Engineering is Awesome

Hackaday - 3D Printering: Making a part in Solidworks


Brian has graciously allowed me to hop on the 3D Printering bandwagon to write a brief intro to the wonderful world of Solidworks. We’ll be making the same ‘thing’ as done in the previous ‘Making a Thing’ tutorials:


Admittedly, most Hackaday readers probably don’t have Solidworks as it is a very expensive program. The main reason we are posting this tutorial is so that you can understand the work flow and compare it to some of the free/open packages out there.

As Brian has touched on in his FreeCAD post, the part features of parametric models can be modified at any time. For example, let’s say I made a solid block, then added a specific size hole in the center of one face. Later, if I wanted to change the size or shape of the block, the hole would stay the same size and stay in the center of that face no matter the other changes to the object. See the graphic below, all that was changed was the size of the block, the hole stayed the same size and position (center of the face). This is different than if you were to ‘scale’ the entire object as the hole would also become stretched along with the block.

Here is a quick tutorial on 3d CAD in Solidworks.  While most readers don’t have access to it, these same ideas apply to many other cad programs.  The links above list tutorials in mostly free softwares.  123d Design from Autodesk is free and their Inventor program is freely available to anyone with a student email address through their student program,  Another software that could be used for very quick and non technical parts is Tinkercad, it is web based and free.

Absolutely mindblowing video shot from the Space Shuttle during launch

Drop whatever you’re doing and watch this. NASA has released videos shot from onboard the Space Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters in the past, but you’ve never seen one prepared as masterfully as this.

For one thing, the footage was shot in high definition, so the image is exceptionally clear. But what puts this video head and shoulders above most other rocketcams is the sound. The audio has been remastered by the folks over at Skywalker Sound (yes, that Skywalker Sound), and the final product is nothing short of incredible.



Acoustic Levitation of Liquids? What Wizardry Be This?

High-frequency acoustic signals interfere to create a standing wave, allowing liquids to “levitate” at the nodes, where the two acoustic forces cancel out each other and gravity.

In other words, whoa.

(via PsiVid)

Recycled Cardboard Bicycle F $9

Izhar Gafni, originally from Kibbutz Bror Hayil in the Negev, took the most popular and widely sold vehicle in the community and decided to turn it into an entirely green private venture.

Gafni’s bicycle redefines the idea of green transportation in every way, being environmentally friendly from early stages of production all the way through creation of the final product. The bicycles are made out of recycled and used cardboard.

The primary use, like any bicycle, is to prevent pollution while encouraging physical activity and exercise. In an interview with Newsgeek, Gafni said that the production cost for his recycled bicycles is around $9-12 each, and he estimates it could be sold to a consumer for $60 to 90, depending on what parts they choose to add.

Made In Israel: Environment News


WVU Mars Rover competing in the Rasc-al Robo-ops Competition in Houston being controlled from Morgantown.

Jeffrey Lipton of Fab@Home on 3D Printing

Jeffrey Lipton of Fab@Home demonstrates their 3D printing system at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011. This open source personal manufacturing machine can print with many different materials from plastic to cookie dough. When used in a classroom, Fab@Home furthers STEM educationby making students comfortable with the software, hardware, fabrication, and materials.



A triangular drill bit that drills square holes.  This is just straight-up wizardry.

The Watts Drill bit

Interesting thread over on The Home Shop Machinist describing the use of H.J. Watts’ 1918 US patent 1,241,176 drill, based on the Reuleaux triangle (Wikipedia), for drilling a (mostly) square hole.