BronzeBot: a 3D printer made of bronze

A few months ago Enrique Muyshondt (President of DesktopFab, aka Endeavour on IRC) gave us a set of Sells Mendel parts that he had cast for our work on various research projects at UPenn and here at Hive76. We slowly assembled it and got it running, and thanks to this past weekend’s RepRap World Tour stop in Baltimore, we have it running! In addition to 3D printing like a champ, we’re now using it to work on the firmware and customize printing scripts for tissue engineering research. We are grateful for the support!

The parts are cold cast bronze, this means Enrique painted several layers of bronze powder into his molds and then cast them with resin. What came out were the brown parts you see in the pictures and video below.

This 3D printer rocks. The RepRap 3D printing project still has a lot of rough edges, but that’s why we love it. We’ll have BronzeBot on exhibit at the next RepRapWorldTour in Baltimore, and then back in Philly in August to do it again.


Artemis and Star Trek DVD Watch this Saturday

Hey folks,

At this Saturday’s open house we’ll be playing Artemis Spaceship Bridge simulator, and then watching a few episodes of Star Trek (the original series) on behalf of the Philadelphia Star Trek Meetup Group. They’ve been having trouble finding a place to meet for their DVD nights, so we were happy to lend a hand. The schedule is Artemis from 2:30 PM to 5 PM and Star Trek from 5 PM until as long as unanimously decided.

So if you’ve got an itch that you just can’t scratch for both interactive and non-interactive Trek (sorta), then beam on down to Hive 76 this weekend.


Cellulose Some, and You Win Some

I have a new obsession — microbial cellulose.  I have been meaning to experiment with this stuff ever since I read Fermented Frocks, the New Couture.  Recently, my sister’s room-mate was discarding a kombucha culture, long past its prime, and I knew I had to have it — despite the fact that was about the closest thing to two gallons of pure biohazard that I have ever laid eyes on.  I peeled a few layers from the decrepit SCOBY that was floating in the middle of the rancid kombucha, and dried them into tough, leathery, translucent “paper” (see the photo with the “paper” covering a CD for perspective). After that, I was hooked — smell be damned — and after some research, I was really hooked.

Microbial "paper" formed by peeling a layer from a kombucha "pellicle" (a.k.a. SCOBY)
Microbial "paper" formed by peeling a layer from a kombucha "pellicle" (a.k.a. SCOBY)

Continue reading “Cellulose Some, and You Win Some”

6/11/11 Open House Wrap-Up

First Officers Log, Stardate 64941.3…

Yesterday we ran a few games of Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator at our new Saturday Open House event, and we had a ton of fun. This time we decided to try out the “Into the Breach: Starfleet” mod by a team called NegativeZone. Basically, it’s a Starfleet mod for the game. It changes the main ship (the Artemis) into the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), and also changes the enemies to the familiar: Romulan, Klingon, and Orion varieties. Personally, it was a great experience to be fighting Klingons and instead of the default game’s “Argonians” for a change. Since Artemis is not a Paramount/Universal intellectual property, this would not have been possible without a mod team like NegativeZone.

Of course we had the great Chris Thompson as our captain. We also had a few IRC regulars come in and play. Steve (aka Inspired Chaos) did a great job at helm, and Alex (aka Derpy) was awesome at his engineering duties. As fairly new players I have have to hand it to these guys, they’re quick learners and worked well under pressure. Lastly, I manned the science and communication stations simultaneously.

We played a few games at a very easy difficulty level to start off with.  We swiftly won those games. Then, we moved up to level 5. It was alot harder, with enemy ships capable of warp speed, as well as enemies with cloaking capabilities; but we ended up actually winning!

This game is really great fun all around, and everyone is invited to play our next game on Saturday, June 25th. Be sure to bring your laptop or netbook.

Live long and prosper!

New Class: Intro to Stereo Photography

On June 18th from noon to about 3pm, Hive 76 will be sponsoring an introductory class on Stereo Photography. We will cover a lot of fun things, including: basics of how stereo vision (“3D”) works; how to take stereo photos with an ordinary digital camera; tips on getting the best results in your photos; and an overview of several available 3D viewing methods, many of which will be available for in-person demonstration. Students will be able to try their hand at creating their own stereo photos, and each ticket holder will receive a small take-home element to help with their experiments. Tickets are available for $20.

lion statue
Stereo photo of a lion statue (view cross-eyed to see 3D). Click for full size

Bring yourselves, and if you can:
– A digital camera
– A laptop with image editing software (Gimp / Photoshop, etc)
– Any cool 3D stuff you might want to share (ViewMaster reels, toys, antique stereopticons, etc)

It should be a great opportunity to meet some cool people, share a fun hobby, and hopefully learn something new. See you there!