Community Corner: The Secret Mechanics of Action Figures and other Delights from This Week in Adafruit’s Community

Featured Community Project: Open Source Action Figure with 70 Points of Articulation

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As a tremendous service to the desktop 3D printing community as a whole, designer and instructor Jason Welsh offers an excellent master class in action figure design through his “Open Source Action Figure with 70 Points of Articulation” Thingiverse post and related training videos.

Thank you, Jason, for your incredible contributions to all of us who have been curious not only how action figures function mechanically, but also how they might be executed using affordable desktop 3D printers. (read more)

There are people making amazing things around the world, are you one of them? Join the 56,303 strong! And check out scores of projects they shared this week after the jump!

From the Google+ Community

(Note: Google+ login required.)

Jean Luc Aufranc

Jean-Luc Aufranc shared: “I’ve updated my stripboard enclosure to include a top board with 16 LED, and a side board with a relay. It’s running Linux (built with Yocto) from a 256MB SD card, blink the light, and controls a bed lamp via a web interface.” (read more)


Matthew garsteck shared: “A design for a water cooled hot end.” (read more)


Martin Atkins shared: “Got the minimal electronics for a clock done… I was in immediate need of a living room clock so I’ve put the raw breadboard under my TV while I work on a PCB and an enclosure for it. Maker cribs? ๐Ÿ™‚ ” (read more)


Alex McNair shared: “An Ultra High Molecular Weight plastic stand for my Nexus 7
I have been working a bit with UHMW plastic. It’s very versatile. You can cut it like wood and even weld it if need be. Very easy to work with, strong and attractive. My only complaint is that it’s a bit pricey. I fashioned this out of tiny pieces left over from another project on a table saw and a miter saw. It takes completely clean cuts, so it needs no sanding or finishing.” (read more)


Shared by Miroljub Nikolic. (read more)


Thomas Amely shared: “My first non-Arduino blink program written in C in AVR Studio and programmed by way of my AVR Dragon. Looking forward to playing with attiny’s.” (read more)


Heather Solvers shared: “Happiest geeky robot bride you’ll see all day. More here.” (read more)

100 Chris Williams Google So I have been playing fixing breaking and hacking my

Chris Williams shared: “Just a couple recent prints. Once I figured out how to tighten the plunger — printing became a lot better, more reliable, and happier. The printer has run non-stop over the last week.” (read more)

Arturo guca shared: “I share the final video (behind scene) of the satellite FENIX I. This project was realized with my students of Mechatronics.” (read more)

100 Alexis Wiasmitinow Google It was just a matter of time till I kill my first

Alexis Wiasmitinow shared:
“It was just a matter of time till I kill my first #raspberrypi R.I.P. 300V are a bit too much.” (read more)

Radiopi debugging

Nikolaus Gradwohl shared: “When it comes to DIY projects one rule that ALLWAYS applies is that it takes longer than originally planned :-/ I´m currently debugging the radio module for my raspberry pi based retro-car-radio project and I realized that debugging software is far easier that debugging a hardware module. I already found out that it´s a stupid idea to shorten some of the coppertraces by making the circuit board touch the metal housing of the radio and I forgot to solder in a resistor. I also found out that it´s a bad idea to accidentally remove some of the smd parts of a raspberry pi (RIP) and that the sd card holder of a pi is not very stable :-/ currently I´m trying to find a replacement part for a broken variable resistor – but theeeeeen …. nearly there, really, this time for sure, what could possible go wrong? Stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚ ” (read more)

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Ben Harber shared: “Thanks to Shapeways I was finally able to make a bunch of lightweight, purpose-built RC airplane parts, which made my overall project – a wing warping experiment – a reality!! You can get the Shapeways parts I created here.” (read more)

Bruce Lowther shared: “I put this video together for those thinking of using a CT Sensor. This would have cleared up a few things before I started messing with it.” (read more)

Matt Heilman shared: “Repairing the right channel of my microphone.” (read more)

Justin Shaw shared: “TiM with paper baffles. This is a video showing The intellegent Matrix TiM with laser cut paper baffles drawn with inkscape. More photos coming soon thanks to +Brian Krontz !” (read more)

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Chris Jegbadai shared: “A lil bit more #progress on #MorganFreeman.. #Actor #Charcoal #WhiteCharcoal #Graphite” (read more)

Kent Andersen shared: “Hey guys, I’m a couple weeks out from releasing an android app and wanted to get your thoughts. Just remember…its not finished yet…more features to come.” (read more)


Jeremy Cook shared: “How I made a #GoPro timer for awesome panning #TimeLapse videos! #howto” (read more)


Eddie Baki shared: “Another snapshot of my axial fan coffee table” (read more)


chris frost shared: “BOTTLING TIME!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Two weeks til its time to drink it #homebrew #beer” (read more)


Jay Doscher shared: “I’m happy to show progress on both my Outdoor Solar Robot and my upcoming Raspberry Pi project. I’ve seen many others posting cool #solar #raspberrypi links, so it will be cool to add my projects to the mix soon. You can read about my past projects over here.” (read more)

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Nudatech shared: “Controlling an RGB LED with Arduino: In this simple project I’m going to show you how to control an RGB LED (common anode) using an Arduino Uno and few push-buttons. pics + sketch code + video” (read more)


Steve Spence shared: “Outputs spoken data from variables without needing to save canned scripts or wav files. This is a functioning prototype (5 exist), and I’ll post a working video shortly.” (read more)


Jon Reynolds shared: “Water rockets! My favourite thing to do with my boys ๐Ÿ™‚ ” (read more)


baka chan shared: “Made some stuff, did some testing, check it out!” (read more)

100 Guillermo Amaral Google Have you ever wondered what s inside an SD card

Guillermo Amaral shared: “Have you ever wondered what’s inside an SD card?” (read more)

Community Projects from the Adafruit Blog

Easton LaChappelle shared his TED Talk on 3D printed, brain-powered robo-arm. Hear about the stages he went through conceiving and developing the project, from age 14 to 17! (read more)

Designer Todd Blatt shared his project “GlassKap: A Fun Way To Accessorize Your Google Glass.” (read more)


DiMarzio shared his 3D model “Castle Grayskull Birdhouse”: “I wasn’t planning on doing this but since a lot of people asked for it, here it is ๐Ÿ™‚ Just don’t be mad when there’s a hulky bird roaming your garden with a sword in it’s claw ๐Ÿ˜› ” (read more)


Tom Burtonwood shared his project “Orihon (Accordion Book)”: “This is my first iteration of a 3D printed book. I have been meaning to work on this idea for a while – and with a new perspective on the summer – i have been able to find the time to develop it. I have been thinking for some time how it would be nice to produce a book of textures and reliefs. To publish and distribute all the wonderful architectural patterning and decoration we enjoy here in Chicago and beyond. The impetus for this project was a call for submissions from the Center for Book and Paper here in Chicago at Columbia College. The exhibition calls for both “print on demand” and “photographic” books. This “publication” is my response.” (read more)

Seej starter set 2013

ZHENG3 shared: “Seej is an Open Source tabletop wargame designed to advance the state of 3D printing through competition and player-directed evolution. Players print their own armaments and fortifications for use in battle. If you can print it, it’s legal to use in the game. The rules to Seej are open source and infinitely expandable. Seej is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.” (read more)

Remco Veldkamp shared: “I recently got one of those 8×8 LED matrices and I was playing with some Game of Life patterns when I found this pretty repeating pattern. I found it by starting with some random patterns. If you look closely you can see the pattern becoming a mirrored version of itself halfway through. Apparently the pattern doesn’t repeat like this on an infinite grid but on this wrapping 8×8 grid it does ๐Ÿ˜‰ ” (read more)

LeoneLabs shared the “PixelBrite” project in the Adafruit customer forums: “I’m back with my latest Instructable that I wanted to share, it’s called ‘PixelBrite: a study in pixels’ on It’s a 10×10 LED display made with four WS2801 RGB LED strands, a Teensy microcontroller, an SD card reader, some tinted acrylic and MicroRax aluminum frame. There’s also some open-source software based on the Adafruit libraries for making your own low-res pixel patterns, so even if you don’t have the hardware you can still have some fun playing with pixels. If you’re looking for the open-source files they can be found at the LeoneLabs PixelBrite GitHub.” (read more)


kevinmakes shares his Instructable for “How to Make a 3D Wood Veneer Comic Cover”: “I’ve always wanted to have my very own issue of Amazing Fantasy #15 displayed on the wall. However, even the copies in the roughest of shape fetch a far prettier penny than I could ever justify spending on a comic. I work with wood often, so naturally I decided to make my own hardier version that I’d be proud to display in my home.Originally I was going to laser etch the Amazing Fantasy cover into a solid piece of wood and then stain it different colors. Not only would that have been even more tedious and time consuming, once stain touches wood it is difficult to remove, thus allowing little room for error. I wanted something that would really pop and catch your eye on the wall so I altered the design to be three-dimensional. This was achieved by laying various species of wood veneer on top of balsa wood to give the illustrations depth, and then finally attaching all of the pieces to a solid wood board that can be mounted and displayed on a wall or bookshelf.” (read more)


More Cats of Engineering posted! Title of this one: “Vinny the cat checks out my #qrpme tinned tuna two power system #hamradio #catsofengineering” Photo Credit: Stormy Gleason AA1ES. Name of Cat: Vinny (read more)


Super Awesome Sylvia’s WaterColorBot by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories launches as a crowdfunding campaign: “The Friendly and Educational Art Robot that Paints with Watercolors! Starting with vector artwork on your computer– or following along as you sketch in real time –the WaterColorBot dips its brush in water, goes and gets the right color of paint, and paints before your eyes.” (read more)


Stephen Greene shared a photo of kids making a lemon battery from what they learned on Circuit Playground! (read more)

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Adam Kemp shared the early release of his upcoming MAKE book, The Makerspace Workbench. (read more)


cynaesthetics shared this awesome Ladyada anime illustration! (read more)

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Joel Murphy shared a bicycle powered MRI with the Adafruit SpokePOV: “MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. So, the SpokePOV uses a Magnet to measure wheel rotation, and derives the Resonant frame rate by timing Magnet readings, and then it makes the Image appear, as if by some kind of circular magic, on the bicycle wheel! Thank you Adafruit, for this super cool toy! I use it to make legit brain-scan on a bike! I made two images of brains and fine-tuned in the SpokePOV software.” (read more)


Nick Brewer shared his RetroPi box, with tons of great Adafruit products in it: “The entire thing is waterproof and probably weighs 3 or 4 lbs. It probably wouldn’t make you super popular with airport security, but the whole thing is portable. I’ve got a 16gb SD card for the main operating system and a 16gb flash drive for extra storage. It can boot into Raspbian and features wifi so you can ftp into it if wanted. Unfortunately there is no way to externally power the system while you are using it, but they are beefy lipo batteries that should hold out for several hours.” (read more)

The folks over at have designed a fantastic badge for the Open Hardware summit this year:
Open Hardware Summit 2013 badge sneak peek (that’s our FTDI friend there!) (read more)

Gareth Branwyn shared his new project to collect the best of 30 years of his writing in one volume: “Borg Like Me, the Writings of Gareth Branwyn by Gareth Branwyn. Cyberculture pioneer Gareth Branwyn (Boing Boing, Mondo 2000, Wired, MAKE) presents a compelling collection of his work.” (read more)

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bugbiteme shared: “Controlling two DC motors with Raspberry Pi” (read more)

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Jim Moore shared: “Raspberry Pi Camera Controller for iOS – in development and coming soon…” (read more)

William McCormick created a great video featuring our Onion PI project. (read more)

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Jeff Jackowski shared a project using the Adafruit Pi Cobbler: “I’m working on a project that uses the Raspberry Pi and various sensors. One sensor is a MLX90614 IR thermometer; this communicates using SMBus. One of my goals is to avoid making the project specific to the target hardware, the hardware that actually runs my code. I want the code that communicates with the sensors to be Linux specific but not Raspberry Pi specific.” (read more)

Florian Amrhein shared his digital vintage radio: “This is the case of a radio built in the 1930s by Philips. I put modern electronics in it: A simple computer (Raspberry Pi), an colour LCD, modern amplifier and so on. The buttons are connected to the computer, as well as the LCD display. So, all you see in this video is how I control a computer that shows an UI that looks just the original rotatable disc which was used to display the frequencies back in the day.” (read more)

Youngsuk Lee created a “Tactile reactive mouse”: “Soft-spiky mouse changes textures according to the amount time that user works with the mouse or the achievement of a given task. For example, if the user works with the mouse too long, the mouse would display spiky textures to raise awareness to the passage of time and/or the need for refreshment or break time – like a small pet bugging its owner. Alternatively, soft tactile feelings could be displayed if the user completes a task, which would provide a pleasurable tactile feeling that would be experienced as a form of encouragement.” (read more)


Timothy Flood created the “Stranger Reduction Zone” art installation in Boulder using the Adafruit Wave Shield for Arduino Kit: “The first outdoor installation of the Stranger Reduction Zone occupies a corner near the main entrance to the Plaza of the Rockies in Colorado Springs. It is part of the city’s 15th Annual Art on the Streets outdoor art competition and year long exhibition. You can find it on South Tejon Street between Colorado and Vermijo Avenues.” (read more)

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Arcangelo Constantini created “8 x 8 Ω / 1 bit: Live Electromagnetic Induction Audio Process”: “8 independent microcontrollers generate an oscillating square pulse that is emitted as current and voltage to a coil, that create a variable electromagnetic field. four induction coils capture the invisible field that is amplified once again in to electromagnetic waves sent to speakers, which use electromagnetic induction to convert the electrical current back into sound. spinning the platform and controlling the independent necks, attack sustain release and decay could be achieved” (read more)

Sprite_TM created a video placer from an old LED Marquee. (read more)

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