Monday, December 7, 2009

The Cool Tool

Today I discovered The Unimat-1 Classic 6 in 1 'Cool Tool' at a department store. For Euro 349 you get a kit which can be made into six different tools, including different lathes and a small XYZ mill.

Those cranks look like we could modify them by adding stepper motors, stepper motor controllers, and an arduino based CNC to Stepper Motor adapter like from the RepRap/MakerBot.

The xy stage moves 0.1 mm per turn of the crank.
0.1 mm is an interesting number to me, because the images from the wonderful NanoGigaPan which Molly shot of a 2mm x 2mm Barnacle cover about 0.1mm each.

View the full image at

This took a bit under 400 pictures. If we assume 400 pictures, than that is 20 pictures x 20 pictures. And each picture
is about 0.1mm. So with 30% overlap, each picture would be about 3/4 of a crank. (I think :-)

But here I go taking fun children's toys, like the 6 in 1 cool tool, and turning them to the service of gigapanning :-)

And a microscope with a camera. Next I need to figure out optics!

Once I got back to the Museum Quartier, Benjamin Cowden, who made the most beautiful of the cocktail robots at RoboExotica, the Corpose Reviver, showed me the Proxxon Micromot System Catalog. He has a mill and lathe from them at home, which he likes a lot, but it is hard to get parts. I happened to flip the catalog open to page 18 and was forced to point and say 'which one of those numbers gets me which one of those things!?' There was an XY table for I _think_ E 84.50.

The niftiest thing about the Proxxon stuff? Many of the parts (along with metal stock) are available at the Petzolt hardware store with is 1/3 of a mile away! Time for more shopping and gigapanning expeditions.

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