About Me 2017-12-27T13:50:01+00:00

About Me

If you’ve reached this page, then you wanted to know a little bit about me.

In a nutshell, my name is Austin Steingrube and I am an electrical engineer and software developer currently living near Washington DC. I love bizarre maths problems, hanging out with my parrots, and working on code in just about every language I can find. I am a Maker at heart and spend most of my time and money on projects.

During the day, I am a mix between an embedded systems software developer, software architect, and electrical engineer. I currently work for a DOD contractor developing niche systems for government applications. Prior to my current job, I worked as an industrial systems engineer working on everything from beer and wine plants to chemical production facilities to industrial robot integration.

In the off hours, I dabble in just about everything. Common things for me to be working on are embedded C++ programming for microcontrollers, tweaking my various rapid prototyping machines, and volunteering my time at the local makerspace.

When I’m not making or programming, you’ll find me curled up on the couch with a pen and notebook working on maths proofs for some interesting problems while my parrots try to eat the paper I’m writing on.

My Machines

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve literally built a collection of machines to help me with my maker insanities.

The heavy lifters:

  • 3D Printers
    • I built a Prusa Mendel back when 3D printers were just starting to take off. While not as glitzy looking as the newer machines, I keep it updated with things like an E3D hotend, machined aluminum parts, and the better stepper driver systems. It holds its own extremely well with great resolution and more.
    • I am working on a custom, from scratch printer at the moment. While it’s based on the PSteel frame, just about every one of the other parts for it is either custom or high end.
    • An old Makerbot-clone from back in the day. It is due for some upgrades and fixes.
  • CNC Mill
    • I have a 2.5D CNC mill that started off as a Shapeoko. It is now fitted with a more powerful spindle amongst several minor upgrades. I tend to use it mostly for circuit board isolation milling or for small gifts and gizmos for friends.
  • 40W Laser Cutter
    • Bought a cheapo-brand “K40″ laser cutter off of eBay. It got a complete rewire and a new control system to make it work the way I needed. It is still a work in progress while I rewrite some firmware for it. The 40W tube allows me to cut most materials reliably up to 1/8 inch. Upgrades to the bed allow me for an 8″x11” cutting space.

The little guys:

  • Vacuum Chamber
    • A good buddy of mine helped me out with a used industrial vacuum chamber and a pump. It’s been useful for things like resin casting and the odd experiment.
  • Electronic Knitting Machine
    • I found an old Brother K930 knitting machine on eBay, ripped its guts out, and replaced them with a new microcontroller. It runs off of the AYAB platform.
    • This little guy has been donated to a friend of mine in hopes it finds more use.
  • Spherical Pen Plotter/Engraver
    • Aka an Eggbot – this was one of my first machines. I used it extensively in college to make custom “beer pong” balls and engraved holiday ornaments to supplement my funds.