Monday, April 30, 2012

"May"-kerbot Plans

This week we plan on focusing most of our attention making a new and improved base for the Makerbot. Kelley has been put in charge of the project while Alex and I continue to try to get the printer to work on Mr. Gallagher's Linux computer. Both of these projects have proven to be fairly large undertakings, but we are confident we will make a lot progress this month.

Friday, April 27, 2012

InventTeam presentation

Today in class we had a Skype meeting with Leigh Estabrook from Lemelson MIT. Each group talked about their progress since we met last on January 10th. She gave some nice feedback on our projects and helped us steered us in the right direction. Leigh gave us some ideas on how to patent our ideas.


Today, Brad pitched the update report to MIT through skype. After the pitch, Shane and Jeff continued to work on the website design and Liam continued his research whether to use a remote server call or a server push to write an rpc.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Extending the Base

Another issue we came across while assembling the MakerBot was that there is not enough space in the base to comfortably store all of the wires and the fan. Also, if there is a problem with the system or one of the wires comes loose, troubleshooting becomes difficult because the wires are hard to reach. The solution we came up with today was to cut out the bottom on each side wall using the laser cutter and raise the MakerBot on four legs. This will extend the base of the Makerbot and provide easier access to the wiring.

SCC Troubleshooting Update

After some investigation, we have found that our problem is in the motherboard. We took apart the test computer and we will be replacing the motherboard soon.
We're also another step closer to getting the 3D printer to work for the 3DP group. Now we just have to work with the computer's serial port setup to get  ReplicatorG to work.

We Are Ready!

Today we practiced our last mock presentation before we skype with MIT. Today in my mind was definatly our best one yet even though we had to present it online to Mr.Gallagher who was home today. In addition to that, Casey also had a presentation to give an idea of what the website will look like in the future when completed.

MakerBot Progress

Our group has split into three for the next few days  to try to optimize the amount of work we get done, Sam, with the help of Alex and a few others from the Computer Cooling group are working on getting the MakerBot working on a computer Mr.Gallagher brought in. We're also working perfecting our spool design and are now trying to tackle building a new base, so the wires are easily assessable. Right now we're considering bring the electronics onto a side panel like the Cupcake model does or building in a draw, so we can slide open the draw to view the electronics.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cooling group helps 3d-printer group

As some of the cooling groups members are absent from school, the remaining group members are helping set up a linux computer for the 3d printer group. Fedora 16 is the distribution of Linux being used. The Linux is already installed on the computer, as well as the software. The only thing left to install is a few files to ensure compatibility between the printer and the computer. This task should be completed by the end of the week.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Today, Brad pitched another mock Presentation to practice for this friday's meeting and condensed the presentation afterwards. Shane is making more aesthetic changes to the firefighter website that consist of changing link colors, and much more. Liam is researching further into whether to use a remote server call or a server push to write an rpc.

Friday, April 20, 2012

InvenTeam and Beyond

April is an exciting month for seniors everywhere. The month is a cacophony of congratulations, have you decided, and what is that school like? It also brings the last and most extensive round of college visits. In the past month I have visited so many colleges deciding which school will help me to the future that I've been dreaming about. During these visits I have received tours of each schools engineering department and labs. I've realized how lucky and truly blessed I am to have received an education from Saratoga Springs High School, primarily because of the Project Lead The Way program. While at Smith a student tried to explain what a laser printer was and I was proud to say that I already knew how it worked and had used one as a high school student. At R.I.T. a tour of lab space brought up a course using CNC programming to control a mill. For those of us that have taken C.I.M., we already have an advantage coming into classes using that technology. Also at R.I.T. I was able to view a senior project that involves 3D printing. The seniors had made their own printer, much like ours and added key modifications. Nothing has made me feel more accomplished than seeing that printer and knowing that I understood the workings of it as a senior in high school. Project Lead The Way has given me more than I could have imagined. It has given me the ability to solve problems, think critically, and learn quickly. More than that it has propelled me into the engineering and higher education world with a strong handle on major concepts that will allow me to excel in my future endeavors.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Today on April 19th, Brad did a mock presentation to update MIT with the progress we have made for the year. Jeff and Shane are formatting the website even further to make it look professional, centering the sign-up box and giving it a more professional appeal and aesthetically pleasing. Liam is researching whether to use a remote server call or a server push and then writing an rpc. Shane and Casey are working on a template that shows how the website will look like in the future including sign up information and a message board.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SCC Computer Troubles

The Cooling group ran into some computer problems in the past two classes, as the test computer would not fully boot. We are currently working on this issue and we hope to resolve it in the next few classes.
As soon as our computer is up and running again, we will have access to another set of test results for analysis.
We are also researching patents with regards to the different types of patents and the application process we would have to undertake.

Testing Spool Design

Spool designing does not stop here with the Makerbot group. We hope to have another different prototype finished very soon. This will help with testing to see what is the most effective and efficient way to thread the plastic into the extruder.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plastic Progress

Today in class we put together one of our designs for a plastic holder for the MakerBot. We also thought that having a thinner rod might be benificial if we ever get plastic on a spool alreay so we could just put the whole spool on our holder. So, we designed another plastic holder that allows us to change to size of the rod.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Today, on April 5th, Shane and Jeff continued to work on the FFA website making it look more professional. They added tabs for members to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Liam continued to work on the the Java coding for the client side of our application, The Presentation for MIT had to be condensed to better show our progress for the year.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Spool Design

Since we ran into a problem with our spool prototype last class, we decided to come up with a new design that will be lighter and not depend on weight to make it spin. These factors will be important for our design because we plan to have the spool sit on top of the MakerBot and thread the plastic down to the extruder from there.

New modifactions for computer cooling

The computer cooling group is testing to see if adding mesh to our simple part to increase turbulence will increase cooling. Right now the simple part is almost on par with current products on the market and we are hoping that this will make out new design superior than existing designs. Originally, we felt that having smooth flow would increase cooling, but we've decided to test that theory. Pictured above is the bottom of the modified simple part, with the mesh covering the inlet and outlet of the device.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

3D Problems

We tried testing our first carriage design today and we ran in to some problems! The plastic is hard to pull and it's getting tangled. So we worked at simplifying our plans and we'll hopefully have a new design next class. We are also still having problems with getting the 3D printer to work with the school network!

Plans for the Week

This week the 3D printer group has two main goals, make serious progress on our plastic carraige and get the Makerbot Thing-O-Matic to work on the school computers. Last week we made considerable headway with the carraige by starting to gather the pieces needed to build it and by making some design modifications. A few of us will also commit our class time to getting the Makerbot working on Tuesday.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Focus for the week

Modifications and testing them, primarily with the simple part will be the focus for this week and after break. The modifications in line for the simple part are a "turbulence screen" to make the flow in and out of the fittings more turbulent and see how that affects cooling. Also a divider between the fittings inside the water filled chamber and filing down the whole part have been proposed. For the complex part we are testing a bump milled out of aluminum, filed into shape and applied within with epoxy to further thin the water flowing over the heat spreader.