Monday, April 12, 2010

Metrix Makerbot Madness was a sure success! And as the norm we were able to get sound advice from our friends at Metrix Create:Space. Apparently, making Frank work (properly) required some tweeking between the heat and the speed, 240 and 210 respectively. (If I remember correctly.)

As I arrived at Metrix last night Kevin had the plastruder separated and tugging on a piece of ABS stuck in the ceramic piece (again). In attendance were: Matt (the owner of Metrix), Nick, Alex, Alexis, Kevin, and 2 high school kids and later Matthew. Matt was able to make another piece (or did he have it laying around, I really didn't clarify that) and Kevin was able to piece it together again.

While we were waiting for Kevin to put Frank together (again), I brought up our idea from the meeting on Wednesday: developing Wearable Social Technology with Matt. Our concept consists of some sort of technology that communicates with an item similar to itself that pings when wearers meet. Here's what I got from our discussion: 1) Matt does not wear many accessories 2) Should this wearable technology multitask? 3) How will this technology communicate the pings? We will definitely be using Lillypad. Matt talked to me about his own idea for Wearable Social Technology, and since I'm didn't ask him if I could blog about the topic, I'll have it said that I would love to see his idea in action. It was great to communicate this idea with him because he had some concept of what we were trying to accomplish. Having that insight raised more questions and allowed us to work out some details. As I brought back the info to the group mates we discussed further our audience type, brainstormed some ideas about what type technology we should use and whether we wanted it to be versatile (ie, jacket, shirt, necklace, have the ability to be placed inside multiple items of clothing. etc.), have a visual display.

Throughout the night we were accompanied by Nick, who helped with some advice on how to fine tune zeroing Frank at the start of printing. His advice led Kevin to declare that once we are confident that Frank can run decently that he would print out a handle for the z-axis. Nick Burrows, for those that don't know, won (that's right I said it, WON) the NASA-sponsored PowerBeaming contest. Amazing people walk through the doors of Metrix.

Matthew came later in the night and told us to change some the settings. Looking at our ceramic piece (I should really find out its name) he told us the heat was too high, which is why the piece was bulging. (Giggle) I have to say that Matthew has been a constant source of help for our group since the beginning. So glad we were able to meet with him and through him gain more MakerBot knowledge.

Oh, yes, the high school kids... They were there with their own FrankenBot, to be presented only 3 days at school. I only had a brief moment to speak with them, as I was told their father was circling the block angrily. They started the group a short while ago when one of them found out about the CNC Cupcake. Hopefully, we'll see them again.

Matt (yes, another one) who is a prospective group member came by as well. He is part of the Experimental Art discipline and is interested in joining LearnMakeCupcake, if time permits. We bounced ideas off each other about how to make the wearable social technology bracelet idea come together. He suggested making the item more versatile, and also mentioned that he had friends who made makeshift bracelets from the sleeves of wool sweaters. We weighed the idea of using Bluetooth and WiFi (leaning towards WiFi). Would really like to see this idea through.

Next week: I'll be creating Franks hair and cutting him at Metrix.

PS Alexis, Kevin and I all got our memberships at Metrix.

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