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img2dcpu for 0x10c – Initial Release (v0.1)

Note: img2dcpu has been updated to v0.8! More info can be found here.

You may have heard of the new game under development by Notch (of Minecraft fame), called “0x10c”. If not, here is a short description of some mechanics of the game from 0x10c.com:

 Each ship has a generator capable of producing a fixed wattage, and everything you connect to it drains wattage. A cloaking field, for example, might require almost all the power from the generator, forcing you to turn off all computers and dim all lights in order to successfully cloak.

The computer in the game is a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.

I had some free time, so I decided to work on creating img2dcpu – a utility for converting an image into DCPU assembly code for 0x10c. This utility is licensed under a GPLv3 License and the source and Windows binary can be found at: https://github.com/tac0010/img2dcpu

— Description —

img2dcpu allows you to convert a color bitmap image into code that can be used to display the image on the DCPU in Mojang’s new space game, 0x10c. Currently, the specification of the IO system in 0x10c allows for a 32×12-tile screen, where each tile consists of a 4×8 character. img2dcpu can create assembly code that can display a 32×24 color image on the DCPU screen by making use of a custom font, splitting each tile into two square pixels. Future work includes dividing the tile further so that a full 128×96 image can be generated and displayed. (more…)

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Auburn University’s Student Projects and Research Committee (AU SPaRC) April Fool’s Joke

This morning, the leader of the Auburn University Student Projects and Research Committee (or AU SPaRC for short) sent out an email to the group asking for a revised version of the flyer that we put out each year to recruit new members. I decided to update the flyer for him, but considering that today is the first of April, I figured that I could send out a joke flyer first. Here is the real flyer (click for a PDF): (more…)

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SeeMeCNC H-1 3D Printer Project (hardware and plastic construction)

I received my H-1 Hardware and Plastic kit from SeeMeCNC in the post about three weeks ago, but decided to wait until they posted the build instructions before building the machine. Two weeks ago, they posted the instructions, and I got to work putting it together.

First off, I believe the part count for the H-1 is much higher than that of the RepRap Mendel (and probably the other RepRaps as well). But following the instructions was simple, and construction was much more satisfying than the Mendel. Only a few holes needed drilling, and bending the threaded rods was actually quite simple. (more…)

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RepRap + SPaRC

RepRap Prusa Mendel Project (status update)

I know I haven’t post an update on the RepRap in a while, but it’s not because it hasn’t been worked on! So here is a list of what I have done so far:

  • Sourced the rest of the hardware and built the frame,
  • Finished up the RAMPS electronics board and tested all of the stepper motor drivers,
  • Built and tested the MakerGear hotend (extruded its first plastic!),
  • Soldered up the optical end-stop boards and tested them, and
  • Built the Wade’s Extruder.

What still needs to be done:

  • Stepper motors still need mounting (waiting on the screws),
  • Frame needs to be measured and adjusted,
  • Extruder may need adjusting,
  • Print surface needs to be mounted,
  • Electronics need to be mounted, and wires need routing, and
  • Then on to first prints!

So it’s coming along smoothly, with a couple of hiccups with the extruder and hotend,  but those issues have been (hopefully) solved and the printer will be done very soon! When I’m finished, I’ll post a final cost analysis, and will offer to help print/assist anyone who wants to build their own! Here are a couple more pictures of the RepRap’s progress: (more…)

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Windows 8 Delevoper Preview

Installing the Windows 8 Developer Preview from a USB Drive (Pen Drive)

Many of you may have heard that the Developer Preview of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system has been released to the public. I personally wanted to try it out, so I grabbed my old laptop, added the install files to a USB drive, and booted from the USB drive. It works great, so I’ll write out instructions for those of you with a current Windows system who want to try out the preview! (more…)

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RepRap + SPaRC

RepRap Prusa Mendel Project (PLA bushing help)

The chassis/frame for the RepRap has been mostly put together, but I ran into a small problem with the PLA bushings that I received with my printed plastic parts. They were of very low print quality, looked terrible, and would not slide at all on the smooth rod. I was able to get them to work beautifully on the smooth rod after I ‘repaired’ them, so I’m going to share that process:

The bushings would not completely fit on the smooth rods because there was small bits of plastic in the way, so I took a piece of leftover threaded rod (or just use a leg on your frame if you have no more threaded rod), and forcefully slid each bushing back and forth across the rod. This removed imperfections in the plastic and allowed the bushings to slide gracefully across the smooth rods. Bushings, saved!

Looking at these bushings, however, I think one of the first upgrades to the RepRap will be replacing the x-axis and y-axis bushings with linear bearings, so that they will not have to be replaced as often. Some new parts will have to be printed to hold the bearings, but that is further down the road.

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