Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Printcraft

If you have never heard of printcraft, it is a creative server for minecraft. Minecraft is a sandbox game where you break and place blocks of various materials. Printcraft is one of the many ways that players of minecraft can create an STL file of the things they create. This means they can physically print the things they create in the game. What makes printcraft different is that it converts the standard minecraft block, 1mx1mx1m, into a 2mmx2mmx2mm block when creating the STL file. This means that you can build things to scale and for specific purposes. While it is still used primarily by players who want physical copies of their favorite game elements, it is an excellent way to introduce youth to the idea of designing real world objects in 3D. So far I have printed new usb drive cases, have drawn a holder for my tv remote controls, and printed a Tardis that my 14 year old son drew. I encourage anyone who wants to create their own 3D object from scratch to give printcraft a try. If you have never played minecraft it takes a few minutes to learn the controls, and lots of practice to catch up with the kids who have been playing for years, but is not nearly as difficult as learning to use other 3D drawing programs. If you do not own the game, stop by the lab and try it out with one of our accounts.
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Circuit Scribe: Draw Circuits Instantly

A project started (in part) by a Fab Lab patron and UIUC Material Sciences researcher, Analisa Russo, Circuit Scribe is an easy way to get into learning circuits on paper and get around breadboard learning techniques. Learn more (and donate, if you like) here: I believe a few of us are going to pick a version up for the main lab and TUFL to test and play with. More on the project at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/electroninks/circuit-scribe-draw-circuits-instantly
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“Hybrid Basketry”

Possibly of interest to some of you, “hybrid basketry”,  “a medium where 3D-printed structures are shaped to allow the growth and development of hand-woven patterns.”   Example product This work was presented at SIGGRAPH 2013, published in: Hybrid Basketry: Interweaving Digital Practice within Contemporary CraftAmit Zoran, Leonardo , Vol. 46, No. 4, LEONARDO SPECIAL ISSUE: SIGGRAPH 2013 Art Papers and XYZN: ScaleArt Gallery (2013), pp. 324-331 [PDF] Other works by Zoran can be viewed at:http://web.media.mit.edu/~amitz/Research/Research.html
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Paper Prototyping Level Up

Tue, 10/29/2013 – 21:33 — Geph Members of the GSLIS “Entrepreneurship and IT Design” course have created a new way to do paper prototyping – with more realistic mobile device holders. You can use these prototype frames to test devices in different use contexts, for instance holding a large tablet for one-handed use while walking and holding a bag. How far will your thumb reach? Includes files for paper inserts to cut or draw (with those little color pens!) on the Silhouette and frames to cut out on the laser. Everything for download at: https://uofi.box.com/paperprototype
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Modular Phones

Motorola recently announced a new phone they are developing. You can read about it here. I find it interesting that the announcement came so soon after Dave Hakkens started promoting his idea for Phonebloks. I really look forward to seeing where this project goes. It would be fun to develop a module for your own phone.
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Fab Lab Makers Pumpkin Carving

    The plan for today had been to make some halloween decorations using the vinyl cutter, 3D printer, and Epilog. Instead, having been inspired by a question from one of our participants, we decided to try carving a pumpkin with the Epilog. We used medium sized pie pumpkins so that they would actually fit in theepilog. Our first attempt was using a bumpier, more traditional looking pumpkin. It got stuck and slipped couple of times so we cancelled the print. Our second pumpkin had a much smoother, more rounded outside. That combined with moving the rollers closer together made for a much smoother rotation. First AttemptVector 02Glowing For the rastering we set the power at 100%, the speed at 20%, and the frequency at 5,000. This peeled theouter skin of the pumpkin off quite nicely, but light does not shine through very well because the walls are so thick. Pie pumpkins are so small that it is hard to cut the top large enough to get your hands in for good scraping. Perhaps slowing the speed down a little more would have made the pumpkin wall thin enough from the outside to get a good glow. For the vectoring we set the power at 100%, the speed at 5%, and the frequency at 5,000. This created a very black line that looks really cool, but only went about 2/3 of the way through the pumpkin. I had hoped that maybe the lines would glow when the candle was placed in the pumpkin, but it is such a thin line that you do not get any glowing at all. Though you can see the outline pretty nicely when the pumpkin is glowing orange around it. Since we had quit the print on our first pumpkin, we still had room on it and decided to try some different settings for the vectoring. We changed the speed to 2% and the frequency to 500. By leaving the rollers close together we were able to overcome the sticking and slipping during rotation. This time the laser cut about 98 to 99% of the way through the pumpkin. Still no glow when the candle is lit, but it looks pretty groovy.   On Display
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