Mothership HackerMoms

A new kickstarted hackerspace in Berkeley, CA where, as they say:

We started our non-profit organization in April 2012 because traditional hackerspaces don’t really have safe spaces for babies and young children – or, consequently, their mothers. Our mission is to give creative moms the time and space to explore DIY craft and design, hacker/maker culture, entrepreneurship, and all manner of creative expression – with childcare.

But I’m still going to back it, as the more women we have in STEM-focused fields the better off we will be.

via Mothership HackerMoms: The first women’s hackerspace! by Sho Sho Smith — Kickstarter.

Everyone Who Wants a Drone Will Have One Soon

Semi-autonomous flying things are already available to the general public and will continue to become more available. Yet our intuitive privacy settings, our security forces, and our sense of property all assume humans on the ground.

Let me posit this: Drones will make traditional fences as obsolete as gunpowder and cannons made city walls.

via Everyone Who Wants a Drone Will Have One Soon – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic.

3-D Printer Company says “not with our machine”

The WikiWeapons/Printable Gun project seems to be drawing the ire of not only one of the largest 3D printer manufacturers in the US:

Stratasys’s legal counsel wrote back: “It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes. Therefore, please be advised that your lease of the Stratasys uPrint SE is cancelled at this time and Stratasys is making arrangements to pick up the printer,” stated the letter, which Wilson posted to Defense Distributed’s website. The next day, contractors hired by the company arrived at Wilson’s apartment in an Enterprise rental van and took the printer.

…but also the ATF:

Wilson visited the ATF field office in Austin on Monday to ask about the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the Wiki Weapons project, he tells Danger Room. Instead, he was brought into a room, questioned and was told the agency was preparing to visit his apartment this afternoon for an “investigation,” he says. He added that the ATF believes he’s not broken any laws, and that the agency believes 3-D printed guns fall into a regulatory gray area, but that he still needs to get licensed if he’s to manufacture a weapon.

This is going to be really, really interesting. Is it illegal to post instructions for a printable weapon? Where do those lines fall? The next 5 years is going to make these sorts of questions very troublesome…and just wait another 10 years until molecular-level printing is happening and see what that does for drug laws.

via 3-D Printer Company Seizes Machine From Desktop Gunsmith | Danger Room | Wired.com.

Augmented Reality Welding Mask

Incredible augmented reality technology that has real-world, everyday use: use cameras and computers to make seen what can’t been seen by the normal eye. In this case, it’s welding that benefits, but there is an obvious extension into many other fields.

As computers become even more powerful, it will be possible to do similar real-time HDR image processing with little more than a smartphone. There will be a point down the road where humans will be able to manufacture cheap and lightweight glasses that are capable of providing better imaging than our own eyes can manage. This will be one of several points where true augmentation of human capabilities begins — the very definition of cyborg. It’s not science-fiction, it’s the future.

via Augmented Reality Welding Mask With 100 Million to 1 Contrast RatioRoad to Virtual Reality.

Marvell and Stanford create SMILE Plug

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and writing (none of it public, yet) about the upcoming hardware revolution. This project is right in the sweet spot of it…a classroom in a box for $30 worth of hardware. Awesome.

You may be wondering just what the SMILE Plug is good for? Well, Stanford’s SMILE Platform is designed to get students creating questions in the classroom instead of answering them. Dr. Paul Kim, Stanford School of Education CTO and Assistant Dean, sees the rote memorization and recall of facts method used in schools worldwide as a poor educational model because it doesn’t properly engage students or encourage higher-level thinking skills. SMILE addresses this issue by forcing students to ingest source material and generate their own questions about it. Those questions are then reviewed by both their teacher and fellow classmates — the more the question elicits critical thinking and reflects understanding of the information, the better that question will score.

via Marvell and Stanford create SMILE Plug cloud computer, SMILE Consortium to get companies and devs to build a better education system — Engadget.

Warren Ellis on 3D printing

Somewhere, in some gilded bunker of the 1 percent, a very old, very rich man is laying plans to print himself a new cock.  Perhaps one with cameras in. And maybe a gun.

3D printing’s been around for a little while now, and it’s improving in leaps and bounds. On one end of the scale, I was talking to someone from a very famous special effects studio the other week, who was telling me they now have the facility to print cars.  One of their wizards took a current-day standard 3D printer (which tend to look like dodgy breadmakers), took it apart to see how it worked, and then used it to print the parts to make a massively larger 3D printer, which he then used to print off a car. Street-furniture set-dressing for movies.

via Print Your Own Penis | VICE.

National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute

A private/public partnership funded to the tune of $70+ million that is dedicated to 3D printing in manufacturing.

Following through on our We Can’t Wait efforts, the Obama Administration today announced the launch of a new public-private institute for manufacturing innovation in Youngstown, Ohio as part of its ongoing efforts to help revitalize American manufacturing and encourage companies to invest in the United States.  This new partnership, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), was selected through a competitive process, led by the Department of Defense, to award an initial $30 million in federal funding, matched by $40 million from the winning consortium, which includes manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges, and non-profit organizations from the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia ‘Tech Belt.’

via We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Announces New Public-Private Partnership to Support | The White House.

Defense Dist. 2) Adapt the design down to cheaper 3D printers

A group called Defense Distributed is attempting to raise money via IndieGoGo in order to produce a printable firearm.

DefDist will build and design a 100% 3D printable gun for the purpose of porting to a RepRap printer. The result will be an easily accessible and replicable design shared with the world. At this point, any person has near-instant access to a firearm through the internet.

via Defense Dist. 2) Adapt the design down to cheaper 3D printers.

3D Custom Disney Princess Statues

Customized Disney princess statues with your child’s face on them? Great idea, creepy as heck in reality.

The experience takes around 10-minute while several cameras instantly capture multiple angles of a guest’s face which are then reconstructed and used to make the final figure. The “princess in waiting” can choose one of seven different Disney Princesses including Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Tiana. Hair, skin and eye color of the figurine are customized to match the guest. The guest of honor will also receive a Princess silver link necklace with choice of colored gem charm. The process of finishing the figure takes about five to six weeks at which time the completed figurine is then shipped directly to the guest’s home.

via D-Tech Me Technology Returns to Disney World For Princesses | The Disney Blog.

How 3D printing has changed stop-motion animation

How 3D printing changed the face of ‘ParaNorman’

The technology is not too dissimilar from the budget 3D printers making their ways into the homes and garages of hobbyists. Nor, for that matter, is it far-removed from more traditional inkjet printing, spraying down a minute amount of resin (15 microns, according to McLean’s numbers), layer by layer, which is cured by the machine’s built-in UV lights. Laika put the technology to work printing “replacement faces” that could be attached to the head of a character, giving young Coraline a grand total of around 200,000 expressions. It’s an impressive number, particularly when placed up against the 800 or so expressions Jack Skellington was capable of achieving in “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” By “ParaNorman,” however, the studio had rapid prototyping down to a science, with the movie’s fuzzy-haired protagonist (that’s 275 tightly bundled strands) able to express himself a staggering 1.5 million ways, according to Laika’s number crunching