Just got back from Danger!Awesome, where I got to burn some wed­ding para­pher­na­lia with laser beams! It’s fan­tas­tic to live in a city with a walk-in laser-cut­ting shop. And the guys who run it (a few MIT alums, nat­u­ral­ly) are pret­ty rad.

The par­tic­u­lar machine I was using had pre­vi­ous­ly been used to burn 2,000 pieces of toast for a stop-motion OK Go music video. My project is not near­ly so ambi­tious (or edi­ble).

August 11, 2012 August 11, 2012 projects by Scott 4 Comments

Voting booth (front) A spir­it­ed elec­tion sea­son such as this one called for a spir­it­ed par­ty. And what bet­ter to build for a post-elec­tion par­ty than a full-scale vot­ing booth that takes your pic­ture when you vote?

Voting booth (mechanism) I built this vot­ing booth entire­ly out of scrap wood. The side pieces of masonite are rein­forced with Dex­ion at the top to with­stand emphat­ic pulling of the cur­tains. A flu­o­res­cent light illu­mi­nates the “vot­ing” area (Sharpie mark­ers pro­vid­ed). The vot­ing han­dle, which looks sus­pi­cious­ly like an old hock­ey stick, moves smooth­ly in a machined plas­tic block. Elas­tic bands in the back (see pic­ture to the right) give the han­dle a bistable spring action. A microswitch detects when the vot­ing han­dle is thrown to the right. The switch input con­nects to a ser­i­al port on a FreeB­SD machine, where a cus­tom C pro­gram detects the “vote.” Using libgphoto2, the pro­gram remote­ly con­trols a USB-teth­ered dig­i­tal SLR mount­ed over­head. The pic­ture is tak­en, imme­di­ate­ly trans­ferred back to the com­put­er, and delet­ed from the mem­o­ry card. The pro­gram drops the image onto a Web site, updat­ing a link so that with­in sec­onds, an auto-refresh­ing Web page dis­plays the lat­est pic­ture full-screen on a near­by mon­i­tor. Voting booth (switch)

After the ear­ly demise of 2006’s earth­quake dance floor, I want­ed to make this one com­plete­ly inde­struc­table, so I used the most badass lim­it switch in my parts bin. Unfor­tu­nate­ly there is only so much you can do to with­stand the gen­tle touch of dozens of drunk peo­ple con­front­ed with a 12 inch lever. The switch fell apart lat­er in the evening, but amaz­ing­ly I was able to get it going again with just a cou­ple of bolts and some elec­tri­cal tape.

But enough with the tech­ni­cal details—on to the evening’s pic­tures!

November 9, 2008 November 9, 2008 projects by Scott 6 Comments