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MakerBot Day 2: I Start to Build

Let me start off by saying that I mean this in the nicest way possible -- I am really enjoying the lurching process of building my MakerBot, and am more than happy to get the chance to work my way through the assembly of the machine.

That said, if the MakerBot is the future, then the future is f*&@ing complicated.

Makerbot Day 5 (Part 1/2): It's Alive! (sort of)

I have no doubt that February 26 will go down in history as a momentous day. On Saturday morning, after an evening spent fine tuning the current of my Thing-O-Matic's motors, calibrating the PID (don't ask) of the extruder to stabilize the temperature so that the plastic would be dispensed in a controlled, even stream instead of like toothpaste out of an almost-cashed out tube, and generally hoping that the next step was the last hurdle before I could proclaim my MakerBot alive.

MakerBot Day 4: It Takes a World to Make a MakerBot

You may have noticed that, four posts into this series exploring life with a MakerBot, I've yet to actually print anything with my Thing-O-Matic. To make a long story short, despite my best efforts to resolve the problem on my own - which primarily consisted of testing the connections between the Arduino MEGA and the TOM's motherboard (the combined brain of the bot, these are responsible for processing the 3D model input and issuing commands to the other electronics in the bot), it turned out that the problem was beyond my capacity to fix.

Maker Bot Day 4: Spaceship Thing-O-Matic

Sometimes, when I am really and truly immersed in something, I find myself making some truly banal, self evident non sequitur, but then treating them as if they are the most profound insights ever gleaned into the human experience. The last week with my dad has reminded me that this is a family trait.

As we were triple and quadruple checking the wiring for the Thing-O-Matic -- the last stage in the build process before we are able to start seeing what this baby can crank out, my dad offered up this gem:

"Imagine getting a space ship off the earth."

MakerBot Day 3: Dad and the Soap Box Derby

I'm going to let you in on a secret: this post is a composite of sorts. Because, as it turns out, when you are as cautious (and inept) at putting things together as my Dad and I are, things take a lot longer than projected in the Thing-o-Matic (TOM) instructions.

Day 1 with a MakerBot

The box sits unopened in my living room and I am feeling, if I am being perfectly honest, quite nervous about cracking it open. The sticker -- MakerBot Inside, in a futuristic font -- is undeniably cool. Cool in the same way that the availability of Joss Whedon's Serenity on the iPad is cool. But still cool nevertheless. 

I'm scared to open the box

IFTF on GOOD

This past month Jake Dunagan and I started a series of posts over on GOOD magazine's website. The posts focus on both explaining what Futures thinking is to an intellectually and practically engaged audience, and on provoking thought about some of the major systemic challenges our society will be facing over the coming decades.

3 Word Introductions at Future of Persuasion

To kick off the Future of Persuasion conference, Technology Horizons program director, Lyn Jeffery led attendees in a twitter-like, get-to-know-you exercise. Everyone in the room was asked to pick three words to describe themselves, below are some of the very interesting picks from our guests:

 

 

Robotics For Sustainability

As you may have read earlier in the week, this week we here at IFTF have been collaborating with the American Chemical Society on a new Signtific Lab thought experiment.  In "Robotics for Sustainability" we have been seeing some fantastic conversations about the future of chemistry, robotics, and sustainability.

Ends vs. Means and Persuasive Games

A video featuring Carnegie Mellon Professor of Entertainment Technology Jesse Schell has been making the rounds this week, and it touches on a number of themes that I think are central to understanding the intersection of games, education, and persuasive technology.

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