A Dallas drone hobbyist was flying his rig around one bright Texan afternoon, scouting the skies, when he hovered across something perturbing: an enormous, oozing river of blood behind a meatpacking plant.
Veteran Thingiverse user Tony Buser has printed a model (intended to be an approximation of the fractal Hilbert curve) using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as a support material. Once everything is printed and cooled, the PVA is dissolved away in a glass of water, leaving only the polylactic acid (PLA) model. This technique, when perfected, should allow RepRap-style FFF printers to produce objects with overhanging parts that are currently very difficult, or impossible, for them to print. Tony used two of MakerBot’s Mk7 extruders mounted on a Thing-o-Matic.
Two years ago I wrote about what a delight it was to discover the UT-Austin School of Architecture’s Materials Lab when I was on campus there, and it seems appropriate to resurrect the topic in honor of our theme this month. Kevin Kelly just posted a roundup of major materials libraries around the USA over at Cool Tools, and I was surprised to discover that UT’s, which is decades old, was one of the first in the country.
Publicly accessible materials libraries are usually associated with universities, and there is at least one major subscription-based commercial materials library with branches in eight major cities. I’ve been poking around trying to find a geographic listing of materials libraries with no success, so I thought I’d throw this one out to the readers: Is there a materials library near you? If so, please share in the comments!
Need a hand? Build your own with the Telerobotic Gripper Kit from the Maker Shed! This kit includes everything you need to make the Teleclaw featured in MAKE: Volume 27, right down to the batteries. Assemble the kit and attach the Teleclaw to your robot, rover, or anywhere else you could use a grip. The pre-programmed Picaxe microcontroller interprets commands from the IR remote to make the gripper open and close. Have a look at the Make: Project build for more information and directions.
Andrew and his brother built this great ping-pong ball launcher out of salvaged and repurposed parts. I especially like the 13-ball hopper made from two paper towel tubes taped together, and the clever K’Nex-controlled release mechanism. The launcher is controlled with an Arduino connected to a computer and activated via a remote desktop app from a phone or iPod Touch. See this video for an explanation on how it works.
I like these hand-forged oyster knives from Kirk Davis and Michael Waller of Carolina Shuckers enough to actually consider eating a raw oyster, so long as I got to use one to open it, first. Reminds me of the work of Tai Goo. [via Dude Craft]