MAKE Magazine

Prosthetics with style


Pt 10631

Prosthetics with style...

Bespoke Innovations is a San-Francisco-based firm founded by industrial designer Scott Summit and orthopedic surgeon/engineer Dr. Kenneth Trauner. Bespoke is using rapid prototyping to make a product with surprisingly little competition in the marketplace: Personalized prosthetics that not only work well, but look freaking cool.
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DIY thermal imaging for under $200


I love the detailed build log for a el-cheapo thermal imaging project.

One of the first things we heard when we started talking to firefighters about the potential for a heads-up display was "give us more and cheaper access to thermal imaging." Being the tinkerers that we are, we thought we'd try to cobble something together with an Arduino and some off-the-shelf sensors. Luckily, some other folks in the Arduino community forged the way, so we didn't have to start from scratch.

[Via @uptowngreen]

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Craftsman and MAKE build the Ultimate Santa's Sleigh

Santa's helpers (students from UC Woodlawn Charter Schools) solder resistors to Christmas LEDs

This holiday season, MAKE has teamed up with Craftsman, Chicago's Butler Street Foundry and hackerspace Pumping Station One to create a number of techie projects as part of the Craftsman Experience store. The main collaboration is an Ultimate Santa's Sleigh, complete with an air cannon, LED lights, and other festive effects. You can check it out on Friday and Sunday nights, from 6:30-7:30pm CT (Live or Online). See the Craftsman Facebook page (click on the Experience tab) for more info and live streaming.

Here, Christina Pei offers her account of the initial phase of design and building the sleigh. —

On Saturday, November 20, a team met to begin building Craftman Tools and MAKE magazine's Ultimate Santa's Sleigh. John Lamonica, Gabriel Akagawa, Glen Trebilcock, and the rest of the team at the Butler Street Foundry, generously offered their space as the meeting and eventual building space. We were joined by special effects artist RJ Hermanowicz, and assistant director of the University of Chicago Woodlawn Charter Schools, Assata Moore. This rag-tag team of metal workers, engineers, artists, designers, and educators started with nothing more than a few pieces of paper, some chalk, and Craftsman Tools catalogs.

Courtesy of Glen Trebilcock and Gabriel Akagawa of the Butler Street Foundry, a scale model of the Ultimate Santa's Sleigh constructed of cardboard and glue sticks

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Image deblurring using inertial measurement sensors


Interesting paper from Neel Joshi, Sing Bing Kang, C. Lawrence Zitnick, Richard Szeliski at Microsoft Research, describing how they mounted 3 gyroscopes and a 3-axis accelerometer on a DSLR to record the camera's motion while a picture is being taken, and used that data to automatically deblur the resulting image at the software level. From their abstract:

We present a deblurring algorithm that uses a hardware attachment coupled with a natural image prior to deblur images from consumer cameras. Our approach uses a combination of inexpensive gyroscopes and accelerometers in an energy optimization framework to estimate a blur function from the camera's acceleration and angular velocity during an exposure. We solve for the camera motion at a high sampling rate during an exposure and infer the latent image using a joint optimization. Our method is completely automatic, handles per-pixel, spatially-varying blur, and out-performs the current leading image-based methods.

Their prototype is built on an Arduino. [via adafruit]


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Make It Last Build Series: A metal stem for an electronic flower



For our second project in the Make It Last Build Series, we're constructing a robotic plant. This week, we're going to build an extendable stem for our plant from a tape measure, and mount it inside of the flower pot. Combined with the plant brain we built last time, we're well on our way to having a functional robot plant!

Just getting started? We suggest you take a look at the announcement post for an introduction to the project and a parts list, then follow along with these instructions to build the brains for the robot plant. If you haven't signed up for the newsletter, now is a good time to do so.

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How to keep your inventions from blowing up


Prolific maker Stephen Hobley has an interesting idea for protecting your wall-powered projects from self-destructing: add a lightbulb in series with them. The lightbulb acts like a current-limiting resistor, preventing your device from drawing more power than it can handle.

Note that this is not the same thing as using a fuse (which you should also do). The lightbulb hack works by restricting the maximum amount of current a device can draw, while a fuse cuts off the flow of power if it becomes too great.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Cooking for Geeks


coverCooking_2.jpgJeff Potter is the author of one of our favorite new books around here, O'Reilly's best-selling Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food. We asked Jeff to put together a collection of some of his favorite cooking gear that he thought other geek cooks might appreciate. Bon appegeek! —Gareth


I jokingly like to divide the world into two types—those that divide people into two types and those that don't. And one such division is people who like to play with toys and those that don't. If you're the former type—the idea of something to tinker with lights up your tree—here are some suggestions for things you can snag (or ask Santa for) that'll be fun to play with in the kitchen.

Thermostatic Controller + Slow Cooker = Awesome
Sous vide, a cooking technique that's essentially ultra-low temperature poaching, is a great way to turn out a fantastic meal. Sure, you have to be careful to properly pasteurize the foods when cooking this way, but with a little care, you can make sure you never overcook anything again. No more dry salmon! The pros use commercial equipment (called immersion recirculators), but for home users, they're still on the pricey side. If you're comfortable with a pair of wire cutters and don't mind the DIY aesthetic, you can make your own rig in around 15 minutes, for less than $100 in parts. To be fair, there are a few consumer units on the market, notably the Sous Vide Supreme and PolyScience. Both are perfectly fine, but a bit expensive. [Ed. Note: Here's another video of Jeff doing this cooker hack.]

TW8060 Digital Probe Thermometer, ThermoWorks, $70

Whether you're baking chocolate chip cookies or roasting a turkey, it's the temperature of the food, not that the environment that matters. Timers are handy for reminding you to check on the progress of something in the oven, but why not directly look at the temperature? Try snagging a fine needle probe to go with this (I've used mine to meter the internal temperature of a chocolate chip in chocolate chip cookies) and geek away. If you don't want to splurge for the fancy unit, at least pick up a digital instant-read probe thermometer. They're more accurate and easier to read.

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Japanese saw handle puffs away sawdust

This nifty Puff Handle by Z-saw keeps your cutting line visible by applying a puff of air to the cutting site with every stroke. From Core77:

As a part of our Hand-Eye Supply duties we test out new product. Yesterday we gave this intriguing Japanese Saw a tryout! It incorporates an internal piston system that "puffs" air from a blow hole on to the work piece using the kinetic energy from the worker's hand motion. The "puff" clears away saw dust so that you can clearly see your cut line. It may seem gimmicky but as Japanese saws enable extremely precise cuts this is an indispensable feature!

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Loveduino, a heart-shaped Arduino board


Over at Make: Japan, Takumi Funada posted this lovely Arduino-compatible Loveduino board. Displayed at Make: Tokyo Meeting 06, you can grab the template here and etch your own!

Oh, and if you've never made your own printed circuit board, check out this tutorial by Collin Cunningham:

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Slick TV-B-Gone build


Not much detail, but I love the look of this handmade TV-B-Gone Flickr user nausk! submitted to the MAKE Flickr pool.


In the Maker Shed:

Super TV-B-Gone Kit

Super TV-B-Gone Kit
Our Price: $21.99
Tired of all those LCD TVs everywhere? Want a break from advertisements while you're trying to eat? Want to zap screens from across the street? The TV-B-Gone kit is what you need! Hack it! NEW! v1.2 now works world-wide!

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In the Maker Shed: Pixel Qi displays

The Pixel Qi screen from the Maker Shed is a revolutionary LCD display technology for your netbook. This one-of-a-kind, plug-and-play 10.1-inch display offers two modes--an easy-to-read, real color, multimedia mode, or a crisp low power e-reader mode. The e-reader mode has 3 times the resolution of the fully saturated color mode, allowing for a high resolution reading experience without sacrifice to super color fidelity for graphics. Upgrade your current display for incredible battery life, and the ability to use your netbook outside in full sunlight.

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Upcoming classes at Madagascar Institute in Brooklyn


Madagascar Institute in Brooklyn, NY have some interesting classes coming up very soon at their Gowanus facility:

Electrochemical Etching with Household Ingredients Dec 9 and 11

This class will teach you to transform flimsy paper images into indelible metal, using easily available materials and the magic of electrical ion transfer. Make authoritative brass plaques to commemorate historical events, street art that won't wash away, or letters guaranteed to make your steampunk sweetheart swoon. The class will cover theory, materials sourcing, prep, and process, and everyone will leave with a finished etch and the knowledge to do it again and again.

Intro to Machining Dec 14 and 21

In this class the student will learn techniques for turning, boring, milling, and tapping all while transforming some aluminum and brass into knuckle rings with a big shiny spike. Machines covered will be the lathe and mill primarily, the band saw, drill press, table grinder for finishing materials, and an array of hand tools - files, hand taps. Everyone will go home with what they've designed and built.

Make Your Own Absinthe Dec 21 and 28

Build your fin de siecle street cred by learning to brew the infamous green liquor at home with almost no special equipment. We'll talk about how to source or grow your own ingredients, flavoring, purifying your finished product, and tasting. You will emerge from the second session with a bottle of finished absinthe made by you!

Intro to MIG Welding Jan 4

Impress your friends, your older brother, and that cute bartender with your tough new skill. This 3-hour introductory welding class will teach you the very basics of MIG welding and familiarize you with the tools you'll need to finish a project- the grinder, the chop saw, etc. MIG welding is the handy hot glue do-all kind of welding, the primary kind of welding used in making traincars, art, cranes, etc. All sorts of people have come thru Madagascar Institute knowing nothing about a shop and have become capable metal workers, get your start here. This class focuses on the hands-on experience of welding. You will learn a little of the theory and tech behind it, but mostly you will get a feel for the manual skill of welding.

Intro to TIG Welding Jan 13

TIG is the welding method used for the most technical and demanding welding applications done, from aerospace to drag racers. Because of this it has a certain mystique and a reputation for being the last type of welding one should try to master. I personally don't think this way. TIG allows the learner to see exactly what is going on as a weld is executed, up close and without being showered in splatter. As such, this class is being offered to anyone willing to find out the hard way that 'metal gets hot when you weld it'.

Photograph by Eric Ogden for a Madagascar Institute profile in Popular Mechanics

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Kinect + Cinder = cool self-portraits


I really like the work Robert Hodgin is doing with a Kinect and Cinder to map a texture onto the Kinect's sensor output. Check out his Kinect pix on Flickr. (Click pix for big.)

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Make: Projects - Light switch time capsule


I get nostalgic when I move out of a home, especially if it's one I've lived in awhile. Leaving a secret treasure or two, stashed here and there, seems to help me get closure. Unlike, say, dropping a note down inside the wall, a note on the back of a switch plate is likely to be found sooner or later, but not right away. I've included a PDF template with a tiny font that makes it easy to fit a 500-word message on the back of a standard 1-gang light switch plate.


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Ginormous mechanized die cast car track


One of the staples of seasonal gifting since the late 1960's, die cast cars such as Lesney's Matchbox and Mattel's Hot Wheels have always been a favorite with car nuts young and old alike. Building loops and straightaways, and seeing who could get their car across the finish line first has always been a right of passage for young makers. Left unchecked this can get a little out of hand. Let's just say that some of us take it to a whole 'nutha level.

Artist Chris Burden and a crew of eight assistants are in the midst of erecting his latest work, titled "Metropolis II". Consisting of 1,200 custom die cast cars cycling across 18 lanes, Burden claims that 100,000 cars circulate through the miniature cityscape every hour. Imagine the box this would come in. [via RetroThing]

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Lego gunge

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