If you’re interested in making your hardware open source, check out my new book, Building Open Source Hardware! It contains a how-to guide and checklists for many aspects of open source hardware: manufacturing, licensing, and business in open source hardware to name a few. In the spirit of democratization, different authors have written each chapter, many friends of Resistor, and Resistor member Catarina Mota also has a chapter in the book!
Don’t take my word for it, check out this review:
“This book is one you can judge by it’s cover. It is everything you need to know about how to work on an open hardware project from cradle to grave. It is a solidly researched book that doesn’t skip an issue because it is hard, nor is all the content from one person or organization. This has produced a product which is informative to a degree that it is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” -Aaron Harper (read the whole review.)
Also check out the NYC inspired kit to practice making open source hardware derivatives:
Remake the kit to be a landmark or building in your area, and together, we can build the world! (Godzilla not included.)
You can buy the kit from me, or get both the book and the kit at Sparkfun.
Have you ever envied those beautiful green PCBs that all modern electronics have? Do you want to kick up the professionalism in your projects with a real PCB? Would you like to simply learn how to better document your circuits with a nicely done schematic?
If you’ve ever wanted to make something thermochromatic, electrochromatic, or inflatable with laser cut lace, a custom RGB LED silk flower, and antique conductive thread then check out my new 21st Century Fashion Kit collaboration with sparkfun. Here’s a look at what you can make:
The kit was two years in the making since some of the items were hard to come by. So I am excited about the selection of experimental materials it offers. In the kit you will find:
Inflatable Materials- Inflatables are my favorite thing to send down the runway, because they transform and change shape when the blower is turned on. I like to prototype inflatable shapes by fusing together a certain type of plastic tablecloth with a traditional clothes iron. Included is a tablecloth with a lace pattern, battery, and fan. Instructions for creating inflatables are on the kit website.
Sapphire Blue Thermochromatic Pigment- that can be mixed with nail polish, paint, clay, etc. to make colors that change with varying temperature . I chose a very specific shade of blue (similar to Yves Saint Laurent’s #18 Blue Majorelle nail polish), that when mixed with red to create purple or orange to create taupe, or yellow to create jade, will create shades that are on trend.
Electrochromatic Materials- The MOSFET power controller, conductive thread, and battery you will need to make your thermochromatic design electrochromatic (changes color with electricity). Tutorial is also on the kit page.
RGB LED Silk Flower- handmade by a 4th generation, family owned silk flower manufacturer in the garment district.
Laser Cut Lace Leather Skull- Everyone should have the opportunity to play with something laser cut. I designed the lace with holes sized specifically to fit around 5mm LEDs, because laser cut things are even better when blinky.
Antique Conductive Thread- I love to look through trim supplier warehouses for unused antique/vintage stock. I spend the day digging through piles of boxes. One day I found a box of shiny antique thread from the 1930’s that felt cool to the touch, which made me think that it might be conductive. Sure enough it was, with very low resistance! My jewelry manufacturer tested the thread, and believes that it is gold plated. I find it amazing that something from the 1930’s is perfect for integrating technology with fashion today.
And some violet LEDs, coin cell batteries, and needles…
We here at NYCResistor talk a good game about Dioramas, but it’s pretty rare to see any action taken (although full credit goes to our member Shelby for providing great Dioramas for multiple past Interactive Shows!). This weekend provided just the right combination of terrible weather and 3-day-weekendness to motivate me to make it happen. This project combines both my love of dioramas and my long-held passion for paper mache volcanoes. My wife and I created this enchantingly tiny realm perched on the precipice of total annihilation using newspaper, water colors, some tiny drink umbrellas, and other misc. objects found lying around the house. Note the family of 3d-printed Nessies visible in the shallow waters near the photo-realistic beach.
From our member Adam:
It’s been conjectured that the eruption was in fact triggered by the weight of the enormous half-mile steel flagpole installed on the northern shore, and that it was the memory this incident that scotched the original plan for a half-mile steel flagpole to be installed on the moon during the Apollo program.
And now watch it in all of its anti-climactic glory:
The gauntlet has officially been thrown, 4th graders!
Here’s some updates to our Burning Man project, The Temple of the Unticketed. We finished and submitted our proposals to Burnging Man Arts. You can find the proposal, budget and project plan in our GitHub. We worked really hard dotting the eyes and crossing the tees, hopefully they’ll notice and support the project. While we wait we continue to work.
Max has made good progress on revB of the BeagleBone cape. Unfortunately the boards to hook up the TFTs got lost in the mail. No, really. OSH Park is sending us another batch for free, so thanks to them for that! Once we get those we should be able to try a scaled up test.
Finally I managed to get a first pass at the virtual installation done. It’s my first pass at anything non-trivial in three.js so it might be a little rough around the edges. Any vignettes you create will go up on the virtual installation. Try it out!
It’s something of a rite of passage for hackers and electronics tinkerers to put together an LED Cube. It’s a great way to build something from a relatively minimal amount of components while building knowledge of diodes and microcontrollers, as well as a test of soldering skill. It’s also something that I’d never done myself, so I set out a few weeks ago to put one together.
I found plenty of illustrated guides online; Instructables has at least two: http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Cube-4x4x4/ and http://www.instructables.com/id/The-4x4x4-LED-cube-Arduino/ are quite good. Putting the cube itself together was a great challenge and took me a day or two. However, once that was all done I found that the software was a bit of an afterthought (and in some cases left almost entirely as an exercise to the constructor.) So this weekend I spent some time putting together a C library for Arduino (or Arduino-like) microcontrollers for controlling a 4x4x4 LED cube (although it could easily be adapted for different sizes.
Last weekend was the awesome Art Hack Day hackathon, organized in part by Resistor member David Huerta and Resistor friend Shayna Gentiluomo. Artists from all over were invited to the awesome Pioneer Works space in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where they met, brainstormed, and executed on a wide array of ideas spanning many mediums, in less than 48 hours.
I showed up uninvited, glued a Beaglebone Black to a Pringles can, and ended up with a note on Makezine:
Built with an A-version BeagleBone Black, this WiFi Taser by Max Henstell turned a Pringles can into an antenna gun of sorts, using Python to send deauth packets to knock nearby laptops off wi-fi.
Resistor member Adam Mayer and 3D artist Bradley Rothenberg put together this awesome robot utilizing a broken security camera that I rescued off the Google building after Hurricane Sandy:
Last Robot Left Alive, by Bradley Rothenberg and Adam Mayer. The installation postulated the resurrection of a broken security camera that fell to the ground, likely due to wind sheer from Hurricane Sandy.
My silent favorite of the show wasn’t operating optimally, but I know where this one comes from. Monster Mash, by Olivia Barr and Ariel Cotton, turned upcycled junk into a creature from the Gowanus Canal, a nearby Superfund site with record levels of pollutants.
I wrote a quick Nail Art HOWTO if you’re curious how the process works. It is very surprising how much fine detail you can transfer with the right nail polish and some practice with the technique. Those traces would work for 0603 SMD parts without too much difficulty if we could find the right conductive paint and power supply.
Sometimes I want to fabricate things that are larger than the build volume on my 3D printer or to make things that are hollow and can be covered with fabric to diffuse LEDs inside. To help out with that, I’ve written a program that will generate 3D printable versions of just the vertices — the resulting object looks like a real-world wireframe of the STL file. This also lets you use other materials for the edges, like wooden dowels, laser-cut acrylic or aluminum extrusion, and makes it easy to cover with stretchy fabric.
The wireframe program parses the STL file, finds all of the unique vertices, eliminates coplanar edges and generates connectors for the ones that remain. It isn’t very smart about some of the intersections of very acute angles, and the output OpenSCAD file needs some cleaning up before it is ready for printing, but simple low-poly shapes can be fabricated without too much effort.
More info is at trmm.net/Wireframe and the source is available. I’ve also posted the dodecahedron that you can make with regular unsharpened pencils from the office supply closet: thing:653464 on thingiverse. I hope you have fun making large-scale things!