Monday, June 29, 2015

DIY: 3D-printing a quadrocopter (or hardware for IoT)

3D-printed quadrocopter/drone
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to get deeper into 3D printing. I got invited to Maker World 2015 in Friedrichshafen and to a workshop run by the guys of Construction Zone. The goal was to get an overview of 3D printing by designing parts for a small quadrocopter, printing them, and eventually assembling printed parts and electronic components to a flight-ready drone. Creating the casing for Internet-of-Thing (IoT) devices basically is the same.

The mini drone and its parts can be seen on the picture above. It has a printed body, a printed cover, a small board (in the middle of the drone), a battery pack, and 4 motors. The first step in getting the copter up into the air was to design the body and cover as seen on the picture below. Some attention needs to be applied to keeping the rotors in a safe distance to each other and to have space within the body to house the battery pack and the controller board.

Design process for a DIY quadrocopter
Once the design is complete, the next step is to create a STL file and/or G-code for the 3D printer. During that process the printing quality is specified. It is based, among others, on the number and thickness of printing layers. And that directly impacts the time needed for printing. What I learned is that patience is a virtue...

Friday, June 12, 2015

DB2 pureScale for the Masses

DB2 pureScale Cluster (nanoCluster)
It is almost four years since I wrote about my exciting tests with a DB2 pureScale demo cluster (see picture). At that time the pureScale feature was still fairly new and was supported on a limited choice of hardware/software. Since then the requirements to put DB2 pureScale into production have been reduced dramatically and at the same time many useful features have been added. Let me give a quick overview of why customers choose DB2 with pureScale for both scaling out systems as well as a consolidation platform. Today, DB2 pureScale really is something for the masses...

The following is an unsorted and incomplete list of features and good-to-know items that come to mind when talking about DB2 pureScale:

All of the above boils down to cost savings and higher flexibility, an important driver behind opting for pureScale. Having said that I need to mention that earlier this week I decided against pureScale. I gave a nanoCluster, the same type as pictured above, away to make some room in my home office.

BTW: I have been asked whether a DB2 pureScale cluster can brew a good coffee. What would be your answer...?