Designer/Builder Jesse Frome uses mechanical engineering to build unique, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces with organic, biomorphic forms. Getting his business off of the ground has involved building mechanical jigs for NextFab's tools in order to rapidly prototype his designs. And Frome has accelerated his iterations by receiving feedback from the vast network of expertise in the NextFab community of staff, members and residents.
Here are our Staff Picks for this week. Aviation, Art, Crocheting, 3D Printing and Woodworking are what we have for today. We hope you enjoy them!
Reuters Jet aircraft running on sawdust or straw? Sustainable fuel for Turbine and Jet powered vehicles. - Gregg
treehugger A crocheted playground! - Brandon
Cargocollective Lots of cool concept art by Scott Robertson (see also: Design Studio Press). - Alex
core77 CNC milled and 3D printed Fisher Price records. - Christine
Inspir3d Is it melting wood? - Brandon
Here are our staff picks for this week. We have Science and the Arts covered with 3D printing, green automotive, Maker Movement, Arduino and general electronics. We hope you enjoy them!
The Roopod A home made vehicle that’s street legal and gets 78 mpg. - Gregg
Friction welding Very hot stuff. This shows the power of friction. - Matt
CNN Idea Series What if you could make anything you wanted? - Gregg
The Diyode Board is designed to assist beginners to the Arduino platform. - Gregg
buildinggadets.com This is a good site for electronics hobbyists. - Gregg
Here are our Staff Picks for this week. CNC woodworking, art and robotics merge, 3D printing, metal casting and laser cutting fill this week’s picks. We hope you’ll enjoy them.
Wood Joinery Notebook Very interesting article about CNC wood joinery. - Gregg
The Art of Curve Folding and Robotic Manufacturing Two robot arms working together to fold sheet metal to make a very cool wall facade. - Alex
Portable 3D Printer This kickstarter is for a 3D printer with a 100mm ^3 build envelope. The designer has proved that he can successfully print 10 micron thick layers in PLA, although the machine can increment its z-height in 0.4 micron steps. Another useful feature is the fast print head motion (it’s capable of 300mm/sec). - Alex
Metal Molding in the South of Brazil Interesting story about various types of metal casting in the southern region of Brazil. - Yulia
The Lasersaur is an open source laser cutter. - Alex
Here are our Weekly Staff Picks for this week.
3D Scan Your Head and use it as a Chess Piece An example of using the new technology for 3D scanning by Autodesk 123D. - WanTing
Tim Cook’s US Manufacturing Reality Distortion Field Interesting article discussing whether Apple can’t (or won’t) do more manufacturing in the US. Normally, people cite China’s subsidized labor wages and favorable tax policies are cited as the major reasons, but the author make some convincing counter-examples:
“I’ll leave the subject with one last counter-argument to this tale of how woefully inadequate US manufacturing is to the task. Take a look at Germany. By all accounts it should be far less competitive than the US in manufacturing. Taxes are worse. Regulations are worse. Wages are higher. Yet, Germany’s manufacturing economy thrives.” - Alex
Mechanical Principles (1930) by Ralph Steiner It’s like the movie Metropolis, but with gears! - Seth
Roominate: Make It Yours Customizable dollhouse toy for lil’ gals. - Christine
Tron News Listen to two full albums of Draft Punk songs, remixed as Nintendo soundtracks. - Brandon
Tiny Chip Inserted in the Sole of a Shoe Can Charge the Wearer’s Cell Phone Say what? Charge your cell phone as you walk? It’s the future, indeed. - Christine
Paradoxical gears have a complex shape with multiple lobes that exert pressure on the lobes of meshing gears, allowing for some interesting behavior. These gears are often called “paradoxical gears” due to the fact that in some configurations, all of the gears rotate in the same direction (it’s easier to see in the videos than to explain in words). The original design is credited to a Renault engineer named Mercier (the gears were needed for the torque-limiting Mercier differential). Perhaps the most impressive thing is that such complex shapes were designed before the advent of modern CAD/CAM, most likely through the solving of some very complex equations. [Bonus link - print your own paradoxical gears!] - Alex
Progressive Cavity Pump An interesting wikipedia article about a type of pump most people may not have heard of. The design uses two fairly complex shapes, one which rotates eccentrically inside of the other one. This particular design is useful for applications which require either a consistent flow rate, or liquids/slurries that require low levels of shear stress. - Alex
The Return of the Vacuum Tube The New Vacuum Tubes. - Gregg
Colossal A cathedral made of lights - Brandon
Here are our Staff Picks for this week. Sciences and art converge again.
Bio Computer Using a PC’s waist heat to help wheatgrass germinate. Thinking inside the box. - Gregg
Superplastic Forming Aluminum Short video showing a process called superplastic forming - in this case of aluminum. Essentially, the material is heated to a high temperature, allowing it to be formed with methods typically used on plastics. In the video, the aluminum sheet is heated to about 900F before being formed over a tooling die. The pressure is applied from above with a bladder filled with compressed nitrogen. - Alex
FreshFiber Really cool iPhone/iPad cases. All the products are 3D printed in Nylon, allowing for personalizations like including your name. - Alex
f.lux Software to help you feel comfortable in front of your computer. - Brandon