The shape of nothing

Artist wires his brain up to CNC machine… and thinks of nothing

Digital manufacturing is often lauded as the ultimate solution for turning thoughts into reality. But what happens when you want a physical representation of complete lack of thought?

To answer this challenging proposition, London-based artist Gustav Metzger had his brain analysed by an EEG machine while he diligently cleared his mind of all thoughts. The resulting data was converted to a volumetric format and fed into a manufacturing robot, which then carved the piece titled Null Object out of a single block of stone.

Visitors to London’s Work Gallery can see the sculpture of Metzger’s empty thoughts through until February 2013.

via Design Week

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One Line Fonts for laser engraving and CNC milling

A range of fonts ready for your next project.

One Line Fonts offers a good selection of single line fonts. This means that the fonts are defined by a single line without a defined thickness as opposed to conventional fonts that use two lines to define the shape and thickness of letters. This is important for applications like laser engraving and CNC milling, because using a single line font will give you much cleaner text that requires less cutting time (which means lower cost).

Fonts are $7.50 for a Basic package with the most common glyphs for English or $15.00 for a Full package with over 400 glyphs covering most Roman based languages.

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GPS for your power tools

Position-correcting system gives a CNC-like ability to handheld tools.

Alec Rivers, lan E. Moyer, and Frédo Durand of MIT have created a sort of GPS for handheld power tools. A small screen shows the user where to cut, and motors help guide the tool in the correct direction. The user just has to guide the tool in approximately the right direction.

The result is something related to CNC. The advantages are lower cost and increased portability, but it lacks the full automation of a CNC router. Watch the video below for a look at how the system works. (more…)

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GE Garages Making Things Competition

Win $20,000 and a high-profile commission in NYC

Here’s a great opportunity for the thinkers out there. As a part of the GE Garages initiative in collaboration with New York’s Chelsea-based retailer STORY, the call is out for entries to the Making Things Competition.

The goal is to conceive of a spatially stunning window installation that makes use of rapid prototyping technology.  This will then become a part of a new GE Garages pop-up store in New York City, where open workshops are to be held in an advanced lab for technologists, entrepreneurs and everyday makers.

It’s a quick-thinking event, with entries due by September 20 and the winner will be announced four short days after.

“The fabrication will start immediately thereafter and continue up until the installation deadline, October 4. Not only will the winner receive a highly-publicized commission, but will get $20,000 to make it happen.”

(more…)

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3D printed toy records

The future meets the past with this sweet OpenSCAD project

This is a cool project: Instructables user fred27 reverse-engineered the encoding pattern for an old Fisher Price toy record player and developed a method for 3D printing or CNC cutting new records. He’s also written software that allows you to convert your own tunes to play on the forty-year-old toy. This is an excellent demonstration of parametric modeling using the free OpenSCAD software. Brilliant!

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Michael Hansmeyer’s vision for algorithmic design

The theory and goals behind his incredible columns.

We previously mentioned Michael Hansmeyer’s spectacular CNC milled columns. To recap, the columns were designed using a subdivision process in Processing before being CNC milled from 2700 layers of 1mm ABS plastic. He recently gave a TED talk about these columns and, more broadly, his vision for designing with computer algorithms. Using this method allows us to create forms so complex that they cannot be drawn or even imagined.

Via TED

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A CNC mill and 3D printer in a suitcase

Digital fabrication for the mobile maker.

MIT’s Ilan Moyer and Nadya Peek have made the PopFab, a multipurpose CNC machine in a suitcase. The computer controlled platform rests in the bottom of the case, and the arm for the toolhead pops up. Perhaps the best part is that the system is compatible with a wide range of toolhead for various functions including 3D printing, CNC milling, vinyl cutting, and plotting (drawing).

We recently blogged about a related project, the FoldaRap. The FoldaRap looks to be slightly more compact, but it is focused exclusively on 3D printing.

Via core77

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tINDIE: an “Etsy for electronics”

Buy, sell, and request DIY electronics projects

Tindie is a site for buying and selling homemade gadgets, kits and parts that’s being described as “Etsy for electronics”. The site is a one-man operation that came out of a post on the reddit board r/Arduino. The store has only been open for three weeks and already it is full of cool projects, from the practical (like the laser cut BeagleBone enclosure seen above) to the fanciful, like this CNC cut steel Iron Man Arc Reactor below:

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CNC machined Analog Structures

Resource efficient structures

Analog Shelter is part of New Zealand designer Daiman Otto’s Analog Structures project. The cladding system Feel Free was designed to respond to the Shed Light exhibition brief, currently on show in Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. His aim is to produce a series of small DIY, standardized and customisable buildings that anyone can put together without the need for a set of saws and building tools. Feel Free’s exterior cladding encourages interaction by allowing people to touch and manipulate the exterior polyproplyene panels. (more…)

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Wellington’s new Makerspace!

Making enthusiasts can rejoice in taking matters into their own hands

After 3 months of renovations, repairs and randomness, The Wellington Makerspace is finally open for people to turn their ideas into physical things.

The Makerspacers (Makerspacies?) have a workshop for wood-working, a (semi) clean-room, two quiet digital-type spaces and a fledgling chemistry lab. There is a variety of power tools, lathes, band-saws, soldering stations, welding gear etc. Also on the premises are a 3m long CNC Router, a 2m long laser-cutter and an UP! 3D printer. If you can design something, the guys from Makerspace reckon that they have the equipment and expertise in their network to make it.

These making enthusiasts have already gathered a small community – and are hoping to enlarge it… and so on the 14th of June, they are having an opening party… 5.30 until 8.30 pm. If you’re a maker, a fan or just generally curious about how laser-cutters, CNC mills and digital printers work, they welcome you to come along.

See RSVP details on the official invite after the jump

(more…)

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