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Posts Tagged ‘thingalert’

MakerBot Announces Winners of Make It Loud Challenge!

TVCHALLENGE_MAKEITLOUD

After more than 200 submissions, Joe Zisa’s “V29” survival whistle was selected as the winner of the the MakerBot Thingiverse Make it Loud Challenge. The challenge asked Thingiverse users to make the loudest thing they could, and the loudest creation would be selected as the winner. Whistles, drum machines and many other types of designs were uploaded in what was one of the most popular Thingiverse challenges in 2015.

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MakerBot and Syfy Channel Announce Thingiverse Partnership

syfy_blog2a

During last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Syfy Channel made designs from their newest show, The Expanse, available on MakerBot Thingiverse. Syfy is the first major television network to share exclusive content on this platform. As the Internet’s largest 3D printing community, MakerBot Thingiverse is the ideal platform for Syfy Labs to give fans access to printable files from their favorite Syfy shows.

During CES, Syfy featured a MakerBot Replicator equipped with the new Smart Extruder+, which 3D printed various models based on Syfy’s show, The Expanse. Syfy’s collaboration with MakerBot is the first step for Syfy to expand their science fiction content from the television format into new territories of technology, ultimately allowing viewers to bring physical content to their homes.

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“Mouth Operated Mouse” Wins Thingiverse Assistive Technology Challenge

ATC_Challenge_Header_V2(1)

After more than 170 submissions, Tobias Wirtl’s Mouth Operated Mouse is the winning design for the Assistive Technology Challenge. After reading about difficulties people with disabilities face in accessing new technologies, Wirtl wanted to create a device that could enable more people with disabilities to use the Web. A number of products on the market are geared toward helping people with disabilities navigate the Internet, but they can be very expensive making them out of reach for people who need them. Keeping cost in mind, Wirtl’s mouth operated mouse was designed so people of all economic backgrounds would be able to build one on their own or find somebody to build it for them.

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New Favorite MakerBottable Home Upgrade – Switch Locks

Light Switch Lock by Yllonnoce

Light Switch Lock by Yllonnoce

I’ve got three switches in my home that pretty much need to be in the “on” position 99% of the time. The consequences of having one of these switches flipped “off” ranges from minor annoyance to zombie apocalypse. One switch goes to our front porch light, one that my laptop is usually plugged into, and the last goes to our wireless router. For a while now I had wanted to create a little cover for the light switch – basically a hollow rectangular tube that would fit over the switch and prevent someone from accidentally flipping it. While I liked the idea, I never got around to actually making it.

And then a few days ago I saw Light Switch Lock by Thingiverse citizen Yllonnoce.  The design is so simple and elegant that I knew I would be printing it immediately.  It permits temporary uses of the switch, all the while discouraging accidental usage.

As a result of someone flipping a switch I have literally lost hours of work when my laptop battery ran out of power.  Once, as a result of a laptop losing power the hard drive never started up again.  So, from now on, this is literally going to be the very first thing I install into any home I live in.  At less than 3 grams, each one would probably cost about $0.12 in plastic that will absolutely save me hours of annoyance, frustration, work, and potentially even hundreds of dollars.

A simple light switch lock like this could even be used to discouraging the accidental use of a garbage disposal, power tool, or some other appliance.  Since these switch locks work upside down, it could even save money by discouraging the accidental flipping of attic or outdoor light switches.  Not bad for a $0.12 investment.

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Crayon Maker and Sharpener by CodeCreations

Posted by on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
Pouring custom crayons into printed molds!

Pouring custom crayons into printed molds!

I’ve wanted to make a MakerBotted crayon mold for about as long as I’ve owned a 3D printer.  Now this is a reality thanks to Thingiverse citizen CodeCreations.  CodeCreations1 has shared his STL’s, OpenSCAD source code, and detailed directions for making crayon molds.

CodeCreations’ method involves using a printed container into which plaster of Paris is poured.  When the plastic is removed, it leaves a plaster mold with triangular crayon “troughs.”  Then it’s a matter of melting crayons, pouring the wax into the mold, and waiting for them to cool.

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  1. Who has one of the awesomest profile picture evar! []
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Jason Welsh’s Awesome Portable Folding Arduino Electronics Lab

Posted by on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
The Folding Arduino Lab by jasonwelsh

The Folding Arduino Lab by jasonwelsh

Thingiverse user Jason Welsh just shared this awesome MakerBottable Folding Arduino Lab.  This printable case is essentially a mobile electronics lab that has two drawers for holding parts and can fold up for easy storage and transport.  I suspect like many others, my electronics projects can get pretty unruly.  It would be really great to have a small case that could hold all the parts for a project in one place.  Whether you want to hold an Arduino and some parts or an Arduino with a shield on top, this folding project box was clearly well-designed to suit your purposes.  What I particularly love about this Thing is that once you’ve finalized your designs, the folding case would make a fantastic ready-to-go instant permanent project box.

If you’ve got three minutes to spare, definitely check out Jason’s video showing off the versatility of this box.

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A drawing robot brain shell! The PolargraphSD Case

Posted by on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized
A drawing robot brain shell!  The PolargraphSD Case

A drawing robot brain shell! The PolargraphSD Case

I have a confession to make.  I freaking LOVE Sandy Noble’s drawing robot project called Polargraph.  The Polargraph is a very simple to build, simple to operate, open source drawing robot that produces absolutely stunning results.  The entire robot is little more than (a) an Arduino (b) a motor shield or one of Sandy’s awesome Polargraph shields (c) some USB and power cables (d) two motors (e) some printed parts and (f) string, twine, wire, fishing line, or something similar you might have lying around the house.  You may even have many of these parts lying around your work area or hidden in an old printer right now.

Sandy has been constantly improving his Polargraph design, firmware, and software.  The latest iteration of his Polargraph kit includes a custom designed Polargraph Shield which includes a touch screen and operation from an SD card.  Even cooler, he’s using a 3D printed case for the drawing robot brain, featured above.  Having built a basic one myself, I was able to purchase all of the parts for about $100. 1

Importantly, my MakerBot has enabled me to customize the project and drastically reduce the cost.  Instead of beaded cord and sprockets, I designed and printed my own spools for using fishing line, motor mounts, Arduino mount, and gondola.  What would normally require specially machined parts or the use of a lasercutter, basically just cost me less than $1.00 in plastic. 2

Since the size of your drawing is basically limited only by the size of your canvas and the amount of string you have, the drawing possibilities quickly become staggering.  I was able to take a picture of R2D2, convert them into a single-line-drawing, and draw a three foot tall poster for my daughter.  Not only did she love the picture, she demanded it be put up in her room immediately. 3

If you’re looking for a very beginner friendly project that your kids will absolutely love, you should definitely try this one out. 4

  1. Had I been a little more patient and even slightly more competent, I could have built it for even less. []
  2. And my daughter got to choose the colors.  Which is why the fishing line spools are pink. []
  3. A few hours later I began to wonder why she had been so quiet.  It turned out she had spent the entire time coloring the poster in with her markers and crayons. []
  4. If you’re interested in such things, I’ve got about 50+ posts on my personal blog about my adventures in building and operating my DrawBot []
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Discworld Figurine by aesedepece

Posted by on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
Discworld Figurine by aesedepece

Discworld Figurine by aesedepece

Thingiverse citizen aesedepece has uploaded this really sweet model of a turtle, four elephants, and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.  According to the physics of the fantasy Discworld, the entire world is a large flat disc, supported by four elephants who stand on a great giant turtle named A’Tuin as it travels through space.  Printed in three separate pieces and clearly very lovingly painted and assembled, this is a whimsical little model. 1

  1. I suppose if you included the MakerBot Mixtape module in this, you could play world music… []
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What would you keep safe with a plastic lock?

Fully printable padlock by ttsalo

Fully printable padlock by ttsalo

I remember once when I was in elementary school a kid said he wanted a case for his most valuable baseball card made out of diamond.  His reasoning was that if diamond was the hardest toughest thing known to man, then it would keep his baseball card safe.  Of course, this invited the obvious criticism that the case would be worth much more than any card he would care to keep inside it.1

There’s no doubt Thingiverse citizen ttsalo’s fully printable padlock is an amazing feat and working experiment in design, materials, and function.  Besides it’s function as a way to learn or teach others about how a padlock works, a fully plastic padlock would also be really useful to keep some things locked.  You could keep the contents of a cabinet safe from small children or a shed safe from small animals.  It might be useful for very time-limited purposes as well – such as for clothes for use in a gym.  And, don’t forget, given that there are no parts to corrode or rust, it could be used underwater!

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  1. Setting aside the other issue of how the heck you would make such a case in the first place. []
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The Robot Has Landed!

Curiosity's Snaps Picture of Its Shadow

Curiosity’s Snaps Picture of Its Shadow

Yesterday at about 10:30pm PST the Mars Rover “Curiosity” landed safely on the surface of the planet Mars and transmitted the above, its first photograph, back to Earth. 1  Thanks to Thingiverse citizen ThePlanetMike we can all have our very own Mars Curiosity Rover as a little souvenir to remember the day.

And, if you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, don’t forget to print a little copy of Tony Buser’s snap-fit Mars Exploration Rover.

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Error - could not find Thing 10057.
  1. You’ll note I refrained from making jokes about what would happen if Curiosity saw its own shadow… []
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