Consumer hardware and open source software help build a $3500 satellite.
NASA recently put three nanosatellites powered by Google HTC Nexus One smartphones into orbit. Dubbed PhoneSats, they are about the size of a coffee mug. The satellites are intended to demonstrate how the rapidly decreasing cost and increasing power of off the shelf hardware and open source software can be used for a new generation of accessible, low-cost space research. (more…)
Museums across the globe are steadily shaking their dusty old stereotypes, but how far do they actually go in embracing cutting edge technologies?
An interesting publication from MW 2103 by Neely and Langer takes a serious look at the role digital manufacturing can play in paving the way for innovative museums to add value like never before.
Highlighting 3D technologies including 3D printing and 3D scanning in particular, the article paints a positive picture of the way that museums can engage patrons with stimulating, challenging exhibits. You can really see the influence of the rise of the Maker Movement, as shown in the image above where kids learn about 3D printing at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Things get a lot more exciting as you read further, with a “return to materiality” championing physical interaction in an environment that has traditionally been hands-off. (more…)
Innovative concept brings emerging technologies together
No stranger to tinkering with Augmented Reality, Patrik Johansson has gone one step further by combining 3D printed puzzle tiles to create an AR jigsaw that is really turning heads.
The markers were produced in Photoshop, with 3D printing achieved via SketchUp. Making the most of SketchUp’s versatility, the Augmented Reality model uses AR-media’s Plugin to bring the jigsaw to life.
Pushing the boundaries of what is possible with laser cutting, researchers at the Hasso Plattner Institute have discovered how to make 3D objects using a standard 2D laser cutter.
The technique, dubbed LaserOrigami, takes advantage of carefully controlled changes in calibration that are usually the focus of maintaining a clean cut. Instead, a deliberately de-focused laser is used to heat the plastic enough for the material to bend. Gravity does the rest, as the sheet is alternately cut, heated, bent and turned to produce impressively complex forms.
One of the notable advantages of this technique is the speed at which the 3D form can be achieved. Click through for a comparison between 3D printing, traditional laser cutting and LaserOrigami as well as a video of the laser in action. (more…)
If you want to see if you truly understand how a mechanical system works, try making it out of cardboard. Artist Niklas Roy led the construction of a series of cardboard computers, including this plotter, as part of an electronic media class at the School of Art and Design, Offenbach. Watch the video above to see the remarkable sophistication of this mechanical computer. (more…)
Instructables user Patrik has put together a guide for making a simple bioprinter out of and old inkjet print and a couple old CD drives. He has successfully printed bioluminescent E. coli in the form of readable text (image after the jump). Bioprinting is still largely in the research stages for medical and industrial purposes, but DIY enthusiasts are close behind. (more…)
A giant laser sintering printer with a tiny 20 micron layer thickness.
The German automaker Daimler AG has funded a research partnership between the Fraunhofer Institute of Laser Technology and the German company Concept Laser. The result was the X line 1000R system with a build volume is 630mm x 400mm x 500mm (23.6 inches x 15.7 inches x 19.7 inches) and a layer thickness of 20 to 100 microns.
This would be a significant achievement for a plastic or resin printer, but it’s remarkable considering that this is a laser sintering printer for fusing powdered metal. The machine was developed to aid in the production of complex metal parts that are traditionally made using a time- and money-intensive sand casting process.
MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis announced the Replicator 2X 3D printer at the CES technology event. The new printer is equipped with a heated build platform, dual extruders for multiple colors, the ability to print both PLA and ABS, and a 100 micron layer print resolution. It also has a fully enclosed build area with clear plastic windows (that oddly don’t appear to be shown in the above image).
This is arguably their most advanced 3D printer yet. It’s also their most expensive at $2799, clearly reinforcing the transition of MakerBot as a company from inexpensive hobbyist 3D printers to more professional-level machines.
Panasonic has unveiled a new television manufactured with the help of 3D printing. It’s not clear exactly what portion of it was 3D printed; it’s likely the body was 3D printed while the screen and internal components were manufactured traditionally. Regardless, it’s a major step forward to see 3D printing being used in mainstream manufacturing.
First 3D printing was used by major companies to make prototypes, then makers and small companies started using it to produce niche products, and now it seems that the technology has advanced sufficiently for a major corporation to use it for direct manufacturing.
The new 56-inch OLED television measures in at a shockingly thin half-inch thick, weighing a small fraction of equivalent LED TVs. It also boasts a 4k resolution, which is roughly equivalent to putting four full HD screens together.
Arduino audio processor packed in to a bottle full of beats
Everyday sounds become dynamic, ever-changing musical tracks with this student concept by Jun Fujiwara from Tama Art University in Japan.
The Re: Sound Bottle hides some complex electronics behind that sleek outer shell, in order to process and pump out some rockin’ beats.
The bottle begins recording as soon as you pop the cork, and it stores these audio samples to then remix them on demand in a cool rhythmic track. Here’s how Jun describes this mini DJ-in-a-jar:
“I felt something missing in the habitual use of music reproduction media, so I thought to create an interactive music medium that changes. By using everyday voices as sources of music, the sounds that are heard all the time every day carry infinite possibilities and help us reaffirm the enjoyment of music. I hope people can experience their own music.”
Click through to see a perky clip of the Re: Sound Bottle doing it’s thing, and you’ll understand why it was a deserving prize winner at the Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Awards in 2012.