Showing posts with label Humblefactory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humblefactory. Show all posts

SSG Prototype Phone

In order to be realistically flexible in the same way that open source software is, open hardware will need to be modular and flexible in new ways. This concept phone models a Skin-Skeleton-Guts construction method which allows it to be repaired, upgraded, or customized much more easily than existing devices. Additionally, by making the highest-wear parts (the skin and skeleton) out of the easiest to replace materials (sewn fabric and 3d-printed plastic) the device's lifespan can be greatly increased. An alternative configuration of the same guts as an E-reader is also shown. The Humblefactory is currently pursuing further investigations in this vein, using real, off the shelf, open hardware.

The Production Cycle

PC_Logo_abstracted (by dmuren)

The Production Cycle is a project which explores small-scale manufacturing in dense urban areas. Additionally, it touches on issues of:

  • Human powered manufacturing infrastructure
  • Re-claiming waste streams
  • Building maker-customer interactions
  • Creating products which are unique to a geographic area

Makerwatch SSG

In order to demonstrate the feasibility of a real SSG product, and to have something to show off at TED Global in 2010, an SSG watch was created based on Bre Pettis's Makerbot Watch guts. Modifications to the firmware allowed for easier control of the watch itself, and playing of the Mission Impossible theme as an alarm. All files required to build the watch are available on Most importantly, the differentiation of manufacturing processes for each functional layer -- skin, skeleton, guts -- allows more makers to participate in hacking the design, resulting in a richer ecosystem of modules from which to crystalize new designs.

Open SSG Tricorder

Building on the success of the Makerwatch SSG the Humblefactory has developed a non-injection molded, mass producible solution for people building Arduino prototypes. A simple 3d-printed skeletal piece allows users to create flexible SSG cases for their Arduino projects by clipping on skeletal supports, and covering the skeleton with a skin. In fact, this skeletal piece can work with any circuit board. The full build files are available for download on Thingiverse.

Molded Paper Modular Storage

This project pushed the size and precision possible with the vacuum-powered paper molding process I had employed previously. Three modular boxes were identified which could be stacked in various ways. Molds were made, and using a shop vac, paper pulp was pulled onto the molds, and compressed into place. Once dry, the modules could stack and were quite durable.

Paper Pulp Molding Experimentation

Paper is a cheap, readily available material which can be formed (like egg crates) into 3D shapes easily, and with high repeatability. This experiment examined the opportunities for making flexible "living hinges" in molded paper parts, such that the final object could be closed like a box. The project also demonstrated the ease of mass production that this method offers (all these boxes were produced in approximately two hours, by hand. For a more refined application of this method, look at this modular shelving system project.

Tensile Skin Experimentation

In order to test the potential of skin-protected objects, two forms were covered in highly elastic polyester fabric. The first, a simple extruded form was realatively simple to cover, and maintained good closure even when shaken or dropped. The second, a tea-pot with complex convex surfaces, was more difficult to skin, but was strongly held together once wrapped. The fabric is wear resistant, low cost, and easy to care for. Best of all, it can be sewn with a simple zig-zag sewing machine.