The move towards DIY digital fabrication–from MakerBot to Fab@Home–is an undoubtedly great development for consumers. But one thing it’s missing is a standard system for modeling and exchanging components. If 10 people upload a design for a replacement bolt for a chair, odds are you’ll get 10 slightly different designs. While the world has the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) devoted to regulating specifications, tolerances, and standards of consumer goods, the digital fabrication community is fractured when it comes to a universal standard.
Enter OpenStructures, a Belgian project that aims to establish a standard grid for developing and sharing models. OpenStructures is “a modular construction model, where everyone designs for everyone on the basis of one shared geometrical grid,” the OS team explains. “It initiates a kind of collaborative Meccano [an English Erector Set–eds.] to which everybody can contribute parts, components and structures.” Simply put, OS offers a universal language for people who design and fabricate objects, ultimately leading to a cleaner, faster user experience.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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