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April 28 2017

Interactive Show Preview: Panorama Lamp

Here’s another Interactive Show preview, this time of “Panorama Lamp” by Kirill Shevyakov, Alexander Savvy, and Paul Koch. Check it out in action in this video.

Panorama Lamp Panaorama Lamp panorama lamp video

The Panorama lamp is a tribute to a monumental Soviet architecture. Inspired by a colossal concrete curves and extraordinary aesthetic of USSR structures this lamp is a miniature replica of a soviet movie theatre. The surface of the lamp is divided into 70 units creating a 360 degree visual grid. Each unit encompasses an LED which forms a vast “canvas” for various interactions, light sequences, and data visualizations.

Come play with it yourself at The Interactive Show on May 13th! Tickets are just $15 in advance, and the libations are on us. Get your tickets now!

April 26 2017

Interactive Show Preview: Red Rider

Time has been flying and we’ve been frantically getting ready for The Interactive Show. It’s just 17 days away! Here’s a preview of “Red Rider” by Ranjit Bhatnagar and Colleen AF Venable.


Red Rider

A modern take on Little Red Riding Hood with a NYC twist. The story is told in six voices, each giving their version of what happened—including Red Rider (the fastest bike messenger in the city), the now-vegan Wolf, the Lumberjock (who always gives 110%), three very bizarre little pigs, and a maybe-not-so-sweet-and-innocent Grandma. Find the six listening stations and see if you can you figure out what happened to the Wolf.

Tickets are just $15 in advance, and the libations are on us. Get your tickets now!

There’s still time to submit a project before the May 1st deadline, contact us!

April 14 2017

April 22nd: All-Day CryptoParty

Photo by Huck Magazine.

Photo by Huck Magazine.

CryptoParty returns to NYC Resistor on April 22nd, 2017 for a night of learning about your digital defense in the age of mass surveillance from Fort Meade and Madison Ave. Stop by anytime between 3PM and 9PM and enjoy snacks and skills from a variety of online security practitioners and researchers. We’re hosting a full day mix of and hands-on-help with everything from vetting a good VPN to navigating Tor and Signal.

If you’ve never been to Resistor before, check our Participate page for more info, including the Code of Conduct. Hope to see you there! If you’ve never been a CryptoParty before, please check out the CryptoParty Guiding Principles.


Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 3:00PM – 9:00PM.


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

April 12 2017

Get Your Tickets for the 2017 Interactive Show!


We’re just about a month away from the 2017 NYC Resistor Interactive Show on May 13th! This year’s theme is The Running Man. The 80s dystopian future sci-fi takes place in 2017 and has so many great campy elements. Who can resist lo-fi graphics, spandex costumes, hexagonal decode systems, and a villain in LED studded armor? The projects practically create themselves! Got a project you want in the show? Elements from similar 80s flicks like Barb Wire, Cherry 2000 and Max Headroom are also a great idea. Submit your project by May 1st!

Don’t have a project but want to relive the futures of the past in the present! Get your tickets to the show today before they sell out!


Saturday, May 13th, 2017 8:00PM – Late.


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

April 03 2017

Interactive Show CFP deadline is May 1st

Projects are starting to roll in for the Interactive Show! We’re going to set a deadline of May 1st for project submissions. If you have something you would like to show off, contact us.


March 26 2017

Laser cut Fractal Puzzle

Team effort

THe Gosper Curve is a self-similar fractal that can be turned into a visually interesting, yet very difficult puzzle on the laser cutter. With all of the pieces the same color it is nearly impossible, but a bi-color version is a doable challenge. You can move the slices (in blue in the SVG file) around to vary the puzzle or change the difficulty; the current version has lots of very similar pieces to make it full of “garden paths” that require frequent back-tracking when the solution almost works.

Laser cutting Gosper curves
More details are posted on trmm.net/Fractal_Puzzle and the design files are thing:2204078 on thingiverse.

March 22 2017

The 8th Annual Interactive Show: Call For Projects

It’s that time of year again. Spring is supposedly in the air and it’s time for another Interactive Show! This year’s theme is The Running Man. The 80’s dystopian future sci-fi takes place in 2017 and has so many great campy elements. Who can resist lo-fi graphics, spandex costumes, hexagonal decode systems, and a villain in LED studded armor? The projects practically create themselves! Elements from similar 80’s dystopia flicks like Max Headroom are also a great idea.

So save the date for May 13th 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.








February 27 2017

ShopBot Furniture Making by a Woodwork Dilletante

Recently, I moved to a new apartment, and this presented me with a problem. You see, some years ago, my wife and I bought a nightstand when we had space for just one of them. Now, we have space for two, so we needed a second one. Of course, that nightstand has been discontinued for years and years. We could have purchased two new nightstands, but that seemed like a waste. Fortunately, we have a ShopBot and a supply of plywood – so I took it as a challenge to make a nightstand that was as close to the original as possible.

A nightstand that is now discontinued.

The original nightstand, made by a retailer popular with recent college graduates, that isn’t Ikea.

There were some design requirements from the outset:

  • The finished piece has to look very close to the original.
  • The finished piece must not have rough edges or visible joinery, just as the original doesn’t. My own tolerance for plywood furniture where the edges of the wood are visible is quite high, but my wife’s isn’t.
  • The finished piece should hold up as a daily-use piece; it should be solidly built.

I started out by taking dimensions from the original and then modeling it in Fusion 360:

I started out with just the faces, without any joinery. Next, I added in tab-and-slot joints, with idealized corners–that is to say I didn’t include the fillets that let the tabs actually fit together. Adding the tabs is kind of a tedious, manual process, but the best way I’ve found to add them all in is detailed in this YouTube video.


Once I had everything laid out in Fusion 360 I exported the vectors for each part to a .DXF and exported it over to VCarve to define toolpaths. I know that Fusion has a full-featured CAM suite, but I’ve found that VCarve is slightly better suited to the ShopBot–it has everything I need and nothing that I don’t. At this stage I laid out all the parts on one sheet of 1/2″ plywood and added the fillets to all the interior corners, as well as hold-down tabs.

Then it was time to actually run the cut, which was probably the easiest part of the entire operation.


Once that was done, it was time to part the pieces off from the parent stock with a hammer and chisel, then sand down the flashing left over from the hold-down tabs.

Next, I dry-fit the whole thing together to make sure everything lined up the way that I expected.


I found a few tight spots in some of the pockets for the tabs which I had to sand down — the tabs and slots were drawn to be a precise fit, so a little bit of irregularity in the wood surface can cause a very tight fit. Once I was convinced it all fit together, I glued it all up and clamped the assembly together overnight. Unfortunately I didn’t have clamps long enough to get all the way around the parts so I had to rely on gravity to do some of the job, which ultimately resulted in a couple of gaps, though fortunately they are hard to spot. I was happy to see that the fillets on the corners the tab pockets were almost invisible as well.

That’s a bucket of sand.


Once the glue had fully cured overnight and the clamps were off, I set about applying edge-banding. Edge banding is a notorious pain to apply properly, and to make matters worse, I couldn’t find any locally that was close to half-inch, so I had to spend quite a bit of time with a blade, block plane, and sander to get all the edges flush. I found this video by The Wood Whisperer to be a helpful guide, since I’d never used edge veneers before.

Once I’d trimmed and sanded the veneers, it was time to move onto finishing. This was by far and away the most tedious and tricky part of the build, and the one where I made the most mistakes. I went with Minwax Polyshades in Espresso, which appeared from the samples to be about the shade I was looking for. In order to get anywhere close to the right shade (which was, frankly, still too light by the end) I needed four coats.

After the first coat, it looked like this:

The finish was really hard to control, and tended to go blotchy and drip very easily; I forged on, hoping that further coats would smooth things out. Once the first coat had cured overnight I gave it a once-over with #000 steel wool and then added another. After the second coat, the color deepened and looked like this:

After the third coat, it looked like this:

And after the fourth coat, it looked like this:

The shade was still a bit light, but the surface finish was very shiny and I thought that adding a fifth coat would turn everything into a plasticky mess so I stopped at four.

I added the drawer rails:

And then installed the drawer

And there we go! Here it is in situ. The dog was a bit mystified:

So, what did I learn – what went well, and what could have gone better?

What went well:

  • It’s absolutely possible to use the ShopBot to create professional-looking furniture – at least as far as the cutting and joinery goes. The key things here are the blind pockets for the joints and slightly proud top and base that help to hide the fillets which are often the hallmarks of CNC furniture.
  • The result is sturdy – it’s not wobbly in any axis, and the frame holds up nicely to shearing forces without bending.
  • The edge veneers look pretty decent. I could use some more practice in getting them straight, and the corners are the most obviously-dodgy bits, but I think they came out well. They’re another key to making plywood look like real wood boards.

What didn’t go so well:

  • The surface finish isn’t that terrific.
    • There are some dust particles trapped between layers of polyurethane which I should have caught. I think they might be fragments of steel wool from between coats.
    • If I was choosing a finish again I would have gone with a traditional stain and then two or three layers of polyurethane, probably in a satin or semigloss finish rather than this straight-up gloss. Having the darkness and shininess tightly bound to one another makes it very hard to get the finish right. It’s also a recipe for mess-making since everything is very thin and runs all over the place.
    • The finish, as mentioned, is a bit light – staining separately would have let me control that more precisely. I probably should also have done some test runs of the finish before applying it to the final production piece.
  • There’s more of a gap than I’d intended between the top of the drawer and the top of the table. I must have mis-measured at some stage. I should have have the ShopBot pre-drill the pilot holes for the rails. I don’t know what I was thinking.
  • Using just tab-and-slot construction and glue was probably a bit aggressive, since “no fasteners” wasn’t in the goals I set out for myself. It would probably have been fine to sneak in a few screws here and there to keep everything flush and in line, and nobody would have been any the wiser.

If you’d like to try this out yourself, I’ve made Fusion data available here.

I’m looking forward to building more furniture now that I’ve made a bunch of mistakes and can avoid them next time around. I’d also love feedback about other pitfalls! Give me a shout on Twitter or in the comments.

Guy Dickinson is a member of NYC Resistor who habitually takes things to bits and sometimes builds things too. You can follow him at @gdickinson.

February 21 2017

Wifi Weather Display Wall Art

Matt said he wished there were more projects on the blog. Well I published a project! It’s a Wifi weather display for the coat hook area of my entryway that helps me pick outerwear and shoes. I used an Adafruit Feather Huzzah ESP8266 wifi board, seven segment display, and some NeoPixels built into a shadowbox frame. Full tutorial with code, circuit diagram, and plenty of step by step photos is on Instructables.

February 10 2017

Motors class on February 25

We’ve got a motors class coming up on February 25th! Make Things Move: Intro to Motor Control with Arduino is a three-hour intro to the wonderful world of motors. From RC cars, Robot Arms, or 3D printers, this class gets you started learning how to use a variety of motors. Learn about the different types of motors and make them move! This class will combine a discussion of motors best-practices as well as hands-on experience controlling them with an Arduino. Ticket price includes all the supplies you’ll need (and get to take home!).

Tickets available on Eventbrite.

February 09 2017

We’re open tonight

Come brave the snow and the cold, and join us for Thursday Craft Night – we’re still open as usual.

February 05 2017

Advanced Laser-Cutting Class on March 5th

We have a new laser class coming up on March 5th! This advanced class is geared towards people who use the laser often and/or want to understand how to get the most out of the machine. Laser Cutting II: Optimize Your Laser Cutting will cover a variety of topics – from re-sequencing your artwork files in order to reduce cut time, to when to use different focus levels for specific cutting tasks.

Please note that you must have taken a previous laser-cutting class at NYC Resistor to qualify for Laser Cutting II.

Knit Knight is taking a break this week

Your Knit Knight teachers are taking the night off! Don’t worry – NYC Resistor will still be open as usual for Craft Night on Monday 2/6/17, so you’re still welcome to come and knit.

You can check our calendar or the EventBrite event for future Knit Knight dates.

February 03 2017

February Make-Along: Chocolate Molds

Our February Make-Along, Custom Chocolate Molds, is happening on February 19th! Learn how to create your own custom molds from everyday objects using re-usable Composimold. We’ll show you how to melt down chocolate and make some delicious creations together.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

February 02 2017

Pocket Party: This Sunday, 3pm

NYCR member Kari Love is leading our first -ever Feminist Pocket Party this Sunday, February 5th, from 3pm-5pm. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Come learn how to make 1 pocket variation in a low-key class+hangout environment. This session will focus on in-seam pockets (aka side seam pockets).


All materials to make practice pockets along with some kind of pocket-themed snack will be provided (bring your own clothes to alter if you’re feeling ambitious). Ability to sew a straight stitch by machine and seam rip are recommended, but not required, skills.

January 31 2017

Intro to Arduino Class on Feb 18

Our Arduino class is back on February 18th. Want to get into physical computing but don’t have any previous electronics experience? Great – this is the class for you. You’ll learn to program your Arduino, use a breadboard to prototype simple circuits, and work with sensors and LEDs.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite!

January 18 2017

Feminist Pocket Party on February 5th

Our first Feminist Pocket Party is happening on Feb 5. People who wear women’s clothing are plagued with an unjust lack of pockets! Time for us all to learn to level the playing field. Come learn how to make in-seam pockets in a low-key, class + hangout environment.


July 09 2015

July 15th (Wed): NYC Mesh Meetup


This Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 6:30pm, we’ll be hosting NYC Mesh, a group who are building a community-operated mesh network consisting of Wi-Fi router “nodes” spread throughout the city. The mesh network has no central server and no single internet service provider. All nodes cooperate in the distribution of data, serving as a stand-alone network in case of emergencies. Stop by if you’d like to find out more about the NYC Mesh and perhaps add some nodes to grow the mesh in Brooklyn.


July 15h, 2015 6:30pm.


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

(Optional) RSVP on Meetup.com.

July 01 2015

HackFriday 2015

Wearables class at NYCR
What is a better holiday activity than a picnic in the park or reading the internet all day at home? Spending the day inside soldering, sewing, programming or laser cutting something great with other nerds! This Friday NYC Resistor is having our third #HackFriday event, an open day for you to come hack on your projects with us. The space will be open from 10am on 3 July and everyone is welcome.

NYCR vendingNYCR things
If you don’t have a project, don’t worry! You can buy an Arduino from the vending machine or browse through our free parts in “Thingsgiving” to find some inspiration!

June 16 2015

July 1st (Wed): CryptoParty!

Much like CryptoParty Berlin, we also have Club-Mate!

Since our last CryptoParty in March, crypto tools remain confusing to use, so we’re going to host another one! Join us and some experts talk about how to use privacy-enhancing tools like VPNs, Tor, and Signal. Bring your laptop and your crypto-curiosity to Resistor on July 1st, 7:30 pm for hands-on help with end-to-end secure communications, anonymous web browsing, and general good practices for online privacy with folks that have been using this stuff for slightly longer than most.

No need to RSVP; This is a free as in free-beer and free-dom event! Feel free to bring snacks though, and check out CryptoParty’s Guiding Principles to get a primer on our chill vibes.

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