Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Well, what do we have here?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Looks like we have a pcDuino V2!


Upon close inspection of the board layout, I suspect that we should be able to modify the case design for the original pcDuino and have a functional case available within the next week or so.

So keep an eye out for that!


This is why we never leave the laser cutter unattended…

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Burnt stock

So last week we had a little bit of a fire in the small cutter. What you see above is the bottom side of some stock that I was cutting that ignited. Luckily I was watching it so it only was burning for a few seconds before it was caught and the fire was handled. The fire was entirely under the material being cut so it went undetected for a little bit (in fact the top side of the above sheet is warped but not burnt in the slightest compared to the bottom).

Damaged Vector Grid

The vector grid delaminated a bit so it's toast and the connector for the rotary attachment got a little charred. The Delrin slides at the back of the machine that the downdraft ports the Z-axis tray ride on got more than a little melty as well (pic below). After closer inspection it looks like the dusk accumulated in the back of the machine ignited as well.

Melty Parts

Fortunately nothing above the stuff being cut was effected and the optics were just fine. The flames were easily controlled with the squirt bottle I keep handy around the cutters and we've got a proper CO2 extinguisher if things get really bad. I didn't have a lot of material in the catch tray to act as fuel, but enough that a flare up turned into a little fire. We've got an extra vector grid on hand so we were back up and cutting withing 2 hours after checking everything out. Thankfully with a quick call to Epilog and I can get replacements for everything damaged as well.

It looks like either the different masking material of the frosted acrylic I was cutting or insufficient air flow at the active cooling tube might be the culprit. The compressor was reading 30 psi, but much less than that was getting to the actual head. I tightened up a leaky fitting after the dryer that helped but I'll be giving that entire system the once over this week. Either way, I'm glad that even after 4 years of running the cutters I still walk over and check them every couple of minutes when it's operating and always make sure someone's watching them when I can't because this flare up could have turned into a full on fire rather quickly.




Monday, August 12th, 2013

In the months were it's gone radio silent here, we've settled in to a new home at Hammerspace. We've got 400-ish square feet of cluttered awesome:

The New Shop

Me and Jordie have our respective work areas set up and are kind dug in by this point but we're hoping to rearrange things to get us a little more floor space in the future.

We've also got some new toys, not the least of which is this gargantuan laser cutting machine:

Big Laser

The laser's 120 watts so it can slice through 3/4" stock easily and it's got a cutting area of almost 4 feet by 3 feet for nice big projects. I'll be reviewing this guy in depth here shortly.

We're going to have some more new toys on the way soon as well, including a new 3D printer setup to supplement the Replicator we've got now and a CNC plasma setup! We're really looking forward to expanding our metal fabrication capabilities and seeing where that takes us.


A New Challenger Appears…

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Hi. We have been really busy. First it was the Raspberry Pi rush, then another big commission after big commission. Fun times...

Also, I have yet to introduce myself.

My name is Jordie and I work for Craig here at Built to Spec. Online I generally go by RoboLemur.

Some of you might have seen my work such as the Snap together Raspberry Pi Enclosure, the APC Enclosure, the Freescale  FRDM-KL25Z Sled, the BeagleBone Black Enclosure, the APC Rock Enclosure, the pcDuino Enclosure, the TI LaunchPad Sled, the pcDuino Sled, and the Raspberry Pi with Adafruit LCD Pi Plate Enclosure.

I have also worked on multiple commissions for rodent psychology labs and other various projects.

On the side, I also like to make costume animatronics.

My current projects are a pair of animatronic wasp wings:


and an animatronic tail:

These projects are still in development, but there might be a derivative of the wings coming soon. We'll be posting more stuff as we get back into the habit of posting stuff here!


Yes, we are still alive!

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Here is an update on what we've been working on.
We have been working on enclosures and/or sleds for the following systems:
Odroid X2 - Enclosure redesign
Olimex A13-OlinuXino - enclosure
Raspberry Pi Rev A - enclosure redesign
Cubie Board - enclosure
Texas Instruments Launch Pad - sled
STM32 F3 Discovery - sled
pcDuino - sled and/or case
Freescale Freedom Development Platform - sled
APC Rock - enclosure

Also in the works is a universal Vesa mount for the enclosures and sleds

So look forward to these in the coming weeks!

If there are any other embedded systems that you think we should look into, let us know!