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  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:49
    Onishi Yasuaki’s vertical volume


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    Onishi Yasuaki via URDESIGN.

    Japanese artist Onishi Yasuaki has created a floating installation for the window of Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center ‘Granship’ in Japan. ‘Vertical Volume‘ consists in translucent structures that bounce up-and-down from floor to ceiling. The site-specific installation includes just plastic bags-like structure  and some fans that invite passers-by to interact with them.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:47
    Cornea Ti Luminale


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    Cornea Ti Luminale 2014.

    CORNEA TI is the transformation of light, shape and sound in space. Letters transform into each other and morph into an illuminated anagram. For this purpose, three containers on a container boat form an interactive stage. But only from the perspective of the audience can visitors experience the installation in its entirety: the transformation of light and form thorugh music – visual music.

    Read more.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:45
    ‘Experimental’ Vodka Distillery (video) #makerbusiness


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    Video – An ‘Experimental’ Vodka Distillery – WSJ.com.

    Industry City Distillery in Brooklyn is among a new crop of small U.S. distillers producing craft vodkas. The company’s do-it-yourself ethos is reflected in its equipment and techniques.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:00
    A glowing ring powered by body heat and how it works #WearableWednesday


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    Popular Science did a nice write up on this project from Sean Hodgins. It’s a great example of how a Peltier module works.

    Sean Hodgins enjoys ring smithing, a hobby he adopted from his grandpa, and loves building small electronic gadgets. So he combined his passions to make a ring that turns body heat into light. Hodgins milled a two-finger band out of aluminum—an excellent thermal conductor—to cradle a 6-millimeter by 3-millimeter Peltier module and custom circuit board. The Peltier module converts heat flowing from the ring into a small voltage, and the circuit board amplifies the current. For now, cold weather best illuminates an LED on the ring, but Hodgins is designing a new circuit to make it blink brightly at any temperature.

    Approximate time: 150+ hours

    Cost: $200 to $250

    Read more.


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:00
    Building a Quadcopter with a CNC Mill and a 3D Printer

    Quadcopter

    Quadcopters are a ton of fun to play with, and even more fun to build. [Vegard] wrote in to tell us about his amazing custom DIY quadcopter frame that uses a commercial flight control system.

    Building a quadcopter is the perfect project to embark upon if you want to test out your new CNC mill and 3D printer. The mechanical systems are fairly simple, yet result in something unbelievably rewarding. With a total build time of 30 hours (including Sketchup modeling), the project is very manageable for weekend hackers. [Vegard's] post includes his build log as well as some hard learned lessons. There are also tons of pictures of the build. Be sure to read to read the end of the post, [Vegard] discusses why to “never trust a quadcopter” and other very useful information. See it in action after the break.

    While the project was a great success, it sadly only had about 25 hours of flight-time before a fatal bird-strike resulted in quite a bit of damage. Have any of your quadcopters had a tragic run-in with another flying object? Let us know in the comments.

    Filed under: cnc hacks, robots hacks

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 09:00
    How to be a Fiber Optic Lamp #WearableWednesday



    If you want to resemble the coolest fiber optic lamp ever, you are going to have to get in line behind Natalie Walsh. She has created a mesmerizing flow of fiber optics. The balloon style underskirt encourages movement of the hanging fibers, which seem to shift color like melted sherbert. You can check out all the details (and challenges) in her Instructables. Fiber optics pose an interesting issue because they rely on a central light source, which means you have to allow room for this in the outfit. Natalie did a great job with her design.

    I designed the back to include a pouch for the handle, and the straps of the dress to bring the fiber optics from the center back to the front, and back around the body to an even distribution at the hips.

    FiberDressBack

    In an odd way, working with fiber optics is a lot like dealing with a thick head of hair. You have to group all of the strands from one area, like a ponytail,  and allow them to spread out in another.  You can even trim them, much like you would for doing a layered haircut, to add interest. Natalie has some special suggestions for handling the light.

    Aside from just cutting the filaments, there are lots of options for making your fiber optics shine. As the light will escape wherever there is a cut or nick in the filament, distressing them with sandpaper, scissors, or simply natural wear and tear creates very cool effects. For this project I wanted to keep the light focused at the bottom, however depending on the look you are going for, it’s something fun to keep in mind!

    This is really an impressive dress, but it does take some time. Feeling inspired, but only have a few hours?  We’ve got a great Tron Hoodie tutorial waiting for you using El Wire. You can still look plugged in.

    Tron Hoodie


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 08:00
    Glimmer the Mermaid: Beautiful LED Mermaid Tail using #Adafruit Neopixels! #WearableWednesday


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    The Arduino blog posted this awesome mermaid costume by Erin St. Blaine. Check out her site for more gorgeous photos!

    I call her Glimmer the Mermaid. :)

    I made the LED swimmable mermaid seashells at the end of 2013, and wore them to the NC Merfest convention and they were a huge hit. When I got home, I decided the shells needed a light-up tail to complement them. The rabbit-hole opened up, and I dove right in.

    The end result is absolutely stunning, and I am completely delighted with it. This was the most learning-intensive and difficult and frustrating project I’ve attempted in.. well, since college, I think. I have had to learn so much in so many different fields, and I’ve encountered so many amazing people and communities along the way.

    This tail uses about 180 Adafruit Neopixels and an Arduino Micro to control them. It’s got a bluetooth feature — I can control it with my android tablet and change the animations and brightness of the lights. I plan to add audio sensors and possibly motion or color sensors as well (that’ll be phase two, I think).

    Read more.

    Fire Pixie Happenings Glimmer the Mermaid New tail creation and show offering



    Featured Adafruit Products!

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    Flora RGB Smart NeoPixel version 2 – Pack of 4: What’s a wearable project without LEDs? Our favorite part of the Flora platform is these tiny smart pixels. Designed specifically for wearables, these updated Flora NeoPixels have ultra-cool technology: these ultra-bright LEDs have a constant-current driver cooked right into the LED package! The pixels are chainable – so you only need 1 pin/wire to control as many LEDs as you like. They’re easy to sew, and the chainable design means no crossed threads. Read more.


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    Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Weatherproof Strip 60 LED -1m: You thought it couldn’t get better than our world-famous 32-LED-per-meter Digital LED strip but we will prove you wrong! You wanted twice the LEDs? We got it (well, its 1.875 times as many but that’s within a margin of error). You wanted thinner strips? Now only 12.5 mm wide, 10 mm if you remove the strip from the casing. You wanted less noticable strip color – this strip has white-colored flex PCB, which will be less visible against white-painted walls. This is the strip with white flex PCB, its identical to the black 60 LED/meter except it has a different color mask on the flex strip Read more.


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    Adafruit GEMMA – Miniature wearable electronic platform: Love FLORA but want a bite-sized version? Look no further, GEMMA is a tiny wearable platform board with a lot of might in a 1″ diameter package. Powered by a Attiny85 and programmable with an Arduino IDE over USB, you’ll be able to realize any wearable project!

    We wanted to design a microcontroller board that was small enough to fit into any project, and low cost enough to use without hesitation. Perfect for when you don’t want to give up your Flora and you aren’t willing to take apart the project you worked so hard to design. It’s our lowest-cost sewable controller! Read more.


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 07:00
    VCF East: PR1ME And AT&T Unix Boxes

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    At the Vintage Computer Festival last weekend, there was a wonderful representation of small 8 and 16-bit home computers from the 80s, an awful lot of PDP and VAX-based minicomputers, and even some very big iron in the form of a UNIVAC and a Cray. You might think this is a good representation of computing history, but there was actually a huge gap in the historical reality. Namely, workstations and minicomputers that weren’t made by DEC.

    [Ian Primus] was one of the very few people to recognize this shortcoming and brought his PRIME minicomputer. This was a huge, “two half racks, side by side” computer running PRIMOS, an operating system written in FORTRAN. Of course this made it extremely popular with engineering teams, but that doesn’t mean [Ian] can’t have fun with it. He had two terminals set up, one running Dungeon (i.e. Zork pre-Infocom) and a text-based lunar lander game.

    Because the VCF East is held in New Jersey, it’s probably no surprise a few vintage AT&T Unix boxes showed up. [Anthony Stramaglia] brought in a few very cool vintage Unix workstations, dating from the early to mid 80s. In the video, he shows off two AT&T boxes. The first is a UNIX PC, containing a 68010 clocked at a blistering 10 MHz. Next up is the UNIX PC’s bigger brother, the 3B2 400. This is the workstation found on just about every desk at Bell Labs in the 80s, meaning this is the same computer [Ken Thompson] and [Dennis Ritchie] used for their work on UNIX.

     

    Filed under: classic hacks

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 07:00
    Your Fingernail is Flashing #WearableWednesday


    LED Nails

    Last we left off, 3D printed nails were the rage. Well, it looks like there’s something new — nails that react to an NFC signal, according to Gizmodo.

    Japan’s Takara Tomy Arts has created a collection of stick-on fake fingernails featuring embedded LEDs and tiny antennas that light up whenever the wireless NFC functionality of a nearby smartphone is being used.

    Here’s some fun examples of Lumi Deco Nails. Supposedly they have their own Android app to control the flashing of the LED.

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    Each set actually only comes with one LED-enhanced nail; the rest just feature matching designs. And surprisingly, there are no batteries, capacitors, or other connected power sources required. The energy from an NFC signal is all that’s needed to make the LEDs flash.

    These decorative nails are more proof that stick on circuits are the next trend, joining tattoos and medical sensors. Remember when make-up was the only thing you got in trouble for in school? Teachers are going to have a lot more to look at.


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 06:16
    Sparklabs launching hardware-focused accelerator program #makerbusiness


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    Sparklabs launching hardware-focused accelerator program via The Next Web.

    Korea-based accelerator program and investment company SparkLabs is widening its stable further after revealing plans to run its first program dedicated to hardware startups.

    SparkLabs, which last year launched a $30 million fund to support seed stage companies worldwide, says its new program — dubbed Internet of ‘Things’ — will open its doors in Seoul in Winter 2014. The initiative will target a companies across a range of different sectors that are “improving how we live and work everywhere” — including the energy, education, transport, health, food verticals.

    Learn more @ Sparklabs.

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 06:00
    The BB.Suit is a 3D knitted onesie that doubles as a Wi-Fi hotspot and music library #WearableWednesday


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    WANT has posted about this cool project that was shown at SXSW this year. Would you wear the BB.Suit?

    Welcome to the BB.Suit at SXSW 2014. This suit is to show that wearable technology will be the future. A future where people wearing hi-tech clothes is the most natural thing in the world. The concept is the result of a great collaboration between ByBorre (a fabric innovation brand), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), 22Tracks (a music platform), CRISP, Daan Spangenberg Graphics and Want.nl (a Dutch online magazine about Technology and Gadgets). Together, we want to show the ideas and concepts we have about wearable technology. We think garments are one of the exciting futures for interface design, connecting the wearer to people and places, becoming the ideal interface for many new user experiences.

    It started with the health industry. We were making pillows for people with dementia to make conversation with them through vibration. This is because there other senses are not reacting very well anymore. From there we moved on. Byborre developed a new way of 3d knitting with imbedding the technology inside. The BB.Suit contains full Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth and NFC. The idea with this beautiful piece of wearable technology is that people can find the BB.Suit through GPS, so you can follow his way at SXSW. Stay up-to-date of all the great things at SXSW.

    Read more.

    SXSW x ByBorre The BB Suit Want nl 2


    Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 04:00
    Serial Monitor Without a PC

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    A serial monitor is an easy way to debug your projects. As we step through code, it’s nice to see a “Hey! I’m working, moving to next thing!” across the monitor, and not so nice to see nothing – the result of a bug that needs debugging. This has always meant needing a PC loaded with your favorite serial terminal program close at hand.

    Most of the time this is not an issue, because the PC is used to compile the code and program the project at hand. But what if you’re in the field, with a mission of fixing a headless system, and in need a serial monitor? Why lug around your PC when you can make your own External Serial Monitor!

    [ARPix] built this fully functional serial monitor based on an Atmega328 and a 102 x 64 LCD display. While it doesn’t have a keyboard port like this microcontroller based serial terminal, tact switches allow access to the user interface to start and stop the reading and set the baud rate. The Atmega328 has 2K of SRAM, which is needed for the project. Apparently, 1K was not enough to handle all the data. All code, schematics and a very well done parts layout are available, making this sure to be your next weekend project!

     

     

     

    Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Microcontrollers

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 01:00
    Designing a Front Panel for a DIY Project

    DIY Front Panel

     

    When building a one-off DIY project, appearances tend to be the least of our priorities. We just want to get the device working, and crammed into some project case. For those that like to build nicer looking prototypes [JumperOne] came up with a slick method of building a custom front panel for your DIY project.

    The first step is to get the dimensions correct. You CAD tool will generate these from your design. [JumperOne] took these measurements into Inkscape, an open source vector graphics tool. Once it’s in Inkscape, the panel can be designed around the controls. This gets printed out and aligned on a plastic enclosure, which allows the holes to be marked and drilled.

    With the electronics in place, the front panel gets printed again on a general purpose adhesive sheet. Next up is a piece of cold laminating film, which protects the label. Finally, holes are cut for the controls. Note that the display and LEDs are left covered, which allows the film to diffuse the light. The final result looks good, and can provide all the needed instructions directly on the panel.

    [Thanks to Ryan for the tip]

    Filed under: how-to

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 00:13
    IoT: Send email from arduino using adafruit CC3000 WiFi and the temboo service


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    IoT: Send email from arduino using adafruit CC3000 WiFi and the temboo service @ Biicode.

    In this post we will show how it is possible to send emails from your Arduino!

    We registered at the great temboo service which offers connection >100 services (gmail, twiter, github, and many more) and a library for Arduino. But the provided temboo library expects a reference to something implementing the Arduino SDK Client “interface”. In the setup we’re using an Arduino Mega2560 with the Adafruit CC3000 WiFi module. 

    If you ever need to connect the CC3000 module with another service, you can do it using thisArdunet block with network utilities for Arduino.

    Learn more.

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 23:28
    Open source touch screens to the rescue @edncom #oshw


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    Open source touch screens to the rescue @ EDN

    I bought an Arduino Mega and started putting together the custom electronics in the form of a daughter board (Arduino calls them “shields”). However, it needed to be a standalone unit, so what could I do for user interfacing to the Mega that was flexible? Touch screens.

    Learn more.

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 23:00
    Add a Deku Mask Prop To Your Legend of Zelda Cosplay


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    You can turn up the quality of any costume by adding some well-made props, and a Deku Mask would be a great addition to a Link costume. Instructables user meanlilkitty built a great version of the mask from foam and papier mache. There aren’t too many supplies, and other than investing a time and elbow grease, it’s relatively simple. I’m especially fascinated by how she made the eyes:

    The eyes I made out of yellow celluloid with orange paint to make the “glow”. Once you like the color and shape, glue into place on the inside of the mask. The leaves are silk leaves from Michaels and were a bit tricky to glue. One I found three leaves I liked that had the right color and shape, I took them off the fake plant and removed the stem backing. Now that the leaves are softer and easier to bend, I was able to glue them to the inside of the mask, then bend them while the glue dried so they could stand erect on top of the mask and not flop over.

    Read more at Instructables.

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 22:17
    relax. let the music engulf you… #art


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    relax. let the music engulf you.. Barry Martin’s Hopalong Orbits Visualizer – Created using three.js

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 22:00
    Festo Creates Bionic Kangaroo; Steve Austin Unimpressed

     

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    [Dr. Wilfried Stoll] and a team at Festo have created an incredible robot kangaroo. Every few years the research teams at Festo release an amazing animal inspired robot. We last covered their smartbird. This year, they’ve created BionicKangaroo (pdf link). While The Six Million Dollar Man might suggest otherwise, Bionics is use of biological systems in engineering design. In this case, Festo’s engineers spent two years studying the jumping behavior of kangaroos as they perfected their creation.

    Kangaroos have some amazing evolutionary adaptations for jumping. Their powerful Achilles tendon stores energy upon landing. This allows the kangaroo to increase its speed with each successive jump. The kangaroo’s tail is essential for balancing the animal as it leaps through the air. The Festo team used a thick rubber band to replicate the action of the tendons. The tail is controlled by electric servomotors.

    Festo is known for their pneumatic components, so it’s no surprise that the kangaroo’s legs are driven by pneumatic cylinders. Pneumatics need an air supply though, so the team created two versions of the kangaroo. The first uses an on-board air compressor. The second uses a high-pressure storage tank to drive the kangaroo’s legs. An off the shelf Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) acts as BionicKangaroo’s brain. The PLC monitors balance while controlling the pneumatic leg cylinders and electric tail motors. Unfortunately, BionicKangaroo isn’t completely autonomous. The Thalmic Labs Myo makes a cameo appearance in the video. The Kangaroo’s human controller commands the robot with simple arm movements.

    While the BionicKangaroo is graceful in its jumps, it still needs a bit of help when turning and taking simple steps. Thankfully we don’t think it will be boxing anytime soon.

    Filed under: robots hacks

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 22:00
    New Project: How to Capture Breathtaking Time-lapses of the Night Sky

    Milkyway_MaineLearn how to capture the night sky — in motion! — with this complete tutorial covering camera settings, night shooting tips, image editing, and video production.

    Read more on MAKE


  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 22:00
    LEGO: Not mere child’s play, but objects of both abstract and formal perfection #ArtTuesday


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    T magazine has an interesting story out today on the LEGO as it is used in art.

    When Bjarke Ingels, the visionary leader of the Danish architectural firm BIG, first heard about the competition to build the Lego House, a museum and activity center near the toy company’s headquarters in Billund, Denmark, he gathered his staff. “If there was one building that BIG was founded to build,” Ingels announced, “this is it.”

    For Ingels, Lego proportions have a mystical perfection that “borders on the Da Vinci code.” Like most enthusiasts, Ingels refers to them as “bricks,” not “Legos”; he doesn’t see them as toys, but as tools for “systematic creativity.”

    Indeed, the way he talks about the beloved project he ultimately won sounds very much like the description of a building created from Legos. “It’s like a cloud of interconnected spaces that creates public spaces — interconnected worlds that you can see as one spatial experience and as little worlds within themselves.”

    One evening at a bar in Billund, about a three-hour drive west of Copenhagen, members of the Lego House design team geek out about the aesthetic perfection of the Lego brick. “The cool thing about it is it’s simultaneously real and abstract,” Brian Yang of BIG says. “So it’s a bridge between your imagination and reality.” Alex Vlack, of New York’s Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA), which is designing the exhibitions for the project, chimes in. “For me, it’s like a paper clip. There’s no way to improve it.”

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    For certain creative types, the Lego brick (whose name is an abbreviation of the words for “play well” in Danish) is not a toy but the perfect object. Last year, the Cuban artist collective Los Carpinteros used the plastic bricks to construct their own versions of Soviet-era monuments at the Sean Kelly gallery in New York. “It’s such an active, creative tool, getting you to think about structure,” says Caroline Baumann, the director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. “How can it not influence you?” The designer Karl Lagerfeld even created a Lego-inspired handbag for Chanel’s spring 2013 collection. This summer, the author and artist Douglas Coupland will have an exhibition in Vancouver that will feature a suburb of 100 identical Lego houses, each one made from a 1969 kit that, he says, “pretty much single-handedly turned me on to midcentury at the age of 9.”

    Lego, in turn, has responded to this newfound appreciation among adults by coming out with the Lego Architecture Studio ($150), a smart-looking set that includes more than 1,200 white and transparent pieces and a collection of essays and how-to ideas provided by architects like Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Moshe Safdie, who is best known for Habitat 67 in Montreal, a modular apartment building that looks like it came straight out of a Lego box. There’s also Lego’s Architecture series, which features models of iconic structures like Fallingwater and Villa Savoye. The series has garnered a diverse fan base, including Brad Pitt and David Beckham. When the soccer star mentioned in an interview a few years ago that he was building the Lego Taj Mahal, sales of that set reportedly went up by more than 600 percent in one day.

    Read more.

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    Screenshot 4 2 14 11 48 AMEvery Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!

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