Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wiring up the sherline cnc mill to the controller board

After sitting in various garages around town for the last two years it's finally moving forwards... many thanks to the emc IRC chanel on freenode.

A breakthrough in my understanding and general confidence came at the hands of Andy Pugh who walked me through the laypersons continuity test

Here is the documentation such as it is for the controller card
the motors are rated 3.0V, 2A, 1.8 degrees step on the xy axis and 4.5V, 1.4A, and 2 degrees step on the z axis.

I've got a 24V 1A DC power supply handy, as well as a 12V 1A that perhaps I may wire together to get a bit more juice.... still gotta figure that stuff up :)

OK, this will also work: touch motor wires together in pairs and find which pairs make the motor harder to turn.
       andypugh:OK, this will also work: touch motor wires together in pairs and find which pairs make the motor harder to turn.
    andypugh:    You should end up with two sets of three wires
    alidigitalis:    and now we have a red, yellow, and black wire group, and a blue, green, and white group
    alidigitalis:    it should read
    andypugh:    Hmm, I am not sure how to tell which is the centre tap. But I would hazard a guess that the white and black wires are the ones.
    alidigitalis:    are those the ones that need to go to the power and ground?
    andypugh:    I think you need a multimeter to tell.
    andypugh:    No, ignore the black and white wires.
    andypugh:    Connect red to A+, Yellow to A-, Blue to B+ and Green to B-
    andypugh:    If you look at the diagram on that link
    andypugh:    It shows that you can use all or half of the coils, by connecting to each end, or to one end and the middle.
    andypugh:    There is another sort of stepper driver where you connect the centre of each coil to earth/ground and then apply the power to one end or the other.
    andypugh:    That is called "Unipolar"
    andypugh:    But you have a bipolar driver, which effectively swaps power and earth as required.
    andypugh:    It doesn't really matter which end of which phase (A or B) you connect to the driver, as long as you make totally sure that you don't connect one phase to another. (I did that, blew my driver).
    andypugh:    ie, make sure that of the two wire families you have seperated, that one set goes to the "A" terminals, and one to "B"
    andypugh:    It is probably worth taking the time to read:

anyhow, with thtat cleared up the three axis are now wired... it's time to link up the power cords :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

blender fluid text in 2.49 plus some cool inspeck stuff

I'll lay off the blender tutorials after they seem better answererd on the net.... until then... blender fluid text is really fun and cool, however getting it to work correctly is a task that's been nagging me and my student at for the last two weeks.... well the first real decent news is that in response to several threads out there you don't need to up the bake resolution to 300 (requiring several gigs of ram) you MAY however need to enter every letter as an individual mesh.... it's a chore, however the results are great...

The leaf in the picture is actually an inspeck 3d pic of a piece of lost styrofoam sculpture made a few weeks ago... am very pleased with the outcome, however there seems to be some artifact in there somewhere....

hope to update this video once the artifacts are gone (and once I figure out how to get the alpha chanel ipo's a little nicer....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

slingin green bling

More bling...
It all started one nice sunny day.... walkin down the tracks catchin some graffiti goin up

kept walkin down the tracks and stumbled upon some excellent green foam and very fine sand - knew it was gonna be a blingin day.

paid a visit to the job site to process some blingless rims that have some bangin aluminum...

if the small track hoe doesn't work...

Then use a bigger one.

Carve a few designs up

and crank out some bling

Monday, March 02, 2009

Inspeck 3d camera, Gaston & Wyatt CNC, and Monticello's doors....

The image straight from the camera with the bitmap overlay in place. Notice the beading visible around the horns....

The model as sent to the CNC machine - the beading is there, however some of the detail is missing... at 1/4 scale this translates in to less than a 64th of an inch... it should be ok

The doorway in miniature waiting for the freeze and doors to be mounted. The miniature hinges designed to open both doors simultaneously were created by hand here in the valley. These doors were designed by Thomas Jefferson and are in use presently at Monticello

The painted 1/4 scale model - notice the hand carved beading on the angle - another local artisan recreated this. Great attention to detail - it matches the horizontal beading, however includes the ~33 degree angle.

The unpainted detail

In perhaps a giant effort to get a great pic of Trevor - one of Gaston & Wyatt's de facto mascots - the Inspeck 3D digitization scannerfinally got cleaned up and put to work... The first pic shows the original image, the second shows the detail in 3d... probably need to put some polish on this, it's a start though... In the first picture (taken from a 3/4 scale model made by a local artist...) the beading around the bison's horns can be seen in clear detail - there's definitely some work to be done in the conversion if a full scale model is going to be usable, however for reducing to 1/4 scale (ie the final model is about 1" in diameter... ) and further having a layer of paint applied.... these models are quite sufficient. As they are carved in wood and MDF board the finest expected resolution should be in the order of 1/16 - 1/32 of an inch. In aluminum the results may be superior...

All told almost a dozen people came together to make this project a reality - here in no particular order is credit where due

Fred Wilbur - Carver of the angled Egg and Dart
RWA - Machine Shop who delivered the miniature door openers
Decorator's Supply - Supplied the Moulded Egg & Dart
Wes Leach - CNC CAD/CAM work
Mike Horan - Craftsman
Mike Saunners - Finisher

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

R&R = Rest & Relaxation = Rock & Roll = Retail Relay

There's not much more to say - it is the best business to burgeon in C-ville in many moons - Retail Relay. Like ordering a pizza with everything on it - 'cept instead of ancient canned anchovies it's fresh catfish. Instead of plain pepperoni it's stuffed sausage. Instead of cheesy cheddar it's blessed brie. It's Retail Relay - fresh up from the hard working brute brothas of the C-Village.

From Reids to Rebeccas and the Freshest of Fishersville Farms
  • 5 of: Reid's Fresh Catfish 1 lb
  • 5 of: Yellow Eye Dry Bean-1 Lb.
  • 3 of: Mahatma Brown Rice Natural Whole Grain 28 oz
  • 4 of: Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Non-Dairy Beverage, Original, 32 oz
  • 4 of: Reid's Pork Tenderloin 1 lb
  • 5 of: Reid's Ground Beef 1 lb
  • 5 of: North Carolina Sweet Potatoes, price per pound
  • 5 of: Jumbo Baking Potatoes-local Grown-app. Total Weight 3 Lbs.-2 Per Each
  • 2 of: Local White Onions 1 lb
  • 2 of: Local Sweet Yellow Candy Onions 1 lb
  • 2 of: Local Hamburger Red Onions 1 lb
  • 1 of: Eight O'Clock Coffee French Roast Ground Coffee 12 oz
All scored for under $100 US Dollars... whattup and when was the last time you went in to a store and spent the time to get EXACTLY what you wanted....

Go get you some and score some Real Relative Rest and Rockn' Rolln' Relaxation @ Retail Relay

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Viva le lost foam technique

After almost three months of playing with the silly stuff at work it finally dawned to test the lost foam technique - massive success. To the left are homey's initials carved in blue foam. To the right are those initials in aluminum. Absolutely wicked.
Lessons learned: Don't pack the sand too hard or air bubbles get in there. Too loose and the metal may pour out the side of the foam (especially when you pack it up around the edges of the design... This piece came out great and the little dude tore outta there 30 seconds after completion to show his bros. Most excellent.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dr. Kolossavary, DESMOND, bilipid membranes, and other great ways to spend a weekend

I am behind the times so often it is startling. Dr. Kretsinger took some time on a recent hike to up it to me bluntly "It would help if you caught up to physics 1908." With that in the background, attendance at the Chem E. lecture - arranged by the Shirts Group - made for an enjoyable blitz-crash.

One of my favorite facets of America is the influx of great minds generated of great cultures. Kolossvary is of Hungarian descent, and very much looks the part - broad shoulders, thin mustache, and Mediterranean complexion... with one notable exception... the fingers of a programmer. Much like a pianist, a programmers fingers, albeit strong, are often long and dextrose. In any case Dr. Istvan fits the part of the guy who has sledge-hammered on a chemo-physio-computer engineering project around for the past 17 years. My guess is this guy's keyboards last ~3-5 months max.

At first blush DESMOND has some impressive stats. Dr. Shirts of folding@home fame chuckled throughout the lecture. At this slide he cited the first microsecond of modeling required 6 months to calculate.
Towards the bottom of the slide note the Anton - this processor, also developed by D. E. Shaw Research, works in tandem with Desmond to crunch up to 14 microseconds per day.

To facilitate we amateurs Desmond comes with a free downloadable Desmond GUI merged with Schrodinger's Maestro software. An impressive and thorough package a full license for Maestro runs in the $30K+ realm. The academic license, however, is free and provides an excellent platform to enjoy Desmond from. The pros: In fifteen minutes or so I had gone through some basic protein preparation wizard and was running Desmond through operations and getting a bi-lipid membrane like the pictured above. Amazing stuff that might have taken every bit of a month a few years ago to understand and initiate now accomplished in minutes.

Beneath the GUI hood there are even more features. To access these Desmond also comes with a command line interface - this provides additional algorithms for more in depth view and control. Navigating between the gui and command line is helped greatly by Maestro's process and file management that creates files prior to executing actions that are very simple to read and modify. Shirt enthusiastically likened these unto a voting paper trail, and I must agree it's a handy feature.

Cons: well it's not too big a deal, however there's no 64 bit binary yet, and for simplicities sake I ended up running Maestro in a virtual 32 bit machine to get everything more stable. Dr. Kolossvary indicated that this upgrade might be coming as early as this month - so stay tuned. Another planned feature includes direct reading of OPM's protein database files.

This week is finally calming down and am going to start running some simulations - stay tuned for part 2 some time in the next week or so.

The Making of Membranes
  1. After importing a PDB file go to the protein preparation wizard under "workflows" on the far right hand side
  2. Dr. Kosovarry recommended assigning bond orders, adding hydrogens, treating metals, capping the termini, and detecting the disulfide bonds. In his example he did not feel it necessary to delete waters... there are some other options below that are only available with the full version.... ah well... it's a start. Also there appear to be some missing AA groups and I am yet to figure out how to fix that...
  3. Now under "Applications" go to "Desmond" and go to the System Builder. There are 3 solvent models available, with more on the command line - There's an ion placement submenu perhaps a ligand placement menu may appear in future versions.
  4. The membrane builder menu let's you autoposition the membrane using selected atoms or amino acids - I've had moderate success in this using the selection tool to grab a bunch of atoms around the disc created by the OPM database, If you're not satisfied with the initial placement modify it clicking the "Adjust..." checkbox.
  5. When you're ready to see your model click "Start" - depending on a 2cpu 3.2 ghz machine you'll see a model like the above in a minute or two with ~120k atoms in the case of FAAH.