Code Is Everywhere. Or at least I see it everywhere.
I recently gave out some nice Code.org stickers to my higher level coding students and while going through some of the particulars of how to make rounded rectangle shapes in Processing’s p5.js framework when I realized we were making the base elements of the code.org logo.
This is a pretty basic version that we played with in openProcessing before we moved it to our own hosting to import a font with rounded edges.
This is photo bubble is from the inside of one of the Long House Reserver’s permanent sculptures.
Photo bubbles like this are nothing new, they have been been around for probably close to 20 years, but the ease of use of the Bubbli iPhone app is pretty nice. Apple had their version of a photo bubble with Quicktime VR that allowed you to do it and stitch photos together but it was tricky and very time consuming. Microsoft had an iPhone app a few years ago called Photosynth and it was pretty good but didn’t have great support. The Bubbli version has some neat controls and its guided setup is well done and mostly intuitive. The final element that sets Bubbli apart is the addition of captured audio that I didn’t use because of nearby noise but could make many photo bubbles more engaging. It’s worth a try the next time you’re in an interesting fairly static location without to many moving elements.
Long House Reserve – Buckminster Fuller inspired sculpture
Titled: Fly’s Eye Dome, 1998
Designed by Buckminster Fuller
Produced by John Kuhtik
This is part of a late night crazy idea to make a 3D Printed Sprinkler that had customizable interchangeable screw-on plates that give different patterns. Also it was something fun to make with my new budding Fusion 360 skills.
Ah to be Featured! (it totally made my week) “It was all part of the quest (to be featured) and now that the popularity ride is over it only leaves me wanting more.”
The idea of creating something that could be a “hit” on Thingiverse has been a frequent topic of conversation in the 3D Modeling and Fabrication classes I’ve taught for the past two years. With so much talent on Thingiverse I feel quite lucky to have my 3D Geared Heart featured.
I continue to find it interesting to hear the challenges that some folks have had and the reaction to the model when it works as planned.
The model was meant from the very beginning to be an easy single print (print in place) design that required no support or raft removal. We also wanted it to be something that had moving parts and wasn’t too large or time consuming to print.
Using the “standard” settings on a Makerbot or Ultimaker it usually take only an hour to print and should come off the build plate with moving gears.
Many people have thanked me for sharing my design and some of asked to use it for different purposes. The feedback from the community has been nearly all positive and in some cases touching.
Comment: Thank you for a great design. I run a small charity in the UK, one of the issues is cardiac problems. So I have printed red with white gears which is our charity colours. Our members love them. As do the cardiac staff at the local hospital.
Although there were lots of folks saying nice things it is obvious that there are still going to be people out there that are looking to make a buck off your model. It only took 9 Days until I found it showing up on a website in India being sold for 320 Rs. (~$5USD) .
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to one of my designs. The day I posted the heart on Thingiverse I asked a co-worker if he wanted to print one by which he quickly quipped, “no, I’ll just buy it on ebay next week.”
DATA – the ups and downs of internet popularity
From a data and statistics standpoint it is interesting to look at the climb and fall of the “Featured” items in relation clearly less popular designs. It would be really interesting to be able to see where most of the traffic is coming from and when are the most popular times of the week. Even if that isn’t available it is still nice to get this view:
A Few Final Thoughts…
Talking with people in person I find that most folks quickly get around to the question of “How much money did you make on your design?” Trying to explain that my model has been downloaded over 11,000 (update: 18,000) times and that I didn’t expect any money from it when posting it is something that makes folks question the whole Open Source/Maker movement that I often talk about in the Innovation Lab.
My 6 year old is really in to owls at the moment. Her Owl Themed Birthday party was loads of fun and that led me, as a good hacker Dad, to play around with some of the popular owl models available on Thingiverse.
I borrowed the older Makerbot Replicator Dual for the weekend, mainly to print out an Owl Cookie Cutter I made in Sketchup 8 (that’ll be a different post). But after printing out the cookie cutter I found myself replacing a stepper motor and rebuiling the extruder (that hasn’t worked for a year). To celebrate this rebuild I looked for a good dual extrusion print to try. Since I couldn’t find a good owl one, yes we’re still on an owl kick, I remixed our favorite owl from Tom Cushwa using a Voronoi pattern.
I started with MeshLab and struggled through the soundless tutorial below. Then I took the result and did some MeshMixer boolean runs to create the two separate .obj files. I finished it all off with a trip to NetFabb’s online file repair tool. The whole process took a whole lot longer than I thought it would but so far the results have been pretty nice for a first go at it. (I am tempted to do a video of the whole thing if anyone would be interested?)
Sometimes you run across great models/files on Thingiverse or elsewhere on the net that are solid objects that you’re supposed to print without a “roof” or top layer. The same is sometimes true about printing objects without a floor or bottom.
If you’re using Cura, Slicer or other non-Makerbot software you can find these setting available in the advanced settings, but on Makerware/Makerbot software it is a bit tricker. You’ll need to create and modify a custom profile.
I am not sure why they don’t simply create an “Expert” tab that allows for simple check boxes to turn these features on and off. There have been a couple of folks posting tools to give it that functionality but some of them are more complicated than what we’ve done here.
(Wow, I just checked YouTube and don’t see a video that I thought would be there…. )
To edit your profile: Go to the “Settings” tab and then click and expand the “Advanced options” . At the bottom you’ll see a “Create Profile” button. Click it and give it a meaningful name.
I often put many of the settings in the name title, S2F20L02 (for shells:2, Fill 20%, Layer Height 0.2mm).
Now you can click on “Edit Profile” if you have TextWrangler on your computer then I suggest using that.
These are the lines that I changed in my file. Note that we have two MakerBot printers with dual extruders so I like to make put a temp in for each extruder.
These variables are spread through out the miracle.jason settings file so it might be easier to edit with a program like TextWrangler, which is my preference.
Take Away: Definitely a challenge to print with but the rewards might be worth it depending on your end goals.
It might have taken a day or two worth of fiddling around to get the extruder together on our MakerBot Replicator 2X using MakerBot’s extruder upgrade kit ($8: consists of a spring, bearing and a screw). The instructions for the upgrade on the Makerbot site is for a Replicator 2 (NOT the 2X) and the thickness of the extruder block and how they line up are all different so that was a dead end at first.
I ended up using the Thingiverse extruder files created by 3FPD (our make pic: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:87985) and I finally got the stuff to load without bending and buckling (too much).
Lastly it took a day or two of fiddling with the MakerBot profiles to find the right mix of heat/retraction/speed and so on to get a successful print. (for us it didn’t work with the recommended settings and temps) Above you’ll see some of the prints leading up to the pretty well done Simple Vase print.
The MakerWare (now MakerBot) profile that I used to create the finished “simple vase” and the iPhone 5 bumper posted by Adafruit
At the Ross School, Senior Projects are a big deal. Will is one of the students that we’ve been helping to mentor and he has been working on creating an interactive musical sequencer / MIDI gallery installation for his Senior Project.
Will has been tinkering with a couple of different ways to accomplish his idea. The first one used a SparkFun 4X4 buttons and PCB which had great buttons and beautiful colors… but the number of pins it took was a real challenge.
His most recent version is based on Adafruit’s Trellis platform. After testing a single Trellis board, he fell in love with the system and jumped on the “Hella Untz” which after assembled only takes 4 pins on a Leonardo. Here’s the assembled version and he’s really excited: