Nov 13

Online professional electrical and mechanical suppliers

In this post I will review major mechatronics suppliers (electrical and mechanical), these are who supply the motors, cabling, screens, LEDS, buttons, tools etc’. There are many suppliers: Mouser, Digikey, Rs Components, Arrow and many more. All offer good equipment, specifications and delivery. Essential for any project.

So, In the previous post I explained how to get 3D CAD models of the mechanical part required for the project, I’ll bet that most of the projects these days integrate some kind of electro-mechanical integration whether it will be small IOT device or 15[m] production line machine.

Stepper motor

Example: finding stepper motor (electrical mechanical part)

Let’s dive directly to the practicals – and get a stepper motor for our project, (used in every 3D printer, robot and printer) we can either browse through the menus:

Apply the filters and get the desired stepper motor (Or you can use the search option).

Important note:

One important note about these sites, they will stock the common items, and give you general idea of what is available in the market (very important) but if a special actuator is needed – more accurate, energy saver, faster, or any other feature – it will require much deeper research work in finding the right product and supplier, Good luck!

Nov 09

Faster 3D CAD design using online parts libraries

In this article I’ll explain how to 3D design faster by using on-line  parts libraries. Simple yet powerful method of saving time and building professional 3D CAD models is using online parts libraries. Selecting the desired component and  importing the 3D model into your CAD software is a time saver, McMaster-Carr site will also be reviewed as such source.

3D CAD Models – Time saver!!

As an mechanical design engineer, I am used to design parts and assemblies – following a specification (written on ice… ;)) and the time frame (yesterday) and – off I go, designing something that does this and that.

Heading to the CAD station (may it be Solidworks, Creo, Fusion 360 or any other) and start gathering the data to your work space, there are the major parts that need to be designed, mostly manufactured by the relevant technology (CNC, 3D printing, Sheet metal, milling, turning, laser cutting). BUT there are lots of items that still need to be included in the design such as bearings, springs, bolts,nuts, motors. All of these parts are needed to be in the assembly, but there’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED to model them manually.

First – the principle – there’s no real need to model a M6x20 mm bolt or bearing 6902zz  since there are practically thousands of those models out there, you need to get one made and import it into your CAD environment. the files are stored in various sites and multiple file formats and after mastering the import process you’ll have thousands of parts ready to be integrated into your designs. you need to find the right site that stores them and download it in your favorite CAD format.

Using McMaster

McMaster McMaster-Carr is a big site with lots of parts, in all aspects of engineering, has parts from small needle bearings to generator sets and cranes.

The catalog is graphic and quite straight forward, by navigating through images and filters.

Here’s the selection screen for ball bearing model, Initially you choose filter the parameters:and then, click the link to download the CAD model the the desired format (.prt/.stp/.sldprt):

There are many more sites that share 3D models and useful information for mechanical design, that will be reviewed in the following posts,so keep posted!



Dec 26

KeerBot is Going to Bezalel Academy

Long time not seen – But Keerbot is back and is visiting the #1 art school! been busy in real life tasks and left this blog quiet for a while, and I am writing this post since KeerBot is Going to Bezalel Academy !!!


Some happy (unfortunately not technical) things happened – I got phonecall from an advertisment agency few months ago and they wanted to make a cooperation with me – but it didn’t eventually happen, and now for the really fun story – a friend of mine study at Bezalel in Jerusalem, and told me that my Keerbot project was mentioned by the lecturer. I felt proud, and immediately contacted the lecturer Dr Sarit Youdelevich to say thanks, and she invited me to give a lecture about KeerBot 

KeerBot Bezalel Lecture flyer

KeerBot Bezalel Lecture flyer


The lecture is planned to be on Dec 31, 2015. I’ll share the presentation and how it went in the next post. hope this will give me some encourgement to get back working on this project …

In the meanwhile you can have a look at my newest project (published last week) DIY Nail Puller, in my Instructables website.

DIY Nail Puller

DIY Nail Puller

Sep 01

RC Submarine Hack – Android controller (Arduino, Android, Submarine, Bluetooth)

For the new Instructables contest, New project: RC Submarine Hack – involves Arduino, Android, Submarine and, Bluetooth, For exact details and how-to see the here, downloads are below:

  • Arduino Sketch .ino – here (right click and download – might need to change file extension to .ino)
  • AppInventor .aia – here (right click and download – might need to change file extension to .aia)


 The (yet) UNHACKED RC submarine


Aug 05

Maker Must have – AfterShip – free package tracking service

As a maker, I order many items from all over the world (eBay, Aliexpress, DealExtreame, Seeed Studio, Amazon ,BangGood…). The probem is after I order them, I wait patiently for the packages. Until now I had to enter to each supplier and track the delivery via their site. NO MORE! – AfterShip – free package tracking service, does it for me.

AfterShip Logo

The procedure is simple – you open an account here, and then you can insert all of your tracking to one place and track them. The service supports over 200 carriers, all over the world, its free, and lately they published also mobile applications (AfterShip Android App, AfterShip iPhone app).

AfterShip Menu imageAfterShip can track your delivery, Send you notifications (email/sms), you can personalize the service or even integrate it into your site! I found it very useful and I think you might too. Enjoy.

Open AfterShip accout

Jul 17

5 Making blogs that you must visit

In this post I will tell you about 5 making blogs that you must visit, I read them whenever they publish something new using my favorite RSS reader Feedly . The blogs vary from makers who describe their projects to blogs that surf the net and find good articles to share. If you know of other blogs that I may like, feel free to share!

LogiMover: A Clever Approach to Pallet Moving using Distributed Robots

LogiMover: A Clever Approach to Pallet Moving using Distributed Robots

DIY 3D Printing – If you’re into 3D printing at home, you must read this blog, reviews 3D printers, 3D printing hacks, software, and news from many sources. This is a true making blogs, Recommended!

Robot Arms

Robot Arms

Marginally Clever – A maker I look up to (and mentioned few times in my blog), innovative and social (Vancouver hackerspace founder) always developing somthing new and also tries with growing success to make a living out of it (Go Dan!)




IEEE Robotics blog – IEEE is a professional organization of electrical engineers, this is their official robotics blog, many items are presented first here – give lots of project ideas, and links to making blogs, and also has a great weekly robotics review on Fridays.

SupraPed Robots

SupraPed Robots Will Use Trekking Poles to Hike Across Rough Terrain








 Dr. Monk’s DIY Electronics Blog – A pro blogger that also publish books, writes mainly about micro controllers in general: Arduino, Raspberry – pi, IOIO, Python, Beaglebone, professional and might get too technical but has very deductive approach + twitter account.

Raspberry Pi B+

Raspberry Pi B+








 Hizook {Robotics news for academics and professionals} – Besides it’s bizarre name, one of the good ones, review robotic companies, ideas, Robotics VCs, and always from a fresh approach. if you had enough of the same 2 axis 3d printers and look for something really innovative – this is the destination.

Dragonfly by TechJect

Dragonfly by TechJect


Jun 10

KeerBot is getting ready for the Show – WOW !

As you probably remember from my previous posts (here and here) Keerbot is going to be presented in an art exhibition about open source. and here is the press release (Hebrew), I am quite happy that they offered us to show the project – I say us because most of the job is being done by Danny now – Android Application (Download link here).

KeerBot and cabin

The good news – Its alive ! It can move – up and down, left to right, which will be quite cool in the gallery, regarding art – there won’t be much – maybe some basic paintings, so you’ll have to stay tunes to the next versions of the app.

In the meanwhile you can have a look at the short video showing that it really work.

Jun 08

3 Quick steps to hall of fame (or shame)

Gallery HIT

HIT crew getting ready

Following my last post, there are some nice people who wants to put KeerBot in their gallery exhibition next week (HIT Holon, Israel), and I am very thankful and proud for that. BUT they want to make everything ready on time, the thing is that I don’t have anything (yet) ready and working, and since it’s not in my hands I can’t really give them a clear answer. This is part of the way open projects work, If someone feels like helping you so you might make it – but you can’t demand or pressurize since there’s no commitment, therefore I really don’t know if I can make it to the gallery with a working model (if so, WOW !!!)




My intention is the have the KeerBot App ready, which mean that you’ll have the Keerbot hanged on the wall at the gallery, and whoever downloads the app will be able to connect to it and draw some lines on the wall. surely amazing* !!                                               ( *might not happen… )  so stay tuned for updates.

Yes – there is a good platform, the mechanical and electronic assembly is good, all the parts are light and elegant packed on a laser cut piece of PVC:KeerBot IOIO OTG







it looks better then the last model’s:

KeerBot Initial model, 2 scrap stepper motors.

Constant pen pressure mechanism








I really hope to get the model working – but I intend to prepare a dummy model Just to be hanged at the exhibition.




Some other updates:

  • DannyR – A great guy is working very hard on the KeerBot IOIO App, In the meanwhile you can find his code at the KeerBot GitHub (which can be also accessed via tech/bits in the top site menu)
  • AlexK send me a really nice video of art and robotics (That I am always happy to share):

Industrial Light Painting from Jeff Crossman on Vimeo.