The pentagonal lampshade by Michiel Cornelissen is kind of like flexible textile. ZooM is made up of hundreds of small, interlocking elements that join together to form spirals. The lamp is manufactured flat and assembled. You easily pull up on the center and the cone-like shade takes form. Pop in a simple cord and bulb socket and you have a functional lamp. Who doesn’t love flexible joints 3-D printed in place?
As many of us become more concerned and aware of the foods we are consuming, urban farming has taken off as not only a way to produce healthy foods, but also to help produce foods in a more economical and environmentally-friendly fashion. Now, the AKER project is utilizing the power of CNC technology to make food production tools available to everyone.
The flat pack designs make it efficient for the AKER team to ship to backers around the world, and construction can be completed quickly thanks to the slot and peg assembly systems. The AKER farming system includes a beehive, chicken coop, raised bed garden, worm composter, and an indoor grow wall. For those with access to a CNC router, the AKER team is also releasing the plans for all 6 designs allowing them to be cut locally.
Fab Lab El Paso’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Gustavo Arriaga worked on the team of international designers to co-create the EggHaus and the WormHaus.
If you are interested in starting your own organic farm, and would like to support the AKER Open Source Project, please come down to Fab Lab for all your CNC Machining needs!
‘Design nori’ is a series of intricately laser-cut seaweed for rolling sushi. Each sheet of five designs – ‘sakura’ (‘cherry blossoms’), ‘mizutama’ (‘water drops’), ‘asanoha’ (‘hemp’), ‘kikkou’ (‘turtle shell’), and ‘kumikkou’ (‘tortoise shell’) – is based on an element of Japanese history or symbology, meant to bring beauty, good fortune, growth, happiness, and longevity.
Because of the precision required in the cutting process, the seaweed itself is a thicker variety from the Sanriku region
of Miyagi. It’s thicker, so it won’t crumble under the laser-cutting, has a nice luster, and doesn’t stick to other ingredients.
Get inspired for lasercut edibles, everybody!
New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has acquired a kit for building and programming a simple games console and four other DIY electronics products for the museum’s collection of “humble masterpieces”. These new additions will be featured by the Department of Architecture and Design.
As well as the Arduino, four other computer-based masterpieces have also been added to the collection: Ototo, MaKey MaKey, the Colour Chaser and the DIY Gamer Kit. Read more about it at MoMA’s Blog Inside/Out. It’s a keynote moment for the intersection of Art and Technology.
Open-source soft robot bodies! The Glaucus is an adorable ambling robotic quadruped with no rigid guts or internal framework. Like most soft robots, it is moved by alternating pressure within different chambers in the robot’s body, flexing the soft material in specific areas and causing it to move in desired patterns. This little guy was named and loosely modeled after the Blue Sea Slug (Glaucus atlanticus), with a walking pattern much like a salamander. He’s the product of several years of development by the Super-Releaser team, which has been investigating ways to create a seamless soft body with the desired interior chambers.
After many smaller projects and different iterations, Designer/Founder Matthew Borgatti and Rirector of Research Dr. James Bredt have dialed it in, and are offering their casting methods, their mold designs, and programming for the final Glaucus. The design seems solid (so to speak), with intricately ribbed interior cavities that give the robot’s legs nice articulation. Impressive, but not surprising given that Borgatti has a background in animatronic puppet design and Bredt is a Z-Corp founder, Viridis 3D owner, and teacher at MIT. With this well-documented and clearly explained system, anyone with a 3D printer, an interest in silicone casting and a programmer’s dream can jump on the soft robot bandwagon. The detailed how-to information is available at Adafruit, and the mold files are over at Thingiverse.
And from there you can add your own creativity. I for one am pumped to see more amateur forays into soft robotics. Soft robotics is an attractive field in part because it’s a fun intro to programming, but the greater applications of non-rigid robots can be impressive. As the Super-Releaser team points out, soft and responsive pressurized systems have myriad uses in medical applications. They could strengthen joints and muscles, give varying support, and alleviate pain at pressure points. That’s the kind of robot to have on your side.