New Matter's MOD-t 3D printer on sale for $399

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A couple of weeks ago I reviewed New Matter's MOD-t 3D printer. It was $400 at the time, but the price has temporarily dropped to $340. This is a great deal for an excellent 3D printer. I've been using mine like crazy since I got it. Read the rest

NTP: the rebirth of ailing, failing core network infrastructure

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Network Time Protocol is how the computers you depend on know what time it is (this is critical to network operations, cryptography, and many other critical functions); NTP software was, until recently, stored in a proprietary format on a computer that no one had the password for (and which had not been updated in a decade), and maintained almost entirely by one person. Read the rest

Cutting jawbreakers with a 60,000 PSI waterjet

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The recently-launched Waterjet Channel has been cutting all kinds of stuff with their high-power device, like these giant jawbreakers. Other good ones include an SLR camera:

And a rubber band ball:

Giant Jaw Breakers vs 60,000 PSI Waterjet (YouTube / Waterjet Channel) Read the rest

Call for submissions for Disobedient Electronics

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"'Disobedient Electronics' is a zine-oriented publishing project that seeks submissions from industrial designers, electronic artists, hackers and makers that disobey conventions, especially work that is used to highlight injustices, discrimination or abuses of power." Read the rest

Washi masking tape in 20 colors

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The MT Washi Masking Tapes come in 20 colors for $16.35, 10 meters of each color, with hundreds of positive reviews from crafters and customizers (caveat: this is "decorating" tape, and has limited use for e.g. sticking things up on walls). (via Fun Finds) Read the rest

A more advanced fidget gadget from Chris Bathgate

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Sculptor-machinist Chris Bathgate has improved on his Slider "worry-stone" gadget for occupying your nervous hands, using techniques he learned through his collaboration with spinning top-maker Richard Stadler. Read the rest

Create a customizable animal robot

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Our pals at Two-Bit circus have designed this paper craft robotic owl, to give kids a "taste of basic mechanical principles, electronics and programming." It looks really cool.

Build the mechanics, electronics and paper shell for your Oomiyu owl. Oomiyu was designed to show you how all the different systems come together to create an awesome robotic creature. Customize your Oomiyu owl by decorating its paper shell. We’ve included a set of accessories to get you started in bringing out your Oomiyu’s personality. And this is just the beginning. Show us what you got and make Oomiyu your own! Play with your Oomiyu owl! Oomiyu comes with pre-programmed behaviors and games: ask it yes-or-no questions, pet it until it goes to sleep, or set it up as your alarm clock. In addition, you can control, add, or change any of those behaviors with the companion app for even more fun. Hack it. We have built Oomiyu on top of the Arduino 101, which is powered by the Intel Curie module, to create a flexible technology platform that can be customized with other off the shelf components and sample code. Because the Arduino 101 is part of a lively open-source community, there are many resources available to help expand what Oomiyu can do.

Read the rest

Learn tools as you put them to use in projects from Make's new tool book

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One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Charles Platt’s Make: Electronics series (which I instigated as an editor at Make: Books) is his “Learning by Discovery” approach. You learn about electronics by doing the electronics and then learning about the science and engineering behind what you just did. So I was thrilled to see that in Platt’s latest book, Make: Tools, he uses the same project-based learning approach. Here, you do various, mainly wood-based, projects and learn about the tools as they are needed. For instance, in the first project, which is a wooden puzzle, saws are discussed as one is called for, then mitre boxes, clamps, rulers and squares, sanding and finishing tools. In the end, you’ve been introduced to each of the the tools in action and you have a fun puzzle to show for your efforts.

Charles always picks clever projects and Make: Tools is no exception. Projects here include a set of jumbo wooden dice, a pantograph, a Swanee whistle, parquetry, some wooden and plastic boxes, basic bookshelves, and even a few useful shop jigs. Through the course of each chapter, the project reveals the tools needed and explains how they’re used, their features and variations, and any safety precautions. Each chapter is also followed by a fact sheet that delves more deeply into a featured tool or material introduced in the chapter. Charles is known for his intense attention to detail and there’s plenty of evidence of that here. Each of the handsomely-designed pages (photographed and illustrated by Charles and designed by his wife, Erico Platt) has a lot going on and close examination pays off. Read the rest

Globe making (1955)

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Back when people had jobs, they did things like make globes of the world. Read the rest

Prizewinning junkbots made from surplus robotics kit

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Trossen Robotics challenged the roboticists whom it serves to make junkbots out of grab-bags of surplus parts they had lying around. The three winners are extremely impressive! Read the rest

The origin of the Compubody Sock

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Beck Stern writes, "In 2008 I knitted a woolen cozy for my computer, and now it belongs to the internet. This new video is its story." Beck Stern is a national treasure. Read the rest

New Matter's MOD-t 3D printer - low price, excellent printer

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About 5 years ago, I bought a simple 3D printer*. It cost only $400, but it was fussy and the software was hard to use. The printer bed needed frequent adjusting, and the printed parts would get stuck to the printer bed. The overall quality of the prints was just OK, not great. Even with all of its finickiness and shortcomings, I found it useful for making simple repairs of stuff that broke around the house.

Last month, a company called New Matter sent me the new MOD-t 3D printer for review. The MOD-t also sells for $400 and also uses PLA filament, and I was curious to see how two similarly priced printers from then and now compare. After using the MOD-t almost daily, I can say with confidence that it is much, much better in every way than my five-year-old 3D printer.

The MOD-t has a sleek design. It's white, with a clear plastic shell that covers the printing area. The cover keeps the temperature consistent and reduces the noise considerably. The old 3D printer didn't have a cover and it was noisy. The MOD-t also has a fan to help set the plastic after it comes out of the heated extruder head. The helps greatly to reduce sagging of overhanging features on the part being printed.

Setup was a breeze. I went to the New Matter website, downloaded the application and followed the prompts. The MOD-t has built in Wi-Fi, which means I don't have to tether my computer to it with a USB cable while using it. Read the rest

Leonard Bernstein once owned this amazing cigarette-lighting Rube Goldberg machine

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German sculptor Daniel Kühn created the "Light & Cigarette Machine," which plays Candide while lighting and extending a cigarette; it was later owned by Leonard Bernstein, and was auctioned off to a German collector after his death. Read the rest

Make: a Rick and Morty-inspired butter-passing robot

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Andre was so impressed with the existential crisis of a butter-passing robot as depicted in the cartoon Rick and Morty that he created his own, and shows you how to make one for yourself. Read the rest

Ingenuity, defined

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Never let it be said that the crapgadget factories of the Pearl River Delta don't know how to recycle surplus/rejected material. Read the rest

A beautifully machined spinning top

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Machinist/sculptor Chris Bathgate (previously) teamed up with Richard Stadler, who machines beautiful spinning tops, to create "sculpture TP53335144462," a gorgeous piece of work. Read the rest

A guide to making and learning for K-3 teachers

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John Scott Tynes writes, "Alice Baggett is a third-grade technology teacher at Seattle Country Day School. She wrote this awesome guide for teachers of kindergarten through third grade to incorporate maker thinking and STEM projects into their classrooms. She loves supporting kids becoming creators, not just consumers, of technology and engineering. It would make a lovely gift for a teacher in your life!" Read the rest

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