LaunchPack

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It’s been a long time since I’ve made an update here, and some big things have happened.

One of the biggest – work-wise – is that I’ve joined up with some great folks to start an agency aimed at helping project creators execute successful crowdfunding campaigns. We focus on storytelling, content production, and strategy, and we’ve already had some tremendously successful campaigns, like Fire & Bone and Eva by Dame.

Whether you’re a potential project creator or just want to learn more about what we’ve been doing, check out our website, launchpack.co

3than in print!

This September, I was invited by Make Magazine to participate in the testing weekend for a special issue of Make: their Ultimate Guide to 3d Printing.

I’m excited to say that the issue has now hit newsstands, and includes several reviews with my byline. This is the first time I’ve appeared in print for a mass-market publication. Here are links to the article teasers, in no particular order:

Sorry that it’s teasers only — apparently this magazine is, on one level, some sort of money-making scheme. However, if you are interested in 3d printing, and especially if you’re interested in acquiring one of these machines, it will be a good read — this is the best snapshot of the state of the home 3d printer market you’ll get.

As a bit of an aside, I’d just like to say that watching the development of the 3D Printing market has been an amazing and humbling experience — it’s clear that 3d printing is now a technology that will be accessible to enthusiasts and techies outside of academic institutions and well-funded businesses. I like to think that I had a small part in helping this come into being with my work at MakerBot, and it feels really good to have put this tech into the hands of many more people than could have previously afforded it. While many of us are disappointed with MakerBot’s weakening stance on Open Source, one thing is clear: they were a big force in creating what’s now a dynamic and exciting market. And while MakerBot’s goals may have changed due to the nature of business, we shouldn’t forget that democratizing 3d printing was why they started in the first place…and, after seeing the machines in this 3d printer review, things are looking pretty democratic.

So, if you’re thinking about plunking down your hard-earned cash for one of these new-fangled 3d printers this holiday season, I’d definitely recommend perusing this issue of Make. It’s not going to have the longest shelf life (2013 will be a big year for 3d printing, as resin printing hits mainstream among other things) but, for now, this is the best and most comprehensive review of home-user 3d printers that’s ever been done.

Classic 3than: The MakerBot Replicator® First Run Experience

This video is one of the main video documents for MakerBot’s Replicator® 3d printer. In addition to acting as the talent for this one, I also wrote the script, adapting it from the documentation I wrote for the Replicator. It was produced (and shot and edited) by Annelise Jeske, star MakerBot TV.

While it may be a bit more prosaic than some of the other videos showcased here, working on documentation like this is very satisfying — quality documentation has a tremendous impact on user experience. I like to think that making this video helped a few people have a smoother first experience with personal fabrication.

Classic 3than: MakerBot’s Robot Hospital

Update: MakerBot has decided to delete these videos.

During an earlier phase of MakerBot, I was part of a team tasked with creating a web series for MakerBot’s community — it was originally intended as a support resource, but it grew and took on a life of its own.

Robot Hospital was made without much in the way of time or resources, and it definitely showed in a bad way sometimes. (It was usually put together on Friday afternoons, in a total of 3-4 hours.) Sometimes, though, it just added a manic energy which really made it fun.

Check out my Thingiverse roundup segments, where I do voice-overs and have a look at some of the cooler things available on the design-sharing site. Another favorite is episode 7 which is a mini-doc about a user’s project to build domes with MakerBotted parts.

3than dot com gets a refresh

I’ve just taken some much-needed time refreshing 3than.com in order to make it a more useful resource. In coming days, I’m going to be collecting some of the material that I worked on during my time at MakerBot in order to fill in the post-2009 gap — I have actually been productive in the past few years, and there are even a few documents of the events in between.

So we’re shortly going to be running a bit of a “greatest hits” from my time at MakerBot, and after that I’m going to try to better maintain this page for those of you who might be interested in keeping up with that I’ve been doing.

Meet the feedbacker!

Link

This is a feedback loop device into a wah pedal enclosure, which allows for an intuitive control over your feedback-noise performances, especially if you’re already using your hands for other things (say, playing guitar or keyboards, or even twiddling with other knobs). As you can see, it is useful for making a wide variety of high-pitched screaming sounds, and bringing out the unexpected from effects pedals and other devices.

It was a fairly simple project: I used a schematic from Beavis Audio Research, though I replaced the 500k pot with the 100k I found in the wah pedal.

Feedback loop controllers like this one do make very interesting things happen — however, always keep in mind that you’ll need the feedback loop you’re controlling to add gain. If you have less than unity gain, you’ll just find that the loop gets very quiet when you open it up all the way.