Check out this awesome post by my friend Jeff Landrum about being a 3D printing master at the Georgia Tech Invention Studio and having to upkeep and deal with our 4+ different 3D printers. Great piece and some nice insight into each of the machines.
I’ve always been interested in metals and metallurgy. Welding, shaping, bending, the works. Something about steel intrigues me. As with most of my small projects recently, they have come to me as a generic dialog that goes something down the lines of:
Person A: I think *design idea here* would be awesome. Lets look at getting/buying/somehow doing that”
Person B (sarcastically): That’s awesome! Why don’t we just try *insert seemingly absurd idea here” to do that.
Persona A: huh, ok. That seems feasible enough, lets do it.
And then I decide to start building a hybrid rocket engine or in this case, buying and heat treating our own armor for the battle bots. Advantages: can buy relatively cheap carbon steel and give it the properties associated with a much more expensive spring steel. Disadvantages: we only have a kiln with a qualitative temperature control (read: knob that goes from 1-10) and no experiment in hardening metals other than a small amount of theory. But hey how hard can it be? Continue reading
After designing and building a 3lb combat robot in 4 weeks for the Atlanta Mini Marker Fair (AMMF), I was coerced (read: accepted an invitation from Jamison) to go to GMX two weeks later for another competition. Now given that MowBot’s performance was good at the last competition but spotty with the weapon not working consistently, I felt the need to redesign and rebuild in the 2 weeks I had before the competition.
So here I go again. A complete redesign and rebuild in half the time as the original design and build. (Spoiler: I don’t get much sleep)
A little over a month ago it was mentioned in passing that there was going to be a combat robot arena at the Atlanta Mini Maker Faire the first weekend of October. The thought, “4 weeks is plenty of time” crossed my mind and it was off to start designing. I opted to build a 3lb robot; it gave me enough weight to build something with a decent weapon and not have to worry too much about weight. Below is what happened. MowBot is a 3lb combat robot with a solid 4 wheel tank drive, hardened 1095 steel plates for armor, and a spinning blade on top that has just over 800 joules of energy in it when fully spun up (this is the same amount of energy as dropping the 3lbs robot 60 meters and letting it hit the ground). He is the first combat bot I have built and it won its first competition! Click through to the read me post to see the whole build process or check out the portfolio page which has a gallery of all of the build pictures. Links to the videos of the competition are included below the picture.
The new site is finally up and running! Bare with me while I migrate old posts/projects from the old site and add in the couple I have been working since the old one went down. Have comments or improvements? Let me know over on the About Me page.
This is The Building Experiment. A blog and portfolio where I post articles, reactions, cool videos, resources for makers and hobbyists like myself, and all the cool projects (both complex and mundane) that I have and am working on.
Why The Building Experiment? I have always learned best by doing: by getting an idea, setting a goal, and then diving in and getting my hand dirty. If there is a question I have that I can’t answer, I find someone or some article that can explain it to me. If I run into a problem I can’t fix, I read, talk, listen, and tinker until I get an understanding and find a solution. The side effect? Quick learning that cements knowledge in a reality based foundation.
Have I burned out motors? Yes. Have I let the ‘magic smoke’ out of circuit boards? Absolutely. Have I understood the causes of the failures and come up with a solution to better the design? Every single time.
Through trial, error, a little bit of elbow grease, and a thirst for information and understanding, I am designing, making, and building to a better understanding of the world around me.