assignment 9

mechanical design, machine design

9nth week

This is a two-weeks assignment.

And also this is a group project. The 7 students from Spain who belong to the Super Node at Fab Lab León met during the weekend to do the assignment.

The Team

Luís Díaz. Fab Lab León

Paco González-Quintial. Fab Lab Deusto

Borja Lanza. Fab Lab León

Jose Real. Fab Lab UE

Victoria Retana. Fab Lab CEU

María Santisteban. Fab Lab CEU

Marta Verde. Fab Lab UE

We divided in 2 groups, building and electronics. The builing team was formed by Victoria, María, Paco and Jose (they are architects, they know how to build things), and in the electronics team, Luis, Borja and Me.

The Machine

We decided to build the hot wire cutter machine, following the last year´s machines from Singapore, Puebla ...

I arrived with my colleague Jose on Friday evening to Fab Lab León. We were aimed to use the last year´s machine kits, so first we tried to made that Leonidas painting machine work. The wiring was quite a mess for identify the connections, because they didn´t follow a proper color code.

Borja and I studied how the Gestalt modules work, and installed a Python IDE (IDLE) and the libraries (PyGestalt) to begin the process. We have never used a regulable power supply before, so at the first try we weren´t feeding the modules properly.

Next morning, Luis arrived and joined our “electronics & coding team” and helped us. we realized that we must re-burn the firmware to them, because we couldn´t identify the nodes in the network; the pink LED were neither blinking . After that, we were ready try the x_y_plotter example from htmaa examples machine folder from Nadia´s repository, and they moved¡¡¡ We manage to substitute one of the motors to other one with no spindle, for the spinning platform. Luis and I were coding the same basic code for move the 4 motors based on the simple_node example; we get onto the result at the same time.

It´s important: always have the 086-005.hex file in the right route for the .py file can load it. And every time we upload a new code, delete the temporal "test.vmp" file for restore preferences.

Also, I made a Fritzing scheme to check the old connections that were made last year, but I re-soldered all the connections with ribbon wire, to have smaller and cleaner connections between the nodes.

At the meantime, i was trying to implement some OSC (Open Sound Control) into a Python script, with PyOSC library for moving the motors with the smartphone or another app that supports this protocol. It´s still in development, but I could made it work alone, I need to merge the OSC code with the main code for our machine.


Luis made a repository with the main core code for moving the 4 motors, so we can still work on the code, push it and ask Borja gently to test it with the machine. We are pretending to do this code work all next week, for implementing reading external files, a GUI and the OSC control.

I couldn´t dedicate a lot of time to the machine developing the second week, because of my work, and my knowledge about Python is too weak. Luis and Borja are more used to code on similar languajes. We were working on remote, Borja was the only person of the team that could test the codes with the machine. Altought, a I learn a lot from them and their work; implementing the GUI libraries and the OSC communication, they made a great work!

Group website

MachineBuilding_v4 from Marta Verde on Vimeo.


Explained your individual contribution to this project on your own website


Shown how your team planned and executed the project


Described problems and how the team solved them


Listed future development opportunities for this project


Included your design files, ‘hero shot’ photos of the machine and a short video of it operating


Python files