I’ve had my MK2S printer sitting in a box for quite some time (I did have an X-carve to put together and a few assignments to grade – oh and I published a paper, but more on that later). This is my second 3D printer, the first being a Makerfarm i3v. I love my first printer, and it taught me a lot about the design and maintenance of these machines. That said, I’ve always had a hard time with calibration and getting the prints just right. My first successful 3D print with the i3v was a cube in ABS, and I was so proud. Here’s my first successful print with the MK2S (brought to you from one of my students, Anusha Ventress, who is moonlighting as a videographer while she works in my lab):
OK, technically, this was the 3rd successful print on my MK2S, but all I can say is: wow.
I wrote this piece for a Wolfram technology blog a while back. It’s a bit Mathematica centric for that reason. The blog got delayed, then the editor left the company, then the new editor blew off the piece and I got tired of waiting, so here it is.
Not so long ago…
In 2012, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the Raspberry pi, an affordable, credit-card sized computer originally designed to help younger students learn programming. It peels away the black-box of computers and exposes users to the fascinating world of how software controls hardware that control sensors that interact with the user’s surroundings. The computer science community refers to this idea as physical computing. As an Analytical Chemist, I call it a scientific instrument. Since much of my research and teaching deals with scientific instrumentation, the Raspberry Pi has turned out to be an excellent platform for exploring new ways to make measurements.
I could turn this post into a commentary about the importance of doing a thorough literature search, and despite how thorough you think your literature search is, it is not thorough enough. Alternatively, I can make some Star Wars references; let’s go with that.
Soon, my wife and I will buy our first home. My wife and I just bought our first home. I have been looking at videos on how to paint rooms and found myself looking at periodic-table wall-art. I came upon this website which was coincidentally published one year ago today. Until now, I had not seen an RGB blinky-light periodic table besides Mandy, and it appears as if Mandy was coming to life just as apaf1 (send me your real name and I’ll edit, if you wish) was completing his project. What does that mean for Mandy?
It’s a bit chilly in Western New York, and I’ve learned that my apartment doesn’t have any decent insulation. In fact, it’s so cold that even the knitted droids need scarves and hats!
BB-9E was a little disappointed (so was I) that Rian Johnson left him out in the cold, with barely a few seconds of screen time.
I am teaching Mandy to sing (sort of). Here’s Mandy playing along to Carol of the Bells in what may be the worlds “first” Periodic Table spectrum visualizer. Now, before we blow up the Twitter sphere with allegations that Mandy belongs on the Top Ten List of Most Infamous Lip Syncing incidents, I’m not claiming that this is live. Mandy wasn’t designed to do real-time spectrum analysis (she’s a Periodic Table, after all) but I wanted to see if some geeky visualizations would be possible. So, I created my own version of Carol of the Bells (written in Sonic-Pi) and then analyzed the audio file using Mathematica, which has a neat function,
SpectrogramArray, that provides easy access to the frequencies in an audio file. I then binned the frequencies into 118 buckets – one for each element on the periodic table, and converted the intensities into colors (blue for high amplitude, red for low amplitude). I probably should have thought a bit more about which elements should display which frequencies, but time was running short so I simply made the heavier elements have the lower frequencies. In any case – enjoy.