There is a good series over at AdaFruit about Casting Metal Parts from 3D Prints. I have done a similar thing but casting pewter from a 3D print of a birds skull. It turned out quite well, although I discovered how important it is to properly “finish” the 3D print. The next time I do this I will sand and paint the print to smooth it before casting. I definitely want to get better at this kind of thing.
SuperHouseTV have a great video on using the Sonoff, Arduino, OpenHAB and MQTT to control your house. Jon demos using the embedded software/cloud solution to control a light, as well as flashing the firmware yourself and setting up the Sonoff for over-the-air updates and controlling with MQTT. Well worth a watch!
I was reading about the Sonoff Wifi Switch on the weekend, which combines an ESP 8266 chip with a relay to give you a very cost-effective network-controllable power switch. The best thing about them is that they are very cheap! I just bought two of these on eBay to evaluate them, so I will post again after they have arrived and I have a chance to test them. Apparently you can flash the 8266 with your own code, so this looks like a great way to get all the components at a cheap price!
I just found out about a professional maker space over in North London called Building BloQs. It offers a workshop environment that you can use on a pay-as-you-go basis. There is a CNC machine and a Laser Cutter. The prices to use it seem very reasonable.
Yesterday I opened a bottle of home-made white wine. I had made it from a Muntons 6-bottle Chardonnay kit a few years ago. I have tried red wines that I made from Muntons wine kits and they were awful, so I wasn’t holding out much hope for the white wine. To my surprise however, it wasn’t too bad! I drank it, anyway! 🙂
There is a great post over at Nothing Labs about creating no-etch circuit boards using a laser printer and silver paste. Unfortunately Rich recommends using Atom Adhesives AA-DUCT AD1 Silver Adhesive, which I haven’t been able to source here in the UK. An alternative silver adhesive – MG Chemicals 8331S – is available, but is fairly expensive.
I am very interested in Aquaponics – combining Hydroponics with an Aquarium. This allows you to pump the fish waste through a bacterial bed to transform the ammonia into nitrates which then fertilises your plants.
Having a physical device to trigger software events (which may in turn trigger physical actions) can be super useful, so when Amazon announced the Dash buttons, people worked out how to hack them. Unfortunately they suffer from the disadvantages of not being able to easily replace the batteries, and being a bit of pain to hack, in that you need to redirect the web request that they make.