Here is a first prototype of a simplified version of Apiara’s web connected scale. This version has a water proof 500lb sensor and will soon have a 24 bit adc to replace the 12bit it uses now. This shows one sensor but it will be able to support up to 8!
Here’s a fun thing you can do with CNC milling machines: thread milling! You can cut just about any pitch you want, metric or standard, or anything in between, both internal and external threads. You basically program the tool to move in an offset helix outside of the part, following the intended final thread form, and it works amazingly well.
Fancy aluminum mirror frames ready to head off to be dip-brazed by Parfuse!
Dip brazing is a wonderful process. The aluminum parts are all arranged as they are to be assembled with small shims of braze material in between and either held together with stainless steel clamps, or tack-welded together, then submerged in a vat of molten salt. This salt is only slightly cooler than the melting temperature of the aluminum parts, but it has amazing heat-carrying capacity and temperature stability.
The braze material melts and flows out between the parts and fills every little void via capillary action. The parts come out of the salt permanently bonded together, and perfectly stress-relieved. You can dip-braze a 1” thick plate directly to a piece of corrugated 0.005” foil (try doing THAT with your fancy TIG welder, even with pulsing!). The parts need to be heat-treated to bring them back to a temper appropriate for machining, but Parfuse kindly includes that service in their fee.
We probably aren’t allowed to tell you who the end client is, since these end up in fancy back rooms where people decide whether this or that $3 million necklace is better. Final finish is a shiny black nickel. Super sexy.
Last year NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory revealed a Spiderman-inspired grippy clawthat would let spacecraft easily grab onto passing asteroids and comets. Since then the technology has been further refined and now integrated into a rock-climbing robot called the LEMUR IIB that could put Sir Edmund Hillary to shame.
Each of the robot’s four articulate arms is capped with a gripper that uses 750 tiny claws—apparently all hand-crafted by JPL’s summer interns—to grab onto rough surfaces like rocks. The claws are actually strong enough to hold the robot to a surface even upside-down, but in zero gravity there’ll be less forces trying to break its grip.
Another custom electronics project comes together using rapid prototyped PCB’s, and a custom acrylic housing. The controls are completely analog and even include the hand made NAND gate from our previous post.