See... rendering is fun!! I downloaded a partially completed batmobile model from Blendswap.com (thanks Xuan!), but it wasn't ready for primetime yet. So I segmented, textured, and lit everything (including the Tron style wheels), before rendering it with Cycles. Everything was done in Blender 2.61 FTW.


Blender continues to be my favorite open-source 3D modeling and rendering software package. It has seen tremendous growth over the last couple of years, moving from a fledgling modeling project to a blockbuster production quality modeling, animation, lighting, rendering, and post-processing toolkit.

It’s snowballing into a truly stunning software package. So, there’s no better time than now to teach you how to use it!

In about two weeks I’ll be offering an Intro Blender interface, rendering, compositing, and video motion tracking class right here at Hive76. I’m looking at a 2-day class January 28th-29th, probably 4 hours each day. The beauty is you don’t need to have any 3D modeling skills… there are a TON of LEGALLY FREE and INSANELY DETAILED 3D models widely available. Pick your favorite model and I’ll help you work with it over 2-days to get you positioning, rendering, texturing, and lighting. Hopefully on day 2 we’ll have enough time to try some basic animations inserted over video recorded from meatspace.

Any questions, come to our weekly Wednesday night open house and see what we’re talking about.

 

Creating the “Common”

This came in to my inbox this morning. It sounds very interesting, in line with a lot of our core values, especially considering the history of libraries in Philadelphia. I’m a little disappointed because I can’t get in to that part of the city by the necessary time on a weekday, so I won’t be able to go.

 
Option 1) Lasercut, Laser engrave, and LED-light-up your very own Snowflake

Option 1) Lasercut, Laser engrave, and LED-light-up your very own Snowflake

Join us on TUESDAY, December 20th, 7 pm – Midnight

Meet-and-Make, Hive76 and NextFab Studio Members
@ http://NextFabStudio.com/ @ 3711 Market Street

This “Maker Collider” event will be a great opportunity to make awesome stuff.

We had proposed these projects:
All details are here on the Wiki

After reviewing the projects here and those proposed by NextFab members it sounds like we will be doing some form of the Chess boards, the snowflakes, some robotics, and a bunch of laser-engraving. But what if you don’t like those? Come by anyway and you can rally troops for helping you on your own project(s).

NextFab Studio will have these staff members on hand throughout the event:
Chrinstine : Textile and Industrial Design ( fabric knowledge, product design,cad, sewing )
Ian : Electronics (pcb design/fabrication, coding, wiring, soldering, etc.)
Seth : Mechanical Engineer (handtools, cad, product design)
Brandon : Multi-Media Designer ( 3d printing, graphic design, product design, cinematography, cad)

Anything you want to do, you can do. AWESOME.

Check out all their equipment.

Oh, and there will be food too. Be there at 7 pm!!

To Join in on the Discussion, please join our mailing list

 

Just bought myself a Beagle Bone as an early Xmas present.  I’m tempted to write a long, gushy tome about it, but for the sake of folks reading this, I’ll restrain myself.   I’ll just offer that if you like Arduino, you’ll adore Beagle Bone — in my view, it leapfrogs every physical computing platform out there,  and it’s cheap too.  I got one for $80 + shipping — about the same price as an Arduino with an ethernet shield — and the BB is about 1000x the machine.

To begin with, it has node.js baked right into its Ångström Linux OS.  This node.js installation is extended with a “Wiring-like” API.  Then add the fact that BB “sketches” (for lack of a better term) are edited right in your favorite browser, using the Cloud9 IDE.  Cloud9 is clean and simple and it supports the essential IDE features that you might expect — a decent editor with code colorization, management of the files that comprise a project, an interactive debugger etc.  The idea of a web-enabled physical computing platform that is itself programmed using a web interface seems so obvious and so “right” that it feels like it was always meant to be.   Pure elegance meets sheer genius.

At any rate, the fact that this puppy is an outstanding physical computing platform with righteous networking capabilities makes it about the perfect platform for Internet Of Things architectures, so that’s where I’m focusing for now.

Since I have a background in process control systems and a bit of a bias towards Philly-grown tech,  I settled on NimBits for my back-end.  It has all the attributes of a real process control historian with a cloud architecture and some nice bells and whistles to boot.  Since NimBits counts an XMPP based API among its various access methods, I wrote a little study to see if I could send IMs using node.js.  Turns out it’s incredibly simple (check out the picture)  This app doesn’t push stuff to NimBits (yet), but it’s only a half-step away from it — and being able to have a physical computing platform send you IMs is pretty darn useful in its own right.

Keep an eye out here for more Beagle Bone and Internet Of Things stuff.  We live in fascinating times!

Saturday September 17th, Hive76 members Chris and Peejay will be co-presenting at the Phila Area Computer Society’s Season Kickoff Software Freedom Day Extravaganza.

PACS meets at the Super Giant in Willow Grove, PA.

 

 

Hive Cleans Up

As mentioned previously, on Sunday, the 5th of September, members of Hive76 spent time cleaning up the street at 915 Spring Garden St. The work proved to be hard but rewarding. While there are still significant areas of garbage and weeds, we made a big impact on the areas in which we worked, paving the way for future improvements.

As the coordinator for this particular activity, I really want to give my deepest thanks to our members Mike Hogan, PJ Santoro, and Dan Toliaferro for coming out and busting their asses in the 80+F weather. I also want to thank Dave Sharp for providing some supplies as well as one of our fellow tenants at 915 Spring Garden St. for bringing us water while we were working.

More cleanup efforts are still to come, we really want to develop the garden box and maybe add more garden boxes around the building. We’d also like to spiff the place up a little it with some local art, any sort of standing sculptures that can live permanently in our new garden. If you would like to donate to our cause, with plants or dirt or trees or money to buy such things, then please contact us at hive76@hive76.org.

In the meantime, check out the before and after pictures:

The sidewalk had weeds poking through the cracks and lots of cigarette butts and broken glass.

More sidewalk weeds

 

A completely overgrown garden

The garden from another angle

So we got to work!

PJ was ready!

And jumped right in

All of the weeds are gone from the sidewalk

And the garden is now cleared out of all of the weeds.

Ready for some flowers or maybe some grass

 

Neighborhood Cleanup 9/5

le broom

The block on which our building for our space sits is a bit of a… wayward soul. There is a lot of garbage tumbleweeding through the street, giant weeds poke up through the sidewalk everywhere, and a smattering of graffiti makes someone’s presence known.

Well, we’ve decided to clean it up. All of it. Next Sunday, September 5th, from 12pm to 5pm, we’ll meet at the space and just start doing. We originally planned to do it this weekend, but the IMPENDING DOOM NAMED IRENE has forced us to postpone.

Bring what you can, plastic garbage bags, shovels and rakes, brooms, leftover paint, etc. Don’t forget some heavy gloves, there are a lot of broken glass and other sharps in the area.

If you can’t make it to this date but still want to help out, we will have other dates in the near future, so stay tuned to the blog for future announcements.

Tagged with:
 

Build Your Own 3D Printer!

ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT TO SIGN-UP!

In collaboration with NextFabStudio, we are offering a state-of-the-art and upgraded RepRap printer kit and accompanying 3-day Build Workshop from August 26th-28th. The class cost is $998 ($1,200 for non-members) and includes EVERYTHING you need to get up and running, and more importantly, a fully calibrated and fine-tuned robot.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO SIGN-UP

Check out the time-lapse video below from our first class in Baltimore where we got 10 printers up and running in 3 days.

We’ll help you and a friend or two to build your very own open-source RepRap 3D printer, which has more than 4x(!!) the build volume of it’s closest competitor, the MakerBot Thing-o-Matic. Note that you will save $202 off the class if you’re a member of Hive76 or NextFab Studio. Total class cost for members is only $998. This is a crazy cheap deal! You can’t even buy a MakerBot for that price, let alone learn how to assemble it and fine tune it correctly in just a weekend.

There’s lots of additional bells and whistles on this bot that you won’t find anywhere else: custom machined aluminum motor couplers, linear bearings, the latest RAMPS electronics, and much more!

Any questions or concerns? Click Here to contact Jordan.

First RepRap World Tour 3D Printing Class from jmil on Vimeo.

 
Sorry to everyone for how long it took me to get this write-up out. The perils of starting a new job, I guess. Luckily, we had plenty of notes taken for the entire week, so very little was lost to the black hole that is my memory.
Our arrangements for Philly Tech Week were pretty impromptu, but we managed to pull off a number of fun things.

Monday, 25th: Open Work Night
Open Work Night turned out to be an extension of our spring cleaning from over the weekend. We got the space nice and tidy for everyone who would be visiting later in the week. One visitor came by and helped us put together a few shelves, which was incredibly handy as they required some “lite modification” with a hacksaw before they would fit in our ceilings. Oh, I know! Our ceilings are freaking tall, what was up with the shelves?

Tuesday, 26th: Micro-controller Show and Tell
The evening had a pretty light showing as people hadn’t really quite caught on to what we were doing. However, some of our members (Mike, Chris, and PJ) did get a start on a mirror-and-laser text display system. Very cool.

Wednesday, 27th: Regularly Scheduled Open House + Late Night Karaoke
On Wednesday night, we hosted a number of guests for what is normally our Open House night. These normally turn into social gatherings of sorts, and Tech Week was no exception. We found out that one of our guests is getting ready to launch a new social networking site, another who has started a vending machine company focusing on local goods (http://snacklikealocal.com), and another kind soul looking to donate a Smithy Lathe!

PJ got his MIDI Nintendo Running pad working. Basically, the old running pad controller used with the NES is interpreted through an Arduino to send MIDI signals back to a host computer, where it is used with any MIDI capable software, in this particular case Ableton Live.

We did get Late Night Karaoke going, and it was a blast. Adam rocked out with the Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”. Sean sang Gershwin’s “Foggy London Town”. PJ wooed everyone with The Temptations’ “My Girl”. Corrie set us all rolling laughing with Gayla Peevey’s “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”. Chris fiiiiinaly got up to sing Soul Survivor’s “Expressway To Your Heart”. And Brendan was Brendan with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

Thursday, 28th: DIY/Electronic Music
We had a good mix of newcomers and members for our music night. One person brought in a completely hand-made, 7 sting electric guitar he built. The thing was sick, really wish we had gotten pictures. We jammed out with various synths and drum machines. Sean further extended his Atari Punk Console with a low-pass filter to give it a rounder tone, then blipped and buzzed along with everyone else. Brendan rocked out on the guitar, and Dan was really tearing it up on the keyboard. Definitely a fun night, and we will be looking to do more such nights in the future.

Friday, 29th: “Bricks and Grips” – Arm Wrestling/Puzzle Game Tournament
This night, we actually had more guests than members show up. The first two challengers for Arm Wrestling Tetris were Sean McBeth (the creator) and Robert Cheetham, founder and president of Azavea, a GIS software firm in Center City that is doing some extremely revolutionary work (I know, I used to work in the industry). We also had a bit more electric music jamming, which was a great time.

It was a real team effort getting the game together, between Brendan’s sound track, PJ’s voice over work, and Sean’s programming and construction, it all fit together perfectly. Next up, Punching Bag Double Dragon!

Saturday, 30th: Artemis Game Session
The developer of Artemis just released a new version that includes canned missions. We played the first mission with Sean as Captain and survived to tell the tale.

While en route to our primary mission objective of observing anomolies in a nearby nebula cluster, we encountered a squadron of Krellians lying in wait, having prepared for an ambush against us. Lt. Commander Santoro showed great skill and initiative in destroying the three ships in mere seconds with two well-placed nuclear torpedoes.

After the brief battle, we intercepted a distress call from Deep-Space 49 as they took fire from another battle group of Krellians. Running low on energy and weapons, we barely scraped by and defended the station after a core-burning sprint at maximum warp that nearly left us depleted of energy. Lt. Peterson performed admirably in her duties managing power levels and surely is responsible for our survival.

DS-49 provided us with much needed supplies as we returned to our primary mission: scanning nebulae. We returned to the cluster to find another hidden flotilla of Krellians. This time, we were completely out of nukes and were unable to deal with them handily as we did before. We managed to warp out of weapons range before any serious damage came to the ship. Our second sortie against the Krellians fared better, we damaged them, but had not completely destroyed them. Running low on weapons, Commander Toliaferro performed commendably in maintaining a flanking position on the enemy, allowing Lt. Commander Santoro to dispatch the enemy with beam weapons.

Completely depleted of forward torpedoes, running low on energy, we were ambushed by a third squad of Krellians while under way to DS-45 for supplies. While we managed to warp into a nebula for cover, the nebula destroyed our shields and we were stuck with the enemy between us and our safety. Having nothing but mines left, Captain McBeth hatched a plan. We would fly through the center of the squadron, diverting repair crews and energy to protect critical systems as we bore the brunt of the frontal assault, then dropping our mines in the middle of the squad as we passed through them, to warp away to safety on the other side. The plan required a high level of coordination by all crew members. As Commander Toliaferro deftly navigated at close quarters through the heart of the beast, the first pass dealt great damage to the enemy, but they weren’t quite finished. Rather than coming about for another pass, Captain McBeth ordered all-stop in the middle of battle. Allowing the enemy to come in to weapons range, Lt. Commander Santoro dropped the last few mines, while Lt. Peterson delicately balanced the needs o the repair crews, shields, weapon systems, and engines largely under instinct, not having time to run the proper load balancing calculations. As a result, the final Krellian fleet was completely destroyed while the S.S. Artemis flew home under her own power, completely undamaged, back to DS-45.

Another mission accomplished.

 

For Philly Tech Week, we’re opening our doors every night of the week at 8pm, extending our normal Open House format to the entire week, for this week only. We have a variety of different activities planned. Check it out.

Useless Photo

It's gonna be hot!

Monday, 25th: Open Work Night
For the first night of Tech Week, we’ll be working in the space on projects together. Come stop by and say hi, lend a hand, or just to jibber-jabber about your own projects. This is a little different than normal Open Houses in that we typically curb work sessions for the night.

Tuesday, 26th: Micro-controller Show and Tell
Have an Arduino, MSP430, Propeller, or other MCU project that you want to show off? Want to learn some basics of gettings started with the MSP430? Come out this night and have fun with bit-twiddling, speaker beeping, and LED-blinking.

Wednesday, 27th: Regularly Scheduled Open House + Late Night Karaoke
Our regularly scheduled social hour. We have a hacktastic “karaoke machine” running on a Macbook that lets you queue songs through our IRC channel. We don’t usually start the Karaoke until 10pm, but if enough people are interested we’ll get it started early.

Thursday, 28th: DIY/Electronic Music
Step-tone generators, electric guitar effects pedals, sequencers, keyboards. Whether you’ve made your own instrument or not, any way you want to make music tonight, come on down and jam with us.

Friday, 29th: “Bricks and Grips” – Arm Wrestling/Puzzle Game Tournament
Based on a similar concept that we are not permitted to mention due to trademark issues, this game is a standard 2-player, head-to-head Tetrimino Puzzle Game, where players manipulate their pieces through an arm wrestling competition on a specially designed arm wrestling table-shaped controller.

Saturday, 30th: Artemis Game Session
For all you trekkies out there, Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is a networked multiplayer game that simulates a spaceship’s bridge; much like what you’d see on Star Trek®.