Last week was sponsor week and was also the Media Lab's 25th Anniversary celebration so our group developed a gift box as a giveaway for all the sponsors and alumni. The gift box included materials that bridged craft and technology including a pre-programmed microcontroller that could be used to add some interaction to one's craft project. Since these microcontrollers were not pre-programmed before we got them, I took last week's assignment (ISP programmer) to the next level and built a setup that could program 15 microcontrollers at the same time. I then ran two of these programmers back to back and programmed 1200 micros in a couple of sittings..
After the sponsor week craziness I still had to make something BIG! I'm getting ready to move so my along with my girlfriend Eli, we designed a table for the new place.. We decided to use some scrap 3/4in plywood and started by sketching the deign on paper. We then cut a 1/6 scale model out of 1/8in on the laser cutter to get an idea for what we could expect in the end result. This model helped us decide to shorten the length from 48 to 40in..
For the final project I think I will build a 3 axis machine.. I have a lot of ideas for user interface improvements for circuit board milling and having a machine of my own design will allow me to prototype these rapidly.. I want to play with using extruded aluminum for the gantry and playing with interesting ways to slot in the neccessary drive components (see below).. I have many compnents already and will start with the Mantis electronics.. I think my final budget will be <$500 and will work to cover anything not covered by the class trhough my group..