Archive for category Administrivia

Plasma Cutter Motor Motion


The plasma cutter three motor controllers are working and spinning some test stepper motors on this board. It is using GRBL on the arduino uno linked to stepper motor controllers as a test setup. We will be moving away from GRBL to a DAQ card to incorporate the torch height controller and other aspects.

Anyone got a 48V 13.5+ amp power supply? Want to boost this from 24V to 48 to give the system higher speed.

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Updates on the Laser


The laser is not as happy as it once was. The laser is cutting a V grove now, not a sharp line and calibration is being done. A new lenses is ordered, but to add something new, a passive cooler was installed. The cooling fluid now goes through an old chiller radiator. However a better solution would be to add a rainbow stripe to it as that would make the laser at least 20% cooler in 10 seconds flat.


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State Of Ze Projects

There are many projects at Think|Haus. These are just some of the most prominent ones and what is happening with them. If someone wants to help out or move a project along faster, there is always room for help!

1. Dinosaurs


We have dinosaurs at ThinkHaus. There are plans (someone needs to execute this plan) to make more dinosaurs and sell them. Likely looking at $8/dino or so (speculative price). Need someone to take on this project. More dinosaur designs are available too. When the plasma cutter is finished, these would be cut out of aluminum and steel too!

2. Laser Cutter

The laser cutter works, but has some heat issues. It generates 1kW of heat and this heats up the water to the point that two buckets of water were needed. The water system was not working a while ago, and is now fully functional, but a heat exchanger and a chiller are being added. New lenses are also en route, but on the slow boat from China.DSCN8483DSCN8472DSCN8484

3. Kiln

The kiln needs its elephants. No, it needs its elements, but elephants are made of elements. The elements are at The Pottery Supply House in Oakville. They are waiting to be picked up, will be inserted, and then tested at a member’s house. A power source (220V 16A) socket for the kiln is still needed.


4. Engraver

The engraver works but has backlash issues. Backlash means that when it moves, it does not move as desired. Instead of a circle, it leaves a small gap. Think of putting your finger in a shot glass and sliding the shot glass around on a table. If you move your finger in a circle, the glass will not follow exactly the way your finger moves due to the clearance between your finger and the glass. That is backlash. See the nut? There is no anti-backlash nut on it.

Anti-backlash nuts were ordered and are en route on the slow USPS from the US. Also noted, a mounting plate is now ready for the machine.









4. Plasma Cutter

The plasma cutter requires motor controllers (on a slow boat), a data collection board, and a few other devices. Also need 220V 30A power source. A potential solution is to make a water bath so that the plasma cutter does not emit fumes and sparks.



5. Mill

The mill works! It runs, and has collets and is ready to go! The only thing one may want is a vice to hold a work piece to the table. Also need some end mills. But it works and is ready!



6. Lathe Thread Gearbox

This project did not make much notice. A shear pin in the thread gerabox for the lathe was sheared. To get a new shear pin in, a whole whack of work was done. It is almost back together and needs a roll pin. Until said time, one cannot use the thread cutting features on the late. (I.E. I cannot use the thread cutting features)DSCN8495

7. Electronic Organization

Some large quantities of old circuitry was given to Think|Haus. For a while there has been an interest in an organization. I am of the suggestion of lots of pill bottles with each pill bottle with an indicated reistance/capacitance/rating and storing these bottles so they are easily accessible, but it needs lots of pill bottles (if anyone has access to some). The alternative are those divider things. People have been on the look out for one on sale.



8. Delta Printer

Saving the good one to the end. I have the full laser and CAD drawings of a delta printer. I also have the metal for the frame. What is needed is a sacrificial RepRap and the 9 V bearings. The rest is ready! Someone want to jump on this? I have enough for 2 printers.



9. Printer in a chamber

My project. I am waiting on the engraver to make the side plates. This is on the back burner. Hey, I have a Masters to complete. Don’t have the time or money to work on projects all the time.

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An example of a sign in the woods I made. First, get a CNC mill, get a design and cut it out. Here are some pictures I took while making it. If anyone needs the files, feel free to ask.


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The torch is mounted

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The plasma cutter is mounted and the end stops are set up. The stepper motor controllers were also ordered. Should be able to get this together in the next little while.



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The Sign Is Coming!

The CNC engraver is being revamped! The goal, make signs. Or engrave. Or cut out circuit boards. It really depends on what people use it for.

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In the near future an aluminum plate with 1/4-20 holes spaced 1″ apart will be put on top of the wooden sheet. The wooden sheet is a machined level surface. The aluminum plate will have 4 pins in the corner that a wooden sheet will fit onto. That way wooden sheets can be populated, plopped on, and machined.

Potential uses:

– Making signs

– Engraving circuit boards from copper coated sheets and cutting through holes

– Engraving brass, aluminum, or steel plates

– Printmaking (rolling press) multi-colour prints

– CNC milling of wood

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When it rains, build a geodesic dome

With rain on the way and a party imminent, did what anyone would do: build the geodesic dome and cover it with a Jeep parachute. Bonus of the parachute is it has Kevlar ropes that are very bounce-free.


The dome. Just going around and tightening it up.



Putting the parachute on top. Worked quite well as a rain cover. Played a bunch of games inside.


This is what the metal bars were. The shape is a general Level 2 isosphere that you may recognize from a soccer ball. 3 lengths of bars, clamp the ends, drill, and paint. Took about 3 hours to make with 3 people. If anyone is interested in the designs, just ask!


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Do you want to make a dinosaur?

We have wood. And a laser cutter. And designs. Here are the files, go and cut a dinosaur! Takes about 45 minutest to cut out, but drop a line and stop by! Three dinosaurs are here ready to cut. I sent them as a Secret Santa gift (pic shown) and they have been just sitting on my computer. Want to make one?


Three Dinosaurs

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Updates At ThinkHaus

The mill is moving!


The gearbox is fixed. The mill motor can be wired up and works. The collet was removed and opened. As well, a source of more collets was found and we may be able to get a whole set. All that is needed now is a box to put the motor capacitor in and a vice to clamp to the ways.

The kiln is very nearly done!


The wiring is done shy of the two heating elements that will be purchased from The Pottery Supply House and a sheet metal plate to cover the back. Now, moving forward a shed will need to be built and discussions with insurance will be needed, but it is very nearly done.

As for the stilts, the clips have not come. They were supposed to arrive by Friday…. And that was the second time I ordered them…. Anyways, they will sit/stand waiting.


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think|haus Computer Clinic – April 2015

Hello Everyone!

You are once again invited to join us for this months think|haus Computer Clinic on April 25th, 2015.

Need help with your computer problems? Join us from Noon to 3pm.

Admission is free to all, membership not required.

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