The next 5 years in 3D printing

I’ve spent the past 7 years working extensively with 3D printing, everything from low-cost hobby level printers to very high end plastic and metal 3D printers. I’ve been exploring the elusive space in between, using low-cost printing to serve enterprise and volume production applications. I’ve experienced first-hand how the low cost and high quality of […]

An Alchemists Wand for the 21st Century

I have been working on a project with Lynn Hershman, called Alchemists Wand for the 21st Century. This art piece incorporates a number of brooms that have been modified to detect toxic substances, registering this on LEDs embedded in the broom handle, and transmitting their readings to a screen that presents information on what to […]

RAW/WAR at Sundance Film Festival

Since October of last year, I’ve been working on an exciting project with filmaker and artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, an interactive installation integrated with a web-based media database called RAW/WAR. The interactive installation is constantly updated with multimedia from a companion website at

I’m going to describe some of the aspects that I worked […]

Making a Makerbot (part 6) – printed replacement XY stage

One of the most interesting things about the Makerbot 3D printer is that it can be used to repair, or even upgrade, itself. After a substantial run of large prints, the bushings that hold the X & Y platform had started to wear out, and the print stage was becoming wobbly. This translated into unsightly […]

Hacking Spykee the robot for increased range and power

I have had this Spykee robot for a while now, had encountered some issues, and decided to fix it.

Spykee is a “toy” robot that is suprisingly sophisticated. It has a video camera and microphone, and can be controlled remotely from a computer via local WiFi, or over the Internet. However, it has a design […]

Timelapse toolkit for the Exploratorium

I’ve been doing some development work at the Exploratorium, and my latest project is now ready to go live. It is a general purpose, highly configurable timelapse recording program, that will soon be incorporated into an interesting experiment in social dynamics (I’ll tell you what it is when it goes live).

The program is […]

Baby stroller hacking – multicolor, remote-controlled LEDs

Nik and I had an awesome baby! His name is Javier Jun-Hong, and his special superpower is breastfeeding. Here he is:

Javier is preoccupied by the situation

Now, as everyone knows, having a baby is a great opportunity to launch a variety of different toy-making and hacking projects. The first one is to enhance […]

Variable rate time-lapse video using motion detection

As part of a larger project involving timelapse video, I developed a technique that uses motion detection to identify frames for capture, and skips over frames where nothing is happening.

The video on the left implements this technique. You can see how it works, by skipping the stops at the stations in the video. The […]

Making a Makerbot (part 5) – Kapton and Makergear nozzle

Last time I checked in, I had added the heated build platform and a Paxtruder to the Makerbot. However, things were not quite perfect: things were not sticking to the platform, and I kept getting occasional jams in the nozzle. I could tell things were not quite moving, because I could see the filament “snaking” […]

Making a Makerbot (part 4) – Paxtruder

An area that causes problems in the Makerbot is the filament drive mechanism. It has to be adjusted just so, or the filament will get jammed or strip. The system that keeps the filament engaged with the drive wheel is an acrylic idler wheel, which is sometimes uneven or wobbles. Also, the adjustment for idler […]