New beginnings! Bender has arrived!

New beginnings! Bender has arrived!

After a hiatus during 2023 I am back baby! I have a renewed energy and a hunger to create, something I've been lacking for years.

Previously a project to keep me sane through a difficult period, IKB3D is now going to become a hub for not only show casing other 3D designers work, but also a launch pad for my own projects.

The first of those projects launches today with Bender, a custom designed case for the Heltec V3 LoRA Meshtastic powered radio node. WTF is that your wondering, well, it's nerdy, buckle up...

Meshtastic is an open source, off-grid, decentralized, mesh network built to run on affordable, low-power devices. WTF is that you're STILL thinking!

OK... to quote the Meshtastic website:

"The underlying technology, LoRa, is a long range radio protocol available to most regions without requiring additional licensing or certification, like HAM operators.

The radios automatically rebroadcast messages they receive in order to create a mesh network so that everyone in the group can receive messages - even from the furthest member. Depending on settings used, the Meshtastic mesh can sustain up to 80 device nodes.

Meshtastic radios can be paired to a single phone so that your friends and family are able to address a message to your specific radio. Each device supports a connection from a single user at a time."

Clever hey?! You can learn more about Meshtastic by watching the excellent "Getting Started with Meshtastic" videos on The Comms Channel here.

The HeltecV3 is one of the cheapest radio nodes you can buy at around £15, but it comes with a pretty simple case with room for only a tiny battery and small antenna. This is where Bender comes in.

Bender is a 3D printed case for the Heltec V3 LoRA Meshtastic powered Radio node which I designed from scratch in the amazing Shapr3D. It features a bay for an 18650 battery and support for a full size SMA connector so a variety of antenna's can be used.  If you're figuring out what antenna to purchase though Bender also includes housing for the antenna included with the Heltec V3. This effectively converts the Heltec antenna it into a hinged, hard bodied antenna.

It's available as 3D printable files, or you can purchase a case direct from the site with Worldwide shipping.

This is just the start! Several projects are in the works... one of which that is already in the wild which you should "keep and eye out for".

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