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May 09 2018

Intro to Arduino: Sensors and Input/Output on May 19th

Come join us for a class! Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Want to get started with physical computing?

Learn to program an Arduino and interact with the physical world! In this class, we’ll cover an introduction to Arduino and learn how to manipulate outputs based on sensor inputs.

Topics covered

  • What is Arduino?
  • Software setup (IDE, how to program it, the Serial monitor)
  • Reading schematics and wiring diagrams
  • Basics of breadboarding
  • Controlling output (blinking/fading an LED)
  • Reading sensor input (with a pushbutton, potentiometer and light sensor)
  • Combining input and output

Materials

All students will receive a basic electronics starter kit, which contains a starter pack of electronics components and sensors, including a breadboard, wires, light sensor, tilt sensor, LEDs, a motor, and more. Students will also receive an Arduino UNO.

Students should bring their own laptop and install some free software ahead of time:

Who should take this class?

Basic computer knowledge is assumed, and we’ll refresh a few concepts from high school physics and math. No previous experience with coding or circuits is required.

OK, awesome, I want to join!

Please be ready to start at 1pm!  We find that you will need this time to get through the whole class. Our classes tend to sell out about a week in advance so if you’re interested, you may want to sign up early.

This class will be taught by NYC Resistor members Miria Grunick.  As with all NYC Resistor events, this class is 18+ and governed by our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct, as well as accessibility information, can be found at www.nycresistor.com/participate/.

Please note that refunds must be requested 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please email classes@nycresistor.com.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

May 02 2018

Last call for this Sunday’s Rhino 3D Modeling Class

We’re really excited about this weekend’s 3d modeling class. Get your tickets now!
Three-dimensional computer models are used for concept design, prototyping on a 3D printer, making furniture on a CNC, creating realistically rendered images, making animations or games, and much more. In this class, you’ll learn how to navigate 3D software and create computer models from scratch using Rhino3D. The software is easy to learn and is a great starting point for working in three-dimensions no matter what you want to create. You’ll learn the fundamentals of working with various viewports, creating and editing basic and advanced geometry, as well as how to tailor your project for laser cutting and 3D printing.

April 24 2018

Introduction to 3D Computer Modeling with Rhino3D on May 6th

Come join us for a class! Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

This class is limited to twelve students, reserve your spot now!
Three-dimensional computer models are used for concept design, prototyping on a 3D printer, making furniture on a CNC, creating realistically rendered images, making animations or games, and much more. In this class, you’ll learn how to navigate 3D software and create computer models from scratch using Rhino3D. The software is easy to learn and is a great starting point for working in three-dimensions no matter what you want to create. You’ll learn the fundamentals of working with various viewports, creating and editing basic and advanced geometry, as well as how to tailor your project for laser cutting and 3D printing.
You will create 3D computer models in Rhino3D throughout the class building your experience and knowledge. Learning how to operate the 3D printer and Laser Cutter are separate classes available at NYCresistor. You are invited back to NYCResistor on an open Craft Night on the evening of Thursday, May 10th where the instructor will be available to help 1-to-1 with your projects. If that Craft Night doesn’t suit your schedule, please get in touch and we can hopefully arrange an alternative.
You should bring a laptop to the class and a click-button mouse. Download a 90-day free trial of Rhino3D before the class. The trial software is available on both Apple and Windows operating systems. Download trial Apple / Windows. To maximize the length of your trial, don’t install your software until the morning of the class.
This class will be taught by James McBennett who trained in architecture and specialized in advanced geometry. These are two examples of projects he worked on using Rhino 3D, Holmenkollen / This Stool Rocks. James will be available for Q&A by email after the class, assuring everyone achieves their goal. NYC Resistor member Olivia Barr will also be present for this class.
As with all NYC Resistor events, this class is 18+ and governed by our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct, as well as accessibility information, can be found at www.nycresistor.com/participate/. Please note that refunds must be requested 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please email classes@nycresistor.com.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

April 05 2018

Altered Wind-Up Toys (or Robot Cosmetic Mods) Make-Along on April 22

Come join us for a class! Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

This is not your typical craft class. Make-Along is a self-guided craft workshop where participants learn new skills, explore new materials, and make great things!

Aprils’s Topic: Altered WindUp Toys! (or Robot Cosmetic Mods)

Have you always wanted to literally make a new friend? Do toys that move delight you? Come and we’ll teach you how to modify a windup toy to give it a unique personality. So no matter your skill level or approach, you’ll bring home a one-of-a-kind re-styled toy! If you have a robot that could use a makeover, this would also be an excellent time to glam it up.

Are you a beginner? We’ll provide a windup toy, paints, glues, googly eyes, accessories, and lots of inspiration!

Are you a master? Show off your skills and inspire others! Bring a project, use our materials, and hang out in a great space while doing what you love.

This class will be taught by NYC Resistor member Kari Love. As with all NYC Resistor events, this class is 18+ and governed by our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct, as well as accessibility information, can be found at www.nycresistor.com/participate/.
Please note that refunds must be requested 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please email classes@nycresistor.com.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

March 30 2018

9th Annual Interactive Show: Call For Projects (DATE CHANGED, see below)

[ATTENTION!  THE DATE HAS CHANGED TO JUNE 16th]

It’s time for another Interactive Show! This year’s theme is Self Driving Carbs. That’s not a typo right?  No?  OK let’s roll with it.

It’s about some time for some smart digital comfort food.   An Uber™ for doughnuts, a Facebook for foodies.  Have those empty calories of content algorithmically delivered into you consciousness.

So save the date for June 16th and drop us a line to submit your projects! Projects don’t necessarily have to be on theme, just something you want to show off at a party.

You can submit a project via this form

or email us: ishow AT nycresistor.com

or visit us on Facebook

OR join us on our public Slack:

 

via GIPHY

March 22 2018

APRIL 4TH: Hacks/Hackers Digital Security Installfest

Photo by Huck Magazine

Now that Brooklyn is no longer buried under snow, Hacks/Hackers will be bringing a digital security installfest to NYC Resistor on April 4th, 6:30PM. Hacks/Hackers brings journalists (hacks) and technologists (hackers) together to explore how to use technology to find and tell new stories and how to filter and visualize all the information around us everyday.

Our Hacks/Hackers hosts will introduce the special security challenges facing journalists, then we’ll break up into workshop tables with volunteers to cover specific tools and topics such as:

  • How to prevent doxing via social media best practices and data removal
  • Password managers
  • Different kinds of two-factor authentication and how to choose the right one for you
  • Signal, WhatsApp and other alternatives to phone calls and regular text messaging
  • Plus other topics based on the interest of attendees

NOTE: Although this even is open to the public, you must RSVP ($12.24) to attend. Light dinner included.

If you’ve never been to Resistor before, check our Participate page for more info, including the Code of Conduct. If you’ve never been a CryptoParty-like event before, you can find out more on the CryptoParty Guiding Principles page.

Price:

$12.24 RSVP here.

When:

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 6:30PM – 9:00PM

Where:

NYC Resistor (between Bergen and Dean)
87 3rd Ave. Floor 4 (use this OSM link if you’re Richard Stallman)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

March 12 2018

POSTPONED: Hacks/Hackers CryptoParty March 21

Image credit: Matt Joyce (CC-BY-2.0)

*** UPDATE: Snowpocalypse 2018 will temporarily bury Brooklyn in snow, so this event will be postponed to a later date. Stay tuned to find out when! ***

Hacks/Hackers will be bringing a digital security installfest to NYC Resistor on March 21. Hacks/Hackers brings journalists (hacks) and technologists (hackers) together to explore how to use technology to find and tell new stories and how to filter and visualize all the information around us everyday.

Our Hacks/Hackers hosts will introduce the special security challenges facing journalists, then we’ll break up into workshop tables with volunteers to cover specific tools and topics such as:

  • How to prevent doxing via social media best practices and data removal
  • Password managers
  • Different kinds of two-factor authentication and how to choose the right one for you
  • Signal, WhatsApp and other alternatives to phone calls and regular text messaging
  • Plus other topics based on the interest of attendees

NOTE: Although this even is open to the public, you must RSVP ($12.24) to attend. Light dinner included.

If you’ve never been to Resistor before, check our Participate page for more info, including the Code of Conduct. If you’ve never been a CryptoParty-like event before, you can find out more on the CryptoParty Guiding Principles page.

Price:

$12.24 RSVP here.

When:

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 6:30PM – 9:00PM

Where:

NYC Resistor (between Bergen and Dean)
87 3rd Ave. Floor 4 (use this OSM link if you’re Richard Stallman)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

February 25 2018

Awwww cuuute: making crochet monsters class

So today was the Crochet Make-Along 101 class, aka let’s make cute monsters.  It’s part of a series of classes: once a month, we have a Make-Along class (March is how to make egg dioramas).

I sat knitting quietly in the corner (aka unpicking lots of rows and swearing gently under my breath) as about 15 people, all absolute beginners, giggled and wowed their way through making these:

They were all beginners.  It took me forever to learn how to crochet last month; this class learnt crochet stitches, used them (“magic circles!”) and created these monsters in less than 3 hours.  Well done class!

Favourite quotes: “Let’s pick up the poop one”, “He’s so cute”, “it went great”.

Here are all the NYC Resistor classes (soft and otherwise).  NYC Resistor also has a public slack group (contact widget@nycresistor.com to be invited), including a knitting and crochet channel (#pkptransistor).

 

February 21 2018

Introduction to 3D Computer Modeling with Rhino3D on March 3rd

Come join us for a class! Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

This class is limited to twelve students, reserve your spot now!
Three-dimensional models are used for concept design, prototyping on a 3D printer, making furniture on a CNC, creating realistically rendered images, making animations or games, and much more. In this class, you’ll learn how to navigate 3D software and create models from scratch using Rhino3D. The software is easy to learn and a great starting point for working in three-dimensions no matter what you want to create. You’ll learn the fundamentals of working with various viewports, creating and editing basic and advanced geometry as well as how to tailor your project for various outputs such as exporting a file for laser cutting or 3D printing.
Everone will create their own 3D model and finish the class with a rendered view that can be shared with your friends as well as file for 3D printing or laser cutting. Learning how to operate the laser cutter and 3D printer are separate classes available at NYCresistor. Multiple sources of beautiful product design inspiration will be provided so that nobody is stuck for ideas.
Every student should download a 90-day free trial of Rhino3D before the class. The trial software is available on both Apple and Windows operating systems. To maximize the length of your trial, don’t install your software until the morning of this class. Download trial Apple / Windows.
This class will be taught by James McBennett who trained in architecture and specialized in advanced geometry. These are two examples of projects he worked on using Rhino 3D, Holmenkollen / This Stool Rocks. James will be available for Q&A by email after the class assuring everyone achieves their goal. As with all NYC Resistor events, this class is 18+ and governed by our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct, as well as accessibility information, can be found at www.nycresistor.com/participate/. Please note that refunds must be requested 72 hours in advance. If you have any questions, please email classes@nycresistor.com.

 

Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

February 20 2018

Learn to use a 3D Printer on Sunday

We’ve still got room in Sunday’s 3D Printing class! You’ll learn how to use our Makerbot printers, how to design your own 3D models and use others’ models, and what to worry about when buying your own 3D printer. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

A 3d printer is printing an irregularly-shaped green object

Your instructor will take you through key concepts of 3D printing, demo the technology on our printers, and lead the class through the design process of creating a model and preparing it to print. We’ll talk about creating functional objects, creative objects, available materials, print reliability, and compare various printer models and features. Get tickets while there’s still room!

February 05 2018

Social Stats Trackers with ESP8266

I recently published two guides for new electronics projects around tracking your social media stats. The first is a YouTube subscriber counter that resembles a Play Button Award and shows your subscriber count across two seven segment displays behind the framed paper.

The second is very similar but tracks multiple stats with the same board, and has more displays connected.

Both projects use the NodeMCU ESP8266 microcontroller and LED backpacks from Adafruit.

January 20 2018

Midwinter Yarn Swap

Next Saturday (27 Jan) NYC Resistor’s knitting guild, PKPTransistor, will be having our first annual Midwinter Yarn Swap. Cast off some of your old yarns, hook up with some new yarns, and get cozy with your fellow yarn hoarders!

Knit Knight at NYC Resistor

Bring your stash to trade and share while enjoying good company, mulled apple cider, and hot choclety. We’ll put some Back to Back Challenge videos on the big screen and talk shop. Knitters, crocheters, spinners, dyers, if you do it with yarn we’d love to have you. And if you have ideas for stash-busting projects, bring them along.

January 27
2pm – 5pm
NYC Resistor
87 3rd Ave. in Brooklyn

yarn bomb of bull statue crochet mushrooms

yarn bomb of bike rack yarn bomb of Rocky statue

Photos by Trammell Hudson, Sarah Nichols, Ahd Photography, Sherri Lynn Wood, and Eli Carrico

January 19 2018

Fireflies: camera-based musical instruments

camera-based instrument in concert

We asked Adelle and Matt about their camera-based musical instruments. Here’s what they said.

<!--[if lt IE 9]><script>document.createElement('video');</script><![endif]--> https://www.nycresistor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/firefly-interface-test-video.mp4

What’s a camera-based musical instrument?  Basically, it’s two cameras facing upwards, about a foot below a player’s hands.  When they move their hand, it’s converted into different types of notes, sound effects and volumes, to create an expressive performance.

Three fireflies under construction

We made 3 of these.  The form was shaped like a musical soundwave: we prototyped it on the laser cutter, and eventually got it CNC milled.

This is part of the CES Intel Keynote pre-show performance. It was the opening of the show, to show off the instruments’ nuance and control before the concert gets too big. The middle instrument was piano sounds; the one on the right was synths and electronics; the one on the left was chords and atmosphere. The show opened dark: the performer, Kevin Doucette, used his hands to bring up the lights on the instrument as well as the synthesisers, then waved his hands to switch keys on a virtual keyboard.   Kevin played the Killers’ “Are we human or are we dancers?”.

In this instance, the performer is wearing gloves with sensors in them, and is using finger bends to trigger notes.  Yes, it looks like a theramin – but it’s way cooler and has blinkenlights.  But seriously, the LEDs are there to show the musician where they are on the instrument and the types of notes that they’re playing (ed: but they’re still cool).

We built this instrument to use the cameras (they’re good at doing fast hand tracking and depth); we added the LEDs because if you have an invisible instrument you don’t know where you are, and the LEDs give feedback to train your hand in space.

Firefly generations

Here’s the lasercut and CNC versions side by side: here, we’re doing LED tests.

(insides of the camera-based instrument)

Here are the insides: the frame, the LED controller and the acrylic housing around them.  The cameras are Realsense.  There are two programs (developed by Nerdmatics) running on linux in the back end, and TouchDesigner to control the lighting.

Firefly guts

Here are the guts of the instrument

Realsense cameras

Here are the cameras

Camera teardown

And the camera teardown

Come talk to us about this project!

January 18 2018

What should I do at craft night if I don’t have a project

Thingsgiving and Widget

We asked Bonnie and Widget what to do at craft night if you don’t have a project.  Here’s their list…

You could do things that have nothing to do with projecting: sit on your own surfing the internet or playing farm games (Hi Mikael!), sit and talk to people, grab a book from the library, ask people about their projects, offer to help with projects, or offer to help clean (which is a great way to make us love you).

More traditional projects: you could spelunk in thingsgiving (our pool of electronics supplies and mysterious arcane objects, aka a treasure hunt) and see what you could make. You could learn to solder.  You could knit, or learn to knit (we have yarns and needles on hand), you could grab scraps of fabric and play around with a sewing machine.  You could paint your nails: we have lasercut nail art blocks, some of which are very geeky (ed: I love the one with circuits).  Or you could video DJ on our projector.

You could draw – we love artists. Or try out the 3D printers (or help get one of them working again).  Mill your own PCBs on the othermill.  Or you could bring things that you want to fix, and fix them.

Craft nights are Mondays and Thursdays – check out our Participate page.

 

January 17 2018

NYC Resistor has a public Slack channel

(inside the non-interwebz space)

So NYC Resistor now has a public slack channel.  Why?  Because we have awesome chats with people who come into the space for open nights and classes (see participate if you want to join in), and we want to extend this to the interwebz.

We’re here: https://goo.gl/bxJLGf (*).  We’ve got the usual general and random (sometimes very random) channels, and new channels for knitting (pkpresistor), microcontrollers and more. Come join us!

(* if the slack link doesn’t work, contact widget@nycresistor.com to get added)

SVG Jigsaw Generation in Clojure

[Cross-post from Bonnie Eisenman’s blog at https://blog.bonnieeisenman.com/projects/clojure-puzzles/.  Bonnie is often found at the NYC Resistor craft nights]

I spent the last week learning Clojure and generating jigsaw puzzles as part of my one-week programming retreat at the Recurse Center.

Why jigsaw puzzles? I was motivated by two things: first, I wanted a good-sized language-learning project. Secondly, I was heavily inspired by the amazing, beautiful, intricate jigsaw puzzles produced by Nervous Systems and wanted to experiment with similar-ish generative methods. (I’m a sucker for generative things and hadn’t played with generative algorithms too much before.) If you want a crazy cool puzzle, seriously, go buy one from Nervous.

I think they turned out well!

A black-and-white outline of a jigsaw puzzle. There's a cat shaped piece in the top left. A hand holding the cat-shaped puzzle piece.

Because I have access to NYC Resistor’s laser cutter, the obvious thing to do was generate SVGs which I could then laser cut. If you haven’t worked with SVG before, it’s an XML-based format for describing vector graphics. It’s pretty easy to generate “by hand”.

Here is what an SVG looks like, if you open it up with a text editor:

 <svg width="100" height="100">
  <circle
    cx="50"
    cy="50"
    r="40"
    stroke="green"
    stroke-width="4"
    fill="yellow"
    />
</svg>

This produces a yellow circle, centered at (50, 50), with a radius of 40, and a four-pixel green outline. You can view an SVG file in any web browser, or edit it in an editor like Inkscape.

A yellow circle

See? Easy-peasy.

I started by generating a “classic” jigsaw puzzle shape, and figuring out how to tile it.

A single classic jigsaw puzzle piece. A grid of mostly-identical jigsaw puzzles

But I wanted something more interesting than just a grid of similar puzzle pieces! My next step was to use a Voronoi diagram to draw more irregularly-sized polygons around “seed” points. At first this created some amusing failures:

A grid of orange dots and some black lines between them. Something looks weird - the lines skew off in random directions!

Oops. This is what happens when you draw points at (x, x) instead of (x, y). Let’s fix those coordinates.

A grid of orange dots, surrounded by black lines representing voronoi edges. Now they actually are enclosed cells, like they're supposed to be.

If we replace those straight lines with puzzle-piece edges, we get something that starts to look like a more interesting puzzle. There are still obviously flaws to be ironed out here (e.g. edge overlap).

Similar to the previous image, polygons constructed by voronoi tiling then have their edges deformed using puzzle-piece-like squiggles. There is some overlap between lines so this would not make a good puzzle.

I wanted to make more novel puzzle piece shapes, though, so I turned to the SVG path type. You can draw Bézier curves in SVG pretty easily:

<path d="M 0 0 C 0 -100 50 -100 50 0 S 100 100 100 0"
      stroke="blue"
      fill="transparent"
      transform="translate(0 400)"/>

A blue curve that dips up then down.

OK, here’s what it looks like when we replace our puzzle piece shape with some random-ish curves:

More puzzle pieces, now with squiggles.

Add more curves and it gets even better!

Very squiggly pieces.

I also experimented with variations on how to place the seed points for my puzzle generation. Here’s one that’s based on a circular point distribution.

A puzzle arranged by concentric circles of squiggles.

Now I had some monstrously-irregular puzzle pieces to play with. Cool! I wanted to take it one step further by implementing whimsy pieces. In jigsaw jargon, a whimsy piece is a themed, recognizably-shaped puzzle piece. They might be butterflies or people or letters or…you name it!

I modified my puzzle-generator to clear space for a whimsy piece, first testing it with circular whimsy pieces.

A puzzle with two circular pieces placed inside it.

Then, using a kd-tree, I identified the whimsy piece’s nearest-neighbors and connected it back to the rest of the puzzle. Here’s a cat!

Same image as earlier - a puzzle with a cat-shaped piece in it.

And, finally, I took these files over to NYC Resistor and lasered them.

Laser cutting cutting puzzle pieces into white acrylicThe completed puzzle, with the cat whimsy removed.

It took a group of us about ninety minutes to solve the cat puzzle. Not bad for four days’ work!

Several people gathered around the puzzle, working on solving it.

All of the code is available on Github at bonniee/svg-puzzle-gen. (It’s my first Clojure program, so I’m sure there are plenty of non-idiomatic things happening there.)

Dependencies / thank-yous:

Testimonials from playtesters:

  • “This is awesome!”
  • “This is horrible!”
  • “This is amazing! And by amazing I mean terrible!”
  • “Why are all the puzzle pieces the same ???”
  • “Is this supposed to be evil?”
  • “How can I get one?”

January 16 2018

Learn Arduino with Becky and Ranjit this Sunday 1/21

Want to get started with physical computing? Learn to program an Arduino and interact with the physical world on Sunday, January 21st! In our Intro to Arduino: Sensors and Input/Output class, we’ll cover an introduction to Arduino and learn how to manipulate outputs based on sensor inputs.

January 15 2018

Intro to 3D Printing and 3D Design Class on Jan 28th

A 3d printer is printing an irregularly-shaped green object
Our instructor will take you through key concepts of 3D printing, demo the technology on our printers, and lead the class through the design process of creating a model and preparing it to print. We’ll talk about creating functional objects, creative objects, available materials, print reliability, and compare various printer models and features.

January 07 2018

Get laser-certified on Jan 13th

Our next laser cutting class is coming up on January 13th. Learn to use our Epilog 60W laser cutter and get laser-certified so you can come back and use it at our public Craft Nights.

Laser-cut wooden boxes, with random organic-looking cutouts.

Our laser can cut and etch materials like wood, acrylic, paper, and even pie.

A merengue-topped pie sitting in the laser cutter bed. The pi symbol is etched onto the pie.

Tickets available now.

January 04 2018

No Craft-night for January 4th 2018

NYC is blanketed in snow, travel is hard, the air is cold.

We have no craft-night tonight. Stay warm!

Grizzly bear playing a guitar in the snow.

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