Friday, June 17, 2016

Hack Shack Semester Sum-Up

By Rusat LaTulippe

I am sad to inform you that the school year has come to an end. This unfortunately means that the Hack Shack will be acquiring a new set of employees at the beginning of next year. Though the fun is over, I do not like to dwindle on negative things. I had a blast in the hack shack over the last semester and I would like to introduce you to some of the things that I was lucky enough to play around with.
This computer is where I first learned how to use the Silhouette Cameo Printer and the 3D printer. I had a hard time at first but with a week of practice it became second nature.
What you see above is our highly complex and most prized possession, the MakerBot 3D replicator. I learned how to use a program called SketchUp and was able to design and print many designs. Even though the MakerBot takes a while to print, the end results are truly worth it.
Next, we move onto the Silhouette Cameo that you see above. This machine looks very sleek and simple but it is an amazing piece of technology. This is my favorite piece of Hack Shack equipment. Under the cover of the machine there is an interchangeable bit. You can replace it with a variety of different colored markers provided and you can even cut designs with it! If you insert the cutting tool in the bit holder the machine will cut out whatever design you would like.

This is the Hack Shack's green screen. It can take to places you have never even dreamed of. This piece of equipment is very simple. Startup the IPad, open up the green screen app, point the IPad's back camera at the green screen and pick your favorite background. This machine is very simple but the effects it can produce are breathtaking.
Overall, I had a great semester in the hack shack and I hope the next batch of creative minds will explore as much as I did. I am really looking forward to coming back and visiting the future hack shackers and see what new things they have discovered. I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who made this possible and I would like to say the biggest thank you to Mrs. Carr for being an amazing adviser through this wonderful journey.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Blog post

Hey guys, this is post #4! And I'm back with an app that you kinda really need in your life. In360tube is YouTube's official virtual reality app for your smartphone. If you've never tried vr, you are seriously missing out. In360tube allows you to search for videos that people have recorded in 3D (make sure you search up actual 3D videos because normal youtube videos can be played through this app too and you aren't missing anything.) To start, download the app,
      (Apple app)

         (Android App)

Then just search up a vr video, put it in your vr headset or just play it in standard view, and have fun. There are hundreds of videos to watch, and my favorite ones to watch are hockey games and drone races

Have fun vr-ing,


Blog posts

     Hey guys, it's DemonHook back with another blog post. During the course of this quarter, I have been designing a lot of things with the 3D printer, and my newest one is both innovative and useful.
     I spent a few weeks messing around with the strength of the PLA our machine prints, and I decided I was going to print an emergency splint for backpackers or hikers, should the need for one ever arise. I went through 6 design models before I was satisfied and ended with this;
It weighs 126 grams (about as heavy as a standard computer mouse) and is very durable. Hinges allow it to be folded so it wont take up an excessive amount of space

It only requires a few straps, and it is nice and smooth on the underside so on comfort, it gets an A. In a real survival situation, this could be much more helpful than a few dead stick because of the dense, light weight PLA used.
So over all this is a great tool that I will be (hopefully not) testing this weekend. 

Hope you enjoyed,


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Problem with Planned Obsolescence

by Nick Dundorf

    As capitalistic global industry has expanded, and products are better distributed to the entire market, companies are faced with a dilemma: How do we keep selling our product if everyone already has it? The solution: If there's a new edition, series, or model of a product, then the predecessor must in turn fall by the wayside. This process would allow industry to continue on a massive scale without having to account for a significantly growing consumer base.
    In order for the last generation of product to become undesirable, it has to break down. Planned obsolescence is the system in which the product is designed, either by mechanism or negligence, to actually become less functional. The next product is marketed with better, more advanced features (Which is usually true) and the consumer is offered no choice when their earlier model is an incompetent comparison.
    One of the industries most guilty of this is the tech business. Silicon Valley has done well to smash the Baby Boomer motto of "Built to Last". Our phones barely last a year, just in time for the next generation (I'm looking at you, Apple). This practice is extremely wasteful, and frankly crooked. A consumer should be able to expect quality when paying for a $200-$500 device, but that isn't what they are getting. The industry of innovation and advancement is ethically lacking in this sense.
    What can we do about this? We can make a point to boycott those companies that produce short lived products (Ahem, Apple). This is difficult, of course, and can be more expensive, but the long term cost of one durable device versus multiple cheap ones is almost always lower. Changes to be less wasteful and more respectful to the customer are really needed, and by speaking out and making smart purchases we can pull that change closer.

Friday, June 10, 2016

View Your SketchUp Model in Virtual Reality

By Thatcher Ervin

For anyone interested in designing or remodeling things on a CAD program, Kubity is an app worth checking out. Kubity lets you view any sketchup model in virtual reality on your phone, or fly around it on your phone by using a flight simulator. Getting your sketchup model, or any model you can access into VR is much simpler than it sounds. First, go to and upload your sketchup model by either dragging and dropping it onto the page, or by selecting it in your file browser. Once it is uploaded, a QR code should come up in the upper right.Then download the Kubity app which is free on the app store, and scan the QR code on the website. One you scan the QR code, the model is downloaded onto your phone to use for virtual reality.
Click on the VR headset symbol on the bottom left and then choose either the Google cardboard option, for virtual reality, or Smartphone, for a flight simulator/360 navigation experience.
There is a sample model you can try the app out with even if you don't have a design ready, just scan the QR code below with the app on your phone.

The Future of 3-D Printing

Jason Boryszewski
3-D printing, more formally known as additive manufacturing has existed since the 1980s.  Up until recently, 3-D printers were used exclusively by companies due to the sheer cost and size of industrial printers.  3-D printers used in the business world can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and fill rooms.  In the past few years though consumer grade desktop printers have become more and more common due to decreasing prices.  As 3-D printing technology continues to improve and the printers themselves become more commonplace I believe we will begin to see 3-D printers play an increasingly important role in our society, even more so than they have already.  They have a huge potential to revolutionize the way our society functions, as they theoretically cut out the need for factories and the transportation of manufactured goods.
One of the fields that 3-D printers are right on the verge of completely changing is the medical field.  More specifically, the ability of 3-D printers to construct organs and other human body parts.  Until the past few years organs and other body parts have been made by hand, with researchers meticulously placing cells onto biodegradable "skeletons."  This process is incredibly time consuming and plagued by human error.  3-D printing has the potential to construct organs and body parts faster and with less error than any human could ever do.  In an article on journalist Elizabeth Royte describes the process in which a human ear is printed.  "...three cartridges loaded into a print head that hovers over a petri dish atop a small platform.  One cartridge contains cartilage cells, another contains biodegradable scaffold material and a third contains a water soluble gel, which temporarily provides support until it is washed away.  Back and forth the print head shuttles with a pneumatic whoosh, switching between the cartridges, constructing the organ in stacked, successive layers, each 150 microns each."
The 3-D printing of body parts has many benefits.  It would decrease the time in which a patient waits for an organ, and organs created from a patient's own cells would not be rejected by the body.  Skin is likely to be the first organ produced by 3-D printers on a large scale, as it is the simplest organ.  Anthony Atala of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine estimates that within a few years hospitals will have access to 3-D printers that print skin directly onto a patient's body.
The medical industry is just one field in which 3-D printing has the potential to change greatly in the future.  Consider this question: how would our world change if every home had the ability to 3-D print common household items?  Big box stores would disappear, or at least their stock would decrease greatly.  When a piece of your sink breaks, you could just print another yourself for only the cost of the materials.  No matter the case, 3-D printers have the potential to revolutionize our world.
Works Cited
Milkert, Heidi. "3D Printing: The Next 5 Years." 3DPrintcom. 3DR Holdings LLC, 28 Mar. 2015. Web. 07 June 2016.
Royte, Elizabeth. "What Lies Ahead for 3-D Printing?" Smithsonian Magazine, May 2013. Web. 07 June 2016.

Second Photo From

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

3D Printing Changing Lives

by Nathan Limric

By now most everyone has heard of 3D printing and all the amazing stuff you can create. We've all heard stories about parents printing custom toys for kids or amazing teens building robots out of 3D printed parts. But is 3D printing changing peoples lives outside of the US? The answer is a definite yes.
We all know how expensive prosthetics are, and for people here at home they are a challenge to get. Imagine living in rural Uganda and needing a prosthetic, sounds like an impossible thing to accomplish. Thanks to 3D printing this dream can become a reality. A young boy Amos lost his arm and leg in an animal attack and thought he would be crippled for life. Living in rural Uganda his hopes of having a replacement limb were even more far fetched. Due to a partnership between a Uganda hospital and a Canadian hospital Amos has a new 3D printed arm that he is steadily learning to use. He can grasp objects and hasn't stop smiling since the team introduced him to his new limb.
Remarkable things can come from 3D printing and it's great to hear a story like Amos's. Click the link below to read the story for yourself.

The Maker Movement

Jason Boryszewski
What is a Makerspace and the Maker Movement?
The "maker movement," as it is known, is a movement towards creation and collaboration that has taken place over the past five years or so.  To understand what the maker movement is though, we first need to define what a "makerspace" is.  A makerspace is any environment in which people, whether they be children, teens or adults can collaborate with one another to create something.  The purpose of a makerspace is to allow people access to knowledge (other people, resources) and technologies (a 3d printer, expensive editing software) that they would not have access to individually.  For example, the 3d printer we have in the ORHS makerspace costs around three thousand dollars, far too much for most individuals to purchase themselves, but in the makerspace this 3d printer is available to whoever would like to use it.  There are also other individuals in the ORHS makerspace willing and able to teach new users how to make use of the available equipment.  This combination of technology and knowledge allows users of the makerspace to create, design and innovate in ways that would not be possible without an environment dedicated to this.
Makerspaces have been showing up all over America in the past few years, whether they be in libraries, schools, or places of business.  The makerspaces themselves also vary wildly in their capabilities.  Some makerspaces have thousands of dollars of equipment that allow users to work with wood or metal, design and print 3d objects, or build robots, while others are much lower tech and allow users to sew, make jewelry, build LEGOS, or just about anything else you can think of.  The point is, makerspaces allow people to collaborate and build with one another no matter the amount of money involved.
If I had to describe the maker movement I would say just what I did at the beginning of this blog post, that it is a movement towards creation and collaboration.  In our modern world, people rarely make things with their own two hands.  I think this is due to the availability of mass produced items, rather than people not wanting to make an item themselves. It is much easier to go the store and buy something than it is to make it yourself.  Also consider the sense of wonder and excitement you may (or may not) have had putting together LEGOS as a kid.  This sense of wonder and excitement is inside of us all, but there are few easily accessible outlets for it.  The maker movement seeks to change this by making tools and knowledge accessible to whomever so that people are able to rediscover their passion for creation.
The ORHS makerspace (the Hack Shack) is important to our school for the same reason makerspaces are important to any community.  The Hack Shack allows people to create objects with their own hands and explore their own passion for discovery and innovation using technology that few would have access to otherwise.  The Hack Shack also provides technological help to students and teachers alike, and teaches members of the school about the technology the Hack Shack has available.  For example, last week members of the Hack Shack taught freshman and sophomore classes how to use the green screen for video projects they are doing.  There are also Hack Shack employees in the Hack Shack most periods of the day so that anyone looking for help with technology is able to find it.
Successful Maker Spaces
Monticello High School in Albemarle County, Virginia did something few high schools would do: they allowed students to take over parts of the library to use for whatever they wanted.  Students went much further with this than expected.  They built a music studio, a room for computer programming, and a "genius bar" where students can fix and work on one anothers devices.  What made this makerspace successful was the fact that students got to design and make everything themselves.  No one knows better what students want than the students themselves.
The Port City Makerspace, located on 68 Morning Street in Portsmouth, NH specializes in metal and woodworking, electronics, and bicycles.  What makes this makerspace successful is the wide variety of tools they have available and the large community.  Using this makerspace requires a small fee which goes towards maintaining the space and buying or repairing tools.  The small fee makes for a more useful and well maintained makerspace.  The Port City Makerspace also holds classes which allows new members to learn how to properly use the available tools.  This is key to the success of this makerspace.  Walking into a makerspace with no knowledge of how to use the tools is intimidating, so classes make the space much more accessible to new members.
Boston Makers Incorporated is a seven hundred square foot makerspace located on Washington St, in Boston, MA.  What makes Boston Makers Incorporated a successful makerspace is the team of volunteers that run the space and the sheer size of the maker space.  Boston Makers Incorporated is run on a much larger scale than most other makerspaces with a Board of Directors, advisors and many volunteers.  The directors and many of the advisors and volunteers have degrees and have worked in the engineering and design fields, which insures that this makerspace is a true professional environment.  This makerspace is also huge, has a wide variety of tools and supports many interests, from 3d design tools and electronics to sewing machines and textile arts to woodworking machines.  Boston Makers Incorporated is the makerspace of dreams.
Examples of Things Created in Makerspaces

Photo by Thatcher Ervin
On the left is probably the coolest thing to be created in the ORHS Hack Shack this semester: a 3d printed marble run designed and built by Thatcher Ervin.  Thatcher used SketchUp to design all the pieces for the run and printed them using the 3d printer.  Each piece takes multiple hours to print, and just as long to design.

A popular specialty for makerspaces are bicycles, as they require special tools that are often expensive, or impractical to buy as you will only use them once.  Makerspaces are also often located in urban areas in which bikes are more practical and common.

Tools and materials necessary for making jewelry are also common in makerspaces, as making jewelry is simple, low cost, and fun.  Many makerspaces are used to create jewelry to be sold on websites such as Etsy.

Woodworking is another very popular activity in makerspaces as many of the necessary tools are expensive and dangerous, thus require training and supervision as you learn to use them.  Woodworking allows you to create many useful and personalized objects, such as furniture or boxes.

Further Reading/Information
The Maker Camp is a free, virtual camp that teaches teens basic makerspace skills and allows them to collaborate with one another.
The Maker Movement Manifesto is a book by Mark Hatch that outlines the Maker Movement in much more detail than this blog post, and includes information for starting your own makerspace.
Makezine is a website/magazine that details everything about the Maker Movement.  There are enough articles here to keep you busy for years.
This article by Gary Stager explains the cultural importance of makerspaces and their importance in schools.

Works Cited
Bajarin, Tim. Why the Maker Movement Is Important to America's Future. Time. Time Incorporated, 19 May 2014. Web. 06 June 2016.
Bruder, Patricia. Make YOUR Space: The Maker Movement in Education. New Jersey Education Association, Mar. 2014. Web. 06 June 2016.