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Welcome, Nadya Peek! (the picture above is her ordering PCBs while on a beach)
- Nadya is part of the Machines That Make group at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms.
- Her advisor is Neil Gershenfeld, author of “Fab – The Coming Revolution To on Your Desktop“. The group is also responsible for the concept of Fab Labs.
- Chris joked that the Rep Rap is not actually self replicating (Nadya is often asked if her machines can do that). Nadya likes that the Rep Rap community is composed of people thinking about machine design.
- Some old machines have a “Load Tape” button.
- The MTM reconfigurable machines use virtual machines that abstract out directions and axes. However, the machines can still interpret Gcode if necessary.
- The reason these formats (gcode, gerbers, pdf) persist is they are portable. Nadya seeks to make things portable by making readable, friendly code (even if it will need to be reworked at some point in the future in a new language).
- Dave asked if there is concern about projects branching off, but Nadya says that’s the point (increasing access to tools).
- There are differences when looking at robots vs machines.
- The “How to make (almost) anything” class at MIT is one of the most popular at the school.
- They attempted to make a circuit board cutter that could supplant the Modela. This started as the MTM Snap machine.
- Others associated with the lab are working on board cutters as well; Jonathon Ward went to Otherlab, who are the makers of the Othermill.
- After the Snap machine, the MTM group wanted to extend the head to allow cutting and extrusion and vinyl cutting: they made the Pop Fab into a suitcase
- This was made much quicker using a Flexicam CNC machine
- Tool making moves outside of just electronics though; Nadya wants to help people automate any task, like in synthetic biology or a lab.
- Nadya’s cohort Ilan was doing a project for a friendship bracelet loom…and ended up making a machine to wind the coils for the loom!
- Nadya told us about a 3d printing documentary called “Print the legend“.
- Ilan was also behind the vision based CNC handheld router by Taktia. They needed to make a machine to make the custom tape for vision tracking as well.
- There are lots of Kickstarter projects that come out of MIT
- Nadya also likes that Bunnie and Xobs’ Novena project will not only be an awesome open source project, but also will a commentary on getting things made outside of the usual mass produced pathways. This is in contrast to Bolt, which works with Dragon Innovation helping out (or Highway1 which has PCH Int’l helping out).
- Another CBA project, Google’s Project Ara also has modularity at heart.
- Nadya won’t be making Chris a chip printer, but offered to possibly make a potato chip printer.
- ‘Dave tells Nadya and Chris about Potato Semiconductor, which makes high speed digital logic (and has a ludicrous website).
You can find Nadya’s work on her website, Infosyncratic.
Hey, great show. I am from Estonia and about Estonian .ee domains, they changed it in 2010. Now foreigners can register them too.
Maurice Perry says
Nadya’s presentation at 30C3:
Honus at Instructables.com says
This episode is made of Awesome- yes I’m using Awesome as if it existed as an element. 🙂
The learning curve for computer controlled machines is just too steep for a lot of people who want to make things. By the time you learn how to use the software/machine effectively you often lose momentum on your project or your window of opportunity has passed. I had a long chat with an acquaintance from a large CAD software company at the Conference on World Affairs a couple of years ago in Boulder and we were talking about CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping and my point to him was that in order for you to reach a larger percentage of the population of people who want to make things you need to lower the barrier regarding the complexities of software and machine control.