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3 D Printing of BODY PARTS !!!!!

Scientists Use 3D Printer to Create First “Printed” Human Vein   Brit Liggett Scientists Use 3D Printer to Create First “Printed” Human Vein by Brit Liggett, 03/22/10 filed under: Design for Health   3D Printing technology has recently leapt into a new realm — we’ve seen printers that can create entire buildings out of stone, delicious meals out of simple ingredients, and now — perhaps weirdest and coolest of them all — a printer that can build body parts from cells!   Body Part Printer LINK ANOTHER LINK to another more familiar site.... Picture

Topic by Goodhart    |  last reply


ABS Recycler for 3-D Printer Filament

Many inexpensive 3-D Printers use ABS filament as feedstock. This filament is not cheap and being a plastic, it is a substance that demands recycling efforts. Imagine a small 3-D printer that you use to produce useful household items with. Here is an example Instructable illustrating what I am talking about. Now imagine that you no longer need an item that you have made. You toss it into the hopper of the machine that I have in mind and it is ground into small pieces. These pieces are then melted with acetone and extruded anew into ABS filament for your 3-D printer! It may be possible to recover the acetone during the extrusion process since the acetone evaporates to restore the ABS.

Topic by Exocetid    |  last reply


Survey for personal fabrication

I am doing a short survey on personal fabrication envisioning a future where things are made to order. Please participate in this survey and provide feedback to improve the survey. The survey link is shown below- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18SDwD7EK_wzyIPEL4e71U8fMA3GHM-nfdWt052mM-R8/viewform

Topic by 3dgeek    |  last reply


Survey for personal fabrication

I am doing a short survey on personal fabrication envisioning a future where things are made to order. Please participate in this survey and provide feedback to improve the survey. The survey link is shown below- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18SDwD7EK_wzyIPEL4e71U8fMA3GHM-nfdWt052mM-R8/viewform

Topic by 3dgeek    |  last reply


I have about 20 large touchscreens from HP A826 printers. Wondering what I should build .... Sensible or Crazy; I'm open

I've got about 20-25 of these things. The printers are shot, but I thought I can't let that many Touch Screens go to waste. I haven't broken any of them down yet, so I'm not sure what's inside, but ... • They thave 5 cardslots, and take USB sticks. • They must have some sort of (limited) memory capability on board (help animations, and previous settings etc.) • They play slideshows. • The Touch screen seems to go beyond the 'display screen. The are 3 'hot keys" on either end. • I could just strip them down so I have 20 digital frames around the house playing holiday snaps (if the printer will allow that if it recognizes the ink cartridge is missing). But a bit boring. • I thought about making myself a two sided ebook reader (I 'd have to figure how that would work though) • I thought that hooking up 20 of them (5 rows of 4) into a crazy foldup / foldout monitor would be a great idea, but probably unworkable. • Or I could make some other useless crazy art piece. Any other ideas, tips, links to similar things? If I end up making something I'll be sure to post it.

Question by Yokel    |  last reply


How can I get a cheap 3D printer and not have to do complicated building? Answered

How can I get a cheap 3D printer and not have to do complicated building?  I want to be able to make things, but don't have much money and I can't build them very easy.  I would preferably want under $1000.   thanks- Pufferfish9108 

Question by pufferfish9108    |  last reply


Minimum cost CNC/3D printer?

I am looking to make a 3D printer and I need a few questions answered.  A) How can I convert a sketchup or solidworks model to G-code B) how can I feed that to an arduino uno line-by-line C) how powerful does a laser have to be (when well focused) to burn wood or paper/thin plastic (black paper, of course)? Not cut the wood, just make a visable surface darkening, but cut the paper/plastic? D) what is the simplest method to make a miniature extruder? my printer will have very little torque and size, not enough for the glue gun one, not my arduino enough IO outputs for a stepper. Answers to any questions are appreciated. 

Question by jduffy54    |  last reply


My Brother Ink-Jet Printer should be able to print on transfer paper but it won't? Answered

I have a brother ink jet printer and im trying to print on crayola transfer paper and i did everything right problem is the ink from the printer is on but a whole wackload of ink goop comes out on it my printer has no transfer paper setting but i tested it on transparencies and thin and neither worked. there's no problem with my settings im pretty sure PLZ HELP, :D

Question by Airsoft 007 Sniper    |  last reply


3D Printers for Peace competition - ideas that benefit humanity

Michigan Tech University has opened a 3D printing contest: Printers for Peace! They are challenging the 3D printing community to design things that advance the cause of peace. This is an open-ended contest, but if you’d like some ideas, ask yourself what Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, or Gandhi would make if they’d had access to 3D printing! Prizes:   1st Prize Fully assembled, open-source Type A Machines Series 1 3D Printer The Series 1 recently won best in class in the Make: Ultimate Guide to 3-D Printing. It has a 9-by-9-by-9-inch build volume, prints at 90mm/sec in PLA, ABS and PVA with 0.1mm resolution. 2nd Prize Michigan Tech’s MOST version of the RepRap Prusa Mendel open-source 3D printer kit The RepRap can be built in a weekend. It has a 7.8–by-7.8-by-6.8-inch build volume on a heated bed, prints comfortably at 80 mm/sec ABS, 45 mm/sec PLA, HDPE and PVA with 0.1 mm resolution. 3rd Prize MatterHackers sampler pack: MatterHackers sampler pack of 3-D printer materials of 3 PRO Series PLA spools, Laywoo-D3, Nylon, and Soft PLA. Anyone in the United States or Canada (excluding judges and their relatives) is welcome to enter. Contest closes September 1, 2013. For more information and to enter visit the Michigan Tech site 

Topic by Ivana_Zelenika  


Metal stamp with a lighter Answered

I 'd like to finde an issue that was publised about making a metal stamp with a 3D printer which getw hot with a lighter. Isaw it some days ago but i can't find it. Thanks for your attension

Question by Dimitrakopoulos.Mixalis    |  last reply


New button!

We need a new button on instructables pages...a printer friendly button! Like you see on other sites, you would click it and it would give you a nice, cleaned up, ads and image free, printer friendly version of the 'ible.What do you think?EDIT:aHA! I found it! But Canida is right, it dosen't turn out perfect. And, IMO, it needs to be way more prominent. It was like where's Waldo or something!:D

Topic by Lithium Rain    |  last reply


i want u know your answer about new PCB board concept which i'm gonna deveolp

i'm gonna make something different, which is new pcb board concept so, I want u to give me your personal opinions That are just 5 questions, so it took within 5 min. :D http://goo.gl/forms/A8e7zBGtJT

Topic by GS YU    |  last reply


Myths and Truths of the 3D Printing

Yesterday I readed a very interesting article on wired.com, named "An Insider’s View of the Myths and Truths of the 3-D Printing ‘Phenomenon’", by Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk. "But Mario!" - you (one of the only four persons who read my forum topics) will say - "What happened to you? It was supposed you were one of us, one of the last sexy hammer-in-hand/sweat-in-the-forehead makers, who build everything with bolts and nuts and screwdrivers, Yes, it's a little bit annoying that 99% of your projects are vibrobots, planters and cyborgs. But at least, you only used the computer for checking your e-mail and looking for stuff that would horrify your mother. Now you only talk about 3D printers and CAD and support material. YOU SOLD YOUR SOUL THE TIME YOU DOWNLOADED 123D DESIGN!". And my answer is "... maaaayyyybe. Can you repeat the question? No hablo inglés". But this is a cool article that demystifies a lot of ideas we have about 3D printing. Thanks to the media, we think everything will be 3D printed, the handtools will become museum pieces and metallurgy and craftsmanship will have the same fate of the alchemy. Or we think 3D printers are magical boxes that immediately fulfill all of our design desires, no matter how dark they are (Do you want to become a criminal and lead a rebellion? SHAZAM! Homemade one-shot 3D printed non-always-exploding guns for everyone!). Ok, enough blablabla. Read the article. It was written for somebody who knows. And believe it or not, Carl Bass is another "hammer-in-hand/sweat-in-the-forehead" maker. Enjoy! http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/05/an-insiders-view-of-the-hype-and-realities-of-3-d-printing/

Topic by M.C. Langer    |  last reply


CLEAR FILM that is archival, pigment inkjet compatible, and in of itself can be a final product? Is there such a thing?

Problem: I've been calling art stores as well as photography stores, paper stores, film manufacturers, printer companies -- nobody seems to know if there is such a thing as printing onto clear plastic film as a final product. Everyone says their products are meant for transferring or negatives etc. (I tried printing on non-coated Mylar D, and the ink just beads off.) goal: What I have been creating are art pieces on clear transfer film and selling them. I print on them, I paint on them, I apply reflective & dichroic materials on them, and layer them on top of each other; I manipulate the art pieces in every interesting way I possibly can. My collectors and potential clients want to be assured that my pieces will have a long lasting quality to them. I want to be able to give all of the correct information rather than "I don't know". my materials: I use a canon ipf8400 with archival fine art pigment inks. I just need a clear film that is also archival. Or something as close as possible to being the most durable, long lasting material available that is inkjet compatible. There has to be something out there? Or at least a protective clear spray or finish? I can't be the only one interested in creating artwork with transparent qualities? I have been using transfer film, 4ml thick. Does anyone have any tips at all to help me think in the right direction?  question: Is there such a thing as a Clear Film that is archival, pigment inkjet compatible, and in of itself can be a final product? Or what is the closest I can possibly get to that?

Question by LindsayR3    |  last reply


Any one here have an idea as a configuration to turn on a Astec AA20790 computer power supply?

I have two ASTEC power supply, but I don't know how turn this on, I want the 12v output with my cnc printer, but in internet and youtube they don't have so much. Please, can you help me my with give me some diagram or configuration with this power supply. I try to put a resistor with com and 12v cghs something like that. But the power output stay in 0v and the fan stay too in low power. This russian guy put a cable but he doesn't say how active the output, I think is the same thing I wanted to do but doesn't turn on. https://newauctionstatic.com.ua/offer_images/2016/10/10/03/big/D/dl1oLB3EXK7/astec_aa20790_blok_pitanija_12v_14a_dlja_videokarta.jpg Thanks a lot and some kisses.

Question by paberu    |  last reply


What should I do with surplus Vacuum Motors?

I buy and sell vacuums and parts. I end up with an endless supply of vacuum motors and abs plastic frames. These are mostly all Shark Navigator UV440 or Shark Rotator UV560 Vacuums (Grey, White, Clear, and Burgundy ABS plastic) I recently got a 3-d printer, and I re-purposed a heavy duty paper shredder into a nice plastic shredder based on this: https://www.instructables.com/id/50-Plastic-Shredder-Grinder-Recycler/ I am now building a filament extruder to recycle the vacuum frames into filament. Can I/how would I use a vacuum motor to make the extruder? Any other ideas for vacuum motors? I literally have an endless supply, and it would be great if I could do something with them other than make my weekly trip to the recycling center.

Question by slappo    |  last reply


Will varnishing a paper mural cause the ink from image to bleed and ruin everything? Answered

Hello all! so i've been planning an awesome mural project for my new apartment, but i have a few questions to resolve before i can proceed.. first, i was going to use 3M's super 77 spray adhesive to fix it to the wall..terrible idea? second, i've heard of people using some sort of varnish to seal things and protect them from damage, possibly even make it easier to clean..my only question is whether or not this could cause the ink from the paper to bleed, thereby ruining everything and causing me to descent into a childlike rage? i should mention that i was planning on rasterbating an image to create the mural and then having it printed at a copy centre somewhere. does paper and printer type (laser vs. inkjet) make a difference in terms of varnishing potential?thanks! :D?

Question by Pushnik89    |  last reply


shaft direction indicator?

Does anyone know an easy way to get/make a simple device to determine the direction of a spinning shaft?  It must give some logic (5V) signal, NOT encoded in any way.  Just +5 if CW or 0 if CCW (or backwards, or 3.3V, or whatever else, it doesn't really matter).  However, it must not A) require any digital controller (no arduino, ATtiny, PIC, computer, raspi, etc.) B) have an "encoded" output, or gray code C) have a large "dead band" where it still indicates CW but it's actually spun a tiny bit CW (or vis-versa).  Must be under 3-4 degrees D) require  the shaft to spin quickly E) be expensive.  This is a prototype for an ANALOG mill D.R.O., so I don't want to have to spend ten bucks on one part that I have to buy several of, plus the other parts.  Its a 1/4" threaded rod, but can easily be adapted to whatever else it needs to be.  The device needn't be small, and I will have a 3D printer avaliable (or at least a mill). 

Question by jduffy54    |  last reply


Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2012

The Vancouver Make Faire 2012 was this past weekend. Those that could make it out were rewarded with seeing a 2-person bike spider, drawing robots, a whole village of 3D printers, a fire-burping machine controlled by a Fisher Price keyboard, and of course the Instructables booth where we were giving away stickers, patches and pins to all our fans.  Instructables members did not dissappoint, I met =D, Kev_MacD and fastermiles who came by the booth and talked about their passions. Also at the Faire: We were booth-neighbours with diyified, who showcased her DIY Toys I had ChrysN and nick2334 help me staff the Instructables booth and greet so many makers (thanks guys!) alejandroerickson had a "zest for mathematics" booth with a tensegrity workshop (it was packed) avid bike-hacker snotty shared a few of his custom rides (one of them had a sweet sound setup) I learned just how difficult it is to tie Chinese knots at arghc's booth aggrav8d had his $100 mural drawing robot in full effect (and it was awesome) Thanks to everyone who came out and stopped by our booth, it was a lot of fun meeting everyone. Below are a few pictures I took of the event, please feel free to share your own pictures of the Vancouver Maker Faire in the comments below.

Topic by mikeasaurus    |  last reply


Get a Jump Start on Your Project at TechShop Menlo Park This Saturday

If you have a project in mind that you want to make, but you're not sure how to get started, the folks at TechShop invite you to come to the TechShop Project Kickoff and BBQ on Saturday, October 4 from 10 AM to 5 PM at TechShop Menlo Park and get expert help.A panel of expert makers (including TechShop staff, TechShop Instructors, and TechShop's founder Jim Newton) will field your questions, offer advice, and help get you moving in the direction of success with your project, no matter how big or small.This event is free and open to everyone who has a project they want to build, and you don't need to be a TechShop member to attend. Just bring your project ideas and your thinking cap.TechShop is a membership-based DIY workshop that gives you access to tools and equipment, wide-open workspace, expert instruction, and a vibrant community of makers so you can build the things you have always wanted to make.TechShop Menlo Park Web Site: http://www.techshop.ws

Topic by TechShopJim    |  last reply


Support !!

Hi everybody !! i cheked out your website this morning and ... damn !! was so amazed about wath you guys could do with... literally, they would tell this broken... for us , it's treasures!!!((the article was about digging up peices from old disposable camera ... i loved the guy when he said :"talking to people..." it'ts true, usualy, you can get many parts doing this way !!)) i'm living in Rivère-du-Loup, Québec (Canada) ... and this morning i would wanted to tell you : THIS WEBSITE IS SO AMAZING !! YOU GUYS DO BLAZING JOB KEEP IT UP!!!   =D As  i am born here, my english may sound sometime a bit wrong but ... please , if i do a mistake, just tell me : it would be a pleasure for me  make an adjustment =P this worning, i was wondering ... is there anyone who, like me, is living in canada ?? or maybe someone in my town !! would be even better :) because i realized... no one around was like you guys, doing some crazy job!! i mean, this website is gold itself !! If more people knew home made solutions like you ,... i mean , where would junk be ?? NOWHERE AROUND !! it was  re-used at 100% already!!   so no waste !!!!! !!   =D unfortunately, people do change their printers,as it costs less than actualy just fill back the cartridge -_- i mean : BECAUSE it COST LESS than actually just FILL BACK the fu***ng  ********* -_-?? well in some case maybe not but ... you get my point, did'nt you ?? So... is there anyone near me ?? i'm starting my own shop by the end of the year so any advice about computers,electronics, DIY projects and gadgets, Breadboard development : please, lend me a hand if you do so, i woill subscribe the most premium membership and, also, may be giving the instructables a sum of money !! Because  you really caught  my heart this morning i'm only 21 years old, but i do beleivce in my  skills !! i planned to open a computer parts shop... but as i continued my project, is sounded good to me that i should include,,, a workshop part at my shop!! so, i would have loved some advice ,and came here  in my search of knowledge would someone help me out ?? please support !! support!!

Topic by 1312ight-Yan    |  last reply


My experience as an AIR

Wow! What an experience. Probably the most enjoyable, action packed, creativity-loaded 2 months of my life.  I have been tinkering in what I used to call shops; building, hacking, creating, for as long as I can remember but this... this was more than I had ever dreamed. The residency program at Instructables is a dream come true. Access to a state of the art shop, surrounded by creative, inspiring, fun people. What more could you ask for. Take one of the most creative, forward thinking, cutting edge areas of the United States (the Bay); the coolest city in that area (San Francisco); the prettiest/most unique part of that city (the Embarcadero) and slap the worlds best creative work shop on it, right over the water (Pier 9). Walking in the doors for the first time was surreal. From the swinging meeting table to the coolest kitchen I have ever seen; water jet to brand new Bridgeport; 3-D printers to industrial sewing machines, Instructables has done it. Within hours of being assigned a desk I was signing up for workshop classes and using Autodesk software to mock up some design ideas for the bicycle frame jig I spent most of my residency building. I later used this jig to build a bicycle frame.  Not only was I having a blast building what I wanted to build, I was building skills I hope to use professionally. I am hoping to start my own business building custom bicycle frames. The time to tinker and build at Instructables gave me a tremendous jump start. I wish it hadn't ended.

Topic by Tanner W    |  last reply


World Maker Faire 2013 NYC

Sad pup eh? Me too. World Maker Faire 2013 in New York City. I am dissapoint. Only noteable for us is trying out the augmented reality system by Jeri Ellsworth. Instructables did not represent. Autodesk did not represent Instructables. @carlbass The assimilation is complete. #SADROBOT #NOSHIRT. We went to Maker Faire today, I took along Caitlin and her two school buddies.  I knew to input the GPS the coordinates of the offsite parking lot entrance where you get the shuttle bus to the actual Faire entrance. 10 clams at the door. Driving around the park is like GTA. They seemed to have the parking lot better organized with more people to direct cars to open spots and the efficient school bus lady who counted off groups of people to load the buses as soon as they pulled in. I suggest more speed bumps/potholes and sharper turns for the bus drivers to negotiate.  Entry was quick and simple with preprinted tickets - still that extra surcharge for getting them online though.  It was a pleasant surprise that there were some vendors giving out free food samples today.  An applesauce in a resealable space-food pouch and an iced tea drink. On the return trip, the shuttle bus driver begged you not to leave behind litter like those green applesauce pouches and kids.  Which by the way, all in good to set up recycling stations to throw out trash, but why not mark the one for trash, trash, soiled paper cups were thrown in the paper because the one I think for trash had a big list of other things and not trash.  Food vendors seem to have been spread out on the periphery of the grounds so they don't create that big logjam in the center to impede flow to the rest of the areas of the fairground. Prices were still at tourist levels considering the captive audience. Not too many posted prices and if you have to ask, you can't afford it.  They did have some vendor kids throughout hawking cold drinks.  The Beer Garden seemed to be the centerpiece of the Faire.  The play/activity area geared for the younger/toddler set seemed to be expanded and set more apart from the more advanced maker stuff.  We did the inside tour first since it was nice weather to spend the rest of the day outside.  There was the esoteric mix of individual projects. Art and game machines from mounds of electronic discards. Projects and kits looking to launch on kickstarter. And the always hidden in the back room e-textile projects. The upper floor gallery room is always the best because it contains the light up projects, usually from NYU ITP. Jeri Ellsworth had a prototype of her augmented reality glasses.  An interesting project was having cross polarized glasses to see the image on a matched LCD display which no one else can see without the special glasses. One project used the light output from the laptop display to "burn" the secret message image onto one of those glow-in-the dark phosphor sheets. I'm not sure if the pancake-bot made it to the Faire this year. The performance space was closed off. I guess they couldn't book Arc Attack which was there first two years of World Maker Faire. No real Burning Man kind of stuff or major steampunkery. Outside, 3-D printers galore, everyone has one, way too crowded. Hackerspaces showing off their stuff. Giant tent if you want to line up to learn to solder. Coke/Mentos show late in the afternoon. Giant mousetrap show and circus aerial acrobat training rig going on. Giant tent if you want to make a stomp rocket that they shoot off with a compressor.Giant line too. Didn't the Disney imagineers tell them a zigzag snaking line is better for crowd control and keep the customers happy? Didn't see any quadcopters in the air.  Maybe all flights grounded with the recent local fatal accident with an R/C helicopter.  Some kind of go-kart racetrack. Usual stalls of handmade jewelry, t-shirts, soaps, candles, someone had a more detailed ugly doll. Guy with his found object stringed instruments played them well.  Maker Shed shop was the usual. Dark and expensive.  No real discount there. But it brings us back to this.  After what seemed like miles of walking around back and forth. I had to ask information if Autodesk had a booth presence at Maker Faire.  They said yes, back by the 3-D printer village tent.  I think we missed them going through the tent and found them on the outside end. The plywood hut sponsored by Sketchup didn't seem like where the Instructables people were. I was looking for the orange Instructable banner.  Looking to see there were no Robot shirts around, I asked the Autodesk people there, any Instructables people around? No, confused, do you work for Instructables? No, they are not part of my group. Jessy and Camille are not here and will be back soon.  Well, okay, maybe they sent Jessyratfink out as part of her Autodesk peer-recognition award. that would be cool to meet her, Caitlin thought the same, they sent Jessyratfink to Maker Faire?  We wander around to check out the other stuff and come back. Still no sign of Robot shirts.  I ask again and I get sent to a guy who I think is named Jesse.  I think he just happens to be in the Consumer Group who says the other guy Andy is more familiar with Instructables.  They thought they had a box of some instructables stuff, who knows what happened to it.  He did thank us for wearing our Robot shirts though.  Gee, I was hoping there would be some Robot shirts for Caitlin and her friends, at least Robot stickers.  We came to Maker Faire this year as redemption for last year when that Autodesk henchman kicked the crate of shirts under the table when he saw us get close to the booth. Caitlin uses that as an example of "Not nice, Mr. Moustache-man." It disheartens me Instructables seems like some corporate step-child. I can feel the that vibe going on.   I don't think Robot carries brand recognition anymore. No one asked about our Robot shirts as we walked around.  Some hackerspace also uses a yellow robot as their logo. We may pass on Maker Faire next year if there is no need to see any real Instructables staff. Doesn't Randy need to go visit his mom or something?

Topic by caitlinsdad    |  last reply


Powerful food sealer, homemade - anyone interested building one?

After finding out my favourite catch of a good fishing day won't fit into any normal foodsealer bag or tube I wasted a few hours thinking about the problem.... These normal food sealers are like an injet printer - you pay the real price through the consumables. And with those I already noticed cheap only too often means bad quality unless you got the bargain price for ordering in bulk. My favourite kebab shop has a big commercail sealer that is used for packing stuff for other stores and catering. So I ordered a fresh and extra spicy kebab and asked if it would be possible to take a closer look on this sealer thing they use. No problem for a good customer like me but of course I was asked to finnish my kebab first and to use the provided gloves if I want to touch anything - freshly sanitised and so on.... I was surprised by two facts: a) the price of close to 5grand b) the simplicity of the thing Was not allowed to take pictures, so sorry for that as this time I really wanted some. From what I could gather without taking it apart is that 3mm stainless steel is used for a big "pan". About 80cm long, 50wide and 30 high. On the outside several pieces of square tubing, most likely to prevent warping under a high vacuum, although 3mm stainless already takes a lot. The lid was 5mm stainless with several thick viewing windows in it to check the correct placement and sealing action. Of course I am not really planning to go that big, for now anyway..... For the inside there were several frames available to cater for pots, bags, loose stuff and so on. Purpose of these frames was to make sure the bag used will be held with the open end inside the sealing section. The heating element or strip was on the floor of the pan and a push bar was mounted to the lid to give the desired pressure once the lid is locked in place. Time for the actual heat sealing of the bag is started with two switches on the locking clamps. The top bar is mounted with two springs, I assume to allow for just enough pressure for the air to be sucked out of the bag while still performing a good seal during the heating. Getting suitable parts can be as easy as to salvage an old vacuum sealer and to use a frying pan or as "complicated" as building one from scratch with a powerful vacuum pump or old fridge compressor - I like the second better ;) But after a few Instructables and still several in the making I thought the old thing of "group therapy" would be nice for this one. We are from all over world and certainly not everything I can get around the corner is available for someone from the remote areas of India or South America. And I am almost certain that someone might have a great idea on what common and easy to obtain stuff can be used for the vacuum chamber for example. Another one might already have a heating wire solution for the sealing that is cheap and reliable. You get the picture.... Why would I want to do this with several people from all over the world, maybe even fighting language problems? The benefits are there is you look for them ;) With a limited set of "rules" on certain areas of the project we get the benefit of: a) Having an instant proove of concept with actually working devices for our readers. b) A much greater chance that anyone can repeat the success at home and with already several working designs to choose from. c) A chance of actually "working" together on something with some of the great people here! d) Something new that is not a contest or challange. e) Hopefully a lot of fun on the way :) Of course and in the case this actually catches on, it would be great to somehow create a collection for this project. Like when you add several Ibles to your collection but so everyone who made one can add it. So anyone up for it?

Question by Downunder35m    |  last reply


TEDxBaghdad - Iraq - violence, dust storms and open sourced manufacturing

Baghdad Iraq. It was once the jewel of the Muslim empire and epicenter of knowledge in the Eastern world. Now it is best known for corrupt governance, bombings, and dust storms. It was also my parents’ home. After visiting once in 1991 as a child the few memories I have of Iraq seemed to be shouting matches as my parents yelled over the phone making overseas calls. Names of Uncles I had never met were mentioned and a phone was handed to me and I was left to nervously fend for myself with my weak Iraqi slang and an Uncle who apparently knew all about me while I knew nothing of him. The country was an impenetrable black box to me that would spit out another refugee somewhere in the world every few years or so. Sixteen years later the first wall between Iraq and me was broken. In 2007 my nuclear family had traveled to Syria and for the first time I met family members who still lived in Baghdad. I knew them now. My uncles and cousins grew flesh and blood. I could feel their prickly faces as we greeted with the traditional Iraqi 4 sided cheek kiss. They could graciously give me their dishdashas as gifts. Names finally had faces, but those faces were deep, sunken and afraid. 2007 was a bad year of sectarian war in Iraq, which is why the Damascas district of Harasta was flooded with Iraqis. The sound of construction continued through the night to keep up with the massive (ab)use of the "tourist" visas. I saw something in the Iraqis in Syria that I hadn't seen before; something that scared me. I saw hopelessness. It was then I settled on a long-term project to return to the country and share something that I had just discovered around the same time: the future doesn’t come prepared -- we make the future. The do-it-yourself attitude that was growing in America was being combined with the culture of sharing that you find in hackerspaces, at instructables.com and in open source technology. This atmosphere made anything possible. You want to build a vertical generator without any spinning parts? Sure! How about a walking quadraped robot with a sofa? Do you want to quit your job, write zines and sell them in the crafting circle? Sure! Start a business! Write a novel! Organize a benefit concert! Sure - sure - sure! “Make your own future” was the message. It was a message of hope - it was the message that I wanted to share in the Middle East, and especially in Iraq. In 2011 the opportunity to work on sharing this beautiful message in the Middle East presented itself to me, so I quit my robotics job and took it (sorry Andrew). A few friends and I started a tiny organization called GEMSI - The Global Entrepreneurship and Maker Space Initiative. We funded ourselves through Kickstarter and our first project was a Three-Day Maker Space hosted at Makerfaire Africa. We were hoping to let people experience the feeling of the Maker Movement first-hand. We collaborated with Emeka and the team from MFA, Cairo Hackerspace, along with many amazing egyptians from all over the country. We had a successful first attempt at sharing the message of "Yes you can!” It was a great start, but Iraq was still an impenetrable fortress to me. It took till 2012 and a chance encounter with friends in Cambridge, MA for me to find my first avenue back into Iraq. Via my friends, I met someone who’s friend was affiliated with TEDxBaghdad. A few steps removed, sure, but when I heard about TEDxBaghdad I knew I had found my way in. I knew TEDx and the types of programs they hosted; I knew they were hopeful, inspired, and shared a vision for a brighter tomorrow. I started communicating with Emeka from MFA, who also works with TED, and he put me in touch with Yahay. After my first skype call with Yahay I knew I was going. Someone else had done it - someone broke that barrier, did amazing work in the country, and survived. It wasn't the death trap my family was telling me it was. There was a new narrative being woven and I knew what I needed to do. I booked my flights before I even finalized any workshops. I needed to meet the TEDxBaghdad team. Later, I called my parents and told them I was going to Baghdad and they said, "Shinu?! Inta Makhabal?!" That probably means exactly what you think it does. Needless to say, they had their concerns, but I was going regardless. Now that the tickets were bought, we started planning. Yahay put me in touch with Abdal Ghany, one of the Iraqi organizers living in Baghdad. He coordinated everything. It was amazing. These guys kick some serious planning butt! Ghany basically told me, “Show up and give your workshop. We'll take care of the rest.” This was a welcome change from the hours of facebooking, planning, and coordination I usually have to go through to schedule events. It really seemed like this was possible. I was going to give an Arduino and 3D printing workshop in Baghdad and I was really excited! I sent an email to Sparkfun and Makezine asking them for open source electronics donations since I knew bringing my electronics box through the airport wouldn't be a good idea. They sent me a nice goodie-bag of beautifully packaged Maker products. These two organizations have given me a tremendous amount of help throughout the years, for which I am extremely thankful. I packed a suitcase filled with 2 3D printers, 25 Arduinos, an assortment of other open source hardware and sensors and headed out looking a bit like a bomb development lab. Yeesh! Somehow I made it through China, Saudi, and Turkey without any serious interrogation. Mostly just really quizzical looks from my unzipped bag up back to me... "You're a teacher?" they ask. "Yes," I say, "yes I am." Turkey was the stop before Iraq. Turkey was brilliant, sunny, lush, and seemed to be comprised of mostly happy smiling people walking by the sea. Coming from the deserts of Mecca, this was a welcome sight. I let the green of Turkey wash away the dust of Saudi Arabia. The mishmash of cultures, sounds, foods, religions gave me a great feeling of liberation. This was a lively place and the two hackerspaces I met up with there, Base Istanbul and Istanbul Hackerspace were fantastic hosts. Furkan and I spent a lovely day together chatting about Maker culture as it spreads through the Middle East and then in the end we had a potluck BBQ with members from both hackerspaces by the rocks of the sea. It was great to see these two Turkish hackerspaces and to be reminded that this movement is truly global. My dream of hackerspaces empowering people globally is really possible – and it’s great to know that it is a dream that is shared by others. I left them full of enthusiasm and flew directly to Baghdad. Landing in Baghdad was strange and a bit concerning. Looking out of the window all I could see was a brown cloud. We were landing in a dust storm. I had heard about the turab (dust) of Iraq, but this was the first time I saw it in person, and it would be one of the things most often on my mind. Getting a visa for me was surprisingly easy, except for the fact I forgot my passport on the plane and two guards had to escort me one to each side back to the airplane to retrieve it. But once I had my passport, I told them my laqab, which is the full name that includes ancestry. Showed them a copy of my dad’s passport and my Iraqi birth certificate and I was in. I was hoping for a nice stamp, perhaps with some Iraqi relic on it. But they took my passport and wrote in it: "Originally Iraqi", so there it goes, it's official. Ahmed, my cousin, was not at the airport when I took my paper work and headed out to the lobby. The airport was sparsely populated and heavily regulated. I barely managed to snap a picture before a guard came up to me and had me delete them from my phone. In the lobby I met a man just released from a Swiss prison. The Swiss had given him the option to be sent back home to Iraq, or be jailed. He chose to leave and come back to Iraq. This becomes a theme later as I see more and more people, all of whom desire to leave the country to become refugees elsewhere. It seems that when hope runs out for the country you live in, the only option is to find a new one. This story is one of a million various stories of struggling to find a new life. Each varies in its details, but all have survival at their core. Ahmed arrives 30 minutes late, apologizing. He's wearing jeans and a polo. His hair seemed freshly cut and his face was serious. We had never met before. The only thing I knew of him was that he thought I was reckless for coming. He had been spending hours on Skype with me attempting to convince me that coming would be a bad idea: "You have no idea how bad the bugs are. Just wait till you see the dust storms. The heat will kill you... etc" But once I saw him in person it all changed. I didn't think I'd grow to like Ahmed, but I grew to appreciate his ways and he became like a brother to me before I left. He took me to Mansour, a neighborhood in Baghdad, telling me stories about Iraq as we travelled. This is the neighborhood where the house my dad designed and family built stands. On the ride home we had our car checked for bombs at least 4 times by what Iraqi's call Saytarat, which is the equivalent of a checkpoint and, to me, seemed a total nuciance. They were the reason he was late. What would normally be a 20 minute drive can become three hours long because every car is checked for bombs. They are everywhere; throughout the city, on every road. We passed the guard who watches over my family’s neighborhood, and he takes his hand off his machine gun to wave at Ahmed, and I begin to recognize that weapons, car inspections and burned out cars are normal here, so they don't think to comment on it - like an empty lot in Detroit, or the homeless in San Francisco. We got to my family home with no time to rest. I had to leave to meet up with Abdul Ghany and the crew at a Cafe in an hour and then conduct the workshop in two. Ahmed comes with me - he doesn't trust people we'd never met before and won’t let me out of his sight. I trust first till proven otherwise, he has learned to do the opposite. It’s a telling sign of how different our lives are on a day-to-day basis. As soon as I met the TEDxBaghdad crew, I felt at ease. MNA, Abdul Ghany and the entire crew were thoughtful, hardworking, and inspiring people. I was really happy to have intersected with them and they helped me in more ways than I could count. We first met up at Everyday, a local Mansour café. Everyday cafe was hyper airconditioned and everyone seemed to think it was hotter than it was. The crew was awesome, they were really a great first introduction to the excited young people of Baghdad and they certainly have the famed Iraqi hospitality. But here's a tip: do not order a fajita in Baghdad ;D. Mohammed Al-Samarraie pulled out their iPads and started showing me video production work he was doing for TEDx. Abdul Ghany comes a little late and we have head out to the workshop. The workshop was held in a two story office building surrounded by palm trees. Looking out the the tinted back window we could see the muddy river run past, winding and dark. Slowly the TEDx people started trickling in. Then I started to get nervous. The checkpoints didn't bother me, the tanks in the streets were not an issue, but here were these people coming to learn something from me. What could I share that would really matter to them when they had so much to deal with daily? What could I share that could be relevant to people who see bombings as I experience lightning storms? I have been to other places in the world to share this kind of information, and some of those places have had political problems and ongoing revolutions. But Iraq was the first country I had been to that really seemed like a war zone. I decided that first I needed to learn from them! What were their projects? What did they hope for? I hoped they would learn from each other and get excited about their projects and I wanted to be able to share things that were relevant to them. Thus, everyone was encouraged to talk about who they are, how they learned about TEDxBaghdad and to share their project, share with us their mission, or share an inspiring story. I was amazed to hear about all the incredible initiatives the crew was doing. From intercultural exchange programs, to street clean ups, to historical artifact preservation, each of them shared and I started realizing something. They were not as interested in new technology as they were interested in arts and culture and after hearing about a few of their projects I started realizing why. Learning about culture and paying attention to the arts gives people the ability to pay attention to details. They can look at another human being and see all the subtleties that make us who we are. We each fall in love, we struggle, we question, and have doubts. Arts give depth to a black and white world. Sectarianism is difficult when we pay attention to the commonalities that tie us all together. What would the world be like if anyone who wanted a weapons license was required to have visited India, could pass an art history exam and could play stairway to heaven on the guitar? We were in a sort of office building near the river which ran by dark and muddy looking through the tinted windows. One by one, they stood up in front and gave their short presentations. There were doctors, engineers, and designers in the crew. They each stood up and told the story of how they found out about TEDxBaghdad and it was incredible. Each of them had a friend recommend it to them, and it was mostly done through Facebook. Some people's projects were related to health, culture, antiquity preservation, and connecting Iraqis with the rest of the world. While they spoke I made a graph of the things that connected all of their ideas together. It was a beautiful thing to see. The common themes were to help Iraq as a country through the integration of new ideas and how to bring a new face of Iraq and present it to the world. To have the news about Iraq be about amazing things, inspiring things, rather than explosions. Being in that room with that energy made me feel like we were already on our way. I pulled out the boxes of donations given to us by Sparkfun and The Make Shed and now it was my turn. I told them about my story coming into contact with my friend Alex through instructables.com, how being in San Francisco and Cambridge opened my eyes to a new way of entrepreneurship using communities and open source technology. And how they could make anything they could imagine if they got together to do it. We discussed how sharing and collaboration was a common value that held the entire system together. I used the concept of the LED throwie, which is a simple idea by Graffiti Research Labs to connect an LED to a coin battery and a magnet. They used it to throw at ferrous buildings as a form of electronic graffiti but once they uploaded it to instructables the idea was out there and people were inspired to take it and derive many other projects. You can never know what will happen when you share something or when you create a tool and share it. People created outlined throwies, LED floaties in balloons and finally we start seeing LED floaties which are sequenced to act like a light show at a phish concert. Hahaha! We then talked about the Arduino an easy to use microcontroller designed for artists. It's a bit of technology that is a simple and easy to use platform to build interactive projects. We talked about how the open nature of the project people can use the Arduino and then use shields to add features like being able to connect to the internet or play MP3s. Open source tools make building new products a lot like using legos. We were in the middle of using some of the sensors The Maker Shed had sent us to make a DIY heart rate monitor when the power went out and all went dark except for the LED throwies we had made. It suddenly felt very intimate. We put all the LED throwies in the center of the room and huddled around it for story time. The feeling of connection was palpable for me. Sure the lack of power meant that we were not going to be able to 3D print, but being in the dark with TEDxBaghdad was one of my favorite memories of this trip. The lights went on and we had a long question and answer session / photo shoot. Some of the doctors were interested to use the Arduino based heart rate monitors to replace the broken ones in the hospital. I heard about this and was flabbergast that the most basic and cheap tools I had brought with me might have a direct impact and may even save lives. Technology might not solve the political problems of the country but it seems that there was a lot of room for development and that the crew I was with was creative and excited to make use of it. I passed out 20 Arduino kits that day, including the Lillypad which is a version of the Arduino intended to be sewn into clothing. Although there were very few engineers in the audience, everyone seemed to be buzzing with ideas and ways to use the Arduinos. What a great workshop! I was super excited because not only had they understood the message, they seem to have been infected with the feeling of capability! Now to seal the deal, we were all going to go out and eat a classic Iraqi dish Simach Masguf. Ahmed has been calling me hourly making sure that I was OK, but I felt safe enough with my new friends so we all headed out to a fish spot by the river. Hours go by, lots of fish is eaten, and lots of juice is drunk. Some of the crew smoke some sheesha. It was like I was with new old friends. My Iraqi slang was improving hourly and although we had just met I knew me and TEDxBaghdad we're going to be working together again very soon. I would have stayed all night eating and chatting about future projects and the problems to solve in Iraq, but the cerfew was about to set in and we had to jet. Yeah, there is still a curfew. On the ride home my head is filled with contradictions. Hope and confusion mix in my head as my family rings 4 more times. I get home safe and decide that the only way to deal with the complicated situation in Iraq was to act with irrational hope and optimism. That's the way TEDxBaghdad seemed to work. And that's going to be mine as well. The next day there were five explosions in Baghdad so TEDxBaghdad and I decided against going out to the Iraqi National Museum even though we had to request permission to go. We meet instead back at Everyday and there we solidify our commitment to working for a more beautiful Baghdad and a country which will become a producing nation once again. Sharing with the world it's art, science and literature like it once did years ago. +BG

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