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And we’re back with our thirty-third installment of Your Comments. Here are our favorites from the past week, from Makezine, our Facebook page, and Twitter.


In response to Ceramic Techniques: 3D Printed Prototypes and Lithophanes, stevepoling says:

It appears that to make lithopanes work you need a back light.

I can imagine a frame of some rectangular dimension about an inch thick that would serve as a mount for them. Two thoughts spring from this: 1) such a frame could be useful for other media requiring backlighting. 2) such a frame could generate backlight of continuously changing colors and brightness.

I can imagine an array of LEDs plus an optional diffuser could be employed in such a frame. With control circuitry and multi-color LEDs, this back light frame could have a broad spectrum of applications.

(A quick and dirty see-if-this-works solution could start with a cheap flat-screen TV/monitor, a wooden frame, and video source/computer.)

Has anyone smarter than me already come out with a product, or a DIY project like this?

In the piece DIY Coffee Can Radar, Tim Balbekov remarks:

I travel frequently with carry-on and checked luggage full of electronics, tools, wires and cables, as required for my job, and have only had issues in one case when leaving Japan – China, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong are my normal destinations.

I’ve had one funny encounter where the check-in staff saw what was inside my bag, and flatout declared that I could not take those items on-board. I laughed, told him to get the person in-charge of luggage checks, who took a quick glance and declared it to be “no problem at all”. The only other time I’ve even had someone interested was one time after going through the security checks, where they asked me to open my carry on so they could see as the X-ray was quite a mess. One quick glance was enough to confirm that yes – there was quite a bit in there, but no – it fairly obviously wasn’t a bomb or anything threatening.

Stopping, questioning, and labelling people as terrorists for simply having electronics is unreasonable and rather ludicrous. Only in Hollywood do bombs have a ridiculous amount of electronics.

In response to How Ceramic Knives are Resharpened at the Factory, user Kieran says:

It’s actually a Cypress PSoC 3 — this was made for a final project for MIT’s microcomputer project lab (6.115). As part of the final project, all code needs to be written in 8051 assembly (C51). The Cypress part is an interesting choice for this application since it offers mixed-signal capability (ADCs and op-amps) directly on the chip, so minimal external part count is required.

In the piece The Best Maker Business Story I’ve Ever Heard…, Bryce Harding says:

If they’re making a Sous Vide machine that is that much cheaper than anything else available and still make a profit they shouldn’t feel ashamed to keep it closed source. Society is receiving a net benifit from their work. If they want to give back to the maker community they need only continue to make their machineas hacker friendly as they can and maybey offer an unassembled kit version of their product for slightly less than the assembled product. They get to make money making things and society gets a cheaper sous vide. Win-Win

In the article How-To: Trashcan Raku Kiln, user jamesbx writes:

I’ve built quite a few propane fired ovens/forges/furnaces using ceramic insulation. This particular design is dangerous for a couple of reasons: when galvanized metal gets really hot it puts off toxic fumes, and the design doesn’t stabilize the ceramic insulation.

I’ve used a paste of kaolin clay body to encapsulate ceramic insulation. Plus with a layer of ITC-100 over the kaolin, the forge will be more fuel efficient. Ceramic insulation is a replacement for asbestos, and since propane burners have to vent, this kiln is going to throw very small shards of ceramic in the air mixed with the dragon’s breath. You really don’t want to breath that stuff, the MSDS says so. The galvanized hazard is internet hearsay, but unless an MD tells me vaporized zinc is safe to breathe, I’m going to treat it as a hazard. I’ve made round ovens like this with steel sheet metal and hand tools, it isn’t that much more work.

Like these comments? Be sure to sound off in the comments! You could be in next week’s column.

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


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