Here are a few simple and elegant Lego projects that can bring a little cheer into your kitchen. Above, a complementary pair of candy dishes.
Continue reading Lego Kitchen Crafts
Today is the official release date for the Hungry Scientist Handbook, a new book by Patrick Buckley and Lily Binns.
The Hungry Scientist Handbook was conceived as a sort of cookbook for geek-centric food and– using the word a different way– as an a cookbook for food-oriented electronics– as evidenced by projects varying from polyhedral pies to LED lollipops.
We met Patrick and Lily at the 2006 Maker Faire, where they invited us to contribute a couple of chapters to their project. We did, and it’s finally out!
(We aren’t the only ones who are excited– we’ve seen write-ups at the LA Times and
Wired this week.)
We contributed a total of nine projects to the Hungry Scientist Handbook, some of which we have written about here. These include the Computer Chip Trivets, Crafty fridge magnets, Edible Origami, and (making a cameo appearance) the Lego Trebuchet.
We also contributed a few new cooking projects that involve dry ice: Dry (Ice) Martinis, Fizzy dry ice lemonade, and Dry ice root beer. (With Floating bubbles on CO2 as a bonus project.)
And… a brand new exclusive Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories electronics project that we developed just for the Hungry Scientist Handbook: Smart Coasters.
Smart Coasters are cast-plastic coasters for your drink that light up red when you put a hot drink on top and light up blue with a cold drink. The design is fully analog– no microcontrollers and no programming– and they incorporate a solar cell so that the whole thing is hermetically sealed: waterproof and washable. Complete step-by-step DIY instructions are included for both the electronics and the resin casting.
You can purchase the Hungry Scientist Handbook at booksellers including Amazon. Also visit their new web site, www.hungryscientist.com.
Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is now two years of age. Collected below is a “Best of Evil Mad Scientist” for the past year: Some of our favorite projects that we’ve published over the last twelve months. Here’s to the next year!
Rubberbands made from old bicycle innertubes.
Light tent made from a lampshade.
Spool spinner from an old fan.
The $1.00 C to D adapter
How to make a Joule Thief from Make: Weekend Projects.
How to make a dark-detecting LED night light.
The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronic Junk
How to make a Sawed-off USB Key
AVR microcontroller projects
Using an ADXL330 accelerometer with an AVR microcontroller
AVR Target Boards
Interactive Table Kits
Peggy v 2.0
Mini Art Cars
Umbrella Bat Costume v 2.0
Edible Googly Eyes
Printing complex shapes: Sugar Chain
Candyfab improvements: higher resolution and edible output
Rotary Fraction Adding Machine
Observations & silly projects:
Volume of a cat
Forbidden Lego review & build
Efficient Lego Storage
Obscure electronics tools
Lee Valley & Veritas Catalog Review
HP Color LaserJet 2600n
If you spend any time at all with Lego, then the sight above is probably a familiar one: a giant bin full of assorted Lego bricks and parts. As a kid, this was about the pinnacle of my organizational skills (hey, they’re in a box, right?) but I’m sure that in aggregate I wasted several years of my life pawing through boxes like this trying to find the next piece that I needed.
Twenty years later I have Lego again, but much less tolerance for digging through piles. So how can we make things better? In this article we show off some of the tricks that we use to keep our stacks organized, so that we can spend our Lego time building efficiently, not looking for bricks. (Warning: article is image heavy!)
Continue reading How to organize your Lego bricks for efficient building
This week the lab staff is heading off to Austin, Texas, our former stomping grounds and site of the other Maker Faire this year!
As we noted earlier, we’ll be doing a demonstration of how to build an excellent Bat Costume out of an umbrella and a hoodie. However, our primary project there will be our booth: High-Tech Pumpkins, where we will show up to a dozen (fingers crossed) halloween-themed projects, TSA willing. (Thank FSM it’s Austin, not Boston.)
While we get everything together this week, our publishing schedule will be a little wonky. However, halloween is just around the corner, so it’s time to dust off a few projects from our halloween archives!
How to hack LEDs into Lego minifigures for Halloween (Link)
Make a Flying Spaghetti Monster Costume (Link)
Crocodile Costume (Link)
Easy Itty-Bitty Blinky LED Jack-O’-Lantern (Link)
A Robotic Dalek Pumpkin (Link)
It was on the 12th of March this year that I first heard about, and placed my order for, Forbidden Lego, a new book by Ulrik Pilegaard and Mike Dooley, $24.95 from No Starch Press. It’s finally here, and yes, you want a copy.
Forbidden Lego was written by a pair of Lego master builders, who used to work in designing advanced Lego sets (e.g., Mindstorms). While they obviously got to work on lots of cool things while they were there, there were certain projects that just turned out not to be suitable to be made into kits released by the Lego company. They wrote the book to give some kind of a tantalizing hint at the kinds of things that go on behind the scenes at Lego, and the kinds of neat things that might get released in a world without product liability suits.
Continue reading Book Review (and build!): Forbidden Lego
Easy trick: If you need electronics standoffs and don’t have any handy, Lego pieces perform very nicely in a pinch.
[Related: How to hack LEDs into Lego minifigures, Lego Abominations, Upgrade your MAKE Controller]
Make a trebuchet (mostly) out of lego, capable of launching small objects like acorns or minature marshmallows over thirty feet. It’s a geeky ABS cousin to the PVC Marshmallow shooter, and you can build one yourself.
Continue reading Build a Lego Trebuchet