We love this project from Pensa for so many reasons its hard to keep track of them. Naturally the first question that comes to mind is its purpose: what does a DIWire do? In short, tts an arduino controlled cnc machine that bends wire into any shape-in three dimensions. The DIWire uses common CAD and CAM software to design the object and convert it to gcode. That means that you can take a spool of wire and precisely,repeatedly, have it bent into practically any shape or size. Kinetic art and giant bubble forms are a couple of example of STEAM projects that can be made with this device. Wire forms combined with a rigid skin of aluminum can be used to create anything from robots to race cars. Best of all, its is the process of building the machine itself, like so many quality STEM projects, that really makes the educational value so high of the DIWire. Multiple disciplines of science and engineering are utilized as much as with any advanced robotics project. The machine uses an arduino microcontroller with associated programming. Stepper motors are used to move the wire bending components, and stepper drivers and associated electronics must be assembled and wired up. 3D printed gears are used in the assembly, and some metal pieces are fabricated on the lathe for some well rounded manufacturing applications in this project. So the stakeholders who build this machine will need to use their STEM skills for the creation of a device that will allow them to further use their STE(A)M skills for more innovative purposes down the road. Best of all, the entire DIWire is extremely well documented, with downloadable files and a Bill of Materials so teachers can start collecting what they need right away. Let the bending begin!
CNC Machine A Robot Roving Eye Part II
CNC Machining an Arduino-Powered Robot Roving Eye.