ShopBot Camera Arm – Handsfree Project Documentation

I’ve been wanting an extra set of hands to hold a camera while I document projects for a long time. Kari and I are writing a book for MAKE all about soft robotics, and I figure there’s probably not going to be a better time to have a serious documentation setup than when someone’s paying me to do a good job at it. Since NYC Resistor just got a ShopBot and I’ve been meaning to get back into plywood fab for years, it seemed like a pretty auspicious syzygy. If you’d like to replicate this design for yourself, you can find the source files and project notes here. You can also see my photos from the cutting and assembly of the project here. Continue reading

MAKEzine Interview Postscript

Recently I was interviewed by Make Magazine for their series Meet the Makers. You can listen to the podcast here. What follows is some extra links, photos, and resources that help illustrate the projects I mentioned in the interview.

I was incredibly flattered when Mark Frauenfelder asked me if I wanted to be one of the makers interviewed for the MAKE Podcast. I jumped at the chance. Now, having concluded the interview just a few minutes ago I wanted to share some links to the projects I mentioned, offer up a little further reading, and provide downloads for the open source designs IĀ alludedĀ to during my chat with Mark.

This is the tensegrity structure I built as a class project ever so long ago. It’s made of cotton string and 3/16″ dowels and supports a 1/2″ steel ball bearing exactly 24″ off the ground.

Here is a picture of the metal rod tensegrity structure I mentioned. Here’s a photo of the load bearing one that was a class project way back in college.

I talked for a bit about Smooth-On, the company that makes a whole bunch of mold making and casting projects, and how they had a tutorial on getting a metal look using cast plastic and metalized powder. I’ve found the relevant section inside one of their Youtube videos here. You might also want to look into the SFX powder pigment Pearl-Ex for playing with adding cool colors and effects into your casting/sculpting projects.

If you’d like to find out more about my huge mobile pipe organ project, The Anywhere Organ, you can find pictures up on Flickr, a running record of the progress I’m making up on its Tumblr, video of it in action here, and downloads for the design on Thingiverse. Continue reading