Jan 31

Program STM32 via USB

STM32 is an awesome alternative to Arduino board. Unlike 328P, it has native (fast) USB support. It is cheaper than 32U4. And it faster, 32 bit and has 10x more RAM!

bluepill1

Also, unlike Atmel, counterfeits wannabes are clearly identifiable (look at the microcontroller on your board. If it is CH32 – throw it into a trash can. STM32 and CKS32 are good)

It is easy to make it work – just follow the instructions:

STM32 Arduino Instructions

(you can also use ST-Link V2 and connect to the board via 4 wires. I have found this approach very reliable. You can both flash firmware and upload sketches from Arduino IDE. I set both boot header switches to “1″ when I do it. But programming via USB is more convenient, right?)

Ok, so you follow the instructions from Windows 10 PC and try to program your board via the USB and it cannot find the DFU.
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Dec 28

OpenSCad to FreeCad Path Lifehack

I am either missing something and re-inventing the wheel, or I invented a pretty clever lifehack.

Here is the problem:
you can design awesome things in OpenSCad, like this spinner (you need to glue 2 of them together with 4 ball bearings in between)

design1

Then you can load the SCad file straight into FreeCad Path and create G-code. Then you just send that G-code to your CNC mill and cut it.

Awesome! But not so fast!

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Dec 04

Is Inkscape good for Laser Cutting

I have got fascinated with those laser cut “abstract line pattern” designs with just random intersecting lines and rounded corners. Can I do one myself? How?

It is easy to make one with vertical and horizontal intersecting lines. I can make one in OpenSCad in a few minutes. I can also rotate lines randomly in OpenSCad. But rounded corners? I can round corners of an objects. How do I round object intersections? maybe there is a way.
In a meantime, I decided to look at Inkscape. I am completely new to it. I watched a quick educational video, and then in one hour I came up with this:

design
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