Building Fleet, part 1

My projects are getting larger and larger lately. This time I’m trying to build a boat. A small wooden boat of 15 feet. I thought building a boat that you could actually use, that should be great fun. And of course much more fun than to just go and buy one.
So I scanned the web for designs that looked relatively easy, even for first time builders. I settled with a boat, called Fleet, designed by Ross Lillistone. It’s an elegant, slim and clean boat. I ordered the plan and then started to build a model first. They say you should build a model first to get an impression how things fit together, so I did that.

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Galaga Arcade Cabinet

This project has been on my to-do list like forever. Over the last years I acquired a couple of tools and now I have a somewhat decent workshop. The Raspi 3 is there and quite powerful enough to run MAME. I even saved an old TV from the dumpster and had it sitting on the shelves for ages. So it was like now or never.

Motivation

Galaga Arcade Cabinet

I have a soft spot for 8-bit arcades. When I was a kid, maybe 13 or 14 (around 1980!), I was on a vacation with a good friend of the family. He was a truck driver and drove always from Germany to Italy and back. A trip usually took 4 to 5 days. So I was on a truck for a week, which felt really cool. We delivered some stuff to Bologna and a couple of more places. Then we drove back to Milan and we had to load arcade machines. I saw these for the first time. At least it felt like that. All machines where running. All coin doors were open! Somebody saw me standing in front of them with huge eyes and showed me how to trigger the switch to get credits for free. BAM! I was hooked.
I played Galaxian for 2 hours straight. As the truck was loaded and we had to leave, they had to peel me of the arcades!
The next couple of years I dumped a lot of coins (Deutsche Mark) into arcade machines and I got quite good at Galaga, BombJack and Gauntlet.

Then, ages later, I stumbled upon MAME, the Multi Arcade Machine Emulator and had fun digging up the old games. I even built a controller box to be able to play at least with proper joystick and buttons.

Then, 4 months ago I decided, that I should have all tools together, that are required to build a complete arcade cabinet. The required skills I would learn by doing, hopefully.

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Mach’s doch selbst!

Machs doch selbst

Last November I was part of a web documentary by arte.tv about makers and FabLabs and the like. It consists of 8 parts and deals with a couple of different aspects of the maker scene. Great work, thanks Adrien and team!

Simple stool

Simple stool

From time to time I enjoy simple and quick projects. It’s like taking a break from that other long running project. This simple stool took me around 4 hours to make. Best of all, it’ll never need to re-charge.

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Paint Machine

Thinking up robots and machines is one of my number one pleasures. Being able to realize them, tops everything. I added a couple of power tools to my small shop and as a result, my projects got bigger and more mechanical.
Here is my latest creature, the Paint Machine. It’s a machine the prints simple bitmaps with spray chalk on the street or sidewalk.

Some of the key features:

  • dimension: width: 220cm, length: 38cm, height: 24cm, weight: 12kg
  • printing speed: ca. 0.036 km/h
  • resolution (4:3): 61px * 46px, print: 225cm * 170cm
  • swappable print head
  • remote controlled with smartphone app

Paint Machine

I started working on this in April and built almost everything from scratch. A lot of time went in designing parts, trying them out and then re-designing them. Now I guess, it would require a lot less time to build a second one.

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Minimalist Marble Machine

I always loved watching marble machines, especially the creations of denha. These little machines are super cute and very well made. So a marble machine was on my todo list for a very long time.

Minimalist Marble Machine

To start easy, I decided to build the most minimalistic marble machine I could think of. Just one oval and a single lift mechanism.

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