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Member Since: February 9, 2011

Country: United States

  • Follow the fish past the cameraman, yep that is really happening.

  • It depends on what slot you are talking about. The entire opening is .118in (3mm) wide which is about 2x the thickness of my Sparkfun LCD Shield PCB which is .062in. I was more talking about the .039in (1mm) and .078in (2mm) measurements. If you watch the product post where MakerBeam made its debut Rob showed a small prototyping station with panel mounted buttons. Also recently the product post featuring the 2 axis claw add on a panel of buttons was made with MakerBeam. I assume if its working for Sparkfun it should be just fine for the rest of us.
    You are right with using it as a boarder for already made boards it probably would not be very good. But even then I don't think my Arduno Uno can handle the nuts being on the outside, there just is not enough space to get the nut and a socket in there.
    It would be a pretty awesome add on for Erector Sets but I have a feeling the screw size is not compatible.

  • The software is by far the hardest part of controlling the robot. Having worked in the solar processing industry (glass layup systems) we get tolerance specs to within 2mm between strings and we use ABB 4600-40. Part of it is the slop in the gears (hell joint 6 has a +/- 6 degree tolerance, joint 3 is a +/- 3 degree so by the time you compound all the tolerance its amazing what it still can do), speed the robot is traveling, and how good the software is. The stuff you can make those robots do is amazing.
    And yes they will crush you like a bug. I have run the ABB at 100% speed and they are wicked fast. Ive clocked the 4600-40 rotating about its base 90 degrees in under .2 seconds. I must say its impressive.

  • This book looks pretty big but I would like to know how extensive this book goes. Is it more about projects or does this book dive into things like the timer interrupt service, using PORT level operations and the core basics of how the Arduino does serial communication. The projects I am working on I really do need to know how these work and if I'm laying down almost 40 bucks for a book I would like to know what I am getting.

  • Dang it! I'm only in California until this weekend. Luckily I live in New York so I will wait 4 months.

  • It costs 129.95 because the setup cost is high and SparkFun needs to make a profit. If you check out MicroRAX the price for a kit the same size isn't much cheaper. Hopefully SparkFun will offer individual lengths and hardware packages as MakerBeam increases production the same way MicroRAX does.

  • This is definately cool stuff. I have seen how much we use extruded t-slot at work and its a huge benefit over some of the welded frames we use. In any case I have been extensivly looking over both MakerBeam and MicroRAX and comparing what I like and what I dislike. So here is my take on these two.
    I very much like the design and the flat edges it has. It is visually appealing and a well thought out simple design. I especially see why SparkFun picked MakerBeam over MicroRAX - PCB slot. The one thing turning me away from MicroRAX is that it doesn't have the PCB slot. Arguable it probably wasn't even considered for them but it make sence MakerBeam found a home here.
    The captive screws are really hurting this for me. It may not be as big of an issue for others but that is really the only part of this I dislike. I would rather not having screw threads exposed everywhere. It is a disaster waiting to happen if you drop your project and gall the crap out of the threads and now you can't remove the nut.
    I do love the design of this too. While I find it less pleasing to the eye they did a great job making the beams minamalistic in material but packed with great features. The captive nuts are a huge plus and it looks like you could use the bolts as captive bolts if you wanted to (not 100% sure but the profile looks like it would work) I also like that I can buy any lenght I want, although I assume MakerBeam will have that when their site is running. MicroRAX also has truss pieces where are fantastic (not saying a few minutes in the shop wouldent yield truss pieces for MakerBeam but it sure is less work for alot of people)
    No PCB slot. I really want to use some of this stuff to make sweet enclosures and the PCB slot could double as a plexyglass/Lexan slot. I would have to fab up a few inserts to hold it in there or have the cover over the beam and its just not fair to cover up how cool the t-slot looks.
    Both products have their place. MakerBeam fits here at SparkFun and MicroRax is a great DIY tool as well. Who knows MakerBeam is still young and we may see improvements in the future.