Thursday, 7 January 2016
Project 9 and a bit
My 12 months are over. I failed to complete 12 very large projects which was entirely predictable from September onwards. It turns out having over 100 customers relying on you for laser installs and support really eats into your time. It's great that Just Add Sharks is so busy I just have to reconsider what I can actually achieve in my spare time now.
Here is a round up of the 9 big projects from last year. Tomorrow I'll do the honourable mentions because I have at least a dozen large projects that didn't quite qualify for a monthly place (I'm still not sure what metric I was using to gauge that)
Project #1: A 3D printer: assembled from a kit it wasn't the most complex build in the world but it did take a lot of time to get running correctly. Shortly afterwards the hot end died and no more was heard from it. It's still waiting to be fixed and it's gathering dust in the garage.
Project #2: Open Source Laser Cutter: I made one of our Blacknose laser cutters run on open source software (namely GRBL). There was a plan to try other controllers and I even bought a LAOS board for it but they're still on the drawing board.
Project #3: Real Space Invaders: One of my geekiest projects of the year, this was great fun to do and play and gained a lot of attention in all the right places. I'd like to redo this so others can play it.
Project #4: Cut and Shut Laser: I cut my Blacknose laser cutter in half, I moved all the electronics from the bottom to the top and managed to fit it all inside the existing spaces. The laser cutter remained functional but it has since been robbed for spares in the unit.
Project #5: Useless Machine 2.0: A complete rebuild of my useless machine, creating a new box that doesn't need any glue to hold it together and electronics on a PCB for super easy assembly. This was a 3 part project because I also made a double box and a smart box at the same time, those 2 didn't really sell and are no longer available.
Project #6: Minecraft Coffee Table: A cute Minecraft esque landscape built into the top of a coffee table. It made use of electric blue perspex to create a water effect in all the valleys. It has gone off to find a home at Kitronik somewhere.
Project #7: Lego Storage Coffee Table: Totally unplanned and probably on the back of the previous project, I just decided we needed a storage system for our Lego bricks. Eli and I built these shelves up in an afternoon, cross posted to Ikea hackers and it's been the most popular thing on my blog ever since, bringing in 50 page views a day.
Project #8: Catapult Range: I wanted something to show how awesome these mini catapults actually are so I made this range to allow kids to shoot at targets. It was a success and I remade the prototype into a better range straight after it's first outing. This scaled it up to a monthly sized project, I even invented a new hinge for it which hasn't made it to the blog yet.
Project #9: Bartop Arcade Cabinet: A fun project based on a desire to play some retro games, this bartop cabinet is one of my most 'complete' projects to date. Once the vinyl skin went on it looked all polished and professional, not like the usual 'prototype' stuff I make.