Sweet FDM/FFF 3D Printed Wargaming Minis

I wrote more than a year ago about the community designing, printing, and selling custom tabletop gaming miniatures using contract 3D printing services, like Shapeways, that have access to expensive high-resolution SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) rapid prototyping machines. Miniatures produced by SLS can look almost as good as those made by traditional sculpting and casting methods, and depending on the particular artist and design, sometimes better.

Until I saw these recent Warhammer 40K designs from Thingiverse user 3dYeti, however, I thought good-looking gaming minis were beyond the capabilities of hobby-scale desktop FDM/FFF (Fused Deposition Modeling, which is a trademarked term AKA Fused Filament Fabrication, which is not legally encumbered) printers like those from MakerBot, MakerGear, Ultimaker, etc. Guess I was wrong!

Shown uppermost is user Kerry’s print of 3dYeti’s 7-part Leman Russ tank, and below that, two prints of his Imperial Guard sentinel, at different scales and in different colors.  Nice work, guys!

Check out our WH40K archives


DON’T MISS IT! Make: Live Hackerspace Roadshow

We’re broadcasting shortly! This episode of Make: Live is another Hackerspace Roadshow, where we take you to five hackerspaces across the globe. Meet makers and tour the spaces of:

Make: Live 21: Hackerspace Roadshow II
Wednesday November 30, 9pm ET/6pm PT
Watch at or on UStream
Please join us in the UStream chat or mark tweets with #makelive to interact live with the show.

We also give away a fabulous prize from Digi-Key to one chat member who can solve our photo challenge (suggest a prize!). This episode:

Want to show us your project? Upload a video or photos and send a link to

Make: Live 6/08/11 — Hackerspace Roadshow (video)


Secret Santa: John Baichtal – R/C Helicopter

I drew John Baichtal for my Secret Santa gift exchange. Having never hung out with John in person (he lives in Minnesota), I have to rely on what I know of him through his blog posts and internal emails. Of course, I considered something in the Lego realm – he just came out with the book The Cult of LEGO! But really, any Lego-related gift I could come up with would probably pale in comparison to the stuff John already has. I’d be merely dipping my toe in the water in which he lives and breathes.

So, I went in a different direction. We’ve been playing with R/C helicopters in the office recently, which is what inspired this gift. Here you go, John: a fiberglass R/C helicopter kit, a ready to fly (RTF) model from Titan. Isn’t it neat? Happy holidays! Just don’t get yours caught in the pull cord for your venetian blinds, like someone here in the office did (with a different R/C helicopter).


News From The Future – Crowd Sourced T-Shirt Vending Machines

2011 11 22 Threadless6
A Threadless kiosk at a Dominick’s at 2550 N. Clybourn. Image Credit: Matt W.

News From The Future – Crowd Sourced T-Shirt Vending Machines

…the automated kiosk is part of a pilot program Threadless entered with Coinstar, Inc. Many of us have used Coinstar to cash in large amounts of change at some point. The company is also responsible for the Redbox video rental kiosks that are ubiquitous at retail locations such as drugstores and supermarkets.

The kiosks offer currently carry t-shirts from small to extra-large for both men and women. Since the program is in test mode, Threadless decided to only offer t-shirts currently available on their website The kiosks also offer hoodies, totes, water bottles, and onesies. they accept credit, debit, and prepaid cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

You can imagine popular shirts being designed and actually printed on demand in kiosks too. And after that, 3D printing kiosks you send files to and pick up later…


Catching Up with Open Source Ecology

One of the many cool open source initiatives we’ve been keenly following here at MAKE is the Open Source Ecology project and their Global Village Construction Set (GVCS). They’ve been on our radar ever since they won our Green Project Contest at the beginning of the year. The idea behind GVCS is simple, and ingenious. Identify the most critical tools necessary to build a civilization (they’ve ID’d 50), create an open source infrastructure to design, manufacture, assemble, and distribute low-cost, sustainably-made versions of those tools, and use the internet to build a global community of people to support the project. In this TED talk video, founder Marcin Jakubowski explains the basic mission of Open Source Ecology and GVCS:

Since we last checked in with them in February, they’ve been hard at work on their “Factor E Test Farm,” a place where they can experiment with and test out many of the tool designs and techniques that they are developing. They put out regular video reports documenting their progress. Here is the latest one:

One of the things they’ve been working on are tools to rapidly create mud bricks (which you can see in the above video). Here’s the machine they built, the “Liberator” Compressed Earth Block Press:

They’ve also been loading instructions for building the CEB press into Make: Projects and we’re thrilled by that. Here’s the main CEB build directory on Make: Projects and below is one of the sub-projects, assembling the main pressing cylinder:

Fitting the Main Cylinder

To find out more about Open Source Ecology and GVCS, visit their website and project wiki.

Open Source Ecology: Interview with Founder Marcin Jakubowski

This post is sponsored by the Chevy Volt.


Autonomous Ocean-Crossing Robots Launched

Here’s a clip of Liquid Robotics founder and CTO Roger Hine talking, at the most recent Bay Area Maker Faire, about the innovative design of his company’s Wave Glider robot boat, which converts the up-and-down motion of waves at the surface into energy for propulsion. More technical details are available on Liquid Robotics’ site.

On November 17, Liquid Robotics launched four Wave Gliders from San Francisco, and are currently streaming data from several on-board instruments, at a resolution of one or two reports per minute, in near-real-time, via the Iridium satellite network. Those data are freely available here.

All four Wave Gliders are bound for Hawaii, where they will split into two pairs, one of which will head to Japan, and the other to Australia. IEEE Spectrum is reporting that Liquid Robotics “aims to break the Guinness world record for longest unmanned ocean voyage” with the trip, though I have not been able to confirm that Guinness actually has such a record currently established, nor what it may be. [Thanks, Glen!]

Record-vying transatlantic robot submarine at sea


Using Quadrotors to Assemble a Building

A clever idea, first reported by Gareth a couple years ago: Architects are trying to figure out how to use quadrotors to haul and place individual bricks. The above link is in French; here’s a Google translation.

In 2011, Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello D’Andrea launched a pioneering project around training dynamic and robotic procedures applied to architecture. Belonging to the younger generation of architects exploiting the digital tools in the architectural design and construction, Gramazio & Kohler join the engineer Raffaello D’Andrea, whose work concerns the study of algorithms and development of systems autonomous innovation. Together, they hired Flight Assembled Architecture, an architectural research on the potential of a revolutionary assembly tool, revealing joint spatial and material previously unpublished.

Flight Assembled Architecture is the first installation entirely by flying robots. Designed as an architectural structure on the scale of a “vertical village” of 600 meters, Assembled Architecture Flight testing a new paradigm of design and manufacturing, through a physical process of automated dynamic training. This project builds on the simultaneous use of multiple mobile agents. Considered as tools for adaptive production, these flying robots are programmed to interact and to capture, transport and assemble the modules to build architectural structures. They synthesize and the pragmatism of Gramazio & Kohler Architecture and visionary approach to Raffaello D’Andrea in engineering dynamics. The FRAC Centre supports this new project, which will then in its collections devoted to experimental architecture. This collaborative project will be exposed only to the FRAC Centre in Orléans.

After an initial phase of several days devoted to assembly and assembly by robots flying a model of 6 m high and 3.5 m in diameter – made of polystyrene foam modules 1500 prefabricated – the exhibition will the “megastructure” in its final form, and a film performance and restoring the entire design process.



Make: Live is Tonight! International Hackerspace Roadshow

It’s tonight! This episode of Make: Live is another Hackerspace Roadshow, where we take you to five hackerspaces across the globe. Meet makers and tour the spaces of:

Make: Live 21: Hackerspace Roadshow II
Wednesday November 30, 9pm ET/6pm PT
Watch at or on UStream
Please join us in the UStream chat or mark tweets with #makelive to interact live with the show.

We also give away a fabulous prize from Digi-Key to one chat member who can solve our photo challenge (suggest a prize!). This episode:

Want to show us your project? Upload a video or photos and send a link to

Make: Live 6/08/11 — Hackerspace Roadshow (video)


Kit-A-Day Giveaway: Learn to Solder Badge Kit

We’re giving away amazing kits from our new Make: Ultimate Kit Guide EVERY DAY — thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, including MakerBots!

To celebrate the release of our latest publication, the Make: Ultimate Kit Guide 2012 (and its companion website), we’re giving away at least one of the cool kits reviewed in the issue each day during the holiday season.

Today’s kit giveaway of the Learn to Solder Skill Badge may not be as glorious as some of the other items but we’re giving you 25 of them! In addition, we are throwing in a Variable Temperature Soldering Iron so you and 24 friends can learn to solder together.

It’s the perfect giveaway for hackerspaces, schools, or people that really like things that blink (a $79.99 total value.) Here is the review from the issue:

Thousands of people mastered soldering for the first time at this year’s Maker Faire events in the Maker Shed’s “Learn to Solder” tents, with the helpful coaching of Mitch Altman, Jimmie Rodgers, and dozens of other hackerspace volunteers. Participants left the Maker Shed with smiles on their faces, new skills, increased confidence, and a cool flashing LED badge to show for it. It’s the perfect gateway project kit for groups, after-school classes, or just for yourself.

To be eligible for today’s giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment below in this post. The entry period for today’s prize will be until 11:59pm PST tonight. We’ll choose one person at random, you’ll be notified by email, and you’ll have 48 hours to respond. The Winners List is kept on the Giveaway landing page. That’s it! No purchase necessary or anything else to do. Please leave only one comment per post. You can enter as many giveaways as you like until you win. This giveaway is for US residents only. You also must be 18 years old to enter (Kids: Ask your parents to enter). See the Kit-A-Day Giveaway landing page for full sweepstakes details and Official Rules.

Day 4 and 5 Giveaways: The Day 4 winner has been notified. They have 24 hours left to respond.  The winner of Day 5 has been notified. They have 48 hours left to respond.


New in the Maker Shed: BeagleBoard BeagleBone

The BeagleBoard BeagleBone has just arrived in the Maker Shed in a limited quantity. It’s a low cost, high-expansion, hardware-hacker focused BeagleBoard for people that love embedded Linux systems. The ‘Bone is basically a bare bones BeagleBoard and can run alone as a full-featured Linux machine and development environment. It can also act as a peripheral or expansion for your current computer or regular BeagleBoard by connecting via USB or Ethernet. The BeagleBone is small even by BeagleBoard standards and with high-performance ARM capabilities, the BeagleBone brings full-featured Linux (Angstrom) to places it has never gone before.

  • Board size: 3.4″ x 2.1″
  • TI AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8-based microprocessor.
  • Shipped with 2GB microSD card with the Angstrom Distribution with node.js and Cloud9 IDE
  • Single cable development environment with built-in FTDI-based serial/JTAG and on-board hub to give the same cable simultaneous access to a USB device port on the target processor
  • Industry standard 3.3V I/Os on the expansion headers with easy-to-use 0.1″ spacing
  • On-chip Ethernet, not off of USB
  • Easier to clone thanks to larger pitch on BGA devices (0.8mm vs. 0.4mm), no package-on-package memories, standard DDR2 vs. LPDDR, integrated USB PHYs and more.
  • Future expansion cards will add additional functionality (like DVI and HDMI output)
  • NOTE: Requires USB A to Mini B cable for programming.



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