I’m just a college student living in Loveland, Colorado, USA. I have a large interest in biology, botany, chemistry, robotics, and manufacturing. I’m hoping to major in Biomedical Engineering. I have a strong interest in Genetics.  I am learning to speak the international language Esperanto.

Mi estas studento en universitato. Mi loĝas en Norda Koloradio, Usono. Mi havas pli grandan intereson en biologio, botaniko, kemio, robotikoj, kaj fabrikadon. Mi esperas studi biomedicina inĝenierio en universitato. Mi havas fortan interesiĝon pri genetiko. Mi estas komencanto de Esperanton.

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi do you have a solidworks or other 3D part file for the 80/20 1020 Extruded aluminum t-slot y-axis 3d printer bracket you designed? I am making a frame from T-Slot which has to be mounted to a flat vertical plate and withstand certain load characteristics. Your bracket looks like the sort of thing I need. Have you done any FEA sim on your bkt? If so how did you set up the sim?

    • Yes, i’d be happy to share them if you like. Do you have an email address where i can send you a zip file with the Solidworks files? I have not done any structural simulation of any kind so i would not know about that. But i do have two that have been printed in ABS and seem to be quite strong. I guess it would depend on how long a piece you intend to use and the torque that might be applied to it. Still perhaps my bracket will work fine for you unmodified.

      In the meantime you can try downloading the bracket from 3dcontentcentral.com as i believe that part was uploaded temporarily for my own file conversion use. However it still would probably be better if i send you the original solidworks CAD files. So let me know your email and i will look into sending them to you.


  2. Hi,
    I am an education researcher developing some curriculum about Teosinte. I was wondering if I could use some of your pictures. I would provide a link to your website for the same.
    Thanks a lot,

  3. OK, the voltage reference board you built for your dad got me to your blog–still looking for more about it–but the stuff you are doing with plants and electricity is facinating. Also the 3D printing. Good choice on the precision machining course, I took a similar course in college and I still benefit from that knowledge today (and that’s a long time).

    Keep up the good work. You probably know about this: http://www.nyccnc.com Best CNC channel on YouTube.

    • Thanks! I’m currently in the process of tinkering with mushroom growing and building my own indoor grow box / “personal food computer” among other little projects.

      My dad seems to have lost interest in that little board, not sure why. He’s had several people ask about it but most of them he has never replied. I may just end up releasing the Eagle CAD files for people to make their own DIY style. Let me know what you think about that.

      • Yeah, I know the feeling of “lost interest in a project” very well. That said, you have gotten a lot of hits on that little board . . . just saying.

        I don’t know very much about PCB building, but what I do know is that printing a bunch on a larger board and breaking them up costs proportionally less than a single board ‘one-off’. If I were in your position, I’d be more inclined to sell the boards than to post the Eagle files. Two reasons: you might be able to send you dad a check for his efforts; and if you post the Eagles, someone else will build and sell them, and that’s not fair to anyone.

        I don’t know what the market is for a specialized part for a very expensive lab DMM standard, but considering that the product has for over 25 years been the ‘gold-standard’ for precision and the continued interest at the hobbiest level, it is probably worth a small financial risk.

        An alternative would be to license the production to someone in the same market who has experience in building and selling small volume specialty boards. (IanJohnston.com for example) That way your dad would get a ‘royalty’ payment for each board sold with no risk or hassle for either of you.

        Used boards with the components on them go for over $250 on eBay, but considering that the LTZ1000 costs over $50 and the three big Vishay resistors could be that much each (if you can find them), the real value of a plain board is more for experimentation by the avid hobbyist (Volt-nuts–and proud of it). For example, I just bought a ‘dead’ HP3458 board from a trusted source for $100 with the idea of replacing the dead parts (Most likely the LTZ1000) with new ones.

      • I’ve sent an email to sparkfun offering the board for them to produce and sell if they want it. If they decide they do they will send a royalty back. But to be honest it’s hard to say if it’s something they would be interested in since it is so highly specialized. But then again your right, there is still hobbyist interest in such boards even today.

        And yeah, your right, from what i know often those boards that are bad are due to the heating element in the LTZ1000 going bad.

        If sparkfun does not end up wanting to produce them i may look for others that might. Would you be interested? Also, do you think there really is a market for just the boards themselves and not the components??

  4. I might be extrapolating from my own level of experience, but I see a significant leap from soldering components to a board and having a board fabricated–even when working from files created by others–in both financial and operational terms. I expect that once I had one type of board manufactured, the next would be far easier, but maybe not.

    Clearly there are economies of scale in PCB’s and there must be ‘standard’ sizes and arrangements on the standard that minimize the cost of production. Then there is all the quality control pre-production to fix things that are discovered before the volume run. Add the logistics of production and verification and the prospect is daunting. So being able to buy a specialty board where some fellow hobbyist has cleared the way from design to production seems very attractive.

    The choice between ‘bare board’ on one end and ‘finished product’ on the other is more legal than technical: a paragraph of ‘use at your own risk’ could suffice for a bare board, whereas selling a finished board will present legal issues from product liability to copyright infringement not to mention the warranty claims if it doesn’t work. Having the option to purchase components with the board will be appreciated and yield more sales, but that choice would involve stocking and packaging and there might not be sufficient volume to get offsetting vendor discounts. An alternative might be to setup a ‘bill of materials’ on Mouser (or ??) so that the components can be ordered easily.

    Since my last message, I purchased a ‘defective’ HP 3458A voltage reference and replaced the LTZ1000 (bad heater as you noted) while gaining some experience in the finicky nature of precision components when exposed to forces that pass unnoticed by us carbon-units: notably minute air currents, thermocouple effects and the qualities of wires. The quest for a low cost reliable voltage reference has many followers, probably enough to justify a production run of several hundred boards, depending on the production price-points, but the sales would be spread over time.

    I have no idea what the production cost would be (I imagine you do or could find out) and my guesstimate of a selling price is driven by the eBay market for used ones. Ian Johnston’s adjustable 10V reference is very nice, easy to use and good enough to calibrate my instruments. It cost £231.25 (about $375 at today’s rate). Used 3458A DC reference boards are $350 on eBay and there are other, less reliable, choices for references selling for $100. Considering that there are $200-worth of precision components needed for the board, I think a hobbyist would not want to pay more than $75 for the board alone. (In this case, sourcing the expensive, hard-to-find components might make the package more attractive.)

    The ‘big score’ for the hobbyist would be to make a 3458A into ‘Option 002’ precision by careful choice of components, but given all the vagaries of burn-in conditions, time and the quality of the soldering, that might be the holy grail of electronics. Still, many businesses thrive on selling ‘expert’ gear to amateurs.

    I have not encountered a hobbyist-oriented business built around the ‘we build it for you’ model for PCB boards as described above, but if one does not exist, there might be more to this for you than just a one-off production run of a 3458A-like reference board. The value-proposition being the ‘know-how’ rather than the boards themselves. If you do some digging into the latter, I’d be interested in funding the startup phase.

    Happy holiday!


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