Hackaday Prize Entry: A Manual, CNC Pick And Place Machine

Everyone who wants a 3D printer probably already has one, and even laser cutters and CNC machines are making their way into garages and basements ’round the world. Pick and place machines are the next great frontier of personal manufacturing, and even though that’s a long way off, [Tegwyn]’s project for this year’s Hackaday Prize is bringing us that much closer to popping down 0201 LEDs reliably. This project is a manual pick and place machine — otherwise known as ‘tweezers’. It’s a bit more complicated than that, because the entire idea behind [Tegwyn]’s build is to decouple a human’s fine motor skills from the ability to place components on a board. To do that, this project is using an off-the-shelf, blue light special CNC machine. There’s not much to it, just a bit of aluminum extrusion and some threaded rods. However, with the addition of a vacuum pump, a hollow needle, and a few manual controls to move the axes around, the operator has very fine control over where a resistor, cap, or LED goes. There are a few neat additions to the, ‘put a vacuum pump on a CNC machine’ idea. This is a 4 axis machine, giving the user the ability to rotate the part around a pad. There’s also a...

Video Shows How an Amazing Bride 3D Printed Her Entire Wedding

Most brides look to the pages of glossy magazines like The Knot, Premier Bride, or Wedding Style for inspiration on their big day. Erin Winick, associate editor of the MIT Technology Review, instead looked to 3D printing. An engineer by training and science fashionista, Winick wanted to integrate her passions with her latest milestone. So for her wedding last month, Winick 3D printed stunning blue bouquets (both her own and the bridesmaids’), nature-themed table toppers, the flower girl’s necklace, the cake topper and decorations, and even her own leafy headpiece that a guest mistook for lace. “I have a background in mechanical engineering, and in college I was instantly fascinated with technology that let me quickly turn my computer models into something physical,” Winick tells Inverse in an email. Leading up to the big day, on November 10, Winick pulled templates from Thingiverse — a website devoted to encouraging makers to share, create, and print digital design files — to print tulips for the bouquets and cake, as well as the Lego cake toppers. She designed the flower girl’s necklace and table numbers herself in Solidworks — patterns which you can also now find on Thingiver...