We have a book coming out!
Coming soon: The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory is a new, updated version of Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory, the classic 1960’s hands-on science book by Raymond E. Barrett.
The book is scheduled to make its debut at Maker Faire next week, where I’ll be speaking about it. It’s also available for pre-order now from Amazon.com and other sellers of books, as well as from our store.
We’ll be writing much more about the book once it’s out— about what’s in the book, the process of updating and annotating it, and about the hundreds of project ideas spanning biology, geology, chemistry, physics and more.
However, since we’re already in teaser mode, here are some photos of the original version from the 1960’s:
Fine print: “You can build these and many other experimental items with materials from your home, garage, or local hardware store. Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory will show you how!”
- Fixing Computer Space, the 1971 arcade game
- Ethanol-shaped bottle opener @ Shapeways
- Lunar Lava Tubes: Nice place for a moon base!
- Modern alternatives to the HTML <blink> tag.
- Word vs LaTeX: Which is more productive? (It depends, of course.)
- Paper: Source of perytons identified. (“Perytons” being millisecond-duration transients of terrestrial origin.)
- Real Vegan Cheese: A cool project from our friends at Bio-hackerspace Counter Culture Labs.
- A layered-fabric 3D printer for soft objects: Link (pdf)
- Dark matter may feel dark forces.
- Biosphere 2: The planetary makerspace
- Open Source Software for Quantum Information, Developed in partnership with NIST
- APOD: All the nebulas in Orion.
Last fall we wrote about NanoBeam, a new super-miniature open source aluminum T-slot profile construction set that was on Kickstarter at the time. While comparable in design to industrial profile systems like 80/20, its cross section of just 5 mm × 5 mm is comparable to a stud on a lego brick.
We recently got our
tweezers hands on a ‘beam, and yes, it’s real, yes, it works, and yes, it’s that tiny. And just wait until you see the fasteners.
- No, you are not a tetrachromat.
- How to solder without electricity (or a soldering iron). Hint: candles produce heat.
- Automated Pocky Dispenser (via Hackaday)
- Reminder: Don’t plug untrusted USB devices into your computer.
- Power grids with heavy solar: What happens during an eclipse?
- Open source photopolymer resin for Autodesk’s Ember 3D printer.
- Walkthrough of the Apple Watch making-of videos @ Atomic Delights
- Original Moog Schematics
- The most expensive part of farmed salmon: Pink coloration pills.
- Agricultural water usage per pound of food in California: How many gallons of water does it take to make a pound of almonds?
This tiny little thing is a new EggBot accessory that we call the Wax Coupler. Not because it’s made of wax (it’s CNC machined aluminum) but because you can use it to attach an egg to the motor that turns it, using wax, like so:
Aside: why is the base of the egg black? We’ll get to that below.
Once the egg is attached to the Wax Coupler, it provides a rigid attachment point that provides secure coupling between the egg and the motor. More importantly, the coupler+egg assembly can be removed from the motor and put back in place, without losing registration. In machine tool terms, you might describe this as the process of attaching an egg to a rigid mandrel.
Wait– why would you want to do that?
Let’s go back a few steps. Last spring we introduced our Electro-Kistka for EggBot. A kistka is a hot-wax pen used in the traditional wax-resist and dye (batik) method to produce colorful eggs in the fashion of Ukranian pysanky, and this one is designed to work with a computer-controlled EggBot.
At the time, we noted that this process introduces a new problem, that of re-indexing the egg within the EggBot, after taking it out for dyeing:
It is harder than it looks. While two-tone eggs are straightforward, we have found it to be challenging to precisely reposition an egg after removing it for dyeing. Thus, it takes considerable patience and experience to produce multicolor eggs with good registration between subsequent color layers. We’d be interested in exploring better ways to do this.
One method that we tried (shown above) was to dye the egg in place, by brushing it without removing it. The results were mediocre: it worked, but the dye layers were subdued and blotchy. We also looked into a somewhat wackier method of dying the egg in place, by standing the EggBot on end, and using a collapsable bag of dye.
Which brings us to the proper solution: To attach the egg rigidly to a repositionable coupler with beeswax. Doing so allows us to take out the egg and dye it (coupler and all) and then easily index it back into the EggBot.
Last year we challenged you to build the next generation of connected devices. Six months later, the best teams and projects from around the world battled for the greatest prize of all: the respect of their peers and a trip to space. This year, we’re issuing a call to hackers, engineers, makers and startups from all over the world, to focus their creative efforts on nothing less than solving serious issues facing humanity.
Prizes this year include a trip to space on a carrier of your choice, a laser cutter, a builder kit (pcb mill, 3d printer, cnc router, bench lathe), and tours of CERN in Geneva or Shenzhen in China. New this year is a “Best Product” award. Show a production-ready (and ideally, open-source) device and you can win $100,000 in addition to being eligible for the other prizes.
You can read more about the contest and sign up at http://hackaday.io/prize
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):
For when your love is complex, but not whatsoever imaginary.
For that moment when you want to express that not only is the first derivative of your love positive, but so is the second.
(Just in case there was a danger of none of these being sufficiently cheesy.)
Not sure how we missed this one in last year’s set of symbols. Alternate caption: “You light up my life.”
And what better way to say “I love you,” than with the gift of a math problem?
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.
Update: New cards have been released! Please check out the 2017 set, which contains all 30 cards from 2013 through 2017.
Last January, I wrote about how to make your own traditional painted-leather “bomber” jacket, in a tutorial about how I made my Classic Lego Space Flight Jacket. Since then, several people have asked us for a future update post, to see how well it has aged after a year. And so, here we are. After a year of regular use, how well are those nifty flexible leather paints holding up?
The replica makes extensive use of the so-called “Hoik glitch” in the game, that allows for rapid, controlled player movement, much like gravity guides the balls downward in the original.
More information about the version in Terraria is posted on the video page.