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Jake's RepRap Build - Electronics

reprap machine

A couple weeks ago I began work on a RepRap machine.  A RepRap is a desktop fabricator or 3D printer that is capable of making all of the parts of itself that are not stock off-the-self items. It's a 2 1/2 axis CNC plastic extruder that fabricates parts by laying down layers of melted plastic, one atop the next. 

RepRap was conceived from the beginning as an Open Source project with the intent that, once self-replication was acheived, a community of "rappers" would allow it to evolve with each contributed improvement being merged back into the machines "DNA." 

Hence the code name "Darwin" for the initial design. 

RepRap acheived self replication in May of 2008 and there are now hundreds of people building and experimenting with this Open Source hardware platform.

More after the cut

SPWS on Make:TV - only three more days!

Just three more days until Episode 103 featuring the Steampunk Workshop!

Make:TV first contacted me nearly two years ago to talk about doing a segment in and around my bus project.  I was enthusiastic, but after a couple of months of emailing back and forth, the producers I had been talking too stopped responding.  It was a bit of a mystery until Maker Faire last year where I had the delightful experience of being seated across from Dale Dougherty at breakfast!  Dale turns out to be a friendly and interesting chap who I very much enjoyed talking with - but be warned if you engage with Dale you WILL walk away from that conversation with action items regardless of whether or not you work for his organization!  ;-)

So, it seems that the original incarnation of Make:TV was to be produced by a company that does a lot of video for cable and they were very much more interested in un-making then Making, and by that I mean blowing stuff up.  The O'Reilly organization deserves HUGE props for pulling the plug and rebooting the show with Twin Cities Public Television. Speaking of TPT; what a wonderful group of folks!  I met the executive producer Richard Hudson, at a meet-and-greet for Public Television buyers at our local PBS station WGBH, and found him to be a very sharp guy with a Maker's soul. In fact, everyone I've met from TPT has been just exactly the sort that you would love to have tell your story.

Make:TV is airing on many PBS stations already and will air on even more (include our own WGBH) in a few months.  In the meantime you can watch it at the Make:TV website, iTunes, and on YouTube.

Maker Faire, Newcastle, UK 14-15 March 2009 - Huzzah!

Last May's MakerFaire in San Mateo was the highlight of 2008 for me! I had just about the best time of my life!  Now Maker Faire is coming to the U.K.!

Ian writes:

MakerFaire is coming to the UK as part of the Newcastle Science Festival on 14th/15th March 2009 in Times Square outside the Centre for Life and various other nearby spaces, so we’re looking for Makers to take part.

If people want to come and show off  projects, run a workshop, etc. we’d like to hear from them!

We’d love to see as many people participating as possible, whether they weld big bits of metal, programme arduinos, hack toys or make weird bikes, all are welcome!

The Deadline for Maker exhibitor submissions is January 31!

Don't miss MakerFaire's premier in the U.K. and be sure to say "Hai!" to the Steampunk Workshop's own Meredith Scheff who will be covering the event for those of us who can't make it across the pond!

Dump Finds 1/10/09

This weekend's dump finds include yet another brass porch lamp, green felt for the bottom of my lamps, a small kerosene lamp (never lit!) and a pair of nautical models, both in sealed boxes, they are ALL WOOD models!

Ira Sherman's mechanical sculptures: yes sir, may I have another?

Entombed in an ancient Geocities site, Ira Sherman's mechanized sculpture (Google-cache) is unsettling in a very seductive way. It's as if medieval doctors were transported to some futuristic-sounding year (what is that year, now that we live in 2009?), given free reign to unwilling subjects and a metal shop. The machines are terrifying, to be sure, but there are also delicately executed, elegant, and, you know, shiny. If you're going to have your jaws forceably shut, your head shrouded in a maze of machinery and megolomaniacal pavlovian desires- you might as well look good.

" A self contained 500 psi air supply, coupled to a pneumatic sensor switch under the chin, can be adjusted to a persons' jaw, sending bursts of air to the large pneumatic cylinders which effectively muzzle the wearer if they open their mouth. While this feature alone is an effective deterrent to excessive jaw movement, the PT has a built in head locking device which, when placed on the head, will immediately lock down on the head with pneumatic levers which squeeze between the eyes and behind the neck."

Dear lord.

To save you the trouble of trying to find it throught dying site,  here's the same artist, (Google-cache) this time with a series of chastity belts, with miniture bear traps situated just so.

(Oh dear! we've Slashdotted the poor Geocities site! I didn't know had had the mojo! - Jake)


Macro Machine goodness

(above image: Jeremiah O'Brien steam engine boiler detail by Nick Winterhalter)

Greasy machines bare all in camera close ups! Hot gear-on-gear action! ....Knobs!



Laguna Playhouse Presents: Verne's Around the World in 80 Days

Laura from the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, CA. wrote to tell me about their performance of Jules Vernes's Around the World in 80 Days:

Adapted by Mark Brown from the classic novel by science fiction pioneer Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days follows the tale of proper London gentleman Phileas Fogg, who strikes a wager with fellow members of the Reform Club that he can travel around the world in a mere 80 days—a mighty feat in 1872. With him goes his trusty French servant, Passepartout, while tenacious Detective Fix – who has mistaken Fogg for a fugitive bank robber – shadows him every step of the way. On his journey, Fogg encounters romance, adventure and a host of colorful characters who both help and hinder his progress. Will Fogg make it back in time to win the wager?


January 6 - February 8, 2009


CALL: 949.497.ARTS (2787) - GROUP SALES: 949.497.2787 ext. 229

VISIT:  www.LagunaPlayhouse.com

MOULTON THEATRE:   606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, California

Stonybrook Fine Arts- DIY space in Boston

I've been chillaxing for awhile now in Boston. It's very unusual that I stay in a place for more than 3 nights, and I've been here 3 weeks. The reason for my extended stay is Stonybrook Fine Arts, a bad-ass DIY space, classroom, metal shop. This is exactly the sort of place that I love- a place for anyone to come and learn skills, to get hands on, and get a little greasy. While I've spent my time sculpting and casting bronze memorials to my crashed car, they also offer classes in welding, mold making, jewelry, figure sculpting, and more. Basically, you can come here, learn how to use your hands and wield power tools, and, goshdarnit, make shit.

To top it off, they allow hourly rental of the shop for people who can't necessarily house a full metal and casting shop. Which is all of you.If you're in the Boston area, or know DIY-ers that are, I can't recommend the shop highly enough.

Blanket Magazine

Blanket Magazine has a short piece of Steampunk on the web this month, but that is mainly just the excuse I used to post.  Blanket magazine is:

. . . is a free PDF online magazine that is aimed at uncovering art + design + photography from the talented people who create it.

The name blanket came from the simple idea that we wanted to ‘cover’ all the areas of art, design and photography and bring them together in one magazine.

I've only skimmed the rest of the content so far but the images and graphics are absolutely gorgeous!  Download the PDF by clicking on the image above.  (Found via Mechanis)

Workshop Telephone

steampunk wall phone

I started this project quite some time ago, in fact some of you may have seen it at Maker Faire back in May.  Originally, this was intended to be an example of 'how to steampunkify an object.'  The idea being that by removing the casing and exposing the interesting insides of the phone you can make it more exciting and attractive.

I guess it kind of worked, but to be honest I'm not that pleased with the results.  In any case, it will make a fine telephone for the workshop.

. . .

Oh hey! I just came across this video from TechieDiva where Nathaniel Johnstone from Abney Park shows off my phone at Maker Faire - what's so cool is that he gets it just right and this video was likely filmed with in hours of the time when Nathan and I first met in person!



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