Posts Tagged ‘cat’

MindWave Cat Ears: Interview With Josh DiMauro

Earlier this year, videos circulated revealing prototypes of Japanese “nekomimi1 — robotic, wearable cat costume ears that bend, twist and re-orient based on a wearer’s mood and brain activity. This impressive, if whimsical, engineering feat makes a great deal more sense within the context of the endless repetition of the motif of catgirls in Japanese manga, anime and cosplay.2 But even beyond these cultural associations, anyone who has spent time with a housecat has probably noticed the expressive qualities of cat ears.

Ever since the high-end tech demos surfaced, DIY Makers world-over have been experimenting with how to accomplish this type of project using components at least a few orders of magnitude cheaper than research-grade brain scanning equipment. In fact, MakerBot R&D staffer and anime-fan Benjamin Rockhold has a folder full of mechanical and arduino sketches to address this very chibi-awesome design challenge.3

Well, MakerBot Operator Josh DiMauro not only beat everyone to the punch, he has brought the whole project in at a price that has kickstarted an entire branch of DIY, affordable brain-mappable appendages with his MindWave Cat Ears project on Thingiverse. And he was able to accomplish his mission quickly over the course of scores of iterations thanks to his MakerBot Cupcake!
Follow below the fold for a quick interview with Josh in the wake the posting of his own tech demo video (at the head of this article).
Read the rest of this entry »

  1. combination of Japanese words for “cat” and “ears” []
  2. There are further recurrences of this image in the darker crevices of the Internets — I suggest you neglect to investigate further. []
  3. He is both delighted, and disappointed, that someone else got there first. []
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New user-created build timelapse!

Maker Bot No.4421 Timelapse from crypto_b on Vimeo.

As you know, we can’t resist a nice timelapse here at MakerBot, so when Thingiverse user Crypto sent me a time-lapse of his assembly process, we couldn’t NOT post it here.

It looks like Crypto’s build was a single 16-hour marathon session crunched down to about 10 minutes — pretty impressive stamina, and the video ends with a successful print.  My favorite part might watching the housecat wandering around at high speed, but that’s probably just me.

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3D Printing is for the birds

Apple Skewer for Birdcages 1.0

3D Printing is for the birds

Karsten needed something to hold his apple pieces to his bird cage and Thingiverse citizen webghost was ready with his 3D printer to help out.  Now Karsten does not need to evolve and webghost is a MakerBot hero!

The distribution of animal assistance devices on Thingiverse is quite interesting:

  1. Apple slice holder by webghost http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8784
  2. Birdfeeder by araspitfire http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4847
  3. Automatic dog feeder by 2robotguy http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5512
  4. Automatic cat feeder by damonkohler http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4782
  5. Cat food ball by mirk http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8311
  6. Cat toy by flintols http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5911
  7. Cat food divider by shutterbug http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8411
  8. Cat waste scooper by gadgetguydk http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:340
  9. Ferret hammock bracket by chooch http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5892
  10. Pet treat dispenser (for cats) by ScribbleJ http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7837
  11. Hamster food dish by smwombat http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2313

For those keeping score at home, that’s six for cats, two for birds, one for dogs, one for ferrets, and one for hamsters.  What’s your explanation for this distribution?

Error - could not find Thing 8784.

Error - could not find Thing 4847.

Error - could not find Thing 5512.

Error - could not find Thing 4782.

Error - could not find Thing 8311.

Error - could not find Thing 5911.

Error - could not find Thing 8411.

Error - could not find Thing 340.

Error - could not find Thing 5892.

Error - could not find Thing 7837.

Error - could not find Thing 2313.

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ToMcat the Pen Plotter by ScribbleJ

ToMcat the Pen Plotter by ScribbleJ

It is no secret that I am a fan of pen plotters. Well, I’m thoroughly enchanted by ScribbleJ’s work-in-progress 3D printed pen holder. It is one thing to name a machine after an animal — it is another to successfully integrate that animal motif into the functional design.

I can’t wait to print this pen holder and see how it compares to my MakerBot Unicorn Pen Plotter.

YouTube Preview Image
Error - could not find Thing 7071.
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Printing with supports – more than one way to skein a cat

Nearly every printable thing on Thingiverse adheres to the “45 degree rule” for MakerBotting.  There are some very clever ways around such problems – such as Zaggo’s treasure chest with a snap-off support for the chest’s lid.  However, Skeinforge1 actually includes a “support cross hatch” option that will create a fibrous sort of netting around your object upon which other parts can be printed.  Allan Ecker’s Thingiverse blog post on skeinforge crosshatch support covers this feature in detail.

Until very recently, not many people had posted their experiments with Skeinforge’s support feature.  Frankly, I was put off by Allan’s description of the support removal process and instead either designed parts that adhered to the “45 degree rule” or could be assembled from multiple parts to avoid the issue altogether.

Then Rick Pollack of MakerGear posted some details about his orange cat, printed with support material.  The cat uploaded by i.Materialize includes a number of features that violate the “45 degree rule.”  The head, tail, and entire body of the object essentially have nothing underneath them.

Cat with support

Cat with support

Cat without support

Cat with support

Rick’s post indicates his first attempt, pictured above, at printing this object with support used an older version of Skeinforge.  Apparently his second attempt using a newer version of Skeinforge was a lot easier to clean up.  The newer version of Skeinforge gives the option of slowing down the extrusion rate, which leaves a thinner support webbing, which makes for easier removal.

Have you tried printing using Skeinforge’s support features?  What was your experience?

  1. Skeinforge is the program used to turn an STL of a 3D model into commands ReplicatorG can understand and interpret into Gcode for the Cupcake []
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