Tag Archives: ATxmega192

Space Weaver is a seven-foot-tall 3D weaving machine

Now that’s one heck of a Maker’s ‘dream weaver.’ 

A group of Digital Craft Lab students recently developed a seven-foot-tall 3D printer, aptly dubbed Space Weaver, that is designed to create ultra-lightweight woven structures with fibrous materials, rather than the plastics usually extruded by similar machines.


Led by our friend Michael Shiloh and fellow Future Cities Lab instructor Jason Kelly Johnson, the students utilized a three-axis gantry system (similar to FDM) for creating a platform that can construct objects comprised of carbon fiber and fiberglass. With a maximum build height of five-feet, objects printed on the Space Weaver are produced using a significantly higher strength-to-weight ratio that results in no waste and requires no support material.


During an eight-week build period, the young Makers approached the Space Weaver project with three different skillsets: machine building (including the frame, mechanical components, CNC gantry, electronics and spools), programming and material science. The team selected a Shapeoko 2 CNC instead of the typical 3D printer mechanisms due to its durability as well as its ability to be modified for a larger build volume.


The Space Weaver is based on a Synthetos V8 TinyG (ATxmega192), while a 24V 6.35A power supply drives all five stepper motors. Both components are enclosed in a laser-cut acrylic case for protection.


Want to know more about the build? You can find a step-by-step breakdown of the students’ project here. Meanwhile, you can check out the team’s latest creation: autonomous 3D printing robots.

First desktop wire bender hits Kickstarter

The first desktop CNC wire bender has hit Kickstarter with an Atmel MCU (ATxmega192/TinyG) under the hood. Created by Pensa Labs, the DIWire transforms drawn curves into bent wire that can be assembled to make just about anything.

“To date, desktop manufacturing has focused on 3D printers outputting plastic volumes and laser cutters cutting 2D planes. However, nothing exists that converts lines into bent rod, wire or tubular forms quickly, accurately, and repeatedly,” the Pensa Labs crew wrote in a recent Kickstarter post. “The DIWire can bend various metals and plastics, allowing for the output to be used as the final product. Additionally, the build volume is limited only by the length of the wire.”

Indeed, by being transportable, accessible and affordable, the DIWire fills the market gap between time-consuming hand-bending and large scale, mass production CNC wire bending, which is often too costly for custom, short-run productions.

This significantly changes the dynamics of STEM education, as well as local, mass customized, prototype and just-in-time manufacturing for industries ranging from aerospace, automotive, medical, to consumer products.

So what can DIWire be used to create? Specific examples listed on Kickstarter include antennas, robotics, architecture models, design prototypes, art, furniture, jewelry, small crafts, surgical implants, orthodonture, puppetry, lighting, stage sets and signage.

Interested in learning more about the Atmel-powered DIWire? You can check out the project’s official Kickstarter page here.