Weekly summary ending 2018-02-08

Hey, gang! Here is what we worked on in the last week, where we are heading next, and how you can join us.

The business of making

The CNC machine has been ordered and everything is now in place – the Vending Machine is gone to make room and electrical in the workshop has been upgraded in preparation. I asked for the invoice two days ago and have yet to receive it /_/

恭喜發財! gōng xǐ fā cái! Or in other words, we are still waiting on parts to arrive from our suppliers. My understanding is that most of china takes a week off and goes home, much like western xmas/new years.

Also! Somehow last week’s summary was left as a draft all week. It has been posted. Oops.

Makelangelo v7.20.0

I have spent most of the last week upgrading the Makelangelo firmware on Github. Previous all speed control was in a mysterious “steps per second” and acceleration was … well, I was faking something that worked good enough. Because MF runs on all our robots, I tried to use it for the Sixi arm and discovered that the fake acceleration was no longer good enough. It has now been much improved! Steps per second has been replaced with mm/s and mm/s/s. Acceleration is much more sane. The changes can be installed on any existing Makelangelo 5 robot. (Maybe a v3? Someone try it and let me know!)

And then just a few hours later I had it solved:

The Makelangelo Software has also been improved to match. I’ve opened and closed at least a dozen bugs this week. Speaking of which! I have finally found a great technique to fill in solid regions of closed shapes. The secret is to use the Eggbot Inkscape plugin from our friends at Evil Mad Scientist Labs. Check this Spongebob, which my nephew says is 💯.

The code for the Makelangelo is also used in other robots like the Stewart Platform. (The firmware is a bit like the One Ring, it rules them all.


The only word on the Sixi this week is that Jin’s math has calculated the estimated speed of the robot. At the shoulder we expect, under ideal conditions, to sweep the work area while carrying the payload in about three seconds. So I guess we’re Hangin’ Tough. Meanwhile Jin has been deep into designing the elbow, the shoulder, and the base.


Next week, assuming there are no bug reports on Github, I will be releasing the updated Makelangelo firmware and Makelangelo software for everyone. You can get it now and try it yourself here for firmware and here for software. Note these are the raw files for programmers, so some massaging will be needed.

Join Us

Get the latest Sixi Master Assembly for Fusion360 on Patreon
Buy anything in our store and mention ‘The Fusion link’ in the notes field to get a link by email.

You can use this file to build your own copy of the robot arm.  Put that 3D printer you bought to use – Make it your own! Share your creation with others!  That’s what open source is about.  If you build one we would love to share it with others.  I am actively seeking talent… show me what you got.

As always, follow our daily progress on our Instagram or see our older stuff on Youtube.

Lastly, thank you for your likes, subscribes, comments, and purchases. You keep the lights on and the mood high so we can keep working on awesome things that will help the planet. Special thanks this week to EMSL and to James Bruton for his tips on Youtube filming