kwartzlab is like no other place I know

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This is what engagement photos look like at kwartzlab.

Ok, ok, James and Agnes are not engaged AFAIK, but this hacked thermal imaging camera is a great example of the kind of awesome projects that surprise and delight visitors at Tuesday Open Night. This is a Fluke E4 Thermal Imaging Camera that James picked up online for a thousand bucks. Happily, this device has all the capability of the $6000 E8 model and is merely and purposefully crippled in firmware by the manufacturer to hit a different market segment. James applied a firmware patch created by some clever hackers, boosting resolution from 80×40 to 320×240. You can snap stills, overlay data from an integrated visible light camera, and see through walls with this rig.  Now my only question is when is James going to show up to the 3rdThur monthly photo review with a thermal image.

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James also brought in his new 3D printer along with some prints using a stretchy/rubbery filament that I’ve not seen before.  It allows for applications that need to flex and one of the first and super-useful prints were some flexible cable ties.

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And with this dual-filament extruder head on the printer, I guess you could feed both hard and rubbery filament on a print, although James said he was (or did) redesign the feed mechanism to accommodate the latter as the stock mechanism was just choking on the stretchy stuff.

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Artist Meg Leslie was chatting with Agnes Niewiadomski about this collaborative project that I can now release from embargo. THEMUSEUM got a stellar deal on the creation and construction of this Joan Euler Order of the Creative Mind Award as presented by BMO. These two makers teamed up with Bernie Rohde to put together this unique and beautiful award. Agnes designed, constructed, and veneered the ‘M’ box, Meg tiled the inside (with mirrors I believe), and…

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Bernie provided the heartbeat lights and electronics, illuminating the piece. Agnes will have a blog post up shortly on this project, but you can check out her fb timeline for preview pics. Well done, makers.

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In other kwartzlab news: Don Leibold is creating a giant sphere out of laser-cut plywood and hair elastics. This structure will eventually serve as a sit-in pod that floats near-frictionlessly on a cushion of air. Think awesome-flight-simulator and then think beyond that.

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Back when kwartzlab was in the old Boehmer Box factory, Don was our neighbour and later a member and he showed version 1.0 of the sphere hooked to a shopvac. There was a bit of skepticism until somebody climbed inside and Don fired it up and started manually tilting the floating “passenger”. Pretty cool…

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and beautiful as a structure. I gather from talking with Don that this skeleton will receive a skin, and…

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a socket in which to roll.

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And finally (for this post), I’m told the 2.5D 4’x4’ router from China is now operational after some hacking of software (and hardware?). Just think of the custom-made everything that is going to come out of this rig. Going to be a very makerly spring and summer at Charles and Kent streets. Good on ya, kwartzlab.


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