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A few weeks back I wrote a news post on an exciting new DIY wearables development board from Mbient Labs called MetaWear. In the time since the MetaWear campaign went live, it has managed to blow its initial goal of $8000 in just a two days and are almost at the $100,000 milestone.
With their initial goal blown past by several hundred percent, MetaWear's campaign has just four days left to go, and has already reached its stretch goals as well. MbientLabs says that it will only be producing 2000 boards at Kickstarter prices, and that they still have some slots left, so if you are one the fence about backing this awesome project, you should jump in as soon as possible! I will have a full review of MetaWear up shortly after the campaign ends as I have managed to secure an early production model that should arrive in the next few weeks, so stay tuned to TweakTown for that.
Airwolf 3D has just announced the launch of its first hot-end for 3D printers that allows customers to print in engineering-grade materials such as polycarbonate, Bridge Nylon and Nylon 645. The new JRx Hot-End is patent pending and not only allows users to print in the hotter temperature range of Nylon and PC, but also retains printing capabilities in the ABS and PLA ranges as well.
"Printing polycarbonate is the holy grail for prosumer 3D printers," stated Erick Wolf, president and founder of Airwolf 3D. "Personally, however, I think printing nylon is going to explode because it is incredibly strong and has almost unlimited applications. You can even dye different layers to get multi-colored products. Bridge nylon, for example, has been reformulated to meet the growing demand for the material. At 270 degrees Celsius (518 degrees Fahrenheit) we find the layer-to-layer adhesion is superb and the prints stick uniformly to our heated bed. When dealing with nylon at lower temperatures there tends to be trial and error to achieve ideal layer strength. That won't happen with our new JRx hot end."
Let's face it, quad-copters are quickly becoming the hottest trend in tech, and the amazing shots they are affording us are more than spectacular. A new video has surfaces that shows a DJI Phantom quad-copter flying right into the middle of a fireworks show and gives us a view from above like never before.
One would expect that anyone flying a $1300 quad-copter would keep it far away from explosions as possible, but that does not seem to be the case here. The pilot even manages to fly right inside the sphere of sizzling fireballs without taking any damage at all. This gives me a whole new idea on what to do this 4th of July with the quad-copter I am currently building.
DIY and hacker types that like working on their own projects will be glad to hear that RS Components has a couple new LCD kits that are available for Raspberry pi-based projects. There are two LCD kits offered that promise to be easy to wire to the Pi.
One of the kits is the 2.8-inch uLCD-28TU-PI measuring 2.8-inches. The screen has a resolution of 240 x 320 and resistive touch capability. It also has an onboard audio amp and speaker. The other LCD starter kit is a 4.3-inch uLCD-43PTU-PI kit that has a resolution of 480 x 272.
It looks like Staples is about to offer its US-based consumers the option to print products on-demand, and on-site using 3D printers. The retailer will offer action figures and personalized Starfleet officers to walk-in consumers.
Staples has added that it wants to get the attention of small businesses with its new 3D printing venture. Consumers on the other hand will have access to up to seven different printers and six differing types of materials in-store, including the Cube and Cube X models that Staples already offers. The larger goods will be handed over to 3D Systems, which is the company who printed a 3D-printed guitar.
The retailer will also be offering up trained graphic design consultants, where they'll help consumers model their vision to reality. At the moment, there is no ETA on when Staples will be rolling this out, but it shouldn't be too far away now.
Many of you reading this will know my fondness for the popular BeagleBone Black development board, and how much I love new accessories for it. Today I caught wind of a new Kickstarter campaign that is looking to bring high-quality analogue and Bluetooth audio to the BeagleBone and BeagleBone Black development boards. The all new SoundsCape is a "cape" add-on board for the BeagleBone system that allows users to add an analogue and Bluetooth audio solution to their projects easily, and from a single board.
The SoundsCape is being developed by Simple Media Networks, and is designed for developers using the BeagleBone for systems that need an easy solution for high quality audio performance and/or Bluetooth connectivity in their project. The SoundsCape is also for Makers who like hacking Audio platforms, or anyone who would like to wirelessly stream internet radio to their wireless speakers.
I'm sure you know someone who floods their social networks with selfies. Perhaps you are the person your friends know that posts selfies constantly. We aren't judging here.
If you are the sort that likes taking selfies, you might appreciate this cool mirror that will snap the picture for you and automatically upload it to twitter. The mirror has a Mac mini stuffed inside. The LEDs you see in the image countdown to when the selfie is taken so you aren't caught with your eyes closed.
The Mac runs facial recognition software so it recognizes the user and automatically takes the image when you step in front. The mirror is called S.E.L.F.I.E., which stands for Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine. After the selfie is taken, it brands the images with a company logo and puts it on Twitter.
Discrete electronic components such as resistors, capacitors and even larger IC's are shrinking down smaller every year, and that makes it harder for the average home maker or hobbyist to create their own DIY circuit boards. The difficulty comes in melting the solder paste that is used to affix the components to the PCB's circuitry. Why something as simple as a hotplate can do this, certain pad configurations and joint specifications require the "Reflow" process to be done in stages of varying temperature. In the past toaster ovens have been used for this and manually controlled, but that process was time consuming.
Reflowster is a new product which has just went live on Kickstarter that aims at making the toaster oven reflow method much more accurate while automating the temperature ramping process. Reflowster is basically a smart-outlet that is controlled by an Arduino-compatible microcontroller that utilizes a thermocouple temperature probe to turn the power to the toaster oven on and off to regulate the temperature. This allows the user to create custom temperature ramp profiles based on the instructions provided by various solder paste manufacturers. $100 is all it takes to get your own Reflowster which will begin shipping at the end of the year.
3D printing enthusiast world wide have at some point used Netfabb's cloud service to repair .STL files that were not solid meshes and not manifold. Over the last few years the service's popularity has grew can that has caused the service to slow down quite a bit. On Friday Netfabb announced that it has partnered up with Microsoft to host the cloud service on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform.
The new service is called Microsoft Model Repair, and uses Netfabb technology at its core to provide a more powerful and efficient mesh repairer that can scale as its popularity continues to grow. Instead of each model being issued a separate download key like before, Microsoft Model Repair uses your Microsoft Account credentials to securely store your fixed files. This greatly cuts down on the time it takes to get the file back to you after repair too, and users will notice a increase in speed with most repairs taking just seconds.
Its been more than two years since the first Raspberry Pi was shipped, and today the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced a new way to get your Pi on. The new Raspberry Pi Compute Module is based on the SO-DIMM form factor that is popular with DDR2 and DDR3 RAM in many modern laptops, but do not confuse that as being compatible with the SO-DIMM port on your laptop because it is not. The Raspberry Pi foundation says that this new form factor is designed to help makers embed their Raspberry Pi projects into final products.
The new Raspberry Pi compute module features a Broadcom BCM2835 chip with 512MB RAM with an on board 4GB eMMC Flash memory for booting the OS. The overall footprint of the device is 65mm x 30mm and its 200 pin edge connector allows the full i/o and other pins from the BCM 2835 chip to be utilized instead of just 19 I/O like the original Raspberry Pi.