Backstop Rapid Prototyping

On my single speed bike, I run front and rear brakes. However the frame doesn’t have cable routing bosses on the top tube. Right now I just have the cable housing zip-tied to the frame. This isn’t a very elegant solution and I wanted to improve it.

Problem Solvers makes a nice clamp that will route two cables. Unfortunately they don’t make them to fit my 1.0 inch top tube. Carnegie Mellon has a 3D printer and I had always wanted to experiment with rapid prototyping parts. It is very easy to design a part in Solidworks and then export it to the 3D printer. I thought I could design and fabricate something to fit my need.

Versions 1 through 5, left to right.
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Past Work: Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access

I never got around to posting about my time at Georgia Tech’s Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), where I was a researcher and shop manager. CATEA designs and tests all sorts of technology to help disabled people. The entire lab is a sort of skunk works operation; imagine Myth Busters “what crazy thing do you want to try today”. I was responsible for bringing to life the ideas and inventions of several Georgia Tech professors and their grad students. I had an entire shop at my disposal and best of all a Georgia Tech VISA card!


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Desktop Power Supply Hack

I received this wooden tool chest as a bonus for buying some old furniture from an out-of-business machine shop. It was sitting around for a while and I didn’t know what to do with it. I had the idea that it would be cool for something and, in full pack-rat mentality, I’d hung on to it for several years.

A fair amount of my recent projects have been what you might call stupidly-attentive-to-detail. I’ve usually obsessed about having every wire cut to length and soldered perfectly. I have delayed a project while I waited for that one perfect $2.00 part to arrive in the mail. I realized this was queuing up my project list and creating quite a bit of frustration. I was actually not getting any enjoyment from side projects. So, I decided to have a little hack project and get something running in a single evening.


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Machining and Anodizing

To use the CMU machine shop full time, I had to take a small course on machining. The class was straight forward, and I knew about 75% of what was taught. I did learn a lot though and picked up some new tricks. We learned the main concepts through two small projects, a pencil holder and a plumb-bob, performing the cutting operations ourselves. Once the skill was demonstrated, we moved on, so most people didn’t finish the projects. However, I spent a little time after class putting the finishing touches on the parts. I’ve machined a million parts for previous jobs but never had the opportunity to display them. While these two parts are pretty basic and not a good indicator of my skill level, I thought it would be fun to “do it right”.

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