Wednesday, August 21, 2013

3D Print and Animate Yourself

Sorry, I could not read the content fromt this page.

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3D Scan and duplicate yourself (or anything!)

costa_3dprint.jpgUsing an inexpensive XBOX Kinect (~$100) and a free piece of software (windows only, sorry), you can easily and quickly capture 3d models of people, and then send them to your 3d printer to make little statues!

Submitted by Ace Monster Toys for the Instructables Sponsorship Program

sensors-kinect.pngThings you need:

1. XBOX Kinect 
(Also works with Kinect for Windows, or the Asus/Primesense XtionPRO Live)
2. A 3D Printer (Like an Ultimaker, Makerbot, Solidoodle, etc)
3. A PC running Windows (There are other softwares for other platforms, but the one I use is easy but unfortunately win-only)

1. Kinect Drivers
2. Skanect software 
(these are both downloadable on the same page)

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How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

A creatively used closet can serve many purposes in a home, and this closet-turned-workspace is one of the smartest (and coolest) uses we've seen. The DIY team at Family Handyman shows you how to build your own space-saving home office in this step-by-step tutorial.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to build and install wall shelf cabinets and a countertop and under-mount drawers, including how to adjust the dimensions to fit these projects in your closet. We’ll also show you an easy way to conceal all those cords that usually dangle down behind the desk. We’ve included a materials list, but you’ll have to adjust the quantities to fit your closet. The project shown here is constructed with birch plywood and boards and cost us about $400.

This is a great project for any intermediate to advanced DIYer. There’s no complicated joinery—the wall shelves and drawers are just wooden boxes that are screwed together. We used a table saw to cut the plywood, a narrow-crown staple gun to attach the shelf backs and drawer bottoms, and an 18-gauge nailer to attach the face frames. If you don’t have these tools, you can use a circular saw and straightedge guide to cut the plywood, and a good old-fashioned hammer and nails. It will just take a little longer.

Start by measuring the distance between the side walls. Keeping in mind that 32 in. is about the maximum width for a plywood shelf, decide how many shelf units you need. To figure out exactly how wide each cabinet should be, subtract 1-1/2 in. from the total measurement and divide the remainder by the number of cabinets. This will leave a 3/4-in. space between the cabinet and the wall at each end that you’ll cover with the face frame. This 3/4-in. space makes it easy to install the shelf cabinets in the closet without worrying about an exact fit.

We needed three 27-1/2-in.-wide cabinets to fit our 84-in.-wide closet. We built the cabinets 47-3/4 in. tall. If you have standard 8-ft.-tall walls, the cabinets will reach the ceiling. After you do the calculations, double-check your math by drawing lines on the closet wall. Draw a level line 28-1/2 in. from the floor to mark the bottom of the 1-1/2-in.-thick countertop. Then draw another line 47-1/2 in. from the floor for the bottom of the wall cabinets. Finally, draw vertical lines for the sides of the cabinets.

You’ll also have to decide how wide to make the drawers. You can use the technique we show here to build drawers in a size and configuration that will work best in your closet. The key is to build the frame and mount the drawer slides before you build the drawers. Then you can measure between the slides (photo 8) and build the drawers to fit.

The countertop is two layers of plywood that are glued and screwed together. It rests on cleats that are screwed to the wall studs. Start by measuring the closet interior at the level of the countertop. Use a framing square to check the corners. Deduct 1/4 in. from the length and depth to allow for the top to fit easily. You can cover any gaps with the backsplash. Transfer these measurements to your plywood and cut out the two pieces. Use less-expensive plywood for the bottom if you like. Screw 1x2 cleats to the back, side and front walls to support the top (Photo 1). Then drop the top into place and attach it from underneath with 2-1/2-in. screws (Photo 2). Finish the front edge with a 2-1/4-in.-wide board (Photo 3).

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 1: Draw level lines for the bottom of the countertop and cabinets. Draw vertical lines to indicated the sides of the cabinets. Then screw countertop supports to the studs at the back and sides of the closet.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 2: Screw through the countertop supports into the countertop. Lay something heavy on top, or ask a helper to press down while you drive the screws.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 3: Glue and nail a board to the front to cover the plywood and add strength. Wipe off glue squeeze-out with a damp rag.

Start by cutting the parts from the 4 x 8-ft. sheets of plywood. If you’re using a table saw, keep the good side of the plywood facing up as you cut the parts. If you’re using a circular saw, face the good side down so that any splintering or chipping won’t show. We think it’s easier to finish the parts before you assemble them.

It’s also easier to install the shelf standards to the cabinet sides before you put the cabinet together. Make sure the shelf standards are oriented the right way. We put a piece of masking tape on the top of each side to keep track. Here’s a building tip you can use for the cabinet and drawer boxes: Nail the cabinet sides to the top and bottom before you drill pilot holes for the screws. The nails hold the parts in perfect alignment while you drill the holes and drive the 1-5/8-in. screws. Screw the sides to the top and bottom (Photo 4). Then nail on the back. If you were careful to cut the 1/4-in. plywood back accurately, you can square the cabinet by aligning it with the back before nailing it on (Photo 5). You’ll cover the front edge of the cabinets with a wood face frame after they’re mounted (Photo 7). Finish the front edge of the plywood shelves with iron-on edge banding. See this article for complete instructions on installing edge banding.

Start the cabinet installation by screwing a 1x2 ledger to the wall to support the wall cabinets. Align the top edge of the board with the 47-1/2-in.-high level line and drive a screw at each stud location. Next, measure from the vertical lines to the center of the wall studs, and transfer these measurements to the hanging strip at the top of each wall cabinet so you’ll know where to drive the cabinet installation screws. Hang the cabinets by resting the bottom edge on the ledger, tipping them up against the wall, and driving 3-in. screws through the hanging strip into the studs (Photo 6). Secure the bottom of the cabinets by driving a nail or screw down into the ledger. Connect the fronts of the cabinets by hiding 1-1/4-in. screws under the shelf standards. Complete the installation by nailing on the face frames (Photo 7). We used a 1x3 for the bottom face frame to hide the under-cabinet lighting.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 4: Mount shelf standards on the cabinet sides before assembly. Then screw the sides to the bottom top with 1-5/8-in. screws. Drill pilot holes to prevent the plywood from splitting.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 5: Use the plywood back as a guide for squaring the cabinet. Apply a bead of glue. Then nail one edge of the plywood back to the cabinet side. Then adjust the cabinet box as needed to align the remaining edges and nail these.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 6: Rest the bottom of the cabinets on the ledger and tilt the cabinet up. Drive 3-in. screws through the hanging strip at the top of the cabinet into the studs.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 7: Nail a 1x3 to the lower cabinet edge to create a valance for the under-cabinet lighting. Nail 1x2s to the cabinet top and sies to cover the raw plywood edges.

You can buy drawer slides that mount directly to the underside of a desk or countertop, but we’ll show you another method that allows you to use high-quality, side-mounted drawer slides. We bought these full-extension ball-bearing slides at the local home center. They cost about $15 per drawer. But you can substitute less-expensive epoxy-coated slides to save some money. You’ll have to measure your closet to figure out the drawer sizes. Just make sure the drawers clear the open closet doors.

Building the drawer support frame is straightforward. Start by laying two of the stringers side by side and marking the location of the drawer dividers on them. Ball-bearing slides are not very forgiving, so measure and attach the drawer dividers carefully so the dividers are perfectly parallel when the frame is assembled.

For our 24-in.-deep countertop, we used 20-in. drawer slides. We cut the drawer dividers 20 in. long and built the drawer boxes 20 in. deep. If your closet is shallower, use shorter slides and adjust these dimensions to match. The drawer slides have two parts. One mounts to the dividers and the other to the drawer. Remove the part that attaches to the drawer according to the included instructions. Then screw the part of the slide with the ball bearings to the dividers, aligning the bottom edges. The center dividers will have drawer slides on both sides. Screw through the stringers into the drawer dividers to build the frame. Be careful to keep the front of the drawer slides facing forward. Then add the second layer of stringers. Check the frame against a framing square as you screw it together to make sure it’s square. When the frame is complete, measure between the slides to determine the drawer sizes (Photo 8).

Build the drawers by screwing through the sides into the fronts and backs, and then gluing and nailing on the plywood bottom. Nail one edge of the bottom to the drawer box. Then use a framing square to square the drawer box before nailing the other three edges. To attach the drawer slide to the drawers, we first drew lines 1-7/8 in. down from the top edges of the drawers (Photo 9). You may have to adjust this distance to match your drawer slides. The dimension isn’t critical as long as there’s about a 1/4-in. clearance between the drawer and the stringer when the drawer is mounted. Then sight through the screw holes in the slides to center them on the line before attaching them with the included screws.

Finish the drawer installation by attaching the frame to the underside of the countertop (Photo 10) and installing the fronts. Hold the drawer frame back 3/4 in. from the back of the countertop edging. Install the drawers by lining up the slides and pushing them in. Photo 11 shows a tip for aligning the drawer fronts. The hot-melt glue holds the fronts temporarily. Attach them permanently by opening the drawers and driving four 1-1/4-in. screws through the drawer box into the drawer front from the inside.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 8: Make sure your drawers fit perfectly by building the drawer frame first. Then measure between the slides and build your drawers exactly this width.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 9: Draw a line parallel to the top of the drawer to indicate the center of the drawer slide. Line up the slide by centering the line in screw holes. Attach the slide with the screws provided.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 10: Make center marks on the frame and the underside of the counter and align them. Then use a spacer to set the frame 3/4 in. back from the countertop edging and drive the screws.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 11: Starting with the center drawer front, dab on hotmelt glue and press it against the drawer. Quickly center the drawer front 1/4 in. below the countertop edge. Hold it still for about 10 seconds until the glue cools. Now position the other two drawer fronts. Drive screws from the inside.

Here’s a handy method to hide cords and still have easy access to them: simply mount a backsplash board about 4 in. from the back wall to create a cord trough. Drill holes through the face and install cord grommets to allow cords to pass through. We found 2-in. cord grommets at the home center, but since they were a loose fit in the 2-in. hole, we held them in place with a dab of silicone caulk. Lay a multi-outlet power strip behind the backsplash for extra outlets. We drilled a hole through the countertop so that we could plug the power strip into a wall outlet. You can also nail backsplash boards to the end walls for a more finished look.

How to Turn a Spare Closet Into a Home Office

Photo 12: Attach the backsplash with cleats, holding it about 4 in. from the wall. Then drill holes where you'll have cords and install cord grommets.

We’re not showing how to wire your closet office here, but chances are you’ll want to add at least one electrical outlet and possibly cable, phone, or network wiring. We’ve got tons of how-to information to help you add an electrical outlet. Keep in mind that the new National Electrical Code requires that closet outlets be arc fault protected. This means you’ll have to either connect to or add a circuit that’s protected by an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). While you’re adding wiring, check out this article on adding a light.

How to Turn a Closet Into an Office | The Family Handyman

The Family Handyman is the DIYers best friend, offering a variety of print and digital resources for do-it-yourself homeowners. Their forte is accurate and complete how-to instructions for improving homes, yards, and vehicles. They publish The Family Handyman magazine, the oldest and largest publication for DIYers, and a variety of newsstand publications in addition to this web site. The Family Handymanis part of the Reader’s Digest Association family of brands, including Taste of Home, Birds & Blooms, and of course Reader’s Digest.

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Lasered Dragonfly and Flower Clock (with epic detail)

finished-clocl.jpgUsing the laser to get a LOT of artistic detail. Made it at techshop!
dragonfly-outline.jpgFirst, I decided I wanted to make a fancy clock, after tossing around a few ideas I decided on this image. It is a Japanese woodblock print by Hokusai. I happened to already have this black and white outline of it ^_^  There are a variety of colored versions of this, depending on who was printing it at the time I guess. This colored one I include here was my favorite I found, and I based my own coloring on it.

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Why Are There So Many Productivity Apps and How Do I Pick One?

Dear Lifehacker,
Every week it seems like there's a new email, calendar, or to-do app out and I can't keep up. How can I find the right one for me in a sea of hundreds of options?

To-Don't Care

Dear TDC,
We totally understand your pain. A quick glance at the productivity section of any app store reveals thousands of options for various email, to-do, calendar, notes, workflow, and everything else apps. Cutting through the cruft isn't easy, but the real trick is knowing when to stop looking for the perfect app and just be happy with what you have. Here's why so many apps exist, and what you can do to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed by it all.

Why Are There So Many Productivity Apps and How Do I Pick One?

More often than not, productivity apps are at least loosely based on a productivity method. The thing is, tons of productivity methods exist and many of us are remixing the best ideas into our own systems. So, to handle all of these different methods of getting things done, we have hundreds of apps that do similar things in slightly different ways.

Take email for example. Earlier this year, Mailbox came up with a system that used gestures and a simple interface to get you to inbox zero. The problem was that the app only worked with Gmail, and its simplicity was a problem for a lot of people. So, it's no surprise that shortly after we'd see similar apps, including Mail Pilot and Boxer that try to accomplish the same goals as Mailbox, but with slightly different approaches.

For pretty much every productivity idea out there, an app exists that embodies that idea. It's not a bad thing, because as we've learned before, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all productivity method, but the problem is that we end up being inundated with app options. Many of them are so well made that we want to check them out, even if they don't actually solve a problem we have.

Why Are There So Many Productivity Apps and How Do I Pick One?

The internet is already an easily excitable machine, but when it comes to hyping, overhyping, and singing the praises of a well-designed app, it's especially easy to go a little overboard. For the most part, all of us, from writers to designers to users, are all looking for the right app that'll make our lives easier. When something comes along that might do that—and especially if it comes in a nicely designed package—it's really easy to overpronounce the usefulness of it all.

The idea of getting excited about a productivity app might seem silly, but we've seen it time and time again. Years ago apps like AutoHotKey, Simplenote, or TextExpander completely changed the way we do things. Within the last year, apps like Clear and Mailbox answer the increasing desire to keep things simple and easy to use. Just yesterday, the notes management app Vesper garnered attention even though it's "yet another notes app" because it was built by an all-star team and manages to look fantastic while doing something several other apps already do.

The internet gets excited about this stuff because no matter what platform we're talking about, there's still room for improvement. Whether that's automating routine tasks, providing a more intuitive user interface, or simplifying things to the point that anyone can use them, we clearly desire productivity tools that work better than what we have. When something new comes along that fills that void, even if it's only a partial filling, it's easy to get excited.

Again, as was mentioned above, it's also about finding what works for you. Clear isn't great for people who need tons of options, but for a vast majority of users out there, an app that just displays a simple to-do list is really all they need. Mailbox isn't really useful for people who don't care about inbox zero, but if you do, it's an excellent tool for getting there. Each of these apps offers something to someone, and that alone is worth talking about.

From our point of view, if we can see a use for an app, or if it does something differently, it's worth mentioning. But that doesn't mean you have to go out and try every new thing that hits the digital shelves. For every app we do talk about, thousands exist that we don't ever mention.

Why Are There So Many Productivity Apps and How Do I Pick One?

Despite the fact that many of us have been using smartphone apps for over five years, the actual experience of getting things done on a smartphone hasn't improved all that much. Heck, smartphones might actually hurt us more than help.

So, a lot of mobile apps out there are still trying to fix this problem. Email is still broken for a lot of people. It's hard to manage, it's impossible to keep up with, and it's a pain to use. For whatever reason, desktop mail clients have all but given up on fixing this issue while the mobile market has exploded with mail apps to the point where it feels like we're at a mobile email bubble. The same goes for everything else in the productivity suite. Calendars are trying to be smarter. Contact management apps want to integrate all parts of your life automatically. Notes apps are syncing across multiple services. They're all trying to make life simpler, and many of them succeed at this, but there's still a ton of room for improvement.

This isn't as much of a problem with desktop software. It's pretty rare that the internet gets excited about a desktop productivity app because for the most part they're all doing what we want them to. That's not to say it doesn't happen, every once in a while something comes along that blows us all away, but it seems more rare than mobile apps, at least for the time being. Mobile is new, it's shiny, and it's still broken. So when something comes along that might fix that it's hard to ignore.

Here's the hard truth: an app alone isn't going to make you more productive. So, stop relying on the app. It's not about the app you use, it's how you use it. Find one that works and stick with it. These things are a dime a dozen, and I can almost guarantee you'll find something that works for you specifically.

If you need a good starting place, our own App Directory is a good place to begin the search for the perfect app. Once you find that app, stick with it. While it's a good idea to continue paying attention to new stuff to see if something fits your needs a little better, don't feel like you have to try every single app out there just because it's new. Some aren't going to work for you, and that's fine. Use what works for you, and get things done.

Good Luck,

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Photo by Miggslives.


2013-06-06 22-18-35.066.jpgHow to make a wire wrapped seaglass seahorse?  We will show you!  The final size of ours is about three inches tall and an inch and a half wide.  You can make larger ones or smaller ones.  This size is nice for a necklace.  Materials needed: 20 Gauge wire for the main body.  You want strength and flexibility.  26 gauge to wrap around the main body and to thread all the body pieces together.  Two pieces of sea glass.  We chose brown this time around, but any color you have will be perfect.  Make sure the sides aren't too sharp.  Throw them back in the ocean/lake if they are!  So, one for the body and one for the tail fin.  Then you will need an assortment of other beads you have.  We chose turquoise and pearl white glass beads, clear crystal glass gem and a metal bead for the eye.  Also, we added the ring for the necklace where its "ear" would be.  Lets start, shall we?2013-06-06 20-06-11.599.jpgThis is what we used.  You can use different colored wire, beads and glass.  Use what you have.  We have about 8 beads the size of a small altoids mint used for the the nose and neck area.  Then smaller than that we have ten beads for the "mane" and the top part of the tail.  Finally we have teeny tiny ones used on the top of the head and the bottom of the tail.  One metal bead for the eye.  The 20 gauge wire is about 12 inches long.  You will cut it if its too long.  About 4 feet of the 26 gauge. 

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