Posts Tagged ‘ digital fabrication ’

Fabable Arduinos, Wireless LEDs and Other Cool Things


Yes, those are lights in the table – “Look Ma, no wires!” (Read about it and link to the article towards the end of this post.)

FAFSA must be trippin’ (as is said in the vernacular of the day). They raised my EFC. At this point I’m not sure why.

Our government must be “trippin'” as well. Word is, they’re aiming to create a new legislative body called a “Super Congress”. Click here to read about it. This body would have special powers to draft legislation. It’s supposed to be for situations like the one we’re in now with the debt ceiling debate (a political debate turned civil war(of sorts). Politicians refer to each-other as adversaries. I didn’t know we had all moved to England.) For some reason I didn’t hear anything about this provision in our Constitution.

I’m going to make a point to watch old (’80s or older) movies (in what little time I might happen to have to watch movies 🙂 ). I’ve seen two so far: The Princess Bride and Hairspray(the 1988 version).

I’m officially finished everything my school needs me to finish to allow for matriculation – and…I ordered my books today! (Super excited XD).

In other exciting news: Our first materials shipment (for the Fab Lab) came in!! I went over to MIT today to pick it up, and then spent some time in the lab testing and getting everything working. It’s so great to see how everything is coming together.
Roxbury/Dorchester/Grove Hall: the Fab Lab is moving in!
This is so great for me because it has been one of my dreams to have a Fab Lab in my neighborhood. It’s been a dream of mine for a few years. I can’t wait for our first program day!

Interesting things I found today:

A transparent film allows LEDs (and other electrical components) to be embedded in transparent materials (i.e. glass) without any apparent wiring. Check it out here.

Also, a project I am looking forwards to trying out: Fabbing Leah Buechley’s Lily Pad Sew-able Arduino design. Shelby Doyle (one of Neil’s graduate students) did it and here is her documentation. I’ll let you all know how mine turns out. This is a variation on Ed Baafi’s Fabduino project.

Here’s the Lily Pad:

Here’s the design:

Here’s my goal (from Shelby’s documentation):

Ambitionz
Day 28
72 Dayz to go

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The Atlantis (thousands of highly skilled US engineers) Gets The Pink Slip

Welcome home Atlantis – you are a national hero and treasure. In honor of this occasion, I have been commissioned with the task of informing you that – you have been laid off.
You didn’t see that coming, did you?

STS-135 Atlantis Landing (201107210007HQ)

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know that I strongly question the wisdom of ending the space shuttle program. Unfortunately, I wasn’t consulted. 🙂

I did find this awesome, incredibly nostalgic video online however. I am really quite sad about this. I nearly cried (teared up slightly – no sobbing). At any rate – I think this is my dormant thirst for space travel coming out. Its afraid it will now go unsatisfied forever (and ever). Click here to see it

I would blog about how mechanical and computer-like the medical professionals I interacted with today were…
Ok, I will – briefly. I told the nurse that I had never had a particular procedure – and she continued to tell me I had. (No, she didn’t have any records to prove that – and I had really and truly never had that procedure). It was like trying to input data in a form where the option you need isn’t there. And then they made me take tests that, based on previous information, couldn’t possibly have been positive.

Big news: TIE Project Update! (imagine me squealing with excitement – while jumping up and down) (no – don’t, I just did and it was a little disturbing)…but at any rate: We’re really getting a summer lab! I can feel it getting closer! I sent in the order for our “Fab Lab Inventory” sourced materials which should start arriving next week. Setup on Monday, lesson plans coming soon. It’s all so exciting how it’s coming together!

Ambitionz
Day 23
77 Dayz to go

T-minus one (last time). A tribute to the NASA Space Shuttle Program

I still remember it as if it were yesterday. It was October 29, 1998. Senator and astronaut John Glenn and the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery began their expedition. I remember the sound, the fire, the awe. I remember the inspiration. I was only 6 years old – but John Glenn was my hero. I stood in my grandfather’s living room with my mother and siblings, completely transfixed by what I saw on the screen, I knew what I wanted to be. I would be an astronaut.

The Space Shuttle Discovery being towed off the runway after it's final landing

Seeing the space shuttle launch had a lasting impact on me; an impact that continues to this day and far out lasted my notions of becoming an astronaut. It simulated and fertilized within me, as a small child, a true love for science and a desire to participate in this wonderful world of discovery. That experience of watching the shuttle launch helped deepen a child’s curiosity, into everlasting amazement at what science can do- and encouraged a strong desire to be part of the community that made the Discovery’s voyage possible.

Like it did for so many American kids, the space shuttle program, (along with events such as the Apollo mission to the moon and Charles Lindbergh trans-Atlantic flight,) gave me an enduring sense of patriotic pride, coupled with the responsibility of our leadership on a global level.

As a citizen of the world and member of the upcoming generation, the space shuttle program impressed me with a sense of my duty to receive the torch of scientific and technological advancement and to keep it alive as our mothers and fathers did before us. They used it to explore space. What will we do with it?

Now, a bit more than a decade later, I am an engineer (in training) and have found my passion in inspiring people to purse an understanding of our world (science) and the development and application of this understanding (technology).

Today, it is with mixed feelings that I bid farewell to the space shuttle program. I think of the twin tragedies which claimed the lives of 14 brave explorers and I am glad for the opportunity to seek new methods of space travel. I think of 132 successful missions and I wonder how we will replace such and integral part of our nation, science program and culture (not to mention job supplying workforce).

We all wonder what the future will hold for American maned space missions; as the question “what’s next” has yet to be answered. No, cargo missions are not what we’re talking about.

I hadn’t planned to watch the launch today. I was scheduled to pick up machines for the summer Fab Lab we’re installing. My little brother and I walked into the basement of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms just as the live feed showed the Atlantis “blasting off”. We watched until it’s solid rocket boosters fell off and blew up into flaming balls of fire as they returned back to earth. They had done their job. NASA says the space shuttles have done theirs as well. Now it’s up to us to do ours.

I wish the Atlantis godspeed on its journey and return home; and yes, I will be visiting the Discovery at the Smithsonian.


TIE Project update

I spent most of today at CBA, installing software on the brand new lab computers that CBA is lending us. We’re scheduled to set up next week. We still have to pick up consumables and other supplies/lab equipment which hopefully will include a couple more computers. Here are some pictures:

Boxes and boxes!
20110709-020429.jpg

(Yep – that’s me!)

20110709-020500.jpg

My brother installing Windows OS

20110709-020516.jpg

Ambitionz
Day 10
80 Dayz to go

New Fab Lab comming online! (For the summer at least)(5 minute post)

I have 5 minutes to write this post, as I have homework to do 🙂 (4:59…).

Today’s big news:
In our meeting today with the program director at the Roxbury YMCA, we confirmed that we’ll be operating a Fab Lab out of their former computer lab over the summer! I/we are truly excited. We’re offering minimal hours at this point due to lack of human resources (HR at this point = me) but hope to expand, or at least get some other people/groups involved. We will have two of the four standard machines (thanks to the fabulous folk at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms 🙂 ) and some of the standard materials. Machines are the vinyl cutter and the mini mill. We’re hoping to expand as the project is successful.

Click here for some pictures of things made in Fab Labs around the world

My timer is screaming at me – back to the books, then to sleep.

Ambitionz
Day 9
81 Dayz to go

Hi. Uh, hello world.

Hello World

Hi Everybody.

I’m finally going in. Yes. I’m starting a blog.
My blogging ambition is to blog daily for the next three months (gulp).
I sit here listening to NPR’s All Songs Considered and cringe at the idea. I’ve been considering this for quite a while actually. I use to journal religiously – but that was years ago. This is a bit different, especially as I’m now writing to an audience. I’m afraid that I won’t have content worth reading, or that my writing style will cause reader’s eyes to bleed and I’ll be banned from the internet (or something horrible like that), or that (more realistically) I would just not stick with it and fall off the face of cyberspace. However, you never know if you don’t try it. Besides, I’m on an adventure – and it would be swell to have you along. (Oh, and I seem to have an extra dosage of willpower so let’s put it to use.)

I am a pre-undergrad, independent student, navigating the somewhat treacherous waters of Academia with her sign set for college. I am also a digital fabrication instructor, community Fab Lab “guru”, program developer, progressive education enthusiast, aspiring community organizer and a huge fan of Italian gelato . My academic ambition is to become a Biomedical Engineer and consequential proponent of progressive STEM education for the masses (because knowledge + skill = power).

I’m working with something called The TIE Project We’re just getting started and we’re hoping to launch our first public impact project in July for the summer. We’re tentatively putting a Fab Lab (will do a post on Fab Labs a some point, for now fab.cba.mit.edu) in our local YMCA. We’re working with Fab Central (at MIT) to get machines and materials. I spent some time today putting together a draft program and sent it to our group for review. The current schedule provides 20 hours per week of programming – not including staff/volunteer training time… I’ll be the main lab manager and program coordinator…and I may need to take a job this summer. Something we need to work out. Hopefully we’ll get more staff. 🙂

Yesterday I had my first water tubing and skiing experience. I had the time of my life – it was awesome. I did find out just how out of shape I am, and that coupled with all the bouncing, holding on for dear life and being dragged through the water at 30 MPH amounts to a certain amount of pain. Apparently the amount of pain is proportionate to the amount of fun had. Exercise routine – here I come. As soon as I’m done with this I’ll do some sit-ups :).

Ambition(s).
Day 1
89 Days to go.

Laterz

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