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Showing posts from July, 2013

David L. McMullen's Uncanny Humanoid Haircut

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David L. McMullen recently posted on the Inventables website a featured project that involved the use of hand moldable plastic to form the facial features of an android. The plastic used here is a true thermoplastic, able to be heated and re-formed any number of times without degradation to the material. With a low melting temperature of only 136-140°F (58-60°C), this material is ideal for tooling with the hand and can be used for a plethora of applications as David’s use here as robot hair demonstrates.
David L. McMullen's robotic hair made from hand moldable plastic
            A question we might ask that arises from this use of hand moldable plastics is simple enough: why give an android hair in the first place? Facial features serve no immediate or practical utility on these designs. Under a strict credo of form following function, such details may even seem superfluous. Indeed, David’s plastic hair may not be as practically useful as say the android’s limbs or dig…

Beer & Making

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At Inventables we have an occasional event in the late afternoon called Beer and Making.  Whoever is available goes down to the fabrication area and we socialize, drink beer and make stuff.  It is the Inventables equivalent of eating our own dog food.

I decided to make an official sign for the event.  I grabbed a piece of 12” x 12” x ¾” bamboo plywood.  I enjoy working in bamboo because it does not require a finish, machines amazingly well and smells cool when you work with it.  On this project I did zero post machining clean up other than a light shot of compressed air.  Total hands-on project time was about 1 hour.  I did not take any pictures during the job unfortunately.
Graphic Design

I wanted it to to have a bar sign and beer look to it.  I used Google Image search with the keywords of beer, Chicago, craft, and sign and found a Chicago Craft Beer logo on a glass.  The bottle cap and beer sign theme was just what I was looking for.

I dragged the logo into CorelDraw.  It was low res a…

Chicago area MAKEaTHON

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When we were out at MakerFaire 2013 in San Mateo we caught up with the guys from Motorola that are driving around the country in vehicles outfitted with digital manufacturing equipment.  We're excited to report that they are coming to Chicago! This weekend's MAKEaTHON will be at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and is being hosted by the Segal Design Institute. Next Thursday July 18th at 7pm they will be visiting Pumping Station: One on CNC Build Night and Inventables is teaming up with them to do a Gonzo build that includes MakerSlide and a cell phone. Details of the Gonzo build are below this video.
The weekend schedule at the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern will be as follows:
Friday, July 12          6pm-9pm
Saturday, July 13     10am-10pm
Sunday, July 14        10am-4pm

The PS: One event will start at 7pm on Thursday July 18th.

We'll be building a CNC Machine combined with a phone hack.  We do one night group builds that we call gonzo builds because it is a cr…

Inventables on ABC 7 News talking about Digital Manufacturing and the new Innovation Lab at CPL

On Monday the Maker Lab at the Chicago Public Library opened to the public.   Here is a short news segment that we did on ABC 7 Chicago News to demonstrate the 3D printers, Laser Cutters, and CNC Milling machines that are installed at the lab.