For a history of the Walking Teapot, see this video with its creator from its 10th anniversary last year.
Ever wonder how they make foam rubber into an “egg crate” shape? You can tell that it isn’t molded that way, because there is not a smooth skin on the surfaces. And it clearly isn’t milled to that shape, since it comes in matched top and bottom pieces that are cut from the same initial block of foam. So how is it done? Amazingly enough, it’s done with a bandsaw.
Egg crate, acoustic, and other shapes of “convoluted foam” are cut with a special machine called a convolutor, which uses powerful rollers to feed flat sheets of foam rubber into a high-tension bandsaw. The rollers are covered with bumps that stretch and distort the foam such that the saw cuts to a variable depth, with extremely little waste.
You can watch the process in this video from Italian Cutting Systems (noting that the bandsaws are hidden behind protective covers):
- Electronics shopping on eBay: Is it possible that someone mis-translated “resistor” as “restraint”?
- Cool design for a solderless optical theremin kit
- New York City through a Game Boy camera in the year 2000
- Intelligent 8-bit style “launch graphics” with ATmega328 (using our AVR target boards)
- PCBshopper: Up-to-date comparison shopping for printed circuit board manufacturing
- Physics: Chain reactions with the domino effect
- Now you can actually get that autorouter tee-shirt.
- Another in-circuit emulator (pictured) for our discrete 555 kit, by Timothy Brown on twitter
The 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire was an amazing, amazing event. We took hundreds of photos, which we have posted in a flickr set here. Here are just a few of the highlights— both technological and artistic, and we’ll be featuring several more over the course of the next week or so.
- An all-new version of the PancakeBot will be coming to the Bay Area Maker Faire this year!
- Interesting new site: takeitapart.com, sharing take-apart guides for hardware
- Fun use of a quadcopter: A flying RC aircraft carrier
- Make Color Changing Cocktails.
- An important reminder about why we use safety equipment
- Another lovely scale model 555
- A cordwood construction soldering kit
- FarmBot: Open Source agricultural machinery, coming soon.
- Henna + WaterColorBot + Processing = robo-mehndi
Or, if you prefer, we’re halfway (well, 44% of the way) to Tau day, 6/28. A fine day to watch the Vi Hart‘s Anti-Pi Rant. And, a fine day to round up some of our finest Pi, Pie, and mathematics projects:
Back from the dead: The Evil Mad Scientist Linkdump. Last seen circa 2010, the Linkdump is our occasional collection of interesting links. You can find our archived linkdumps here.
- New research on the Five Second Rule.
- Glyphter, the SVG Font Machine
- Do you live within 35 miles of the line between Kingston, NY and NYC? Are you far enough from the city to see stars at night? If so, you might be able to watch an asteroid occult a bright star on March 20th.
- Dan Sheadel writes on twitter: “If Linux+Git+Eagle users want to use visual diffs between board revisions, I’ve written a tool to help out.” See also our posts on the subject (1, 2).
- Ryszard’s “marble machine 3″ in pictures at Woodgears.ca
- In January, Microsoft joined the Open Compute project. (Another big name in large-scale Open Source Hardware.)
- Helix is a small new museum and community space located in Los Altos, CA, operated by the Exploratorium.
- Use a Mac and design circuits? LTspice IV now runs native on the Mac. (Much easier than the old way!)
- Vintage awesomeclock: The Telechron Occlusion Clock
We’ve been watching the work of RoboGenius for quite some time. He has created some of the neatest non-geometric work anybody has done on the Egg-Bot. Recently, he uploaded a number of his designs to thingiverse, which means you can try them out, too. He has also been posting great pictures of them to flickr. When asked in the Egg-Bot user list how he created them, he posted:
The short answer is that it’s all done line by line in Inkscape.
The slightly more tedious answer is that it starts with an image (generally something off the web, or that has some significance to me), then I import that image onto my 3200px X 850px template in Inkscape and position it where I want it on the egg/ball. I then take a look at the image and decide how many color layers I’ll be needing for the plot and add those to the project, naming them sequentially followed by the color I use for the layer (for example: 1 – Yellow, or 5 – Black). I always begin with the lightest colors first, and generally end in black. Then it’s simply a matter of tracing over the picture on the correct layer using the bezier line tool (Shift + F6), and bending those lines with the path editing tool (F2). Once I get the basic lines created, I’ll create and fill any solid shapes using the EggBot Contributed Hatch fill extension (spacing should be set to 6 for eggs). To add shading, you simply go over the same places a couple of times with the same color, which can be achieved with Copy and Paste, and occasionally the shading can be enhanced by altering the angle of the line to match the angle of the shape or intended shadow (the Master Chief design is a good example of this technique).
That’s pretty much it. To finish off the project, I like to color all of the lines in a layer to match the marker used in that layer, then delete the layer with the picture in it.
They used a Peggy 2 to drive a field full of LED illuminated spheres, along with IR sensors to detect visitors entering the array. Each new person would trigger a new sphere to light up and move through the field.
This is the largest installation we’ve ever seen based on the Peggy 2.
Thanks for sharing your incredible project with us!
Links to many more Peggy 2 projects are on the wiki.
Our pal Super Awesome Sylvia will be joining a White House Hangout on the Maker Movement tomorrow with White House innovation advisor Tom Kalil and others including our friends Dale Dougherty of MAKE and Saul Griffith of Otherlab. You can watch at WhiteHouse.gov or tune in to the White House’s Google+ page or YouTube channel on Thursday, March 28th at 3:00 pm ET.
(Photo of President Obama with FIRST Robotics Team 341 at the 2010 White House Science Fair by Pete Souza)