Laser Engraved Safari Dice Commission

While exhibiting my portfolio of laser engraved work at the 2015 Derby Mini Maker Faire, I was commissioned to recreate an old dice game. My client had moved to the UK from Kenya in her late teens and during this move all of the family’s childhood memorabilia was left behind. My client had vivid memories of playing this Safari Dice game with her brother during their childhood years and had done her best to find a set as a present for him but so far, to no avail.  After months of searching all that was found was an entry of the ‘Safari Dice’ on BoardGameGeek.com.

Having seen my bespoke and intricate work, the client realised that laser engraving would be a far superior option than hand-carving the designs onto some wooden dice she had bought.

Using GIMP on Ubuntu I prepared the 6 designs (Giraffe, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion & Hunter) my client had provided and I was able to then translate into vectors in Inkscape, ready for line engraving onto the dice. I developed a custom jig to hold the dice in place to ensure each image was perfectly central. To minimise the scorching and any smoke discolouration I applied “application tape” (aka masking tape) prior to engraving.

My client was delighted and couldn’t wait to see her brother’s face when he opened this unique Christmas present.

Laser Engraved Wooden Safari Dice Commission

 

BarkEng Mad Shop on Folksy is now open

Find Me On FolksyTo make the purchase of my products a little easier for some and to increase their visibility and reach, I have opened a Folksy shop.

After many conversations with my customers and other makers, suggesting that I put my products online on a shop like Esty, I found a more suitable alternative.  Folksy focuses on UK makers and is a small company running out of Sheffield. Although their fees are slightly higher, it felt right to be supporting a local independent set up.

I would still prefer if people to buy direct from me, via phone, email or in person, so I can minimise my fees and involvement with PayPal. However, I understand there will be situations where buying via Folksy makes more sense.

For now, I have put a few laser engraved skateboard concept designs and baby sheep mobiles on their.  As and when I have time, I will be added other appropriate items for people to find.

Go check out my new Folksy Shop 🙂

 

Open Hardware Robot Army

Create your own robot Army!

I can not wait to see the results of this open hardware project. The interactive light art installation is going to be spectacular. It wasn’t clear whether this project was open hardware or not, so I contacted artist Sarah Petkus via kickstarter to find out, as below…

Love it!
On completion of your light art installation, will you open sourcing all your hardware and software? Especially as your project can be made using a 3D printer, laser cutter and arduino. Perfect project for any hacker or maker!
Stick the open hardware logo, arduino and Creative commons and get it posted on somewhere like hackaday.com you should get a good response from the free culture community.
Enjoy, Engage & Share 🙂

Sarah replied:

Yes, after we complete our installation we’ll be making all of our hardware/software open for people to hack and play with. I really encourage others to build their own armies. Every home should have a few cool robots in it. =]
I guess adding the open source logo would be a good idea, I can’t believe I overlooked that. Now that we are halfway through our campaign, we’re tweaking our PR strategy a bit- so I’ll plan on reaching out more to the DIY/open source community.
Thank you for the suggestion!

Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t always get, so if you are a free culture advocate, then be sure to request it. And if they do open up the source files, then be sure to back the project, even if it just for £1.
🙂

 

Open Hardware Feb 2014 Update

I have compile this post with more open projects that may be of interest to you hacker and makers out there.

The stool that rocks
This cool stool was launched via Kickstarter earlier in 2013. What is particularly interesting about this project is that the stool is local manufactured to the buyer. This is the distribution model I am planning to use with my open source LED Clock. You can still buy the stool at assmbly.com

 

YaCyPi is simply a raspberry pi with a YaCy preloaded on it, you can get 2 versions.
– YaCy Server, of which you put on your local network and it will give you access to the YaCy network.
– YaCy Crawler, of which will contribute to building the networks searched content

If you are unsure what YaCy is they you need to watch, or at least listen to the video below.

 

SketchChair is a nice piece of open source software to help you design and create your own CNC’able chair. This was a success kickstarter project back in May 2011.

 

Strawbees are a super simple cool construction kit for kids. It is quite amazing how many nice objects people have come with using strawbees.

 

I saw the MicroSlice at the 2013 Derby Mini Maker Faire, of which I exhibited my LED Clock. Its a great little device and is proving to be popular in Kickstarter. Maybe there is still time to get yours.

 

uArm is desktop open hardware robot arm, inspired by industrial pick and place robot arms.

 

Unlocked Furniture is an interesting CNC furniture project, although not open source. Maybe they will see the light and liberate there designs.

 

SmartScope is cheaper and more elegant solution to your oscilloscope needs, plus it open source 🙂

Thats all for now… If you discover any new open hardware projects be sure to email me with them

Enjoy, engage & share!

Welcome to Code Club…

Today, I will be starting my first after school Code Club where I will be teaching Year 4, 5 & 6 students at Milford Primary School in Derbyshire, how to program.

Getting ready for my first cod club session...

Getting ready for my first code club session…

Code club is a really important organisation that is going to get the UK’s children creating and sharing computer programs, instead of just consuming them.

Watch this short fun video that one of the Code Clubs has created…

If you have programming skills and would like to share them, then maybe you could become a code club volunteer and work with a local school. For more detail on how it was set up and what it is about watch this video of a lecture explaining all.

I will keep you all posted on how I get on throughout the term.

Enjoy, Share & Engage… 🙂

Cheers, Morgan Barke

OSHW teaching aid, plus other projects

Hopefully you have read this in time to support this cool educational project… I have already contributed, to  help support this important project and to get the source files to build my own. I really like the super simple programming interface for the younger kids and can’t wait to see how the open source community will hack this into their own projects.

Here are a few extra cool free culture, open source projects…

Ever wondered what your brain patterns look like. Maybe you want to control your project with your mind.. Well now you can with this Open Source Brain Computer Interface.

Time to updgrade your 3D Printer with this profession hotend.

Make your hand gestures in to funky sounds with Vectr – Open Source 3D Sensing Gesture Controller

Its great to see more and more free culture projects out there. If you want to see more, be sure to support, even if it just a quid, at least stick on your social media of choice.

 

Enjoy & Share! Morgan.

Derby Mini Maker Faire 2013

IMG_2762 blog

Wow, what a day! As you will see in the time lapse video the Derby Mini Maker Faire was absolutely buzzing, all day.

I was fortunate enough to have my own table exhibiting the latest versions of my clock, amongst the Derby Makers. In the time lapse video you can see all the Derby Makers in our orange hi vis vests, along the wall to the right, busying about.

I created additional hardware, consisting of an LCD screen and 3 rotatory encoders, so people of all ages could interact with the clock, changing the RBG values of the hour marks. I created a simple tutorial, so people could read the RGB values off the LCD screen, update the code, creating their very own colour combinations for the hour, minute and second hands. I will publish the code and respective documents for this tutorial as soon as I get chance. I still have a few changes I would like to make, from the feedback from the Maker Faire.

Rise and Shine LED Clock Tutorial

I had load of positive and constructive feedback on my clocks, of which I am currently implementing. As, I was telling those interested on the day, I will be running a workshop at the Silk Mill in the new year, of which I will announce officially once I have completed my circuit design and tested the workshop out on the Derby Makers.

As a part of the Derby Makers, Amanda & Pam ran a jam and chutney stall, with about 20 recipes to taste, one of which I had contributed. I posted the recipe for my Gujarati style pear chutney on my personal blog, which was apparently loved by all those who tried it… 🙂 All the recipes have been compiled into a Derby Makers Recipe book, of which I will update with the link as soon as Amanda has published it.

The Derby Maker Faire was such a success, there is already talk of a summer event next year. I will keep you posted…

More Cool Free Open Hardware

Since my recent blog post on the best free & open hardware projects I have found additional projects that are are worth sharing. Each of these projects are currently crowd funding for money to get their projects off the ground. This is a great way to build a successful open source project and respective community.

At the time of writing this post, all of these projects are live in Kickstarter and still accepting contributions. For your convenience I have included both the video and the widget…

Howler Open Source Arcade Controller

If you are a true geek then you will either have or at least want your own arcade machine. The Howler Arcade Controller is designed for so you can add controls for 4 people with more than enough button, all with RGB lighting. This is ideal if you have loads of games so you know which buttons can be used. It also has an accelerometer built in so you can nudge the machine when playing pinball games. I will be definitely making a full size 2 player arcade machine for the Derby Maker Space at the Silk Mill of which I will publish the CNC designs for the cabinet. Both the drivers, code and hardware. I think he is only creating the driver software in M$ Windoze, but as it is open source, I am sure someone will be able to port it across to linux…

1Sheeld: Replace your Arduino shields with your smart phone!

This is a great product for testing your arduino ideas and code, without having to have all the electronics on you. This also allow 2 way communication to your arduino, so you can control your project from your phone and visa versa. I have ordered mine and will adding it to one of my LED Clocks as soon as it arrives.

 

QuickStack: Let’s make it easy!

This is set to be a great alternative to the Arduino, but without the pin limitations. It also looks easier to code when requiring multiple operations at the same time.

 

Lenzhound Wireless Lens Motor Control System

This wireless lens remote has so many applications when recording video. I think that at the moment it is only the code that is open source, as is based upon Arduino. Would be great if they open source the hardware, but we will see if they do…

Pedal Power — Human Scale Energy For Everyday Tasks

I love this project. While I don’t this pedal power is a practical energy source for many operations, but I do think there will be many that is. If everyone had something in their house that was pedalled powered then I think we would think a little more about the power we use. I do think that it is sometimes a little too easy to just switch something on.

CNCing Flexible Plywood

I have seen many examples of materials being laser cut to provide flexible properties, as can be seen here on a hackaday post.
Ref: http://hackaday.com/2011/12/07/laser-cutting-technique-makes-plywood-bendable/

Laser cut flexible box

Laser cut flexible box for arduino project – Hackaday

However, today I saw an implementation of this design technique, but on a CNC router that I thought was worth sharing…

The Belin based design and manufacturing  company flxble has created a bike wall mount using this technique. Here is a video from their website…

Enjoy & share if you like…

LED Clock circuit design on Fritzing

Today, I have published the circuit diagram for the Rise and shine LED Clock. Initially, I have completed the circuit design on the breadboard interface on Fritzing, as you can see below.

LED Clock breadboard circuit diagram on fritzing

Breadboard layout of the Rise and Shine LED Clock, designed on Fritzing

I am going to work on adding other components, such as a mircophone and light sensor before completing the schematic and PCB layouts. I will add and upload the fritzing file to the next iteration of the LED Clock code.

I have used the open source Fritzing circuit designer, as this is great place to start for your arduino and other maker/hacker projects.