Digital To Analog In The Darkroom

As the world becomes more and more digital, there are still a few holdouts from the analog world we’ve left behind. Vinyl records are making quite the comeback, and film photography is still hanging on as well. While records and a turntable have a low barrier for entry, photography is a little more involved, especially when developing the film. But with the right kind of equipment you can bridge the gap from digital to analog with a darkroom setup that takes digital photographs and converts them to analog prints.

The project’s creator, [Muth], has been working on this project since he found a 4K monochrome display. These displays are often used in resin 3D printers, but he thought he could put them to use developing photographs. This is much different from traditional darkroom methods, though. The monochrome display is put into contact with photo-sensitive paper, and then exposed to light. Black pixels will block the light while white pixels allow it through, creating a digital-to-analog negative of sorts. With some calibration done to know exactly how long to expose each “pixel” of the paper, the device can create black-and-white analog images from a digital photograph.

[Muth] notes that this method isn’t quite as good as professional print, but we wouldn’t expect it to be. It creates excellent black-and-white prints with a unique method that we think generates striking results. The 4K displays needed to reproduce this method aren’t too hard to find, either, so it’s fairly accessible to those willing to build a small darkroom to experiment. For those willing to go further, take a look at some other darkroom builds we’ve seen in the past.

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There’s More In A Cardboard Box Than What Goes In The Cardboard Box

The cardboard box is ubiquitous in our society. We all know what makes up a cardboard box: corrugated paper products, glue, and some work. Of course cardboard boxes didn’t just show up one day, delivered out of nowhere by an overworked and underpaid driver. In the video below the break, [New Mind] does a deep dive into the history of the cardboard box and much more.

Starting back in the 19th century, advancements in the bulk processing of wood into pulp made paper inexpensive. From there, cardboard started to take its corrugated shape. Numerous advancements around Europe and the US happened somewhat independently of each other, and by 1906 a conglomerate was formed to get the railroads to approve cardboard for use on cargo trains.

By then though, cardboard was still in its infancy. Further advancements in design, manufacturing, and efficiency have turned the seemingly low tech cardboard box into a high tech industry that’s heavy on automation and quality control. It’ll certainly be difficult to think of cardboard boxes the same.

There also numerous ways for a hacker to re-use cardboard, be it in template making, prototyping, model making, and more. Of course, corrugation isn’t just for paper. If corrugated plastic floats your boat, you might be interested in this boat that floats due to corrugated plastic.

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DIY Bread Slice Paper Goes Against The Grain

It’s the dead of winter here in the northern hemisphere, and between the pandemic and the polar vortex, we’re getting pretty tired of staring at the same four walls and eating incessantly. It’s the perfect recipe for trying something new and low-calorie, like baking a loaf of bread-shaped note paper from the stuff in the recycling bin.

[SusanLand] likes to make paper out of whatever discarded things she has on hand, including old jeans. When she tried making paper out of nothing but toilet paper tubes, it didn’t work so well, but it gave her an idea for cooking up some offbeat stationery.  She beefed up the pulp with shredded office paper and corn starch, and dialed in the whole wheat hue with a pinch of yellow and orange paper. Once the pulp was ready, she poured it into bread-shaped molds made from a plastic milk jug.

This tidy introduction to making your own paper covers everything from pulping techniques to drying methods. Once the slices are dry, [SusanLand] embellishes them with a scoring tool, colored pencils, and a handful of seeds to complete the look. Check out that process in the videos after the break.

Don’t want to make paper out of your paper? Use it to weigh your car, or fold up a fleet of airplanes.

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Remoticon Video: Making Glowy Origami With Charlyn Gonda

Hacking is about pushing the envelope to discover new and clever ways to use things in ways their original designers never envisioned. [Charlyn Gonda]’s Hackaday Remoticon workshop “Making Glowly Origami” was exactly that; a combination of the art of origami with the one of LEDs. Check out the full course embedded below, and read on for a summary of what you’ll find. Continue reading “Remoticon Video: Making Glowy Origami With Charlyn Gonda”

Paper Keyboard Is Self-Powered

Building a keyboard isn’t a big project these days. Controller chips and boards are readily available, switches are easy to find, and a 3D printer can do a lot of what used to be the hard parts. But engineers at Purdue have printed a self-powered Bluetooth keyboard on an ordinary sheet of paper. You can see videos of the keyboards at work below.

The keyboards work by coating paper with a highly fluorinated coating that repels water, oil, and dust. Special inks print triboelectric circuits so that pressing your finger on a particular part of the paper generates electricity. We were skeptical that the Bluetooth part is self-powered, although maybe it is possible if you have some very low-power electronics or you manage the power generated very carefully.

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DIY Large Format Book Press Puts On The Pressure

For those in the audience who aren’t well versed in wrangling dead trees, a large press with a lot of clamping pressure can be used for binding books or printing. It can even be used to squeeze the water out of homemade paper. It’s an important tool for anyone looking to make or repair books, but they also tend to be fairly expensive. Which is why [Paul] decided to make his own.

Despite the preconceived notions you might have about the type of guy who binds his own books, it seems like [Paul] is a rather modern fellow. He actually designed the press in CAD and made many of the parts for it on his CNC router. That’s not strictly required, though we do think cutting out the hole for the monstrous lead screw nut would be a bit tricky if you had to do it by hand. But beyond that, the design is pretty straightforward and the video after the break provides a very clear step-by-step guide on how to build your own.

In the past we’ve seen how a similar, if much smaller, book press can be used to make bound books of all those PDFs littering your computer. These sort of projects are getting more rare in an increasingly paperless world, but we always like to see people keeping the old ways alive. If the revolution comes and we end up needing to publish Hackaday on hand-pressed paper, we’ll know who to call.

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3D Printing Paper — Sort Of

There are only a few truly ancient engineered materials, and among the oldest is paper. Traditionally, paper is flat and can be bent into shapes. However, paper can be molded into for example packing material or egg cartons. [XYZAidan]  has a process that can recycle paper into 3D cardboard-like objects. You need a 3D printer, but it doesn’t actually print the paper. Instead, you use the printer to create a mold that can form paper pulp you make out of recycled paper and a blender.

[Aidan] provides seven different molds ranging from a desk tray and a dish to simple cubes and coasters. The molds are made in three parts to assist in removing the finished product.

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