Desk by Caleb Kraft

Is My Mid Century Modern Desk An Homage or a Cheap Knock Off?

Caleb Kraft for Make: I needed a desk for my office. Being a maker that is also loaded down with fancy tools, I couldn’t bear to go to the store and buy something. I decided I wanted to make something, and the design would have to be one that I wouldn’t mind looking at for long periods of time.

The big question at this point, however, is what to do with the files. Do I share them even though this is a knockoff of Helmut Magg’s work?

Helmut Magg desk This is a lovely project idea and something I would very much like to do for myself.

This particular project raises some interesting questions as the desk is based on a fairly famous 50s writing desk designed by Helmut Magg. It and other similar Magg desks are still sold from licensed vendors for thousands of dollars apiece. There is also a pretty healthy knockoff market. Like the author, I think these kinds of designs are fine to use as inspiration for personal projects, but selling them — or even giving away the design blueprints — definitely puts you in a grey area. You’d probably be opening yourself up to a lawsuit, even if you were ultimately well within your legal rights.

See also

Make: Design for CNC

Craft and creativity

A DIY mid-century modern CNC flat pack desk and the ethics of recreating classic furniture

In Autodesk Fusion360, I designed my own. This is where things start to get muddy. I looked at his, then put it away and designed my own. All my angles and measurements are actually different than his. However, I very obviously was designing something to look pretty much just like his.

Gallery

Zero Phone

ZeroPhone

Hackaday blog: There are several open source phones out there these days, but all of them have a downside. Hard to obtain parts, hard to solder, or difficult programming systems abound. [Arsenijs] is looking to change all that with ZeroPhone. ZeroPhone is based upon the popular Raspberry Pi Zero. The $5 price tag of the CPU module means that you can build this entire phone for around $50 USD.

Features:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero in a PCB sandwich
  • No proprietary connectors, hard-to-get parts or chips that are tricky to solder
  • All the specifications for making this phone yourself will be available
  • Python as the main language for developing apps (aiming to add other languages later)
  • UI toolkit making development quicker and easier
  • Numeric keypad, 1.3" 128×64 monochrome OLED screen (with screen header supporting other types of screens)
  • 2G modem for phone functions, can be replaced with a 3G modem
  • WiFi (using an ESP8266), HDMI and audio outputs, a free USB host port
  • GPIO expansion headers for customization
  • RGB LED and vibromotor – for notifications
  • Tons of Pi Zero-related hacks that were discovered along the way, that I'll share with you as the project goes =)

See also: Other posts tagged ‘Raspberry Pi’ & Phones for the people

Also, build a Raspberry Pi VPN Router w/ PIA →

Craft and creativity

ZeroPhone: a $50 Raspberry Pi smartphone

A Pi Zero-based open-source mobile phone that you can assemble for $50 in parts.

Gallery
Braille Bricks
Craft and creativity

Braille Bricks: Lego letters for literacy and inclusion of blind children

Braille Bricks: A toy building brick can be whatever you imagine it to be, or even something you’ve never imagined. Braille Bricks is an experiment that transforms these bricks into a tool capable of encouraging creativity, helping blind children learn to read and write. It also encourages the inclusion of children with or without visual impairment.

Braille Bricks

See also: Lego sets are getting grayerThe transition from the old grays to the current bluish grays (or “bley”) is a hot-button topic for many Lego fans.

Standard
DermalAbyss
Shape of things to come

DermalAbyss: Colour changing tattoos that monitor your health

DermalAbyss: Possibilities of Biosensors as a Tattooed Interface

MIT Media Lab researcher Katia Vega: The Dermal Abyss presents a novel approach to biointerfaces in which the body surface is rendered an interactive display. Traditional tattoo inks were replaced with biosensors whose colors change in response to variations in the interstitial fluid. It blends advances in biotechnology with traditional methods in tattoo artistry.

We developed four biosensors, reacting to three biochemical information in body fluid and changes colors: The pH sensor changes between purple and pink, the glucose sensor shifts between blue and brown; the sodium and a second pH sensor fluoresce at a higher intensity under UV light.

Researchers at MIT Media Lab and Harvard Medical School teamed up to create tattoo ink that reacts to your body’s chemistry.

DermalAbyss

Co.Design: Researchers are getting closer to turning the skin into an interface, while designers imagine what these interfaces might look like. Do they come in the form of a tattoo, like Vega suggests, or a temporary tattoo that doubles as a circuit? Do they act like a second skin? Will we use them to control our devices, or to better understand our bodies? Either way, there’s a whole lot more to explore on the surface of our skin.

See also

Standard

Evil Mad Scientist: AxiDraw V3

The AxiDraw is a simple, modern, precise, and versatile pen plotter, capable of writing or drawing on almost any flat surface. It can write with your favorite fountain pens, permanent markers, and other writing implements to handle an endless variety of applications.

The AxiDraw is an extremely versatile machine, designed to serve a wide variety of everyday and specialized drawing and writing needs. You can use it for almost any task that might normally be carried out with a handheld pen.

While no parts on AxiDraw require regular replacement, this new machine is built with a “screws not glue” design approach throughout, where essentially every part can be replaced by the end user if it should ever become necessary.

(via prostheticknowledge.tumblr.com)

See also →

Arduboy
Miscellany

Arduboy: Game system the size of a credit card

Arduboy is a miniature, open-source, programmable game system based on Arduino.

Arduboy started on Kickstarter in 2015 and is now for sale at $49 (they expect it to sell out quickly, however). Features:

  • 1.3″ brilliant black & white OLED display
  • 6 tactile momentary push buttons
  • 2 channel piezo electric speaker
  • Durable polycarbonate and aluminum construction
  • Rechargeable thin-film lithium polymer battery

(via HN)

See also: Other posts tagged ‘electronics’.

Standard

The Big Hex Machine

The Big Hex Machine is a giant, yet simple, 16-bit computer designed by staff and students at the University of Bristol to explain how a computer works.

The giant machine, based in the Merchant Venturers School of Engineering, measures over eight square meters. It is built out of over 100 specially designed four-bit circuit boards, which enables students to be taught about fundamental principles of computer architecture from just a few basic components.

Tech Spark: David May (pictured right, above), Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science (pictured right, above), designed the Big Hex Machine with education in mind. David says, “You cannot understand how a computer works by taking one apart!”

“In our giant machine, all of the structure is clearly visible – as is the movement of information as it executes programs. It demonstrates the principle used in all computers – general-purpose hardware controlled by a stored program.”

(via HN)

Miscellany

The Big Hex Machine

The ‘Big Hex Machine’ is a giant, yet simple, 16-bit computer specifically designed to explain how a computer works. Its instruction set requires a very small compiler, but it is powerful enough to implement useful programs.

Gallery