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Posts filed under 'CrafTech'

OpenMoko - If you can’t open it, you don’t own it

Rob Beschizza  of Wired’s Gadget lab writes about OpenMoko, who first created an open source software platform for smartphones, , and now released CAD files that enable anyone who can modify them, to do so, and then mill their own phone on a 3D prototyping machine


Following Mark Weiser’s vision of the disappearing computer they believe in giving developers full access to software and hardware alike.

“Say you bought a cellphone. Say you decided you didn’t like the look of it much.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could sketch your ideal design, have a buddy knock it up in a 3D modeling program, then see it in the flesh? With OpenMoko’s FreeRunner, an open-source linux cellphone, it’s a piece of cake: the CAD files are on the net for all to download.

“With your current phone, you might be able to change the skin, add some rhinestones. Inconsequential customization,” said OpenMoko’s Steve Mosher. “With this, you can change the physical shell.”

More here

Add comment March 3rd, 2008

Print me a Chip

Mikey77 gives a step by step instructions for making flexible circuits using an inkjet printer:

Extremely flexible and nearly transparent circuits can be made using conductive fabrics.

Inkjet printed circuit

Here are some of the experiments I’ve done with conductive fabrics. They can be painted or drawn on with resist and then etched like a standard circuit board. Conductive glue or conductive thread is then used to attach the components to the fabric circuit board…

More on the instructables  website

Add comment February 24th, 2008

Leah Buechley and her LilyPads

Do you have this flower shaped board with built-in bluetooth module in other colors? How about the Paisley shaped one?

Leah Buechley is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Colorado and she’s part of the Craft Technology Group. her research explores the intersection of computational and physical media, focusing on computational textiles or electronic textiles (e-textiles) - soft, flexible, fabric-based computers. Her work in e-textiles includes developing a method for creating cloth printed circuit boards (fabric PCBs) and designing the commercially-available LilyPad Arduino system, which enables novices to build soft wearable computers.

LilyPad Arduino: e-textile construction kit vLilyPad Arduino: e-textile construction kit version 2.0ersion 2.0

LilyPad Arduino

Arduino board

Hard core Arduino

What I love about the work she does is that it makes it accessible to technophobics, eliminating the technical look and feel current electonics have. it looks like an object of desire rather than a misterious, cold artefact most electronic parts look like. The aesthetic qualities of her electronics appeal to people on the emotional level rather than the rational one.

Can you imagine embedding Lilypads into the fabrics in quilting class and making it reactive when you cuddle with your sweetheart in it? I can.

Add comment February 24th, 2008

Wiring - Prototyping toolkit

From Wiring’s website:

“Wiring is an open source programming environment and electronics i/o board for exploring the electronic arts, tangible media, teaching and learning computer programming and prototyping with electronics. It illustrates the concept of programming with electronics and the physical realm of hardware control which are necessary to explore physical interaction design and tangible media aspects.

Wiring board

Wiring is an open project initiated by Hernando Barragán (Universidad de Los Andes | Architecture and Design School). Wiring started at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy and it is currently developed at the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia.

Wiring builds on Processing, an open project initiated by Ben Fry (Broad Institute) and Casey Reas (UCLA Design | Media Arts). Processing evolved from ideas explored in the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab”

Add comment February 20th, 2008

Tom Igoe’s website(s) on Physical computing

making things talkTom Igoe is one of the gurus of physical computing. He published books about it - “Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers” in 2004, and “Making Things Talk: Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects ” in 2007 - which are a good read and give very practical information about what to do, how to do it, and what to take into account when doing it. He has an assortment of blogs and websites, which are amazing resource for everything phisical computing. Examples, explanations, advice and more. To explore them click here.

Add comment February 20th, 2008

SmartIts - prototyping toolkit

From the SmartIts website:

“The Smart-Its project is interested in a far-reaching vision of computation embedded in the world.A SmartIt module

In this vision, mundane everyday artefacts become augmented as soft media, able to enter into dynamic digital relationships. In our project, we approach this vision with development of “Smart-Its” - small-scale embedded devices that can be attached to everyday objects to augment them with sensing, perception, computation, and communication. We think of these “Smart-Its” as enabling technology for building and testing ubiquitous computing scenarios, and we will use them to study emerging functionality and collective context-awareness of information artefacts.”

More info here

Add comment February 19th, 2008

The rise of prosumer electronics- The presentation

Add comment February 11th, 2008



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