Thursday, August 24, 2017

[Firewood Shed] DIY firewood shed - Part 1 : The design

As you all know, winter is coming, and we recently moved house. In this house the only heating system is based out of a single chemine. I therefore had to stock sufficient amount of firewood in order to hold on for the major period of the upcoming winter.

The specification were pretty simple, it needed to contain at least 6 stere of firewood of 50cm in dry conditions and with enough air flow to allow for the wood to continue drying.

I scattered throughout the internet in order to get inspiration and some plans to get started. There are many plans available out there, but unfortunately nothing really usable for European people. Most of the available plans being made by makers from US and Canada in units that are really not usable for us in Europe. I therefore had to start from scratch. I took inspiration from the plans I found and I made my very own set of plans. I could basically tailor make the plans to the wood lumber dimensions that were available at my local store.

The main structure is using 45x120. I had to found pressure treated wood that would sustain frequent water exposure.
Then the roof structure was made out of 40x75 pressure treated wood. Finally the walls were made of 25x150 raw planks.  The shed is then finished with some OSB 3 for the flooring.

In order to contain 6 stere of wood, I scale the shed accordingly.

1 stere of wood cut in 50cm pieces represent approximately 0,8 m3.  So technically, to fit 6 stere, you would need at least 4,8 m3 of space inside the shed. This calculation only work if the wood is perfectly laid without any lost space, which is almost impossible. I decide to build the shed with at least 6 m3 of space inside which theoretically should hold around 8 stere of wood.

The overall dimensions were decided taking into account the volume target as well as fitting in my backyard without making too much of a mess visually.

I went for 3 meters long, 1,3 meters wide and a bit less than 2 meters high.

This is how it looks like:

The exact dimensions:

Thursday, September 8, 2016

[Stokke Bathtub] Design and 3D print a replacement piece to fold the Stokke Flexi Bath

Short new project that i needed to tacle due to space constraint we have. We own a Stokke bathtub for baby that can fold and has originally an attach to keep it folded that is part of the tub.
Unfortunately, the attach fell off and without it the tub stay unfolded and take much more space.

The idea was to take the already existing design for the attaching side and incorporate it in a 2 headed hook that would manage to keep the tub folded.

For that i took a few shots of the broken part and imported those in Adobe Illustrator in order to trace a profile of the part. With this profile path line, i could generate a .svg file that can be imported as a sketch in 123D Design

The broken part from top and profile :

Then i  designed the profile and i came up with that seemed to be the closed to the real hook. I generated a .svg file out of illustrator which can be read by the CAD software :

After importing the .svg file in 123D Design, i could extrude the volume out of the profile. For additional fun i also decided the incorporate the real logo of Stokke in the design :

After having generating the .stl file from the CAD software i handed it to my electronic shop that own a 3d printer ( and they nicely printed it in a nice shiny black.

The final result is quite nice for a small piece. There are slight issues arround the edges of both hooks, but that is normal since this was printed without any support material. 

And then how it looks when used with the actual bath tub !

Contact me directly if you have any question, do not hesitate to ask. I will put the design on thingiverse when i have time. 

EDIT : The thingiverse link with access to the .stl file for your own convenience !

Friday, June 3, 2016

[Chariot Station] Custom made station for Thule Cougar Chariot

Just wanted to share how i built an extremely simple docking station for my Thule Cougar 1 Chariot.

Due to my garage being pretty small, i need to detach the chariot from the bike overnight. The idea is to be able to keep the Chariot while in "Bike mode" (with the bike connecting arm) but detetached from the bike. Without a docking station the bike arm would touch the ground and might be destorded over time.

Here is a view from the bottom of the chariot with all the useful measurements

With those measurements I could then design my docking station. The dock is pretty simple and is made of 4 pieces of mdf wood. The dimensions are so that it fit perfectly with the plastic section on each side of the front of the chariot.

It is made with 2x 11,5 cm x 15 cm and 2x 11,5 cm x 44 cm to fit as following:
Each pieces of wood are connected with wood screws with countersink in order to avoid having the screws scratching the chariot

Here is how it looks like when finished :

And with the chariot docked on it :

Don't hesitate to comment if you have a suggestion or if you like to know anything about the chariot from Thule (great piece of equipment by the way !)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

[Baby Mobile Hanger] How i custom designed a Baby Mobile Hanger for our bathroom

Today i will share something sligthly different from the usual, but this is still about making something !

My baby daugther needed a little entertainment in our bathroom while she is being dressed and changed. I needed to hang a Baby Mobile that my wife made directly above the mirror. The only way i could do so was with the mural lamp that is above the mirror.

First i took precise measurements of how the lamp is and the exact dimensions that my hanger would need to be in order to fit. Here are the initial drawings

Then i went to 123D Design and sketched the item. Kept it simple

My shop printed it for me, not without trouble, i had to redo the part and removed the little hook to that the piece could be printed verticaly and not horizontaly as shown above. I would then glue the small hook back with some epoxy. Here is the final result.

With some close shots of the detail, the hook is made to fit exactly to my bathroom lamp and the little reduction of diameter at the tip is to hang the mobile using a standard key ring !

And here the final result, my little girl loves it !

Sunday, June 21, 2015

[Wireless Room Temperature Monitoring System] 3D Printed enclosure final result !

After so many weeks of inactivy (I have very good reasons i promise) i finally had the time to finish the CAD file for the enclosure and to get it printed at my local store in Alsace :)

Here is the final result. It is far from perfect unfortunately. I didnt plan for the support to get merged with some of the structure i designed. Also some of the structure were too small and had small hanging part, under which support material was still put and unfortunately ... i had to cut the whole thing to make it work. Here are a few thing that i would do differently next time :

On the left, i was too optimistic to have the small bump to guide the arduino mini pro ... unfortunately since there was hanging part over it, the bumps got merged with the support material ... i ended up remove the whole top part. Same issue with the one in the middle ... the support material added by the 3D printing software screwed the print. On the right, i made a different mistake to put the screwing hole for the temperature sensor above a another guide... i didnt plan for the support material for the screwing hole to merge with the structure below ...

Here are the pictures of the final result ! Let me know your thoughts or suggestions !

From aboce
With the components

With the lid
Without the lid 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

[Wireless Room Temperature Monitoring System] Enclosure for wireless temperature sensor 3D Modeling with 123D Design

Now that the components are all designed in 3D i can try an design the enclosure.

I tried to take into account the way the elements are going together, how the cables are connecting the components and all. I am not even sure this could be 3D printed. Here is what i intend to send for printing :

What do you think ? Any suggestions ?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

[Wireless Room Temperature Monitoring System] Enclosure for wireless temperature sensor 3D Modeling with 123D Design

Alright so now that i have a rough idea of how the enclosure should be i can go ahead and design it in CAD. 123D Design seems perfect and easy to use. As a training exercice I decided to reproduce all the components that are involved in my sensor in 123D Design at the exact correct scale. This way i will be able to design the enclosure to take into account. First i took exact measurement of each of the 5 main components that are involved in the sensor.

Here is how it looks :

What do you think ?  Any advice ?

If anyone is interested for their own CAD design (and if you use the same components as me ...) please contact me and i will give you the .stl file

Next, i will make the enclosure using those components to make sure that everything fits together

Saturday, March 28, 2015

[Wireless Room Temperature Monitoring System] Enclosure for wireless temperature sensor prototype

Alright, so now that i have to mess up with the code and make the code work properly, i need to have an easy to handle hardware prototype. To do so i incorporated a switch so i can put the sensor on and off without having to unplug the battery.

There it is :  The switch is available on the front side. I made a hole to have the temperature sensor stick out of the box for more accuracy.

View of the inside... pretty messy but it works

And there it is closed, the antenna is sticking out of the box through  a hole.

Until I design a 3D printed enclosure, that will do the trick. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

[Wireless Room Temperature Monitoring System] Labeling a temperature (DS18B20) from an Arduino Pro Mini to a Raspberry Pi

Back to square 1. Unfortunately the code i have been using since the beginning to send the data from the Arduino to the Raspberry Pi.

Thanks to smart people on the internet i found out there was a way to have an Arduino talk to a Raspberry Pi using the VirtualWire libraries (initially made for only Arduino to Arduino communications).

1) The Arduino part :

Download and Install the VirtualWire library : Information // Dowload Link

I uploaded the following code to my Arduino Pro Mini:
#include <VirtualWire.h>
#include <OneWire.h>
#include <DallasTemperature.h>
#define ONE_WIRE_BUS 3 //DS18B20 Connected to Pin 3

int compteur = 0;

const char *msg = "Temp1 ";
const char *celsius = "C: ";
const char *diese = " #";
char nombre[VW_MAX_MESSAGE_LEN];
char message[VW_MAX_MESSAGE_LEN];
char tempCx100char[VW_MAX_MESSAGE_LEN];
OneWire oneWire(ONE_WIRE_BUS); // For the DS18B20
DallasTemperature sensors(&oneWire);
DeviceAddress Thermometer = { 0x28, 0xFF, 0xED, 0x0F, 0x11, 0x14, 0x00, 0xD2 }; //Obtained using another program
void setup()
   Serial.begin(9600);  // Debugging only
   sensors.setResolution(Thermometer, 10);
   // Initialise the IO and ISR
   vw_set_ptt_inverted(true); // Required for DR3100
   vw_setup(2000); // Bits per sec
void printTemperature(DeviceAddress deviceAddress)

  float tempC = sensors.getTempC(deviceAddress);
  int tempCx100 = (int)(tempC*100); // Multiply the float value to have a full int with 2 digits
  itoa(tempCx100,tempCx100char,10); //Convert int to char
  itoa(compteur,nombre,10); // compteur de message

  strcpy (message,msg);
  strcat (message,tempCx100char);
  strcat (message, diese);
  strcat (message,nombre);

  if (tempC == -127.00) {
    Serial.print("Error getting temperature");
  } else {
    digitalWrite(13, true); // Flash a light to show transmitting
    vw_send((uint8_t *)message, strlen(message));
    vw_wait_tx(); // Wait until the whole message is gone
    digitalWrite(13, false);
void loop()

I basically compiled all the DS18B20 related codes i found out about earlier along with the specific code available to send stuff from VirtualWire library.
The code is sending a message with
    - a string that enables me to identify which temperature sensor sends the message.
    - the temperature as a 4 digit integer (2125 > 21.25C)
    - a message count in order to follow which messages are being lost for prototyping purposes

2) The Raspberry Pi part :

I basically used a python code suggest by this Joan on the raspberry pi forum : Link
You also need the pigpio library to be installed on the RPi : Link
wget pigpio.zipcd PIGPIOmakemake install
The code ( is a massive program which allows me to either receive or send using the RF433 Module : Link

I copied the program file in a dedicated folder on the Raspberry Pi along with another python program that will import the and once started, will only do what i need it to be doing
import timeimport pigpio
import vw
BPS=2000pi = pigpio.pi() rx = vw.rx(pi, RX, BPS) start = time.time()print("En attente de la reception des donnees")
while (time.time()-start) < 100: while rx.ready(): print("".join(chr (c) for c in rx.get()))rx.cancel()
 The result :

The Arduino Pro Mini with DS18B20 + TX433 and the relevant code is plugged in, and i start the program above and here the result :

It works ! :) Thank you to all contributor in the internet for their python programs and other libraries !

Now i can identify each temperature sensor. Next i will probably build another sensor module and try to receive both temperature and see if they don't interact too much and create a mess :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

[Wireless Room Temperature Monitoring System] Sensor Enclosure Prototyping Part 1

I have been doing some thinking on the enclosure i want to 3D Print myself.

The goal is to have a relatively simple design to store all modules : Arduino, Temperature sensor, 9V Battery enclosure and TX RF 433 Mhz Module.

Here are the first prototype drawings :


I am already having second thoughts about the enclosure, specifically about the antenna. My latest test showed that i should have a linear antenna instead of a coiled one...

I will have some more drawing done in the following days.