Sunday, September 21, 2014

new palm design

In between preparing work for my exhibition and designing for the Raptor hand release, I have been working on a thumbless and non-thumbless palm to accommodate hands that have partial digits. This particular palm is being designed for both a local boy as well as a young boy from the Middle East who are both in need if a hand. This palm features printable hardware and is very robust. I printed the palm you see above with NO supports and not even modeled supports (as I have been doing with the gauntlet) in ABS plastic. It does have some stringiness and is thin in the arch area, but it's really amazing that it printed with no support (even in the cutout for the thumb). Future versions will have modeled printing supports. In my most recent hand designs, I am trying to accommodate for a wider range of printers as well as printing conditions. I am also interested in designing hands that can hold up to harsh conditions in other parts of the world. I will also work on creating a cover for the cable channels that allow this area to be covered. I'll be sharing this design work with one of our DCRL partners in hopes that this might suit our friends in need that live both close and far away.

flared gauntlet and the meaning of life

Last weekend I received a semi-urgent message from Peter Binkley asking me if I could create a new gauntlet that was tapered for users with a wider forearm. As I mentioned earlier, I have been working with a group of talented people to develop a new hand for the Johns Hopkins Conference. My contribution was to the design of the gauntlet for the new e-NABLE 2.0 hand called the "Raptor". Jeremy Simon had released the new Raptor arm files to the e-NABLE group so volunteers could start printing the 300 3D printed hands that we hoped to have at the conference. I needed to act fast, so I spent all day last Saturday redesigning the gauntlet so it would have some flare at the back section. This adjustment should cut down on pinching and make for a more comfortable fit. This has been a really good modeling exercise for me as it has forced me to get better at refining my sketching and set-up. Making things that are easier to manipulate and tweak has been one of my recent  goals. I am thankful for this opportunity to push my abilities to make things fit with other people's designs. 

It's rather amazing what a small group of people living thousands of miles away from each other can do when working together on the same problem. We are living in a time where we can navigate to different parts of the world with the click of a mouse, complex information is accessible within seconds, and we are able to connect with communities that bring a diverse skill-set to a particular problem. We have never lived in such a time, where  all of these things are possible. I keep telling my students that this is one of the most amazing times to live in and that they need to seize the opportunity. 

I think the largest challenge of our world is to get over the idea of ownership. I realize now, how my training as an academic, artist, designer, and craftsman can get in the way of actually doing something meaningful due to "ownership". Ownership plays a key part in actually prohibiting true progress from happening in our world. Ownership and ego create gridlock when progress needs to happen. I believe there was a time when people put aside their own well being and pride to help others in need, as a way of showing care for each other. I remember my Mother talking about her neighbors sharing the bounty of their gardens, helping when there was a big job that needed to be tackled, or just making simple "gifts" (such as the occasional baked good) for the people in her small farming community when she was a child. Helping others can get in the way when we're all trying to "get to the top" or reach our own personal goals. When was the last time you used some of your precious time and abilities to make something for someone so you could show them that you care? Go take a look at the spreadsheet and see if you can help make one the last 48 hands needed to reach our goal.

I write all of this, not as a way to call any of you out, but rather as a way to keep myself from worrying about the issue of ownership (that I warn about above). When someone at work asks me what I, MYSELF, have accomplished in the last year, what exhibitions I have entered, or what new work I have single handedly brought into fruition, I have to remember the motivation behind the things I want to accomplish. Writing this post reminds me to not worry about personal gain, but rather make decisions and live for what makes for a fulfilled life. Right now, I'd rather be helping people through the things I am able to design and through collaborating with other people who devote their time and energy to larger problems. 

I was able to get the gauntlet design to Peter and Jeremy Simon by late Saturday night and by Sunday, Jeremy had disseminated the new updated files to the e-NABLE group volunteers for them to continue with the printing of the 300 hands. The volunteers from the group are currently printing the required hands for the Conference (that happens this weekend), and as of now we have 260 hands that have been made in the last few weeks. Again, it's amazing what can happen when you get people from around the world working on a common problem. 

I printed the "ice blue" PLA hands above when I was testing the flared gauntlet design. If I were to guess, I think the girls that I have been working with might like this "icy" look. Just a guess though...

jill's race

I have been so swamped with work for the last few weeks, but I just sent work off for my solo exhibition at Tarble Arts Center. Saturday morning I was able to get up early and drive Jill, one of our neighbors, and the kids over to Miller Park, so Jill and Kara could run the Brewer's Mini-Marathon. Jill has been training for this for a while and she was anxious to put in a good time for the event. She did really well and the kids had fun once we went into the Park. They kept watching for her to run through as the race winds all around the Miller Brewing region and finally into the Park. They projected the runners on the "big screen" as they enter the Park. We made it back out of the Park in time to see her cross the finish line. She did a great job and we were super proud of her! Time with Jill and the Kids; it was a great way to celebrate getting through a difficult week.

karuna: repair

Karuna had broken one of the elastic cables on one of his hands, so Teresa sent it to me for some repair. She sent one of his first hands along with his red hand so I made some adjustments to it by putting lower resistance elastic in it. I sent these back to them a few weeks ago. I'm just now getting around to posting. Karuna will begin playing the trumpet soon. Teresa and I talked about some possible attachments to assist him. I'm waiting to see what Karuna would like, and then we'll figure something out.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

medallion engraving

The Chancellor's office called on Friday and asked for one of the medallions to be engraved by Tuesday, so the Interim Chancellor can deliver the paperweight to it's new owner this week. I worked the paperweight today, so I can deliver it to the office by Monday morning.

tedd and becky

I mailed Tedd and Becky to Tedd and Becky today.

dcrl organization

Classes started this past week. The transition from sabbatical back to teaching/meetings has been more difficult than I anticipated. I spent most of the previous week preparing the DCRL for the return of students. Chad and I finished work on the tool boards we were working on and we ran cables for the projector and new teaching computer desk. I created a 3D scanning station separate from the CAD area and connected a Wacom tablet to that same computer. We spent time cleaning and organizing and I mounted our new/old vises. The new Shapeoko work area is going to be really nice once we have all of the electrical run for this. I still need to organize a few tool layout boards and make some spaces for job/show announcements and postcards, but things are presentable. My first two classes back, were really great. The students are excited and I had more people wanting in than I could take, so that's a good sign for next semester.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

graflex/ lightsaber

John and Chad did some swapping last week. Chad walked away with a Graflex flash base. Looks familiar doesn't it? Chad happens to be a giant Star Wars enthusiast, so this made his year. Here are a few details about the original camera and flash unit.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

kbs 3d printing documentary

The Korean Broadcasting Station completed the documentary on 3D printing and my colleague Kyoung Ae Cho just found it posted on YouTube. Chad Bridgewater, Adream Blair, Shea and her parents, and myself are featured in the documentary working and talking in the Digital Craft Research Lab about e-NABLE and 3d Printing technology. We are featured from 20:45-23:00 in the documentary and then Shea is shown again at the very end. Spreading the word wide and far...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

millers falls drill press

Chad and I stopped past an antique store on Saturday. We came across the piece you see above and Chad offered the store owner 5 bucks for the piece. It was broken and had been repaired in a few places but we weren't sure what it was, but we assumed it was a drill of some kind. I took a few pics of Chad's find and then later that night I started looking for something similar on the interweb. I finally tracked down a Millers Falls catalog from 1905 that had the drill listed. I had to text Chad and let him know that he paid $1 more than it's retail price. I also loved some of the other tools in the catalog. The anvil vise drill press is particularly interesting.

dcrl hydraulic presses

Chad and I have been busy these past few weeks getting the DCRL ready for the new semester. I ordered some un-painted bolt together Potter presses a couple weeks ago. We thought about doing a powder coat job on these, but I figured Chad would be too busy with other work before the start of the semester, so I just painted them myself. A couple of DCRL stickers finished off the job. I'll be covering hydraulic press techniques in my Intro to Industrial Craft so these presses will get a lot of use this semester. I also painted some new/old vises that I'll post about soon. Chad completed another tool board as well. The lab is looking really great! Just in time for classes to begin next week.