Tag Archives: aluminum

Makeblock Is A New Modular Aluminum Extrusion System

Makeblock is here to solve your robot problems. The t-slot aluminum extrusion is a tried-and-true way of building modular frames, and even simple mechanisms. It works, but it has an Achilles Heel…the nut.

t slot nut boltThat nut has to be inserted into the slot so that the bolt can torque down on the beam. Some designs include a nut that can be inserted straight through the slot and twisted instead of needing to be slid in from one end (FAZTEK). Others turn the bolt around so that the head of the bolt takes the place of the traditional nut and the nut tightens down from the outside of the bolt (MakerBeam).

A new Kickstarter campaign does away with the nut all together. Instead of using a t-slot, they have a slot with parallel sides and just the right threading to allow you to screw in a nut at any point along the slot.

Makeblock looks like an extremely well integrated system for prototyping cyber-electro-mechanical systems. They have the modular beam system itself, but they also have their own electronics with the correct footprint to fit on the beams and adapters for common things like Lego and servos. Additionally, they have it working in the real world and appear to have the manufacturing muscle to produce a lot of the kits.

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All The Plans for PENSA!’s DIWire Aluminum Wire Printer

A little while ago PENSA! wowed (a specific section of) the open source maker community with a few teasers for a brand new desktop rapid prototyping machine.

Their DIWire (DIY’er…get it?) takes aluminum wire and bends it into any shape specified in a wide variety of file formats. It’s a compelling idea and now that they’ve released all of the design files on Google Code and Thingiverse the community can start using and improving it.

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DIY Wire Bender from PENSA!

PENSA! has demonstrated a new DIY rapid prototyping machine.

Their wire bender can take 3D files, vector files, or even text files, and automatically “print” them out with aluminum wire.

The shapes it can make are truly impressive. Also, one of the first things they printed was a text bubble with the word “$#!?” in it. My kind of people.

They just released this little marvel on May 2nd. Hopefully, they’ll provide the design files so we (I) can add yet another machine to the DO WANT list.

Found on Core77 and Hack A Day.

For what it’s worth, a year ago the P2P Foundation listed a “CNC wire bender” in their hypothetical Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem. They got it 2/3 right…PENSA!’s works in 3D instead of 2D.

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