IMTS 2018 Manufacturing Fair in Chicago

My visit to the MHUB/NYC CNC event also allowed me to visit the IMTS 2018 manufacturing show in Chicago.   My goodness what an event.  Lots of walking and lots of drooling over the latest technology for wasting metal.   Some of the machines were almost as large as my home in the UK.   I have never seen so many cutting tools.

I did fall in love however …. with the Datron Neo milling machine.  It has a small footprint but a big punch with a 40k RPM spindle, 24 position tool changer with tool checking and an astonishingly elegant software user interface.  It is way out of my pocket but for a small prototyping shop or educational establishment I think it will be very attractive.

I also picked up a Centroid Acorn OEM machine controller board which looks like a panacea for Mach3/4 based systems.  More will follow on this as we get to grips with it.

So a good trip all round.  Two good events.  Two aching feet.  Some nice memories of a very beautiful city.

‘The Bean’ on the Chicago lake front.

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NYC CNC Open House in Chicago this weekend coming

My travel agent (aka my adorable wife) has got my airline tickets ready so I can attend John Saunders’ Open House bash at MHUB this Sunday coming in Chicago with 3 days afterwards at IMTS 2018.

Hopefully I will meet up with some of the friends I met at the NYC CNC training week and last year’s Open House plus all the new contacts that I have made via this blog.   Also hoping to be blown away with seeing new technology (totally out of my budget) at IMTS.

Looking forward to it ! More to follow !

Woody

Wireless Tag technology for remote sensing and security

Useful Wireless Tags for Monitoring Assets

Some while ago I happened upon wireless tag net which market a range of simple to use wireless tags for temperature, humidity, movement etc.   These devices use short range wireless comms to a wireless node connected to the house broadband router.   Once activated the tags can be monitored and controlled via the web.   There are a number of extensions to this using other technology devices which all in all make them rather attractive and useful.

I decided our house in France would benefit from the use of these devices and this would allow us to monitor the house from the UK.   I bought a package of 5 temperature/humidity/movement tags and a single moisture tag for the garden.

These are really easy to set up and add to your web portal.   Results are graphed for you to see trends etc.   Really nice simple and useful product.

I could put lots of pictures up but the best thing is to follow the link as above and read all about it.   Deliver to the UK was quick but got hit for import duty and VAT.

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Golf Scoring Aid using Thumbwheel Switches

I seem to have created a small demand at the local golf club for the simple golf scoring aid which I had designed and fitted to our electric trolleys.   The design makes use of old thumbwheel switches which manufacturers don’t seem to use these days with the advent of electronically created equivalents.

Thumbwheels are cheap to buy on EBay and with the addition of a simple Fusion 360 designed and 3D printed block to mount them, they fit nicely on the side of the trolley scorecard holder accessory.   The design uses two thumbwheels so the user can score their own and their partners score.   Simple but very useful especially since I can’t remember what day it is never mind how many shots I have fluffed.

golf, scoring aid, 3D printed mounting, thumbwheels
Simple Golf Scoring Aid using Thumbwheel Switches

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Hot weather and Wall Fixings

This may not be what it seems but …. for over two years I have had two shelf supports fastened to the workshop wall with screws and plastic wall plugs.   The load on the shelf has barely changed over this period.

The other night while relaxing on the terrace we heard a very loud crash and on investigation found the shelf, contents and both brackets in a heap on the workshop floor.   Fortunately no major damage ensued to anything.

On investigating further I noticed that the blocks used for the wall material was warm to the touch.   This is a consequence of the extraordinary long period of very hot weather we have experience in the UK.   The plugs had come out of the holes intact with the screws still in place.

So my thought is that the warmth in the wall has somehow changed the characteristics of the grip in the wall.   This could be the plug plastic degrading in some way i.e. going soft and having less grip, or maybe the hole in the block work has expanded in diameter enough to lose the grip on the plugs.  Either way it suggests my civil engineering was marginal in the first place !

The shelf is now back up with an extra set of fixing holes and some seriously larger screws.

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