Building a 3D Printer Turntable

 

I built this turntable for my Ultimaker 2 3D printer. Why? Because each time I changed the material on it I needed to go from using the interface on the front to dealing with the spool and filament on the back of the machine three times. Minor annoyance, I know, but I had had enough!

You can’t wing this too much or things won’t line up, so I did some careful measurements and aligned things well enough that when I blind screwed in the bottom it worked. There are strategies for doing this with large holes predrilled at a 45 degree offset from square so you can screw them in and see what you’re actually doing, but where’s the sport in that?

Now I’m already regretting not making the top piece a circle or gear pattern so I can motorize this for stylish stop motion photography of timelapse printing, but I think I can add that feature later.

John Park, Full-Time Maker for Adafruit

 

John Park workshop

I’m thrilled to announce that after a decade of moonlighting in the maker movement, I’m now officially a full-time maker and content creator! Starting this week, I’ll be working from my Southern California workshop, designing and building projects and videos for Adafruit Industries.

Adafruit is an open source hardware and electronics company founded by the awe-inspiring engineer Limor “Lady Ada” Fried, and co-run by the highest energy element on the the periodic table, Phil Torrone. I’ve know these wonderful people since the beginning of the maker movement, working together on Make: magazine, Maker Faires, and the Emmy-nominated Make: Television show on American Public Television. I’m proud to be joining them and the rest of the incredible team in our shared goal to encourage and enable anybody to build anything.

There are so many projects I’m excited to start building and sharing in videos and online tutorials. I’ll be making things to appeal to people with wide ranging passions, including cosplayers, home brewers, gamers, magicians, rock climbers, hot rodders, modernist chefs, lock pickers, kids, musicians, mixologists, Burners, escape room designers, aerialists, cyclists, teachers, animators, and coffee fiends, to name a few.

If you’ve got an idea for something you’d like to see me make, please drop me a note in the comments or on my Twitter @johnedgarpark.

You’ll be able to watch my Adafruit videos here, my Learning System tutorials here, my posts on the Adafruit blog. I look forward to meeting you in the Adafruit online hangouts. I’ll also be doing collaborations, speaking, teaching, and other maker activities, please follow my blog for updates — you can subscribe in the sidebar over there on the right.

Build a Behemoth Cold Brew Drip Tower

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[This is republished from an article I wrote for Make: magazine]

I love cold brew coffee. Its rich and delicious flavor, and low acidity, means it tastes great over ice. Traditional hot-brewed coffee methods simply can’t compare; when chilled and served on ice they tend to taste diluted and acidic. I have a small commercial drip tower that works very well, however, given the fact that cold brew takes up to 18 hours to brew, it’s disappointing to finish it off in just a few drinks. You can buy large cold-brew towers, but they’re very expensive, aimed at coffee shops. I decided to build a much larger brewing tower from scratch, and to make it considerably higher precision while I was at it — drip rate is everything when it comes to cold brew — using a microcontroller-driven solenoid valve for exact drip rate.

A cold-brew coffee tower consists of three main parts: a water receptacle at the top with a drip control valve, a chamber for grounds in the middle where the brewing takes place, and a carafe to receive the brewed coffee at the bottom.

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Sourcing parts was a bit of an adventure. I had planned to use chemistry lab glass for all three systems, but eventually realized that this would be either too expensive, in the case of using a separatory funnel for the tapped water receptacle, or impractical — a Buchner funnel large enough to hold 150 grams of ground coffee would be much too squat and wide to saturate evenly. After much hunting I found the ideal components: a water serving pitcher for the top receptacle, a siphon brewing upper beaker as the grounds chamber, and a flat-bottomed boiling flask as the receiving vessel. For a bit of spiraling glass laboratory aesthetic I added a Graham condenser to the mix, purely for looks.

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Flat Pack Guitar Stand

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My son has been learning to play the guitar. I’m very happy and proud — he’s really into it, practices hard, and he sounds great. I recently borrowed an electric guitar from a friend so my son can practice for an upcoming Led Zeppelin show put on by his guitar school. We needed a stand for the guitar, so I built this one based on plans I saw on Instructables.
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I re-drafted plans in Rhino, then laser cut some cardboard as a template. I transferred that to a piece of scrap 1/4″ plywood.
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I cut it on a mitre saw and bandsaw, and then sanded it.

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It works pretty well, but I’d like to remake it with tighter tolerances so the guitar back sits flush against the stand.

 

Bob Rossificator

My proposed browser extension, and gift to humanity, the Bob Rossificator.

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The Bob Rossificator shall overlay the joyful visage of Bob Ross atop all Martin Shkreli images it encounters on any webpage.

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Before Bob Rossification

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After Bob Rossifiaction

Please contact me if you would like to collaborate on the creation of this important project.

 

3D Printing Projects book released

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Hey look, the new book is out! That’s my flower care robot, Chauncey, there on the cover. (He waters that flower whenever the soil runs dry.)

I’m very excited and proud to have contributed to this lovely new book from Maker Media chocked full of projects you can build with a 3D printer, some electronics and mechanical parts, and a bit of gumption. The central notion behind 3D Printing Projects: Toys, Tools, and Contraptions to Print and Build Yourself is “You’ve got a 3D printer, and you’ve downloaded and printed a few Yoda heads and vases — now what?”

The projects all go beyond static prints, and into functional builds that show the true utility of desktop prototyping and additive building when combined with other techniques, including print finishing/painting, friction welding, embedded electronics, physical computing, and mechanism design. Downloadable model files are available on the book’s companion site, and we’ve got a GitHub repository set up for any code downloads, such as the Arduino sketch that powers my flower bot.

I’d like to also give an enormous public, internet hug and thank you to my creative collaborator, Barry McWilliams, who inspired me with his Wrylon Robotical Illustrated Catalog of Botanical Delivery ‘Botsand who designed my darling little robot, Chauncey.

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If you’re interested in learning how to make your own Chauncey, or animatronic eyes, or a ballpoint pen raygun, an inverted RC trike, and more, from a very talented group of makers, including John Baichtal, James Floyd Kelly, and Brook Drumm,  please check it out on Amazon, at O’Reilly, in your local Barnes & Noble, or other local bookstore. I promise it will give invigorating new purpose to your 3D printer!