DIYLILCNC and Pinewood Derby
August 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm #2413
I have been lurking about this project and I am excited about 2.0 coming out as this will probably be the trigger that gets me into building one of these kits. Questions:
* When do you all think that 2.0 is due out?
* Is there a software package out there that is easy enough for Cub Scouts to design their own cars? I think it would be a neat twist to throw some technology into the process. Most kids today get bored with all the sanding.
* I am sure that I am missing some important part to make this idea a success. Please share your thoughts.
Be gentle. I am not a maker (yet). Your input is appreciated.August 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm #3856
Pinewood derby would be a fantastic application! There’s no explicitly kid-friendly 3D modeler that I can think of, but we could do a tutorial on a general approach that kids could then modify with the help of an adult. Send us some general specs on the derby (car size/weight/material limits) and I’ll do a little youtube video for you.
I don’t think you’ve left anything out. In fact, you could do pinewood derby with lil’ CNC version 1 if you’re chomping at the bit. We hope to release v2 in the next six months.August 29, 2011 at 5:31 am #3857
Wow that would be awesome!
Here are the general rules most packs go buy.
If I do 1.0 and then 2.0 comes out, how left out will I feel with the new features? I know this is an approximation at best.September 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm #3858
Here are two quick videos about making digital 3D models of pinewood derby cars. I forgot that you posted the specs above, but I believe I wound up in derby-legal territory.September 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm #3859
In answer to your second question, v2 will be pretty different. We’re making a lot of changes to help folks build abroad – both in terms of metric hardware and in countries where the industrial supply chain isn’t as robust as in the states. v1, on the other hand, is ready to do derby cars right now with no modifications. So pick your poison!
TOctober 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm #3860
@Taylor: I’m running Linux, do you have any suggestions for a good free 3d modeling tool? It looks like Rhino3D doesn’t run on Linux and it is too expensive for me anyway. Maybe at the students price, but that would still be a lot of money.October 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm #3861
Ah and I’ve already tried Blender numerous times and was never able to use it, it’s really complicated, in my opinion (respectively just not easy to learn, probably it isn’t complicated anymore when you get used to it).
But I guess if there’s nothing else I could learn it.October 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm #3862
It’s possible to run Sketchup on Linux using Wine. I have no idea how stable it is but both Wine and Sketchup are free.October 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm #3863October 7, 2011 at 7:47 pm #3864
This would be fun for a no-rules or adult race. But I would never let my kids use it for an official race. In my district it would be disqualified anyway. It is important for the boys to learn how to use their hands to create.
But… I could see this being used as a ways to earn the Robotics Merrit Badge. or even as a great deomstration for the kids…October 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm #3865
Keep in mind that this CNC comes it kit form. Thus, kids would still have to do a lot of hand-building to get to this point. Not that one should replace the other… I do love the idea of an anything-goes derby!October 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm #3866
@Taylor: I’m giving Blender an other try… Don’t think one of the others mentioned there are really easier.
I watched a few tutorials on http://cgcookie.com/blender/ and I think I can do a few things with Blender now, at the moment I’m trying to make a 15 puzzle (I think that’s what it’s called) to make with my school’s cnc mill.October 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm #3867
@Taylor Thank you for making these videos. This is simply amazing stuff.
@russfromnh I don’t see where in the rules a car made CNC is grounds for disqualification. You can compete with premade cars (most likely CNC’d) and no one knows the difference. The point is to have the car in spec. Where as I understand that there is a “spirit” to PWD, I like the idea that the kids can get some science and technology learning on (more applicable for the future than learning how to use a coping saw). They design the car, it gets milled before their eyes, they weight, sand, paint, and mount wheels and axles. All the while observing the weight and dimension restrictions. I may only do this with my Webelos. The younger ones will still have the old fashioned experience. This makes the process new and fresh for the Webelos.
I am totally down with the spirit of Scouting. Especially the motto “Be Prepared.” I just like to add “for the Future” in there where I can.
It is unfortunate that Rhino is too expensive for our budget and limited use. I will have to see if Blender will work for us.
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