In the Maker Spotlight

Makezine (and author Caleb Kraft) were kind enough to do a Maker Spotlight interview with me. In it, I was able to talk about my perspective on problem solving, mechanical design, and multidisciplinary research.

From the article:

I’m also really proud of the microscopic tardigrade aquarium I made for Midnight Commercial and Google ATAP. It was this microlens-array powered microscope that looked into a tiny self-contained biome of waterbears, algae, and other microscopic critters we mixed up as an artificial biome – all designed to live in your phone and let you watch this little world through your screen. I got to do everything from design biological research experiments, to diving into whitepapers on micro-optics and tardigrade lifecycles, to simulating EDM cut sheet metal flexures, to figuring out how to cheaply duplicate micro-machined lenses using silicone casting.

The Little Spaceman Lamp I sculpted as a personal art project (featured in the article).

Interview on the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show About SFX and Soft Robots

A couple of months ago Kari Love connected me up with Jeff Rubin to do an interview on his podcast. I highly recommend listening to the episode that I’m on, as well as every other episode of the show. Seriously, he finds amazing guests like Matt Chapman (the voice of Strong Bad and Homestar Runner), A professional pizza tour guide, and a professor who’s subject of expertise is the board game Monopoly.

In this interview we discuss how I got my start in movie SFX, some workshop shenanigans, and where my current track of soft robotics research is headed.

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 I alluded 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