Jun 16, 2011

More Laser Scribbling, Potato Enrichment Parts

I’ve been up at the Dallas Makerspace for a few nights,  finding new ways to utilize the laser scribbling technique I blogged about previously.  The current version of the Potato Enrichment Kit is basically covered in laser scribbles.

I used the laser scribbling technique to make settings for some of the smaller “LEDs,” which are being represented on this model by very small rhinestones.

I also used a Hatch Fill scribble to sink this tiny bezel about 1/32″ into the top of the IC piece.

This made it easy to place the tiny bezel, and allows it to be shorter than it would be otherwise.

I used a scribble to create a setting for the diffuser paper that will sit over the LED in the “eye” piece.

I also did a variation of the technique using a bunch of concentric circles for the front of the eye piece.

The bevel has three cut depths, and you can see the dividing lines between them in this photo.  When its painted, the part should look like it was bevelled using a lathe or a drill press, and it will have subtle ridges for paint to accumulate on.

May 25, 2011

Potato Enrichment – Laser Scribbles

So, this is the setting for the power switch on my Potato Enrichment Kit.  As you can see, it fits into a groove that goes a little less than halfway into the  top layer.  I achieved this by making the laser “scribble” over the area I wanted the switch to fit into at about 30% of its cutting power.

I set this up using an extension for Inkscape called Hatch Fill.  (It’s here if you want to try this yourself.)  This is part of a set of extensions for the Egg-Bot, which is a pretty neat machine that draws on eggs.  It was designed to allow the Egg-Bot to fill in large areas with a pen, but I found another use for it.

Getting the power settings on this right was a pain; I don’t recommend it for anything where you need to cut something to a very exact depth.  That said, I use the hatch fill in three different places on this design; the other two are sinks for the extra tiny “LEDs” around the eye piece and on the giant fake plastic IC.  This is the only one where the depth matters.

May 19, 2011

Potato Enrichment Progress

A few updates on the Potato Enrichment Kit.  I’ve picked out an LED and a filter for the eye.  Here’s a draft version of what it’ll look like.

When off, you’ll just see the vellum diffuser, which is a muted yellow-gold color.  It won’t have those ripples in it, and it may be a tad smaller to match the refs I have.

Then you turn it on:

The super bright yellow LED inside gives off a glow that’s almost white in the center, with a dark yellow ring around the outside, and then a wide throw of yellow around that.  It’s very close to the texture on the Potato GLaDOS model’s eye.

I’ve dropped the hidden LED idea you saw in the previous WIP shot.  Now the LED is in the middle of the eye to create the right look.

Here’s one more image from the build.  I spent a good bit of time, trying to find the smallest and most self-contained power switch that I could.  Happily, my local electronics store had these single DIP switches.

These switches are usually made in banks of 2 or more, for changing functions on electronics.  Single ones are a little larger than an LED.  It’s more compact and easier to slide (in my opinion) than tiny slider switches.  It’s epoxied into a plastic housing, so its probably the best bet for a relatively waterproof piece.

These WILL be getting potato juice on them, but we’re all adults here and can manage our potato leakage enough not to cover the model in it – one hopes.  The switch will have to stick out through the case, so it’s probably the go-to point of entry for any wayward juice.  I placed the switch opposite the six stakes that go into the potato; hopefully that will keep it out of harms way.

I’ve got the complete interior layout set up now in Inkscape, including a battery holder and a mount for the switch and the LED.  The new build has 26 parts that make up the main eye unit, the giant IC hooked to it, and pieces for attaching the (decorative) potato battery wires to their support pins.

Hoping to laser the new version tomorrow.

Sep 16, 2010

Software Freedom Day

The Dallas Makerspace is hosting Software Freedom Day for Dallas this Saturday, September 18.  We’ll be guiding people through Linux installs, giving talks on open source topics, and giving away sweet OSS swag.  The event is open to the public, and, of course, free.

I’ll be giving a talk there about Open Source models and tools for artists.  It’s a topic I could discuss for hours, but I will try to be brief.  Feel free to tackle me and ask any questions after, too.

You’ll also get to check out your local Dallas hackerspace, and talk with some of the members.  We’ve just moved into our new space, and we’re already doing some cool projects, including a big art installation for TEDxSMU.

Event starts at 1:00 p.m.; I’ll be talking at 3:30.  Be there!  Be square!  This page has all the details.