Robert McGrath's blog

NYT Article About Shapeways

Interesting article in the NYT about Shapeways and creative designers who have been able to realize ideas because of Shapeways.  (Shapeways has a new, so far small, retail outlet.)

Tons of ideas and inspirations in this short article:

Bringing 3-D Power to the People by Steven Kurutz

For example....

"Ashley Zelinskie, 26, a sculptor who works with 3-D printing, tried using a desktop machine to print a full-size chair whose structure was embedded with hexadecimal code readable by a computer. Influenced by “One and Three Chairs,” a conceptual art piece by Joseph Kosuth, the project was an exercise in high-tech frustration.

Science Olympiad needs volunteers

I'm forwarding this email from UI OPE:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is hosting the Illinois Science Olympiad State Tournament on April 12, 2014. We are looking for volunteers to help make possible this competition involving more than 2,000 middle and high school students and 40+ events in the disciplines of biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, technology and more. No experience needed to volunteer. Sign up at the link below or contact Val Goldstein at

'Instructables' Project: DIY Segway

Instructables has a cool project posted by 'ihart':

A DIY 'segway' scooter:

Anyone want to try to build one?


Intel Design Contest for Wearable Computing Idea

Anyone interested in wearable computing?  Have you got great ideas you want to try to build?

Maybe you would be intereted in the Intel "Make It Wearable" challenge.

The CUCFL would be a perfect place to find collaborators and tools to do such a project.

Paper Toys Site, Possibly of Interest

Possibly of interest to some, a lovingly constructed little web site with a lot of "paper toys": The Toymaker.

These simple projects are pretty cool, and meant to be cut out with scissors.  But there are a lot of ideas that could easily be adapted to laser or paper cutting machines.  (E.g., The Heart Butterfly).

Possibly of interest: Knight Foundation Prototype Fund

Anyone ready to prototype a new product or service?

The Knight Foundation is particularly interested in funding ideas in open govenment, media, and similar topics.  Information on recently funded initiatives here.

More info at:

3D Printing Food--In the Fab Lab Soon?

A story on NPR and other media about 3D printing with food.  It sounds like there are a bunch of low cost systems coming available, so this is getting into a state where the CUCFL might get one.

We'll have to change the instructions.  For one of these printers, don't put anything except food in it. :-)

Possibly of Interest: Open Source Ecology/Global Village Construction Set

Radical DIY (located in Missouri, I think).

If you don't have this bookmark, you probably want it.

Frankly, I don't think I really need, say, an Aluminum extractor.  But a DIY rototiller might be nice....

"Hybrid Basketry"

Possibly of interest to some of you, “hybrid basketry”,  “a medium where 3D-printed structures are shaped to allow the growth and development of hand-woven patterns.”   Example product

This work was presented at SIGGRAPH 2013, published in:

Hybrid Basketry: Interweaving Digital Practice within Contemporary CraftAmit Zoran, Leonardo , Vol. 46, No. 4, LEONARDO SPECIAL ISSUE: SIGGRAPH 2013 Art Papers and XYZN: ScaleArt Gallery (2013), pp. 324-331 [PDF]

Other works by Zoran can be viewed at:

Smithsonian Webcast on 3D scanning 13-14 Nov.

Possibly of interest to some of you, a webcast from the Smithsonian about 3D scanning and modeling.

If you are interested, the webcast will be running in the Media Commons (top floor of the Undergraduate Library). 

For more info, contact Jamie A. Nelson (UIUC CITES).

Rapid Prototyping Idea from IDEO Lab

Jeff posted a note about the interesting prototyping work coming out of GSLIS

In a similar vein, check out a similar prototyping concept from IDEO lab: a video prototype for iphone app which takes it to the next level.

 What you want to see is the "secret".

Shouldn't we have a collection of these?

Urbana collab 'design days' this week

Are you interested in coworking?  In local design and content companies?  With food, too?

You might want to visit the downtown Urbana collab this week, which is feature friends-of-the-Lab Norden Design's display week.  Johan and Anna will show you their works, new office, and tour the rest of the collab space if you want. (Hours noon to 7P daily this week.)

For more info, there was a nice piece in smilepolitely last week.

School for Poetic Computation

Possibly of interest "School for Poetic Computation" (in NYC).

" promote completely strange, impractical and magical work..."

Is anyone inspired to try something like this here?


Design class, "Writers as Architects"

An interesting article in the NY Times today, "Writers as Architects".  Aside from the interesting images, it struck me as a possible inspiration for a Fab Lab workshop..

19th Centure Patents, 3D printable

Possibly of interest:  a blog by Martin Galese, bringing 19th century patents to life as 3D printing projects.

Some of these are supposed to be posted to, though I haven't looked for them yet.

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