Last winter, Thomas Valenty bought a MakerBot — an inexpensive 3-D printer that lets you quickly create plastic objects. His brother had some Imperial Guards from the tabletop game Warhammer, so Valenty decided to design a couple of his own Warhammer-style figurines: a two-legged war mecha and a tank.
He tweaked the designs for a week until he was happy. “I put a lot of work into them,” he says. Then he posted the files for free downloading on Thingiverse, a site that lets you share instructions for printing 3-D objects. Soon other fans were outputting their own copies.
Until the lawyers showed up.
Games Workshop, the UK-based firm that makes Warhammer, noticed Valenty’s work and sent Thingiverse a takedown notice, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Thingiverse removed the files, and Valenty suddenly became an unwilling combatant in the next digital war: the fight over copying physical objects.
This week, host Josh Klein explores the origins of automated control systems, like the one used on the Perdido—the world’s deepest offshore oil rig. He starts out in ancient Rome, where local volcanic ash was once used to create superstrong concrete, which the Romans utilized in creating their famous aqueducts. Readily available water resulted in the Romans developing the hand pump, which in turn was modified by the Greeks to make a flamethrower, enabling them to defend Constantinople, the cultural and intellectual hub of its time. Josh learns that the city’s role in the Renaissance led to architects producing elaborate fountains—and the existence of the vacuum pump. As Josh discovers, the vacuum was integral to the invention of the steam engine—which requires a flyball governor to regulate power. From there, advances in feedback controls and remote controls were applied to undersea remote operating vehicles, allowing for deeper drilling.
And Josh additionally writes:
The show is about the history of human innovation, tracing the connections between the worlds greatest inventions in art, science, medicine, finance and more, from ancient times up to the present day. Its chock full of crazy stuff like underwater helicopter evacuations, Indy race car driving, the Black Plague, and playing with the codebreaking devices that won World War II. If youve ever found yourself clicking just one more link when you should have been going to bed, this is the show for you – each episode spans a dozen or so technologies, and traces how each one was dependent on the capabilities provided by the one before it.
Its a lot of fun, and its also one of the last shows on television that doesnt hinge on someone getting kicked off the island, being humiliated in front of their peers, or getting drunk and doing regretful things. This is our last shot to see if anyone still cares about intelligent programming, so its hugely important that we move the needle on its ratings.
So if youve ever loved a science show like Nova, or gotten crazy excited watching Myth Busters, this is your chance. Please tune in each Friday, and set your DVR. Most importantly of all, please help us spread the word! You can get all kinds of great info, clips, behind the scenes blogs etc at the show website.
And if you enjoy the show, please join in on the discussion on Facebook, tweet about it (using the hashtag #TheLink), or do whatever else strikes you to help spread the word.
Pieces of wood, love, knowledge and 299 hours of work, condensed in a 3 minute film. The new episode from the series ‘The Art of Making’, titled ‘Alma Flamenca’, is available for you to enjoy.
The ‘Art of Making’ series aspires to display and highlight certain people, which go against the spirit of today’s pessimism and desperation. They dare to dream and create with zeal and imagination. Armed with passion for knowledge and emotion, they attempt to combine the precision of science with the elegance and resourcefulness of art. We thank them wholeheartedly for their contribution.
The IoT Printer for Esquire Korea– fun! Thanks to Yoonie Oh for the writeup.
Adafruit IoT Printer Project Pack Internet of Things printer. Build an Internet of Things connected mini printer that will do your bidding! This is a fun weekend project that comes with a beautiful laser cut case. Once assembled, the little printer connects to Ethernet to get Internet data for printing onto 2 1/4 wide receipt paper. The example sketch weve written will connect to Twitters search API and retrieve and print tweets according to your requests: you can have it print out tweets from a person, a hashtag, mentioning a word, etc! Once youve gotten that working, you can of course easily adapt our sketch to customize the printer.
The project is not very difficult but does require some light soldering, so youll want to have a little experience with a soldering iron. Youll also need a small flathead screwdriver to assemble the box. Its also best if youve had a little Arduino experience so you can feel comfortable downloading the IDE and uploading our example sketch.
This pack does not contain an Arduino+Arduino Ethernet Shield, Arduino Ethernet or Ethernet cable To complete the project you will need to add either an Arduino + Ethernet Shieldor an Arduino UNO Ethernet. If youre using an Arduino UNO Ethernet you will also need an FTDI friend or FTDI cable to upload the sketch. A plain straight-thru Ethernet cable is also required (any length)
Ever since the Kinect emerged on the scene, its depth-sensing camera has fascinated legions of creative coders, but the team behind the RGB+D Toolkit is one of the few attempting to transform the gaming console into a real filmmaking tool. Using a Kinect and a standard DSLR camera, like your Canon 5D, these avant-garde image-makers have created a technique that allows you to map video from the SLR onto the Kinect’s 3D data to generate a true CGI and video hybrid.
Why is this exciting? Well, for one thing, convincing CGI is incredibly difficult to do—it took the team behind Rockstar’s L.A. Noire a full 32 cameras and god knows how many man hours to record and digitally reconstruct their characters in 360 degrees. And while the experimental output from the RGB+D team is a far cry from those painstakingly constructed game visuals, that’s kind of not the point. The point is the implications—this has the potential to change the way we think of 3D filmmaking and to significantly lower the barrier to entry using commercially available hardware and open source software.
Today, members of the RGB+D team—James George and Jonathan Minard—released the culmination of their research to date: an excerpt of an ongoing documentary project called Clouds that they’ve been developing alongside the RGB+D Toolkit, their open source video editing application (which looks like a cross between Final Cut Pro and a video game engine). Clouds features interviews with prominent computer hackers, media artists, and critics discussing the creative use of code, the future of data, interfaces, and computational visuals, presented as a series of conversational vignettes.\
Kinect as a tool of narrative film was as inevitable as sunshine in the summertime.
First, this is an impressive sculpture of your workshop! The concept is a great way to commemorate the maker movement, celebrate women hackers and makers, and to highlight Limor Fried as a positive role model for young girls looking toward technology careers. A hackerspace playset could provide children an excellent introduction to the movement. We look forward to following your project’s progress.
Good luck on your journey to 10,000 supporters!
The LEGO CUUSOO Team
NEW PRODUCT – Small Reduction Stepper Motor – 5VDC 48-Step 1/64 Gearing. This is a great first stepper motor, good for small projects and experimenting with steppers. This uni-polar motor has a built in mounting plate with two mounting holes. There are only 48 step (7.5 degree) per revolution, and inside is a 1/64 reduction gear set. What this means is that there are really 48*64 steps per revolution = 3072 steps! The shaft is flattened so its easy to attach stuff to it with a set-screw. A perfect first stepper motor and works well with the Motor Shield for Arduino.
The gearing has a few side effects which are important to note. First, you cannot turn the stepper by hand (its geared down too far). It also means you shouldn’t use interleaved or micro-stepping to control or it will take forever to turn. Instead use single or double stepping. The torque is fairly high but its slower than un-geared steppers – we maxed out at about 20 RPM by over-driving it a bit with 9VDC.
To use with the Adafruit Motor Shield, connect red to ground (middle), orange and pink to one motor port (say M1) and blue and yellow to the other motor port (say M2). So in order, thats: orange – pink – red – blue – yellow. Then just use the example code that comes with the Adafruit Motor Shield library and set the constructor to AF_Stepper motor(2048, motornum) and the speed at 5 RPM by calling motor.setSpeed(5). Otherwise, you can also wire it up with some transistors and use the Arduino Stepper library
Unipolar stepper with 0.1″ spaced 5-pin cable connector
48 steps per revolution
1/64 geared down reduction
5V DC suggested operation
Weight: 37 g.
Dimensions: 28mm diameter, 20mm tall not including 9mm shaft with 5mm diameter
Recently I purchased enough parts to make 10 Arduinos, following this tutorial.
The reason for this is that you get a price break on most parts when buying 10 or more.
Because of this, I was able to get the cost of each one to under $10, not including some parts I already had. This will save me a lot of money in the long run.
Looks great on those Perma-Proto boards.
Adafruit Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard PCB – 3 Pack! Customers have asked us to carry basic perf-board, but we never liked the look of most basic perf: its always crummy quality, with pads that flake off and no labeling. Then we thought about how people actually prototype – usually starting with a solderless breadboard and then transferring the parts to a more permanent PCB. That’s when we realized what people would really like is a proto board that makes it easy!
The dress is constructed out of individual slide film images that are backed with LED’s. An Arduino Lilypad connected to a light sensor controls the brightness of the LED’s. The sensor reads the how much ambient light there is and uses this value to determine if the LED’s will be off or on. When there is lots of light the LED’s are off and it looks like a shiny black dress with small hints that something else is going on. Once the sensor determines there is the right amount of light for LED’s to be seen in their full brightness it turns them on. When the dress is on the lights slowly pulse and the images on the dress come alive.
Bigger is better. Thats been the mantra of energy generation for a century. But its starting to change. More individuals want to generate electricity at home. More companies and municipal utilities are finding opportunities to produce electricity on a regional or community scale.
What does a decentralized energy future look like? What makes it possible? And how will it change our world? Join Maggie Koerth-Baker — science editor of BoingBoing.net and author of Before the Lights Go Out, a new book about the future of electricity — for a conversation about DIY energy featuring Chris Hackett of the Science Channels Stuck With Hackett, Susan Covino of PJM Interconnect, one of the independent organizations that controls movement of electricity around the grid, and Lisa Margonelli, a senior policy fellow at the New America Foundation.
As though symbolizing the remote but essential part it plays in the Allied Nations’ drive for victory, the letter “V” is formed by a machine winding coils for electric transformers made by a Westinghouse plant. The two slanting arms of the “V” serve to support several spools of copper wire, which can be wound onto as many as nine coils at a time under the guidance of one operator. Transformers in which the coils will go are used to “step up” or “step down” the voltage as required by electric power tools in defense industries.
Tom Murphy, a physicist at UC, San Diego, writes an interesting blog about energy usage. He put a post up today about measuring accurately how much natural gas his house used for various tasks (like heating water for a shower), in the face of a woefully coarse-grained gas meter. His solution was a pretty neat MacGyver-like combination of a kitty toy laser pointer, photo sensor, dish towel and plastic shopping bag. End result were some accurate graphs of where the gas was going and then some comparison to microwave efficiency.