Technical progress in the open-source self replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) community has enabled a distributed form of additive manufacturing to expand rapidly using polymer-based materials. However, the lack of an open-source metal alternative and the high capital costs and slow throughput of proprietary commercialized metal 3-D printers has severely restricted their deployment. The applications of commercialized metal 3-D printers are limited to only rapid prototyping and expensive finished products. This severely restricts the access of the technology for small and medium enterprises, the developing world and for use in laboratories. This paper reports on the development of a < $2000 open-source metal 3-D printer. The metal 3-D printer is controlled with an open-source micro-controller and is a combination of a low-cost commercial gas-metal arc welder and a derivative of the Rostock, a deltabot RepRap. The bill of materials, electrical and mechanical design schematics, and basic construction and operating procedures are provided. A preliminary technical analysis of the properties of the 3-D printer and the resultant steel products are performed. The results of printing customized functional metal parts are discussed and conclusions are drawn about the potential for the technology and the future work necessary for the mass distribution of this technology.
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!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
OpenSprinkler Pi (OSPi) is an open-source sprinkler / irrigation extension board for Raspberry Pi (RPi). It is based on the design of OpenSprinkler, but its ‘brain’ is an RPi instead of an AVR microcontroller.
Ray has published everything you need to create your own OpenSprinkler Pi. Check it out here!
Attendees and viewers at home cast their support for GrowCubes. The idea of stackable greenhouses small enough for a New York City apartment really captured the imagination of the public. And for that they’ll be taking home the $15,000 reader’s prize.
Have you ever looked at your hair dryer and wondered if it could make a killer latte? Or if your desk lamp could double as a projector in a pinch? Probably not, but design student Weilun Tseng dreams of of a future where household appliances can be reconfigured as easily as Lego bricks.
Tseng was inspired by photographer Todd McClellan, who obsessively deconstructs mechanical objects, and a growing personal frustration with the mountains of electronic waste that result from a culture of planned obsolescence. Tseng deconstructed 50 common household gadgets, everything from fans to tea kettles, and realized that you could recreate all of them with five basic modules: a light socket, rotating motor, air heater, immersion heater, and a heated surface.
The Red Cross, internationally, recently began to use open source software and data in all of its projects, he said. Free software reduces or eliminates project “leave behind” costs, or the amount of money required to keep something running after the Red Cross leaves. Any software or data compiled by the Red Cross are now released under an open-source or share-alike license.
Led by Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, Project Ara is developing a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines.
Our goal is to drive a more thoughtful, expressive, and open relationship between users, developers, and their phones. To give you the power to decide what your phone does, how it looks, where and what it’s made of, how much it costs, and how long you’ll keep it. Here’s a sneak peek at early designs for Project Ara –
Few hardware companies would dream of giving up their design secrets, but for a growing niche of entrepreneurs, doing just that is a pillar of their business.
The open-source hardware movement is migrating from the garage to the marketplace. Companies that follow an open-source philosophy make their physical designs and software code available to the public. By doing so, these companies engage a wave of makers, hobbyists and designers who don’t just want to buy products, but have a hand in developing them.
The Innovation Act of 2013, introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and co-sponsored by a bipartisan coalition, offers a host of fixes to the problem of patent trolls—whose abusive litigation has exploded in recent years, putting a drain on our innovation economy and harming innocent end users.
Patent trolls buy up patents and use them offensively against unsuspecting businesses—without creating or selling anything themselves. Making broad claims of infringement based on patents of questionable validity is the troll’s favorite move. Most defendants choose to settle because patent litigation is risky and expensive—and trolls offer settlement amounts that, although still incredibly burdensome, are far cheaper than a lawsuit. Businesses who are targeted—including cafés running Wi-Fi, app developers, offices using scanners, and podcasters—lose both time and money, and innovation suffers.
In a televised question-and-answer session in February, President Obama weighed in. “They don’t actually produce anything themselves,” he said of trolls. “They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.”
About a third of the way into the 45-minute “Fireside Hangout,” Obama fielded a question from Limor Fried, an electrical engineer and proprietor of Adafruit Industries, a New York DIY and tool shop. (Google picked the president’s five interlocutors, based largely on their online popularity, and flagged for the White House ahead of time which topics would likely come up.) “When I go around and talk to other entrepreneurs,” Fried explained to Obama, “what I hear is they’re worried that if they become successful they’re going to be targeted by software patent trolls.” Sure, the president and Congress have passed some legislation on patents, she granted. But what about that?
What had been a lawyer-saturated fight between tech-industry giants has become a conversation between the president of the United States and a pink-haired electrical engineer from SoHo.
Why is openness important in hardware? “Because open hardware platforms become the platform where people start to develop their own products,” Banzi told Ars. “For us, it’s important that people can prototype on the BeagleBone [a similar product] or the Arduino, and if they decide to make a product out of it, they can go and buy the processors and use our design as a starting point and make their own product out of it.”
Newark put together a survey of 4,000 professional engineers and over 4,000 students and hobbyists. The result: 56% of the professional engineers said they were more likely to use open-source hardware this year than in the past. Of course, over 80% the students and hobbyists were looking to open-source hardware.
Thirty years ago this month, the GNU system announcementsparked a conversation that has grown into the global free software movement. Now we invite you to join the GNU community in celebrating this important occasion, and creating a future where GNU is stronger than ever.
PirateBox is a self-contained mobile communication and file sharing device. Inspired by pirate radio and the free culture movement, PirateBox utilizes Free, Libre and Open Source software (FLOSS) to create mobile wireless file sharing networks where users can anonymously chat and share images, video, audio, documents, and other digital content.
The PirateBox can be built using a number of different configurations depending upon your needs and budget. The basic system consists of a lightweight web server connected to a wireless device. When users join the PirateBox wireless network and open a web browser, they are automatically redirected to the PirateBox welcome page. They can then begin uploading or downloading files.
/u/Masada_ posted several pictures inside his own box, provided a list of parts, and links to other PirateBox building resources. So check it out!