Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FilaFab Desktop Extrusion System for 3D Printing Filaments

FilaFab Prototype Extrusion System
Edward Clifford of the UK has developed a filament extrusion system for recycling scrap plastic into filament of the type used in 3D printers like the MakerBot Replicator. It can also use PLA and ABS plastics in pellet form, which can be purchased in bulk quantities. The goal is to give the 3D printer user a means to create his or her own filament at lower cost.

Clifford launched his FilaFab Kickstarter project on April 22 with a goal of raising  £4,000. Two days ahead of its June 1 closing date, the project has over 70 backers pledging a total of almost £18,000 (approximately $27,000US).

He claims that the system can extrude filament at a rate of 1.2meters per minute (47inches per minute), at an average power consumption of 210W. Check out the short video below to see it in action. Clifford has more videos of the system at the project's Kickstarter page.

Update: The FilaFab Kickstarter project ended June 1st with a total of £21,323 pledeged by 89 backers, over five times its funding goal. Congratulations to Edward Clifford on its success.

Monkey Light Pro Bicycle-Wheel Display System

Monkey Light Pro Fire & Lightning
Through the science of the "persistence of vision" phenomenon, the Monkeylectric Monkey Light Pro display and animation system transforms bicycle wheels into an animated color display. The  Monkey Light Pro Kickstarter project was launched May 22 and will close June 21. The funding goal is $180K, and as of this writing (May 29) 255 backers have committed over $108K.

The system consists of four double-sided LED light bars mounted to the spokes at 90degree angles. As the wheel spins, the color and brightness of each individual LED is modulated in real-time by a microprocessor control system. A two-axis accelerometer and four magnets enable the microprocessor to sense wheel angle, direction, and speed in order to orient and stabilize the image at speeds from 10mph to 40mph.

The microprocessor control system can store up to 1000 image frames in its memory. Images can be downloaded to memory via Bluetooth wireless. The system comes preloaded with artwork created for it by professional artists, such as Yoshi Sodeaka and Shelley Eshkar. If the Kickstarter project is a success, Monkeylectric says they will be commissioning more artwork. We wonder if there will be a development system for customers to create their own custom artwork...

Monkeylectric claims that the onboard lithium battery can power the LEDs at full brightness for eight hours, and up to forty-eight hours at lower brightness. The battery is recharged through a standard USB interface.

This one is great fun and we wish the Monkeylectric team great success with their Kickstarter project.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gluten-Free Vegan Beers from Moonshrimp Brewing of Portland, OR

Dan McIntosh-Tolle of Moonshrimp Brewing
Moonshrimp Brewing of Portland, OR launched a Kickstarter project one week ago with the goal of raising $24,000 to fund the equipment needed to begin brewing gluten-free, vegan beers. Moonshrimp has signed a lease and put money down on a facility, now they need funds for license fees, plumbing, brewing vats, and brewing supplies. A week in, they've got thirty-four backers with a total commitment of just over $4,000.

Daniel McIntosh-Tolle, the founder and brewmaster of Moonshrimp, is a trained biochemist and craft-brewer who was diagnosed with Celiac disease six years ago. Celiac disease is an immune reaction to gluten... unfortunately for those with suffer from Celiac disease and are also beer lovers, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Dan started brewing his own gluten-free beers at home three years ago. Now with a facility leased and licenses applied for, and a battery of three year-round brew recipes and a couple of seasonals to work with, he hopes to get Moonshrimp up and running to bring gluten-free beers to the (apparently) growing numbers of people who can't stomach gluten. Dan promises also that the brew environment will be carefully controlled to keep other allergens from contaminating the beer.

Moonshrimp plans to bottle its beers in 22oz. bottles for distribution to local markets. Currently there is no plan to open a brewpub or tasting room.

We will keep an eye on Moonshrimp's progress here over the coming weeks. The closing date for this project is June 20th.

UPDATE: Moonshrimp met its funding goal... it was close... 135 backers pledged $24,165 to push it just a bit past the $24,000 goal.

On a sidenote, CNN recently cited Portland as the number one beer town in the US. There are currently fifty-two breweries in the city, and a total of sixty-nine in the greater Portland Metro area... being residents there, we've had the opportunity to patronize more than a few ourselves! The Portland craft-brew community has a track record of cooperation and mutual assistance, so we are sure the Moonshrimp crew will find encouragement for their efforts here.

Lady Sabre & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether

Lady Sabre
Writer Greg Rucka and artist Rick Burchett are household names to comics and graphic novel fans. Both are veterans of DC Comics and Marvel, multiple Eisner Award winners, and have worked on the most prestigious titles, such as Batman and Superman.

Two years ago Rucka and Burchett teamed-up to create a steampunk-adventure webcomic, Lady Sabre & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether, which has been enormously popular. A few weeks ago they launched a Kickstarter project with a goal of raising $27,500 to bring the series out in print; they met that goal within just eight hours of opening the campaign. With eight days to go until their June 5th closing, they now have over 2,000 backers who've pledged just shy of $100K.

Greg Rucka has been an active Kickstarter participant for over two years.... according to his Kickstarter profile he has backed twenty-six projects since joining in March 2011. Now he's on the other side as a creator.

You can read the first episode of the Lady Sabre webcomic here.

Update at project close: The project closed today, June 5th, with 2,901 backers committing just over $143K.

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