Author Archives: paulwallich

CircuitPython for early hardware exploration

I’d expected the software side of using CircuitPython chips to go more easily than coding in Arduino, but what I hadn’t really expected was for the hardware side to go more smoothly as well. It’s early yet, and most of … Continue reading

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The short happy life of a Popup Makerspace

We’re out of empty offices at Local 64, so it’s time to pack up the laser cutter, the 3D printer and all the other toys. if you build it, it turns out most people are too busy to come. Six … Continue reading

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Micro maker space

How small can a makerspace be and still be useful? That’s what we’re going to find out. My friend Lars has decided to devote the spare office at Local64, the downtown co-working space, to making. First in, my Glowforge, on … Continue reading

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Vindicated

About two years ago, for no really good reason, I designed a 3D-printable setup for coupling those standard gearmotors to Lego bricks and axles, and posted it at Youmagine. Hardly anyone liked it or downloaded it. Then, last week, Adafruit, … Continue reading

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Burning down the house by remote control

A few weeks ago I blew up my Octoprint installation by adding and deleting too many extensions at the same time. Before reinstalling, I thought it might be a good time to upgrade a bit.  So now there’s a cute … Continue reading

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Cooperative Editing whether you want it or not

The last time I tried teaching some kids how to program arduinos, the room we were in had no wifi to speak of. Getting working copies of the desktop IDE onto half a dozen ancient underpowered windows laptops was a … Continue reading

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The finicky details are the easy part

For someone coming from a woodworking background, 3D engraving by laser is as far opposite from carving as it’s possible to get. Not just the medium — multiple machine passes from a specially-prepared bitmap — but also the understanding of … Continue reading

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Glowforge!

My laser cutter arrived a few weeks ago. It’s pretty cool. Partly because I’ve been anticipating it for the better (worse?) part of two years, but mostly because it’s just there. I’ve used a laser cutter before, and this was … Continue reading

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Arduino on Windows: not ready for prime time

I’ve been teaching a little middle-school mobile robot workshop at the 12-year-old’s school, and it’s been a mess. The kids did pretty well assembling the bots and wiring them up, but clearly I needed to spend much more than the … Continue reading

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Buy extension cords, not wire

When you’re in the sticks, your supply options are limited. That’s why the other day I bought a couple of extension cords instead of the bulk wire that was right on the other side of the aisle at the hardware … Continue reading

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