Cyclone PCB Factory: A year of development

It has been almost one year of development of Cyclone PCB Factory, and I can say I am overwhelmed by the progress. More than 21 machines have been built all around the world (in Spain, England, Australia, Canada, Liechtenstein, South Africa, USA, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Korea, Czech Republic...), and this great community of developers keeps growing each day. With it, lots of excellent new ideas are taking their place in the project.

 This post is a summary of all the work that has been done in hardware, software and electronics. It also shows the current ideas that are being developed, and what is yet to be done.

Cyclone PCB Factory v0.9.7

Photo credit: Jorge Andreu

The first 3D-printable (Rep-Rap alike) CNC machine, intended for PCB manufacture.

RepRap wiki entry:

Source files in GitHub:

Mail list / Forum:!forum/cyclone-pcb-factory

Update (24/Jul/2013): Featured in Hackaday!!


Some updates: Workshops, Micro and the printable caterpillar tracks

Hello everyone! First of all, I wanted to share with you some notes regarding the latest updates made in the website:

Next, here is "Micro", the latest member of the family! It is a Printrbot Jr:

Micro is performing very well. The main difference with the other printers is that it is possible to have it the desk, since it is so compact and quiet. It also has quite a small printing volume (~14x11x8.3cm), but this is not a problem as all and the prints have a good quality. It is also the cheapest printer I've ever seen. Definetely recommended. More pictures of Micro can be found in this album.

This new little printer has been the main reason to stop using the Printrbot "Lucy", which now needs some fixes (since it has been disconnected since Summer).

Finally, you may have seen the printable caterpillar tracks:

They are based on Caterpillator by Olalla, and on the Stretchy Bracelet and Moon Rover by emmett. Single-printed tracks have proved to work very well. I have used PLA from RepRapWorld, which is flexible enough for this purpose. Here you can see a demo video of the first version.

Thanks to the power of the community, a few days later after they were published, Jason Welsh released his own (and improved) derivative: the Arduino Book Case (Tank Tracks Mod).

The main limitation of the *SkyBot family of printbots has been that their wheels behave poorly in rough terrain. Since this new design doesn't require a complex assembly for the tracks, it is easier to get printbots replicated. This concept will be the base of our next robot design for testing swarm algorithms at the GNB-UAM.

Of course, I will appreciate and answer any question you post in the comments (personally I prefer this method rather than email, also remember you can write in english or in spanish).

Printbots for education at ICERI 2012

I have presented my first publication at ICERI 2012 (5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation), which took place the 19-21 November 2012 in Madrid (Spain).

The title is "Low cost educational platform for robotics, using open-source 3D printers and open-source hardware" and it is a collaborative work with Dr. Juan González Gómez.


In this paper, we present a new design methodology for educational robotic platforms. Using printbots (open-source 3D-printable robots) as a starting point in our designs has allowed us to create custom robots with very little effort. Using this new methodology we have designed the ArduSkybot, a robot that has enough features for its usage at different educational levels while keeping a very reduced cost. The robot is based on Arduino and the Printshield, our new electronics platform. It provides integration of various sensors (light, distance and line sensors) and actuators (motors, lights and speaker). It is also easy to expand by students and researchers. We describe our designs, and document their performance in various workshops with college, primary and secondary students. Our methodology is described and suggestions are given regarding future printbot-based workshops.

About ICERI 2012

Attending the conference was a very enriching experience. Meeting people from all over the world brought into conversation very important subjects that deal with 3D printing, not only under the view of the current global financial situation, but from the perspective of developing countries as well. For instance, have you ever thought on taking 3D printing technology to Nigeria? It was one of the questions that was made. Some countries find 3D printing as a low cost technology, but it is very important to think about the needs of other countries that may not have access to these kind of technologies yet, and about how to create technologies that can be affordable for them.



Following the open-source philosophy that has made possible this work, here is the paper and presentation (all Creative Commons BY-SA):

Paper reference

Carlos García-Saura, Juan González-Gómez (2012) "Low cost educational platform for robotics, using open-source 3D printers and open-source hardware", ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 2699-2706. ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1


author = {Garc{\'{i}}a-Saura, C. and Gonz{\'{a}}lez-G{\'{o}}mez, J.},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November},
year = {2012},
pages = {2699-2706}}

Building a Printrbot 3D Printer - Overview

This is the first part of a tutorial on building a DIY 3D printer. The model I have chosen is a member of the Printrbot family, since it is probably the most compact, simple and cheap desing out there Tongue out

Mine is called "Lucy", this guide will be based on it, here is a picture:

You can find the main details of this design in these websites:

I encourage you to check those links out. Also, you should get an overview of other open-hardware 3D printer designs, if you haven't already done so. For example, my other 3D printer is a "Prusa MendelSmile

The original Printrbot design is nice, but we will be using some modifications to make it even more convenient to build.

Differences with the original Printrbot design:

  • Everything is measured using metric units instead of imperial, so it is easier to get hardware parts in the EU.
  • It has a bigger build volume: XYZ 20x20x21cm (Z expandable) VS the original 16x16x20cm (aproximately)
  • It uses M8 rods and LM8UU linear bearings.
  • I have found the Printrstand to be essential for the stability of the printer.

OK, now we have cleared that, let's get started!


Bill of materials: (last updated: July 2nd, 2012)

First of all, here is a list of all the required parts (with the suppliers I got them from), to get a rough estimation of the costs:

  • Electronics & motors:
171.42€+VATSanguinololu v1.3a board DIY Kit + stepstick motor drivers Or you can find the v1.3b (easier to build) cheaper in eBay
555€+VATStepper motor (NEMA17)
134.99€+VATExtruder set 3mm v5 This one is working for me, but there is still a big discussion about which is the best extruder
124.99€+VATPCB for heated bed
24.98€+VATAxial Fan 30x30x10mm 12V
1~2€Heatsink adhesive pasteDealextreme:

Electronic parts (3 micro switches -endstops-, NTC 100k thermistor), wires, heatshrink tube and connectors

Electronics store. I will detail the required parts later on the tutorial

12V/20A ATX power supply (PSU)

You can easily get a suitable PSU from an old computer. Make sure it's at least 17A rated on the 12V output
Sum (aprox.):210.38€+30€240.38€ I have included 30€ which goes for the RepRapWorld VAT and shipping


New site

Hi there!

It has been a looong time since I last updated my website...

Thanks to sb it media now I have this cool Drupal site Smile

Now I'm going to try to keep it up to date and record every project I make. This includes, as title says: Robotics, 3D printing and programming.

I have rescued all the previous blog content, please excuse any broken link. If you need some old PSP homebrew file, please check out (they keep a great version log) or contact me. Here is a picture of the old site:


MultiTasKing development screenshots

These are a few screenshots from MultiTasKing's development. I never uploaded them to the old site, so here they are for historic purpose:

¡Scenery Beta 2010 results!

¡MultiTasKing ha conseguido el 2º puesto en el Scenery Beta 2010!
¡Muchas gracias por vuestro voto! Laughing

Puedes ver la noticia de SceneBeta con los demás ganadores aqui:

In English:
MultiTasKing has won the 2º place in the Scenery Beta 2010!
¡Thanks for your vote! Laughing

You can read the SceneBeta new with the other winers here (in english):

You can vote for the Scenery Beta 2010

¡Comienzan las votaciones del Scenery Beta 2010!
Espero que MultiTasKing merezca vuesto voto Wink
Muchas gracias :-D

In English
Votings for the Scenery Beta 2010 have begun!
I hope MultiTasKing deserves your vote Wink
Thank you very much :-D

MultiTasKing v301

NOTA: Esta versión tiene soporte para el inglés y funciona con el Half Byte Loader (excepto por el soporte de ejecución de eboots, reproducción de MP3 y funciones de red).

Ver noticia completa en español

Participa en el Scenery Beta 2010, por favor, si te gusta, no te olvides de votarlo.

Nota: Puedes descargarlo desde downPSP (busca "Multitasking")

Link de descarga
(No hay que extraer el archivo "", se extrae automáticamente al inicio del programa).

In English:

NOTICE: This version supports English language (it will boot up in english if your PSP's system language is not spanish).
It will work with the Half Byte Loader (to use it in english here just delete the EBOOT.PBP and rename the EBOOT_EN.PBP to EBOOT.PBP). With Half Byte Loader, some features won't work: MP3 player, PBP launcher and network functions.

Multitasking is a complete multitasking windowing environment for PSP. Like a computer, works with a fully functional window system (to minimize, and even resize and maximize the windows). It uses a highly optimized system for the PSP, making it capable of operating with a large number of open windows. To stream music, read text files, view images, and download homebrew with downPSP - mini, all at the same time in different windows. If you own a PSP slim, the program automatically will use the extra memory.

- Analog stick: Move the cursor or mouse.
- X: Select Item / OK / Pause or Play song in the music player.
- O: Back / Up one folder / Cancel.
- Digital Pad Up / Down: Scroll through a list or text box, zoom in image viewer.
- Digital Pad Right / Left: forward or rewind faster / Rotate image on the display of images.
- R Trigger + X: Drag windows from anywhere (not just from the bar).
- Square: In the text file reader, change alignment (left, center, right).
- Select: Holding, made a screen with an animated effect. It then shows the capture made in the image viewer.

(Translation copied from here, thank you very much)

Note: You can download it from downPSP (search for "Multitasking")

Please, if you like it, don't forget to vote for MultiTasKing in the Scenery Beta 2010 homebrew contest.

Download link
(You don't have to extract the "" file, it will be done automatically when the program boots up).


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