As the Media Center moves into the summer months, we have big changes planned for all the movers and shakers on campus. The room formerly known as the collaboration station will be renovated as a new Makerspace. What is a Makerspace you ask? To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone. All are united in the purpose of providing access to equipment, community, and education, and all are unique in exactly how they are arranged to fit the purposes of the community they serve.
The Dickinson Media Center has a number of new tools at its disposal to assist in the “making” part of the new room. Along with two recently purchased 3-d printers and dozens of new instructional e-books on creating electronic apparatuses, we now have two rasberry pi single-board computers, a makey-makey, Arduino electronics, and a 3-d printing pen. Check out our cool new tech toys in action!
Check out the current state of the “collaboration station”, then drop by and see all the changes that are expected to be finished Summer 2014.
The Media Center held its first Media Exposé on Saturday 4/26 to showcase student work from the past academic year. Thanks goes out to everyone who submitted their work and also to those who showed up for the event itself.
Today at the media center we’ve been playing with a new Pick Punch! We’re recycling old media storage devices, cards, and CDs to make guitar picks sustainably from unused pieces of hardware. Want a guitar pick with your face on it? Bring an old ID down here and punch out a pick! We’re always trying to come up with new ideas about how to use our equipment creatively, so come try your hand at making something new, original, and sustainable at the Media Center in the basement of Bosler! Also, come check out our upcoming event, the Media Exposé on Saturday, April 26! If you want to submit art to show for the Exposé, hurry! It’s past the deadline but we’re still accepting submissions!
Check out the first successful flight of our DJI Phantom.
With 3D printers the sky is the limit. This incredible technology has been used to help engineers create prototype products, doctors can create plastic bones and DIY-ers around the world create tons of cool and useful gadgets. Even at Dickinson, using the Media Center’s own Makerbot printer, professors from the Mathematics and Earth Sciences departments have created 3D models to enhance their lessons.
One Dickinson student has explored using the technology for something entirely different, fashion. She created a very unique necklace using a template found online on one of the countless forums where people share their designs. The use of 3D printing is a hot new trend in the fashion industry with many designers looking to dream up and print wildly intricate and imaginative works. As the printers continue to become more advance and able to print with different materials their uses will become even more widespread. Just about any industry could benefit from the ability to customize and relative ease that 3D printers offer for turning virtual creations into something physical. The possibilities are endless and the Media Center has the tools that you need to create something awesome!
Various images from the production of the necklace
We here at the Media Center have upgraded our look for fall 2013. Over the summer we’ve upgraded our furniture and reorganized the podcast rooms to create a more spacious area for you and your friends to record digital media.
Work desks in the hallway now have state of the art iMacs with a 27 inch screen (the biggest ones on campus!) and a terabyte of space. These new iMacs have every Adobe program available on the Creative Cloud everything from Photoshop and Illustrator or Audition and After Effects. Our lynda.com accounts, and in house media center expertise, can help you familiarize yourself with any of the new software programs down here. So come on down and check out our new look this semester. I have a feeling you’ll love it!
Hot off of the presses! This year’s MC Magnet is available. First years can look for one in their orientation packet. We still have some previous years versions available so you can create even more bizarre word combinations!
Sometimes the week is slow and no pressing projects need attention. When that happens, students come up with some wild ideas. One such idea was the construction of a Rube Goldberg machine, an elaborate device with the aim of accomplishing a simple task. For our machine, we wanted to pull a data projector back a dolly track so that it would focus a video of some of our PS3 & Xbox360 games into focus. The following video showcases the machine in action with quick notes trying to point out some of (although not all) of the equipment showcased in the video. In the coming days we’ll try to compile some footage of the “making of” process as well as still-frame links to the actual equipment pages themselves so if you see something in the video you didn’t know about you can check it out in more detail.
Announcing the newest edition to the Media Center: our new NextEngine 3D scanner! To complement the Makerbot 3D printer, we now have the capability to produce high definition 3D meshes of small objects within around two hours. The NextEngine software also allows us to export in the .stl format – a format that can be printed on the 3D printer – so in due time we should be able to scan an object and then immediately start turning out plastic copies. I like to think that it brings us just one step closer to having Star Trek replicators.
After running a few calibration and test runs, we decided that our first victim for scanning and subsequent replication would be this miniature Buddha figurine. The scanner uses the combination of a camera and an array of lasers to scan objects, meaning that the easiest objects to scan aren’t too dark, light or shiny, and of course finer details and textures are harder to pick up. Ignoring that advice completely, we went ahead and scanned the Buddha figure.
Scans take about an hour to two hours to complete depending on the detail of the scan – for the Buddha, I used two 360° scans, one at a 0° tilt and one a around a 20° positive tilt to get some of the details on top of Buddhas hands and arms. Each 360° scan family consists of six to sixteen rotations – for this one I used twelve. Once the scans are complete, the software patches them together into a single 3D model, but sometimes it needs a little manual adjustment to get it just perfect.
After some toying with the scans on the NextEngine software we went ahead and printed a copy of Buddha on the Makerbot! Now I would draw your attention to the surprising level of detail on Buddha 2.0’s upper body, and not the fact that his lower half is slightly completely mutilated. Then again, we learned the importance of insuring that there are no holes in the 3D mesh or Makerbot kind of freaks out. Now, we think we’ve figured out a method for getting a 3D scan that is watertight and should produce printings that aren’t bisected.
The newest addition to the Dickinson Media Center equipment is this shoulder rig for DSLR’s (pictured), camcorders, and digital cameras. Check it out for your video project to create smooth, dynamic camera movement.
Since we purchased our Makerbot Replicator over the summer, we haven’t had a place for it to call home. It floated around from space to space but thanks to a little bit of furniture repurposing, it has found a place where it can stay for good. Check it out in the Media Center hallway in its new cabinet. There is plexiglass on the side so even if it isn’t in action, you can still get a peak inside. Are you interested in seeing it run or do you want to create something on it? Email mediacenter at dickinson.edu for a tour.