Egg Heads Puzzle

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As a retirement present for Joe Malkevitch, a geometer friend who likes puzzles, I designed and built this 1′-diameter Egg Heads puzzle from ¼” walnut. Many of my sculpture and puzzle designs require laser-cutting or other computer-guided fabrication technology to accurately produce intricate parts. But this design is simple enough... Read more »

Solar USB Charger

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Charge up your USB devices with the power of the sun. By adding a small solar panel and two diodes to a standard USB cable, you can plug that cable into USB devices needing a recharge. It’s so easy. Let’s get started making a solar USB charger. Video shows the... Read more »

The Autophenakistoscope

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Motorize a phenakistoscope, a 19th-century parlor novelty that preceded motion pictures, and keep its frames synched to an LED strobe by using a sensor and an Arduino microcontroller. Invented in 1832 by Joseph Plateau, this device creates a moving picture from a sequence of stills arranged on a spinning disk... Read more »

Mix-and-Match Greeting Cards

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Here are 3 simple paper-crafting techniques you can combine and recombine to create gorgeous holiday cards. I’ve used machine sewing, heat embossing, and paper embroidery to make 2 very different sets of greetings. What other variations can you come up with? Read more »

Cord Curling, Part 1 – Thermoforming

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I really heart coiled cords. I think coiling is a very elegant way of dealing with the problem of unsightly slack cables, and often I find myself wishing that this or that appliance had come with a coiled cord. Replacement cords that are factory-coiled can usually be purchased and installed... Read more »