Wevolver is a site we’ve followed continually, gleaning great inspiration from a range of international designers and artists. If you need a quick technological fix or a little pick-me-up just to make you smile and get those creative brain synapses firing in a new and positive direction, Wevolver is a great place to dwell. And if you’re in the mood for a big project like making your own smartphone or security system or 3D printable electronics for all levels of expertise, they certainly won’t fail you with choices.
Wevolver’s most popular highlighted designs of late are too good to pass up as well, featuring a robot that’s nearly as cute as anything you’ll see in Star Wars (yes, I went there) to an extremely affordable new SLS 3D printer kit.
At less than 3.5 inches tall, Roboeve has created what they call ‘the world’s smallest programmable robot spider.’ Three versions of the XSpider are now available at Wevolver, allowing you to create your own jaunty little electronic arachnid, which runs on an Intel Edison board and is capable of:
- Facial recognition
- Object avoidance
- Smartphone control
- Training through simple neural network
The idea for the little eight-legged bot evolved as the Beijing-headquartered company was toying around with the Nerf TerraDrone. As they worked on it to enable first-person view, the idea evolved not just into the XSpider, but a company that’s now responsible for creating a portfolio of 26 different 3D printable designs with 40 parts each. Each one has been through R&D and testing, with the company punching in 1800 hours at the development table so far.
The XSpider was created in just eight months by the young team of engineers at Roboeve and should be a win-win as a project in that you have something quite challenging to make, and the end result is a functioning robot that can move around on your desk and even act as an alarm to let you know when another human is lurking around the corner.
“With a camera as my eye, I can show you what I see on your smartphone and with my small size, I will bring a totally new perspective on everything around. Guide me with your phone or a game controller, I will show you a totally different world view!” explains the XSpider himself.
Roaming mode allows XSpider to move without getting hung up on items as he charges around your space freely, recognizing not only objects, but people too.
Expect to see Roboeve launching a crowdfunding campaign next month; in the meantime, are you interested in downloading the files for the XSpider design and making your own? If so, just log into Wevolver, and download this project that yields something akin to a modern pet with no mess. See Roboeve for the fascinating story of how this design evolved.
Also recently at the top of the list for Wevolver highlights is the fully functional DIY selective laser sintering 3D printer created by an 18-year-old engineer who goes by the handle “Vulca Man.” Not only does it bear a price tag of under $500, and not only can you assemble this printer at home with ease, but it also uses inexpensive powder coating materials for makers involved in performing test prints. CAD files are available in .f3D format for Fusion 360 as well as .step.
“Since hearing about them, I have always wanted an SLS printer but they are very expensive and only really suitable for industrial use. As a result, I decided to build my own commercial SLS printer,” said Vulca Man, responsible for a design getting a lot of attention at Wevolver right now.
The DIY SLS 3D printer is basic, but boasts a classic, streamlined design that should impress on any desktop. Other specs provided by Vulca Man are as follows:
- 1W 445nm laser diode
- 8x8x8cm build volume
- 36x54x60cm outside dimensions
- CORE-XY movement
- Speed: 60mm/s tested, 300mm/s possible
If you’re interested in building this yourself, you’ll need to follow the designer’s steps over at Wevolver, or on his Instructable, where the aspiring electric engineer from Germany also shares his design with a very clear outline as to how to make the kit. Discuss further over in the Wevolver 3D Printable Projects forum at 3DPB.com.[Source / Images: Courtesy of Wevolver]