For a friend's birthday last night, we made cookies (below) using a custom cookie cutter we bought from an online service. They came out well, but I ended up wanting more control over the process.
Next time, I'll use Cookie Caster, the free service that lets users make their own cookie cutters and download the digital files to their own 3D printer. Most everyone can scare up a 3D printer these days, either from a friend or at school. Doing it ourselves would have given us the chance to iterate on the baked good until it looked perfect. Owning more of the process, we could have done two cutters and experimented in final dough form.
Cookie Caster is a free service (it doesn't offer cookie cutters, only digital files). It launched last fall, and it grew out of the Noisebridge hacker space in San Francisco. You can also create cookie cutters by uploading your own image and tracing around it:
To make the multiple cookie cutters needed to create versions of these cookies from Fancy Flours (below), you might need something like Autodesk 123D Make or improvise your own slices. Not sure if Cookie Caster could help envision a 3D cookie like this.
Whether you're trying to quiet the hum on your old single coil Strat or Telecaster, or create a DIY wireless charging station for your phone, the copper tape sold to repel pests from the garden is an inexpensive and easy-to-manipulate material for the job.
By the way, slugs actually do HATE copper tape, evidenced by a 2004 paper ("Behavioural response of slugs and snails to novel molluscicides, irritants and repellents") in which scientists placed snails and slugs in little time trails. Citing a slowed pace of .5 centimeters per minute, they concluded that the "copper significantly reduced the velocity of snails."
Apparently the whole copper-slug thing is an urgent question to some people. I admire this guy's testing setup:
If the whole Potter franchise didn't already seem to give UK kids special powers, now this: primary and secondary schoolers can enter a contest by April 5 to program a Raspberry Pi for the International Space Station. Astronauts will upload kids' software to the newest credit-card-sized $35 computer for projects. That happens in November.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to think of a way to pass as a high school kid and also use the gyroscope, magnetometer, temperature probe, and infrared cameras on the Pi to do something cool 300 miles over the planet.
Paul Stankard's impossibly beautiful handblown glass pieces look impossible to create. In Beauty Beyond Nature, he discusses the craft while working in his studio.
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Artist Dan Tanenbaum makes fantastic motorcycle models out of vintage watch parts. Video below!
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The Jason Voorhees/Friday the 13th spoons from Black Death 777 are $37 each, made from recycled old silverware. (via Oh Gizmo)
Royce Hutain of GlowyZoey.com
returns after last year's hit costume for daughter Zoey. This year's rainbow LED and Velcro homage to Minnie Mouse includes instructions on making your own.
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Matt Mets has a Kickstarter for something he calls BlinkyTile.
It's a fun little set of pentagonal LED circuit board tiles that you can solder together to make
geometric shapes, and then program to make dazzling light shows. It's
unique because the LEDs are all connected in parallel, but each one has
it's own address, so you can make any kind of structural topology and
still control each light individually. I would of course appreciate any
attention I could get for it!
Retired naval mechanic José Manuel Hermo Barreiro makes incredibly intricate models of engines like the V-12. (via Devour)
BB pal Adam Savage of Mythbusters is very proud of his incredible new muscle suit! Check out those guns and boulders!
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In the studio with Reed Ghazala, "the father of circuit bending."
Sandman "up cycled" a vinyl record and camera tripod into a neat studio lamp
! (via Laughing Squid)
Colin Furze, who made the amazing DIY Wolverine claws, continues his X-Men experimentation with wristworn Pyro flamethrowers; demo above, how-to video below (via Laughing Squid).
Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash and his colleagues devised a $5 "chemistry set" that can be programmed to mix various reactants by punching holes in a paper tape and feeding it through the handheld device. Prakash says he was inspired by a hand-cranked music box. This latest device for what Prakash calls "frugal science" is on the heels of his amazing 50-cent folding microscope that I blogged previously.
"Music box inspires a chemistry set for kids and scientists in developing countries" (SCOPE)
Ingenious tech/robot artist Kal Spelletich of Seemen and Survival Research Labs fame is teaching a maker class in San Francisco on creating art involving technology! It sounds fantastic -- a rare opportunity to learn directly from a master of this genre that blends art, science, engineering, cultural criticism, and high weirdness. (Above, a two-minute video survey of Kal's storied career.) Kal says, "We will explore: building installations, carpentry, home-brewing, guerilla gardening, electric wiring, robotics, fire-making, fixing things, plumbing, pnu-matics, pumps, water purification, high-voltage electricity, video surveillance, electronic interfaces, scavenging for materials, cooking alternatives, solar power, skinning a rabbit, lighting, remote control systems, survivalist contemporary art history, and promoting and exhibiting your art.." Kal Spelletich: Research & Survival in the Arts Class
Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash devised a pretty amazing paper microscope that uses cheap tiny spherical lenses. The "Foldoscope" costs around 50 cents.
“I wanted to make the best possible disease-detection instrument that we could almost distribute for free,” Prakash says. “What came out of this project is what we call use-and-throw microscopy.”
"Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope"