When they come in I’ll make some cheesy gifts for Christmas and stuff. 🙂

  • I think this one is clover. 🙂

  • I found another method of cutting. 13 inches per minute and 3500 RPM. This is extremely slow. But it seems to do a good job. That’s with a 1/16th two flute endmill.

  • This is the nexus of art and science- a really helpful post! Thank you for a scientific and artistic look at color. I do all my color mixing with watercolor with Cyan, Yellow and Magenta. Keep up these great posts.

  • Hi John, thanks for the comment. Glad you like the post.

  • The wire I’m using is .020 inches. It’s copper wire from a transformer. I guess that’s 24 gauge.

    There might be another material to use…

  • I measured the wire after the brush experiment and it was 9.5 and 11.5 inches. So I think we need 2 feet of 24 gauge wire.

  • Nice Pics!

  • Great design and wonderful job of presenting this.

    • Thanks. This is just temporary instructions until I need to make any changes to the motor… My friend’d daughter is going to make a serious video soon as well…

  • Video is marked as private on Youtube. Are you trying to hide your entry? LOL

    • Opps! Thanks! I did that by accident. Is it okay now?

  • Firefly topped the list of visual arts for the new season in Ottawa Citizen today.

  • Pretty cool.

    In order to replicate an artist brush stroke you would need to add gradual brush pressure.

    There’s probably a ton of small techniques behind a brush stroke, brush angle, brush rotation, mixing the paint on the canvas which you could easily recreate.

    I worked on some of HP’s plotters back in the day. Calibration was huge. Print one strip, scan the colour. Do it over and over, each time adjusting the amount of ink, speed, pressure (height of the print head) and each time grouping the results into usable sets. The useable sets was determined by whatever Adobe Photoshop provided since they were/are the de-facto quality image editor.

    • Yeah, you’re probably right this thing will be no end of fiddling. 🙂

      But I think it will be a fun project. I’ve been working on it or the week. I’m working out all the electrical at the moment. The physical machine is mostly worked out…

  • Here is more coverage in the Citizen. Firefly got a special mention:

    “Lumipendant Fireflies: The bug-shaped circuit boards were handed out to a few hundred people to wander the zones of the festival. When close to others like them, the “fireflies” would excitedly blink a pattern of multi-coloured lights. The more fireflies in proximity, the more excited they all got. These kind of roaming projects help to create a sense of community among those who gather and roam for Nuit Blanche. There should be more fireflies, and other ideas like them.”

  • The project also made the Top Ten Picks for Nuit Blanche in the Ottawa Citizen..

  • Here’s another article suggesting a palette of:

    Hansa Yellow Light
    The cool yellow
    Hansa Yellow Medium
    The warm yellow
    Naphthol Red Light
    The bright, warm red
    Quinacridone Magenta
    The cool red for pinks and violets
    Anthraquinone Blue
    The warm blue
    Phthalo Blue (Green Shade)
    The cool blue
    Phthalo Green (Blue Shade)
    The cool green
    Titanium White
    The tinter

  • Hey Darcy, I blink a lot when flashes go off, so good luck getting a pic me me with eyes open! I think I need to be off to the side of something like that.

  • haha, that was the better of two I took…

  • Another article in OBJ

  • Do you have to use jumpers or could you just touch the wires to either end of the battery?

    • Any wire should work. It’s rather awkward to hold wires onto a battery so some tape can help. Electrical tape is great since it’s a bit stretchy. You can put some batteries in series. Don’t forget you have to push the motor…

    • Technically touching wires to the battery is fine. But tape will make it better. I find around 6V is good. I’ve run them on one batter at 1.5V but that’s after tuning it at 6V. That’s 4 batteries in series. I guess 3 is enough too…

      If you send me an email, I’ll send you out something.

  • Hello Darcy,

    What kind of tool do you need for cutting vinyl.

    gr jacco

  • I used 3 – AA batteries and the motor ran perfect right from the start. Having built a couple of other motor kits those motors took much more effort to get the motor running. The big advantage with the Dinky motor was that the pieces fit together so perfect and everything is so accurate which is important with electric motors.

  • My friend Gary tells me bamboo grows in Canada. He gave this link: http://www.bamboobotanicals.ca/index.html

    I will have to have a look.

  • There is a blurb on Ottawa CTV News at 6 from December 8th at http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1056154

  • Burned out the IR receiver this morning. Just ordered some, pinged friends and am about to do a quick check to see if I have more of them. I may have one more…

  • Active doesn’t have any and nobody has come forward with an IR sensor. I’m going to start looking at what I can take apart. 🙂

  • Okay found an IR-RX (IR Receiver). I have a few on order as well.

  • Why didn’t you check Gervais? I guarantee they have a bunch in stock. Gervais is way cooler than Active

  • You mean Gervais on Industrial? I just looked it up. I’m supposing they’re closed by now. But that’s another supplier I’ll know about for next time, thanks!

  • Ideas:

    Nativity scene inside the belly of the star. I can cut the parts out of the cavities of the template segments: link1, link2, link3, link4

  • That is really cool. Now I’m wondering if different LEDs with different mcd values might give even brighter flashes.
    This is definitely on my Christmas wish list.


  • Hi Doug,

    I found that the ones with lower voltages were the amber (the ones I used). Red and green are supposed to be lower voltage too but the ones I had didn’t give much of a flash.

    When it’s dark it’s not too bad. I had them at the pub last night and they were okay.

    Notice I managed to go with single layer so the fab step is pretty easy. In fact the card holds everything in place when soldering since I put the legs of the LED through the cardboard congregations.

  • One idea I had (but I’ve not got an elegant solution for) is to mount only half of the PT. Then people could twang on it like a juice harp.

    The current system the Piezo is suspended at two sides from the cardboard so if you press it against the table like a button it is flexing…

  • Now you just need to cut an envelope on the laser and you will be all set! 😉

    I had picked up some blank cards from Dollar Rama and rastered text to the inside with an image on the front. Took a while to get the settings correct but it worked well in the end.

    • Hi Dave,

      Actually I figured out a way to make the envelopes too. I will make some tonight and post.


    • This post has envelopes.

      They’re not all that fancy but they’re a good start….

  • The tumbling wing is the easiest to make and hone your endless lift technique. I hope to make one of the pub meetups and spread the geek factor of walkalong gliding.

  • Here are my old notes for my Honda Shadow:

    -portable tool kit
    crescent 17mm, 14mm, 12mm, 10mm, 8mm. 1/2
    alcohol wipes
    paper towel
    duct tape

    – pickup new air filter
    -12v outlet for easy inverter use

    -upgrade tail lights
    -shocks in front
    -boost procedure
    -GPS wiring
    -tire issue?
    -tool kit

    Air filter

    x-check chain
    x- air filter
    x-aquire luggage system
    x-install luggage rack
    x-lugguage rack
    x-front hub lock
    x-blue tooth
    x-spare bulbs
    x-Windsheild adjustment
    x-low profile bolts for sissy bar/seat mount.
    x-install side bags
    x-lighting system
    x-install side case mounts
    x-get side cases
    x-install windshield
    x-GPS exchange
    x-bike backpack 4 travel or sissy pack
    x-service manual (ISBN13: 9781563925160 ISBN10: 1563925168 Haynes Honda Shadow VT600 & 750 1988-2003 Repair Manual)

    -how to boost

  • I noticed that you keep your records in the freezer? Do they cut better when frozen or did you just think they would taste better? I didn’t see any mention about this. 😉

    • I believe it cuts better when it’s cold but the problem is it doesn’t stay cold long. Contact with the fixture plus it takes a while to cut it.

      At least early in the cut when I’m getting the feed rate set up it’s less sensitive.

    • I’m finding there are other factors more significant than the temperature… I’ve got a bit of practice making these now…I can make them with one or two passes now that I’m converging on good feed rates and stuff… now that I’m getting fairly good at cutting records the question is what else can I make? They’re such nice material to work with.

  • I think it might be possible to have a cooler in the fixture but I’d need to have someone order 1000 records to be cut before I’d figure that one out. 🙂 Might be better to just cool the room. Hmmm. Perhaps just put the machine by the window and open the window…

    • I saw the pieces you put up at the Atomic Rooster last week – amazing work!

      You may be able to integrate peltier coolers into the base to keep your material cooler(although you’d need to use something heat conductive between the cooling plates and the material).

      • Thanks Chris!

        Glad you’re enjoying this stuff.

        I thought of that but it’s fairly complicated… I will definitely have to try it if this project keeps at the pace it’s going! In the mean time I’ve managed to increase the efficiency and quality by tweaking other parameters…

  • I just came across a report on the Philippines Embassy Web site: link

  • I just came across a report on the Philippines Embassy Web site.

  • You could try using a capacitive touch sensing wheel, and have the user dial in the time. A capacitive button in the middle could also start timing. This would also make it easier to seal the unit from splashes and such – the capacitive sensors can work through plastics.

    • Hi Randy,

      Thanks for the note! Capacitive touch is a great idea for this project… I will definitely try and find some to try…


    • I was also thinking of “gettin’ greedy” and trying to have something with no contact. Perhaps a beam break.. Or a range finder. But then I need to figure out how to prevent accidental input….

    • I added a couple of links on capacitive to my notes.

  • Brilliant. Fascinating industrial design knowledge aside, what I love is the idea that ALL things are valued. Including the box it comes in. We waste nearly everything. It’s refreshing to see an art form that is the antithesis of that.

    • Thanks Frank!!!

      Simple things answer complicated problems!


  • Hi great blog,
    i used to make some custom boxes for my work – creating the box around the product i was sending; it made for a very secure shipping method compared with excess packing in a larger box. The CNC machine you made for box creation looks interesting I would like it if you did more on this subject software choices and problems you came across in the hardware – i notices the tension roller that seems to work well.
    Will you make a V2? the one I have had experience with pins the card down with suction and uses a blade to cut out the features and a “pizza cutter” type tool to score. Looking forward to making something like this as soon as I have room.


    • Hi Cordel,

      Thanks for the comment. As a matter of fact I do have a V2. I will post it this week. I will be happy to give the details of the software. Great idea!

    • Just watched the TEDx video. I enjoyed it.

  • Wow, what a thrill! This post is in Hackaday! Thanks for all the comments and ideas! I’ve added the links I received to the bottom of my post!

  • Very nice, and interesting that you do model planes. You have a lot in common with my old friend and boss who created the Mac project at Apple and also designed everything from micro-lights to slope soarers. He also liked cardboard. Google “bloxes” and check the images.

    But the thing that ties it together is the “Western Wind” http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/8/9/2/3/a4794622-213-G1.jpg A complete plane for RC shipped as a 4-fold sheet of cardboard with the directions printed on it. About 36 inch length and much greater span. IIRC all you added was glue, a pair of bent pieces of piano wire for spars, and your Rx + servos. If you had a hard landing, the wings rotated forward and down without damage.

    I wish I still had some, or at least the dies and graphics to make more. We used them all up slope soaring for “Cardboard Combat”. They got some bad reviews but flew fine for me by hi-start or above Pacifica.

  • What we will be aiming for is not just to build the gliders but to sustain and control them. I’ll have several gliders on hand for people to try their hand at piloting. We may even have a competition to see who can stay up longest. The prize will be the coveted Walkalong Glider Cup!

  • Here’s another great way to deflect a laser!


  • We now have 15 RSVP (us included) and 5 maybe.

  • You guys are all well on the way to walkalong glider fame here. I can show you what I’ve learned in the 10 or so years but I think you’re all flying ok. Great video! Great venue. I’ll bring everything I have to give you a little more.

    I’m not sure I’ll beable to live up to the label of expert.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!


    • Haha, 10 years = expert. 🙂

      I got a quick lesson from Slater Harrison a while back so that’s helpful. Apparently he learned a lot from you. 🙂

      I’m actually at Atomic right now. It’s a little breezy. But it’s extreme cold and the heating system is at high duty. There are only two vents. I think we can figure out how to deal with it.

      I’m just glad I’m not doing this on my own. Your help is not just inspiring but it will give more diversity to the event…

  • Just got some great feedback from John Collins. He said that the one wing up and one down moves the CG closer to the axis of rotation. So I’m gonna move to that for a while and see if the sink rate is better…

    He also mentioned that the air pusher can be a little more uniform. Silly me.


    • John Collins AKA the paper airplane guy, now there’s an expert! Congratulations on getting him to coach you.

  • Good luck with the events. Wish I could make it. I guess I need to get a passport so I can get into Canada for the next one.

  • The one I was flying at Arts Court is 9×2″. It might be 1/32 over 2″…

  • Some people might just come to paint…

  • Got one of these boards to try out:


    Here is a link to the schematics for the circuit board I gave you.

    Here is the BOM:

    1 atmega328 package dip; version Atmega328-20PU; type ATMEGA328; variant dip28 THT
    2 Packages: package dil28-3; chip TLC5940; variant -nt
    2 Electrolytic Capacitor package 100 mil [THT, electrolytic]; capacitance 10μF; voltage 6.3V
    3 Capacitor package cap-pth-small2; variant pth2
    36 10k Ω Resistor package THT; tolerance ±5%; bands 4; resistance 10kΩ; pin spacing 400 mil
    5 220 Ω Resistor package THT; tolerance ±5%; bands 4; resistance 220Ω; pin spacing 400 mil
    (Optional) 1 Power Jack package power_jack_pth_lock; type 5.5mm barrel; variant pth_lock
    (Optional) 2 Red LED – 3mm package 3 mm [THT]; leg yes; color Red (633nm)
    (Optional – Atmega Reset button) 1 Pushbutton package [THT]
    (Optional) 1 Toggle Switch package THT; switching circuit SPDT
    (Optional) 1 Voltage Regulator – 5V package TO220 [THT]; voltage 5V

    2 Ceramic Disk Capacitor package THT; rated voltage 200V; capacitance 22pF; capacitor type Ceramic AND 1 Crystal package THT; frequency 16 Mhz; type crystal; pin spacing 5.08mm
    1 Resonator package resonator-pth; frequency 10/16MHz; variant pth

  • Hey Darcy,

    We met yesterday (Jan 8th) at the Atomic Rooster. I believe you have an awesome picture of me that I’d love to have!

    Thank you again for the awesome night, I thoroughly enjoyed it!


    • It was a pleasure to meet! And thanks for coming! Picture forwarded through email…

  • Please do post those design files! Your cutter looks great!! I can’t wait to try this!!!

    • Sure Dan I’m happy to post it. What kind of cutter are you going to use?

    • Dan, I posted my Sketchup file.

      • Thanks! I was just going to cut them out by hand, most likely. Is your opinion that hardwood is best for this, or could stiff cardboard be substituted for some of it? Also, how thick should the heart glider be cut to? I love your posts, so please keep ’em coming! 🙂

        • I’m using hardboard (not hardwood). It’s very inexpensive.

          The machine I made is sort designed around using a CNC to cut the parts out.

          There might be a better way to make this if you are cutting by hand.

        • Perhaps the fence could be cardbordboad. But I’d use hardboard or stiffer…

  • Please let us know how the plain battery holder ends up working out! Can you design one (just the plain battery holder) with the charger (for AA/AAA) as well? Also, any thoughts on holders for coin cells?

    • As you can see I made a battery holder to test it out. I want to make some teaks. That circle cutaway at the bottom isn’t quite enough for my taste. I’m going to cut it all the way to the bottom and also cut into the base so you can get your fingers underneath the battery.

      • I just added the AA(A) holder/charger to my post so you can see it. I guess it’s just a matter of tweaking the charger bracket to fit your charger.

    • Dan, the more I think about it the more I like your idea of having one that’s just for AA(A) and the charger. Since I’m doing a test to verify my holder design for the AA(A) batteries I may as well include the charger with that. Then in the mean time I can enjoy it while I’m designing the rest of the contraption. 🙂

    • Hey Dan,

      I made one as you suggested. The glue is just drying and I’ll test it later when I get home.

      The only thing is if you want to make one like it you may want to modify the lower bracket to fit your own charger…


      • It looks really great! I have this weekend off from work so I think I’ll try making this! Thanks again, and I’ll let you know how it goes!!

        • Great, let me know how it goes. Let me know if you want the latest design files.

          • Yeah, I could use a little direction on the measurements so if you have some time those design files would be very helpful, thank you.

            • It has some issues I need to fix. Do you still want it? The current issues are:

              1) The cutaways for your fingers to take the batteries out of the bottom are a bit small.

              2) There are some very small parts that need to be made larger so they’re easier to glue.

              3) I need to adjust the ramp at the bottom a bit. That one works but it jams about 1 in 30 uses. I know I can get it to work 100 percent.

              • Yep, still want whatever you have. I’m planning to mock it up using cardboard first, which will allow me more flexibility for any potential changes.

                • I just uploaded it. Feel free to send pictures of anything you make…

  • Sure I can make one that is battery holder and charger. But what size is your charger?

    • It looks probably the same large size as the one you have on your design already; mine does have a pretty thick wire gauge extending out to a plug though.

  • I haven’t really thought about coins cells. Can they be recharged?

    • Regular coin cells, no. But there’s rechargeable lithium coin cells now, along with some charger circuits…for example, see the posts from these search results on hackaday.com:


      • Those coin cells are pretty small. I could imagine just having a tray for them. Perhaps make the tray thin enough that they can’t short each other.

  • Here’s an open source thermostat. http://hackaday.com/2014/01/18/move-over-google-nest-open-source-thermostat-is-heating-up-the-internet-of-things/

    This makes me wonder if the egg timer should be connected….

  • Sorry Darcy but I won’t be able to attend. My knee is acting up making walking difficult. Please arrange another creative outing for the spring.

  • Just about to cut out a slicer. I used the following chart for hole sizes for bolts: http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/drill-tables/screw2.html

  • This post made hackaday and here’s a great alternative power supply that came forward “What I found to work great was to use a light dimmer and a 12 volt transformer (the ones used for halogen lamps).
    This setup gives you more power, needed in the case of thicker or longer wire, and the ability of controlling the temperature of the wire.” — Iván Núñez

  • Thank you for the Slicer and Cutting Bow! I had not thought of those implementations and am excited to try them out as well!!

    • Glad you like them. I actually had an lot of fun making them.

  • Darcy i forgot you were a biker you will have to come see my bike, it’s a Vespa styled bike

  • I need some help, could you show me via links how to make the conection part of the copper and the electricity?

  • Way awesome!

  • Current bill of materials in progress (o = complete):

    o-Heat shrink
    o-Ultrasonic Range Finder
    o-Infrared Receiver
    o-Remote Control
    o-headers for range finder (female)
    o-lanyard material
    -extension cord
    o-hanging wire
    -controller cabinet materials (hardboard, acrylic, fasteners)

    Work in progress:
    o-designing snowflakes
    o-cutting out parts
    o-Assembly of flakes
    o-soldering wire harness extensions
    o-wiring controller box
    o-wiring sensor extensions

    o-100 batteries
    o-100 LEDs

    -extension cord
    o-solder, iron
    o-extra wire
    o-fishing line
    o-drywall screws /driver
    o-tie wraps

  • nice idea…have shared it with my co workers who have an 11 week old Border Terrier pup who has become part of the office team.

  • Hi!
    Really like this homepage, but could you pls add metrics for us poor slobs in Europe?

  • TSOP4838 IR receiver

  • Hey Darcy!
    Just put the coriander seed directly into the soil and water. They should sprout in a few days.
    The basil varieties look great.
    Take care

    • Hi Dinah,

      Really? Okay, I’ll give that a whirl!


  • How about rotary lasering the paper traction wheel from a printer, then putting it back in the printer, for a powered rotary stamper!?

    • Just the roller idea alone might work too. Two rollers could print both sides too.

  • Wow, that’s a really great idea!


  • I’ve noticed my weight gaining too. I think part of it is I’m getting older and I don’t need as much to eat but it is the main part of excitement for the day. I’ve been trying to get out and kite a paraglider and cross country ski but it doesn’t hold a candle up to a good repast! Here’s what I chould be able to call progress but I’m still gaining weight:

  • Check out the XV-11 Lidar scanner. Its from a robot vacuum cleaner and is spectacular. It gives you a full 360 scan (360 readings) 5 times a second and works out to 6 meters. The data comes out in a 115200 baud serial stream at 3.3v and is easy to interpret. Draws around 30mA in use.

    I’ve got 2 now. The latest one was $70 on eBay which is a steal compared to any other Lidar. That type of sensor typically runs into the thousands for low end versions.

  • I’m gonna keep my eyes peeled for any cylinder that I think I can laser…

  • Wow, so you got a stack of wires all working in parallel! Just like Slater.

    • Yeah, it’s quite a boon for speed. 🙂

  • Love that “walkup walkalong glider demo”!

    • I thought that’s what museum people call it. A “walk-up”. 🙂

  • Nice, i just got the same driver and led module to make a lamp. So this is very helpful, Thanks. Great pics and I can’t wait to see your finished lamp.

  • Hey Darcy, I am glad to have discovered you today. I have called myself a inventor-artist, a possibilitist and a whimsicalist for years. I sort of re-entered this amusing and interesting sideline in 2009 after quitting in 1995. I started as a cartoonist for magazines in 1966. I am looking forward to seeing what you do, and learning from you. I may or may not be the dog that can’t learn new tricks. Look up my recent TEDx talk in Indianapolis to see how old I look.

  • Keep up the good work, Darcy–you can do it! 🙂

  • I am amazed that the gliders could be colored, I would think the foam would be too delicate.

    • It’s a little hard on them but hey, the kids like it.

      • Wow, so you wrapped up with the winedown at Hub Ottawa a week later! Was everyone still interested? Looks like it.

        • Yeah, I went to the Winedown. We only did a bit of flying. But since I was in the area I figured I may as well come and hang out. And I had all my boxes with me so that made it easy.

  • To make integration of complex arduino projects easy for beginners you can try biicode they won’t need to download or install all needed arduino libraries

    • Julia,

      Thanks for the note. I’m going to keep things simple for the beginner workshops.

  • This cutter is great for cutting out the glider profile in thick foam and then using the guide to thin slice the foam. See a photo at the FB page:


    • Wohoo! Looks great!

    • Trick is to make templates to help make the shapes. Feel free to send me any sketch and I’ll make a template out of hardboard…

  • Check out this plane made from this cutter! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPJZEwFu2aA

  • Just saw this thread for the first time. I could definitely loose some weight too. I’ve been substantially more active in the last week which is good. I’ll get my bike out once everything has melted. I’ve found with a good cycling regimen the pounds just fall off me.

    Keep up the good work Darcy! I’ll be checking in to see how you’re doing.

    • Thanks for the positive note Max!

      Glad to hear you’re working on heath too. Looks like lots in common. 🙂

      I had a bad week but still at it. 🙂

  • I got it wired up and attached to an old CPU heat sink+fan. It is so bright. here’s a pic on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=815950361767382&set=p.815950361767382&type=1&theater

    Thanks again for the wiring tips. you made it very easy!!!

  • Thanks for organizing this Darcy! My son and I had a lot of fun! Was great seeing / helping people of all ages and skill level.

  • idea for simple project: knock door opener.

  • How did you get the motor to speed up?

  • Darcy,
    Do you ever make PCBs with your CNC machine? If so, I would be grateful if you would show me your set-up. I’m old-school and just getting back into electronics and need to start making my own PCBs.


    … Adrian

    • Thanks for the comment.

      Actually I bought some materials to try and make a PCB using my mill. Perhaps we can give it a whirl.


  • Love the Art-O-Matic robotic spiralgraphy I still have complete of these. I spoke with Paul Kourany in depth last night and more emails today to figure a way my son who’s 11 years old with special needs could learn how to build things with Arduino kit. Let me know of next workshop that I could bring him. thanks Vivian

    • Hi Vivian,

      Thanks for the note.

      If you want your 11 year old to learn to make things with Arduino, there are a few things you could try. Bringing him to communities where people use Arduino is probably a great start. We are doing regular meetups called “blink”. If you go to the “cool” link and pick “learn arduino”, on that page you can register him and yourself into one of the Blink sessions.

      At the blink sessions you can learn where to buy an arduino and related stuff and get it running on your laptop.

      To stay abreast of the Arduino Blink meetups and other stuff like that, you can keep an eye on the Arduino page here or subscribe to the newsletter. I will send a newsletter out when I add new sessions to the calendar (among other things).

      That’s probably your best starting point.

  • Thomas, how’s your lamp coming? I just finished mine. I made a little base out of hardboard.

  • I’m noticing that right under the heat sink (from the bottom the temperature is as hot as 95C. And the lower part of the black heat sink is 60C. Is that too hot?

  • I installed one of these into the aluminium casing of an LED road “stud” and the thing got crazy hot.
    I think if I were to use this for other than occasional testing, I would install a small fan and much larger aluminium or steel heatsink.

  • Yeah, I think I’m just going to add a fan..

  • Where did you get the heatsink?

  • I got it in ebay for like 5 bucks. It matches the size of the LED base so I figured it was perfect but I hadn’t realized how much heat these things generate.

  • I just added a fan and the temperature at the back of the heat sink is down to 57C.

  • Fan failed. 🙂

  • applause meter, clap off-on switch

  • Making 3d objects to print

    Step One
    Download Google SketchUp

    STL Import
    STL Export
    Download MeshLab to convert SketchUp files to .STL format

    Step Two
    Download netfabb the free studio version to “fix” STL files

    Step Three
    Bring .STL file to Skinning program

    Thanks to


  • Hey Darcy, yea my daughter took the pic and uploaded to her fb account so here it is on my public server. I run a fax broadcast service so that’s why it’s hosted there. Anyway it’s a great lamp but does need a fan. This is a pic of it wired up with only cpu heat sink. I did install the fan and put the led in a coffee can kinda like a stage light attached to mic stand with a flexy gooseneck. It’s so bright it burnt my left eye a little bit before i put it in the coffee can. I had to wear an eye patch for a couple of days. But when i’m building a giant rack mount server and putting in big long telephony cards and tons of little jumpers and connectors everywhere it’s great. These rack mounts are so big it’ls almost like working in a cave but the led lamp easily illuminates everything. No more having to hold a flashlight or move a little lamp around. I’ll post a pic of the finished product after i paint it up some. http://b2bfax.net/images/tbl01.jpg

    • Thanks, I see the picture that’s just the light but I can’t see the lamp itself..

  • I’ve got some more microphones on order.

  • The foam cuts cleanly. That looks like polystyrene foam you’ve used for the heart cut-outs. Can it also cut polyurethane foam?

    • Not sure, if you send me some I’ll try.

  • I like your project ideas. I will probably be testing them out over the summer so I can use some of them to help teach my students. I am a Technology/ Engineering teacher at Wasatch Junior High in SLC Utah. I have a YouTube site that you might like because I like to show projects too. My channel is TheMrByrom. I have a friend that wrote software to program the small CNC mill that you might like. check out his web site http://chinchillasoft.com/

    • Hi Tony,

      Thanks for the note.

      I will eyeball your friends CNC site. I saw the POV there already and it looks like fun.

      If you want to chat about things to do with kids I’d love to. I’ll look at your youtube channel as well.

  • Sorry, i don’t take too many pics during the process cause i don’t have a cam on my phone but once it’s done i will. here is a pic of my desklamp using peach can that is very similar except the LED module uses a bigger coffee can. http://b2bfax.net/images/deskLamp1.jpg i use this desklamp everynight and it’s great because it uses about 3 Watts. it’s arduino controlled with a PWM dimmer. we are getting so efficient the electric company came by yesterday to check the meter and transformers outside our office.

  • Any chance the Isocel-ease is open source? I’m curious about the math. It’d be fun to try and do this with a cnc machine.

    Great project!


    • I guess it will be open source. Right now the software doesn’t do much (despite working on it a few hours on the weekend). But it will do stuff soon as I think I have the right algorithms in my head…

  • I’ll look forward to an update!

  • Very cool project! I think you might be interested in this example of an unusual conversion of photographic imagery to line work. I had some great luck with some variations of this example, hope you do too.


    • Oh, thanks for that! I’ll have a look at it. I’m looking at some bitmap work but I definitely want to make some lines too!

  • This is awesome.

    You can make the inverse kinematics a bit nicer if you put the pen inline with the arm. There is a 3D printer (RepRap Tuga) that uses this style and if I am not mistaken the firmware already exists that will let you run boring Cartesian gcode on a machine like this. http://youtu.be/VRkYpnTxO_M

    Let me know if you need any contacts.

    • Hello!

      Thanks for the note. I’d love to try that firmware. Feel free to send me the contacts.

  • http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?178,289330

    Here is a good thread. You can PM the creator from there.

    Again, the math will be much nicer if you go with the Tuga geometry. It is really quite elegant. If you turn one stepper, you get a y translation. If you turn both steppers, you get an x translation. The inverse kinematics require one square root and not inverse trig functions.

    • Yeah, that geometry is very interesting. I expect to make several of these machines… So that one will definitely come forward.

  • Great project!
    Did you cut the gears on your CNC or had them made? If so, where? Many thanks

    • All the wooden parts were cut on the CNC machine.

      • If you need any gears cut, send me an email and I’ll make you some up.

  • Here’s how to tell who’s move it is. This set has a marker for “last move”. link

  • Some ideas:
    1. How about a small knob with pointer
    2. rotary knob that uncovers one colour as it is turned. The exposed colour marks the colour of the next player.
    3. Ball in race between two spaced magnets. The ball’s location (i.e. snapped to one of the two magnets) indicates the next position.
    4. Push-button “bistable”. When one button is pushed in, the other pops out and visa-versa.

  • Good ideas.


    I’m out of hardboard so have a couple days to figure this out.

  • But I’m really hedging towards having a red marker that attaches to the last piece that was moved.

    I can make a marker that will attach to the loop that holds each piece…. I’ll draw it up tonight…

  • Ask… 😉 This sounds like it might keep the kids occupied for a few hours during our next camping trip. Best of all it’s pretty much free since I have a pile of scrap hardboard just waiting for a use! LOL

    • Hi Dave, thanks fr the request. Just fishing for the files…

    • Okay, posted…

  • Hi… really like this project. Do you plan on publishing dimensional information for the various parts of the art-o-matic… gear diameters, arm lengths, etc. Thanks!

  • Hi Tom!

    Thanks for the note. Glad you like the project.

    I can give you the dimensions (or publish them). But have the fun is coming up with that stuff. 🙂

    Where do you live? I’m in Ottawa, Canada.

  • This might work to get from svg to sketchup Create SVG file in Inkscape
    Import SVG file into Blender
    In Blender, do all your extrudes/bevels, etc.
    In Blender, convert any Curve objects to Mesh objects [SketchUp chokes importing Blender curves, but not Blender meshes]
    Export your Blender file as a COLLADA .dae file
    Import the .dae file into SketchUp
    Continue editing in SketchUp and export from SketchUp to Google Earth

    bender tutorial http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro

  • Hey, This is great. I would love to run one of these through my CNC machine for my daughter. Would it be possible to get a copy of the sketchup file? I would like to play around with the design also and maybe we can exchange ideas once I have mine built.

    • Glad you like it. Sure I’ll post the design files.

    • I just added a download to the bottom of the post! I’m a little unsure of the spacing of the right gear to the center gear… So check that part before gluing it onto the assembly…

    • Any luck?

  • Brilliant, thanks. I should get some time on this over the weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • I’m looking forward to seeing your machine!

    • Did your machine come forward?

  • I agree to all your points. There is specific use case that the 3D printer solves, which is that the object you are making has features in the Z-direction. Its sometimes impossible to build some objects with sheet material (mdf,acrylic, alu).

    The concept of ubiquity is still a long way, as a forbes report suggests that worldwide, there are a total of 67k printers only.

  • I made a very similar drawbot with Lego. Yours is a lot sturdier though.


  • Hi Darcy. No sadly got way laid this past weekend with chores. Hoping to give it another go this weekend. Will definitely let you know how it turns out when I get there. I’m watching your site for updates. I’d really like to make the Isoscel next.

  • yeah, the Isoscel-ease machine is fun to fiddle with.

  • I will immediately snatch your rss feed as I can not find
    your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please permit me know in order that
    I could subscribe. Thanks.

    • Look for the word “newsletter” on the page.

  • Congratulations, you’ve reinvented the roll-up tool pouch! 😉

    Further suggestions:

    * A little scissor work will give you tuckable flaps. Or, add Velcro dots (or snaps, or magnets) as pouch latches.

    * The heat seal lines don’t have to be parallel – tiny openings can work well for tiny parts.

    * Seal two separate sheets face-to-face to make pleated pouches with more capacity.

  • Well this is good but it exists in book form as Kmart Business card holders

    I put all my small components in them

    The red doublesided tape from the same etore is cut to 1 x 1/2 inch strips to seal the top

  • see you then

  • Hi, i was wondering when the contest voting closing date is?
    PLS replay

  • Can my bike be a “motor cycle”? LOL I don’t own a pedal bike…

  • I don’t see why not. It’s all undefined.. Wanna help? 🙂 Actually I have a major bicycle advocate on this as of today… We’ll see what cooks up…

  • Oh gee I thought maybe your were naming it after me, ha ha.

    Bill Kuhl

    • hahaha, you can say that anyway… In the end I shifted the name to WiO Glider… it was a suggestion that came in.

  • Yesterday at the Morningside Flight Park in Charlestown NH, USA I could have used one of these to show the concept… it would be a must have in a conversation.

  • Don’t leave home without it!

  • How about Pocket Pilot?

    • Great idea. I think what I’ll do is make up a bunch of stencil for decorating the box and have a party. Then see which ones people use or if they laser there own…

  • Just added a video!

  • Well I will have to see about getting some on my e scooter

  • I wonder what other hacks would be cool…

  • I’m glad that you like our Christmas Parol Lantern. Hope you can make some more. If you need some other designs of parol, you can check this out.

    • Thanks for the note. I’ll be making my design for 2014 soon.

  • by the way im a filipino. and thank’s for sharing your video.

  • Sounds like a job for Sugru!

  • Hi Dan, good idea but I really want to make sure this thing doesn’t leak. Leaking water can do a lot of damage.

  • I think you’re on to something with the colour bar presented above. The issue becomes precision, unless you provide a two colour juxtaposition – one shade assigned per hour would be ok, then provide distinct shading to account for minutes.

    • I’m looking at four flashes. Two for hour. One tells quadrant and the 2nd where in the quadrant. Then repeat the same pattern to figure out minutes.

  • Google Play Store just said “Cardboard will be installed on you phone shortly”. Looks like my Galaxy S3 is supported. 🙂

    BTW, I still think it’s really neat that I can go to the Play Store from my PC and push an install to my Android Devices!

  • hahaha… so looks like I just get to play around with cardboard. That’s not so bad. I like cardboard.

    Yeah, it’s really cool that google play can push to your phone…

  • Try dominion rad on Gladstone. They might have an old cheap rad they can sell you (rebuilt or not). Wrecking yards for car rads, motorcycle wrecking yards for motorcycle rads.

  • Hey Darcy,

    Enjoyed watching the video of the painting robot! Great stuff! It did the job and more.


  • Actually that machine is surplus now.. I’m working on another..

  • ’77 Pontiac Bonneville heater cores are pretty popular for watercooling PCs and they’re very cheap to buy. Have a look here- http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=304440

  • Kenny’s U Pull (ottawa) bently.

  • That is slick! Cheap toys for the kids to play with and a new toy for the workshop. That’s kewl good job!

  • I officially challenge you to turn this into a watch!

  • Were will we get our prizes?

    • At midnight tonight we will tally the votes and make a leader-board of the winners. Each winner will be contacted so they can choose a prize. Once prizes are chosen an arrangement with each winner will be made to transfer the prizes to them.

  • great project lets get this into the new ottawamakerspace blog coming this Sept

    • Sure… mine is made on my own equipment. I guess I need to make a version on the library equipment…

  • I’ve got my Zen, who’s in for a hands-only race?

    • Count me in! Perhaps Sunday at the Arduino meetup..

  • Far left picture trying to figure out what is going on with the salt and the blonde hair lady.

  • I think you are on the rigt track but would sugest Matt board (photo framing) for a more professional finish.

    • Thanks Dave, I’ll have a look at that..

  • Hi Darcy, It’s a very nice and clean design. I especially like the big wheels. I’ve got some spare servos so I’m going to experiment with something similar myself. FipS — 4FipS.com

    • Thanks for the note. I’m looking forward to seeing your robot come together!

  • Thanks Darcy for your robot design and posts.

    • Thanks Jim! I love your version! It’s better than mine. I better try again. 🙂 I’ve got one with a pro mini that works nice. I broke the wheel will make another set of wheels.

  • This is the type mod I like. Only I put a small slot in the top of the pot shaft then a drop of contact cement on it. That way I can adjust it, with a tiny screwdriver, by just removing the wheel.

  • Great idea! Thanks!

  • I received a suggestion to use a 7805 regulator. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTylbNtZW3A

  • ST Peter High School TEJ engineering program can help with community projects

  • ST Peter High School makes robots if you have an idea lets work together

  • What software are you using to create the images for the CNC to carve? What’s the software chain? I’ve seen StippleGen, but haven’t seen one that generates those wavy patterns.

    • Follow the link on portraits at the top and it shows you other articles on portraits and the tool chains I’m using.

  • Guy from reddit gave this plugin for sketchup for getting to dxf.

  • Comment from phlatforum… FWIW, I mostly cut wood with my PPIII. I use a fence for balsa. For Aircraft ply 1/8″ and above I don’t use anything. For 1/16″ AC ply I tack to a spoiler piece of foam.
    Mostly I use a 1/16″ bur bit (for lack of a better term) as I find I get the best cuts. I use a 2 flute router bit (1/16″) for 1/4″ ply. I tried a 4 flute, but got better results with the 2 flute.
    I use multipass of 1/16″ on all the wood (Well except for the 1/16″ stuff).

  • Check out the Jameco website, they have a mini-drill for under a $100 dollars. It could be solution to your needs. Otherwise perhaps you can find a inexpensive spindel.

  • Use your eye blink sensor to activate mechanical eyelids on the mask with mini servos!

    • What a great idea. 🙂 I was going to trigger lights. Perhaps even mirror the blinking on other masks. So the masks are aware of each other’s blinking. Perhaps a different color for different identities…

  • I love it! Could combine it with an eye tracking capability like:


    Use one or two of those Point Grey cameras from Foxy… I picked up a few of them – Firefly I think…

  • This is more practical than a bucket with some water and ice.

  • Probably a 2 color/timed lighting scheme, a bright white strobe with red becon would be so airplane like.

  • Probably a 2 color/couldtimed lighting scheme, a bright white strobe with red becon sounds like a job for paddle bourne Arduino!

    • Great ideas! I figure it should have some AAA batteries. I suppose I need to come up with a battery box that can stick on the back of the cardboard…

    • Yeah, seems like a great excuse for an arduino. Sensors might be fun too. Perhaps some IR sensors so the system knows where the plane is relative to the cardboard…

  • DarcTry using a cyclone vacuum head over a regular bin/bucket… This extracts over 99% of the material before getting to the dust collector. All modern dust collection systems for woodworking incorporate a cyclone.

  • For the dust shoe, how about designing it in two parts that snap together using rare-earth magnets. The magnets hold the shoe in place when in use but you can pull it apart and out of the way when you need to change the bit.

  • Advice that’s been given to me for finish:

    Teak oil is good. But there a number of brands calling themselves teakoil. The guy at Preston hardware is knowledgeable and they have fair selection.


    I would recommend the use of Danish oil and paste wax for most wood
    projects. This finish is an excellent balance between surface protection and
    ease of repair. The oil in the finish also provides eye-popping depth to the

  • I love the simplicity of this rig, Darcy. Shades of my ancient Spirograph… but better! Great job.

    • Hi DW,

      Thanks for the note. I saw your Spirograph with the spool of paper. Loved it!


  • I wanted to know if you still sell the kit.

  • Comment I received in email:

    I remember my shop teacher stating that wood dust collectors can catch on fire. The dust rubbing on plastic pipes can generate static electricity which can spark and ignite the wood dust. To reduce the static you can wrap bare copper wire around your pipes. I use a metal garbage can as my collector to contain any fire.


  • Ideas for hanging:
    Decorative Screw Cap
    Mirror Holder

  • A point worth mentioning is that shop vacs are not necessarily made to run continuous (my $30 one I got on sale might not be especially).

    Just a thought.

    To avoid fire risk, I’m going to keep it light and always empty it every time. And stuff….

  • Hey, I recently built a laser cutter, I’d love to make this, can you please upload the design files.

  • For gear design, also check out Gearotic: http://www.gearotic.com/ . I haven’t tried it much myself and I find it a bit expensive at $125, but Gearotic has support for making complete mechanisms as well as “Imaginary gears” which are probably perfect for a kids toy 🙂 Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Royr7rTF0

  • Darcy,
    Do you want to add my latest clock? If so, how do I participate?

    • Yes, of course! Simply send me your clock’s Web page or just send me pictures of any progress so far (to my email). And I’ll add you!

  • Thanks for the plug, Dary.
    So I shall shamelessly continue with a plug for my new blog where I’ve started to add projects I’ve been working on over the past few years… Please visit the site WoodUino.ca and leave a comment.

    Many thanks,

    … Adrian_the_Canadian

  • Neat idea… Have you also thought about vibrating the clock from side to side very quickly (like a motor rotating an off centred weight). This may offer the movement necessary to trick the eye?

    • Moving the LEDs would work for sure. But that’s what everybody else does. 🙂

  • Interestingly the idea of a motorized spider also went through my head last week. I wondered if a pair of magnets would allow for easy separation of the spider from the string without damage. That said, on the rubber band gun I would be careful as some parents are very much against guns. Maybe have a way of asking the parents first before going through worth it.

    • Ah magnets! Yeah, that’s a pretty good idea. Actually, magnets are dangerous if swallowed… so I was thinking perhaps a hook.. or perhaps magnets but not those extreme rare earth. I should look up risks with the magnets.

      I branched the gun off to another post. It’s Halloween related but I thought as a project it deserved it’s own post.

    • I answered on the other post…

  • Dave, I think your right with your comment that some parents will not want their kids to have a rubber band shooter.

    I think that whole dialogue is interesting.

    I think that crowd will be there at the door with their kids filtering for their child (which I think most parents are anyway). I mean if a child is old enough to be out without their parents they shouldn’t really be out in the city right?

    For them, I think it’s fine, they can decline and get home to candy, video games and TV. 😉

    I am against guns myself. But oddly I don’t equate a rubber band shooter, water pistol or what have you to guns. It’s an interesting area to think about though…

  • Hi all. I made similar project, called R-Frame Mini. But one of motor has broke. Look at my work:

    balancing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJSd1kXN2o4

    first test drive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJSd1kXN2o4

    full story (Russian text): http://robocontroller.ru/news/2014-10-11-50

  • This is really cool! I’m just wondering, if I were to use the same power source but made the cutting wire about 3 feet long would it still get hot enough or would i need more power? Any thoughts would be appreciated as I have a very limited understanding of electricity. Thanks in advance.

    • It’s a bit hard to say since there is quite a range of voltage that will work for a given wire. You’ll even want to experiment within that range sometimes to make your cuts smooth (or to make it cut faster).

      Why not just try it? What I’ve been doing is connecting the wire sample to my lab supply and varying the voltage until it’s cutting the way I want. I take note of the voltage and amperage then select a power supply.

  • Where can i order the Parol kit?

    • Simply email me with the number of kits you’d like (and address to calculate shipping). I’ll send you a payment link!

      • If i may ask, what is your email please..thanks

        • I already emailed you (check your spam folder). But you can find my email by clicking About or Contact link at this site. It’s Darcy@inventorArtist.com

        • I just changed the About link to Contact to make it easier to find.

  • Thank you so much…

  • checkout thingiverse for “slow flyer model extra light propeller”

  • You mean this one? http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:516488

    Perhaps that can be modified… I should try that one…

  • This Firefly nad Glowy Ears thing is SOOOO COOOL! With a temperature sensor it could be a mood warning thing. With a motion sensor it can become a ‘no-I’m-not-inebriated-I always-walk-this way’ warning device.

    • Thanks for the note. It’s been a fun project and yes there are endless possibilities for a project like this.

  • Hi, Just wanted to know the prices for the kits.

  • I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now! I’m going to see if I can adapt it to the laser cutter for speed of production. I’ve got a CNC router but it’s as slow as molasses running uphill in January…

  • Are these Parol kits available online?
    Do they come in different sizes?
    How can I find out more about them?

    • Send me a note with the number of kits you want and an address as the post suggests. This is a 14″ parol kit.

  • This is such a great use for old vinyl records that I never want to play again. So for the young kids perhaps you need a CD clock. I know there is redundancy on a CD so how much can you cut away and still recover data. If you cut a burnable CD can you then record on it even if it has a few holes. The censorship possibilities are endless. “CD Redacted by Darcy”.

    • I was just thinking about that last night. I wonder how well the CDs will cut and if they’re laserable. I was wondering how the data layer would flake off and was thinking if it did it might look interesting…

      The other think I was thinking was to try and make the whole clock out of the record with gears and all.

    • The record after cut idea is super. Oh, by the way, that CNC cutter I’m lending you will cut records no problem…

      You just put the dremel on a low setting….

  • The bidding opened at $5 and there has been a bid of $25 from facebook.

    • Vicki, thanks so much for the bid! Looks like another person won it though.

      • damn this would have been a sick gift for my girl obsessed with PF. next time

  • So this went out to someone the other day. So watch the clock page for more free and auctioned stuff…

  • $30 , need a gift for my brother and he is a huge floyd fan

  • 10 more minutes or so…

    • If we do end up meeting near IKEA , give me a place and we should be there by about 1:30 at the latest.

  • Craig, looks like you won. Okay, lets meet at Sonnys. It’s just behind the ikea in the little stripmall that has a pizza joint. You can probably hop the fence but I walk around. 🙂 I may take till 1:45 or 2p. Is that okay?

    • Yay , okay , googled it , know where it is , will be there at 1: 45 , thank you.

      • Thanks for dropping by.

        Enjoy that record clock! It takes pretty long to cut out all those bricks but they can make a nice shadow..

    • Looks interesting.. I’m looking at different linear rails. I suppose one step for the project is to start sourcing various bearings and linear bearings…

  • There probably exists a generation of people that would see the LP as a mystery object. For those of us that have handled vinyl records, this looks marvelous…

    • Yeah lots of kids probably don’t know about records. Not to mention eight-tracks. But they still make records and there’s a crowd that swears by them…

  • Here’s a recent note from Aaron:

    Alright, lets get serious in that case.

    Here is my proposal : we will run the Line Follower, Line Racing and
    Line Maze competitions, following the same rules as the 2011 games:

    Line Follower :
    Line Racing :
    Line Maze :

    Now, in the 2011 games I went a little crazy with the line follower
    maze… the level 4 maze was absolutely madness and essentially created
    to cause devastation. Instead of being insane, I think this time we
    should simply run the CNRG 2010 courses as given on the rules page
    above. The 4th level is still challenging and we can ramp up the
    difficulty next time.

    We’ll keep a single division for simplicity instead of having a
    beginner/advanced separation. Its been a while since we’ve run the line
    followers, so I think we can assume we are all beginners again!

    For the line race, I still like the idea of having to stop within the
    finish area. We had some issues with some of the robots not being able
    to detect that last time, not because they weren’t trying to detect but
    instead because there was something strange with the course that we
    never completely sorted out. Instead of disqualifying robots this time,
    we’ll leave it up to everyones discretion… If the majority of robots
    have trouble, we’ll drop that requirement on competition day and turn it
    into a modifier instead (ie- time = time * 1.1 or something for missing
    the start/stop area).

    For the maze competition, I’d decrease the time limit to 2 minutes (from
    5) as it took incredibly long to run all the robots last time.


  • Nice work I’ll start you off at 5$!

  • That’s a beautiful clock! I’ll bid $10

  • Beautiful work! Great way to recycle. By the way, Ron loves the motorcycle one,.

  • For the living hinge, you’ll need far longer slots in the material. Due to them being close together, this is best done on a laser as the CNC loves to eat thin geometry.

    As this is to be used in a restaurant setting, I’d consider looking at using something more robust for the hinges themselves- like maybe aluminum- and leave the boards to be expendable. Anything the public touches, the public will also break quickly. That, and hardboard doesn’t do well when it sits in someone’s spilled soda.

    Looks like a fun little project though. Nice work.

    • Thanks. It was just an excuse to try to make a living hinge with a rotary cutter. I think your right the members need more length…

  • Clock hands from a CD. That is an awesome use for the material. Very light weight, and flashy. Perfect.

    • Yeah, I’m just working on version two of the CD hands. CD material is a bit more sparse son I’m going to use inlay rather than make the hour hand entirely out of the CD.

  • Hello there. Are these for sale?

    • Sure, what size and design do you want? Feel free to email me.

  • Darcy,
    Can you explain what we are seeing here… Is the toy constructed with two motors, one of which you can vary the speed?

  • Interested in the CNC project and the training.


  • Interested in being ping’d. Ping me.

  • Please keep me informed too!

  • I am interested… currently working on building my own machine… but it may take me quite some time. I have my $100 in hand!!

    Darcy – Thanks for taking the initiative on this!

    • The pricing is just a thought… I was thinking that was a good price level…

  • interested! woo!

  • Great and inspiring work…I have been trying to cut vinyl on cnc but have not figure yet the right speeds and details of cutting….any suggestions???i am using artcam in mach3
    Thank you very much

    • It’s a bit of a guessing game. All the vinyl is different thicknesses and hardness. What experiments have you tried?

  • Hi,
    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m currently looking for a CNC machine as I run a record ( http://www.rhubarbrecords.com ) store and have lots of spare vinyl with scratches etc. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for a good machine please? Something compact and not too pricey.

    • Hi,

      I’m way over here in Canada…

      I think anything that has a cutting area that’s bigger than a record should be fine…

      Perhaps seek out your local hackspace and see if they have one to try?

      • Thanks Darcy,
        I will definitely be doing some research before buying a CNC machine. They aren’t cheap!

  • Hi Darcy,

    I’d like to participate in this CNC sharing project. Let me know details and if\when it is a go.



  • I’m definitely interested in the shared machine and the training. Let me know. Cheers.


  • @OttawaPete from Twitter here – definitely interested in this.

  • Certainly interested in this initiative. Would take the training but would be more likely to use and pay for on a per-use basis rather than membership based. Some cost and booking structure could be defined for that type of use.
    In any case. I’ll be keeping an eye on this initiative. Interesting. Thanks.

  • Interested as well.

  • Not a bad design for a cart. I’d recommend a flip up cover for the keyboard as I’ve got mine two feet from my machine and it’s always full of acrylic chips which jam the keys. Also, locate one or more E-Stop buttons around the cart. The motor driver boxes would be happier with a bit of an enclosure, allowing air to come in from below so they don’t ingest a lot of swarf. Your sketch shows swivel casters on one side. With a tip up and roll setup, I’d opt for solid casters instead or it’ll be wobbly moving it around. The more you can enclose things, the less area there is for dust, chips and other junk to land on.

    For my CNC table, I actually made what amounts to a large kitchen island out of IKEA kitchen cabinets. The outside, which goes up against the garage door, has 12″ cabinets for vertical storage of 24″ sheets of acrylic and other large pieces. On the inside. sets of drawers for tools, a large double door cabinet in the center for the dust collector, and a single door cabinet with shelving on the side for the computer and motor driver box. The top is 3/4″ plywood with 3/4″ MDF on top, and an edge cut from a 2×2 and stained black. It’s just high enough to keep tools from rolling off.

  • sir plz send me a quotation for cnc minimum price.


  • Hey there Darcy.

    I met you at Pour Boy a few months ago.

    I would love to order a ladyface clock from you please!!

    I don’t need it until August, just to give you some time.

    Is the price $30? I feel that’s what you told me before but I could be wrong.

    Also in the photo of the ladyface clock it has your logo cut in. Is that on all the clocks or just an example as I would prefer without the logo.

    Hope you are having a good day.


  • That is a really neat process to use on such a commonly available material. I might have to try this out sometime.

  • Hey Darcy,

    I see your stuff pop up on Reddit all the time. I love it! How much for a Hendrix clock?


  • Is this battery still holding up? I have the same drill and think that it would be a great project!

    • yeah, seems to be working fine… I used it the other day…

  • Darcy the machine you were testing on Sunday should be able to do PCB.

  • About two weeks ago I finally broke the handle. It’s still usable though and I’m sure I’ll get another 10 years out of it. 🙂

  • Hi from Australia! I just found your site. I would dearly love to purchase one of your spool knitters. Do you still sell them? I am able to pay via Paypal. Looking forward to hearing from you, very best wishes, Marian

    • Sure, I can make you any size or any number of pegs.

  • To do the conversion from DAE format to OBJ or STL, download MeshLab – it is also free.

    To make corrections to the design, get netfabb Basic – also free.

  • sorry I do not speak English..one question
    En la board cicuit..donde entra el eliminador de 7.2 v..
    Se me quemo..y no se que resistencia lleva ahi
    Necesito saver de cuantos homs es la recsistencia..
    Agradecere tu respuesta..

  • Im intrested in trying this. Did you ever pen down your exact feed and speed settings?
    Nice designs.

  • Hey Darcy,
    I saw your stuff especially the Painting robot. may I ask, what are the measurements of the wood and what did you use for programming. what type of arduino did you use? please answer back. thanks 🙂

    • This stuff is all outlined on the numerous pages for painting and drawing robots. Did you look through those pages?

  • Hi, what kind of bit are you using and where would I buy one?

  • Is your group still active?

    • Yes, and we’re going to start some organized activities as well. Workshops, challenges, contests…

  • how far back do you put the wing mount?

    • It depends on a few factors such as the weight of the propeller. With the propellers they ship with it is an inch and a quarter. With the Sig propellers is much further back.

      The idea is to guess, then test fly then adjust. The procedure for that is at the Squirrel Web site (http://www.rubber-power.com/) on the “Make it” pages…

  • I apologise profusely for the delay in getting back to you, I am still very much interested in purchasing a knitting spool from you, one like the one in the first photo and the fifth one along!
    Please let me know all the details, very best wishes, Marian
    aka – http://spoolknitter.blogspot.com

  • This is awesome, just curious though, there is a set of pictures just above the video for “Clock from LP record”, and the picture on the left shows an album with some white cleaner or something on it on the edge, and it looks like another album kind of laying or leaning up above it, can anyone explain to me what im seeing the other album for and what that whitish material is?

  • Would to usefull as a page Turner for book if its can be customize or repurpose for accessibility

    • Interesting idea. Do you happen to be in Ottawa? I think a page turner is possible but I think it would be much different than this project.

  • Yes Darcy it is a different idea , a page Turner much harder . Way back I’ve researched for a not expensive way of doing it using Arduino and motors but could not find a solution. Use to have one or 2 clients who wantsed to read a real book with a page Turner, but now with ebooks the demand for it is less. Still if available someone could use it.
    Yes I am from Ottawa, maybe you could hookup one day.Bocar

  • It’s does look easy but the more I’ve looked at it the harder its get. I’ put it on the back burner until I’ saw your pape flipper link, which seems nicer and cleaner.lets emails and meet, maybe together we can come up with a workable version.
    See below video of a page Turner my in-law was trying to build:


    • That attempt looks like a great start. Add more motors and a controller and it might be a great turner…

  • G’day!

    I’m new to CNC, but I love your work on the ear rings and clock etc.

    Can you tell me what type of bit I need to cut like that? I only have a 4mm cutting bit at present!

    2 flute? 4 flute? What would you recommend as a good set of assorted bits to start off?

    Thank you!

    • Check out my various blog posts on cnc cutting. Also why not just try that 4mm and let me know how it goes?

  • I will see if i have any old c.d’s and cases.for you.
    I love the earrings.so funky.
    Im not at bizarre this week but will be in touch to pick some up from you.

  • Hello! My daughter and I purchased some of your beautiful wood earrings at Glow Fest and would like to buy more! Do you have a shop that we could come by and look at your inventory in person?


  • good work for your inventors.

  • But I am worry because I have read that infrared is bad for the eyes.

    • I think it is bad but I don’t think this amount is harmful. Otherwise there’d be a warning on your TV remote.

  • Hi guys, How do I find out when you are open. I’d like to pop by and ask couple of questions.


    • Why not just come to this meetup?

      What questions?

  • Eyeglass,reflective infrared optical sensor and arduino were the materials needed or there are still materials not mentioned? I also want to do this. Can you teach me how to? Thanks.

    • I guess you need the sensor and a couple resistors…

      Where do you live?

      • What kind of sensor? Is it not the reflective IR optical sensor? Can I replace the sensor with IR LED and photodiode? Still dont know the circuitry from sensor to the arduino. Btw,I live in the Philippines. Hope you can help me. Thanks.

        • Why not try the sensor mentioned the TCRT5000?

          I don’t see why you couldn’t use IRLED and photodiode. But you’d have to try.

          • Hi Sir Darcy, can I ask for the circuitry? Thanks. I wanna try the TCRT5000 if it would really work. Thanks.

            • Is there not a link in the post? I thought I linked that… I’m just in the middle of something I’ll make sure it is there shortly…

  • Do you do a Ned Kelly image on the Clock?

  • Hi, sorry, I can’t see on the picture…is the beatles clock, done on an actual beatles album?

    • No, not unless you bring me the album.

      It is usually something contrasting. Like Jimi Hendrix cut from classic. Or something from around the birth date of the artist to show the progress of music. What city are you in?

  • hi l want to buy Swirly Draw for lesson. I need it and it is important for me .contact me please

    • Sure, send me an email with your address and I’ll put one together for you…

  • Hi, wondering how much it costs for custom vinyl clocks. Thanks 🙂

  • Hello sir,
    please tell the you use the resistor color code or value of resistor

  • hello sir,
    i want this circuit diagram please send my mail id because i do this project sir please help

  • Hi, I am just wondering when you started this work! How long have you been working? over 10 years?

    • This project is pretty new. This will be my 2nd Christmas making the clocks..

  • Hi love what you do would it be possible to do the clocks with a small rotary tool and if so what bit would you recommend I was wanting to do something for my wife’s birthday

    • If you have a look at my clocks page it shows lots of methods of cutting the vinyl.

      Are you wanting me to make one or are you wanting help making one yourself?

  • I definitely think you should workshop this, or a general CD artskills workshop!

  • Hi 😀 Love your work? I am interested of buying som but I don´t know if it is possible or how to do it 🙁

  • Hi, will you design and cut custom record clocks? I have some ideas but lack everything other than the basic idea.

  • Is there a link to where you bought it?


    • I just added a couple of youtube videos to the bottom of the post. One of them has the link to the one I bought. It’s on sale right now.

  • Well done!

  • What size CNC routers will be in place?

    • That’s to be determined. I’ve got a couple small ones to start off with.

      It will be determined by who signs up…. and who attends the social activities….

  • would depend on location if MORE accessible the different options are in locations – would like to know exact locations before I sign up as I am member of another co working space Thanks Vivian

    • The location is in the post, bank/somerset.

  • Hi, I live in India and also work with waste materials. Please could you tell me what machine you are using?

    • It’s a cnc machine.

      • Okay. Is it possible to buy it? Also you mention you made specific fitments for CDs, can one but those also?

  • Microwaved the CD?

  • Really cool looking cards.

  • Hi! Are theses Batman logo/fidget spinners for sale? Send me an email!

  • Hi Darcy,

    I absolutely love your work! I’d like to purchase The Tragically Hip vinyl clock – do you happen to have any in stock? Or are they made to order, and if so, how long does it usually take?

    Thank you,

  • Hi Darcy ..thanks for web..I have made foame plate snow flake rubber band plane in .42cm wings..22cm tale. ..36cm motor stick…18cm all proppeler…..now I use simple rubber band its not good it blasts….I need some special rubber band to up my flight time up to 1 min or 2 mins….I’m in kabol Afghanistan here isn’t any good rubber band…so can u post me a pack of good rubbers…thanks u so much for help me if u can….do have any messenger or what’s app applications that I can send u videos or talk with u…thanks.

    • I’ve received your email but no pictures/video. Go ahead and reply to my email and we can discuss this.

  • Most rubber bands start out as a hose of sorts that is then sliced. I build remote control planes as part of my living and use rubber bands for all sorts of things. If I don’t have one I need I keep old bike, motorcyle, car and tractor tubes as backup. If the rubber band is too light you can cut it thicker, if it isn’t the right length you can change the angle you are cutting it until it is.

    Hope that helps!


  • Drop Trudeau. He is too political. I think your list needs more focus — personally, I would also get rid of Watson. Ottawa has had mayors come and go. You need to look at real contributions! Bill Teron is an example. Also Gordon Reid — the founder of Giant Tiger (one of the last independent retail chains and amazingly successful. What about writers and artists — Francis Itani is an example.

    • By the way, Gird Reid is about 85. He still goes into work and buys all of his clothes at Giant Tiger —
      Leonard Lee (Lee Valley Toois) was another Ottawa icon, but he has now died.
      There are some important Ottawa architects — Sullivan? Another was recently featured in Ottawa magazine. Page back issues for ideas.

      • Excellent suggestions! Thanks!

        I’m gonna add some stuff based on it! I’m just on the road now will do it tomorrow!

  • Hi I’ve been buying old records to try on my CNC router and wondered how the oldest records would cut? They seem to chip easy like bakelite plastics not like the newer vinyl records. I thought someone would know from trial & error?

    • I’ve not cut any of those yet. Let me know if you find a solution.

  • Hi Darcy:

    Do you still offer the Parol Making kits? If so, I’m interested in purchasing them. Thanks!


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