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  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 23:15
    New Project: Piezo Contact Mic

    123_piezo_jw_03_featSalvage the piezo from an old toy and use it to build a small contact microphone that can be used to amplify acoustic instruments.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 23:00
    Make Your Own Battlestar Galactica Sidearm Replica

    bsg gun

    Even though I look at tons of cosplay stuff, I sometimes forget that anything can be fashioned from PVC foam (Sintra is one option). Instructables user Goombah Squad used the material to make some cool Battlestar Galactica guns to go with his costume. After he purchased blueprints from another builder, he used the foam to piece together the gun. After that it was all abut the shaping. Here’s the steps he took to get the gun just right:

    I use a Dremel with a sanding bit for 80% of the work. The remaining 20% is a variety of needle files, various grits of sandpaper, or the occasional grinding and engraving bit. I started by shaping and gluing the main frame of the gun. Once everything was how it needed to be, other pieces were added: grips, various rails along the side of the barrel. The two halves of the slide action were each crafted separately. So was the grenade launcher attachment.

    Once everything’s shaped, break out your Bondo. Bondo is an automotive filler typically used to fill in car dents and dings but as you’ll find, it’s widely used in propmaking. Anywhere you see unsightly seems or low areas, mix up some Bondo. Wait about 20 mins for it to cure when it becomes unworkable.

    gun pattern

    Read more at Instructables.

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 22:09
    DiResta: Shop Stools

    PastedGraphic-1In a shop, a stool is more then just a seat.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 22:08
    Where DIY Electronic Music Goes to Party

    Luis Etscheid, last year's circuit bending champion, with his custom machined Akai Sampler, which used sounds from the Google Doodle displayed on Bob Moog's birthday.MAKE presents Moogfest's circuit bending competition.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 22:00
    2048: Embedded Edition

    Embedded touch version of 2048 tile gameHow ’bout that 2048 game? Pretty addictive, huh? Almost as addictive as embedded systems are, at least if you’re [Andrew]. Armed (pun intended) with a Nucleo F4 and a Gameduino 2 shield, he decided to have a go at making an embedded version of the popular tile pusher web game.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the Nucleo boards from STMicroelectronics, check out our post on the Nucleo family from a couple of months ago. The Gameduino 2 shield ships with a 4.3″ touchscreen driven by an FT800 GPU EVE. [Andrew] wrote his own driver for it and his blog post goes into great detail about its programming model and the SPI read, write, and command functions he wrote. Full code is available from [Andrew]‘s repo.

    He started by generating a blank screen based on clues found in the Gameduino 2 source. Pretty soon he had rendered a rectangle and then a full 2048 board. A minor difference between [Andrew]‘s creation and the original is that his always creates new tiles as ’2′ while the web game cranks out the occasional ’4′.

    We were unable to embed [Andrew]‘s gameplay videos, but you’ll find two on his blog.


    Filed under: ARM, handhelds hacks

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 21:39
    Adafruit and Solve for X Present: Moonshot Meet Up with Ayah Bdeir from littleBits on Google+ Friday, April 25 at 11 am PT/2 pm ET

    Adafruit and Solve for X Present: Moonshot Meet Up with Ayah Bdeir from littleBits on Google+ Friday, April 25 at 11 am PT/2 pm ET.

    +Solve For X is a place to hear about and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems. Created by Google, +Solve for X embraces moonshot pioneers with a Huge Problem to solve, a Radical Solution for solving it, and Breakthrough Technology to make it happen. The ‘Moonshot Meet Up’ Hangout on Air series was created by +Solve for X to connect community members with engaging, hands-on discussions with Moonshot Pioneers and to further the discussion of technology moonshots.

    Limor “Ladyada” Fried from Adafruit will be interviewing Ayah Bdeir from littleBits and Catherine Wong.

    Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, an award-winning library of Electronics dubbed “LEGOs for the iPad generation.” Bdeir is an engineer, interactive artist and one of the leaders of the open hardware movement. Bdeir’s career and education have centered on advancing open source hardware to make education and innovation more accessible to people around the world. She is a co-founder of the Open Hardware Summit, a TED Senior Fellow and an alumna of the MIT Media Lab. Bdeir was named one of Fast Company’s 1000 Most Creative People in Business and one of Popular Mechanics’ 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream. littleBits was named as one of CNN’s top 10 Emerging Startups to watch. In two short years, littleBits has garnered praise as the most extensive, versatile and easy to use hardware platform out there and partnered with leading science, art and technology organizations such as MoMA and KORG. Originally from Lebanon and Canada, Ayah now lives in New York City.

    littleBits is an opensource library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun.

    littleBits (spelled lower case L, upper case B, all one word) consists of tiny circuit-boards with specific functions engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming, just snap together for prototyping, learning and fun. Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, motors, etc), and modules snap to make larger circuits. Just as LEGO™ allows you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are small, simple, intuitive, blocks that make creating with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together.

    With a growing number of available modules, littleBits aims to move electronics from late stages of the design process to its earliest ones, and from the hands of experts, to those of artists, makers, students and designers.

    Catherine Wong is a previous Google Science Fair Finalist and she is working on building hackerspaces for schools Specifically, aiming to bring hackerspaces – filled with relatively inexpensive but awesome equipment ranging from 3D printers to soldering stations, as well as stations for CS and engineering classes – to the high schools or communities of students in disadvantaged neighborhoods; our mission is to reignite the excitement of learning in students who might otherwise be struggling by giving them access to the tools to build and make.

    Limor “Ladyada” is a MIT engineer, open source hardware and software pioneer and entrepreneur. She is the founder of the educational electronics company, Adafruit. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Limor was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine, an EFF Pioneer Award recipient for open-source software & hardware and was recently awarded Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the year.

    See you there!

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 21:00
    3D Paper Artwork by Maud Vantours #ArtTuesday

    Pasted Image 4 21 14 11 20 PM

    3D Paper Artwork by Maud Vantours:

    Maud Vantours was born in 1985 in France. Designer and artist, she lives and works in Paris. A graduate from the parisian school Duperré, Maud follows a Design training with a specialisation in textiles and materials research.


    Color, material and patterns have an important place in her work, like paper, which became her favorite material. She sculpts it in 3D layer after layer, by superimposing paper and colors to create inspired patterns in volume.


    Maud’s work transcending a simple material and transforming it into a work of art. Her design creations are original graphics of multicolored and dreamlike landscapes….

    Read More.

    Pasted Image 4 21 14 11 23 PM

    Pasted Image 4 21 14 11 24 PM

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 20:52
    Earth Day 3d Printing Project #3dprinting

    Happy Earth Day! Help raise neighborhood recycling rates with this cool 3d printing project:

    3D printed recycle bins for bottles and cans

    3D printed recycle bins for bottles and cans. They connect together with a modular design which allows you to use them in sets or one at a time. This project connects two communities: the locals and the makers. Urban Hubs act as exchange points for local residents to drop off empty bottles and cans so that neighbors can collect them and redeem them for cash.

    You can download the files from UrbanHubs

    connect together design

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 20:43
    Paper-Thin Arduino Enables DIY Dirigible

    Printoo - Lighter than Air-1Build your own balloon-based blimp with Printoo, a new paper-thin Arduino-compatible microcontroller.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 20:37
    Knit Glitch throw rug

    Adafruit 2955

    Knit Glitch throw rug @ Fairgoods.

    Phillip Stearns’ glitch textiles are the result of “transcoding glitches in the cold, hard logic of digital circuits into soft, warm textiles. I wanted to find ways to give digital and computer-generated images life beyond the screen.” The design for this cotton throw was created by manually short circuiting a low-resolution digital camera, then made using computerized weaving and knitting machinery.

    Learn more.

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 20:00
    A Collection of Comic Maps #arttuesday


    Last week, Hyperallergic highlighted the great work being done on the blog Comic Cartography, which has an extensive catalogue of graphics and maps taken from comics. Hyperallergic’s Jillian Steinhauer writes about the importance of these maps in the fictional world building of the comic book genre:

    Comics are an especially apt medium for this type of construction, since, well, they’re visual. Diagrams and maps in comics can do different kinds of work: they can be used as exposition, to help readers get their bearings in a story, or to create a mood or feeling, or simply as a prop. They’re not even necessarily made-up — Jason Lutes’s Berlin is a series of fictional stories set in a historical place.

    Comic Cartography, a lovely blog that I discovered today, collects images of maps from all different kinds of comics, from Lutes’s Weimar-Era Berlin to the office layout of the Daily Bugle, the fictional newspaper featured in the Spider-Man comics. The wide range of work makes the blog engrossing, as it highlights the many forms and shapes that maps can take but also their underlying commonality: we use them to make sense of the world, even if that world exists only in our heads. To that end, there’s also something wonderfully meta about seeing these images within images — they seem to simultaneously represent a homing in and a zooming out.


    Read more.

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 19:30
    #Z4 + #BeagleBoneBlack + #Arduino + #Neopixels = Shift Lights! #beagleboneblack @TXInstruments @beagleboardorg

    Cool project from Twitter user Owen McAree!

    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kits

    Each Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here at Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 19:01
    Retrotectacular: The Science of Derailing Trains


    Look closely above and you’ll see there’s a section of track missing. There are actually two, a section from each side has been plucked out with a pair of eight-ounce plastic explosive charges — and yet the train keeps barreling onward. The World War II era reel is demonstrating some military testing of the effect of damaged tracks on a train. The amount of missing track the train can stand up to came as quite a surprise for us!

    The test setup itself is neat. An old derelict locomotive is used. It, as well as a number of trailing cars, is pushed by a functioning engine from behind. Once up to about 26 MPH the pusher stops and the rest keep going. There are many tests, starting with just a few inches of track missing from one side. This gap is increased, then gaps are added both sides, then the two sides are offset. Even a 5-foot gap is crossed easily by the locomotive. The weak link turns out to be the empty cars. We suppose their mass is small enough that they can’t rely on inertia to keep them on the straight path.

    If you don’t appreciate the destructive nature of this Retrotechtacular installment, you can still get your train fix. There is another offering which shows off the modernization of a signaling system.

    [Thanks LC]

    Retrotechtacular is a weekly column featuring hacks, technology, and kitsch from ages of yore. Help keep it fresh by sending in your ideas for future installments.

    Filed under: Hackaday Columns, Retrotechtacular

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 19:00
    Paper Dreams: How one maker’s paper model building hobby landed him a job with a formula one racing team #ArtTuesday

    Check out this inspirational mini documentary that Siemens posted on their YouTube channel- just goes to show that sharing your projects with the world can lead to great things! We encourage all makers out there to keep building and sharing with the community – you never know where it could land you.

    Paul used to build race cars out of paper. Today, he designs the real thing with sophisticated software, as part of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team.

    Read more.

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 18:59
    Extreme Fashion and Dancing Robots at Maker Faire Shenzen

    13902187176_91852648a2_zMaker Faire Shenzhen concluded on April 7, making Shenzhen the seventh city in the world to host a Featured Maker Faire.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 18:32
    Happy Earth Day 2014! Here’s some giant images of the Earth via NASA #earthday2014


    Today is Earth Day! Every year we celebrate by posting some of our favorite images of the earth. These are from the NASA catalog called visible earth. You can view more images here. Here’s a little background on the history of earth day:

    Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

    In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.

    Read more.



  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 18:00
    STEM Apps Beyond the Classroom #makereducation

    Tumblr n48ecvLM6a1saghkzo1 400

    Einstein in a Box has compiled a list of great educational STEM apps for kids, including “Rube Works: The Official Rube Goldberg Invention Game”, which we blogged about here, and more!

    STEM Apps Beyond the Classroom

    Are you concerned that your child spends too much time playing meaningless games on the smartphone or tablet? Don’t fret! Apple features over 65,000 educational apps, designed specifically for the iOS platform that reaches all levels of education. But, with so many apps to choose from, parents may find it challenging to know which apps are best for their children. Here are a few apps that teach STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) material that are educational, but fun and entertaining.

    Rube Works: The Official Rube Goldberg Invention Game by Electric Eggplant in partnership with Kalani Games and the Heirs of Rube Goldberg and published by Unity Games

    Age: 8+

    Where to download: iTunes App Store; Google Play

    This app combines puzzles, humor and creative problem solving in a whimsical environment. Users enter the wacky world of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) to learn the logic of physics through the connection of oddball items, inventing machines that solve problems.

    Read more.

    Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 17:25
    And the Winner of the Maker Faire Design Challenge is…

    Pierre Grande from Cestas, France and his design "The Ark."Almost two dozen makers from around the world participated in the first-ever Maker Faire Design Challenge, a competition to create a new kind of temporary information kiosk for use at Maker Faire. We're pleased to announce the winner, runner-up, and honorable mention entries.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 17:00
    Build A BeagleBone Black Linux Music Server #BeagleBoneBlack @TXInstruments @BeagleBoardOrg


    Computer Audiophile shows us how to build a Linux music server using a BeagleBone Black.

    Warning the following article contains some geeky stuff. What follows is a step by step guide to building a tiny 2.4″ x 0.82″ x 3.54″ Linux music server. It’s not rocket science and the instructions make the process fairly easy, but the article isn’t for everybody. Thanks to CA readers K-man and Richard Dale for additional information and tweaks for setting up the BeagleBone Black so it runs great. Please note there are many ways to setup and configure the BBB. This is just one way using either Mac OS X or Windows. Readers are encouraged to leave comments with additional tips, tricks, and tweaks. I will update this article accordingly.

    Read more.

    BeagleBone Adafruit Industries Unique fun DIY electronics and kitsEach Tuesday is BeagleBone Black Day here Adafruit! What is the BeagleBone? The BeagleBones are a line of affordable single-board Linux computers (SBCs) created by Texas Instruments. New to the Bone? Grab one of our Adafruit BeagleBone Black Starter Packs and check out our extensive resources available on the Adafruit Learning System including a guide to setting up the Adafruit BeagleBone IO Python Library. We have a number of Bone accessories including add-on shields (called “capes”) and USB devices to help you do even more with your SBC. Need a nice display to go along with your Bone? Check out our fine selection of HDMI displays, we’ve tested all of them with the Beagle Bone Black!

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 16:00
    Autodesk Updates 123D Design for Desktop #3DPrinting

    Autodesk 123D Design Update 1.4 for Desktop

    Just when we weren’t sure if Autodesk was ever going to update 123D Design for Desktop, a brand new 1.4 update comes out and surprises us. The details from their history update from their website looks very promising.

    Get Autodesk 123D Design 1.4 Update[for Desktop]

    • A new UI introduces similar look and feel with other products from the 123D family, like Tinkercad.
    • Easier access to all of your models and projects, regardless of the app you made them in. MyProjects provides access to models created in 123D Catch, 123D Make and 123D Creature.
    • Support for opening, inserting, and saving meshes in STL and OBJ formats.
    • Perform Combine, Subtract and Intersect operations between meshes and solids.
    • New option for combining objects on STL export in order to support printers that read first body only.
    • Import SVG files and use them as sketches or as simple extrusions.
    • Drop selected objects to the grid with a simple key (F10).
    • Added option for hiding grid.
    • New toggle for enabling or disabling implicit grouping when snapping between parts.
    • New option for defining snapping increments for different operations.
    • 3D Print now sends model to Meshmixer for processing before 3D printing.
    • Premium members can now download unlimited models from 123D Content Library.
    • Free members can now download up to 10 models a month.
    • A brand new car! (Just kidding)
    • Stability fixes on Copy-Paste.
    • Performance and stability bug fixes.
    • Support for 3dconnexion devices.
    • Shortcut Keys on F1.
    • Feedback Survey directly in app under Help.
    • Also includes updates for 123D Premium members, and bug fixes.

    123D Design 1.4 Tools

    Autodesk 123D 1.4 New UI

    We think this is a really big update. Our first impressions with the UI redesign are really good. Things did not move around, it’s mostly a graphical refresh, which looks very sharp and clean.

    123D Snapping Units

    Objects have a nice lime green outline when its selected, making it more distinct. Features that might get overlooked that seem minor are actually handy in use. Hover over the bottom right to quickly change snapping increments and measuring units. Toggling on/off groups when snapping is a time saver and turning the grid off allows you to project sketches from irregular surfaces.

    123D Adafruit Logo SVG Import

    123D SVG Import Adafruit Font

    The biggest feature update is SVG import. This is great for making solids from outline sketches made from a vector drawling app like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. In our tests, the feature worked best on simple paths. It did an OK job at importing our Adafruit font, but crapped out on our icon. Importing SVG option is available in either a Sketch or Solid. Doesn’t seem like there’s an option (yet) to set the height of an extruded object when importing as an object. You can’t apply construct operations to extruded SVGs which is a bummer but expected from a new feature.

    123D Autodesk 1.4 STL Import

    Importing STL is also very welcomed feature that we feel was probably the most requested feature. Tinkercad did this really well and now 123D Design can too. It also gives you a ability to apply basic combine operations like merge, subtract and intersect to solids and other meshes. The best uses of this feature could be for anyone who is looking to make remixes/fixes/customizations/upgrades to STL models like scanned data. You also can’t apply construct operations to imported meshes.

    Overall it’s a great update and we really recommend upgrading if you’re already a user. If you’re thinking about learning some CAD for 3D Printing, now is a great time! Special thanks goes out to 123D Design team from Autodesk for making kick ass free CAD software!