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February 09 2015

Resistor Projects at Art Hack Day

Last weekend was the awesome Art Hack Day hackathon, organized in part by Resistor member David Huerta and Resistor friend Shayna Gentiluomo. Artists from all over were invited to the awesome Pioneer Works space in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where they met, brainstormed, and executed on a wide array of ideas spanning many mediums, in less than 48 hours.

I showed up uninvited, glued a Beaglebone Black to a Pringles can, and ended up with a note on Makezine:

Built with an A-version BeagleBone Black, this WiFi Taser by Max Henstell turned a Pringles can into an antenna gun of sorts, using Python to send deauth packets to knock nearby laptops off wi-fi.

WiFi Taser by Max Henstell


Resistor member Adam Mayer and 3D artist Bradley Rothenberg put together this awesome robot utilizing a broken security camera that I rescued off the Google building after Hurricane Sandy:

Last Robot Left Alive, by Bradley Rothenberg and Adam Mayer. The installation postulated the resurrection of a broken security camera that fell to the ground, likely due to wind sheer from Hurricane Sandy.

Last Robot Left Alive by Bradley Rothenberg, Adam Mayer

Resistors Olivia Barr and Ariel Cotton were also present to whip up a cool robot, a trash-creature from the Gowanus Canal.

My silent favorite of the show wasn’t operating optimally, but I know where this one comes from. Monster Mash, by Olivia Barr and Ariel Cotton, turned upcycled junk into a creature from the Gowanus Canal, a nearby Superfund site with record levels of pollutants.

Monster Mash by Olivia Barr, Ariel Cotton

Check out the rest of the awesome projects over at the Makezine writeup of Art Hack Day: Deluge.

February 02 2015

Lasercut Manicures

NYCR Nail art makealong

NYC Resistor members Colleen AF and Shelby recently led a workshop on nail art during the first of their 2015 Make-Along Craft class series. Many of the participants opted for laser cut stencils to jazz up their nails — it is totally safe and doesn’t involve putting your hand in the laser>.

PCB Nail art

I wrote a quick Nail Art HOWTO if you’re curious how the process works. It is very surprising how much fine detail you can transfer with the right nail polish and some practice with the technique. Those traces would work for 0603 SMD parts without too much difficulty if we could find the right conductive paint and power supply.

January 26 2015

3D Printed Wireframes

Wireframed dodecahedron

Sometimes I want to fabricate things that are larger than the build volume on my 3D printer or to make things that are hollow and can be covered with fabric to diffuse LEDs inside. To help out with that, I’ve written a program that will generate 3D printable versions of just the vertices — the resulting object looks like a real-world wireframe of the STL file. This also lets you use other materials for the edges, like wooden dowels, laser-cut acrylic or aluminum extrusion, and makes it easy to cover with stretchy fabric.

Wireframed dodecahedron

The wireframe program parses the STL file, finds all of the unique vertices, eliminates coplanar edges and generates connectors for the ones that remain. It isn’t very smart about some of the intersections of very acute angles, and the output OpenSCAD file needs some cleaning up before it is ready for printing, but simple low-poly shapes can be fabricated without too much effort.

Dodecahedron Connectors

More info is at trmm.net/Wireframe and the source is available. I’ve also posted the dodecahedron that you can make with regular unsharpened pencils from the office supply closet: thing:653464 on thingiverse. I hope you have fun making large-scale things!

Reposted bykathol kathol

Snow laser tonight


Due to the incoming snowpocolypse there will be no laser night tonight. Instead, please enjoy this scary pumpkin. Stay safe!

January 14 2015

Lasers, Sand Blasters, and Kilns!

NYC Resistor and Urban Glass have joined forces to bring you some tech inspired crafty creativity. The class is scheduled for Sunday, January 18th at 10am.

Resistor’s new cutting laser will be put to use to etch designs in glass through a masking tape resist. Amazingly, the masking tape holds up well against 60 psi of flying sand. Maybe we should all make masking tape ponchos for next year’s Burning Man.

card_lasered_masking_LR bicycle_back_etched_LR

The designs are taken to Urban Glass to sand blast the etch a little deeper to accommodate enamel.


Then, enamel is painted into the sand blasted recesses.

painted_card_masked_LR action_shot_bicycle_card_LR

The lasered masking tape is removed, and the glass is ready for firing overnight with a long ramp up and a long cool down cycle.

Bicycle_card_painted_LR card_before_firing_LR

The fired pieces will look very similar to this. The enamels don’t change color much in firing unlike some ceramic glazes.

Taprats, an iterative design tool, was used to simulate an Islamic tile pattern. The lower half pattern is the negative of the upper half.

Islamic_tiles_enamel Islamic_tiles_enamel_2

We’re also experimenting with halftoned images. More images to come!

This is the first in a series of exploratory classes combining the creative power of two great Brooklyn spaces. Come join us on Sunday. The class sign-up is here.

January 13 2015

Intro to programming physical games class


We’re excited to announce that Code Liberation will be guest-hosting an intro class for women next Wednesday evening on programming button- and LED-based games. No programming experience? No problem. They’ll walk through setting up the hardware, connecting everything to your laptop, and coding a simple game to get you started.

Tickets here on eventbrite, more info below.

Are you interested in creating physical interfaces or games and not sure where to start? Come to this class and create a small playful experience using an arduino with phyical buttons and lights. Code Liberation members Phoenix Perry and Caroline Sinders will be teaching this special edition of Code Liberation at NYC Resistor.

No prior programming experience is necessary, but do bring your laptop.

A limited number of free, sponsored slots are available. Contact hello@codeliberation.org for more information.

Code Liberation

Code Liberation teaches women to program video games for free. Code Liberation teaches Unity, Processing, Open Frameworks, Twine, Kinect, Arduino and other programming and game design programs. We are fostering a healthy developer community globally. Anyone identifying as a women is welcome.



Phoenix Perry builds embodied games and user experiences. Her current project, Night Games, is a sonic interactive puzzle installation in development. Presently, she lives half the year among the elves in The Netherlands as a Sr. Instructor at University of the Arts Utrecht teaching programming. As an occasional adjunct Professor at NYU, she teaches game development and design. From digital arts practitioner and educator to Creative Director, she has extensive experience in new media, design, and user interfaces. Her game studio, Dozen Eyes, focuses on socially motivated games and museum installations. A consummate advocate for women in game development and diversity, she also founded The Code Liberation Foundation, an organisation that has taught thousands of women game development. Her speaking engagements include GDC, The Open Hardware Summit at MIT, Indiecade, Comic Con, Internet Week, Create Tech and NYU Game Center among others. @phoenixperry

Caroline Sinders is a UX designer, photographer and video game designer from New Orleans. Caroline graduated from ITP in 2014 and divides her time between researching encryption and making projects to volunteering with Code Liberation. She currently resides in Brooklyn being equally amazed and terrified by winter. @carolinesinder

January 12 2015

The 2015 Make-Along Craft Classes and new MAKE-ALONG CLUB Pass!

screenshot20140527at2.54.08pm dscn0072

Announcing the 2015 Make-Along series at NYCResistor and our brand new MAKE-ALONG CLUB pass! Get a full year’s worth of craft classes for the price of a single class elsewhere! Our main goal at Resistor is to get more people making things and feeding their creative brains. Come be creative with us!


Join us this Sat for NAIL ART! Learn tons of nail art techniques including how use lasers to make your own custom nail stamps. Seriously guys. LASER NAILS. Can you get any cooler.

2015 MAKE-ALONG CLASSES ($10 – $15 each class OR a full year pass for $85! Taught by Colleen AF Venable (hey that’s me!) and Shelby Arnold.  
January 17, 1-4pm – Nail Art
February 8 , 4-7pm- Paper Electronics (please note later time slot)
March 8, 1-4pm – Crochet
April 12, 1-4pm – Book Binding
May 10 , 1-4pm- Terrariums
June 14, 1-4pm – Print Making / Screenprinting
July 12 , 1-4pm- Plushies
August 9, 1-4pm – Washi Tape
September 13, 1-4pm – Soft Circuits
Oct 4, 1-4pm – Dioramas
Oct 11, 1-4pm- Costumes
Oct 18, 1-4pm – Bento Box
Oct 25 , 1-4pm- Pumpkin Hacking
November 8 , 1-4pm- Pop-Ups
December 13 , 1-4pm- Holiday Crafts

Come be crafty with us!

concertina6 SAMSUNG

Bringing everyone to Burning Man w/Temple of the Unticketed

Max and I pleased to announce a new project we’re working on for this years Burning Man called the Temple of the Unticketed. We recently passed the first hurdle of getting a grant from Burning Man Arts and are working on submitting a full proposal now.

The Temple of the Unticketed brings people together, even if they can’t make it to Burning Man. The installation encourages participants both on and off playa to contribute four frame photo vignettes which are displayed on 512 backlit LCD screens attached to eight freestanding structures.

We’re using a BeagleBone Black to drive blocks of 16 screens, which was a real challenge using the onboard PRUs. Max figured out a way to hack the GPMC to jam data, he’ll post more on that later.

We’ll keep posting updates to the NYC Resistor blog. You can find out more at templeoftheunticketed.net and check the source on our GitHub

NYC Resistor Info Screen

We’ve added a new information screen at NYC Resistor on the new wall that we built next to the new laser cutter. It has a Raspberry Pi connected to the local ethernet and boots into a full-screen kiosk display based on the instructions. To do this we modified the /etc/rc.local to invoke Chromium in “application” mode, which has no GUI chrome or user-interface elements:

 chromium --app="$URL"

Right now it shows us current tweets about @nycresistor, although the plan is to add video feeds for a front-door camera, Laser-vision and other stats about the space. Have any idea how to make this display more awesome? Let us know!

January 09 2015

Intellectual Property Talk and Q&A, January 17

US PatentHave you ever wondered exactly what a patent is, or a patent troll? How you get or enforce a copyright? Whether you should be worried about someone else’s intellectual property? Why litigation is so expensive?

Come find out.

Resistor is hosting a talk and Q&A on intellectual property on Saturday, January 17 at 5pm.

The talk will be a high level overview of the major types of IP, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Our intrepid presenter and resident lawyer, Ryan Micallef, will then attempt to field any IP questions you may have. Ryan has been a patent lawyer for eight years and has represented many high-tech clients, large and small.

The event is free, but please RSVP here.

January 04 2015

Meet the Numbotron


Well, you can’t actually meet it, as it’s really heavy and awkward to carry on a train, but feel free to gaze upon it lovingly from afar. From the good people at Fenton Heavy Industries (who brought us such hits as the FIBIAC and Turbo Entabulator), the Numbotron is the latest and greatest in impractical computing. It wasn’t ready in time for 2014′s Interactive Show, but I finally got around to properly documenting it. This electromechanical wonder can emulate Babbage’s Difference Engine with ease – it can even find all the prime numbers under 1000 in less than half a century! Enjoy the full write-up on my site, and if hate yourself, take a shot at writing your own code for the simulator!

December 27 2014

Laser Cut Wrapping for Christmas

this is how you wrap gifts

As the new laser for NYC Resistor is being worked on, I am grabbing some photos of one of the last laser jobs done on the 7 year old Epilog Legend that we have gotten so much amazing use out of.

Inside of this wooden wonderment was 2 porterhouse steaks.

In 2014, we’ll be switching to the bigger, faster, more powerful Epilog Fusion model.

As I speak several resistors are hard at work reworking large parts of the space to accomodate the new beast… I am sure we’ll be seeing a blog post about that soon.

December 22 2014

Laser 2.0… ARRIVED


The new, bigger badder ass Epilog laser will change the way we laser etch / cut / awesome at NYC Resistor.

We have a lot of work to do to get this guy up and running. We won’t be starting for a little bit on some of that work, so laser night tonight will still be on the old epilog. Sorry!

New 3d Printing Station

makerbot station

My gift to NYC Resistor this year was some new shelving and reorganization of our 3d printing equipment. I’ll be doing some more work on this in the new year, but this will hold us over for now.


December 18 2014

Blinky Ornament workshop this Saturday!


The holidays are are almost upon us, and no celebration would be complete without some glowy LED lighting! Sign up for our BlinkyTile Christmas ornament workshop this Saturday to build your own blinky LED ball using BlinkyTiles. Makes a perfect tree topper or gift for the disco enthusiast in your life!

Stickers! We has em again.

stickers yo

Thanks to world class blink master Matt Mets we have stickers again, hand delivered from the far side of the world. If you are by our OPEN craft night tonight, or any Thursday really, pick a couple up and be swankier than you already are.

December 17 2014

Woodworking for Dilletantes


By day, I tell computers what to do. I like to think that I’m okay at doing that. On the weekend, I sometimes make radio things or build off-the-wall electronics projects at Resistor. I’m not quite as okay at that. It’s quite rare, though, that I make something tangible which has no physical function other than its own form. Long ago, I watched my grandfather build things out of wood: tables, benches, once even a dollhouse. Recently, my friends welcomed their son into the world, and as the holidays are approaching I thought a perfect gift would be a set of wooden blocks made by hand. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to dabble in woodworking and create something completely non-electronic, non-code for a change. My first stop on my journey was to the wood scrap bin at Resistor, to see if I could find any material suitable for making blocks. The best I managed to scrounge up was a 2″x1″ length of pine which looked a bit worse for wear and probably not suitable for the final project. I suspect that it had been a cast-off chunk of baseboard earlier in its life. Nonetheless, just for practice, I put it into the miter saw to see what it would take to create consistent-size blocks. I rigged up another bit of scrap perpendicular fence to allow me to create 2x1x1 blocks without having to re-measure after every cut. I was careful to measure from the jig to the nearest side of the saw blade to account for the width of the blade itself. I learned four things from this: 1: clamp your cutting jig down hard, because otherwise it will wander about under the vibration of the saw, leading to odd-sized blocks; 2: Pine is way too soft for toys, so it dings easily. There’s no way it would survive a bite or two. 3: For the final piece, buy some quality lumber that isn’t warped, split, or nicked; 4: When cutting small things in a mitre saw, pull the trigger, wait for the blade to reach speed, make the cut, release the trigger, and then wait for the blade to stop spinning before returning it to the home position. Why, you ask? If the workpiece has moved even a tiny bit while the blade is in the ‘down’ position, as soon as the teeth touch the corner of the wood on the way up, it will fly off the surface of the saw, likely ruining the wood but almost certainly hitting you in the face on the way up (4a: Wear goggles. And earplugs.)


My experiment over, I picked up two pieces of dowel rod–one square, one round, made of maple. Why dowel? It’s already planed and sanded, quite precisely, down to the specified dimension, saving the trouble of having to do that myself. Since it’s meant to be used for table legs and the like, the wood stock is usually very straight, but be sure to look down its length to make sure you don’t buy a warped piece by accident. The square dowel was 1 3/4″ on each side, so I rigged up a similar jig as before, and used it for both square and round wood; I liked the idea of the resulting round pegs being the same height as the cuboid blocks so they could stack together neatly.

Untitled Untitled

With the cutting done, it was obvious that I’d need to do plenty of sanding. Not only because the blocks had ugly burrs on them from the saw, but because they were sharp at the edges, and since I was going to give them to a very small child, I’d need to round off the corners. I experimented briefly with using an orbital sander to do this, but I found it was messy and inaccurate so I fell back to a good old sanding block and fine-ish grain sandpaper to ease the edges and smooth the faces of all the blocks. It would probably have been more efficient to round off the entire length of dowel at once, but I felt that I needed to control things at a smaller scale and allow for screwups along the way without ruining the entire length of wood if I made a mistake.

Untitled Untitled

Once I had a good set of cubes and cylinders, sanded to the shape I wanted, it was time to etch the cubes. Fortunately, this is squarely in my comfort zone, having plenty of experience designing for, and operating, the laser at NYCR. I created vector artwork which would etch the entire set of blocks, once face at a time. When designing the artwork, I kept a few things in mind: The letters and numbers should have as much rotational symmetry as possible; should be as unambiguous as possible, and should scale up well. I ended up choosing Futura, because it fit those criteria as closely as possible. I also ended up adding numbers, a few punctuation marks and mathematics symbols like × and ÷. All in all, I had 29 blocks with 6 faces each (of course) so each letter and number from 0 to 9 appears four times, leaving space for other special characters.


After engraving, I sealed the whole set of blocks with two coats of clear polyurethane. I particularly wanted to seal the wood because since it’s quite light, I knew it would get dirty basically immediately, and if it was’t sealed it couldn’t be wiped clean. However, since I’m giving it to a very young child, the probability that these blocks are going to go into that child’s mouth is effectively 100%, and the finish is going in too. There’s a lot of FUD on the web about child-safe wood finishes. I spent at least a couple of hours researching the subject and came away with a great deal of conflicting information. After some consideration I ended up going with water-based urethane, which Wikipedia says is “safer than oil based,” and since the solvent is evaporating, I felt pretty good, since polyurethane itself is chemically inert. I’m sure beeswax finishes look lovely, but they’re going to rub off and my friends aren’t going to want to bother re-painting the blocks.  I encourage you to do your own research, though. You might have better sources than I do. Untitled Untitled

With everything cured and dried, it was time to present them–I hope they’ll be a fun toy for years to come!

Reposted bybastinat0r bastinat0r

December 11 2014

Make-Along Workshop: All Things Paper

Join us this Saturday, December 13th, at 1-4pm as we dump our hoards of paper out on the table and make a bunch of things out of it!

Tickets are $10 here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-along-paper-holiday-cards-tickets-14889423667?ref=ebapi

Things you can work on (and which we can help you with) at this Make-Along are:
Holiday Cards, All Occasion Cards, Book Binding, Pop-Ups, Paper Sculptures and objects, Automata, Origami, Kirigami, Gifts for Mommy, Paper electronics-y, and who knows, maybe we will bring some potatoes and rubber erasers for doing some fun+cheap printmaking (oh right we also have an intaglio press if you want to get fancy).
Bring your own paper and tools OR come use ours, we have a lot. Never used an X-Acto before? We can teach you! Scared of paper cuts? We have lemon juice for that! Just kidding, that stings. Neosporin is what you want. Lemon juice makes a fun invisible ink though, maybe you want to try that instead. Just put a band-aid over your paper cuts first.

We are also offering a special Make-A-Long Pass that will give you (or a loved one) access to all of next year’s Make-A-long workshops – a $120 value for just $75. Get ready for another Nail Art Make-Along in January!

Who is running this Make-Along?
Shelby Arnold – a professional paper engineer in the studio of Robert Sabuda (fancy words for pop-up book designer) and amateur bookbinder. She also plays with paper electronics and paper clockmaking.

Colleen AF Venable – a professional book designer and lover of tiny handmade books, from mini-comics to zines. She just finished art directing a two foot tall paper craft book with Workman Publishing on making giant paper machines—like diggers, trucks, dirigibles—with moving parts. She really likes the word dirigible.

December 09 2014

Talk: Bitcoin – Everything you were afraid to ask … and more!

Join us for a two part discussion on Bitcoin by Andrew Sheppard. Andrew (“Shep”) is a consultant on Wall Street who works in the areas of Big Data and Big Compute. He is also a part-time professor teaching on the Masters in Financial Engineering (MFE) program at Baruch College.

Bitcoin is a new form of electronic cash growing in popularity. As a system it is a protocol, a P2P network, and a bunch of cryptographic algorithms. Oh, and add a new form of global currency to that list. In short, Bitcoin is a bundle of technology and economic concepts all rolled into one.

Bitcoin is also like the tooth fairy: most have heard about it, but few have actually encountered it for real. And even those who have actually encountered Bitcoin don’t really know what it is at a basic (read “fundamental”) level; in particular, too emphasis is placed on the technology and not enough on the economics of Bitcoin, though both are highly novel. This talk remedies that.

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In fact, this talk is really two talks over the space of one evening:

1. MONEY: In this talk we’ll explore the nature of money and wealth. Bitcoin was created to solve a problem: the storage and transfer of value in a distributed peer-to-peer fashion based on no-trust. But to fully understand what that problem is, you must understand money. Most people don’t. This first talk provides a deep understanding of the concept of money from an historical perspective; a few thousand years worth of history.

2. BITCOIN: The second talk will explain how Bitcoin works from a technology perspective. In quite some detail. Finally, Bitcoin implies an economic future that is different to how the world works now. A future which, whether Bitcoin succeeds or fails, will be very different. This talk with explore some obvious – and some non-obvious – ways in which the world might change.

December 02 2014

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