Around a year ago, after SpaceX Falcon Heavy first test flight, I found this amazing 3d model for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy on Thingiverse from the user chemteacher628. I’ve decided to print it myself, so I downloaded the parts, uploaded them to Tinkercad to assemble the model virtually before printing it, to check if everything was ok. While I was checking it, I’ve decided to make a few changes. Now that Falcon Heavy has taken off again last week, I thought it was a good time to share the modifications I’ve done.
The world is always evolving fast and new technologies emerging, like metal 3D printing, but sometimes it just feels good to do things the “old” way. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology but still is great to learn old techniques specially when they tend to disappear when less and less people actually care to learn them and the craft becomes closer to extinction. Not that this is the case, although a few foundries have been closing over the last years. Be that an excuse or not, Gonçalo and me decided to build a simple DIY furnace, not only for the reasons above but we’re crazy about forging and metal working, and we would love to create some amazing metal pieces. Besides this is a dangerous project, what more do I need to say?!!
This is a quick and simple project that is a bit old but still always a delight to see. Who doesn’t love staring at those high voltage sparks moving upwards again and again on the background of a mad scientist’s laboratory? Since we have a few high voltage transformers around here, I thought I could make a Jacob’s Ladder as a last minute project to add to the ones that would be presented on the Open Day.
Nixie tubes are electronic devices for displaying numerals or other information, such symbols or letters. They work under the principle called Glow Discharge. Basically, they are tubes filled with a low-pressure mix of gasses and two (or more) metal electrodes. When a voltage is applied to two of this electrodes, and such voltage exceeds a certain value called the striking voltage, the gas in the tube ionizes, becoming a plasma, and begins conducting electricity, causing it to glow with a colored light (depending on the gas filling the tube, for tubes with neon this color is red-orange).