Author Archive

Chris Hurd

I currently teach Technology and Engineering at Cazenovia HS in CNY. I also teach summers at the college level for PLTW in Oregon, Ohio, Florida, California, Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, and NY.

Project Idea: Dual Lynx To Vex Handshaking Modules

Sorry it took so long, but here is some info on how to make the Dual Handshake Module Jim & I designed two years ago. All files are attached in a zip file at the link below. These files include:
  • All inventor part files: tweak to your heart’s content
  • STL and Makerbot files
  • DXF files for the cover.
  • Various pictures to help with assembly
  • Materials list
  • PDF of this Project
reddownloadHandshake Module Container



Parts List v2
Items above in red are not needed. These were from version 1. This brings the cost down, but requires you to use less costly servo extension wires for the cables.

Soldering Diagram (Better one coming soon!)

solder diagram 2



  1. Solder 4N25 IC’s in place. Use caution and work quickly as they are heat sensitive.
  2. Solder LED’s and Headers in place (or wires, your choice!)
  3. Knock the corners of the board off so it fits into the container.
  4. Snap the board into the container.
  5. Place the spacers on top of the board.
  6. Place the cover on carefully.
  7. Put the 4-40 screws through.
  8. Put the nuts on the back, tighten carefully.

Tips and Tricks:

Paint the cover BLACK before you peel it, and the black dots will indicate where the black wires go!  The arrows indicate the direction of the communication: Tail of the arrow = the signal “Sender”, head of the arrow = signal “Receiver”  Cover
 Container back  Container front
Container back prints with space for 4-40 nuts. Container front prints so that the board will snap into the built in standoffs. IN ORDER TO FIT, YOU HAVE TO KNOCK THE CORNERS OFF THE BREADBOARD. I used a belt sander.  
To assemble the parts, see below. Be sure to use the printed spacers to stop the board from wiggling around!  
 HSM exploded view
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How Do You Print From Inventor To MakerBot?


I want to make something on my MakerBot that I have modeled in Inventor, but it always comes out too small. I hate doing math; is there an easy way to scale it?


Sure is!  Best way I have found is to scale it in Inventor when exporting the STL file. Here’s the process for bringing a solid model out of Inventor and into Makerbot Desktop and making it the right size:
  1. Make the part in Inventor and save (.ipt file)
  2.  Save Copy As in inventor & choose STL (.stl file)
  3. Change the scale to millimeters
  4. Import into makerbot Desktop. It’s that easy!
Use the diagrams below to help you!

To do a Save Copy As:


To Change it to millimeters:

InventorMM   Continue Reading

Tool Attribute WS: What Speeds & Feeds for Renshape?


What are the speeds and feeds that you use in your classroom while CNC machining?


That’s really a loaded question!  It depends on a lot of different variables. With that said, below is a list of speeds, feeds, plunge rates, and general info I use when machining Renshape 440 or 450 in my classroom on an Intellitek Super Prolight 1000. I have used the same numbers consistently on the Benchmill 6000, as well as the ExpertMill. Note: These are conservative. As you should be in your classroom, especially as a first year teacher!
Thanks to Fred Routson for filling this out properly! I then went and added my two cents.
reddownloadCaz Tool Attribute Worksheet
Caz HS Tool Attribute WS   Continue Reading

CIM class at UK gets visitors

2016 UK VisitScott Tobias and I are teaching at the University of Kentucky for two weeks, and our charge is this: Train 18 teachers from around the country to teach our nations high school students Computer Integrated Manufacturing. (The best PLTW Engineering course by far btw….) Every year we get visitors from administrators, teachers, and others from around the area trying to get a glimpse of what CIM is; and they always leave with a smile, knowing more about what we do.
This week we had special visitor. A former UK Alumni, and engineer, Mr. Bill Sims was in town with his family, and he stopped on campus. We just happened to be running the milling machines, and they came in to investigate. His family got quite the treat!  Participants showed his family what they were doing, and even let the kids run the CNC machines, while we found out more about Mr. Sims.
bill simsMr. Sims has quite the storied background, and spent many years learning on the UK campus, starting when he was in high school. He then went into the Air Force, proudly serving our nation (thank you!), and then he went on to become an engineer at Disney. While there he played a key role in designing the “Tower of Terror” and many other rides.  He is now on his way to Dayton Ohio, where he will present his design for a statue to be placed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Read more about his life HERE.
Thank you Mr. Sims for your visit today. We had fun showing your family what CIM is all about, and we had fun talking to you as well. Thanks also for everything along the way, from serving our great country, to the Tower of Terror, and everything else you have done in between! We will be sending you a finished container when they are all done. Best wishes in Dayton, and I hope to see your statue the next time I teach CTI at Sinclair! Continue Reading

Robocell Tutorials

on Tuesday, 17 March 2015.


robocellteaserRobocell is a very powerful robotic simulation program that allows you to teach and learn how to program robotic arms without all the costly hardware! Students really enjoy it, and think of it as a video game. Students build a 3d Cell, import it, teach or record some points, then program the robot how to get there. The videos below live on my youtube channel, and there will be more to follow!
Includes: -Saving files -Order of Operations Starting new projects -Importing 3D models -Recording positions -Writing the program
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Get in touch

Jim Hanson

Chris Hurd


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