Thursday, May 28, 2020

3D Printed Cyberdeck

What started out as a quick temperature sensor/display set up quickly escalated into a much larger project.


I needed to display the temperature in different parts of the home office and ended up using a spare powerbank, Arduino, and DHT11 sensor to do it. I wanted to 3D print a permanent case for it but as I began designing it I decided to make it possible to include my phone and space for additional Arduino projects to be mounted to take advantage of the powerbank.



Eventually what emerged was a very large phone case with a rack system that allows you to load phones, powerbanks, and in the future Raspberry Pi projects (and more) in a very modular design. The phone can be charged by the powerbank, the powerbank can run Arduino projects, and the phone itself can also power very simple Arduino projects like the temperature sensor/display.

An older project, the Pro Micro-run mini-keyboard was incorporated into the case, meaning those keys you see actually work when you connect a mounted phone to the internal Arduino Pro Micro. It works the other way around too. You can connect the case buttons to any computer and use the shortcut keys (home/end/enter/etc.) or use that computer (if it has the Arduino IDE) to reprogram the keys.

A WiFi-enabled Arduino board could also connect sensor data to the phone or Raspberry Pi directly or to the cloud and then displayed on the phone (and anywhere else with access) sort of like we did with our weather station a while ago.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Full-Sized 3D Printed Ventilator Prototype

We've built a full-sized functional prototype of our 3D printed low-cost opensource mechanical ventilator. The video shows the ventilator in action but keep in mind it is still a stand-in 13kg-cm servo rather than the original 25kg-cm servo our original specs called for.


Future videos will feature not only the new servo (once it arrives) but also a control panel with rate and percentage selector knobs.

All the files are up on Thingiverse and Wikifactory. If you have questions, comments, or inquiries, feel free to contact us via our "Contact Us" page here

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Building a Ventilator, Opening Up Human Healthcare

Our project is up on Thingiverse here. It includes some STL files for printing as well as a SketchUp 2017 file with all the parts, an assembled and labeled view, an exploded view, and the parts laid down for 3D printing. 

Introduction: Covid-19 has woken up many people to the inadequacies of modern human healthcare. One of the many things lacking appears to be cheap, accessible, mechanical ventilators, especially ones that could be used during surges such as a virus outbreak, an accident, or natural disaster.

Servo-driven linear actuator controlled by an Arduino Uno compatible microcontroller will be used to compress a ball valve mask (BVM) resuscitation bag, functioning as a low-cost mechanical ventilator.

Many teams are now focused on developing a solution to this problem. Hopefully one (or more) of these teams will produce a solid, opensource design that can be replicated and distributed around the world where and when needed and not just for Covid-19 but for anyone who needs access to ventilators.

Hopefully it is the first of many examples of opening up human healthcare and the technology that drives it. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

DIYbio Orbital Shaker Gets Circuitboard Upgrade

Our original opensource 3D printed mini-DIYbio orbital shaker has been made a couple times by several people around the world.

While nothing makes us happier than seeing people making, enjoying, and improving on our designs we were really excited to see a Florida-based engineer Pierre Baillargeon design and build a proper, custom-made circuitboard to accommodate all the electronics of our shaker design.

These boards would also work with our larger V2 shaker which uses the same electronics as V1.


The board provides mounting for a stepper motor controller, an Arduino Pro Mirco, as well as connections for the shaker's peripheral devices (the stepper itself, a potentiometer, DC power jack, and switch). 


You can see the before-and-after (below) of what the insides of the shaker look like with and without the circuitboard. To Pierre's credit, even his prototype shaker's electronics are tidier than the mess of wires we ended up with.


Opensource is all about sharing and in many ways, motivating others to take the next step. We're not engineers by trade, but seeing how nice that circuitboard came out gives us inspiration to look into KiCAD and give designing and making boards like this a try. We have lots of projects that could benefit from this next step.

Thanks to Pierre, at least as far as our orbital shaker design is concerned, there is now a circuitboard taking care of it. Thanks Pierre!

 The design is available on GitHub here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Teaching Large 3D Printing Classes: Tips and Tricks

Teaching large classes 3D design and 3D printing skills can be a challenge especially if you're teaching at a school or university and students might not be particularly attentive to traditional lecturing approaches.


Having helped teach a large university class of over 70 students, I wanted to write down a few methods used to make the class a success to serve as a reference for myself in the future and also to help anyone who happens across this post.

Class Objectives

The objective was to teach students with no 3D design or 3D printing background how to build a 3D model of a product design sketch they developed in a previous class in SketchUp, set it up for 3D printing using slicer software (Cura, Colido), and use 3D printers (Ender 3, Ender 5, Colido 3.0) to print out their designs.

Projects also had to be prepared for presentation, with students using cardboard and other craft supplies to create a setting for their 3D printed model that helped illustrate its purpose and use.

Setting Up the Class

All 70+ students had their own sketches from their previous course. But the students were placed into 14 groups with 3-7 students in each group for the 3D design and 3D printing class.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Custom HID: Mini-Editing Keyboard

August 4, 2019 | ATL

We've finished up another HID (hardware interface device) and posted it up on Thingiverse here. This time it's a mini-keyboard used for editing text on a smartphone or tablet computer. It's meant to be used singlehandedly so closely resembles a remote control.


It is driven by an Arduino Pro Micro. These small boards are great for HID projects because the processor supports USB connections. The code uses Arduino's keyboard modifiers.

Once we got the code working for a couple of keys, it was real easy to elaborate and tune the code to do exactly what we wanted.

The keys/code we used include: arrows, shift+left/right arrows (for selecting text), copy/paste, undo/redo, home, select all, and delete.


We can imagine a lot of other possibilities for HIDs in the future after seeing how easy this project was. A previous HID project we worked on was a giant, physical volume knob for one of our desktop computers available here on Thingiverse

Not only is this a great solution for creating custom HID's to solve specific workflow problems, when coupled with 3D printing it can also be a solution for users who are unable to use common commercially available HIDs (standard keyboards and mice) because of physical limitations.

Follow ProgressTH.org on Instagram here. We also put all of our 3D printed models online for free at Thingiverse.com here

Monday, July 22, 2019

Video: 3D Printed DIYbio Magnetic Stirrer V2 Overview + Assembly

July 22, 2019 | ATL

This video provides a demonstration and assembly instructions for our V2 magnetic stirrer.


Follow ProgressTH.org on Instagram here. We also put all of our 3D printed models online for free at Thingiverse.com here