Air hockey is one of those games that bring out the competitive side of everyone. Whether it is a full-fledged table top game in an arcade/shed or an app on the smartphone of your choice, when two people grasp hold of those quaintly shaped air hockey mallets the game is on! Well now is your chance to get even more annoyed at computers, not only can they do math quicker than you and play chess better than you, they can now beat you at air hockey. Time to bring out that competitive side and show computers who is boss!
Jose Julio is an avid 3D ‘printerer’. When he built his first printer he was amazed at the possibility to design and make your own parts, but then he got thinking. What could the actual components of a 3D printer be used for? Sure you could just re-purpose those components to make another CNC machine, like a laser cutter or pick and place machine for example, but he was looking for something new and different. Through a combination of his daughter’s love of air hockey and his love of robotics it was decided, he would re-purpose 3D printer components to make an air hockey playing robot!
The great thing about using 3D printer components is that they are getting easier and easier to source, thanks to this the price of these parts are also decreasing. But laid ahead were two major obstacles, the rest of the hardware and the software.
Jose began to construct the air hockey table by putting together some wood slats and board. He even added the air cushion by drilling hundreds of holes and adding two PC case fans. He modelled all the printable parts in OpenSCAD, with several revisions he ended up with a light weight fast moving system.
The programming is incredible and my explanation would simply not do it justice! So for more info head over to the project page and check out the full write up.
If you need some 3D printer hardware be sure to over to the 3D printer section of Core-Electronics.