OOML might just be the easiest way to get into programmable shapes

Object Oriented Mechanics LibraryOOML is a system for creating programmable, shareable 3d shapes using the common programming language C++.

Imagine being able to design a 3d file based on some very simple rules, like “every hole for your fastener will always be the same size” or “the thickness of your laser cut bits will always be the same”. Imagine being able to download a design and change it with just a tiny effort, like taking a design intended to be cut from .11″ acrylic and instead altering it to work with .22″ instead.

That’s the beauty behind OpenSCAD. It’s a programming language for making shapes. However, the language it’s based off of is unique. It’s hard to pick up the skills required to build an OpenSCAD part anywhere else than using OpenSCAD. However, OOML seeks to change that.

Picture being able to program parts like you would a webpage or Arduino sketch. OOML lets you design 3d parts in the common, easy to learn, easy to access, incredibly well documented language: C++.  It lets you add on libraries of shortcuts, scripts, and tools to help make the whole process faster and more robust.

I’m eager to see the system become more popular, getting fleshed out with tutorials and examples to play with.

Playing a 3d printed Stradivarius violin

Did you ever imagine that a 3d printed instrument could sound this incredible?

EOS, a product design/manufacturing company printed a Stradivarius violin a few months back.  Here it is, playing “In the Meadow” and sounding pretty fantastic.

via Shapeways.

3d printed windsurfing camera mount

Windsurfing aficionado and tinkerer Sergey Menshikov shares his durable windsurfing camera mount.

The beefy, waterproof GoPro camera has become a big item with adventurers, explorers, sportsters, and hackers alike. With its tiny price and tiny size, it’s perfect for delving into places you wouldn’t normally risk an expensive DSLR.

Sergey Menshikov, an avid windsurfer, came up with a clever way to record his windsurfing sessions handsfree using a 3d printed mount to tie his camera to his board’s mast. It’s made of a few pieces of printed nylon bolted together with common fasteners. Check out some video taken from the rig.

You get more detail about the project on his site http://trickcam.com/. He also has an entire series of mounts and devices for the GoPro here.

via Shapeways.

Printable mini T-beams

Print your own beefy construction set.

There’s a brand of industrial Erector Set called 80-20. It’s all based off of extruded aluminum beams with a specific T-slot on each face of the rectangular extrusion. Systems like the Shop-Bot and Lasersaur are based off that very mechanic. So, it stands to reason that some clever person would think to print their own, and Thingiverse user Luis has done just that. You can download and print your own here.

via MAKE

Printable magnetic construction toys look kinda like wishbones

Thingiverse user DrWeidinger shows off some attractive toys.

Here’s an elegant little FDM printed toy featuring magnetic spheres for fastenings. Just pop any of the many brands of popular ball magnet toys (you know the ones) into the specially shaped housings in the printed parts and assemble them into nifty shapes.

Since the spheres rotate freely in their housings they can spin to face the optimal direction for maximum holding force. Neat!

Download it on Thingiverse. Thanks, Dr. Weidinger.

Fashion imitates life, imitates art, imitates fashion.

The creators of EVE Online lovingly recreate fashion model Rick Genest in gripping detail.

As far as I’ve seen this is a first. CCP Games has created a highly detailed digital faccimile of the captivating fashion model Rick Genest aka ZombieBoy.

The model will be animated into an interactive runway show from designer Nicola Formichetti for New York’s Fashion Week. Users will view the digital avatar strutting the catwalk on a 7ft screen and will have control over some incredibly detailed high resolution outfits.

This kind of news always gives me futurist chills, imagining the Blade Runner universe we might be living in soon. When you can download and pose representations of actual human fashion models, try your outfits on a virtual human, and have an interactive fly-by camera of the catwalk, the future must be here.

Via Twistedlamb.

Colbert in space

Now that MakerBot has a space program, homemade bots in the stratosphere can’t be so far off.

This got me thinking about credit card sized stateliness, personal GPS triangulator balloons, and the future of private space travel. If Colbert can do it, we can do it.

The folks over at Makerbot, after their recent successes with remixing heads, decided to print their very own Stephen Colbert and send him aloft on a weather balloon. The mighty patriot reached a height of over 65,000 ft before condescending to return to us mere mortals below.

Check out a video from the historic flight here.


Via Makerbot.

Hip-stir your drinks with these pelvic bone swizzle sticks

Sculpture and design from Matthew Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is presenting a gallery show of sculptures at YES Gallery in Cincinnati. If you take a look at his work you’ll notice how laser cutting has really shaped his pieces and directed his aesthetic.

One of my favorite attributes of laser cutters is their ability to produce resolved, finished looking work with minimal fuss. You say “Hey laser cutter! Don’t you think it would be cool if you had hipbone shaped swizzle sticks?”, and your laser cutter is like “Awesome! Then you could hip-stir your drinks. I’m totally on this.”

Via LaughingSquid

Giant CNC’d Scrabble

Enormous lawn Scrabble on the great court at MIT? Yes, please.

I suspect this was cut out at MITers or the ShopBot in the basement of the Media Lab, but my knowledge of the MIT CNC machines isn’t as extensive as it once was. There is pretty much unlimited coolness that can be achieved with a giant computer controlled wood router ready to do your bidding.

I also think someone laid the word RAZED on a triple word score for a total of 43 points. Not too shabby.

Via Adafruit

The One Two by Four Chair

Brown students design a chair cut from a single 2 x 4.

Ok, so this project doesn’t absolutely require the intimate mechanical precision that comes standard with CNC tools, but provides a wonderful example of how you can make the most of your cuts by having them do double duty.

This project, by Ian Gonsher and Jake Geller, shows off just how much you can get out of a single piece of material. This project has some especially useful concepts for anyone wanting to squeeze every last ounce of value out of their laser cutting. If you take a close look, you can see how a single cut (accounting for the kerf of a bandsaw) will cut out the left hand side of one part and the right hand side of another simultaneously. This is an essential design skill for cramming a large number of parts on a single sheet like the folks over at Wood Marvels manage in every design.

You can download the design here, and find a bit more info on the project here.