- Cool drafting tools: the Keuffel & Esser Trammel Ellipsograph. (See also: 507 movements.)
- Just Add Water: The history of Sea Monkeys, dark side and all.
- Magica: A beautiful solenoid coil driven wooden clock
- An introductory servo control project with ROS, the Robot Operating System
- Dial-A-Grue: Text adventure games with a rotary dial phone
- Another take at weaving string art with a 3D printer
- VisiCut: a userfriendly tool for laser-cutting
- How Canned Mandarin Oranges are made: in Spain and China, and Japan
- The history of the MOS Commodore KIM-1 Computer in pictures
- A jumping sun dog.
- Design and 3D print parametric battery holders.
- Code Combat: An open source programming game for learning how to code.
- 3D print your own (oversized) Curta Calculator.
- Why spaghetti breaks into 3 pieces, via finite-element simulation (YouTube).
- Inside the LM108 op amp on Ken Shirriff’s blog.
- A baby dinosaur tail, preserved in amber.
- Mike’s Electric Stuff tears down a $500k Genome sequencer (YouTube).
- The Brother Type-O-Graph pen plotter.
- If you don’t talk to your kids about quantum computing, who will? (SMBC Comics).
- Single-stroke fonts on the HP1345A vector display and in the movie WarGames (1983).
- How it’s made: Ribbon candy (YouTube, via Neatorama).
- Threadtone: Computational string art
- A sweater for your drone.
Daniel Clifton wrote up a nice article at 101highlandlakes.com about Robert Dering, a retiree who makes batik dyed eggs he gifts to people in his community. The article talks about the process of making them, including using an EggBot.
He started batik egg coloring about 15 years ago after Martha Stewart demonstrated it on her TV show. (Dering said it’s a bit embarrassing to admit he watched the show, but he pointed out he was retired and you never know from where you can learn something new.) The first few were terrible, but he continued, improving with each one.
“I’m still improving,” he said.
For most of those years, he used a small, hand-turned lathe designed for batik egg coloring to pen on a design. It was a bit tedious. But recently, he came across a mechanical device called the EggBot, which does that step for him using a computer program. The program frees up Dering’s creativity. He simply scans a photo or a design into the computer program, which adapts it for the EggBot, which, in turn, draws it on an egg.
There ends the time-saving. Now it’s back to the dying, waxing, and washing.
This year’s card features a snowflake that uses two data points in its generation: how long we’ve known the recipient and the air quality where we’re sending the card. It is unique to the person we sent it to, and no two snowflakes are alike.
After getting some inspiration from dozens of photos of snowflakes, we brainstormed about the different types of symmetry and shapes that would make our design. We then generated the snowflake with a script that draws a certain number of radial spikes based on how long we’ve known the person we were sending them to. Other parameters for the generation rely on random numbers, ensuring that each generated snowflake was completely unique.
They’ve published the code on github, as well as a set of svg files.
Dave K. sent us these pictures of the menorah he built with the Deluxe LED Menorah kit. It’s a one-of-a-kind project, made from scrap wood from his shop.
The base has a cutout to hold the PCB and battery holder, and the LEDs are wired up through the blocks of wood. Thanks for sharing your project, Dave!
We are pleased to introduce the AxiDraw V3, a new generation of our flagship writing and drawing machine.
This new AxiDraw has been redesigned from the ground up for high performance. It features smooth rolling wheels on custom aluminum extrusions, specially designed for high stiffness and light weight. Its sturdy, rigid construction gives it finer quality output and in most applications allows it to operate at up to twice the speed of the previous AxiDraw, which it replaces.
As with the previous version, AxiDraw is a simple, modern, precise, and versatile pen plotter, capable of writing or drawing on almost any flat surface. It can write with fountain pens, permanent markers, and other writing implements to handle an endless variety of applications. Its unique design features a writing head that extends beyond the body of the machine, making it possible to draw on objects bigger than the machine itself.AxiDraw V3 is available to order today, and begins shipping next week. See it in action and learn more on the product page.
- Matchbox cars: 1965 Factory tour video
- Strain wave gearing (like Harmonic drive) as a Lego ball lift mechanism (Youtube)
- Help crowdfund the Open-V, an open source RISC microcontroller
- Disseminating the New Kilogram: An International ‘Dry Run’
- “How we turned $140k on Kickstarter into $40k in debt. And how we broke even.”
- Cat demonstrates Anamorphic 3D cube optical illusion (YouTube)
- Shape Tiler application in Processing — tile shapes for use with WaterColorBot and other plotters.
AYAB — All Yarns Are Beautiful — is an open source hardware and software project that provides an alternative way to control the widely-loved Brother KH-9xx range of knitting machines using a computer. There are other hacks (such as Img2Track, Knitic and electro-knit) which work with certain machines in certain conditions. The AYAB interface works with all Brother KH-9xx machines except the KH-970.
Historically, these machines were programmed with semi-transparent picture cards which were scanned by the machine line by line. For later machines, you could enter a pattern via lots of tedious button-pressing. Some models had an add-on gadget that connected to your vintage TV.
With the AYAB interface, you can provide an image of up to a 200 pixel (or needle) size from your computer. The control is done by an Arduino-compatible microcontroller board, which replaces the vintage control board. We are excited to be helping to bring new capabilities to these beloved machines.
We love the goal of the Anew Nature furniture makers out of St. Louis.
Anew Nature is a modern furniture producer that offers training, employment, and hope to marginalized men, with criminal backgrounds to help integrate into the work force.
We also think it’s pretty cool that they’re using our Interactive LED Panels in their RISE Sleigh LED Coffee Table (shown in the video above). Check out their campaign to launch their RISE furniture line.