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Published on: July 28, 2013 / Comments: None

Weight distribution algorithm for 3D Printing will make your print balance

balancemathI won’t lie, I have no idea what that algorithm to the left really means.  I can tell you what it means for the 3D printing community however.  The Make it stand team have come up with some long divison that can calculate how your print will balance.  It’s presented in this paper that presented at SIGGRAPH 2013.




While not the most epic thing to come to 3D printing, just the simple fact that people are working on cool new advances in 3D printing makes this exciting.  The technology works by analyzing the internal cavity structure of the object and shifting the fill from one side to the other until it reaches equilibrium.  At this point I didn’t seem to find any references to if this software will be included in another package or what, but keep your eye open for it.

Published on: July 28, 2013 / Comments: None

What does your wireless router sound like?

Joo Won Park is doing some pretty creepy noise experiments.   He runs a site called 100 strange sounds and has some pretty awesome audio experiments.  In this one he is using a telephone pickup device, that is converting the EMF noise into sound.  Then he adds a little bit of post processing that alters pitch and envelope.  The result is some pretty creepy stuff honestly.

Another cool experiment of his (that I’ve seen before) is the no-input mixer.  Which is an audio mixer that is in crazy feedback mode and actually doesn’t have any input going to it.  The inefficiencies of the mixer are fed back into its self looping really really fast creating noise.  Then altering the mixer and knobs / sliders cause it to alter into weirder noise.  I recommend checking out more of his videos, this guy has some really cool experiments going on like playing a pool noodle.

Published on: July 28, 2013 / Comments: None

Some solid tips for designing PCB’s

Michael has put together a really sweet in-depth run down of designing a PCB.  If you’ve never designed your own circuit board but you have done some breadboarding then you need to get with the lingo.  What the hell is a blind via ?  Go check out the article and find out.  If you’ve made boards before, there still might be some tidbits that you didn’t know or at the least take in some of Michael’s process for visualizing how the board is going to go together before laying it out.

This was only part 1, he has a landing page ready for part 2 but at the time of writing this article it wasn’t up yet.  I look forward to reading it when it’s available.

Published on: July 27, 2013 / Comments: None

Code cracking robot goes low-tech brute force

A group of researchers put together this finger pushing robot to crack lock screens on android phones. While I’m sure this will method will work on non-android phones, I know that the IOS lock screen can have a self destruct feature after so many failed attempts. According to the article they will demo this unit at the upcoming Def Con conference in Las Vegas.  Apparently on most phones this thing will find your password in under 24 hours, in some cases minutes using profiling algorithms.

The bot is inspired by a 3D printer design called the delta bot.  I’m sure this will lead to the evolution of different unlock screens using facial recognition or more gesture based unlocks.  The IOS wipe-after-so-many-bad-attempts is also a good solution assuming there is no legal issue with implementing it.

I personally just think it’s cool watching this thing punch away at the screen, but there’s a full writeup over at Forbes about it if you’re interested in learning more.

Published on: July 27, 2013 / Comments: None

Magnets (on stepper motors) How do they work ?

I’m always a big fan of learning more about  Why  vs  How .  Once you understand what’s really happening inside the black box, you can interface with it better after you really know its needs.  Siddharth  is here to school you and teach you more about stepper motors.  If you’re thinking about building things like robotic arms, or 3D printers you’ll most likely use a stepper motor.  DC motors are good for most things, but stepper motors allow you to get accurate with your precise location while giving you lots of power at the same time.

This is one of those articles you need to bookmark for later when you are actually working on something using steppers.  The diagrams showing the differences between 4/5/6 and 8 wire configurations, and Full step, half step and microstepping are going to be valuable to refer back to.  I sware every time I hook up a 6 wire stepper to a 4 wire controller I have to google it each time.

Siddharth also has a follow-up article where he interfaces the stepper to a PIC microcontroller.

Published on: July 27, 2013 / Comments: None

Why not enjoy your very own Arduino light show

I couldn’t turn down this very amusing home made light show.  Matthew has a real talent for choreographing music to his home made LED light show.  Using an Arduino, some servos, and a bunch of RGB LED’s.

The backdrop is pretty simple, white so it reflects the colors well.  I don’t have much details on the entire setup but I would assume he’s streaming some script through the serial port and probably has a manual process of generating the script file.  He has much more patience then most people.

While I’m a fan of the fireflies one, here’s another video of his to the tune of What A Wonderful World.

Published on: July 26, 2013 / Comments: 2

A good start to a CarPuter using a Raspberry Pi and an OBD-II reader

Martin got inspired by another guy doing a similar project using a Raspberry Pi and OBD-II reader on a motorcycle.  So martin got a Pi and and a USB OBD-II reader on the cheap and got it working on his car.  Seeing how the Pi is doing the heavy lifting here I can see a good start to a Car PC that monitors the vitals of your car, and possibly throwing in some multimedia and / or a touchscreen.

Martin has made his fork of the code available here and a little bit of instructions here.  The decoding is done in python so it should be pretty easy to modify or add a PyGTK library for some graphing.