tINDIE: an “Etsy for electronics”

Buy, sell, and request DIY electronics projects

Tindie is a site for buying and selling homemade gadgets, kits and parts that’s being described as “Etsy for electronics”. The site is a one-man operation that came out of a post on the reddit board r/Arduino. The store has only been open for three weeks and already it is full of cool projects, from the practical (like the laser cut BeagleBone enclosure seen above) to the fanciful, like this CNC cut steel Iron Man Arc Reactor below:

3D printed mounting boards and boxes

Designing boards and enclosures for your DIY electronics projects with free software
Rob Miles has posted a great introduction to using FreeCAD to make mounting boards and boxes for his DIY electronics projects. In this case he is using Gadgeteer hardware modules but the process could be adapted to any kind of board.

Ambika – open source polyphonic synth by Mutable Instruments

Open Source makes it sound delicious

Mutable Instruments are back with a new DIY-friendly open source synth and it looks and sounds amazing.

We’ve seen Mutable Instruments before around here before: there were a wealth of laser-cut Shruti-1 enclosures rolling out the Personal Factory gates about 18 months ago. It will be great to see what cool designs people come up with to house this new machine!

Sounds after the break…

Building a raspberry pi enclosure

more living hinges + laser cut inlay

It seems the kerf bend/living hinge is starting to make its way through the makersphere. This set of enclosures for the Raspberry Pi (think of it like an uber-super-Arduino) makes beautiful use of the technique. Not satisfied with using just one cool laser cutter technique, Ryan has also thrown in a plywood inlay into the acrylic top for good measure.

PingBot – Using Autodesk 123D to create a 3D printed robot

A very small usb rechargeable, programmable, musical, remote control robot

Here’s a terrific Instructable covering everything from PICAXE micro-controllers, SMD soldering, PCB design, 3D design using Autodesk’s 123D software, 3D fabrication, finishing techniques, and LiPo rechargeable batteries: all combined to make the super fun little robot called PingBot.

Exquisite laser-cut project box

Living hinge transforms a utilitarian project into a work of art

When I saw this project enclosure from hardware hacker Shaun Crampton, my jaw literally dropped. As far as I’m concerned this is the most beautiful laser-cut project box I’ve ever seen. To me it represents a coming-of-age of the medium.

P.S. The case is housing an Arduino-based radio receiver pulling in telemetry from a wireless sensor network but honestly who cares what it does, just look at it!

Roll your own consumer electronics

Case studies in the digital fabrication of open-source consumer electronic products.

David A. Mellis is a PhD student at MIT’s High-Low Tech group [previously on the Ponoko blog]. He embraces open design and distributed manufacturing in a way that makes my heart sing. The Fab Speakers shown above a great example: full instructions are available on his website, along with links to some interesting derivative designs like the audioJar below.AudioJar by Sarah Pease

My First Synth

RepRap printed circuits

One step closer to self-replicating machines

To many in the hobby 3d printing community, printed electronic circuitry is a kind of ‘holy grail’. RepRap advocate Rhys Jones is one of the pioneers of DIY printed circuits that’s been making serious progress on this front since we last checked in on him.

He’s modifidied his RepRap printer to have two print heads: one for plastic, and one for metal. The results of his latest update are shown above. He starts by printing the plastic substrate, with cavities for the components and the tracks. Components are then manually placed into their holes, before the metal tracks are printed in place.

This is still a work in progress but it is very encouraging to see hobbyists getting one step closer to self-replicating machines.

Laser cutting for science: DIY microfluidics

Microscopic analysis of Ponoko’s laser cut acrylic

Jacob Martin from the Photon Factory at Auckland University sent us this update on creating microfluidic devices using Ponoko’s laser cutting service. He made a range of sample cuts and engravings and then analysed the results in microscopic detail, concluding that it could indeed be possible to do microfluidic research without access to a lab.