WELCOME TO CREATIVE ARCHITECTURE MACHINES 2015!

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There are at least 3 books in the Hybrid Lab that have useful Xbee sections:

Tom Igoe's "Making Things Talk" (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596510510.do)

Michael Margolis' "Arduino Cookbook" (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920022244.do),

John Boxal's "Arduino Workshop" (http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Workshop-Hands-On-Introduction-Projects/dp/1593274483). Most of John's material comes from his excellent tutorials at http://tronixstuff.com/tutorials/.

We should also get but don't yet have Rob Faludi's "Building Wireless Sensor Networks". http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596807740.do

Rob also maintains a long list of common Xbee mistakes at http://www.faludi.com/projects/common-xbee-mistakes/

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A great note from Marty Marfin about using various resins and extrusion techniques  - plus Manuel DeLanda talks about the Spidergoat at 8:00 :

You might be able to saturate yarn with slow curing resin, extrude it from a "spinneret" and hold it in tension until it cures. You would also have to clean the extruder with solvent before it gelled, in the same way that a composites fabricator would clean their spray gun promptly. Some tips: Use natural fiber, it wets out more thoroughly while synthetic fiber just gets coated (the interior fibers don't get saturated and form a structural matrix with the resin binder. You could use polyester resin and control the cure time by adding a small percentage of MEKP catalyst. This would be relatively cheap, but polyester is very toxic, smelly and high in VOCs. Also, the MEKP catalyst can blind you if you get it in your eyes. I would recommend an epoxy resin with a pot life that is workable to get your extruding done and clean up before it gels. Check out entropy resins.com. Their product Super Sap CLR is mostly bio-derived, has minimal odor and no VOCs. You should still wear gloves, respirators and eye protection, however. Epoxy resin is not without its chemical hazards - check out the MSDS. It will be roughly twice as expensive as polyester, even with the student discount. But I believe that you have a responsibility to model more-sustainable fabrication methods.

It will honestly be pretty hard to balance a cure slow enough to clean up before gelling with a post-cure short enough to make your structure rigid before your crit. Again, it will have to remain in tension until this post-cure is complete. You need to look at the technical data sheets on the site, and talk to tech support about what you're trying to do. A scale small enough to fit in an heatable enclosure like the hot box in the Model Shop would be advisable.

This whole enterprise reminds me a bit of an article on robotically-fabricated architecture that I saw recently, perhaps on Jason's Facebook? A robot arm was filament winding carbon fiber...

The first idea I had when I heard what you wanted to do was this: Mix up some epoxy with enough filler in it to give it enough body that it won't collapse after extrusion. You could use synthetic fillers like micro balloons and fumed silica if you wear a respirator. You might instead try pecan shell flour or another natural filler, available from Douglas & Sturgess. You'll probably want to mix it to like a peanut butter consistency, and extrude it through a large irrigation syringe. You could mix in glass or natural fibers as well. You'd have to set you sights lower (literally and figuratively), but it should work, and would be structural when cured. You'd want to calibrate your Z height just so your subsequent layers adhere but don't disturb the ones underneath.

I also like the potentials of ceramic, gypsum and Portland cement-based extrusion. They are definitely less toxic, arguably more sustainable (ceramic needs energy-intensive firing, one ton of carbon is emitted in the production of one ton of cement). You could add fiber reinforcement to gypsum and cement; you could add different sized particle structural matrix to cement, as well as binder. You could also experiment with accelerants like aluminum sulfate for gypsum and compounds with similar effects for cement. I believe it is cementitious strategies that are getting the most traction with architectural scale 3D printing, Jason and Michael could tell you if that's true.

Let me know what you guys decide to pursue, and I'll give you some more detail, especially if you go with a resin.

In the meantime, speaking of extrusion, check out Manuel De Landa's take on "Spidergoat", starting around 8:00 in Deleuze and the New Materialsm 10/11, and concluding in 11/11. The whole lecture is highly recommended as well::

Manuel De Landa. Deleuze and The New Materialism. 2009. 10/11

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Here is a great resource for folks interested in Machine Vision
http://www.cse.usf.edu/~r1k/MachineVisionBook/MachineVision.htm

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