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computer  cropped shot  encoders  filament  fireplace  google  home  laser  layer layer  layer  lego  mouse  pins  read  shot  usb  voice 
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Preview: Hack a Day


Fresh hacks every day

Last Build Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:43:33 +0000


This Old Mouse Keeps Track of Filament Usage328481480967543745dpsm64

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:01:20 +0000

Keeping track of your 3D-printer filament use can be both eye-opening and depressing. Knowing exactly how much material goes into a project can help you make build-versus-buy decisions, but it can also prove gut-wrenching when you see how much you just spent on that failed print. Stock filament counters aren’t always very accurate, but you can roll your own filament counter from an old mouse.

[Bin Sun]’s build is based around an old ball-type PS/2 mouse, the kind with the nice optical encoders. Mice of this vintage are getting harder to come by these days, but chances are you’ve got …read more


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Retrotechtacular: The Incredible Machinebell_labs_incredible_machinehexagon5unmpv-shot0007

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 09:01:44 +0000

They just don’t write promotional film scripts like they used to: “These men are design engineers. They are about to engage a new breed of computer, called Graphic 1, in a dialogue that will test the ingenuity of both men and machine.”

This video (embedded below) from Bell Labs in 1968 demonstrates the state of the art in “computer graphics” as the narrator calls it, with obvious quotation marks in his inflection. The movie ranges from circuit layout, to animations, to voice synthesis, hitting the high points of the technology at the time. The soundtrack, produced on their computers, naturally, …read more


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Laser Cut LEGO in MDFtest-brick1lewinday

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 06:01:31 +0000

It’s hard not to be a fan of LEGO. The humble plastic bricks from Denmark enabled many a young engineer to bring their architectural and mechanical fantasies to life. But one limitation was that you were stuck using the bricks LEGO designed. Thankfully, [John Sokol] has come up with a way to laser cut his own LEGO-compatible bricks, and provided the tools so you can do the same.

After hacking an OpenSCAD script to generate just the top pins of the block, [John] exported an SVG into Inkscape so that he could scale the pins properly before exporting a final …read more


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Voice Activated Fireplace Is As Cool As It Getsok-google-turn-on-my-fireplace-qutcwxnybremp4-shot0001_featured-pngok-google-turn-on-my-fireplace-qutcwxnybremp4-shot0001_featuredthehacksmith

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 03:00:00 +0000

A fireplace can add a cozy, relaxed atmosphere  — and a touch of style — to any home. Redditor [hovee] saw the opportunity to add some flair to his gas fireplace by making it voice activated. Check out the video of it in action below.

Google Home and Google Assistant provides the voice recognition component. A Raspberry Pi 3 with Home Assistant does the legwork. An iTach TCP/IP-to-Contact-Closure relay toggles the fireplace, and an IFTTT account connected to Google Assistant brings it all together.

[hovee] then ran some thick 16/2 wire from the relay network port to the fireplace’s remote …read more


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USB Etch-a-Sketch-Style Mouse is More Analog Than You’d Thinkesmousewd5gnr1

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000

[Mitxela] wanted to build a different kind of mouse, one that worked like an Etch-a-Sketch toy with one X knob and one Y knob. Armed with some rotary encoders and a microcontroller, that shouldn’t be hard. But when you use a pin-limited ATtiny85, you are going to need some tricks.

The encoders put out a two-bit Gray code and close a button when you depress them. Plus you need some pins for the V-USB stack to handle the USB interface. [Mitxela] decided to convert the encoders  to output analog voltages using a simple resistor DAC. That would only require two …read more


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Sintering Sand WIth A Laser Cuttersand-sintering-featuredjennylistThe laser creating a ring.

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 21:00:00 +0000

We are all used to Fused Deposition Modeling, or FDM, 3D printers. A nozzle squirts molten material under the control of a computer to make 3D objects. And even if they’re usually rather expensive we’re used to seeing printers that use Stereolithography (SLA), in which a light-catalysed liquid monomer is exposed layer-by layer to allow a 3D object to be drawn out. The real objects of desire though are unlikely to grace the average hackspace. Selective Laser Sintering 3D printers use a laser on a bed of powder to solidify a 3D object layer by layer.

While an SLS printer …read more


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Akiba: Shenzhen in 30 Minutescropped_shot_2016-12-07-130636_featuredhexagon5uncropped_shot_2016-12-07-131042Custom USB Drives, Anyone?cropped_shot_2016-12-07-131101cropped_shot_2016-12-07-131016

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:00:00 +0000

Multi-talented hacker extraordinaire and electrical engineer [Akiba] is based in Japan, and this makes it just a hop, skip, and a jump over to Shenzhen, China, the hardware capital of the world. He’s led a number of manufacturing tours aimed at acquainting hackers with the resources there, and now he’s giving you the benefit of his experience in a 30-minute video. It’s great.


When [Akiba] is in Shenzhen, he picks up all the same commodity parts that you would, because they’re just so cheap. And Hua Qiang Bei is its epicenter: it’s a gigantic market for components, and they’re …read more


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