In News

Since the last update

I fought a hell of a long time with my DIY Prusa i3. Nothing sticks to any bed, and I blame the nozzle. I’ve ordered two new Prusa i3s from Prusa himself, so fingers crossed that’ll go better.

Meanwhile, back at the farm

While we wait for delivery I’ve been using the Tinkerine printer at the Vancouver Hack Space to print parts from my design.

and I’ve attached the Raspberry Pi B to the side of the X-Carve collet. I’ve also modelled a place to attach the air pump.

The Pi camera talks to the pi which Wifi’s back to the PC 3 feet away. The PC runs a Java IRC bot which listens to user commands and then translates them into GRBL, the firmware running on the X-Carve.

Either the PC or the Pi will upload the camera image to the internet – I’m not sure which yet, but Pi would be more straightforward. I wonder about bandwidth. There is a separate special PCB that runs the stepper driver to rotate pieces when they are picked up and turn on the air pump. This PCB could not be connected to the X-Carve directly with ease. I could reuse some of the extra connections on the back of the X-Carve (coolant system?) but that makes me uncomfortable.

Monetization

At some point this robot has got to start paying for itself. I considered banner ads on the video feed, corporate sponsors, and a few other options. All of them seemed like a lot of long term work. I want to turn this on, scatter the jigsaw pieces, and then walk away. So instead I’m taking a page from http://reddit.com/r/place and http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/ to sell off the squares under the jigsolve. There are 75×75 1cm squares, and I’m thinking $2 each is very fair. 300dpi print covering the whole table should be 118 pixels on each side of each square (300*10/25.4). Plenty for all kinds of messages or fun pics! Plans are already being drawn up for a short kickstarter video to promo this project.

I’m glad we had this talk

I’m heading out right now to pick up the last mounting hardware for the air pump. If it fits then tomorrow I rewire all the components and try to get through the unit tests. Maybe even an integration test! God laughs at the plans of mortal men.

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