On equality, with a digression into toys

I am going to get seri­ous for a few para­graphs, but don’t worry. It will lighten up and there will be cats. Today, in the United States, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is a fed­eral hol­i­day cel­e­brat­ing the life and work of MLK Jr. The world has changed sig­nif­i­cantly since the 60s — and I don’t … Continue read­ing On equal­ity, with a digres­sion into toys

Further adventures in OpenGL: Octocat

As a fol­lowup from my pre­vi­ous OpenGL post: I have now suc­cess­fully ren­dered an exter­nal STL file (a 3D printer object) using OpenGL. And what bet­ter model than the Octocat? Warning: nerd talk ahead. Stop read­ing if you don’t care about the nerdy details. It turns out that I can’t de-dupe the points as I thought I could. The same … Continue read­ing Further adven­tures in OpenGL: Octocat

Experiments in OpenGL

I thought I would teach myself some OpenGL dur­ing this hol­i­day week. For the unini­ti­ated, OpenGL is the com­mon core 3D ren­der­ing that all recent video cards sup­port. Unless you’re doing game devel­op­ment or sci­en­tific visu­al­iza­tions, you typ­i­cally don’t need to mess with it. (And even game devel­op­ers fre­quently use higher-level tools to hide the picky … Continue read­ing Experiments in OpenGL

Hex math cheat sheet

I do a lot of design work for 3D print­ing (see also: the MakerBot cat­e­gory on this blog). For some rea­son, I keep find­ing myself repeat­edly doing a lot of math related to hexa­gons and the tri­an­gles that com­pose them. The first few times, I did the trigonom­e­try by hand. Over time, I offloaded that to Google searches, but the results var­ied in … Continue read­ing Hex math cheat sheet

On 3D Printing Lego Robot Accessories

This past week, the engi­neer­ing depart­ment of my com­pany (Elemental Technologies — we’re hir­ing engi­neers, by the way) had our annual off-site. This year we did some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent and had a Lego com­pe­ti­tion. The pre­vi­ous week, we were given time with the Lego Mindstorms kits to get famil­iar with the com­po­nents and pro­gram­ming lan­guage. The exact nature … Continue read­ing On 3D Printing Lego Robot Accessories

3D Printed Medieval Barbie Armor

Zheng3’s Kickstarter project is to design 3D print­able medieval armor for Barbie dolls. I see this as being a great tran­si­tion to help girls ease their doll play from “let’s go shop­ping” to a much more active and kick-ass “let’s fight that nasty dragon and save the vil­lage.”

Octocat MRI

When work­ing with 3D print­ers, you start with an object file. The object is a solid chunk of 3D geom­e­try. To get that out to the printer, it needs to be “sliced” into lay­ers. This is sim­i­lar to a laser printer. There, you start with a PDF or PostScript that defines a cir­cle here and a wavy line over there, … Continue read­ing Octocat MRI

Son of RatRacer: Mouse Car

After the ini­tial fail­ure described in yesterday’s blog post about the RatRacer, I thought I would scale down the prob­lem a bit. I fig­ured it would be eas­ier to iter­ate through design tweaks when big parts took 20 min­utes to print ver­sus 120 min­utes per part. If I ended up with a sound design for the mouse­trap car, then I could scale it up … Continue read­ing Son of RatRacer: Mouse Car