A year of making

This Thanksgiving I am reflecting on what I have learned, created, and shared. Here are some of the fun things I’ve been doing: Original STEAM kits Workshops Daily Maker Programs Personal Projects Original STEAM kits Flat-pack Carousel Kit Joined the Make-HER Ladymakers in creating STEM workshops for mothers and daughters at the Sunnyvale Library. For…

Rainbowduino!

Rainbowduino 3.0b driver from Seeeeduino with 8×8 LED Matrix The b is an ATmega328 so make sure you select the right board. Selecting the wrong board (ATmega168 for example) will cause a failure to upload. If you aren’t sure if avrdude is actually sending packets, go to Arduino: Preferences and check Verbose error reporting. Then…

Setting up OctoPi to talk to Printrbot Simple Metal via RasPi

Adam and Jamie’s Tested page is a wealth of resources, not the least of which is this OctoPi tutorial.  But for me there was one missing instruction. Here are their instructions, with my diff in bold: open the /etc/network/interfaces file with nano using the following command “sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces” Uncomment the line in wlan0 that…

LED beads

I saw this awesome Instructable about DIY sewable smd LEDs by user Carleyy.  I use smd LEDs a lot in paper circuits, taped down or carefully soldered. And I’ve had the pleasure of sewing Lilypad LED sequins in soft circuits. Now, the Lilypad ones are very reasonably priced, about a dollar each. But if you want…

Running Cura on Ubuntu

A month ago, the museum’s beloved Printrbot Simple Metal suffered a fatal crash. By which I mean it literally crashed on the concrete floor. Being the caring and nurturing person that I am, I ripped open its body and corrected it with my doctoring mallet. So after the repairs and replacement of the shattered coupler…

Playing with the SPO256-AL2 Speech Chip

Brought out the trusty Arduino Uno to hook up this classic 8-bit era voice synthesizer. The warbly sounds of the past await! See https://github.com/allisonbuilds/spo256_arduino/ for details. If you do one, please share your build with me! I’d love to see what other people are doing with it. I recommend decorating your Uno so that it is…

Things I learned today

When using Cura, I’ve had prints that I wanted to nest inside each other. Cura does not like this, not one bit. But it turns out you can disable the bit that pushes objects away from each other by turning off pushFree in util/objectscene.py I would verify this, except I was on a work computer…

Sparkfun Weevil Eyes

Yesterday I ran the Learn to Solder workshop at the Tech Museum of Innovation.  We put together the light-sensitive Weevil Eye kits.  It was great fun, we had wonderful participants!  A few participants had questions about the circuit, which I will answer here. Sparkfun provides a circuit diagram on the product website. Here I will…

Puzzle Pieces

I love open-ended building blocks, and I always wanted to create my own.  One of my favorite projects on the laser cutter was to make a set of infinitely recombinable puzzle pieces.  At first I planned to make a 2D tessellating set, with simple shapes. Then I realized I could cut pieces to the width of…

Experiments in resin

Inspired by this delightful resin embedment project  I decided to get a few supplies and try it out.   With my new TechShop membership I should be able to get to furniture pieces soon, but until then I will get to know my materials. I also strongly recommend checking out Resin Obsession’s website and Youtube channel…