Fun Friday: Remote Controlled Car With Raspberry Pi & Bluetooth

Remote Controlled Car Using-Raspberry-Pi-and-Bluetooth

Credit card sized and jam packed with capabilities, the Raspberry Pi can function as a proper desktop computer, to build smart devices or to just have fun bringing new life to otherwise everyday items or old toys.

The Pi was originally intended to be a microcomputer to teach children coding. Its scope has since expanded as hobbyists and engineers realized how much could be achieved with the small device, making it one of the most popular technology items in the world.

This easy remote controlled car project, takes advantage of the little computer’s seamless wireless capabilities, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, allowing a smart phone remote control of the driving.

The car selected is an RF toy car with moving left-right steering feature. The original RF circuit has been replaced with that of the Raspberry Pi. You can use any toy car that has two DC Motors to rotate the front and rear wheels.

The Pi is used to receive command wirelessly from an android phone with an Android app (BlueTerm) installed along with a Bluetooth serial adaptor for communicating with the Raspberry Pi to control the car.

Read more about how to make your own HERE!

Wondering where the name Raspberry Pi came from?  The name, Raspberry, is an homage to early computer companies being named after fruit, like Apple, Tangerine Computer Systems, Apricot Computers, and Acorn (which inspired the microcomputer’s design). Pi is derived from the original idea to make a small computer to run only the Python programming language.

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#madeatMIDAS: Jonathan Quarrie & Starlight Snowboards

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS- Jonathan Quarrie Starlight Snowboards

Jonathan Quarrie, Starlight Snowboards, standing in the MIDAS Fabrication Lab

This month, #madeatMIDAS features Starlight Snowboards and creator, Jonathan Quarrie.  Jonathan and his emerging business are a great example of the capabilities of the MIDAS facilities to help bring an innovative new vision to reality.

Our MIT-certified digital fabrication laboratory, or “Fab Lab”, equipment is geared to support this kind of entrepreneur development: collaborating and adopting state-of-the-art technology to create new and marketable products.

You can do it too! Check out our course calendar HERE!

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS- Starlight Snowboards Shopbot CNC course at MIDAS

Jonathan Quarrie – Snowboards created using the Shopbot CNC for his new company Starlight Snowboards

Here’s a little glimpse into Jonathan’s entrepreneurial journey here at MIDAS:

Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you found your way to MIDAS.
A machinist/toolmaker who was trained in the aerospace industry in the U.K., I’ve always had a passion for creating things myself whether it be building a lego set as a kid or building the furniture in our home.  I heard about MIDAS a few years ago when I was out riding a prototype bindingless snowboard I’d built at home.  A guy I met told me about a meeting where they were going to talk about MIDAS and look for volunteers.  I got involved there and then and started as a volunteer helping out with setting up some of the machines.  I’ve been visiting MIDAS ever since then.

What was it about your project that made you feel DIY was the best way to go?
I’d been making Snowboards as a bit of a hobby for about 7 years as a bit of fun.  I always enjoyed the process of designing and building something that I could then go and use and appreciate and to be able to see if I could improve or learn something new with each new board.

What is the intent behind your product and what are your intentions with it now that you’ve brought your vision to reality?
The intent was just to be able to produce a board that worked very well in the environment that we have locally.  We tend to ride steep terrain that is treed, for this I wanted to build shorter than normal boards that were light and nimble but still gave enough float to handle deep powder conditions. This first year was all about refining some of the manufacturing techniques, experimenting with shapes and construction and seeing if there was interest in the product.  The interest has been overwhelming and the results from the product testing have been great.  Going  forward I’d like to grow the project into a small company with the intention of selling boards starting 2018/19.   There is still a lot to do but I feel we are heading in the right direction.

Jonathan Quarrie - Snowboards created using the Shopbot CNC for his new company designing Starlight Snowboards

Jonathan Quarrie – Snowboards created using the Shopbot CNC for his new company, Starlight Snowboards

Please outline the process from start to finish with MIDAS, including the equipment & materials used, on this project.
There are over 100 individual processes that go into building a board, broken down and simplified it goes something like this:
1.Process starts with the board design which is done on the SpaceClaim program.  This includes the outline board shape, board profile (how it curves when viewed from the side) and the design of the wooden core of the board (how its thickness alters throughout the length of the board)
2. MDF material is cut on the Shopbot that is assembled to form the mold that the board will be pressed into.
3. Various, wood types are selected and bonded together in a block, this is then cut on a bandsaw to produce a blank that the board core can be shaped from
4. Using the Shopbot the core is machined to allow a rubber sidewall to be cast into it.  Once this is cured it is put back on the Shopbot to be machined on both sides so it is ready for assembly. It is this process that controls a lot of how the board performs. By altering the thickness of the core you can adjust how the board flexes and thus performs.  By using the Shopbot and the digital design this is very easily controlled.
5. MDF templates are cut using the Shopbot that are used to rout out the base material by hand. Ultimately I would like to use the Shopbot to cut the base material directly.
6. The base material is edged using ski /snowboard edge material.
7. various carbon fibre and fibreglass materials are cut ready for the assembly process.
8. at my home the board is assembled from the components: base, carbon and glass layers, the core, topsheet, metal binding inserts and epoxy resin.  It is then put in a hydraulic press that I built that compresses all the components together at around 100psi pressure until the resin has cured.
9. once cured excess material is cut off back to the metal edge, the board then has a base grind and some other finishing before decals made on the Roland vinyl cutter are applied.
10. The board is then waxed and ready for snow.

Do you expect you’ll use the MIDAS facility again?
Certainly, there is still development work to do and other ideas that I have that I’d like to try out there… it’s a fun place to be.

How would you sum up your experience at MIDAS?
It’s been great!  The team at MIDAS have been really supportive and encouraging and have been a massive help in bringing my project to where it is now.  It’s great to be there and see what other people are working on and to share ideas.

I feel very lucky to have such a great facility available to me and encourage anyone to get involved, if you have an idea of something you’d like to make go and make it happen.

You can do it too! All the resources you need to help take your idea, startup, or business to the next level.  Check out our course calendar HERE!

Be sure to check out more about the process – Jonathan and Starlight Snowboards:

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MIDAS Course: Trotec 120 Watt Laser Cutter

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS-Trotec 120Watt Laser Cutter

With the advanced Trotec 120Watt Laser Cutter, you can laser cut, etch, and engrave a variety of different materials: wood, metal, glass, leather, acrylic, natural rubber, stone and more.

In addition to the range of materials, there are also a wide variety of applications.  Signage, stamps, toys, promotional materials… the creative possibilities are remarkable!  The laser engraving and marking capability offered by the Trotec makes short work of model making, industrial design, prototyping and just about any kind of DIY application. The possibilites that this laser cutter offers to individuals and businesses is endless and inspiring. Whether it be personal DIY projects or prototyping an idea geared for industry, learning your way around the Trotec arms you with a powerful tool!

MIDAS course: Trotec Laser Cutter

A red laser pointer indicates the location where the laser beam will contact the material. The auto-focus ensures the laser beam is
correctly focused when contacting material. Equipped with a ferromagnetic working platform, making the Trotec ideal for mounting thin materials such as paper or films using magnets to ensure an even, flat surface.

Upcoming course March 19, 2018.  Register HERE to reserve your seat!

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS-Tromac Laser Cutter Course.jpg

Upcoming course March 19, 2018.  Register HERE to reserve your seat!

The Trotec can even engrave cylindrical, conical or spherical objects such as bottles, glasses, balls or mugs. It makes handling your engraving and cutting jobs of any kind fast, accurate and trouble free.

Trotec lasers are the fastest and most productive systems available. The Speedy 300 CO2 offers a top speed of 355cm/ sec. with an acceleration of 5g.

#madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS-Tromac Laser Cutter Course

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Fun Friday: #BCTECH Summit – Youth Innovation Day!

BCTECH Summit Youth Innovation Day

All of us at MIDAS are getting excited about the upcoming Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames!  As advocates for technology and innovation education, we want to draw your attention, too, to the #BCTECH Summit and their efforts towards nurturing tech & innovation in our next generation.

This year’s #BCTECH Summit Youth Innovation Day will be held on Wednesday, May 16th.  The theme is Breakthroughs: The Power of Curiosity and Ambition.

There will be a ton going on, and so much to see and explore, to encourage and engage, supporting innovative thinking in the youth who attend.  From cool science to state-of-the-art cars to meeting young entrepreneurs there will be no shortage of inspiration!

This will be a full day designed for high school students in grades 10 to 12.  They can visit with local researchers demonstrating innovative technologies in the Marketplace and Technology Showcase, listen to inspiring speakers share the ways they are changing the world around us through technology, and gather practical information from post-secondary institutions and companies seeking the next generation of talent.

There will be winning Science Fair projects and an epic battle of the robots in the VEX Robotics tourney.  Mentor tables will offer opportunities to meet with leaders in BC tech, where kids can get some insight into what it takes to embark on a career in technology.

Post-Secondary institutions will be on hand to help guide prospective students in the right direction to pursue the various avenues in tech education and careers.

For Secondary School educators:   The Solution Room offers the teacher chaperones an invaluable opportunity to meet and collaborate on how they are addressing the new secondary curriculum.

Find out more HERE!

Take a look at how it all went down last year:

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MIDAS Course: Shopbot CNC (Desktop & Alpha)

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS- Starlight Snowboards Shopbot CNC course at MIDAS

Snowboards created using the Shopbot CNC for new company, Starlight Snowboards

The possibilities available to make an incredible range of products, from woodworking to ski & snowboards to musical instruments and so much more are so exciting!

The next Shopbot CNC course is March 9th, 2018.  Register HERE to reserve your seat!

Showbot CNC course at MIDASLooking to revamp your kitchen or shop? Making cabinet components on a CNC router is entirely do-able. Using CNC technology, cabinetmakers are now able to increase production while minimizing material handling.  In addition to high-volume furniture and millwork companies, novice and master craftsmen alike are embracing CNC technology.

Need a sign for your business and want to give it some oomph? Shopbots can be used to carve images in wood and foam, to cut plastic and aluminum letters, and to intricately machine the all sorts of graphic objects and letters. Full 3D cutting capabilities allow cutting and machining of practically anything.

Maybe you’re a water sports enthusiast with a vision of building your dream boat. Boatbuilding is a natural for utilizing the benefits of CNC technology.  In fact, the first ShopBot was developed as a boatbuilder’s tool. In boatbuilding, Shopbot CNCs are used for cutting frames, plywood panels and all manner of interior and exterior parts. They are used in wood, fiberglass and aluminum production processes.

Looking to create your dream guitar?  The Shopbot CNC can supplement your traditional woodworking tools. While the CNC may not duplicate all of the specialized processes involved in instrument making, it can offer new capabilities to assist in bringing your instrument to completion.

Makers of all disciplines:  the Shopbot CNC can be used in many ways for prototyping, reverse engineering and modeling. As a rapid prototyping tool, this equipment can machine foam, wood, plastics and aluminum to efficiently create prototype and reproduction parts. Shopbots are used in large-scale production, from Boeing’s F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet to WoodMode’s custom cabinets.  Production operations from drilling and trimming to more complex milling or machining are easily customized and incorporated into cellular production operations.

CNC stands for computer numerical control and a CNC router only functions connected to a computer equipped with software to direct the tool path of the machine. A power tool router is affixed to the machine that directs its X and Y coordinates as it cuts. Router bits of various shapes and sizes are used for achieving different cutting results.

CNC routers can be used to cut wood, foam, and plastics. Projects include interior and exterior decorations, signage, wood frames, toys, finishing carpentry (cabinets, mouldings), as well as larger objects like furniture, boats, and even houses.

The next Shopbot CNC course is March 9th, 2018.  Register HERE to reserve your seat!

#madeatMIDAS #makersgonnamake

Jonathan Quarrie - SSnowboards created using the Shopbot CNC for his new company designing Starlight Snowboards

Snowboards created using the Shopbot CNC for new company, Starlight Snowboards

 

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MIDAS Training in Grand Forks!

MIDAS courses Grand Forks March 17

We are SO pleased to be taking our training on the road!  First stop:  Grand Forks!

If you’re a maker, innovator, inventor, artist, or hobbyist in the Grand Forks area and want to spend the day learning something new or have a project in mind that requires the specialized equipment provided here at MIDAS, we are bringing our state-of-the-art equipment to you.

Saturday, March 17th, 2018, the team at MIDAS will be offering valuable scanning and 3D printing training.  Check it out!  Here’s what’s upcoming for MIDAS courses and training… we’re sure there’s a course to fit exactly what you’re looking for as you consider your next diy/maker project.


Creaform 700 3D Handyscan Scanner courses at MIDASCreaform 700 3D Handyscan Scanner

9:00AM:  The Handyscan is AMAZING but don’t take our word for it. Come and see for yourself! This session will demonstrate the handyscan on a number of objects: how to place tags, basic scanning, set up of a receiving software and review of captured online files. (CAD and others on demand). This course DOES NOT cover the manipulation of captured images or printing but is intended to allow members to scan and understand the potential of this device. Recommended for engineers, architects, manufacturers, machinists, makers ad hobbyists alike.

Register NOW!

 

ULTIMAKER 2 3D printerUltimaker 2 3D Printer

1:00PM:  The Ultimaker 2 3D printer is easy and reliable, designed for the best experience in 3D printing.   Engineered to perform, this 3D digital printing workhorse is reliable, efficient, and user-friendly and particularly useful for artists, engineers, makers and innovators looking for fast, high quality prints in just about any size or material.

You can learn more and see a few recent projects HERE.

Register NOW!

 

 

WHERE:  Community Futures Boundary, 1647 Central Avenue, Grand Forks

Take only one, or make a day of it as these two pieces of equipment go together like bread and butter!  GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Curious about what else we offer at MIDAS?  Take a look at our full calendar of upcoming workshops and courses.

 

 

 

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MIDAS Course: Ultimaker 2 3D Printer

Ultimaker 2 3D Printer Course at MIDAS

The Ultimaker 2 3D printer is easy and reliable, designed for the best experience in 3D printing.   Engineered to perform, this 3D digital printing workhorse is reliable, efficient, and user-friendly and particularly useful for artists, engineers, makers and innovators looking for fast, high quality prints in just about any size or material.

Ultimaker 3D 2 Course at MIDAS

Featuring a .4mm extruder capable of an amazing 20 micron layer resolution, 12 micron XY precision, and 5 micron Z precision, the Ultimaker 2 is the best consumer 3D printer available today.  It has a great compact design, uses standard consumables such as nylon, glass-filled polyamide, epoxy resins, wax, metal filaments and more; and works very quietly with a large print platform for creating relatively large objects in one piece.

Upcoming courses March 2 and April 13, 2018.  Register HERE to reserve your seat!

Pet urns printed with biodegradable PLA plastic on Ultimaker 2 by MIDAS Private Member Gordon Cleland #madeatMIDAS

The Ultimaker 2 uses the fused deposition modeling (FDM) method of mainstream printers that print by melting a plastic filament to create the 3D print. This method is also called fused filament fabrication (FFF).

This 3D printer produces high-quality product preserving excellent detail.  There is a good range of print speed and quality to choose from: quick and low quality, or slow and high quality, as required.  The Ultimaker 2 is a versatile, high-quality 3D printer that can be used for multiple purposes. It can crank out quick, rough prints, or produce smooth, clean prints of excellent quality.

In a nutshell:

  • World class specs. Unmatched with its max print speed of 300mm/s and 20 micron layer resolution.
  • Industry-leading print-to-size ratio. Small footprint, large build volume.
  • Premium materials used in construction. Heated bed smooths prints and allows for ABS printing.

Upcoming courses March 2 and April 13, 2018.  Register HERE to reserve your seat!

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS Ultimaker 2 MIDAS course

Prototype of a cast for a dog’s leg printed on the Ultimaker 2 #madeatMIDAS

 

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#madeatMIDAS: Gordon Cleland

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS Gordon Cleland_01

The team at MIDAS is so proud of the variety of #madeatMIDAS ideas that are brought to reality everyday here at the Fab Lab!

In the past, the process of prototyping an invention or innovation could be cost and time prohibitive, not to mention the challenges of simply finding a manufacturer, often oversees, that might be capable of bringing your idea to life.  Today, a maker space like MIDAS cracks the entire prototyping model wide open allowing for fast and cost effective production onsite, with access to almost half a million dollars in state-of-the-art equipment, in days or weeks rather than the months, perhaps even years, that it used to take.

Several #madeatMIDAS projects have been created by engineers, with a very specific product and result they’re interested in achieving.  However, while we encourage and love our corporate members, we want everyone to know that the MIDAS Fab Lab is open to just about anyone who comes with an idea, the vision and the desire to learn in order to bring it to life.

#madeatMIDAS celebrates the range of creativity and innovation as well as the incredible projects that have been created through the Fab Lab and promotes the maker space as an accessible facility ready to take on just about any kind of project.

A great example is Gordon Cleland, a builder, inventor and artist at heart, who has brought two separate visions to life utilizing all that MIDAS has to offer.

A big do-it-yourselfer, wood, metal and clay were his go-to materials in developing his ideas.  Often, though, he found that the hand-tools he was used to working with were too limited to bring his ideas fully to fruition.  The 3D design and 3D printing training provided at MIDAS were game-changers! Access to this level of new manufacturing technology, and to have it conveniently located nearby in Trail was a huge plus.

When Gordon read one of the early articles about MIDAS, the opportunity to get education and access to new technologies was one he had to take advantage of.  In fact, he made a point of attending the grand opening to learn more!   A member since the opening of MIDAS, he’s taken courses on nearly every machine available at the Fab Lab.  He’s created vinyl signs and wood projects using the CNC router table;  3D scanned and 3D printed prototypes; and, most recently, CNC machined aluminum.

Gordon has enjoyed the accessible membership and training fees as well as the easy access to the amazing talent making up the core of the MIDAS shop. People like MIDAS Lab Director, Brad Pommen, Jason Taylor of Selkirk College, and Chris Kent of Left-of-Center Design provided the skills, knowledge and expertise instrumental to bring Gordon’s visions to reality.

“I also received acceptance for my design into the Venture Acceleration Program, a complimentary group that assisted with market research, legal and engineering.”

It wasn’t long after he began his journey with MIDAS that he made the investment in his own 3D printer, in which he produced a working prototype of his latest project. This allowed him to refine his design before taking the leap, investing in machining a full aluminum version.

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS-January18_91

He looked to the CNC Machining Center at MIDAS to produce the aluminum parts in the finished product.

“By utilizing the machining center at MIDAS I was able to work with designer and machinist Chris Kent as each part was made, helping to ensure our final product worked as intended. It also allowed for a quick turn-around from prototype to finished product at just under 2 weeks.”

His new design adds functionality to an existing piece of equipment used to cut steel pipe. It allows precise adjustment of cut angle, extremely useful when steel pipe is driven into the ground as support pilings. Pipe pilings are used in place of concrete pilings or footings and used extensively in the oil and gas and other industries around the world.

Tracy Connery Photography - #madeatMIDAS-January18_84

Using Gordon’s product reduces the time it takes to cut, level and weld pilings on a job site. As a welder for over 25 years, it’s a product he’d known was in need: a simple and accurate way to cut pilings accurately.

“Now I’ve built one and I’m eager to get it into the hands of tradespeople that can use it.”

Gordon is well aware what would have had to be invested to see this innovation brought to reality without a facility like MIDAS:

“Without the training from MIDAS my only local option to explore the design would have been hire a designer or mechanical engineer to do it for me, and those costs would have been beyond my means. MIDAS and VAP made it possible for me to pursue my idea to a market ready stage economically.”

Have an idea or innovation you’re looking to bring to reality? It can be #madeatMIDAS!

Looking to learn valuable skills?  MIDAS can help!  So many great courses and training to give you the preparation you need to take full advantage of all MIDAS has to offer!

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