May 29, 2014 AT 8:00 am

FIBIAC – Punchcard Computing 3D Printed Electromechanical Computer #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Chris Fenton

Here’s an update to Chris Fenton’s FIBIAC FIBIAC – Punchcard Computing 3D Printed Electromechanical Computer:

A long time ago (after I built my FIBIAC), my friends at Makerbot used their botfarm to make a boatload of 3-digit counters for me. I hadn’t really decided what to do with them at the time, but I thought it would be fun to see how far I could push the delightfully-inefficient instruction-set architecture I had come up with. After languishing for 2 years or so, I finally decided to do something with them. The punch-card chain of the FIBIAC has been replaced by a somewhat more robust stepper-driven instruction drum, and there are now 8 (!) 3-digit counters. Here is a short test video of it running a 4-instruction ‘Difference Engine Emulator’, and computing a table of x^2 (1, 4, 9, 16, 25 …). The final result shows up on the 4th counter from the left (the white one) after every iteration. Enjoy =)

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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

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1 Comment

  1. Wow! what an incredible, Horrible, Amazing, Haunting look at computing from back in the day. Thank god for the microprocessor!

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