Casio EX-ZR100 High Speed Point and Shoot

I recently purchased a new high speed camera to record the new projects. This was a video test I did to see the quality. I love the new camera, but the high speed has a very low resolution and requires a lot of additional lighting. At the end of the day I’m glad I paid $250 for the high speed despite these flaws.

Pipe Inspection Robots


The Active Structures Laboratory built these amazing pipe inspection robots. The mechanism has a spinning wheel assembly that propels it through pipes. It even allows it to climb up pipes almost effortlessly. I wonder if someone can build something similar using Lego bricks. They have some really good videos of it on their website.

Seattle Doctor Folds and Throws Paper Airplane using da Vince Robot

Via C.K.

Lego Styrofoam Cutter

Lego bricks are great for making models, but sometimes you can make real tools with them. If you want to work with foam you should definitely consider building this hot wire cutter. It’s a great tool because it doesn’t leave any dust and it cuts through foam like butter. A few years back I didn’t have any scrap wood but I had plenty of Lego pieces.

Apple infused Pumpkin

Delicious Apple Infused Pumpkin using an Common Household Air Cannon!

Lego Self Resetting Target Range

One of my hobbies is taking out the Airsoft gun and picking off innocent Lego bricks from a shelf. Eventually I got tired of picking up my fallen victims and decided to turn the Lego’s into a self resetting target range. I wanted to make a cool electronic range, but I figured there must be an easy mechanical way that doesn’t cost me $12 per servo and days worth of wiring. I looked on the internet and found some $60+ dollar targets and just knew I could redesign them using Lego pieces. Once I found the right angles and proportions for the pieces the thing worked like a charm. When I shot the bottom two targets they get locked in place. When finished I shot the top target to release the bottom two. I added a stop motion video on how to construct one at the end and some different views so you can build your own.

Homemade BB Gun using a One Way Valve

I got bored and decided to make a BB gun using my air compressor. The secret sauce is a one way valve that blocks air from the firing chamber but allows air in the other direction to rapidly propel ammo into the gun. This allows me to tube fed BB’s, even when the gun is inverted. It’s also much faster than gravity feed versions. Watch the video for some action shots and how to make the valve.

Homemade ACME Tap


I’ve been working on a new CNC mill and I’m using ACME rods to drive the x and y axis. An ACME rod has about half the turns per inch when compared to a standard rod and allows the machine to move twice as fast. The only downsides are ACME couplers and nuts are expensive and difficult to make without $40 ACME taps. I stumbled onto Michael McKinley’s site and decided to try making a  homemade tap. He used a drill press and a file for his. I wanted to spice it up and used a Dremel and belt sander, it took 30 minutes and saved me a lot of money. Best part this trick can be used on any threaded rod as long as the material you are cutting into is soft. Michael’s site has a lot more detail on the angles of the flutes and how to cut the reliefs. I winged it since I was only cutting delrin plastic. I might fine tune it at a later date if I want to try some soft aluminum.

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Printable Ball Bearings, welcome to the future

It was made out of printed parts, so it would only last a month before I’d need to print new bearings and other moving parts.

From  Printcrime by Cory Doctorow.  Link here:

I am glad to bring us closer to this terrible future. Here are some printable bearings I made. I am working on a project that needs alot of them and was enraged by not being able to print them. Especially after reading this story.

Get the models here:

They are a little tricky to put together. First you have to cut out about 15 sections of printing stock into 2cm long segments. The length is flexible, as long as it fits into the bearing housing . Then place all of the pieces of stock into the outer ring for the bearing. Carefully place the inner tube into the out ring and snap it shut. Now it should roll freely. Depending on how well your printer performs you will have a shorter or longer break in period. After the pieces are properly broken in its nearly as smooth as metal ball bearings. I haven’t done a load test on them, but they spin freely when spun by hand.

D.A.V.E. the Turret


A couple of my friends and I took the mechatronics class at our university last year. For our final project we built an autonomous sentry turret capable of picking out people in a room and shooting them down. We called it the Digital Assignation & Violence Entity, or D.A.V.E. for short. We think this is the latest in proactive autonomous personal defense, if you happen to be on a shoe string budget that is.

Some of D.A.V.E.’s features:

  • Finds people up to 20 feet away
  • 150° scan range
  • Holds 20 foam darts at a time

Since this was a class project we were expected to purchase our own supplies for anything we wanted to build. Which meant we where going to build this turret out of whatever supplies we had on hand. We made the frame out of scrapes of wood we had around. The toy gun we purchased at a 60% discount from a KB toys that was going out of business. The fabric covering the base used to be a pair of pants…

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