This Week in Making: 3D Print with Alexa, Touch-A-Sketch, and More

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This Week in Making: 3D Print with Alexa, Touch-A-Sketch, and More

Teach Alexa to 3D Print

After noticing he had too many 3D printers and enough Alexa’s to outfit every room in his house, Al Williams decided to try hooking up a spare machine to an Alexa so he could 3D print on command.


Anyone remember Etch A Sketch? Yes, it’s still just as hard to draw something as you remember. These three creators decided to try and make the process a bit easier by implementing a motor-driven solution that takes input from a touch screen.

The finished product comes with its share of pros and cons. Curves are significantly easier to draw, however the Touch-A-Sketch system relies on the toy’s stylus starting in the lower left hand corner at point 0,0. So drawing is easier to do, but each picture has to start from the same point. It looks like it’s best to just map out what you want to draw before hand.

Lava Lamp Random Number Generator

Cloudfare’s lava lamp wall has been around for awhile, but it’s recently gotten a lot of attention from Tom Scott‘s recent visit to the company. Scott is a YouTuber who had heard of Cloudfare’s wall of 100 lava lamps, but had never seen it. Cloudfare uses the lamps for their security solutions. The company protects big websites from data attacks. To do that, they need a random number generator. A camera maps the random patterns made from the lava lamps and uses that data to generate a truly random assortment of data. It’s pretty incredible.

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Jordan has spent much of his life writing about his many geeky pastimes. He's particularly passionate about indie game design and Japanese art, but loves interacting with creators from all walks of life.

View more articles by Jordan Ramée


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