Welcome to surbi.ch

This is the website of Micha Surber. I am a Software Engineer from Zürich, and I document some of my projects here. For Example you can find a Swiss German Pebble Watchface here.

3D Printed Chocolate

After trying to buy a chocolate 3D printer for quiet some time, I found an other way to make my custom chocolate forms using my standart 3D printer.

First I did print the 'chocolate' in standart ABS plastic. I made a silicon negative with a silicon set I found here. Melting and casting the chocolate was more complicated then I expected, but It worked pretty well when I started using cake glace instead of normal chocolate. The taste is slightly different, but it's delicious and easy to use.

We made some chocolate for our customers at the office (we didn't make the chocolate ourselves, we only made the silicon forms, and the guys at www.myswisschocolate.ch did the rest. And I made some smaller chocolates for my relatives for christmas. They really liked it! :)


Swissgerman Pebble Watchface

After I finally got my Pebble Smartwatch, I could not wait to start building some custom software for it. My first try was to build a watchface in swissgerman. I hope you like it! If you want your own dialect, feel free to fork the project on GITHub! The Pebble OS 2.0 Version is now available in the Pebble App Store! Search for „Swiss German“ in your Pebble APP.



Using the httpebble library I managed to get a simple remote control for my home automation up and running. A really cool usecase for the Pebble smartwatch. With the current app I can control the custom built home automation at home, and the digitalSTROM/KNX home automation system at the office. The simplest way to dim the lights during a meeting :)

Home Automation

Since working with digitalSTROM in the office, I wanted to have some more control over the electronic devices in my flat. Since I could not install digitalSTROM here, I decided to build something myself. I started with some Philips HUE light bulbs in the living room and started to buy and integrate more and more equipment. I don‘t know if this is any use for anybody else, but anyhow I try to document what I did a little bit.

My current setup includes:

  • Philips HUE light bulbs
  • iTach WiFi to IR Wifi enabled IR-Sender to control my stereo and projector
  • NETIO-230C IP/LAN to control the PAR64 spots in my bedroom
  • Raspberry Pi Typ B board with a 230V relay to reenable the old fashion light switches
  • A custom built web service running on a Synology NAS. The web service does implement set of scenes for example „Watch TV“ or „Lights on“
  • An iPhone App to select scenes for a specific room
  • A Pebble smart watch application called NDRemote to select scenes for a specific room

Umbrella... Do I need an umbrella?

I don‘t like watching weather reports :) The only thing I really need to know is, do I need an umbrella today? I found this Kickstarter project Colour OLED Breakout Board and after I got the hardware I made a first prototype of my umbrella application. It is not doing anything really fancy at the moment. It only does display an umbrella, if I need one, of a sun if I don‘t. But for the moment that‘s enough for my needs. At the moment I‘m using a raspberry py to control the SPI interface of the display. The source code can be found on my Github account. https://github.com/msurber/umbrella. I‘m planing to implement the same thing on a Wifi Bee board and print a hopefully nice casing to have the „Do I need an umbrella“ information on the wall in my flat when ever I need it.

The Surbi drink mixing machine

When I saw the Bartendro drink-mixing-machine on Kickstarter I really wanted to have on! The Idea of having a machine at a party where you press a button and get a drink mixed automatically was just great!

Because the price was to high for me I did not order the machine, but tried to build one myself. I first tried to print my own peristaltic pumps with stepper motors and tubes. Unfortunately they never worked. Either the pressure on the tubes was too big and the motors did not work, or the pressure was too small, so that the pump did not pump. :)

I finally found the peristaltic pump I was looking for on Adafruit. With this pump and some tubes I found here I managed to get the machine running and mixing! :)

Coke and other carbonated liquids are still a problem. If they are pumped with the peristaltic pump, the carbon dioxide is pumped out of the liquid and you get two thirds carbon dioxide and one third 'coke', but this doesn't taste like Coke anymore. Not funny at all. I am looking for a better solution for this problem. At the moment the machine is working well with orange juice and alcohol and similar liquids.

Hardware requirements: