How to program muscle wire

We love smart materials and especially “Muscle wire” also called memory wire. Usually made from nickel and titanium, these wires are very durable and remembers their preprogrammed shape! Bend it, twist it, deform it in any way and when it is heated up, it automatically returns to it´s predesigned shape. This can be used to make active springs and even tiny muscles that moves when heated up by an electric current. So if you need a completely silent and lightweight alternative to motors and actuators, you should consider using muscle wires. There are a lot of videos out there that demonstrates how they can be used for robotics and more, but how do you program the wires shape? Well we finally found this excellent tutorial from RimstarOrg where this procedure is explained in detail. Now you can design your own smart actuators to fill whatever need you may have! What project can you imagine making with this smart material?

The beauty of foam and epoxy

In this video, Norm from Tested interviews effects artist Frank Ippolito about the full size dragon head/torso he and his team made for a computer game company. While their model might be to big and expensive for most hobbyist to make, the technique they use can easily be adapted on smaller models to get a beautifully sculpted hard surface without paying thousands of dollars for fiberglass or vacuum-forming. And the result is not only tough but also easy to mold, sand and paint. What cool projects could you do with this technique?

Do you know how to use a hammer?

Silly question? Everyone knows how to use a hammer, right? Well, we are here to tell you that you might not know all the neat tricks you can do with a hammer. Ever been in a situation where you are holding a piece of wood with one hand, the hammer in the other and no third hand to hold the nail while hammering it in? There is a simple but effective solution to this problem that many people do not know about, and here John Heisz shows us exactly how it is done. A must see for everyone that owns a hammer!

3D printing for good and evil

Any technology can be used for good as well as evil. A hammer can be used to kill a person, or build a home for one. This same duality goes for the emergent 3D printing technologies, and the full potential of this revolution has not yet been realized. In this video from 16×9, the different sides of the 3D printing revolution is investigated and both constructive and destructive uses are covered. The power of this technology is tremendous, which could make it a dangerous tool if it is used by bad people. What is your opinion and thoughts on this subject?

The versatility of a table saw

If you own a table saw and just use it for straight cutting, you are missing out. A table saw can be a very versatile tool if you know how to use it right. While making a gorgeus frame for a picture, Matthias Wandel beautifully demonstrates several tricks and techniques that you need to know about. So watch this video and lock up the true potential of your table saw!