I’ve been playing with origami, lately. Specifically, I’ve been exploring how to simulate, model, and fold origami shapes in ways that could be automated to create useful mechanisms. The system I’ve come up with is designed to fold rip-stop nylon, which I’ve worked with a bit during my time at Makani Power and research at Super-Releaser.
After some experiments with programs designed specifically for generating origami patterns, I found I wasn’t able replicate the patterns I’d prototyped in paper. Since I wanted to start out with a paper prototype, do some bench tests, and move to CAD from there, I needed to consider other options. I also wasn’t able to convert the output into a format that would play with CAD for printing and prototyping the resulting forms. So, I fell back on my old standard: SolidWorks. If you’ve worked with me before or you’re a regular reader, you don’t get any bonus points for guessing I’d find a way to turn this into a SolidWorks project. This video was very helpful for understanding how to think about origami in a SW context.
Years ago, I designed a series of Tardis and Dalek rings as an experiment in SolidWorks modeling. I wanted to have a ring design that would support a sculptural element with a shank that would change proportionally to feel natural in a wide variety of ring sizes. I was also way into Dr. Who at the time. Continue reading →
Last night at Resistor Trammell and I poked around with a project to put on the space’s brand spanking new Shopbot. I like tessellating things. Trammell likes putting computationally generated patterns on things.
The plan is to take the box I designed, which will be built from six identical routed panels with hidden finger joints, and apply patterns to the outer faces. I’m excited to see this thing get cut.
I was hired by SOLS to help out with their Adaptiv project. The idea was to showcase the procedural modeling techniques, materials, and technologies behind their printed insoles with a futuristic robotic shoe. Jordan Dialto, the industrial design lead at SOLS, approached me in my capacity as lead scientist at Super-Releaser to make a prototype soft robot shoe that could change shape and fit in response to the wearer.
The project started out with an external shell modeled by Continuum Fashion. Although the design was elegant, this posed a challenge for introducing the robotic elements and the engineered components that would stitch everything together. Since the external shell was generated in a mesh CAD program, it didn’t fit into SolidWorks’ reference frame. This meant using the mesh as a reference and generating a simplified surface to extrude the soft robot elements and retaining skeleton from. Continue reading →
Do you like 3D printing, mold making, industrial design, jewelry, and RGB LED’s? You’re in luck, then. I just finished this tutorial for Adafruit and think it’s well worth a look.
In this project, I attempted to make an Arduino powered device that was easy to use, easy to make, and self contained. Every 3d printed component can be done in a single build without support material. The ring has a battery, switch, and USB port. Once it’s together, all you need to charge or reprogram it is a USB Micro cable.
As part of a series of projects for Pork Pie Hatters, I’ve been reviving some old hat making equipment through a combination of laser cutting, CNC milling, and some older tried and true fabrication techniques. My favorite of these projects has been a series of hat blocks designed in SolidWorks and milled in ash.
The goal has been to recreate a number of classic hat styles for a complete production run of custom hats. The hats themselves are being fabricated at the Pork Pie Hatters Williamsbug shop. The major challenge of this project has been to recreate a complete series of hat blocks from a series of reference forms and drawings, keeping in mind the key elements crucial to each particular hat style. It would be simple to make a series of hat blocks fit for a complete set of head sizes by taking a single design and scaling it up or down. But, the crucial gesture of each design would be lost. The features like pinches in the front, the curve of the ridge along the crest of the hat, the indent at the top of a pork pie, all shift and scale independently to work holistically on different sized heads. Continue reading →
After many trials and tribulations, false starts and disappointments, I have designed, made, and sent off the most complex and difficult of the Anywhere Organ Kickstarter rewards. This was the last of the rewards, which means that the long and winding process of fulfilling my campaign promises for the Anywhere Organ can now switch from making rewards to growing the instrument.
These were actually a lot of fun to design. I’ve found that SolidWorks can be good for sketching if you link relationships between elements to make a network of significant lines and measurements dance around each other as you drag parts into place. For this design, the significant measurements were the positions, diameters, and distances between the fingers that would be holding these knuckles. Once I had these dialed in (at least for my own fingers) I set up a sketch that I could drag around until I found a design that had some interesting aesthetic things going on. So far so hoopy. Continue reading →
Ceramic 3d printing exists. Every so often I’m reminded that I live in the future and that it is AWESOME. It needs some work, but egads is it great. As an experiment I printed a recent design, the foundation for some organ themed knuckle dusters, in Shapeways’ ceramic. It was remarkably light and very pretty but a bit on the flimsy side. My dad took a shine to them when I was showing them off around the workshop and he, meaning to look like a fifties gangser, donned them and then brought his knuckles into his palm. Cue crunchy noises and falling bits. Alas.
After some loving care and a bit of epoxy they were as good as nearly new. All in all they’re not the super durable porcelain I’d like them to be, but I’d definitely use the material again. I’ve been considering making some parts for a drink pouring robot in ceramic and this has not deterred me, though it has informed how I’ll pursue the design. Continue reading →
After much doing of things I’ve come up with the next big thing for the Anywhere Organ. This particular prototype was created in SolidWorks and then made all pretty with Illustrator. Again, the whole thing’s made of 3/4″ plywood cut out on an industrial laser.
There’s still a load left to do before I can call everything done, but I’m closer to completing this thing than I’ve ever been. All the fastenings and fits have tested beautifully, the design is pretty, and things seem to be working out, mechanically. It’s just in time, too, because the Anywhere Organ has been invited to premiere at the Figment Festival NYC next month .