After obsessing over CNC machines for about 10 years, and having some misadventures from time to time designing my own hardware and software, I jumped at the chance to order the original Shapeoko CNC mill mechanical kit as soon as it came out. It took me a year to find time to put it all together. After it was assembled, I connected up my old HobbyCNCPro Motor driver board to it. This driver board is for Unipolar motors, so I searched for some that would work. I found these NEMA 17s from pololu <<LINK>>
On a previous attempt at making a CNC machine, I used Mach 3, but this time I went with LinuxCNC. The main reason I wanted the machine was to mill PCBs. The workflow was EaglecAD–>pcb-Gcode–>autoleveller–>linuxCNC.<<LINK>> I made a few really horrible PCBs with the machine before realizing it simply wasn’t the tool for the job. The gantry had way too much play. The eShapeoko community was constantly updating and improving on the designs, so I waited it out until the V2 came out before the obsession hit me again when I saw how they doubled the gantry slides to improve strength.
After a year of V2 being on the market, I searched forums for a conversion pack but none was to be found. So I spent a while trying to define the differences between the machines. In the end, I spent probably just as much as buying a whole new mechanical kit, but here’s my process.
My students keep complaining about not being able to see the connections and icons in LabVIEW. I decided to write a post with some solutions to this.
That’s it, hope this helps!
via NI forums
In June of this year we moved into a new house. It was a foreclosure and unlike our first house, we had to tackle quite a few projects to get this place back into shape. Some of the things we’ve done so far aren’t really required, but make us feel better about the space. One of those projects was to put in a glass and tile back splash in the kitchen.
The color on the walls when we first moved in was actually a tinted primer and it was was on every wall. The problem with primer is that is kind of absorbs oils and such when you touch it and there were several paces that had shiny spots from this. Jess painted the entire downstairs in almost the same colors as our first house. She stopped short and only did edging in the kitchen. I should have known something was up…
I’ve already mentioned one good tool for research papers, so here’s another that might be helpful.
Most schools have a set format for their dissertations and theses. My school was the same. They provide a manual showing what they expect your formatting to be. Many people have trouble with this. You must make a meeting with a specific faculty member in the graduate school and she will take a ruler and measure your margins, and go over in extreme detail the spacing, numbering, etc. of your document. Many many people get rejected and I’ve even talked to people who pay lots of money for other people to format the documents for them. They don’t provide an exact template for any specific software, but using the google machine can help you find Microsoft Word or LaTeX tempaltes. Personally, I like LibreOffice it is completely cross-platform (works on windows, mac, and linux systems) completely free, open source, has lots of great plugins and it lives in the world between Microsoft Windows and LaTeX. It is GUI-based (WYSIWYG, visual) like Microsoft Word, but also much more powerful like LaTeX. I dislike LaTeX because it is incredibly buggy and you have to program your text documents. I program other stuff all day long, I am sick of that!
Anyway, I made my own template and write up a very detailed explanation on how to use it and my best tips and tricks for modifying the basic template if you want. I also have a chart of suggested plugins to make your papers look amazingly good and professional. Again, I used LibreOffice, so it can be used in OpenOffice as well. This is specific to my school, so be sure you double check your school’s documents to see exactly what kind of margins and page numbering they require. (Note it is in Open document Format and though I haven’t tested it, it *might* work in other programs like Microsoft Word).
This is the last in my five part focus series.
This year I am focusing on:
Of course I have to have share a more generic version for the world to love.
Happy New Year!
This is part three of the focus series.
I wanted something with fun colors and loved the quote I found here. I’m usually quite the optimist, but I have felt that part of my personality weakening. I am working on flexing that muscle.
Adam and I saw this tree while driving down a country road. He is the one that took this picture.
This is number two in the focus series. The original inspiration was here.
It is too easy to get caught up in what other people want, or what you think other people want. As a wife and teacher, I am used to putting other people first. I have good ideas that will remain simply that if I do not focus on making them a reality. That does not make me selfish. Focusing on my ideas will benefit others. (Repeat to self.)
I was feeding this raft of ducks and although they were individually focused, they remained a team.
Checkout my first in the focus series here.
I feel like my life can take a million different directions and I want to be open to every single one. Realistically, I want the journeys I take to be purposeful and the best ones possible. With that, I have my word for 2014.
I loved this quote, so I used it to create my own word art. This is the first in a series of 5.
For a while now, I’ve been asking my students to submit their work as PDFs online using moodle (or email). I always use open source tools to annotate and grade these documents. There are several apps out there for this, I happen to use Xournal. The problem was that my preferences in Xournal were never saved. So I figured if I had the problem, maybe others do to. Here’s how to fix it:
First find where the preferences are stored. In Linux, these are found in a text file in my Home folder. I assume it will be similar in Windows. I edited this text file to automatically start with good grading tools already selected: ie. Red text with a Serif font.
$ gedit ~/.xournal/config
Then Ctrl+F and find “startup_tool” set this to “text”
Then Ctrl+F for “pen_color”and change this to “red”
Finally Ctrl+F for “default_font” and set this to “Serif”.
Save the file and you are done. Now every time you open Xournal, these settings will be loaded and you can just start commenting and grading without having to do any additional tool selections.
UPDATE: In Windows, Xournal configurations are hard to find. You must first set it up so you can view hidden folders and files (Go to Start menu–> Control panel –> Appearances and Optimizations –> Folder Options –> Show hidden files and Folders. Look for the radio buttons and select “Show hidden files, folders, or drives”. While I’m in here I usually also uncheck “Hide extensions of known filetypes” which lets me rename files including their filetype and see what types of files they are directly.
Once you do this, you can run Xournal and “Save Preferences” once as Ken mentioned in the comments below. Close Xournal first, then go to the path “C:Users\<username>\.xournal (Notice the dot in “.xournal”!!!) Open the “Config” file in a text editor (like notepad or notepad++ or Sublime text editor) Now you can make the changes above, and save.
A note of caution, edit a PDF with text, export it, then open it in another PDF reader to make sure it does not mess up. Sometimes when editing the config file, the Font doesn’t work correctly and I end up with garbage text and random characters on my exported copy which isn’t useful for students. If this happens to you, simply delete the config file and start over.