Tag Archives: MakerBot Replicator

Wake up and smell the Nescafé (Alarm Cap)

For a majority of us, mornings just aren’t complete without your daily cup ‘o joe. Now, what if your instant coffee literally woke you up? Earlier this year, Nestlé teamed with Mexcio City-based agency Publicis Mexico and Los Angeles studio NOTlabs to debut the Alarm Cap — a limited-edition, 3D-printed lid powered by an [Atmel based] Arduino.


The unique design is comprised of seven distinct alarm sounds, including a bird song, that are played in tandem with a gently pulsing light. To switch off the alarm, the user opens the lid and is greeted with the invigorating smell of Nescafé coffee.


Paying homage to the Maker community, the 200 limited edition lids were produced using 3D printing technology, with parts of the caps produced on the AVR equipped MakerBot Replicator.


While it is unlikely that we’ll see this produced on a mass scale, it’s interesting nevertheless. Moreover, it validates the fact that the Maker Movement has officially gone mainstream with some of the world’s largest corporations jumping onboard. Perhaps, next Nescafé will explore the Internet of (Coffee) Things!

Watch the Alarm Cap in action below!

Creating a zoetrope with a 3D printer and Arduino

When it comes to music videos, artists today are not only getting more creative but are spending less. Proof of just that, a Maker by the name of Michael Lainé recently used 3D printing to create a unique sculptural animation (also known as a zoetrope) of himself in a project he calls “Silvia.”


To begin, Lainé scanned himself with a Microsoft Kinect. These images were then 3D printed with the help of an Atmel powered Makerbot Replicator 2.


“After correcting and cleaning up the model of myself in Maya, I took it into the motion capture plug-in to get the animation. From there I took a snippet of animation along the timeline and exported each frame as an .OBJ file to bring into Makerware for printing,” Lainé tells 3DPrint.com.

After printing 30 models for his zoetrope, the Maker affixed each of them onto a 300mm wide disk, equally spaced around the outer edge to ensure optimal results. In order to get the zoetrope functioning properly, Lainé employed an LED array as the light source, a stepper motor to drive the disk, and an Arduino Uno (ATmega328). The Arduino was programmed by technician James Thomas to strobe one beam per head for every full rotation of the disk, 3DPrint.com reveals.

Transforming a 3D printer into a tattoo machine

Makers Pierre Emm, Piotr Widelka and Johan Da Silveira have replaced the extruder of an [Atmel poweredMakerbot Replicator with a tattoo instrument, effectively transforming the 3D printer into a fully-functional, permanent inking machine.

The hacked device, dubbed Tatoue, attaches a traditional tattoo gun on rails to a square metal frame. These components move along three axes, enabling Tatoue to follow the path of any line or curve of the human body. An embedded sensor can read the skin’s surface, which allows the needle respond to changes in texture and dimensions of the inserted limb.


The idea for Tatoue first came about following a workshop at Paris design school ENSCI les Ateliers back in October 2013, which encouraged students to use digital material available in the public domain to make something new. The team initially replaced the extruder with a pen before inserting an actual tattoo instrument, testing it on artificial skin and ultimately, on a human volunteer.

So, how does it work? First, a user simply selects a tattoo design from a library of graphic files or uploads their own. That file is then uploaded into the hacked 3D printer. Upon inserting an arm into the frame, the design is then inked onto the skin of the person. Impressively, the modded machine inserts ink into a person’s skin at speeds of up to 150 times per second.

According to its creators, they are still developing more user-friendly software for tattoo artists.

“The idea of our machine is to give tattoo artists a new tool that offers plenty of new possibilities,” the Makers recently Dezeen.

Interested in learning more? Check out the project’s official Instructables page here.

3D printing at the Toronto Public Library

Earlier this week, the Toronto Public library officially opened the doors to its newly minted digital media lab.

The Maker-friendly space is stocked with a plethora of Atmel-powered MakerBot Replicator 3D printers, Atmel-based Arduino boards, hi-def video cameras and audio mixers. 

According to the Torontoist, the digital media lab will be offering a full schedule of programming classes, demonstrations and workshops.

Jane Pyper, the City’s top librarian, said the lab reflects a broader trend toward more experimental methods of learning.

“Libraries have always been about support learning in all its forms,” she told the publication.

Indeed, libraries have provided DVDs, CDs, Internet service, and e-materials as technology and expectations evolved over the years.

“And libraries have been about bringing people together, particularly around equity of access,” she added.

The Torontoist also noted that Eric Boyd, co-founder of StumbleUpon and president of Kensington’s Market’s Hacklab, partnered with the library to facilitate outreach efforts for the new digital media lab.

“Programming is the new literacy,” Boyd explained. “If you want to be a citizen of the modern digital world, you need to have a basic understanding of the way that the machines work. So I’m super excited about something like the learn-to-code workshops.”

To use the library’s 3D printers, patrons are required to complete a 30-minute certification session that covers basic rules and safety. The printer uses PLA plastic filament, with the cost set at five cents a minute – plus a $1 surcharge for each print.