Finix Systems is committed to helping develop modern skills in robotics, 3D-printing, and mechatronics. We provide educational hands-on robotic / 3D-printing projects yielding useful programmable desktop devices when the projects are complete.
A very warm Welcome. Feel free to spend time wandering through the site, exploring the products, documentation, and blog articles. We hope you’ll find it a place to recommend to your friends and to return to regularly. Contact us with your thoughts using the “Contact” link at the page bottom.
“The 21st century belongs to the skilled and the creative.”
“The skilled work to satisfy their souls. The unskilled work to satisfy their bellies.”
Finix Systems has three themes:
Learn-by-doing robotics education
Building a useful desktop 3-axis robot and complementary devices
Developing an ecosystem for manufacturing around the base machine
The “3-axis robot” referred to above is the Visible Robot – a gantry-style robot with an open frame, designed specifically to be enhanced. The simplicity of the design allows it to serve as a do-it-yourself (DIY) teaching vehicle. The static workbed and physical openness of the design invites extension. Adding a “Finix Extruder” to the Visible Robot produces a large format 3D-printer.
Finix’ focus areas are the “parent & child learning-useful-skills-together” and the somewhat different “mechatronics” (robots, smart tools and sensors) developer’s market. The first, parent and child, will be learning the skills needed in robotics: mechanics, electronics, programming. The second will be advancing the ecosystem of the robotic desktop for “micro-manufacturing.”
Finix Systems’ products are designs, including Bills-of-Materials and Guides to assembly, post-processing, wiring, safety, etc. The designs are in the form of download-able (.STL) files that can be 3D-printed. The Guides are heavily detailed documentation written and photographed while doing the operations (post-processing, assembly, wiring, setup, etc.) being described.
Publicly-accessible 3D-printers are often found in libraries, community centers, and schools and universities.
The value in learning modern skills is higher today than it ever was. The knowledge of how modern devices actually work, the ability to repair–and going still further–to design them, gives a person an advantage over others not so capable.
This advantage is not simply one that shines when looking for employment–or maintaining a job. It boosts self-esteem as well. Having a skill is something that others notice with respect. Not the least important, it is a great source of enjoyment as the skill is used. The American scientist, statesman and philosopher Benjamin Franklin once said:
“Labor at something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Available to those who wish to hack (hack: to modify, extend, improve, and take the design into areas unintended by the original designer), are the OpenSCAD (.SCAD) source files, with a “shapes” library the designer created to offer reusable shapes (most are parameterized) for mechanical design.
Some designs are offered free as in speech. Others are free to be shared locally. That is, some designs are free software (aka open-source) licensed (GPL V3), and others are offered under a “non-commercial” reproduction and limited distribution license. (For the latter, you may make the product from the design, but you may not then sell that product commercially. You may distribute copies, but only locally and non-electronically. The idea is to allow small groups and classes to share and co-operate, while retaining for the designer the wider distribution rights). See Licensing for specifics.