Michigan Tech course to build your own 3D printer 

“Last fall, Michigan Tech offered a new course: Open Source 3D Printing. Students pay an additional $500 course fee for the components and tools necessary to build their own MOST Delta RepRap 3D printer, which they then use for the course. At the end of the semester, each student keeps the printer they built and modified. The 50 seats for the class filled immediately.


The course essentially distilled the RepRap ethos and formalized it as an introduction to distributed additive manufacturing. We used “Open Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs” as the textbook to cover the material from an engineering scientist perspective. The course covered the hardware, firmware, slicing, and printer controller software for operating and maintaining the device—all of which are free and open source.


Next, we got into the nitty-gritty of the class: designing hyper-expensive 3D printable scientific equipment. We used the methods outlined in the textbook. As previously covered on, labs can save enormous sums of money by 3D printing equipment. Students formed teams with at least one graduate student per team so that they had access to campus labs. Then they did a commissioned assignment for another professor, designing everything from vortex mixers to shadow masks for semiconductor research. We used the NIH 3D printable repository and GitHub (as NIH only supported publishing the STL but not the source). Again, the abilities students demonstrated when they were given the freedom to innovate in open source space was impressive. You can see their work and many more examples here. Consider, for example, this customizable face plate designed in OpenSCAD, which a student group designed for an electrical engineering professor. The students designed all of them, and now even novices can choose their ports, position, and rotate them into place.”


The Hardest Button to Button

“Hey kids, you gonna make a game tout seul using RedWire! Topic’s ‘machines’, so have fun.”

*starts hyperventilating*

*but not in the good way*

Code. Tout seul. Even though RedWire is all about cannibalizing other people’s games, if you just can’t get your head around what is syntactically possible in code, no amount of drag and drop may help you.

My pessimistic self is adorable.

In the end I decided not to aim for a game with a) exaggeratedly nice graphics, since this would have been nothing but high quality procrastination, b) complex gameplay. First, I wouldn’t know how to do it, secondly, it would have lead to robots. And c) I totally didn’t want to make a robot game.

After some thinking I found the perfect primitive candidate for this game. It even involves a machine. It has two lights, red and green, that flash on/off, in random order. The player has to button the only button of the machine (see what I did there?), whenever both lights are lit. As often and as accurate as possible throughout a set amount of time.

Amaze. Such complexity.

I will aim for pixel art once more, since I’ve got a crush on them square cuties and I want to level up my game. I need two animated lights (red and green, both on and off) and one animated button (idle and pushed). I want to add a machinery kind of background, but this will be the treat once the coding is done. Otherwise I’ll spend my days pushing pixels instead of fighting the real fight. Concerning sounds, I will probably – if time allows it – just make stupid sounds and tune them using Audacity. Simple. Primitive. Beautiful.

Now for the fun part. Not.


With help from the RedWire authorities I obtained the secret power to randomize the light switching. The Boolean values for light on/off depend on the randomly determined values

lightA (red): Math.random() > 0.5
lightB (green): Math.random() < 0.5

and are switched every 600 ms (for now) via Limit Rate, saved as lastRefreshTime in RedWire’s memory.

Now for the even funnier To Do part.

I need to relate the Boolean values to the right sprites (false = off, true = on) for both lights and display them according to their values

I additionally want to create an output after the time runs out to give player feedback on clicking accuracy (kinda like a high score, since a friend of mine is very insistent about high scores and how they improve every game 8947581%)


(aka “Parts I stole from others”. Long live open source.)

I’ve got a counter that adds 1 to the score on each mouse up. Eaaaaand I’ve got a timer, that counts down for a number of undetermined seconds (atm it’s 20 s, might be less in the end)

Of course I still have a couple of To Dos for these hijacked body parts, too.

I need to tweak the score counter to only count, if the winning conditions (lightA = true && lightB = true) are fulfilled, otherwise it shall not increase the score. Though my basic idea included to count the wrong clicks, too, to determine a percentage of reflexes, attention and perfect clicking.

And I would like the countdown to result in displaying some panicky “Badaaaammm! YOUR TIME IS OVER!” (relevance level 0.63)

Nah, well. At least I managed to change the colour of both score board and timer to the same blue the button has (yeah, that’s how good I am.)




The Hardest Button to Button on RedWire

First ever study records memory being encoded in individual neurons.

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Customization Panel

We’ve refreshed and reworked our customization panel, making it quicker and easier than ever to seamlessly integrate MangoMap into your website or brand. Custom logo and a custom domain, along with your company colors and even language, helps ensure your map users know exactly who is answering their spatial data questions.

Layer Popup Editor

With our new Popup Editor, you can create a rich, detailed popup that really pops. A snazzy WYSIWYG editor allows you to style data with tables, typography tools, and using your map attributes variables to do some really cool things - from pie and line charts to dynamically loading images image based on layer attribute variables, engage you map users, and providing a richer data exploration experience. 

Sign up now for a no obligation 30 day trial of MangoMap’s premium Business plan, and see how amazing interactive web maps can be simple to create and share.

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The Process: Oscilloscope Music
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I did a little walkthrough for the Kickstarter blog. Check it out and try for yourself with the provided Pure Data patch!


AKER is an open source, modular urban agriculture system. We share tools that help build ecologically resilient, healthy communities.