It’s the final countdown. Join us at 3:00 MT today for the Coin-operated Insult Generator edition of SparkFun Live! Together with engineer Mike Hord we will build the HaterMatic, and crush the self-esteem of your enemies while also taking their spare change. At 3:00, the live build can be found on our YouTube channel, or here:
If you need a reminder on the parts required, the list can be found here, and if you need a refresher on how totally awesome the HaterMatic is going to be, here’s the original video:
The MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer represents a huge leap forward for MakerBot, the entire 3D printing industry, and anyone interested in making extra-large prototypes, models, and products.
THINK BIG, BUILD BIGGER
Powered by the new, user-friendly MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform, the MakerBot Replicator Z18 is equipped with a massive build volume of 12 x 12 x 18 inches (2,592 cubic inches!), and an enclosed and heated build chamber designed to minimize curling. That means you can 3D print professional-quality models that are up to one-and-a-half feet (about half a meter) tall.
Need realistic prototypes and complex models? The MakerBot Replicator Z18 offers 100-micron layer resolution. Get smooth-to-the-touch surfaces that don’t need sanding, finishing, or postproduction.
At just $6,499, the MakerBot Replicator Z18 offers a breakthrough advantage with the best price/performance in its category.
COMPLETE YOUR 3D PRINTING WORKSTATION
–MAKERBOT CART FOR MAKERBOT REPLICATOR Z18: Provide ergonomic maneuverability for your MakerBot Replicator Z18 and give your MakerBot Filament Case a rolling home. (Shipping Spring 2014)
–EXTRA LARGE SPOOL SIZES: Make massive models all day long with new XL (5 lb) and XXL (10 lb) spools of MakerBot PLA Filament. (On sale Spring 2014)
–MAKERBOT FILAMENT CASE: Loaded with an XXL spool of MakerBot Cool Gray PLA Filament, the MakerBot Filament Case provides large-capacity storage for your XL and XXL spools. (Shipping Spring 2014)
They’re On Their Way!
This week, the first MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers are starting to ship. Over the coming weeks, eager engineers, designers, researchers, and people who just like to make things will get to experience the reliability, quality, and connectivity of the MakerBot Replicator firsthand. We can’t wait to see what you make!
Free, Full-Featured Software
The MakerBot software team has been hard at work creating a killer app for desktop 3D printing. We’re proud to introduce MakerBot Desktop, a complete, free 3D printing solution for discovering, managing, and sharing your 3D prints.
With the capabilities of MakerBot MakerWare built right in, MakerBot Desktop makes it easy to prepare your 3D model files for printing. In addition, you can use MakerBot Desktop to monitor and control your MakerBot Replicator and store files in your personal MakerBot Cloud Library.
NOTE: At this time, MakerBot Desktop is only recommended for use with the MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer (Fifth Generation Model). Continuing, planned enhancements to the app ensure that it will soon be recommended for all MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers (plus, the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic).
Jetlag’s grim. As you’ll have gathered from Ben’s post on Monday, I found that I was so tired on Monday I couldn’t speak coherently, much less read or write. So I ended up spending the day going through some YouTube videos I’d been pointed at, having decided that this required less energy than typing.
One in particular demanded to be shared.
Here’s a segment from KOMO 4, a Seattle news station. Last week’s news about the collapse of Mt Gox, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, has meant that there’s been lots media interest in Bitcoin, and this video talks about what it is…and, in doing so, visits one of the US’s biggest Bitcoin farms. We were struck dumb (really – jaws resting on chests, drooling slightly) when we saw the footage of how they’re mining: that’s an awful lot of Pis, and even more ASIC miners. We don’t think we’ve seen so many Raspberry Pis in one place outside the factory in Wales where they’re made. Fast forward to 3:08 for a detailed look.
If you’ve emailed our info@ address in the last year, spoken to us about trademarks or talked to us on Facebook or G+, you’ll have bumped into the indefatigable Lorna. She went on maternity leave a couple of weeks ago, and today she had a little boy. Welcome to the Pi family, Ronan Peter: we’re very pleased to meet you!
I know what you’re thinking - “You spelled ‘Arduino’ wrong!” But no so fast! What you see below is theAuduino Step Sequencer - an Arduino-based synthesizer that’ll have you up and dubstepping in no time!
This project comes to you via SparkFun Creative Technologist Nick Poole, a self-described fan of bleeps and bloops. Using an Arduino Mega, a whole slew of buttons, and some clever programming, Nick made a one-of-a-kind step sequencer to make all the sounds you need to get your producing career launched. Here’s the sequencer in action:
On Adafruit Learning System there are a lot of cool tutorials and this particular one is based on the Arduino Micro used to upcycles old Next keyboards:
Ladyada and pt had an old NeXT keyboard with a strong desire to get it running on a modern computer. These keyboards are durable, super clicky, and very satisfying to use! However, they are very old designs, specifically made for NeXT hardware, pre-ADB and pre-USB! That means you can’t just plug the keyboard into an ADB or PS/2 port or PS/2 to USB converter (even though it looks similar). In fact, I have no idea what the protocol or pinout is named, so we’ll just call it “non-ADB NeXT Keyboard”
The book comprises of 16 practical software and hardware projects for the Raspberry Pi – all put together and documented by Andrew and Mike (with help) that are designed to help you better understand the system and become more confident in development of a range of projects. The projects are handily presented in rough order of difficulty, starting with the easier ones to get you going – and move on to more complex ones.
The book covers interactive text based games in Python, graphical games with PyGame, interactive game hardware, application with PiFace Digital, making a toy chicken send tweets, chaotic pendulum hamonographs, car racing and more – as well as a chapter on Minecraft by Sean McManus, and Home Automation by Jonathan Evans.
I wrote on here recently about things you can do with your Raspberry Pi – and this book is crammed full of amazing examples. Books like this and Carrie Anne’s will guide you through a given project and provide you with learning points along the way, which is a great way to learn about Linux, Python, hardware hacking or anything. Beginner or not you’ll learn lots by following the guide set out by experts such as these.
Here are some examples of the projects Mike put together:
PacMan made in Python PyGame:
See more previews of the contents of the book on Mike’s blog!
Matt from Plotly team, sent us this cool video about streaming remote temperature + humidity data with an Arduino Uno and visualizing with Plotly from a mountain edge, in Peachland, BC.
The Arduino (We’re using the UNOr3) was connected to wifi tethering from a mobile (through a WIFI Shield), from there it received data from a DHT22 temperature + humidity sensor and streamed to Plotly’s servers, to be visualized. View streamed data: plot.ly/1023/~demos
120 pounds may seem like a lot of weight to most of us, but for physics teacher Michael Evele and the Robodawgs, a high school robotics team from Grandville, Michigan, it’s a tough constraint when readying their robots for competition. Luckily, nine of Evele’s students are experienced users of the school’s MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printers.
Here’s how the students got their robot competition-ready.
1. Maximize strength and minimize weight
The MakerBot Replicator 2X saved the day when it came to getting the Robodawgs’ robots under 120 pounds. Students experimented with infill settings to get the right amount of load-bearing strength, while minimizing weight by swapping out aluminum parts and swapping in parts 3D printed using MakerBot ABS Filament.
2. Learn better with open-ended problems
“Our students have learned that what they conceive of within their own creative imaginations can be ultimately realized on the 3D printer,” says Evele, who encourages his students to stretch their creative and technical skills to the limit. Evele’s students have demonstrated their 3D printing prowess to their superintendent, visiting educators and college officials.
3. Discover real-world limits faster
Not everything students model on a computer works in the real world. 3D printing is a great way to expose the practical and technical limitations of CAD models.
Sometimes, what [students] learn in CAD class at the high school must be combined with the practical and technical limitations of the real world. What they draw must be drawn in such a way as to be printable by the machine. This is something few high school classes can teach,” says Evele.
4. Log everything
Students keep a careful record of all their successes and failures, an important skill that keeps the rapid prototyping process as rigorous and efficient as possible. By tracking which temperatures and infill percentages work best for each component in the robot, students are practicing scientific method and improving their attention to detail. Keep it up, Robodawgs!
MakerBot Academy and the White House have been encouraging innovation among American youths in an effort to create Makers out of the next generation, with a focus on STEM-based curriculums. MakerBot’s mission to put a MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer in every school in the U.S. is well aligned with the White House’s interests in seeing more designers, inventors, and artists emerge from our nation’s educational system.
The spirit of creativity was evident at the White House Maker Faire, an exhibition of remarkable stories of Makers like last year’s winner Joey Hudy, the 16-year old inventor whose homemade air-powered marshmallow launcher landed him an internship with Dell.
Submit You Own Invention
This year, the White House Maker Faire is back and looking for your contributions to the Maker movement. Fill out the official form, send pictures and videos of your projects to email@example.com, or use #IMadeThis on Twitter. From students, to entrepreneurs, to first time inventors, anyone can submit their creations or projects for consideration.
Need Some Inspiration?
MakerBot has been providing the tools to students and entrepreneurs to create amazing things. Life changing inventions like Robohand have opened up a world of affordable prosthetics that was previously unimaginable, while startups like Kisi have used 3D printing as tenet of their success.
Now you too can share the story of how you’ve been innovating with your MakerBot 3D Printer. Click here to submit your application to have your MakerBot 3D printed innovation showcased at the White House. Like Joey Hudy says, “don’t be bored, make something!”
Space Replay is a project by Francesco Tacchini, a Royal College of Art grad student, and Julinka Ebhardt and Will Yates-Johnson of Design Products:
A hovering object that explores and manipulates transitional public spaces with particular acoustic properties. By constantly recording and replaying these ambient sounds, the levitating sphere produces a delayed echo of human activity.
It’s equipped with a battery-powered Arduino — an Adafruit Wave Shield in order to record and playback audio on-the-fly through a small speaker. In the video below you can see how it moves around:
It actually reminds me of Rover, the large white inflatable balloon protagonist of the 60s sci-fi series the Prisoner! What do you think?
A quick post today: I’m at the airport gate waiting to get on a plane.
I sent out a tweet about this brilliant advertising application of the Pi last week, but so many of you missed it on Twitter and have emailed to tell me about it since then (including one Dr Eben Upton) that I thought it deserved a spot here. Here’s a digital billboard that responds to the wind created by an approaching train.
The advertising agency behind this piece of clever is Åkestam Holst from Sweden, working with production company Stopp for Apotek Hjärtat’s Apolosophy products. Stopp says the ad was scheduled to be run for one day only, but it was so popular that the company which owns the screens asked for it to run for the rest of the week “as a way for them to show the opportunities their screens can offer”. When you think about it, a device like the Pi that can run a full HD digital display and can be hooked up to respond to real-world inputs is ideal for this sort of setup. These guys aren’t the only agency to be using a Raspberry Pi behind digital displays: but this is the best integrated use of the device I’ve seen in this context, and it’s made for a very powerful piece of advertising.