Mixed Reality Report - Recent Updates
As laser cutting and 3D-printing projects piled up, I was spending more time slinging points and paths -- aka vectors.
Inkscape, the open source vector program, was giving me a tenuous grip on the concept of vectors. But I decided I needed to get friendlier with vectors. So I switched my Adobe subscription from Premiere to Illustrator -- Adobe's vector program.
Origami Lucky Stars as Information Medium
The capsule machine works best right inside the front door, with the gesture sensor right next to it. We've learned that at Fab@CIC and District Hall. People enjoy the immediate reward; the quick, easy engagement. And that has changed how we've stocked the capsule machine, twice.
Particle Photon Workshop at Cambridge Hackspace
Cambridge Hackspace hosted a lively 3-hour workshop on the Particle Photon, the microprocessor that we use the most to power the Mixed Reality Challenges at Fab@CIC and District Hall. Instructor Robert Vinci hoisted a projector on top of a tall shelf and guided the class through his 42-page syllabus. Each workshop participant also received a Particle Photon kit.
Mixed Reality Challenge at CIC Kendall Square Housewarming
Joey Lindsey, of Fab@CIC, demonstrating the Mixed Reality Challenge at the housewarming event at CIC's newest facility in Kendall Square. The celebration marked the culmination of a multi-phase launch for CIC and the start of CIC’s 20th year in Kendall Square, where the company was founded in 1999.
A Levitation Workshop at Cambridge Hackspace
Magnetic levitation, that is. Even so, it's a crowd pleaser. The cheap-from-China platforms work, but they're fragile. You have to set them up just right. Touch one and it will collapse with a clank, as the magnet slams down to the metal surface. Not a display you can leave unmonitored. Still, I was game when Ed Klacza, Cambridge Hackspace prez, offered a workshop on magnetic levitation.
A Night Out for the Toy Capsule Machine
Cambridge Hackspace joined forces with Fab@CIC to work on a new version of the Wifi Connected Gumball Machine. So it made sense to make a joint venture to a Cafe Night at District Hall. The theme was inspireHER. Also a good excuse to try out a cheap Chinese action cam.
Road Trip. The Mixed Reality Challenge Moves to CIC Boston for a Night
For one night only, the Mixed Reality Challenge moved about 25 city blocks east, and 20 stories straight up to a lively Arts Technica night at CIC Boston. The goal of Arts Technica was to highlight how artistic expression is incorporated into modern technology. In addition to the Mixed Reality Challenge, the demos included virtual reality, video game graphic demonstrations, art installations using ePaper technology.
Coming soon... Cranks!
A crank converts circular motion into reciprocating motion. It also works the other way around, but that doesn't interest me now. I want to use servos (circular) to get that connecting rod going -- to power automata. I'm working with a few crank kits I found online, starting with an extremely simple one from PaperMech. This classic crank, btw, is from Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements, originally published in 1868.
I knew they were heading my way: laser cutters.
They are just too damn useful.
On a typical open project night at Cambridge Hackspace, they are almost always the featured attraction, the highlight of the tour.
Same thing at Fab@CIC. The big laser cutter always seems to be working, burning its way through projects from acrylic boxes to wooden coasters.
So time to figure laser cutters out.
DC Denison is Senior Editor, Technology, at Acquia, the digital experience company. He is also co-editor of the Maker Pro Newsletter, and a contributing editor at Make: magazine.