Karen sez, "Instructables user abetusk has designed her own animatronic cat ears." Holy awesomely cute. I mean keee-yooo-te.
I saw the demo video for the neurowear "necomimi" brain controlled cat ears and I thought they were pretty awesome. I'm just starting to learn electronics and I thought a fun project to start out would be making my own version. Sadly, I don't think I'm adept enough yet to take on making my own EEG and I don't think the EEG's that are available are very reasonably priced, so I settled for having a button input to control the cat ears.
I wanted to build something that wasn't too expensive and was easy enough to be done in a sitting or two. I picked out some cheap servo motors, some craft supplies, spent a weekend or two developing code to control the servo's from a microcontroller and after much trial and error, I built some kitty ears that I think are pretty decent.
Animatronic Cat Ears
I don't know an awful lot about fingernail painting, but this seems like a pretty straightforward painting task, and the effect is pretty awesome.
(via Super Punch)
Aerogel.org is devoted to making open versions of aerogel, the super-strong, super-light new material. They provide recipes for several sorts of aerogel, testing protocols, and projects you can undertake with your homebrew miracle substances.
Propylene oxide is a known carcinogen (exposure can cause cancer), and epichlorohydrin is probably too. If you plan on doing this procedure, take the proper precautions to prevent your exposure to the vapors of these substances by using a fume hood in lab, if possible, or at the very least a fitted respirator (gas mask) with the right organics cartridges and a well-ventilated space, on top of the usual splash goggles, gloves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.
Look under Explore > Information About Chemicals to see where you can find health and safety information about these and other chemicals.
If you can’t use these substances safely, don’t use them until you can!
Aerogel.org » Make
(Image: A silica aerogel puck Rayleigh scatters light from a laser pointer like smoke.)
The wizards at Sparkfun, an open source hardware company, show us how to make one of these spiffy furry barbarian leather arm-bracers with a charmingly anachronistic D&D dice-roller built into, built around a Lilypad soft Arduino controller.
I’ve got nothing but respect for the DIY/open source community who take conductive thread, LEDs, and Arduino boxes and make them into marvelous little working crafts. I find it all a bit above my metaphorical pay grade. However, if there was anything that was going to convince me to learn how to rig a circuit, it would be the project that Dia forwarded to us yesterday.
It’s a fur-lined leather gauntlet that can roll 100, 20, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 4-sided dice with the flip of a switch and the shake of a forearm. It combines my love of tabletop with my desire to live in the future where we all poke our wrists to get things done.
Theoretically, there's a complete tutorial for this beauty, but it's 404 at the moment. The link below goes to The Mary Sue's writeup.
New Life Goal: Make a Leather Bracer that Rolls Dice
Sillysparrowness, a self-described "German teacher with a leaning towards silliness," described the process by which she came to build a beautiful, obsessively finished Tardis.
I built a TARDIS
Chicago's Floyd Davis demonstrates how to make a boombox out of any case, including a Craftsman toolbox.
Boombox in a Toolbox
Sumitsumit sez, "Tired of carpet, want wood floors, but living in a rental apartment? If you have the low-pile variety, here's an economical way to make yourself a great new floor without damaging the underlying carpet. From the guy who brought you 'rope bondage for laptops.'"
How to Install a Wood Floor on top of Carpet
Oakleaf Cakes, creator of the life-sized Stormtrooper cake we featured yesterday, have a post up detailing the fella's construction, right down to his rice krispie skeleton.
The building of the Stormtrooper cake was an epic event in and of itself. It took our entire wonderful crew of ten people two full weeks of to put this guy together (although the cake wasn’t added until 2 days before it was to be served). Along the way we even had to invent completely new cake making methods so it could be put together modularly onsite, hold its fondant over long vertical stretches, and stand on two beautifully sculpted Rice Kripsy legs that supported his 300 lb body –all while keeping every bit of cake tasting light, fluffy, and delicious!
We built a life-size Stormtrooper and he was delicious.
Mark's written about winning rigged carny games before, and now the Art of Manliness has a nice little guide to winning five midway challenges, including the secrets behind them (for example, the milk-can has a collar welded around the inside of its mouth that makes it just a few millimeters bigger than the ball you're tossing) and strategies for beating them.
The secret to winning Milk Can is to give the ball a bit of backspin and hit the back of the can’s rim. The backspin will decrease the ball’s momentum, and instead of bouncing off the can, it will slide into the hole. Easier said than done, of course!
Aim for the back of the rim. Remember, we’re trying to deflect the ball in, not sink the ball straight through the hole.
Toss the ball underhanded, but grip the ball on top. This will allow you to give the ball the needed backspin.
Give the ball some backspin as you release it. As you release the ball, give a little flick of the wrist so the ball starts spinning backwards in the air.
Carny season's a few months off, but that gives you time to practice.
How to Win 5 State Fair Games
Makerspaces are pretty gnarly, filled with unwieldy equipment, fragile projects-in-progress, glorious fire hazards, and delicate instruments. Moving a makerspace sounds like a nightmare. MAKE's guide to moving a makerspace, penned by the Jigsaw Renaissance members after their last move, is a great place to start when your hackspace loses its lease or outgrows its boundaries.
Purge. No really. This is the best time to throw everything out. Yes, we know it might be useful at some point. Some tips: if it’s not slated for a specific project, toss it. Is the object of high value? Calculate your cost/sqft of space, including utilities. Is it worth the space it takes up?
Layout. Have an idea of where things go – this will help you with your purging process.
Insurance. Just like your landlord, find an insurance agent who “gets it” or at least gives you a confused smile. Talk to them about why you do what you do. Use terms like “community workshop” and “clubhouse for geeks.” Words like “hacker,” “fire,” “high voltage” might set them running. And yes, you do need insurance.
Moving Your Makerspace
Instructables virtuosa Mezcraft made a (sadly non-working) geared gingerbread cuckoo clock with internal gingerbread gearing. She kind of beats herself up for the mechanical unsoundness of gingerbread, but that's hardly her fault!
Well - this is a bit of a fail so this is where it gets sad. After all my research and all of my effort my gears have stuck to the axle and will not turn. Two of them have some movement but the other two are stuck. If anybody out there has tips on how to avoid getting icing down onto your axle I am all ears! I still haven't given up on this idea. I might try it again another time..I think also the weight of my top gear pieces limited the ability for the gear to turn. Ah well.. It was really fun to try and do. Plus my clock feels slightly more authentic, like it has a gingerbread gear heart on the inside. No Hollow Gingerbread house for me, that's right, I got a Gingerbread house with soul...
I spent a good deal of time "cleaning up" the edges of the gears with an exacto blade attempting to give them smooth surfaces in which to turn well. I then added wax paper "washers" as I was worried that icing might stick ( this was not an unfounded worry), and that the gingerbread might rub weirdly on all other gingerbread. My initial test before icing of the gears worked well. It turned and it had promise. I then assembled the whole gear section together with icing and crossed my fingers that it would not stick together...
So all that work on my gears that didn't work and got stuck AND you cannot even see them through my clock face! Not enough light I suppose...Pretty funny though. At least I know that they are there. I think next time I should set up some major lighting if I want to put something on the inside of a gingerbread house. LESSON LEARNED.
Edible Gingerbread Cuckoo Clock with Internal gears
Hallowe'en has come and gone, but it's always the right time for hats that make you look like your skull has been removed, exposing your brain!
It's best to study pictures of the human brain before tackling this project in order to best mimic the brain's convolution patterns when caulking the cap.
Weighing a little less than a pound and a half, this costume is still lighter than most professional bicycle and motorcycle helmets. Use a cap without an adjuster to ensure a perfect fit.
Project: Gory Brain Cap
Matters of Grey created some beautiful, downloadable designs for cutting out Star Wars-themed snowflakes, and Anthony Herrera extended the collection, adding several designs, including a smashing Admiral Ackbar.
Star Wars Snowflakes
This fairly straightforward HOWTO teaches you to build a tiny terrarium inside a clear glass Christmas tree bauble.
If you love terrariums as much as we do, why not trim your holiday tree with a some of them? With just a few materials and some fresh plants, you can create ornaments featuring these glass-enclosed garden worlds to make your home jolly and bright. We think they're much more fun than your typical store-bought ornaments, and unlike those shiny green balls you'd see on a generic Christmas tree, these terrarium ornaments can stay out long after the yule tide comes and goes. Read on for our step by step tutorial to learn how to make your own!
DIY: How to Make a Terrarium Christmas Ornament!
Karen sez, "Instructables user lvl_joe has built the ultimate Fire-Breathing Animatronic Pony from a FurReal Butterscotch play pony."
For Maker Faire Detroit 2011, I displayed a hack I made to a FurReal Friends Butterscotch Pony. My fellow LVL1 Hackers and I had taken control of the motor control system of the toy and added a flame thrower to it. It seemed to go over really well with the crowd, so I am putting up the information for anyone to make there own. It was a blast to make and I hope everyone has as much fun remaking it. Just remember that this project uses Fire and should only be built and operated by no less then 2 adults with appropriate experience in fire safety and proper fire safety equipment on hand.
Make a Fire Breathing Animetronic Pony from FurReal Butterscotch or S'Mores