- A tour of the MegaProcessor (YouTube)
- Inside the tiny RFID chip that runs San Francisco’s “Bay to Breakers” race
- Inkscape extension: Trace along centerlines
- A 3D-printed light-based zoetrope
- Dinosaur-era feathers, preserved in amber.
- Feynman diagram sculptures by Edward Tufte
- Schematics and manuals for the 1979 Asteroids video game cabinet
- Fliers for a Father’s Day Sale, from Obvious Plant.
- Dashcam footage: Driving Around San Francisco in 1953 (YouTube)
- NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter: Orbit insertion as a dramatic movie trailer.
Ten years ago today, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories went live. Happy birthday to us!
We started Evil Mad Scientist way back in 2006 as a blog to help us document and organize our various hobby projects. Since then our projects have been featured in print magazines, in books, on television, in newspapers, at the White House, at museums, and on thousands of other blogs. We’ve built many friendships and many wonderful and bizarre machines, resurrected old computers and video games, and spent a lot of time playing with food, from 3D printing to fractal foods and on and on and on and on. We’ve published a book, released software, and published designs for physical things that people can make into their own. And of course, it all stopped being just a hobby about halfway through the decade.
As the years have passed, our projects have gradually gotten bigger— from a project every Wednesday (originally) to fewer but much more complex, multi-year projects. Along with big projects like the book and the 6502, we’re designing and producing families of soldering kits and art robots like the EggBot, WaterColorBot, and the new AxiDraw, which all bring joy to so many people.
What does the next decade have in store for us? Who knows! But we’re certainly looking forward to seeing what wonders it will bring.
To celebrate the anniversary, we are hosting an open house on July 21 at our shop in Sunnyvale, California, from 5-9 PM. Please come join us!
To all of you: Thanks for being such a great community, thanks for reading Evil Mad Scientist, and thanks for your continued support in all of our endeavors.
– Lenore & Windell
WaterColorBot always brings unexpectedness and whimsicality to your design. Here, getting the outcome does not become the end of your project. You feel you want to try more. Whether it is revising the code, tweaking the WaterColorBot setting, or replacing the brush, you are making a small but important adjustment for you. You find yourself in an eternal loop of iteration!
We recently found out about a project to make custom printed tennis balls for an event in Sweden last year.
The first challenge was finding a way to print on round surfaces. Luckily, in our previous R&D experiments, we had played the with quirky EggBot, a printer that lets you print on eggs (yeah, you read that right). We knew that, with some work, it was possible to use that mechanism to print on a “normal” round object too. The Eggbot producers did not agree, stating on their official wiki:
“No matter what you do, EggBot will never produce good results on a tennis ball. Golf balls are okay, though.”
But those words only fueled our creativity and made us move forward.
They 3D printed some custom couplers to hold the tennis balls and wrote some custom software to streamline the printing process, and then printed on hundreds of tennis balls.
We’ve since updated the wiki.
- Mars is currently making its closest approach to Earth.
Here are some viewing tips.
- Mining platinum from the roadside (YouTube)
- Crowdfunding a book about The Secret History of Mac Gaming
- How it’s made: “Long Eggs” (YouTube, german language)
- The Cattle Prod Selfie Stick
- Cute japanese bags, modeled on deep sea creatures
- Radio Shack to return once more?
- Converting stepper motors into industrial servo motors
- Camera tests for the Muppet Movie in 1979 (YouTube)
I’ll be giving a talk and demo on Saturday at this year’s Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA. I’ll be demonstrating one of the many projects from my book, The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory (and signing books as well).
You can catch the talk and demo on Saturday, May 21, at 1:30 PM, on the Maker Show & Tell Stage.
Our collaborator Eric Schlaepfer has been extremely hard at work this year, designing a truly monstrous follow up to our giant-scale dis-integrated 555 and 741 circuits. This is the MOnSter 6502: a transistor-scale replica of the famous MOS 6502 microprocessor, the processor found at the heart of influential early computer systems such as the Apple ][ and the Commodore PET.
It is huge, at 12 × 15 inches, with over 4000 surface mount components, and 167 indicator LEDs added throughout so that you can see the flow of data.
This is a new project, still underway. We will be showing off the first prototype of the MOnSter 6502 at the Bay Area Maker Faire this coming weekend. We don’t promise that it will be completely working by then — this is a first stab at an extremely ambitious project — but we’re genuinely excited to show it off in this early stage.
(Before you ask, the MOnSter 6502 is not yet a kit or product that we’re selling. Right now, it’s an amazing thing that we’re trying to build. If you would like to stay in the loop as this project evolves, we’ve set up a special mailing list for updates.)
I used your Larson Scanner with 10 mm LEDs to put a little life into my Cylon “standee” which stands guard over my office. It has delighted everyone in the office (especially the IT Guys that work for me).
I’ve had What’s It Like in Space? sitting on my desk for a few weeks now. It’s a compact book that fits nicely in your hands, with a glittery starfield on the cover. Every so often I pick it up and flip it open to one of the vignettes of astronaut experiences Ariel Waldman has gathered together.
My favorite is titled “Mysterious Headaches” which tells the story of how NASA accidentally sent astronauts into caffeine withdrawal by providing them with insufficiently caffeinated (freeze-dried) coffee.
The brightly illustrated tidbits can be jumping off points for further exploration— inspiring the reader to learn more about a particular bit of science or history. They’re also just plain fun to read, ranging from silly to profound. This makes it great both as a coffee table conversation starter and for anyone with an interest in science and space.
Deanna was our youngest presenter at the 2015 faire – she discussed the learn-to-solder board that she designed and uses to teach her elementary school classmates. At this year’s faire, she will show you how to solder with her specially-designed board.
Deanna will be teaching soldering and Brian will be talking about chipKIT at the mini Maker Faire, which is May 14 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.