Join Us at the Greatest 3D Printing Festival on Planet Earth

Winter is hanging on like clinical depression, which means it’s that time again for the greatest 3D-printing festival on the planet Earth. It’s time for the Midwest RepRap Festival, next weekend, March 18-20th in Goshen, Indiana.

I can’t explain why, but for some reason the Midwest RepRap Festival is an oasis of building, doing, and hacking right in the middle of the county fairgrounds for Elkhart County, Indiana. It’s free for everyone to attend. The event isn’t choked with vendors, leaving the people who actually do stuff left to fight over a few picnic tables on the outskirts of the venue. It is, by far, the most community-centered event we go to every year.

If you’re wondering what you can expect at a 3D printer convention in the middle of nowhere, check out a few of the posts we’ve published from MRRF over the last few years. We’ve seen 3D printed waffles, resin casting with 3D printed molds, bizarre movement platforms, Bioprinting, and stuff from Lulzbot. That’s just the stuff that has deserved its own Hackaday post: we’ve seen the world’s largest 3D printed trash can, R2D2, battle droids (it’s even money if BB-8 is going to show up this year), a Printer made out of K’nex, and the most beautiful 3D printer we’ve ever seen. There was a T-shirt cannon powered by 300 psi shop air.

Every year I write a post announcing that we’ll be heading to MRRF next week, simultaneously praising the event as one of the greatest ‘maker’ and ‘DIY’ meetups, while pointing out the local WalMart parking lot has a place to park horse-drawn buggies. Both observations are true. For one weekend a year, Goshen, Indiana is the place everyone reading Hackaday should go to, and that is why we are once again proud to sponsor this glorious event.

Announcing Hackaday Belgrade’s Talks and Speakers

Hackaday is hosting a hardware conference in Belgrade on April 9th. This is arguably our first-ever European conference, and for the last few months we’ve been putting together a hackable conference badge, a list of speakers, and a set of hands-on workshops. Now, we’re finally ready to announce the workshops and talks for Hackaday | Belgrade. You can check out the scheduled talks and workshops below.

Tickets for Hackaday | Belgrade are still available, and tickets for the workshops will open up today. Tickets are also cheap – $35 for a regular ticket, and about $10 and $30 for the robot and DIY musical toy workshops, respectively. The workshop tickets are only to cover material cost, and you’ll get to take your project home with you.

The conference will be a blast. There will be bands and DJs, badge hacking competitions, and ten hours of talks and workshops. If you’re going, or are still on the fence, hang out on the event page to get the inside info on a few Hackaday events that will happen the night before and the day after.


The Workshops

Radomir Dopieralski – Tote, A Walking Quadruped Robot. Build your own spider-like robot and make it walk.

Anastasios StamouHardware Hacking Musical Toys & DIY Electronic Musical Interfaces. Introductory circuit bending workshop teaching all the necessary techniques for designing and making experimental electronic musical interfaces out of recycled material.

The Talks

Voja AntonicHacking the Hackaday Belgrade Badge. The Belgrade conference features its own badge designed by Voja Antonic. Voja will introduce the Belgrade badge and the theory of operation behind the LED matrix, keyboard, power management, infrared transceiver, and accelerometer.

Navid GornallHow To Eat Your Own Face. The story of hacking a 3D printer to print burger selfies with mayo. Printing with a non-Newtonian condiment presents a unique set of challenges which will be explored in this presentation.

Tsvetan Usunov Hacker Friendly OSHW DIY Modular Laptop. Tsvetan is the mind behind Olimex, manufacturer of various embedded development platforms and tools. He will talk about the creation of a modular, hacker friendly laptop based on a 64-bit ARM processor.

Chris Gammell Top Down Electronics

Dejan RistanovicSerbia: Long Road To The Internet. During the 1980s and 1990s, we had to hack the system in many ways just to stay connected, and to reinvent the wheel three times before breakfast. We also had some results, including Sezam, the biggest BBS in this part of Europe

Kristina KapanovaDesigning A High Performance Parallel Personal Cluster. This talk introduces an open source, homebrew mini cluster consisting of a Radxa Pro single board computer based on the quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU. In particular, this talk demonstrates it is possible to achieve very advanced simulations in the field of quantum computing.

Sophi KravitzCreation, fabrication, and application by experimentation of the synchronization of a grid configuration of a light radiation orientation polarization illumination.

Seb Lee-DelisleMaking The Laser Light Synths. The Laser Light Synths are LED emblazoned musical instruments that anyone can play. Along with high power lasers, they form part of a large outdoor installation that switch the traditional roles of audience and performer.

Mike HarrisonRetrotechular : 1950s Video Projection Technology. A talk on the history and technology of the Eidophor, a little known, absurdly complicated, and very expensive product that dominated the large-screen projection market from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Peter Isza Open Source Clinical Grade Electrocardiography. This talk covers the development of a true clinical grade, open source Holter ECG which will be sold for close to its manufacturing cost.

Paulina StefanovicInteractive Digital Storytelling Systems: Generative Interfaces, Authors and the Role of the Audience. This talk will cover the development and design of interactive content and interactive performance that shifts the focus from the creator of the system to the creative involvement of the audience.

BelgradeSpeakers-02-01

Antti Lukats: The Past, Present, And Future of Programmable Logic

[Antti] has gained a bit of a reputation over on Hackaday.io – he has a tremendous number of FPGA projects on hackaday.io, and they’re all open source. If you’re looking for street cred with FPGAs, [Antti] has it. His Hands-on experience with FPGAs and CPLDs stretches back to the very first chips in the 70s. We’re so happy that he’s working to share this depth of knowledge, and that includes this talk he gave a few weeks ago at the Hackaday SuperConference. Take a look and then join us after the break for an overview of the FPGA terrain, then and now.

Continue reading “Antti Lukats: The Past, Present, And Future of Programmable Logic”

Immersive Theatre via iBeacons with Dustin Freeman

Combining backgrounds in math and theater, [Dustin Freeman] works on immersive, interactive theatrical experiences. During the day [Dustin] is a Spatial Interaction Engineer at Occipital, who makes the Structure Sensor. In his spare time [Dustin] works on digital theatre projects that bring the theatre goer far past the traditional row of seats.

The concept of immersive theatre is similar to ‘escape the room’ challenges and choose your own adventure experiences, in that the participants control the outcome of the experience by making decisions from the information supplied to them. [Dustin] explains in his talk that the feeling of trying to beat the clock that exists in escape the room challenges is not helpful in Floodlight’s The Painting. Floodlight is a theatre production company and The Painting is the immersive theatre experience put together by [Joshua Marx], professor of acting at San Jose State and [Dustin Freeman] who presented this 2015 Hackaday SuperConference talk.

Continue reading “Immersive Theatre via iBeacons with Dustin Freeman”

The Midwest RepRap Festival – Awesome Stuff in the Middle of Nowhere

It’s time once again to venture out to Goshen, Indiana for the Midwest RepRap Festival. It is the largest 3D printing con in the entire world where no one is trying to sell you anything. With a qualifier like that, it doesn’t have to be very big, but last year over 1,500 people showed up to the Elkhart county farm show complex and this year many more people are expected.

On the list of attendees is Taulman 3D, makers of fine, odd filament, Lulzbot, [Johnny] of Ultimachine, creator of the RAMBo board, MakerJuice, the FirePick Delta – the most skulled project on hackaday.io, and dozens of other people who make a living with 3D printing.

Of the expected attendees that are not specifically involved with 3D printing, I’m told [Ben Heck] will be there, along with someone from Adafruit and Make. The EFF might have a booth. A local radio station is doing a remote, and the servers at Wings, Etc. — one of the few area pubs — are going to clean up this weekend.

The event officially starts at 4:00pm today, Friday, March 20th. If you won’t be going the entire weekend, I’d suggest showing up on Saturday or Sunday. There will be far too many people there, and I’m slightly agoraphobic. We’ll be posting updates from the MRRF later on.

Midwest RepRap Festival, March 20-22nd

Right now there are two emails in my inbox inviting me to 3D printer conventions. If you’re not familiar with how these cons go, here’s a quick recap: a bunch of 3D printer manufacturers set up their booths the day before, put a printer behind an acrylic enclosure, start a very complex print, and come back the next day. This printer finally completes the print sometime Sunday afternoon, a bunch of people walk by the booths, and the entire venue is filled with enough morose faces as to be comparable to one of the higher circles of hell.

The Midwest RepRap Festival is not this con. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only 3D printing convention that isn’t a trade show. It’s a blast, it’s March 20th through the 22nd, and we’re going to be there.

This will be our second expedition to the MRRF. Last year we saw 3D printed resin molds, and a strange Core XZ printer from [Nicholas Seward], the mind that brought you the odd Reprap Wally and Simpson. The most interesting man in the universe was there with a Smoothieboard. There were talks on 3D Bioprinting by [Jordan Miller] from Rice University, and everyone ate 3D printed waffles. If you’re looking for the possibilities 3D printing offers, this is the con to go to. If you’re looking for people to sell you stuff, look elsewhere.

This event is organized by the folks at SeeMeCNC, and it will be held on their home turf of Goshen, Indiana. Yes, you will be passing Amish buggies on the way to the event. Even though the MRRF is being held in the middle of nowhere, it was absolutely shocking how many people turned up last year and how good the con was. To put this in perspective, I’m driving nine hours to MRRF, and going to Maker Faire NYC takes me four hours. If I had to choose one 3D printing event to go to, this would be the one. That’s not just because I’m told there will be a t-shirt cannon at MRRF.

The event is free and open to everybody. You can just show up, although it would be a good idea to register. You’ll see the World’s Largest 3D Printed Trash Can. Yes, I’m serious. Call Guinness.

HOPE X: Commodore 64’s Are Back, Baby

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Maybe they weren’t really ever gone but even so Commodore enthusiast [ALWYZ] is here at HOPE X spreading re-awareness of the Commodore 64 and that there is still a community of Commodore fans out there who have been up to some pretty cool projects.

One of those projects is a Quantum Link-esque service called Q-Link Reloaded. Quantum Link was an online service available for Commodore 64 and 128 users that offered electronic mail, online chat, file sharing, online news, and instant messaging. It lasted from the mid-80s to the mid-90’s and later evolved into America Online. In 2005, a group of folks reversed-engineered the original server code and the resultant Q-Link Reloaded lets the Commodore folks once again communicate with each other.

Also on display is a Raspberry Pi running a C64 emulator complete with a controller to GPIO adapter. Hackaday has covered this emulator just a few months ago and it is great to see it working in person.

C64 emulator on raspberry pi