3D Printed Boat Race


What was once the busiest freight port in the world recently held another freight hauling competition, but with a catch: all the boats were remote-controlled, had to fit in a 2'x2'x2' box, and had to be 3D printed. The Red Hook Regatta was a race to see how many "shipping containers" (actually, brick sized pieces of foam) teams could ferry to "cranes" (guys with fishing poles dangling down from the pier) through the choppy waters of New York Harbor. 

Steering and propulsion are standardized, so it was a test of ship design, building, piloting, stevedorism, and Poseidon's whims.

The event was a collaboration between two Brookyln-based groups - high tech job training Digital Stewards and artists Pioneer Works.

More coverage at The Brooklyn Paper, PIX11 News (video), and The New York Times.

Image: 3d printed boat, by Creative Tools/3D Benchy Read the rest

PIFcamp: Slovenian art+technology in nature hackercamp


Most hacker camps feature seminars, experimentation, and collaborative hands-on making—but very few integrate their natural environment as well as PIFcamp did.  Located in the lush mountainous beauty of Slovenia's national park, intense making was interspersed with walks, hikes and swims.  A prototype time-lapse camera documented the edible-food tour.  Once back at camp, plants that had been collected were chemically deconstructed in a makeshift bathroom biotech lab.  Experimental sounds were recorded as electric wires strung through wood heated it to a crackle.  Lynne Bruning has been working on speakers made from living plants.  So many other projects that I missed, but it's definitely on my calendar for next year!

Makery has a great report, and the official website has lots of pictures, too, and eventually should have more information on the projects.

Photos copyright 2015 by Katja Goljat, CC BY-ND Read the rest

Mosaic Photography

John Maushammer shares his tricks for making gorgeous 100 megapixel mosaics of tiny objects.

Gallbladder trophy mount

My friend has had gallstones, but with no insurance, just suffered through them for the last year. She just had her gallbladder taken out at the ER and is, happily, doing fine. But for all the trouble it has given her, I decided to stuff and mount the little sucker like a trophy animal!

I even included a few pebbles in the stuffing so you can feel the gallstones!

Construction was easy and took a few hours. I had the felt and thread in my hobby drawer; the pattern was free-form (trust me, I have no skill). I used cut up-scraps for the stuffing, and, of course, rocks from the yard. It's sealed with a few scarps of yarn. The wood plaque was bought at a hobby store for $1 and sanded/stained with leftovers found at my local hackerspace. Someone had donated excess brass sheet stock, which I used in a minimill to engrave the plaque. I decided to use a magnet to mount it to the plaque so that the plushie can also live on her fridge. Our space didn't have extra magnets, and I didn't find any suitable ones in a motor I took apart -- so I had to buy a six-pack at the store and am donating the extras for the next person. Read the rest