Feb 262013

For Deconstruction 2013 Our Theme was “Deconstruct a Proposal.” Christina and I have been building all sorts of projects since we met. In fact we met when I was designing my battlebot (tetracide) next to a pool on a summer day, followed by a typical date (Dinner, Home Depot, and a movie). The two of us have been together for many years and so when I decided to propose it only seemed fitting to build something to do it and Deconstruction provided the perfect platform for this to happen.

The build itself, a Large multi-display POV, was a method to allow the same output as a jumbotron display without all of the complexity or cost. The display has a resolution of ~120*270 while only using 360 LEDs (vs the 32400 normally required). The goal was to build this display to display the message “will you marry me,” but the time limitations (48 hours) prevented the full photo and videos to be displayed. Even without the message Christina still accepted my proposal so the project was a complete success. We will be finishing up the code to make the board fully functional in the upcoming days. Additionally I will be during a much more detailed write up of the build if you ever wanted to build something similar in the future.

I want to give a special thanks to everyone at the Dallas Makerspace who helped make this proposal possible. There were 15-20 people who worked around the clock for 48 hours to help me to accomplish my vision and I really appreciate all their hard work and I hope that the journey was as gratifying for them as it was for me.

Technical Information

  • 3 spinners wit 120 LEDs each
  • linked together mechanically with a 3/4 HP DC motor
  • 120 LEDs per spinner each individually addressable using the WS2812 IC on custom designed and fabricated boards.
  • Each spinner features a Teensy 3.0 micro controller, a wireless module, and a sensor to detect the home location.
  • Software written in Ardunio Sketch, using the FastSPI libraries (will be changed to the OctoWS2811 LED Library in the future)
  • Power delivered to the boards through custom designed slip rings.


Deconstruction 2013
Nov 112012

As many of you saw from my facebook post last night my piece of art sold for $325, and I can now cross off “sell a piece of art” from my bucket list. I was required to keep my art under wraps until the event (not sure why, but I obliged). So here it is

I was given an 18″ x 18″ piece of plywood and with the help of Christina and the laser cutter at the dallas makerspace I built “circular logic.” I had the idea about 2 weeks ago to make a representation of how thinking and logic gets the gears turning in your head. Being me, I took a very literal approach to the art. The brain was designed in adobe illustrator and then printed 1:1 and used as a reference and then it was painted onto the board. I designed the gears to have a perfect 1″ center to center distance so that I could make a few sizes and adjust on the fly the layout. I laser cut a perforated drill guide which had the correct increment spacing for the gears which I used for the layout, I started with gear 1 then measure to the next gear and drill; move the guide to the new hole and continue, with this method I was able to make a cool gear train where everything spins smoothly with just a drill. Originally I was thinking of making a paper pattern for the axle locations and drilling but what I came up with allowed for each hole to take up the tolerance of the system. I am going to play with this method more in the future as you can do some fun layouts, and I think I could build some actual functional (robots) gearboxes with this method in without having a mill or cnc machine. For the axles I used t-nuts hammered into the back of the board and just 1/4-20 bolts. The hardest part of this was ensuring that the bolts were loose enough to allow everything to spin free, while not allowing too much slop (the largest gear has almost a 8″ dia), I did this all by hand and then red loctited** them in place.

As I mentioned in my previous post the piece was built as part of an organization called art conspiracy and this event specifically benefited “Girls Rock Dallas.” Girls Rock Dallas is currently offering a one week summer day camp to girls ages 8-17, providing music instruction in guitar, vocals, drums and bass, as well as life-skill workshops. The campers will form bands and learn how to write original songs together to perform at the camp’s showcase. As a beneficiary of Art Con 8, they will get closer to their goal of doubling the enrollment for the 2013 camp.

I am going to ditch my engineering dreams and become a full time artist after this event? Probably not, but I am more than willing and hope to be selected to participate again next year.

Stats: 150 pieces were for sale, the average sale price was $219.51, The max sale was $1050, the total amount raised through art $29,635(not counting admissions), My piece was the 28th highest selling piece 🙂

There are some more photos of the event available here. http://www.dallasobserver.com/slideshow/the-people-of-art-con-8-38152528/34/

**note: from experience previous to this build loctite reacts with acrylic and makes for a bad situation. If you have to use both together always put the loctite on the nut and not the bolt and don’t ever get any on the plastic.

Oct 292012

I was selected to be an artist for the ArtCon 2012 Event! The event features artists from all over the Dallas area to create a piece which will be auctioned off for charity.

The art is all created on a single day on the provided “board” (an 18″ x 18″ piece of primed wood). This year the art day is November 3rd and the Auction event is November 10th.

I will post a preview of my art sometime later this week.

You can check out all the details over on their site http://artconspiracy.org or their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/art.conspiracy

Check out some videos from last year’s event.

Jul 032012

Last year we brought you the Pourmaster Pro, this year for the 2012 Redbull Creation Qualifier; Midnight Invention, is proud to present “The Cool Master.” Powered with a combination of the Bullduino and the Vex Cortex, a beer cooler that will deliver you a beer, regardless of where you are. Enjoy and Cheers!

Team name changed from , “Innovation Thirst” after initial entry into the competition.