About Charles Pax

Charles Pax is the founder of Pax Instruments. Charles is the former Director of Research and Development at MakerBot Industries, having developed the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer.

T400 May Production Update

Since our March update the T400 has moved steadily forward. The most challenging aspects of the T400 project appear to be behind us and the T400 schedule is now almost exclusively dictated by factory lead times. If everything goes smoothly, you should have your T400 some time in August, probably earlier. Thermocouple connector Creating the custom thermocouple connector [...]

By | May 29th, 2015|T400|

Pick and Place Machine by ProtoVoltaics

ProtoVoltaics has been working on a vision-enabled pick and place machine for producing their products. If this were only about making products, they would be better off buying something like the new NeoDen machine. But you can tell this is a lab or love. They even have their own automatic pick and place feeders.

By | May 27th, 2015|Notes|

Voltset setbacks are more normal than you think

Voltset is apparently getting screwed by manufacturers and design partners who promise everything and deliver nothing. Making hardware is difficult enough without dealing with bad actors. The biggest problems in engineering are determining the right thing to make and finding the right people to work with.

By | May 26th, 2015|Notes|

Next generation NeoDen pick and place machine

NeoDen has launched their next generation pick and place machine at the International Lighting Fair Exhibition and it's beautiful. Not much has been confirmed at this point, but we do know it is compatible with a conveyor system, has an enclosure, has top and bottom vision, and there is a new design for the feeders. We had evaluated [...]

By | May 20th, 2015|Notes|

Nokia phone Arduino shield

Most old mobile phones come to Shenzhen to be refurbished and resold or disassembled for parts and recycled. This is where all those cheap Nokia 3310/5110 LCD shields come from, which is great, but most of the interesting and useful parts are wasted. There is a fantastic opportunity to save a heap of phones from the recycling bin and save people a pocket full of money. We can make a positive impact if we reuse some of these phones, that we are literally tripping over, as GSM bridges to the internet of things (IoT).

By | May 20th, 2015|Development tools, Instructional, Learning, Notes|

NeoDen Pick and Place Factory Tour

Rocket Scream went to visit NeoDen to check out their new TM245P and they take us along. Apparently, NeoDen was started by three college friends and has grown to nearly eighty people across three floors of their factory building where they do most of their manufacturing in-house. When we stumbled upon a desktop pick and [...]

By | May 19th, 2015|Notes|

Arduino-based oscilloscope

After some frustration with other Arduino-based oscilloscope projects Martin Vaupell came up with this own design. I really like his video because he shares the process he went through to get to his final design. Clearly the limitations are 0-5v but that is fine, what I needed to know is either wave type and frequency, and [...]

By | May 18th, 2015|Notes|

The Most Stunning PCB Manufacturing Walkthrough

Inverse Path, the folks who brought you the USB Armory, have posted an absolutely stunning walkthrough of their manufacturing process. Their tour takes us all the way from digital files through inspecting assembled boards. I just love how they give specific enough information on the equipment to learn more. YouTube, here I come! The PCB manufacturing is [...]

By | May 17th, 2015|Notes|

USB Armory: Open Source USB Stick Computer

If you need a bare-bones, security-focused, micro computer, the USB Armory may be what you're looking for. The differentiating feature is ARM’s TrustZone trusted execution environment on this USB stick computer i.MX53 processor. The USB Armory is full-blown computer (800MHz ARM® processor, 512MB RAM) in a tiny form factor (65mm x 19mm x 6mm USB [...]

By | May 17th, 2015|Notes|

How to Crowdfund Your Hardware Start-up

I spoke with Daniel Dern over at IEEE Spectrum about why we decided to crowdfund the T400 temperature datalogger. Daniel's article is spot on with the most important reasons a hardware project should use crowdfunding: you know if people want it, you know how many to make, and you have the money to do it. Crowdfunding—collecting money from a [...]

By | May 16th, 2015|Learning, Notes|