Stephanie Kwolek, Kevlar Inventor « adafruit industries blog

ABC News:

Stephanie Kwolek, a pioneering female chemist at DuPont who invented the exceedingly tough fibers widely used in Kevlar body armor, has died, colleagues said Friday. She was 90.

Kwolek died Wednesday at a hospital in Wilmington where she had lived, said her friend Rita Vasta, a chemist who also worked at DuPont. Vasta said Kwolek had been ill about a week though she didn’t know the cause of death.

Kwolek made her discovery in the mid-1960s while working on specialty textile fibers, according to DuPont’s website. She invented a liquid crystalline solution that could be spun into the exceptionally strong fibers now used worldwide in police and military protective equipment.

In 2007, Kwolek told The (Wilmington) News Journal that the discovery launched an exciting period in her career as the chemical company explored uses for her discovery.

DuPont management “didn’t fool around,” she told the newspaper at the time. “They immediately assigned a whole group to work on different aspects.”

DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement that Kwolek was a creative, determined chemist as well as a pioneer for women in science.

Turn Any Pair of Glasses Into Google Glass Frames With This 3D Printed Solution

Last month, Google launched four new stylish frames for Google Glass each retailing $225 plus the cost of prescription lenses. As Glass is already $1500 this can get pretty costly. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can make any pair of regular glasses compatible with Glass for pennies if you have access to a 3D printer.

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So I ordered a Mintyboost DIY Phone/USB battery-powered charger off of cause I always QQ when my phone runs out of battery. It was pretty fun making it heheh, besides the accidentally burning my finger twice part LOLL.

The kit comes with an unassembled pcb board and you solder all the parts on yourself. It’s supposed to be used in an empty altoids tin but I decided to make a Lego case instead :3.

How to make a Raspberry Pi E-mail Notifier Using LEDs @ The Adafruit Learning System

From Adafruit:

Raspberry Pi’s popularity make things so easy that it is almost scary. I set forth on a simple starter project of having the raspberry pi show me when new gmail messages arrive. After some searching it seems that lots of people are already talking about how to do this and there are some great examples.Michael over at MitchTech had the most ready to go code which I pilfered from. Adafruits Cobbler Breakout Kit makes the bread board experience even easier with the clearly labeled pins for each of raspi’s GPIOs.


DIY Portable PC made on 3D Printer by Noe Ruiz


  • Raspberry Pi B
  • PiTFT 320x240 2.8” Touchscreen
  • 6600mAh Lithium Ion Battery (Optional, but will make it a portable device.)
  • Slide Switch (Optional, but will make it a portable device.)
  • Powerboost 500C (Optional, but will make it a portable device.)
  • Stereo Class D (Optional, but will make it an awesome audio device.)
  • Thin Speaker 8ohm 0.25w (Also necessary for the tunes.)
  • Panel mount HDMI cable

More Info: Mini Mac Pi

Personal Space Defender

A simple and elegant way to help keep your personal space bubble from being invaded by close talkers and overly huggie people.   This is a stolen or borrowed idea from Phillip Torrone of Adafruit, who mused about something like this on an episode of Adafruit’s “Ask an Engineer.”  I decided to incorporate this idea into a bow-tie for all those black tie events that I’m forced to attend(no not really, it just seemed the easiest and most discrete way to incorporate the sensor).  The jist of  how it worked is as follows;  If someone gets within 19” of me, red lights flash for a few seconds.  If they stay there, the lights keep flashing.  The distance and flashing rates can easily be changed to suite your needs if your personal bubble is larger or smaller than mine.  

Don’t Know How? Well, Find Someone Who Does

IS advanced technical knowledge necessary to become an inventor? Look at the story of Katherine Bomkamp, and you will see that it isn’t.

Ms. Bomkamp, 20, came up with the idea behind the Pain Free Socket, a prosthetic device that is intended to ease phantom limb pain in amputees. The device, now awaiting a patent, works by applying heat to the amputee’s joint socket through thermal biofeedback. The theory is that as the nerve endings are warmed, the brain is forced to focus on the heat rather than send signals to the absent limb.

Now a sophomore at West Virginia University, Ms. Bomkamp was in high school when she began working on her invention. At the time, she had zero background in chemical or electrical engineering, which were essential to the creation of the device.

“It was all completely foreign to me. I had no interest in engineering before this,” said Ms. Bomkamp, who was a criminal-justice major at her magnet high school in Maryland. In college, she’s studying political science, with plans to attend law school.

adafruit industries blog


Bionic Iron Man Armor

If you’d like to really impress other moviegoers while in line to see Iron Man 3 on May 3rd, then you might want to check out this video.

The video from Instructable shows off a repulsor that’s powered by your muscles. No, you won’t actually blast someone into a new comic continuity, but what it will do is light up and make the sound effect. Basically. you flex your forearm muscle to charge it up, and relax it to “fire a blast.” Also as a bonus, when you turn it on, J.A.R.V.I.S’s voice takes you through the boot up and calibration sequence.

If you’d like to build your own click here.



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Episode: Women in Engineering

This episode of our Women in STEM is brought to you by the letter “E.” 

Engineering has some of the widest gender gaps among the STEM fields, despite having some of the most fascinating — and lucrative — career options and female engineering trailblazers like Lillian Gilbreth and Limor Fried (below), the first female engineer to grace the cover of Wired magazine. Cristen and Caroline explore women’s contributions to engineering, why industrial engineering attracts the most women and female students’ altruistic motivations for pursuing the challenging degree.