HIGHFIV3D: Autonomous Reassurance Device – Part 3

Part 3: Audio & Assembly Awesomeness

 

highfiv3d 123d project

I wrapped up March with this cool little project - it's a little late on the calendar, but there were some tweaks to be made.  Last time, I successfully programmed the Arduino to accept the accelerometer input to trigger audio files, and recorded some WAV files.  I tried the cardboard hand from Part 1, but it essentially exploded (due to the inherent awesomeness of my high-five, maybe..).  I decided to just bite the bullet and print it on our Objet printer, I may do another with flexible filament after all.

Once the files were cut and loaded on to the SD card, I finished the assembly of the hand with a base that could support a bunch of slaps.  I used the shear at TechShop San Francisco to get some 3-inch strips of mild steel, then a vise and a hammer to bang it into a 90-degree shape (I'll let you figure out how to get the other side).  

 A quick trip to the hardware store netted a spring, some threaded rod, a bushing/spacer and some locking nuts.  Basically, the hand/dowel will rotate around the threaded rod - which is locked in place with the nuts - a spring at the base will provide the tension for it to return to neutral.  I just used a C-clamp to secure it to a desk and watched my co-workers smack away.  A small USB-powered speaker with a headphone jack provides the sound, and I just picked up a dual-USB-plug to power it and the arduino board.

The random clips are pretty funny, I may do something similar soon with microphones.  The folks upstairs at Instructables have some pretty heavy feet, we've been scheming to provide them some 'feedback' when footsteps reach a certain decible level.  

 It's a pretty cool little thing to have on your desk - most people can't resist a high-five.  And that's good, because it's rude to leave someone hanging.

 

Bonus: Here's the raw footage of us recording the audio samples. 

HIGHFIV3D: Autonomous Reassurance Device – Part 2

(I only had a small speaker on hand, please forgive the audio)

I started working on the electronics component to the HighFiv3D machine this week. In my previous post, I went from using a piezo senseor to an accelerometer; then this week I decided to do a tilt sensor before getting frustrated trying to debounce it. So ACCELEROMETER it is...!

The first step was gathering parts. After a bit of advice from Gian Pablo and Rob, I figured I'd need an Arduino Uno, a Wave Shield and the accelerometer to start. We have some Arduinos on hand at Pier 9, but you can get everything from Adafruit, retailing for about $60.

The Wave Shield is basically another circuit board that sits directly on top of an Ardiuno and allows for .wav files to be played from an SD card. Now I can record the audio with my laptop, convert to the proper file type (.wav) and store them on an SD card for random play when prompted; in this case, when the accelerometer is moved.

I used Adafruit's Wave Shield Kit, v.1.1, for which they have a great tutorial on soldering and building the actual board. If you can solder, it's very simple. You'll need a 2GB SD card (it can't use anything larger) that is formatted - I used the SD formatter that Adafruit suggested, but Mac's Disk Utility will work. Once the board was built per the instructions, I only added some female headers to make testing easier.

For the accelerometer, the only soldering that's required is the wire leads that will run from the Arduino to the Shield/Arduino. I chose Yellow/Blue/Red for my X,Y and Z motions, black for power and green for ground (my electronics aptitude has been dictated by motorcycle wiring). Just leave a foot or so of wire slack to test the sensor.


Once the shield was finished, I started working on the coding. My programming experience is pretty limited (I once made a light blink with an Arduino, but that's about it). Fortunately, there is a HUGE community with pre-written codes (Sketches), so you can get away with not having to completely write it yourself. I pulled from Adafruit's example sketches for the Wave Shield and the accelerometer. The Arduino forums are a good resource too. But, since I sit next to him, I asked Gian Pablo to help me with the shield code first.

From Gian Pablo:

The great thing about using the Arduino for DIY projects is that it is so widely used that you can almost always find an example or project that to get you started. For this project, we used the WaveShield from Adafruit (https://www.adafruit.com/products/94) to provide audio output. It is a simple Arduino shield with an SD card slot and audio output. We connected an accelerometer, an ADXL335 on a breakout board.

For programming, we just used one of the examples from Adafruit as a starting point, in this case the Play6_HC example (http://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-wave-shield-audio-shield-for-arduino/play6-hc). We wanted to modify it so that instead of reading a button press to trigger the audio response, it would respond to sudden motion of the accelerometer, and allow for some time for the hand to settle down each time (if someone gave it a good whack). This only required 3 lines of code, and then we had to make some slight changes to the rest of the program so that it would choose a random response each time.

After a couple of hours we were good to go!

The only .wav files I had on hand were from Star Wars and Nacho Libre (don't ask), so I put them on the SD card, followed some directions, and voila... my little shield was talking to me. Incessantly.

Then, with the accelerometer tuned in - I was eventually able to activate random files by hitting the sensor. I was frustrated for 2 days because I kept getting an error, but we eventually realized that the file names were too long!! With just the shield, the file names didn't matter, it just played whatever is on the card. However, with the accelerometer and randomization, the same files wouldn't play because they were over 8 characters. Once I abbreviated them, it would play perfectly.

 

 

Monday Makers: MakerKids

MakerKIds CAD'ing it up at SXSW Create

 

This past weekend at SXSW I had the great fortune to hang out with the amazing group of individuals from MakerKids. One of the few and only existing Maker Spaces designed just for kids, MakerKids was started with a magic that the only the Maker Movement can provide. Started in 2010 in co-founder Andrew Forest's garage, MakerKids has grown into a world class space for kids to get hands on experience with 3D Printing, programming, electronics, woodworking, sewing and crafting. 

Co-founder Jennifer Turliuk Showing off her 3D printed un-reality glasses

 

At SXSW's Create space, MakerKids ran an amazing program showing youth how to model in TinkerCAD, and then 3D print live on location with a Cube 3D printer. The few that I witnessed were overjoyed and thrilled to be able to create something cool and then 3D print it. Co-Executive Director and Chief Happiness Officer Jennifer Turliuk walked me around the space and even let me assist a bit. I strongly encourage anyone looking into starting a space geared towards kids to check out the amazing work done at MakerKids. 

Tinkering away with MakerKids

HIGHFIV3D: Autonomous Reassurance Device – Part 1

During the month of March, there are a few different music-themed things happening: SXSW and more festivals you can shake a stick at (it's even Music in our Schools Month!), so we're thinking about sound and music here at 123D. There are tons of great related models in the 123D gallery that we'll be remixing and playing with for the next few weeks, and a couple of us will be focusing on sound-related projects using 123D Circuits - look for #LISTEN3D 

As an at-best-novice with electronics, I decided to step lightly and integrate Circuits with some other projects I've been wanting to try. The first is, naturally, a High-Five machine.  While it has nothing to do with music, per se, I think I'll learn a lot about the audio/electronics side and 123D Circuits.

The idea is this: a free-standing hand that you can interact with for a bit of reassurance when walking to get a cup of coffee.  When you give it a healthy palm smack, it will generate some positive words of encouragement - think "You're Awesome!" or "Oh Yeah!".  Within a cardboard-stacked hand, a sensor would register impact and trigger the audio. My first thought was a Piezo sensor in the hand, but after some words of wisdom (and a high-five) I decided to go with an accelerometer that would determine when the hand was moved, thus activating the audio output.

The Mona Lisa started out on notebook paper, btw.

The first step is building the physical hand and then we'll figure out how the passerby will interact with it - table mounted seems the easiest, but wall-mounted would be a little cooler.  I considered using 123D Catch to create a model of my own hand and arm, but while messing around on 123D Creature, I found a really great model by Mark Dollar!  It's a bit cartoonish and big, so it should be perfect.

 

 

I downloaded the model and opened it in MeshMixer to open up the fingers a bit more for a proper high-five.  Then took it into Tinkercad to work on the cut out.  I think a 1" dowel is a fine way to make the 'arm'.  I also made a little hollow for the accelerometer.  

 

Once I was happy with the cutout, it was on to 123D Make to generate the slices for the laser cutter.  I wanted to keep it close to human scale, so I made it about 9" tall.  Once cut, the only tedious bit was the fingers (hopefully they'll withstand some trauma).  

 

 

Now I need to go shopping, look for next steps and more Sound & Music posts soon.

 

 

Maker Mondays: FabCafe Tokyo

Maker Mondays: FabCafe Tokyo

http://fabcafe.com/

About a year ago at SXSW I met the incredible people from Fab Cafe Tokyo. Their english was a little hard to understand so we spoke in sign: I would hold up an object in their booth and they would throw me a thumbs up. One particular object solicited a high five - at first I was a bit puzzled and then very excited, because as it turns out they were using 123D with their customers to create some truly creative work. 

Fab Cafe sits uniquely between a TechShop and a high end coffee bar. They have created a relaxed atmosphere that is the perfect learning environment for digital manufacturing, a topic that can leave some novices with a tech hangover. Specializing in amazing coffee, highly thought-out courses, and a pristine workshop environment, I can hardly imagine a better remedy than to spend all day every day there swimming among the creatives of Tokyo. 

I recently caught up with Fab Cafe to learn about their extremely busy past year, plans for global impact, and their self created 123D Catch booth (with a little assistance from my Autodesk counterparts in Tokyo).

JHA: How did Fab Café begin? 

FC: We had a workshop with FabLab Kamakura member for 2 days in 2011. They brought various digital fabrication tools and we enjoyed them very much. We also figured out how digital fabrication tools are easy and they inspired our creativity. We thought all should be able to access these tools. Not in a lab, university and factory. That's why we put these machines in an open space - a cafe.  

JHA: Are there future plans for expanding FabCafé? 

FC:  We have branches in Taipei and Barcelona now. And we will set up another two in Barcelona soon. 

We've got many inquiries from all over the world so we hope we will setup ten FabCafe's in the world in 2014. They will lead diversity of creativity.  

The advantage of digital fabrication tools are that their data is digital and easy to transfer via internet. So we can share ideas and data and output them whenever there are tools. We can expand FabCafe network without geographical limitation.   

JHA: What has surprised you most about your customers? 

FC:  Yusuke Ohno is our customers and is also our collaborator. His work "360 degree book" is featured by many blogs, art sites and big fashion brand offered him to display his work in the store. Finally, the US company offered him to make his original 360 degree lamp shade for sale. It's a wonderful story that a work made in FabCafe became international famous art work and became a product.

We are inspired by our customers all time. 

JHA: Can you tell us a bit more about the 123D Courses? 

FC: We installed 3D printers FabCafe last May. Many customers were interested in 3D printer but they feel it's difficult to make 3D model. But it's not true. We want to change their mind. 3D modeling is accessible and 3D printer is also accessible for all. So we started Fab Class for entry users using 123D series. We have two courses.  One is using 123D creature, the other is using Tinkercad. It's great thing that most of participants print out their work by 3D printer after the class.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 3D Printing Features in the new Autodesk Meshmixer

 

Autodesk Meshmixer free all-in-one 3D printing application

Autodesk Meshmixer free all-in-one 3D printing and more application.

Autodesk Meshmixer updated today with a nice all-in-one suite for 3D printing, making it the ultimate free sculpting, mixing, painting, 3D printing application out there. Most notably, when you are ready to print your multi-mesh mashup, you can click the "Print" button which loads an arsenal of simple analysis and layout tools to arrange, heal, and even print directly to a 3D printer. See the video below for an quick teaser of what is new.

 The integration with 3D printers is intended to make the process to 3D printing even more streamlined. The healing tools require no training at all and will make just about any model printable. If you want to save time and material, then you can give your model a wall thickness so that it's hollow inside. Also, the generation of support material is an artform in itself. Of course, the experienced Meshmixer users can still find their original re-meshing, sculpting and healing tools they have grown to love for that extra level of control.

With all that in mind, here are my Top 5 Meshmixer Features for anyone interested in 3D printing.

5. New feature: "Make Solid". Now you can mash a bunch of meshes together and use "Make Solid" to heal them all together into a 3D printable object. See my Danielle Steele-like book cover I whipped together below from some 123D Catch captures I downloaded from 123dapp.com.

Make Solid

Make Solid makes these 123D Catch captures watertight!

 

4. Automatic repairing (I counted 1 click!). Whether it be a messy, unprintable model or you just want a sanity check for 3D printing your refined creation. The addition of an option to automatically "Repair Selected" is an easy hands free way to make any model 3D printable. Find it in the print bed layout screen.

3. "Hollow with Wall Thickness" will save you time and material when printing. Essentially giving your model a wall thickness that you decide, making it a hollow print rather than a solid print with infill. You can visualize how thick your model is with the slick see-through representation.

2. Analysis tools: Strength, Stability, and Slicing. This unique set of tools is perfect for visualizing how your printed model will look and perform before printing it. My favorite is the "Stability" tool where I can make sure my print will stand upright. Using this, I can push the limits of how I mix and sculpt, ensuring the printed object will not topple over!

1. Print direct to your 3D printer (Windows 8.1 supported). Windows 8.1 users will have the option to print directly to their printer, bypassing the need to go through another app such as Makerware, eliminating this extra step.

Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself...its free for Mac or Windows (32/64 bit) at its brand new page: 123dapp.com/meshmixer.

Conversation Hearts – with a 3D printed twist!

One of our Autodesk Pier 9 teammates, whose very relevant name is Audrey Love, got into the #LOV3D theme this month by putting together a wonderful project that leverages the Pier 9 makerspace and Tinkercad for art!

Every two years, the school Audrey received her degree from, University of Nevada, Reno - School of the Arts, hosts a Valentine's Day Art Auction. This year, she was invited to submit a piece for the Valentine's Day group show. This is her third time participating in the group-exhibition - she loves contributing to the show because all of the money raised through the auction supports the Sheppard Gallery's amazing programming.

 

Her goal was to make a piece that was reminiscent of one of those chalky-candy conversation hearts, but larger....and snarkier. She has limited experience with 3D design software, so she used Adobe Illustrator to create the "Whatever Forever" text, then imported it to Tinkercad. From Tinkercad, she was able to extrude the text and manipulate it's depth.

 

Using the heart-shape generator in Tinkercad, Audrey was able to make 2 different hearts: one would be a cavity that would be inset within another heart. She also transformed the text to be a hole, that would be 'carved' into the heart once it was printed. The end effect is a really lovely light-catching message embedded within the resin.

Audrey told me about the process of printing the piece:

"I have access to some really nice 3D printers here at Pier 9, and decided to use a special kind of translucent resin to print the heart. The piece is 3468 grams of translucent UV-cured resin 3D printed on an Objet Connex 500 printer. After the print came out of the machine, I took a lot of time cleaning it, and preparing it be shipped to UNR's Sheppard Gallery. The end result looks great, and I am glad to know that the proceeds from the piece are going to a good cause."

We are so stoked Audrey could ramp up her 3D design skills for such an awesome project. If you are in Reno or nearby, you definitely don't want to miss the chance to catch this wonderful collection.

Making a Super Nintendo USB case with Tinkercad

 

One of the greatest aspects of the holidays, birthdays, and other special events is the opportunity to give someone a meaningful gift. Tinkercad user Matt Mustarde was faced with the question of what to get his younger brother for his 13th birthday, an age that is considered a milestone for many people. Matt, a Washington State University student, took to Tinkercad and applied his mind towards solving the problem of what to get his brother.

Armed with a standard 32GB flashdrive, a Printrbot+, and Tinkercad, Matt designed a USB case shaped like an Super Nintendo (SNES) controller, knowing his brother is a huge fan of video games. Matt also went the extra step and pre-loaded the flashdrive with lots of games for his brother to play.

I had a chance to speak with Matt to learn more about his creative process:

"I really just wanted to make something special for my brother! He loves computer games but has a crappy laptop so I figured I'd aggregate the best games and put it on a cool custom drive. The actual designing took about a day, I used an actual SNES controller and made a vector of it to get the profile just right. That's why I used Tinkercad, because it's so convenient for importing vectors and making simple models."

 

When I asked Matt about his history with 3D printing, he told me, "I've been printing for about 2 years now, originally on my robotics team's printer. I bought a Printrbot+ kit back in February and love it. Basically I'm just a student with a hobby and love sharing my work." And of course, in true Maker fashion, Matt has been kind enough to share his design with the community through Thingiverse

This is the kind of story we love to hear, where 3D design and printing inspires creativity in people and they share it with the world. Thanks to Matt for sharing your experience with us - we can't wait to see what you do next!

 

 

Sketch and Text with Tinkercad

We are pleased to announce new Shape Generator capabilities available in Tinkercad!

Tinkercad offers some great shapes to help get you started, and with the introduction of Shape Generators (formerly known as ShapeScripts), the power to create is completely expanded.

Now, we don’t expect everyone to be able to create their own Shape Generator using Java Script, although we definitely encourage all of you to take a try. So in order to make Shape Generators more flexible and accessible, we added sketching capabilities using the Autodesk Creative Platform. To learn more about sketching with ACP, check out this link.

So let’s see how we can apply this to a Shape Generator. Check out our in-depth instructions below to become a Shape Generating master, and be sure to share the new shapes you create. Happy sketching!

Read more »

How a young boy is using Tinkercad to help the world see

Meet Ritik Mehta, a 13-year-old 3D printing enthusiast with a big heart.

Ritik has grown up in a world where it is possible to 3D print your dream designs at home with the help of easy-to-use 3D design software applications such as Tinkercad. Like the other kids of this 3D printing generation he’s taking the first step of many more to move towards a world where people help each other with 3D printed goodness.

Lately he has been very engaged in making his own custom glasses. This gave him the idea to provide an opportunity to everybody to own customized glasses and, at the same time, be part of a unique charity to help kids in Africa and Asia see the world as they should.

 

And just like that with the help of his father, he turned his idea into reality; so if you are in the Antwerp, Belgium area on Saturday December 21st, make sure to stop by Designcenter de Winkelhaak to see Ritik's vision come to life. Here you will be able to make your own custom glasses from the 3D design to the 3D printed model. Professional designers and 3D printing experts will assist you, and the money made from the event will go straight to ‘Eyes for the World’, an important non-profit foundation which believes that everyone, all over the world, has the right to see well.

Join us in helping Ritik show that money is no object when it comes to how 3D printing technology can benefit everyone.