Talk about a crash course. Today I got a taste of Arduino coding and circuits, 3D and 2D rendering, laser cutting, 3D printing, and all their associated software. To all my hackers and makers and coders out there, this is where I need your help the most!
In a nutshell, here’s what I learned:
- Fritzig is a great circuit design tool! It is a very visual tool with a mock breadboard, circuit diagrams, and PCB (printed circuit board) designer.
- Sketchup by Google is used for 2D and 3D modelling. We need the svg plugin to convert the 3D model into a series of planes in order for the file to be compatible with a laser cutter.
- Inkscape is a free vector illustrator/editor that we use to modify the .svg file before sending it off to the cutter.
- OpenSCAD is another program used for modelling, however with this you use code to model instead of drag and drop functions. OpenSCAD is specifically useful when designing objects that are radially symmetrical, such as a centrifuge rotor!
- Cura is a software platform that provides an interface to use with the 3D printers. From Cura, you can modulate extruder temperature and speed, resolution, density of the object, etc.
- Netfabb is an “.stl doctor.” There are several reasons why Cura might not import your .stl file. Somehow Netfabb fixes them and gives you a proper file.
- Github is a platform for hosting and collaborating on projects. This is where we will be keeping all our design and project files during the Biohack Academy so they are available to everyone!
Like I said, I am pretty new to pretty much all of the above. This is where the true hacker spirit comes to fruition. With the widely ranging backgrounds of our group, I’m sure we won’t have a problem overcoming obstacles like these!