Printable Modular Origami Ball

Thingiverse user Benoît Josse created this clever plastic & rubbler-band ball:

A few years ago I was interested in Penultimate Modular Origami by James S. Plank folding paper into geometrical spheres.

Now there’s a RapMan in my stable and paper turned into polylactic acid. This is my first printed object, I hope you”ll enjoy it! Can be pressed, stretched, thrown, twisted, and the bow-connectors could be basic elements for connecting rubbers into anything!

[Via MakerBot]


MakerBot TV at Maker Faire

The latest episode of MakerBot TV explores this weekend’s Faire. As you might image, the focus in on the amazing 3D Village that we had set up there, and MakerBot’s presence at the event. They cover Spazzi, Keepon, and BreBot, and interview MakerBot/3D printing enthusiasts Tristan Juan, Forest Crossman, Luis Rodriguez, and Timmy Chao Li. They also show the Turtle Shell Racing action. I love having at least one “geek sport” at every Faire, and Turtle Shell Racing was it for NYC. Great raceway, fun, over-the-top race announcing, wacky races, smack-talkin’, everything you want from such an event. They even had a Becky Stern Mountain on one end of the course, crowned with a 3D print of Becky’s head. I gave the Races one of my Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons. Congrats Michael Overstreet and crew for the good times.

MakerBot TV – Episode 3, Maker Faire


News From The Future: The ATM Is a Lie Detector

Pt 101574

News From The Future: The ATM Is a Lie Detector

Russia’s biggest retail bank is testing a machine that the old K.G.B. might have loved, an A.T.M. with a built-in lie detector intended to prevent consumer credit fraud. Consumers with no previous relationship with the bank could talk to the machine to apply for a credit card, with no human intervention required on the bank’s end.


The Close of World Maker Faire 2011 – Braindrop

My closing moment of World Maker Faire 2011 took place inside of Braindrop, a reflective sculpture by Kate Raudenbush. I took this photo looking up at its chandelier. A perfect moment to remember a great event, and BrainDrop is the perfect word to recall it.

Thanks to all the makers who created this Maker Faire with us. Thanks to the awesome Maker Faire crew who work behind the scenes to create a smooth, supportive and safe event. Thanks to all who came to enjoy Maker Faire this weekend. It was so great to see Maker Faire draw from all New York. I had to keep myself from asking people how they heard about Maker Faire. Everyone seemed so happy and so many makers were talking about all the interactions that they had with kids.

I hope everyone is inspired to keep learning to do and make new things until we do Maker Faire again next year.


Nested Plastic Bottle Caps Give Mosaic Rich Color Palette

As impressive as this bottle-cap self-portrait from artist Mary Ellen Croteau may be, I probably would not have chosen to mention her piece CLOSE, here, if it weren’t for the interesting way that she has used sets of nested plastic bottle caps to achieve a much deeper color palette than would’ve been possible using bottle caps without the nesting trick. Clever![via Dude Craft]


Math Monday: Relativity for Real

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics


A few months ago, this column showed a cut-and-fold paper version of Escher’s Relativity. Here’s a new version, made of nylon by selective laser sintering on a 3D printing machine. The 3D file for this was designed by Oded Fuhrmann and Gershon Elber, who present a number of Escher-inspired objects. I scaled this instance of it to be 9 cm across.

Escher’s design is based on three walls of a cube, with the six axis directions (+/- X, Y, or Z) each understandable as the Up direction in some part of the structure. So it is confusing, but not an “impossible object” or trick of perspective. Below is a view from another angle, which may help make the structure clear.

If you have access to a 3D printing machine and would like to make your own copy of Relativity, the stl file is available here, (c) Oded Fuhrmann (of Google) and Gershon Elber (of the Technion).

See all of George Hart’s Math Monday columns


Angel Wing Weathervane Made from Plastic Bottles

Artist Christene Selleck, member of the artist collective Art on the Street, created “Wing of Desire”, a steel framed kinetic sculpture using over 3000 reused plastic drinking bottles. Displayed at the Union County Musicfest, this piece employs a unique method in its construction — by splitting the bottles along the sides and nesting them within each other, Selleck was able to achieve a veined, feathered look.

The finished product is sixteen feet long and sits upon a steel framed stand that swivels with the shifting wind, lit with color-changing LED bars by night. Creative reuse of common materials in artwork is not only ecologically friendly, but can positively influence the design of the finished product when one takes advantage of their inherent limitations.


Functioning Lego Greenhouse

Our own Rachel Hobson says:

This fantastic greenhouse made entirely of Lego bricks was just unveiled at the 2011 London Design Festival. Designed by Sebastian Bergne, it is made up of around 100,000 Lego bricks.

All parts of the greenhouse are made from Lego elements, including, reportedly, the “earth,” which would seem to imply that the very real vegetables growing inside are sustained hydroponically. [via CRAFT]


Tinkertoy Build Platform

Steve Cooley of Campbell, CA, made this super easy and cool build platform for his kids.

Wow, Tinkertoy is even more awesome if you drill some holes in a board and use it as a building platform. I drilled some holes in different sizes so my kid can plug different things into it. Shoe laces, hoses, DIY flags, audio cables, etc.


Pico Projector + Light Fixture + Free Code = Desktop Spherical Display

Sometimes, I get this feeling like I’ve seen it all—that nothing that comes along is ever going to inspire or delight me the same way that certain ideas, systems, inventions, and/or artworks did when I was younger. It always passes, sooner or later, but while I’m under that spell it can be…well, it can be a bit depressing, honestly. So I feel like I ought to thank International Man of Mystery Nirav Patel, somewhat more personally than usual, for making and sharing this wonderful thing. I am inspired.

He calls it Science on a Snow Globe, and it was, itself, inspired by NOAA‘s Science on a Sphere project. Whereas the Science on a Sphere globe displays are 8′ across, use four projectors and five computers apiece, and cost thousands of dollars individually, Nirav’s system sits on a desktop, projects onto an 8″ frosted glass lamp globe, uses a single laser picoprojector and a single computer, and costs about $200. Nirav writes:

The basic design here is to shoot a picoprojector through a 180° fisheye lens into a frosted glass globe. The projector is a SHOWWX since I already have one, but it likely works better than any of the non-laser alternatives since you avoid having to deal with keeping the surface of the sphere focused. Microvision also publishes some useful specs, and if you ask nicely, they’ll email you a .STL model of their projector. The lens is an Opteka fisheye designed to be attached to handheld camcorders. It is by far the cheapest 180° lens I could find with a large enough opening to project through. The globe, as in my last dome based project is for use on lighting fixtures. This time I bought one from the local hardware store for $6 instead of taking the one in my bathroom.

Nirav printed a custom bracket that holds projector, lens, and globe together in the right arrangement, and mounted the whole thing on a small off-the-shelf tripod. Lots of nummy technical details are available here, and the code, which Nirav wrote himself, is at Github. [Thanks, Matt Mets!]



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