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#438 – An Interview with Bart Dring


Welcome, Bart Dring!

  • Hobby of motion contollers and CNC
  • Got started at Williams pinball (who also make games like Joust and Space shuttle)
  • A lot of wear in pinball cabinets.
  • Got the itch to move onto a “real engineering” job.
  • Microwave for deep space networks
  • Multi kilowatt units with high power dissipation
  • Waveguide switches
  • Getting heat out of the potting
  • Used on things like news trucks and DSN satellites.
  • Military specs for harsh environment
  • CNC machines were discussed by past guests:
    • John Saunders
    • Nadya Peek
  • Sending steps to machines was easier with a parallel port. Now need something like a USB to parallel.
  • Started doing tutorials on Instructables, wanted to win a contest with a human powered Segway to win Epilog laser.
  • Started to document along the way on Buildlog.net
  • First comprehensive laser cutter kit out there, the 2.x laser sold 400 kits
  • Maker Slide was a system for building machines. The Kickstarter raised $25K
  • Since it was open source, others re-started KS campaigns 5 times around the world
  • Factory for extrusion is like 300m long
  • Wrote a yield optimizer to spit out a better way to cut material in his garage.
  • Laen (OSH Park) also talked about optimizers when he was on the show.
  • Approached Inventables to fulfill Maker Slide orders.
  • Worked out a deal for a royalty, they still pay it on orders.
  • Inventables makes Easel, which is a web based program for working with their routers.
  • Inventables also took on the Shapeko, designed by Edward Ford. That machine is made out of Maker Slide.
  • GRBL is the motion controller behind all of Bart’s CNC machines.
  • It started with the creator interested in optimizing the code to put on an Arduino.
  • RAMPS controllers
  • Plug in stepper drivers
  • G-code
  • Bart ported GRBL onto PSoC5
  • Why PSoC5? Bart likes the graphical interface and uses it a lot for prototyping.
  • Motion planner
  • Started looking at ESP32 for Bluetooth/WiFi
  • Robots run off the phones
  • Angus doing Arduino stuff for Espressif helped to move things along.
  • API has public functions for RTOS, so it was harder in a real time control sense.
  • Plan was to use primary core for GRBL, other core for communication.
  • Bart put the project down for a while, but Jeroen Domburg (Sprite_tm) convinced him to try again.
  • The processor had a lot more RAM than other boards, especially Arduino.
  • Finished September 2018
  • Tindie sales
  • Complete web UI for sender
  • Web page has jogging controls and configuration
  • Hoping to put an Easel-like program on there
  • Nickelbot
  • Square coasters with traction feed (Coasty the Coaster Toaster)
  • Exotic kinematics
  • Polar coaster
  • Converting polar to Cartesian coordinates
  • Drawbot badge
  • Hobby servos
  • “Adorably wiggly lines“
  • Workshop at Supercon
  • Scripting in python
  • Polar Platform String Art Machine
  • Open loop vs closed loop
  • Twang
  • Follow Bart on twitter as @buildlog


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 2019-04-15  1h32m