Makers keep making, August edition

I feel like I have not been giving good attention to this blog because I have not been making a lot of things, but it turns out that I have.

UAV business

With the FAA announcing new rules for commercial drone activities, I decided it was finally time to get a drone and dive into that market. We have a site up and running at, but I am still working on some portfolio videos. We are going into aerial photography and video, agricultural mapping, and construction imaging.

Star Wars Armada accessories

I really like Shapeways for print-on-demand 3D print sales. Several months ago, I created some accessories to use with Star Wars Armada. Every once in a while, I get notification that some of them have sold. When the 3D printer that I bought via Kickstarter arrives in the coming weeks, I plan to catalog building it and getting it going here. Besides Shapeways as a sales outlet, I might see about building an assembly line automation that would push prints off of the print bed so that another print could begin. Shapeways models are really nice, but you definitely pay a premium for them right now.

Teaching Arduino at Makerspace Urbana (photo by Jeff Putney)

Teaching Arduino at Makerspace Urbana (photo by Jeff Putney)

Makerspace Urbana

Earlier in August, I delivered my first workshop at Makerspace Urbana. I taught a handful of people the basics of getting started with Arduino, and it was so much fun watching them get excited to do some basics electronics. We started out with some basic LED blinking and worked our way up to creating a randomized LED to simulate a die. We are also working on the planning for the Heartland Maker Fest which will happen October 1st at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana. If you're a maker, be sure to check out the site and submit a request to get your own table for just $15 if you've never been a maker at the Fest.

Getting back to it!

It has been way too long since I was making new stuff. Grades get turned in tomorrow, and I have some time off in the coming weeks.  

Radio and intercom holder update

Radio mounting system

Radio mounting system

The intercom holder works well, and I was trying to come up with a good holder for the radio. Instead of trying to make a separate part, I'm going to try combining them into a single model.

More Pathfinder RPG accessories  

Giant leech...ewww  

Giant leech...ewww  

These little cardboard tokens are much easier to organize than boxes and boxes of actual miniatures. It would be nice to be able to tell them apart though. I'm going to make a small arch that essentially slides over the top and has a small number on it. I can hopefully get this design printed and confirmed functional by Friday when I game master at Heroicon. Yay for rapid prototyping!

Too sick to fly the Cub, not too sick to design

The Cub is ready to fly today, but I'm still having coughing fits from the fourth day of a cold. That makes for an unsafe flight, so I'm sadly staying indoors. If I can't fly, I can still do design work for flying.  


Three different accessories to improve the radio experience in a Cub.  

Three different accessories to improve the radio experience in a Cub.  

Each accessory slides a piece between the outer and inner skin of the fuselage. On the far left is an intercom holder. The intercom allows you to plug in two headsets so the pilot and passenger can talk to each other. This accessory gives you access to the volume and squelch controls. I might change the orientation to put the back of the intercom against the fuselage. The center piece is for cable management. There are two cables per headset, one for the push-to-talk button, and two more for connecting the intercom to the radio. The cable manager holds cables in place and out of the way. Multiple can be used to help in different places. The accessory on the right is for the radio. It lets you clamp the radio to it and keeps it at a convenient viewing angle. 

My only concern is that these could potential break, leaving a piece of plastic inside e fuselage. I think I can address that with the right thickness though, possibly making rounded edges, too.