555 Footstool for Sparky

Sparky the Blue Smoke Monster on 555

Adafruit just got a new chip for Sparky the Blue Smoke Monster! It turns out that our 555 Footstool is just the perfect size for the Sparky puppet they had made.

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As before, we cut the parts out on the CNC router from our original design.

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The parts were glued together and sanded.

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After assembly was lasering to mark and etch the notch, which we carved and chiseled to make it deeper than our previous one.

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The first layer of paint was primer grey, followed by black and silver. Once the body of the chip had a beautiful matte black finish, it went back into the laser for the manufacturer’s mark before a final protective coat of paint.

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It posed for a few pictures before heading off to meet Sparky, and we’ve posted them on flickr.

Sparky graphic side-by-side with IRL Sparky and chip

The original Sparky design side-by-side with the plush puppet and its new chip.

EggBot in Budapest

Kitti in Budapest has a thoughtful blog about her EggBot. She’s posting her experiences, modifications, and challenges. She is putting up designs on Thingiverse, starting with the Hungarian Folk design shown above.

My first design was inspired by my Mom. I told her about my plans to draw something in Inkscape to be printed on an egg later. She immediately ask if I am planning to do a Hungarian folk pattern.

We’ll be looking forward to seeing what comes next!

GeekDad on the EggBot

EggBot on workbench with daughter at computer

Mark has posted a nice writeup at GeekDad about receiving an EggBot as a birthday present:

It was the perfect gift for a GeekDad–something I wasn’t expecting and might not have bought for myself, but is so much fun that I wish I’d bought one years ago.

30 valentine ping pong balls

He used it for his daughter’s preschool:

In almost no time, I had a box of 30 Valentine’s ping pong balls for her to take to school. Her teachers were fascinated when they saw them and I was told had been debating whether we had somehow hand-drawn them all. The head teacher asked my daughter how we made them and she naturally replied: “No, a robot drew them!”

Linkdump: February 2015

Arithmographe Mechanique (Mechanical Calculator)

From the Mailbag: Long-term Lego Storage

1x8 flat - 5

This great question came in via email:

I was wondering if you are still using the Lego stacked storage system you blogged about 3 years ago?

We are (it’s actually been eight seven years since we wrote that post) and it’s still working well. Last time I went to do a Lego project, I was particularly pleased to find that our parts were still mostly sorted and easy to get at.

Evil Mad Scientist Valentines: 2015 edition

Lo Res Valentines valentines

For each of the last two years, we’ve released sets of “Download and Print” cards for Valentine’s day. The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, and the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards.  This year, we’re releasing six new cards, bringing the collection up to a total of 18 cards. This year’s new cards feature love, hearts, and arrows (but no bows or cupids):

My love for you is real

For when your love is complex, but not whatsoever imaginary.

I love you more every day

For that moment when you want to express that not only is the first derivative of your love positive, but so is the second.

Our love is off the charts

(Just in case there was a danger of none of these being sufficiently cheesy.)

You make me glow

Not sure how we missed this one in last year’s set of symbols.  Alternate caption: “You light up my life.”

Solve for i

And what better way to say “I love you,” than with the gift of a math problem?

2015 Evil Mad Scientist Valentines
Lo Res Valentines

You can download the full set here, which includes all 18 designs from the three years (a 765 kB .PDF document).

As usual, print them out on (or otherwise affix to) card stock, and [some steps omitted] enjoy the resulting lifelong romance.