Jul 062012

Titanium Anodizer and 9v batteries

After blowing the circuit breaker and fusing a dimmer coil with a bridge rectifier at 130v DC, it was time to start small — one 9v battery at a time.

I’ve been wanting to anodize titanium and use the laser to create masks for the different colors. Translucent oxides form on titanium with heat or voltage. (I also tried lasering colors into niobium, which oxidizes similarly to titanium, but didn’t find the color band with the CO2 beam — just grey/black.) With both niobium and titanium, each volt corresponds to a thickness of oxide and refraction of a color. If you start at the highest voltage and work your way down to the lowest voltage for the colors you choose, theoretically, you can strip off the protective tape mask after each color is obtained and the thicker oxides (higher voltages) will be unaffected by lower voltage oxide layers. In essence, when anodizing with a tape mask, you are using a reductive method of printmaking like linoleum block printing, only the ink is an oxide layer.

How it works – DC voltage is applied to the surface of the titanium/niobium with a sponge clipped into an electrode. The ideal electrolyte to complete the circuit is phosphoric acid, so you wet the sponge with cola, or a solution of TSP, Cafiza, or Miracle-Gro. Two factors determine the oxide layer thickness: Voltage and time. If you vary the speed of your sponge with the electrolyte across the titanium, you’ll get a variety of colors due to incomplete oxidation at and below that voltage. It’s also possible to make a gradient by starting slowly and speeding up as you sponge across the metal.

The image above shows voltage swatches from 1v to 140v. (Most of the swatches haven’t been oxidized yet.) The little squares were cut with the laser into clear packing tape and peeled off for their specific voltage. The first yellow swatch was easy — one 9v battery. As the batteries were chained in series, the voltage was read (some were weaker) and the corresponding swatch was oxidized. 99v (12 batteries) is a beautiful green that I will definitely use again. The red at 18v is also noteworthy. When the new rectifier arrives, I’ll fill in the in-between voltages on the swatch sheet. It’s really liberating to be able to anodize without a $500+ commercial anodizer.

Invader and DeadMau5 rings

A little background on my motivation: I have a daily project (ringaday.com) that continually challenges my creativity and craftsmanship. NYC Resistor is the perfect environment to explore a variety of mediums, processes, and ideas. I’m partial to the laser. It puts the rapid in rapid prototyping. Join us for Craft Night one Thursday evening and come away with inspiration for your creative idea.

DeadMau5 Titanium Ring

 Posted by at 1:08 pm
Apr 212012

Come learn the basics of iPhone and iPad development! This 3-hour class will introduce you to the high-level concepts of the iOS SDK, the Objective-C language, the Xcode IDE including Interface Builder and the iOS build system, MVC using UIKit, Apple’s most common and useful frameworks, networking using web services, and much more! This class is offered April 28 and is taught by Resistor members Chris Beauvois and Jon Santiago.

Sign up at Eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2837754801

 Posted by at 12:32 am
Aug 242011

You asked and we created our first-ever WordPress class. Dive into the wonderful world of WordPress with this overview class that introduces the main features of the popular blogging software as well as highlights its extended capabilities. The class is presented in two sessions in a single long afternoon with a 15 minute snack break in the middle.

Sign up at EventBrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1923446079

 Posted by at 12:37 pm
Aug 112011

This Sunday you can learn to use our Epilog 35 watt laser to rapid prototype that idea you’ve been kicking around. If you’ve got a project, a plan, or if you just want to make an enclosure for your arduino, Astrida will walk you through the steps A-Z. This hands-on class will introduce you to laser cutting, materials, and file preparation.

Register at EventBrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1913881471

 Posted by at 4:06 pm
Aug 112011

We have a few slots left in Saturday’s Intro to HTML/CSS class. You’ll be in good hands with professor Alexis, who has vast experience serving the demands of corporate clients. Although she’s got the chops to code for the big dogs, she’ll give you what you need in an easy-to-understand workshop. You’ll be able to make a website with style when you’re done.

Register at EventBrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1987212807

 Posted by at 3:51 pm
Aug 042011

XKCD 353

XKCD 353

There are a few spots left in our Introduction to Programming. Taught by our very own Kellbot!

Learn basic programming concepts in this introductory class. This class is aimed at people who have never programmed before, and we’ll start by learning our way around Python. We’ll cover data types, control flow statements, and a few common libraries used to write programs.

Sign up for this class at EventBrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1865053425

 Posted by at 4:09 pm