Michael Simpson

Michael's Articles

Build the Plastic Bot of Destruction — Part 3
January 2014
PBOD gets some major design changes.

Building the KReduCNC Conclusion
March 2017
In this final installment, we will finish the KReduCNC build by going through its operation and creating a part. First off, there are some upgrades to go over.

Building the KReduCNC Spindle Hookup
February 2017
It’s been a while since we started this CNC machine build project, so let’s go over spindle hookup and get ready to make something.

Building the KReduCNC Clamp Table
January 2017
We’re getting closer to a finished CNC machine! This time, we are going to install the clamp table.

Building the KReduCNC Tuning and Break-in
December 2016
As we continue our CNC build, it’s time to go over the procedures to tune and break-in our machine.

Building the KReduCNC Electronics
November 2016
Installing the electronics in our CNC machine building series.

Building the KReduCNC Z Drive
October 2016
Install the Z drive assembly and reinstall the Z carriage in our CNC machine building series.

Plasma Cutter Basics — An Introduction into Plasma Cutting
September 2016
Things you need to know if you’re looking into purchasing a plasma cutter.

Building the KReduCNC X and Y Drives
August 2016
Installing both the X and Y drive assemblies in our CNC machine building series.

Building the KReduCNC - Part 5
July 2016
Last but not least, we’ll now build the Z carriage since the Y and X carriages are done for our CNC machine.

Building the KReduCNC - Part 3
May 2016
Next up in a series on building your own CNC machine, you’ll see how to attach the Y carriage to the frame.

Building the KReduCNC - Part 2
April 2016
Build a portable CNC machine. Part 2

Building the KReduCNC
March 2016
Build a portable CNC machine.

CNC Part Creation Workflow
August 2015
This time, see how to use G-code files to create actual parts.

CNC Part Creation Workflow
July 2015
The process of part design is covered this month.

CNC Part Creation Workflow
June 2015
This mini series will break down procedures and approaches to create consistent parts using a CNC machine.

MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion
August 2014
In Part 5, we’ll wrap up our series by performing a few tests and then tuning the machine, so you will be able to put your new CNC to use.

MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion
July 2014
In Part 4, we’ll switch things up a bit and combine the electrical hookup and configuration together so you can get your machine moving as soon as possible.

MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion
June 2014
This time, you will be taken step-by-step through the conversion process.

MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion
May 2014
In this installment of our conversion series, the necessary components and the software needed to control the mill will be discussed.

MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion
April 2014
3D printers are great for prototyping, but nothing beats the consistency for milling multiple parts like a CNC router or milling machine. Here’s how to have one on the cheap.

Build the Plastic Bot of Destruction — Part 4
February 2014
We wrap things up this month on our PBOD with the addition of the cover and weapons platform.

Build the Plastic Bot of Destruction — Part 2
December 2013
This time, we’ll go over the wheels, gears, and chassis parts for our PBOD.

Build the Plastic Bot of Destruction — Part 1
November 2013
Now that we’ve wrapped up our series on 3D printers, we’re going to build a fighting robot with them.

3D Printers Part 6: The Conclusion
October 2013
Experiences with each type of printer are summarized, and a list of 13 tips to keep in mind when buying a 3D printer are given to wrap up this series.

3D Printers Part 5: Filament
September 2013
Filament is the life blood of a 3D printer. This month, various types of filament are discussed and how to calibrate the printer for a specific kind.

3D Printers Part 4: Tuning
August 2013
This time, slicer software that is used to convert 3D models to instructions a printer can actually understand will be covered, plus the MakerGear M2 arrived!

3D Printers Part 3: Software and Configuration
July 2013
See what it took to get from a ready-for-action printer to a first print.

3D Printers Part 2: Assembly Highlights
June 2013
Follow the assembly process on four different 3D printers, so that next time we’ll be ready to actually print a simple object.

3D Printers Part 1: Introduction
May 2013
There has been a great deal of hype around 3D printers lately. If you are planning on purchasing one, be sure you read this article series first. What you find out may surprise you.

Build the Kronos Flyer- Part 6
April 2013
Part 6: APM 2.5 Per reader requests, this final installment of our quadcopter build will discuss the APM 2.5 controller in detail.

Build the Kronos Flyer - Part 5
March 2013
Read about some add-on items that hopefully will inspire your imagination.

Build the Kronos Flyer - Part 4
February 2013
Part 4: Setup. Program and calibrate the ESCs; set the direction of the motors; see step-by-step how to install the NAZA flight controller; install the props; and get ready to take your Flyer for a spin.

Build the Kronos Flyer - Part 3
January 2013
Part 3: Assembly! This time we put our quadcopter together, with plenty of tips and techniques given along the way.

Build the Kronos Flyer - Part 2
December 2012
Part 2 of our quadcopter build goes over the design and parts breakdown.

Build the Kronos Flyer
November 2012
Love quadcopters, but can’t af ford a kit? No worries! You can build your own by following along with this series. Part 1 offers an introduction to these increasingly popular multi-rotors.

CNC From a Robot Builder’s Perspective
March 2012
Once you discover Computer Numerical Control and its ability to accurately and consistently create parts for even your most complicated robot design, there will be no going back ...

GPS | Part 4
January 2008
I closed out last month's article by showing you how to connect the GPSLoggerOut program on your PC to a microcontroller. Let's take a closer look at the interface needed for each of the GPS modules we have covered in this series...

Build The Ultimate Robot: Part 1
August 2008
WARNING! Before you read any further, I feel it only fair to warn you that this series is going to be akin to a very fast roller coaster ride.Over the years, I have built several robots of various shapes and sizes. Most of them were controlled by a microcontroller of one form or another. I have even built a few that were tethered to a desktop computer. It’s time to build a robust robot with an on-board PC computer. This will not be a toy. In this series, I am going to build two robots around ...

Build The Ultimate Robot: Part 2 | Wheel Assembly
September 2008
I have built many robots in the past and the drivetrain always causes most of my grief. The type of drivetrain you decide on will dictate some of the factors used in the design of your robot, including its size and how many batteries it can carry. Since I am going to be building two robots, I think it’s important that I give them names to make referencing them throughout this series easier...

Build A GPS Smart Logger
November 2008
I recently did a GPS series covering various GPS modules and their interfaces. A project that I have had in mind for a while was a small GPS Smart Logger. I call it a smart logger because in addition to the GPS data, you can log various other telemetry. You can also set the conditions and type of GPS data that gets logged...

Build The Ultimate Robot: Part 3 | Nase Assembly
December 2008
This month, I will show you how to build the main base assembly for our two characters. Keep in mind that the dimensions and hole sizes given are based on the RS-64 actuator used on the Megabot and the RS-28 used on the Firebot. You are free to change these actuators, but some of the dimensions and hole locations may need to be changed accordingly. In this series of articles, the final robot is not as important as the journey that we take to get there. Many of you won’t build the exact robots...

Build The Ultimate Robot: Part 4 | Firebot
January 2009
In this article, we are going to finish up the Firebot shown in Figure 1. Before I get into some of the construction techniques, I want to go over some of the components we will be using in this portion of the project.

Build The Ultimate Robot: Part 5
February 2009
If you are building the Megabot or a similar robot, you should have the base assembled at this point. In this article, we are going to add the electronics that will make our robot move. I’ll show you the techniques I used so that you can apply them to your own design...

Build The Ultimate Robot: Part 6 | An Arm for Megabot
March 2009
This month, we will add an external webcam to a fully articulated robot arm. We then will add buttons on our desktop controller program to allow us to control this arm.