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Mar 152015

Spark Sign at NYCR
Next time you visit NYC Resistor, you might notice a new LED clock above the laser room door. It’s built with a surplus AMD1026 one-line LED display that has been re-brained with a SparkCore. Eventually we might take advantage of it being online to interface with the laser reservation system. For more details on interfacing with the hardware and the source code, check out

Mar 032015

Lasers can make tasty treats. I spent some time last night with my friend Brenda Hiller (pictured here) experimenting with using the laser to caramelize colored sugar onto some chocolate tiles. Place a piece of chocolate into the laser (with something food-safe under it, of course), pour on some sugar, and then etch away. We were experimenting with what kinds of shapes we’d be able to etch.

Preparing the chocolate and sugar on the laser Laser etching to caramelize sugar and chocolate

The end result? The caramelized sugar sticks to the chocolate tiles, and it is super tasty. Full writeup and a few more photos on my blog.


Feb 022015

NYCR Nail art makealong

NYC Resistor members Colleen AF and Shelby recently led a workshop on nail art during the first of their 2015 Make-Along Craft class series. Many of the participants opted for laser cut stencils to jazz up their nails — it is totally safe and doesn’t involve putting your hand in the laser.

PCB Nail art

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.

Feb 092014

Voronoi shadows

Given a set of points, the Voronoi tessellation creates a set of convex polygons that each contain one point. They can also be used to randomly generate unique art pieces that cast shifting, lace-like shadows. This one was really quite beautiful until the candle burned through…

Read on for some scripts to make your own and tips for laser cutting them.
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