Monday, May 9, 2022

More Screw Mechanism Testing

 Now controlled over CAN and USB, using a gui based on the espresso machine software

The the USB communication plus Python GUI gives me nice live-plots and logs.  Here's a plot of the fast position steps:

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

CPW Coiling

 Austin and I turned on Mike's tesla coil in the parking lot outside MITERS, for MIT's Campus Preview Weekend.  One precharge switch and resistor got toasted, but otherwise it ran flawlessly for two nights in a row:

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Monday, April 11, 2022

Lathe Preview

Lathe backstory and move post to come, but here's a sneak-peak.  Lots to do still to get it up and running, but so far I've been amazed by how little wear there is under all the gunk.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tool Holder Tightening Fixture


Needs a cam handle, but it works.  3 different brands of tool holders with 3 different torqueing features, so I made this fixture that clamps a cylindrical section of the tool holder, which is the same on all of them

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Foot Mechanism Prototype

 Quick and dirty prototype of a passive foot pitch mechanism:

CAD cross section:

To make a return spring I flattened the end of a 1mm spring steel rod and drilled a 1mm hole through the end for a dowel pin axle:

A drilled out screw acts as a guide bushing for the spring:

Tuesday, January 25, 2022


I was inspired by my friend Ethan to finally start organizing my fasteners and other little bits of hardware:

Ethan designed these 3d-printable stacking sub-bins - I have a lot of small fasteners, so these were really helpful:

Beginning of the stack:


Friday, January 14, 2022

Spinning things!

It spins!  A good end to the most productive week I've had in quite a while (on personal projects, at least):

More spinning things: turning the 3mm cam followers:

Tiny cam follower shafts done.  Thumb for scale:

Assembled cam follower "spindles" with a bearings:

Real blog post with more explanation coming soon-ish.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Undercutting tool

I needed an undercutting tool for the part in the last post, so I made one from an old HSS end mill.

ER32 chuck loosely held in an ER40 collet, serving as a manual rotary/linear axis.  Grinding wheel in the mill spindle:

One of the features it cut:

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Screw mechanism progress

 Machining the rotor/cam nut for the screw mechanism:

Turned on a manual lathe to this point, then milled on the 5-axis:

Mid-finishing passes:

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Today's contraption

The astute reader can probably figure out what this is and what it's a test setup for:

Oh how I missed you, MITERS Hardinge