Tom Scott may just be the new James Burke.
Will only work in a copper-lined skate park, or perhaps a disused brewery's malt vat?
Press embargoes lifted today, heralding the announcement of the world’s first hoverboard. Yes, the hovering skateboard from Back to the Future. It’s called the Hendo hoverboard, it’s apparently real, and you can buy one for $10,000. If that’s too rich for your blood, you can spend $900 for a ‘technology demonstrator’ – a remote-controlled hovering box powered by the same technology.
Of course the world’s first hoverboard is announced to the world as a crowd funding campaign, so before we get to how this thing is supposed to work, we’ll have to do our due diligence. The company behind this campaign, Arx Pax Labs, Inc, exists, as does the founder. All the relevant business registration, biographical information, and experience of the founder and employees of Arx Pax check out to my satisfaction. In fact, at least one employee has work experience with the innards of electric motors. At first glance, the company itself is actually legit.
The campaign is for a BttF-style hoverboard, but this is really only a marketing strategy for Arx Pax; the hoverboards themselves are admittedly loss leaders even at $10,000 – the main goal of this Kickstarter is simply to get media attention to the magnetic levitation technology found in the hoverboard. All of this was carefully orchestrated, with a ‘huge event’ to be held exactly one year from today demonstrating a real, working hoverboard. What’s so special about demoing a hoverboard on October 21, 2015?
I defy anyone to come up with a better marketing campaign than this.
The meat of the story comes from what has until now been a scientific curiosity. Everyone reading this has no doubt seen superconductors levitated off a bed of magnets, and demonstrations of eddy currents are really just something cool you can do with a rare earth magnet and a copper pipe. What [Greg Henderson] and Arx Pax have done is take these phenomena and turned them into a platform for magnetic levitation.
According to the patent, the magnetic levitation system found in the Hendo hoverboard works like this:
That’s it. That’s how you create a real, working hoverboard. Arx Pax has also developed a method to control a vehicle equipped with a few of these hover disks; the $900 ‘Whitebox’ technology demonstrator includes a smart phone app as a remote control.
If you’re still sitting in a steaming pile of incredulity concerning this invention, you’re in good company. It’s a fine line between being blinded by brilliance and baffled by bullshit, so we’re leaving this one up to you: build one of these devices, put it up on hackaday.io, and we’ll make it worth your while. We’re giving away some gift cards to the Hackaday store for the first person to build one of these hoverboards, preferably with a cool body kit. The Star Wars landspeeder has already been done, but the snowspeeder hasn’t. Surprise us.
Damn. I wonder if Microsoft is fully aware of this?
The FTDI FT232 chip is found in thousands of electronic baubles, from Arduinos to test equipment, and more than a few bits of consumer electronics. It’s a simple chip, converting USB to a serial port, but very useful and probably one of the most cloned pieces of silicon on Earth. Thanks to a recent Windows update, all those fake FTDI chips are at risk of being bricked. This isn’t a case where fake FTDI chips won’t work if plugged into a machine running the newest FTDI driver; the latest driver bricks the fake chips, rendering them inoperable with any computer.
Reports of problems with FTDI chips surfaced early this month, with an explanation of the behavior showing up in an EEVblog forum thread. The new driver for these chips from FTDI, delivered through a recent Windows update, reprograms the USB PID to 0, something Windows, Linux, and OS X don’t like. This renders the chip inaccessible from any OS, effectively bricking any device that happens to have one of these fake FTDI serial chips.
Because the FTDI USB to UART chip is so incredibly common, the market is flooded with clones and counterfeits. it’s very hard to tell the difference between the real and fake versions by looking at the package, but a look at the silicon reveals vast differences. The new driver for the FT232 exploits these differences, reprogramming it so it won’t work with existing drivers. It’s a bold strategy to cut down on silicon counterfeiters on the part of FTDI. A reasonable company would go after the manufacturers of fake chips, not the consumers who are most likely unaware they have a fake chip.
The workaround for this driver update is to download the FT232 config tool from the FTDI website on a WinXP or Linux box, change the PID of the fake chip, and never using the new driver on a modern Windows system. There will surely be an automated tool to fix these chips automatically, but until then, take a good look at what Windows Update is installing – it’s very hard to tell if your devices have a fake FTDI chip by just looking at them.
Really tempted by this! I wish I had a bit more free cash right now.
We’re looking at a very interesting new resin-based 3D printer, the iBox Nano.
The new machine, just launched on Kickstarter, is a personal 3D printer using UV-curable resin like many others, but this machine has a number of significant differences from the others. Here’s what we found interesting:
The iBox Nano uses UV-rated LED lights instead of standard DLP projector lighting with incandescent bulbs that burn out. The LEDs should last more or less forever and require no warm up time.
This 3D printer has an exceptionally small build volume compared to other recently announced resin-based personal 3D printers: 40 x 20 x 90mm. You might think this is dramatically small, but it really isn’t for this technology. Resin technology can 3D print in very fine resolution, much higher than other common 3D printing processes. This is useful for small objects; large objects simply do not require as fine a resolution. This machine is for printing small, highly detailed objects, such as jewelry. This also implies you’ll use limited quantities of expensive resin, so your costs may be reduced.
The iBox Nano is truly portable. Not only is it physically small and lightweight, it uses WiFi to connect instead of cabling. Even more surprising is that it can actually operate on battery power! The device’s LEDs and cool operation mean very limited energy consumption, especially compared to plastic extrusion machines that require high heat to melt plastic filament. iBox sells battery packs specifically for this purpose. It’s also very quiet when operating.
Resolution is the hallmark of resin-based 3D printers, and the iBox Nano is no slouch. While it offers an industry standard 328 micron (0.328mm) XY resolution, its layer resolution is astounding: 0.39 microns (0.00039mm)! This is the first personal device we’ve seen offering a layer size less than a single micron.
The machine is available at a very inexpensive price point: USD$189, although units at that price will likely run out by the time this post is published. No matter, they have additional price points ready to go at USD$229, USD$269 and higher.
If the machine works, it could put a dent into the market for industrial jewelry or dental 3D printers, which are typically priced far higher than this unit. In fact, the price of the iBox is close to the price of a material cartridge for some of these commercial machines.
So what could be wrong with this offering? Here’s some thoughts:
The build volume is small. Do not buy this machine if you have any intention of printing even medium-sized objects. But do buy it if you wish to print highly detailed small figurines or jewelry.
Will it work? We don’t know for sure until people get them, but the print samples pictured on the iBox site have a great look.
Will they survive? This is the big question. We’ve written previously on the perils of low-priced 3D printers, and the iBox Nano clearly falls into the pricing danger zone. To survive they’ll have to sell a great many units, but we see their campaign specifies 9,200 units. Perhaps they’ll hit the level required for survivability. The key is to offer a great product at a low price, and they may have done just that.
Steven's tumblr is my favorite tumblr. I met him for like 45 seconds once when he drove SaraEillen to Shak's house to drop off a painting.
I googled ‘motion capture Groot’. I was not disappointed.
Japan: Print a gun, go to jail. Print a vulva, go to jail.
Yoshitomo Imura, a Japanese 3D printing ehthusiast, has been jailed for two years for manufacturing 3D printed guns.
We wrote of Imura’s situation earlier, where he was arrested for violating Japan’s very strict gun control laws. Imura produced several weapons using a 3D printer of his own design.
Imura’s design differed from earlier, more primitive pistol designs that offered only a single shot. Imura’s design carries six bullets, making the weapon more dangerous - both to others and the operator, since it has six times the chance of exploding during firing.
It’s also proved quite dangerous to Imura himself, as he now faces two years in a Japanese jail. Japan works very hard to keep gun crime low and they succeed. A key part of their strategy is tough gun legislation, which was used to convict Imura.
Apparently his work was brought to the attention of police by video postings showing him operating the firearm. We’re wondering how many others have experimented with 3D printed firearms in contravention of local laws, who have NOT posted videos and are not known by authorities. We suspect it’s more than the few who post videos.
Via ITWorld (Hat tip to William)
Some interesting stuff here!
For the past year we have been busy building, testing, documenting and refining the process of taking 3D printed parts and using “Lost PLA” burnout to cast for parts for more robust applications. The documentation is bordering 100+pages, with 20+ pages of brute force data. We will try to keep it simple, show off with a few shiny throwbacks, hopefully inspire ideas for the potential, and give some technical specs to boost the capabilities of those open source open hardware folks who love a good clean walkthrough.
This design prevents the vacuum from sucking up molten metal if the plaster in the flask fails to seal.
The sketches go through the simple breakdown of a furnace in basic parts and vacuum trap parts. More information can be found here. Any casting plaster can be used for when investing flasks for casting.
The test metal was scrap 6061 aluminum, and/or silicon bronze to ensure anyone could replicate the process easily.
These parts yielded data about hole size requirements and edge cases. The goal was to quantify what was likely to succeed.
Parts can have clean interior corners, where CNC machines would fail to accomplish because of the cutter size. Self intersecting geometry is also not a problem. Edge case castings have been hearty with 13 fins space 1.6mm apart extending 15mm up and continuous for 40mm. This means complex geometry for cooling fins has little cost to prototype.The hard part is conceptualizing how volumetric shrinkage occurs. Basically the part will shrink ~2-3% depending on the alloy, but holes will get bigger as metal contracts from the side walls of the plaster. This means that parts need to be scale up ~2% while holes need to shrink by 2%. This allows parts to be well toleranced if machined afterwards.
The best part for testing the capabilities of any machine or process, thank you Loic.
Extremely complex parts that cannot be machined can easily be cast in production volumes allowing standard 3D print/cast parts to; withstand high temperature applications, parts have higher strength to weight ratio, parts can be custom bearing/bushing systems(when bronze is used), and parts can be used to create custom heat sinks (when aluminum is used).
Rapid manufacture of injection molds allows for even the smallest of shops to become competitive with standard injection molding. 3D printing adds ease and flexibility for companies to change their designs/molds faster and keep up with the demand.
Cast bust of a 3D scan
I'd watch that show.
reverse werewolves. wolves that turn into confused but excited humans every month at the full moon and run around doing weird human stuff until they wake up the next day in the middle of an office with a suit loosely draped over their wolf form
Damn. Dude just made a sale.
What the hell is a "Retail Operator"?
Yes, that is Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain" in the background, it came up on shuffle.
A video posted by Jake von Slatt (@vonslatt) on
Got my RepRap dialed in to the point where I can print over RDesktop and Skype. I just knock the prints off of the bed with the nozzle once they’ve cooled. Try that with a Makerbot!
For the Birbkin among us.
what is this. magical bird.
Quetzal. That bird is a Quetzal and it can be found on Western Mexico. It’s on a near threatened status.
And it totally IS a magical bird. Or at least a sacred one.
OH GOD IT’S SO CUTE I NEVER EVEN DREAMED
I hope it makes the tiniest, most emphatic PEEP noise.
The Borg version of "I love you man!"
"We are as one." OMG drunk 7of9!
He didn't even say "please." Heinlein was wrong.
I am amused at the order of of this analogy.
I still can't believe this. It's in perfect shape.
But the star of today’s dump finds is a Yamaha f325 in perfect condition, with stand! Last week my daughter expressed a desire to learn guitar. The dump provides.
This song was so huge, the seventies were such a strange, strange time.
"Eleven long-haired friends of jesus in a chartreuse microbus."
The brown isn't rust, but might be blood. I'll clean them up before I give them to Libby and Stephen.
Today’s dump finds: vintage porcelain steel developing trays and 50 cal ammo case.
Those are awesome!
My lord isn't Evil Janeway fro "Living Witness" smoking hot! You can tell Kate totally enjoy playing the part too, this is joyful evil!
What a brilliant design for a prostheses!
Windows 7 EOL is January 14 2020. With luck, I will be retired by then and will never have to deal with another version of Windows.
Microsoft announced their latest operating system, Windows 10, at an event in San Francisco on September 30th, 2014. It is the first major Windows release since Windows 8 debuted in 2012. The new operating system will introduce new features as well as bring back features that were left out of Windows 8 like the Start Menu and the ability to run an application without it being full-screen.
The Windows 10 Technical Preview is available now for developers, but a public release date for the official version of Windows 10 has not been set.
The company released a short preview video with Windows Vice President Joe Belfiore discussing some of the features of the Windows 10 Technical Preview. There is also a longer video of the official Windows 10 product announcement event that gets more in-depth with the features of the Windows 10 operating system.
images via Microsoft