Closing Out July

It was a lonnnngggg month with a lot of new projects:

Working on an e-textile turn signal jacket:

Creating a sewing template with a 3,000# CNC milling machine, seems oddly appropriate:The July meeting had a bunch of cool projects, including some discussion and ride-and-drives in the winning PPPRS vehicle from the Kansas City Maker Faire:

Ride and drive was well enjoyed, not a lot of takers from the crowd though:

Bicycle pump compressed air powered rockets were sent skywards to surprising heights:Tim from Midwest Recycled Art talks about a few of his recent creations, including more cool motorcycles and a huge peacock:Ben Heck stopped by to talk about his latest pinball brains:Dave gave a demonstration of his RC simulator aircraft carrier map and talked about how he built it, followed by a real life demonstration of RC helicopter prowess:The latest vehicle project encompassed removing and repairing the engine in a Porsche.  This, in and of itself is a bit of a pain, but without a 2 post lift (know someone who’s selling one cheap?  We have money!) it’s that much more difficult to get the engine out from under the car.

Having just purchased the 30 ton press from Harbor Freight, it was quickly sourced to load test a modified set of farm jacks (also from Harbor Freight, hopefully you’re picking up on a trend):
The biggest challenge is determining the load on the jack, to ensure proper safety factor to lift an expensive car. . .  As luck would have it, we were the proud owners of a 1960’s era 3,000 lb load cell – this would be the same version load cell that sent the first signal from the surface of another world when the lunar lander first touched down, it reported strut load on the lander legs (thanks Google):
Having performed a rough calibration using the piles of nearly dead batteries laying around for the PPPRS competition, the load cell was put inline with the hydraulic jack and loaded to well above the weight of the car:

The car was safely lifted and engine retrieved and just about rebuilt:Wouldn’t you know it, the service manual lists a pipe wrench as an essential tool to removing the intermediate shaft bearing. . . just kidding ;-)I had a lot of fun teaching 19 high school students from the US and China how to use Arduinos and to solder together Adafruit kits:Isthmus Engineering, a Madison engineering cooperative, graciously provided us with many gallons of 2-part polyurethane:Which has spurred effort in casting a number of things, including investment casting plastic army men into aluminum:Creating power with “fruit” takes a surprising amount of ingenuity.  We dug around online and didn’t find much beyond the basics.  Essentially it boils down to maximizing your distance across the galvanic chart, we had platinum (yes, platinum) and zinc to test with – the fruit ends up being a simple electrolyte, the more acidic the better.We could get an LED to blink on by charging up a capacitor, don’t expect to radio for help on a desert island with coconuts and assorted hardware anytime soon:PJRC sent us over some sample Teensy Arduino boards that are up for grabs, if you have a good project: e-mail or stop in and propose what you’d like to do with one – only requirement is that we post cool stuff created :-)Fancy 3D scanner is on loan, you can watch Jay Leno’s Garage covering the technology:Working on creating new control boards for the RepRap took less work than this camera setup, the video is totally worth it:Meeting photos credit Dan Silvers

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