Tag Archives: Fablab

3D printing a film without film

Remember the days of VHS cassettes? While we may still refer to motion pictures as “films,” it is not too often that we see film anymore. With our mobile devices increasingly capable of producing high-res clips, movie theaters turning to digital projectors, and consumers watching Blue-Ray discs, it appears that “film” is well on its way to obsolescence.


This is what motivated French artist Julien Maire to take the idea of filmmaking to a whole new level, by replacing traditional film with 3D-printed stereolithographic projections. His  exhibit entitled «Relief» was created as part of his FabLab digital manufacturing residency at the iMAL Center for Digital Cultures and Technology in Brussels.


“Media Archaeology is a new science. It’s not studying the history of cinematograph and gramophone, but how our perception of the world is transformed through the camera lens and the speaker,” iMAL writes. “The audiovisual is like a soundtrack, a visual tracking shot moving in parallel to us; pictures and sound are visual fictions that moved away from reality, but disrupt and influence our relation to reality.”


Instead of film, Maire used 85 stereolithographic figurines that were 3D-printed from a series of devices, including an ATmega2560 powered Ultimaker, ATmega1280 based MakerBot Thing-o-Matic, and Formlabs Form 1 printers. Mimicking an old-school film reel from the early 20th century, each figure was made with different pose to create a motion projection that illustrates a man digging a hole.


These were then set on a moving belt several feet in front of a canvas with a light behind it in a fixed position. As the belt moves the figures past that position, each one becomes a still frame in the so-called film.


“In French, ‘3D cinema’ was also called ‘relief cinema’ (relief as in ‘relief map’ or ‘bas-relief’). The term went out of style when we were forced to admit that ‘relief cinema’ didn’t exist. ‘Relief’ evokes materiality, while ‘3D’ is commonly understood as a mathematical and computational concept. Through expanding and contracting pieces, and stereolithographic projections, Julien Maire’s installations indirectly address new technologies, media archaeology and manipulate fiction.”

While there may not be a video of his latest project just yet, you can still watch one of his earlier creations below!


This robot was once an antique vacuum cleaner

Successfully maintaining a public FabLab, MakerSpace or HackSpace can be an expensive endeavor, so donations are almost always appreciated.

The GarageLab, a small FabLab in the German city of Düsseldorf, decided to encourage donations from its patrons by replacing a small plastic frog with the aptly named “Donation Robot,” which the team meticulously fashioned out of an antique Miele vacuum cleaner.

Key project components include:


Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328
  • Standard Processing and standard libraries
  • VLSI VS1000 audio module (+ custom firmware)
  • HC-SR04 distance sensor
  • Four LED stripes (two RGB on the backside)
  • 6 power-LEDs for the top
  • Servo for moving the top, servo for moving the bill-mouth
  • Three distance sensors for bill and coin detection
  • Switch for muting audio module
  • Reset button

“The work took about one year to construct, print and integrate all 3D-printed parts, wiring and software development with the Arduino Uno,” Holgar Prang told the official Arduino blog.

“Software development was the minor part, although parallel processing on the Arduino in order to run every component simultaneously required a small trick.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.

Video: Touring the Arduino factory in Italy

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel microcontrollers are the MCUs of choice for the Arduino platform, both in their AVR flavors and ARM varieties.

Essentially, Arduino has democratized hardware in a way that allows anyone – young or old, engineer or not, rich or poor – to create anything they can imagine.

As Arduino’s founder, Massimo Banzi puts it, “You don’t need anyone’s permission to create something great.”

Indeed, as every Maker knows, unboxing an Arduino board marks the beginning of a great DIY journey limited only by imagination. But where do the versatile boards come from? And just how are they made? Well, today we are take a closer look at where Arduino boards are “born,” allowing readers to get up close and personal with some of their favorite DIY components.

Recently, the official Maker Tour was in Torino to join the Arduino Camp organized by Officine Arduino and hosted by Fablab Torino.

During the tour, Enrico Bassi, president of the Fablab, was interviewed by Maker Faire (Rome). Bassi talked about his experience in the Maker Movement, while providing some background about the first fablab in the city.

The Maker Faire video crew also visited the factory where Arduino boards are manufactured, with Davide Gomba revealing the origins of the name “Arduino.” So there you have it: Arduino from start to finish!