Laser Cut Mini Boat [Maker Update #70]
This week on Maker Update, an electric micro boat, an M&M sorting robot, Tinkercad 3.9, measuring with your saw, and the Raspberry Jam Big Birthday Weekend. This week’s Cool tool is the Makita Impact Gold Ultra-Magnetic Bit Holder.
Inspired by 8-Foot “Little Miss Sally” by Paul Elkins
M&M Sorter by Karl Lautman
Makita B-35097 Impact Gold Ultra-Magnetic Torsion Insert Bit
Dewalt Right Angle Attachment
Tinkercad 3.9 (1/30/18 release)
New content in Circuits editor
T-Pin Probes, Shop Fans, Clamping with Glue, and Using Digital Calipers by Gareth Branwyn
4 Carpentry Tips Every Beginner Should Know by See Jane Drill
Maker Faire Lille
Hattiesburg Mini Maker Faire
Raspberry Jam Big Birthday Weekend (March 3-4)
This week on Maker Update, an electric micro boat, an M&M sorting robot, an ultra magnetic bit holder, Tinkercad 3.9, measuring with your saw, and the Raspberry Jam Big Birthday Weekend.
It’s Wednesday, I’m Donald Bell, and welcome to another Makler Update. It’s been a beautiful week here and I’m getting really excited for taking on some projects. I hope you’re having a good week too. I’ve got a nice, full show for you. So let’s get started with the project of the week.
Check out this laser cut, mini electric boat by Josh Tulberg. Inspired by an 8-foot long DIY boat by Paul Elkins, Josh set out to make himself an even smaller 6-foot long boat, modeled in CAD and fabricated on his laser cutter using marine-grade plywood.
While the laser cutter puts a restriction on the size of each panel, the upshot is that it generates extremely precise cuts. Longer pieces are created by gluing together puzzle joints. And the overall shape of the boat can be literally stitched together in a weekend using zip-ties.
The tough work comes later when you have to fiberglass and epoxy the whole thing to make it watertight. That looks like a chore. But the steering and electrical is relatively simple. A quiet, 12v trolling motor makes it go, and a rope and pulley steering system keeps things uncomplicated.
Now, maybe it’s because I’m already crazy about my mini electric car, or because I live on an island with lots of boat access, but it took me only a few minutes to realize that I’m absolutely going to build one of these.
I emailed Josh as soon as his Instructable went up and it turns out his workshop is only 20 minutes from me over in Emeryville. So, I paid him a visit and he went over everything with me. I’m buying his kit, and with any luck I’ll be starting my build this summer. I’ll keep you updated.
Another great project I have to mention is this mechanical M&M sorter by Karl Lautman. Using a stepper motor, some servos, an Adafruit color sensor, motor shield, and an Adafruit Pro Trinket, the sorter mechanism is able to take in a single M&M, determine its color, adjust the chute for the appropriate jar, and then release the candy.
Karl has a great write-up of the project on Hackaday. He’s yet to include CAD files or code, but there’s a lot you can glean from the text and the pictures.
I personally don’t mind my M&Ms all jumbled together, but I love the idea of having this machine in my house and getting to show it off.
It’s time for another Cool Tools review. This time, I’ve got the Makita Impact Gold Ultra Magnetic bit holder. I got mine for around $5 on Amazon, and by using the link in the description to pick one up, you’re helping to support my videos and the Cool Tools blog.
A few weeks back I showed you guys this Dewalt right-angle drill adapter with this neat magnetic system for holding your screw in place. Well, I liked the magnetic screw holder so much I went looking for a solid, inexpensive version just for drilling straight-ahead.
There are a bunch out there, but one of the most popular brand name options is this one from Makita. It’s a simple two-part system that uses a metal bit holder that can take these standard, shorter bits. A plastic collar then slips over the holder with an embedded neodymium magnet ring at the tip.
The design leaves just enough room here so that the bit can fit into your screw, while the magnetic collar holds the screw on tight.
This way, instead of your screw dangling precariously from a weak magnetic bit, it feels more like a fixed extension of your drill or impact driver.
It also means that it’s less challenging to get your screw to go in straight. You don’t have to hold the screw in place to get started, which means you can work faster.
The magnetic tip is ideal for flat head drywall screws but it also works with some other rounded types I have. It also works just as well for Torx head screws. And when you want to change out the bit, you just pull off the collar and swap it out.
You can grab the Makita Ultra Magnetic bit holder using the Amazon link in the description, and you can see thousands of reader recommended tools like this at Cool-Tools.org.
I have a few extra tips to share with you. The first is just to encourage you to check out the new Circuits content in Tinkercad. It’s some of the same content from 123D Circuits that’s been moved over.
You can call up Arduino projects and breadboard projects and simulate them and adjust or download the code. It’s neat, and free, and all done in the web browser.
Gareth Branwyn’s Tips of the Week column has this handy idea from Martin Rothfield for using bulletin board T-pins as electronic probes you can pop into alligator clips. It could be great for circuit bending or troubleshooting wiring problems.
I also enjoyed this new video from See Jane Drill, with 4 carpentry tips every beginner should know. She goes over the difference between plumb and level and square, shows a trick for hand sawing in a straight line, and how to use a saw blade to measure 90 and 45 degree angles. That one really surprised me.
Maker Faires! There are two this weekend, one in Lille France and another in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Also, the Raspberry Pi foundation has announced their big Raspberry Jam Birthday Weekend taking place March 3rd and 4th, with over 100 events in 30 countries. If one’s near you, I recommend checking it out.
And that’s it for this week’s show. Be sure to subscribe, or leave a thumbs up or a comment. Sign up on the email list if you want to get each week’s show notes sent out to you. And if you really like this week’s show or are just feeling generous, I’ve got a new link down here where you can buy me a cup of coffee. Alright? Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.