Doodling in 3D

Don’t wor­ry, he’s mos­tly harmless!
Basí­lio, a good­fel­la, a Lobs­ter, a good fri­end and a Goo­gle Sket­chUp ninja!
Well, yes­ter­day was AltLab mee­tup day, and the plan was: make a 3D model of an X axis car­ri­a­ge for a mini-mendel.
It was a suc­cess! After a few hours using Goo­gle Sket­chUp, we’­ve mana­ged to cre­a­te a darn good loo­king carriage.
The next step will be print it and assem­ble it.
Mini-Men­del X Axis mini-carriage

I’m not in the mood…

Pos­ted by  via T(h)inker it!

At least it’s what she said! Vio­le­ta… the prin­ter, I mean 🙂
From the begin­ning, tues­day it’s mee­ting day atAltLab and I’ve dis­cus­sed with Mau­ri­cio the pos­si­bi­lity of using the Mini-Men­del with an adap­ter, a Pen Hol­der to wri­te the pcb’s layouts. The X axis car­ri­a­ge from the Mini-Men­del was disas­sem­bled and after I’ve finished assem­ble it, it loo­ked a lit­tle wob­bly, and we don’t want a wob­bly printer!
So, Thin­gi­ver­se to the res­cue, and we found theMen­del Mini-Car­ri­a­ge, and of we go… to the Makerbot!!!
This was my first inte­rac­ti­on with a 3d Prin­ter, and everything went well… until… when the print rea­ched about 1cm of height, the extru­der deci­ded stop the extru­si­on… damn!
We star­ted over, but the­re was a sus­pi­ci­on over the lap­top, so we’­ve tri­ed using the SD Card to print… it didn’t work! Now the sus­pect is the ver­si­on 3 firmwa­re… and the lap­top… it’s a caba­la or lack of luck :p
Did we give up? No, of cour­se not, we’­ve selec­ted a smal­ler pie­ce of the Mini-Car­ri­a­ge and pres­sed “BUILD”, and all went as expec­ted, the first pie­ce of the Mini-car­ri­a­ge was a success!
Let’s try another… and all went well.. until the 1cm of height… the extru­der fai­led again :p
It was get­ting late, so we’­ve clo­sed the shop for the day… err… night.
But not everything was lost, we’­ve plot­ted a plan to deve­lop a Gen8 elec­tro­nics, just wait for it 🙂

RepRap Gen7 PCB… check!

Pos­ted by  via T(h)inker it!

Today went back to AltLab for a lit­tle lear­ning expe­ri­en­ce. A gre­at fri­end of mine, Fer­nan­do Afon­so, came to Lis­bon to the laun­ch of MEO Kanal, a pro­duct he hel­ped brin­ging to life. Sin­ce he was here, he was invi­ted by AltLab to give a small workshop on “PCB Making… The Fer­nan­do Afon­so way”. :)The method used was Toner Trans­fer, whe­re you print the cir­cuit layout with a laser prin­ter on che­ap maga­zi­ne paper (the more glos­si­er is bet­ter), then, with the toner side over the cop­per side and woot… the “sandwi­ch” off it go into a sligh­tly modi­fi­ed lami­na­tor (around 10 times) and the it’s sub­mer­ged in fre­e­zing cold water.The low qua­lity maga­zi­ne paper it’s easily scrub­bed off the pcb and it’s ready to the acid bath.
We used Acid Cupric Chlo­ri­de as etchant, when the pcb is sub­mer­ged  it turns into a… kryp­to­ni­te gre­en… spo­oky I say!In the end we’­ve got a Gene­ra­ti­on 7 Elec­tro­nics pcb for the Pru­sa Air… next step, buy the com­po­nents and sol­de­ring it 😀

AZ Labs showcase @ Vila Verde

Text by Fili­pe Cruz

On the 25 and 26 Janu­ary, AZ Labs show­ca­sed some pro­jects at the library of Vila Ver­de. This show­ca­se was the first step in a seri­es of ini­a­ti­ves pro­mo­ted by Casa do Conhe­ci­men­to in Vila Ver­de in cola­bo­ra­ti­on with Audi­ên­cia Zero. 500 stu­dents from local scho­ols were brought to a secret room in the muni­ci­pal library to dis­co­ver cre­a­ti­ve, artis­tic and open sour­ce appli­ca­ti­ons of tech­no­logy we had setup to show them.

The res­pon­se from the stu­dents, tea­chers and orga­ni­zing comit­tee was gre­at and we look forward to cola­bo­ra­te some more with the peo­ple of Vila Ver­de in the near future!

In total we show­ca­sed 7 projects.

Draw­dio – An eso­te­ric elec­tro­nic ins­tru­ment inven­ted by some folks at MIT explo­ring the con­duc­ti­vity of graf­fi­te on paper or just com­mon water. The user clo­ses the elec­tro­nic cir­cuit through tou­ch, trig­ge­ring sound through a small spe­a­ker. Show­ca­sed by Ricar­do Lobo and João Gonçalves.

GroundS­pi­nes Graf­fi­ti – The laser tag­ging pro­toty­pe deve­lo­ped at xDA, ins­pi­red by theGRL laser tag sys­tem. This pro­ject was ori­gi­nally deve­lo­ped by Tia­go Ser­ra, Tony Gon­çal­ves and Vic­tor Mar­tins to beau­tify aban­do­ned buil­dings in Coim­bra. Show­ca­sed by Pedro Salgado.

RC Micro Machi­nes – Ori­gi­nally deve­lo­ped through a sprint ses­si­on with peo­ple from the dif­fe­rent AZ Labs, main­tai­ned by Nuno Bar­ros, Ricar­do Lobo, João Gon­çal­ves and Pedro Sal­ga­do. Show­ca­sed by Nuno Barros.

Anon­Mir­ror – An inte­rac­ti­ve ins­tal­la­ti­on about soci­al acti­vism in our soci­ety. Made by Fili­pe Cruz using Open­Fra­meworks, Kinect and a wrap­per deve­lo­ped by Vic­tor Martins.

Maker­Bot – Ricar­do Lobo show­ca­sed and did some live main­te­nan­ce fixes on “Cata­ri­na”, one of the two AZ Labs Cup­ca­ke Maker­bots we have. Prin­ting some whis­tles and showingThin­gi­e­ver­se.

New Picas­so – A kinect con­trol­led robot that paints the flo­or. Users wave their hands in front of the kinect to send com­mands through Ardui­no to the ser­vo motors of the robot. Pro­ject by Gui­lher­me Mar­tins, Pedro Sal­ga­do and João Gonçalves.

Tele­for­ma – Pro­ject by Ricar­do Lobo, João Gon­çal­ves and Mécia Sá dea­ling with the rela­ti­onship that peo­ple have with spe­e­ch and con­ver­sa­ti­on. The pro­ject is based on a mecha­ni­cal phy­si­cal inter­fa­ce that allows two users to trans­la­te visu­ally the form of their speech.

AZ Labs @ O Espaço do Tempo


The AZ Labs resi­dency at Espa­ço do Tem­po in Mon­te­mor-o-Novo is sadly over for now. Folks have been wor­king hard to finish things up for the pro­to exhi­bi­ti­on of pro­jects we had on Saturday.

A few pro­jects were shel­ved or aban­do­ned for dif­fe­rent rea­sons. Not sta­ble enough, not enough time, no right mate­ri­als, not enough beer. In the end were left with 9 projects.

AR Cubes — André Sier deve­lo­ped a few expe­ri­ments with cubes glu­ed with prin­ted aug­men­ted rea­lity fidu­ci­al mar­kers. Dif­fe­rent mar­kers trig­ger dif­fe­rent effects. You can play with them to make dif­fe­rent com­bi­na­ti­ons of objects and lines inte­rac­ting with each other.


Trac­king Head — Tia­go Ser­ra, Andrea Ino­cên­cio and Mau­ri­cio Mar­tins wor­ked on a mane­quin head res­cu­ed during a dumps­ter diving ses­si­on. They equip­ped a box with IR leds and use a came­ra with fil­ters to track the move­ment of the box. With the­se valu­es they send rota­ti­on infor­ma­ti­on to a ser­vo motor equi­ped in the base of the mane­quin head. The same valu­es are also sent to a soft­ware that selects a cor­res­pon­ding angle pho­to whi­ch is pro­jec­ted in the mane­quin. This sys­tem makes the fre­aky mane­quin head rota­te in the direc­ti­on of the object.

Tal­king Head — Next to the Trac­king Head we have a spe­a­ker box equip­ped wih an ardui­no, an ir recei­ver and a wave shi­eld. When the box han­dled by the user aims at the spe­a­ker box it trig­gers ran­dom sam­ples from a sam­ple pool, giving the illu­si­on that the head itself is tal­king. Mau­ri­cio, André, Fili­pe, João and Rita wor­ked on this project.

Trac­king Boids — The flo­or of the Trac­king Head spa­ce is cove­red with small light spots flying around. The­se boids, pro­gram­med by André Sier may look like ran­dom dis­co lights on first glan­ce but when some­o­ne moves into the came­ra they flock towards the user.


Micro CNC — Tia­go Ror­ke had been wor­king on a Micro CNC pro­ject, pie­ces prin­ted with the Maker­bot. Tere­za Car­do­so gave him a hand making a pro­ject out of it by taking pho­tos of the atten­ders of the resi­dency, down­gra­ding them to vec­tor for­mat and having the micro cnc sket­ch them. They are drawn on the walls of the resi­dency itself, along with qr code lin­king to video inter­vi­ews tal­king about each per­sons invol­ve­ment with the dif­fe­rent projects.

Paint Video Sig­nals — Andrea Ino­cên­cio recor­ded some short vide­os of red blue and black paint being appli­ed to dif­fe­rent mediums (water, paper, table). Fili­pe Cruz did a lit­tle pro­ces­sing sket­ch to extract midi valu­es from a grid of pixels in the video and send them to reak­tor. Some gene­ra­ti­ve sound tests were recor­ded and mixed into a video dvd.

Blip Blop Blir Boxes — André Sier and Mau­ri­cio Mar­tins wor­ked on a few small boxes pac­ked with an Ardui­no, IR sen­sors, LEDs and spe­a­kers. Boxes poin­ting to each other make the LEDs chan­ge their color. A third box poin­ted to the pre­vi­ous boxes makes them give out some blips and blops sounds.


O mun­do é em cada ins­tan­te o que ele não pode não ser.” — A pro­ject con­cei­ved by Patri­cia Pro­en­ça con­sis­ting of a hand drawn ani­ma­ti­on of a tree growing being pro­jec­ted into a wall. The ani­ma­ti­on is trig­ge­red when a wate­ring can equi­ped with a cellpho­ne is til­ted into an ali­en plant object. Tia­go Ser­ra gave her a hand with the tech­ni­cal implementation.

Trail­chi — Gui­lher­me Car­ta­xo and Sónia Mala­qui­as been wor­king for whi­le on their pro­ject invol­ving long expo­si­ons to tai chi ses­si­ons per­for­med in the dark with a sword and suit equip­ped with 12 LEDs. The cap­tu­red ani­ma­ti­ons makes some beau­ti­ful light trails art. Also helps analy­se the moti­on of the session.