Hack, Make, Teach
I brought the bot to a kernel sprint this week and did a demo. Colin’s post about it made the makerbot.com front page.
We had a great arduino class on Saturday – it went a lot faster than I expected, and I ran out of things to talk about pretty early. That may have been because we had relatively few problems getting the arduino development software installed for everyone. Cory was a hero for bringing the windows version on a CD, because the network bandwidth went to almost nothing just as we needed a copy.
I meant to talk more about the history of the Arduino project and about open source, but I failed to prepare and didn’t cover it well. Next time I’ll do better.
All the material we covered came from examples supplied with the arduino platform, and they worked for everyone. An unexpected moment that I really enjoyed was when I pulled out the Oscilloscope to show what the Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) signal looked like. This is definitely staying in the class. There were a few notes that I made on the whiteboard, and didn’t give anyone copies to take home. So that there’s no confusion about hooking up the extra parts from the class, I’ve reproduced those notes here on the wiki.
Cory also asked an interesting question about using the arduino to trigger a photographic strobe. I reverted to to bad engineering behavior, and forgot that this was an intro course, and gave an answer that was probably discouraging. I realized I had lost my way when I heard myself saying “interrupt driven”. I’ll attempt to make a topic out of this for this wiki in the next day or so. But – the important thing is to go ahead and try that idea – it’s really easy to mock something up with the arduino platform. In fact, here’s a posting by someone who has played with triggering a strobe, and shared his project. I love sharing.
Unless the creek rises or something, I’ll be at the space on Saturday demoing the makerbot during the public hours. Come on by and say hi!
The class is full
If you want to take the class but didn’t get in, send an email
and I’ll schedule another one soon.
It’s on – an Introduction to Arduino Class
Where: Antitronics – Flying Monkey Arts Center
When: Saturday, October 3rd 4:30 – 7:00
Cost: $30 (for the things you get to keep)
Let me know in advance if you will be there.
You need to bring your laptop, let me know which O.S. you run.
I have in my hot little hands a stack of Arduino Duemilanove boards. For your $30 you will get one of those, a USB cable, a 9V battery clip with a plug, a couple of LEDs and resistors. and a potentiometer. I will not supply a 9V battery. You won’t need one for class – you only need one later if you want to run your project disconnected from your computer.
The goals will be:
1. To get the arduino software environment installed
2. To demonstrate the structure of a basic arduino application
3. To show how to read information from the real world
4. To control some simple outputs, including PWM (and an explanation of what the heck PWM is anyway).
We will not go into deep details of the AVR processor or any other technical aspects of the arduino and how it works — this is sort of an appliance operator’s view.
Arduino home: http://www.arduino.cc/
The Duemilanove: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardDuemilanove
The Software: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
You are invited to go ahead and install the software before the class if you are comfortable with that. If you want the hardware early, just pay me and it’s yours. I should have the remainder of the items (battery clips) in by next week.
Registration is limited since this is the first class. I don’t want to end up overloaded.
The class is full
RSVP to info [at] antitronics [dot] com
I’ve ordered a dozen arduino Duemilanove boards in assorted colors, for the upcoming Intro to arduino class at the space. Due to my travel it looks like the date will be Saturday, Oct 3rd at 5:00 PM or so. Final details and pricing will be settled soon –
Retail price for the Arduino boards is $30 – what I’d like to be able to do is charge the $30 and throw in some resistors and LEDs, a potentiometer, a USB A->B cable, and a nine volt battery clip with the power connector for the arduino. This will let everyone leave with something that they can play with later. If you want to bring your own, that’s fine. The class is free.
Stand by for more information
It was a great day down at the space – including a visit from a bunch of people from Maker’s local 256. I’m sure we’ll find a lot to collaborate on.
I wanted to reciprocate and stop by their place on the way home, but evening arrived I realized that I’m being beaten by a cold of something, and headed home.
I’ve been painting and building the makerbot for a couple of weeks, and finally powered it up today. After fussing around with various versions of software for a while, I hit a mostly working combination, and printed this:
I’m having a few minor printing problems, but most of them can be tweaked out I think. The one that worries me is the periodic halting of the print for a second or so, which causes problems, and the occasional hard motion stop during printing – although the extruder keeps going.
But – not bad for the first few hours under power.
We’ve received our license, and can now operate as KJ4NXA.
Makerbot batch 5 ships today, and mine should be in that batch! I already have several pounds of plastic waiting to be extruded. I’ll post build progress.