Miniature wooden forest creatures liven up tiny landscapes
With the holiday season fast approaching and Ponoko’s laser cutting deadlines closing even faster, here is a very cute gift idea that can be whipped together quite quickly.
Terrariums have a whimsical otherwordly feel to them, whether they are dangling in antique glassware at your local hipster café or nestled in the corner the Science lab at school. Instructables user Jodi Lynns posted a tutorial on how to make mini terrariums complete with teeny little laser cut critters that help give a new narrative to these snapshots of the natural world.
The Instructable starts off with handy advice on how to prepare and maintain the terrarium itself, which can be quite useful if you’ve never done this kind of thing before. Laser cutting the forest creatures is a straightforward process – source images, create the simple vector artwork for laser cutting and then turn that patch of nature into a living storybook.
For many people, keeping indoor plants happy is a task they just can’t get their heads around. The mysterious fine line between care and over-indulgence; occasional attention and neglect… the simple truth is that we don’t all have a green thumb.
With this laser cut arduino-driven project from Instructables user 10DotMatrix, some of the guess work is taken care of. An array of solar panels mounted on 3D printed brackets track the direction and strength of the sun, and then navigate the unit into the optimal position for maximum sun exposure.
Combine this with the clever Plant Friends moisture sensor and you could be well on the way to creating an arboreal cyborg.
A lot of thought has gone in to how to achieve this, so if your indoor plants could do with a techno-makeover, check out the project page over at Instructables.
Your Geranium is texting you – thanks to Plant Friends
Some of us are blessed with a natural talent for caring for our houseplants. Others, however, struggle with merely keeping our houseplants alive.
For those of us born without a green thumb, Plant Friends are here to help save the lives of innocent plants everywhere.
Plant Friends is a moisture sensor system that monitors the air temperature, humidity, & soil moisture of of your indoor plants that will alert you via email or text message when your plants are thirsty.
Fabric-inspired pattern knits together like a 21st century chainmail
Here is an interesting way to use laser cutting to produce a dynamic, malleable surface. Inspired by the structure and physical characteristics of certain fabrics, Scales from Japanese designer Shino Onodera is beautiful in its simplicity.
An intricate woven material is constructed from laser cut repetitions of a single simple wiggly pattern. Onodera experimented with a number of different materials to test the structural integrity of the design, with these images showing the version made from tracing paper.
Demonstrations of the laser cut Scales were featured in an exhibition at Japan’s prestigious Keio University, including sheets suspended from the ceiling and examples of the pattern applied in different materials.
What would you make if you could laser cut your own fabric?
This was much easier than it may otherwise appear thanks to the interactive setup at jsfiddle.net, a fantastic resource that some refer to as a ‘playground for developers’. Here is a screenshot of the number crunching that makes Maxime’s lamp possible:
Ponoko laser cut Kickstarter trains you to fall asleep. Eyes closed, now breathe…
Chasing those Z’s is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to this nifty innovation from Jeremy Wilson on Kickstarter. The Sleep Sensei sits on your nightstand and gently guides you towards a deep, restful sleep.
How does it do this? To some insomniacs, such an achievement may sound like pure magic, but there is some serious science behind the device. Jeremy’s own insomnia saw him trial numerous sleep aids before he set out to use his Arduino skills to sort out their collective shortcomings.
The functional laser cut prototype pictured above is at the core of this Kickstarter campaign, with the final design yet to be revealed. The key technology has all been sorted out already, as can be attested by an overwhelmingly positive outcome from product trials on real sleep-challenged volunteers.
“The Sleep Sensei primarily helps those with sleeping problems caused by stress or an overactive mind at bedtime.”
If you are one of those creative over-achievers who just can’t stop their mind racing at the end of the day (we probably all know at least a few people who fall into that category!) then head over to Kickstarter to discover more about The Sleep Sensei.