Thursday, 10 December 2015

Using UAVs to Show Crop Health

I have been working on a new initiative - using drone technology (small robotic aircraft) to help growers of all kinds understand the state of their crops better, faster, and easier. is gathering people interested in beta testing a new service that uses robotic aircraft to provide detailed maps of plant health.  If you grow crops of any kind, are located in or around central Alberta, sign up for their tester program!

(Flying UAVs in Canada requires regulatory compliance but you don't need to worry about any of that. takes care of all permits as part of providing their service.)

Monday, 9 November 2015

Tiny Dinosaurs with Rifles

I have been experimenting with these tiny little dinosaurs.  The design itself is not new (Epilog laser has the CAD file free on their site) and making them small isn't new either.

The work and features I added are new, though.  As is arming them with rifles.

Going from the raw CAD file to what you see here (that's the tip of a mechanical pencil on the left by the way) was a lot of work - far beyond simply scaling the design down.  Here's what I did.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Rancilio Silvia Low Water Sensor - new prototype

I have yet again redesigned my low-water sensor for my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine.  It is a great machine, but it is impossible to see into the water tank and I always forget about it until a brew is ruined by low water.

This is what you see when water is low: you will begin a brew and the LED right in front of you will begin to blink.

When you refill the water, the blinking will stop.  It uses no power at all when it is not in action.

Note: This is a newer version and followup to my previous version of a low-water sensor.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

How to Make Laser-cut Finger-jointed Enclosures Without the Finger Joints Showing

laser cutter is a great tool with a lot of potential, and one of the ways they are useful is for making custom enclosures.  Finger-jointed boxes are simple with a tool like Maker Case and a laser cutter.  It's incredibly useful but I personally never liked that "finger jointed look".

Here's a method I use to make the presentation side of the enclosure a bit cleaner looking.

Mooltipass in Full Production

When I last talked about the Mooltipass offline password keeper (for which I was a beta tester) it was almost in production.  Well, it's completely in production now and can be purchased!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Small product launch at

I recently did some work with custom board game tokens. Some of the things I did were popular enough that I decided to launch them as a product on a new site: Tick Tock Token!

Tick Tock Token is a source for custom board game organizers and play aids.  The first product is Mage Knight Wound Tokens - for the popular game Mage Knight.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Making an Illuminated Inspection Lens From Junk

I recently removed a large lens assembly from an old rear-projection television.  It is an excellent magnifier with a wide field of view.  It would make a GREAT pcb inspection magnifier except that it is a bit too heavy and big to be handheld.  And there's a bigger problem.  It's too dark.  Read more to learn how I turned it into a great tool.