Giving Lenny a Job

I made a pen-holder to attach to the SCARA robot Z-axis shaft and used it to draw some hilbert curves. The python script to generate the gcode is pretty easy and I’ve put it in a github repository

Using FreeCAD to engrave on a rotary axis.

FreeCAD Path doesn’t have a 4th Axis operation (yet) but certain kinds of things should still be possible. For example, engraving or pocketing on a cylindrical surface. I’ve seen other software, both open-source and commercial, that allow the user to map a linear axis to a rotary axis. I decided to try writing a ‘Dressup’…

Old School Maker Cool

I recently endured celebrated my fiftieth birthday.  As a gift, my father gave me this wagon that he’s had for many years.  It was originally made by Dad’s uncle, Art Nelson near Brainerd, Minnesota, sometime in the 60’s.  I used to look at it when I was a kid and it was one of my…

A nifty work-around for HeeksCNC Kurve offset error

HeeksCNC can be finicky about profiles.  Often I’ve found that a sketch which should be easily profiled won’t generate any gcode at all.  When I look in the console, I find an error like this   File “/usr/lib/heekscnc/kurve_funcs.py”, line 247, in profile     raise Exception, “couldn’t offset kurve ” + str(offset_curve) Exception: couldn’t offset…

CAD Is Hard!

I got the chance to speak about FreeCAD at the Osmoces event near Chicago over the weekend.  I had a really good time seeing some of the other presentations and exhibits and just hanging around with some pretty cool people.  In addition to the talk, I also taught a workshop where we got hands-on with the software…

FreeCAD WebGL Export.

This is still early but it’s too cool not to share.  Yorik has added a WebGL exporter to the FreeCAD arch module (but it seems to work everywhere in FreeCAD) Open a model in FreeCAD and select the objects in the tree   Export the objects (File -> Export) and select WebGL     Save…

Fun in the shop

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday at my brother’s place.  It was a very relaxing weekend spent eating too much and shooting stuff.  (I’m not very into guns but this stuff is fun!) My brother recently bought a jealousy inducing lathe like this: This thing was barely out of the crate.  The DRO hadn’t even been…

Keeping Good Company.

A reader on my Magic Clock site made me aware of this TED talk by Massimo Banzi, Co-inventor of the Arduino.  He lists some really cool projects ranging from the important to the silly.  I might be closer to the Farting Chair end of the scale, but hey, I made the list.  Fast forward to…