An age of optimism. Again.

It is often said that the Art Deco period was an expression of optimism through design; clean lines, simple forms, smooth sophistication, pushing towards a brighter future. Whether or not that’s true, I like it; both in design and philosophy. It’s starting to show.

It’s probably more directly due to spending this weekend in antique stores in Bellingham and Anacortes, but when I sat down to make a new base for one of my wife’s IKEA lamps today, I ended up with a really cool design for something so incredibly boring.

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Blinded by the light (but not for long)

When you start work at frog, you are given your choice of computer type, desk type, and a selection of useful desk items, including a nice IKEA TERTIAL desk lamp with a nice, bright, CFL bulb. These lamps are great at illuminating your desk, but they also can cause pain to any coworker who happens to be on the wrong side of the shade.

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Cottage Frottage; or, making creative fun at home.

When I was 10, my parents sent me to stay with my grandparents in Pennsylvania for a summer. My grandparents, apparently not knowing what to do with a 10-year-old boy, enrolled me in summer school. Yeah, total bummer.

There was a week or so before school started so they took me to a toy store to get me something to pass the time with. I picked the Tomy Little Van Goes toy — basically a bunch of interchangeable plastic plates and a holder that you put paper over and rubbed to get the outline of different vans you could then color. I thought this was great, until three days later when I got bored with it because there weren’t enough of the kinds of pieces I wanted to see.

As I’ve been thinking a lot about crafty things for groups lately, I recalled my initial joy of this childhood toy, and the frustration at not having all the things I wanted it to. Then I remembered that I have a 3D printer! What a great thing to be able to design and print!

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Still pushing the limits of size and resolution

As I mentioned in my first attempt at creating a very small headphone shirt clip, I wanted to revisit the design and make some adjustments based on what I had learned. I got a chance over this holiday weekend to do just that — take some more measurements, make some new designs, and print some more clips.

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Seeing things through to completion, learning all the way

Other than weekends, I only make trips to our studio where my Thing-o-Matic lives every so often. If I get tied up with life, my 3D printing plans can fall behind. Such is the case with a project I’ve had on my plate for a few weeks now: the pico projector holder bar I talked about before. Well this past weekend my plate was empty so it was a good weekend for lots of 3D printing. I managed to get the other bracket — the actual piece that holds the pico projector — printed, modified, and printed again. And I learned some things in the process.

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Pushing the limits of size and resolution

I like my Bose earbud headphones: they stay in my ear when I’m walking or jogging, and don’t bleed sound to folks around me like the stock white Apple ones. I really like the little clip that lets me attach the cable to my shirt, keeping the wires from that point on to my ears at a constant distance; I can turn my head in any direction and won’t be restricted by the wires back down to my pants pocket.

Walking to work one morning, thinking about how nice this clip is, I thought that I should try to make a similar clip for the white headphones, just to see if it could be done. And, of course, I could share it on Thingiverse.

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