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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cassette Tape case for SD Cards


There’s nothing like housing your modern technology in the façade of old technology. This is a small laser cut box that can hold up to 8 full-sized SD flash cards. There is a small living spring that will hold the lid shut when it’s bouncing around in your bag. You can open the box from either side.

With Christmas coming up, this would make great easy to make gift. I know I’ll be making a set of them.

This holder is the second generation of a SD card box, the original version was not nearly as much fun.

You can download the Soildworks, DXF and EPS files here: Cassette_SD_Holder-v1.zip (1.1mb)

Have Fun!

posted @ Sunday, December 11, 2011 10:47 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ DIY Laser ]

Monday, December 05, 2011

Flex Box–A wooden box with a living hinge

This is a derivative work of Folding Wood Booklet by SNIJLAB.


This is a derivative of the Folding Wood Booklet, a great implementation of living hinges in wood.
I redrew the design and made it into a box, suitable for trinkets, cards, photos, small papers.
The hinge is quite durable, but not indestructible. I don't feel like I would wear it out with frequent use. It's also surprisingly flexible for being made of wood.
I plan on using more living hinges in wood from now on.


Cut from 3mm wood of your choosing, glue the walls and add a elastic string to hold it shut.

IMG_0454 (1024px)IMG_0458 (1024px)IMG_0460 (1024px)IMG_0450 (1024px)IMG_0453 (1024px)

You can find the files over at thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12930

posted @ Monday, December 05, 2011 10:30 PM | Feedback (0) |

Monday, November 28, 2011

Making a party photo booth

I recently had a party where I setup a photo studio where everyone at the party could take photos of themselves anytime with a foot switch.

It was a lot of fun, a big hit with everyone, and I ended up with over 600 photos on my camera for the night.

Everyone enjoyed the photo booth, and friends are still commenting on how much they liked it a month later. It was also a great icebreaker for people that have never met. The size of the booth also made it friendly for small groups so that anyone with their friends could walk in a snap a few photos.

It ended up being easy to do, and here’s how I did it:

1. The Switch


I bought a simple foot-switch, this is basically a switch in a small box that ends with a 1/4in audio jack. You can find these switches easily on ebay or in a local music shop. I got mine for 5$.

You can find them as guitar effects foot switch, or a tattoo gun foot switch. You could buy your own, but for $5 I doubt I could have done it in such a good package. Look on ebay, or your local music shop.

2. The adapter

For my camera, a canon t2i, I have a 2.5mm jack for triggering a picture. Most SLR’s have a similar jack. I got my male jack from an old Nokia headset that happens to have the same size.

Making the adapter is easy, find the pins that trigger your camera, for a canon, it’s pin 1 and 3.


3. Setup!

Plug the trigger into your camera and setup your studio as you like. I put a radio master on my camera, and setup two hotbox flashes and a pain white backdrop. I also setup a laptop with the EOS tool on it, so participants could see themselves as they take photos.

Here you can see the studio, you can see the camera tripod and lights in the foreground. You can see us all gathered around at the end of the night and looking though the photos were taken.

The Studio


Here are some of the less scandalous and fun shots we took that night:

Girls and DrinksMan FightGirlsGood Party FunG MenPipe Smoking CatPressmanReach out and Touch the CameraExtra HandFlying Hand and SamuraiSamurai and SwordGeeky Live long and ProsperCereal GirlHipster Geisha

posted @ Monday, November 28, 2011 8:41 PM | Feedback (0) |

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cute Anthropomorphic Buttons


I’ve been working on some minor laser projects, and I’ve neglected the blog long enough. Here’s a quick and easy laser treat for you.

A set of laser cut buttons! Mostly anthropomorphic, there not as engineered as a lot of my projects, but I think they are fun.

Download the files to make your own here here: CutButtons-v1.zip (1.6mb)


Meet the buttons:

IMG_1888 Sad button

Sad button is sad.
IMG_1888 Happy Vampire and/or Monster

Even though this monster has sharp teeth, he’s happy to see you.
IMG_1888 Creative button

Sew where you want!
IMG_1888 Tiny Gaunt Skull

X’s for the eyes make this one for me.

Note: for the double X, only penetrate the cloth on the inner four holes.
IMG_1888 Dead Man

Just dead, not too scary.

Alternate: Make the eyes square with thread for “Stunned Guy”.
IMG_1888 Robot Head

This button may or may not be hyper-intelligent.
IMG_1888 Crazy Button

You can tell this button is crazy because the mouth is tilted
IMG_1888 Well Fed Skull

Less gaunt with tiny eyes.
IMG_1888 Crazy Happy

Happy and Crazed.
IMG_1888 Pig Nose Boy

You can see it right?

posted @ Saturday, November 26, 2011 8:24 PM | Feedback (0) |

Saturday, May 28, 2011

4volt.com is 10 Years Old

In April 4volt.com turned 10 years old, that’s a whole decade of weird stuff, lots of posts and files.

Here’s a picture of me modding a PlayStation in 2001, at the time this site was just getting started and the internet was a relative wild wasteland.

Me in 2001

I’ve also moved this site to a new server after running it for 2.5 years on a server in my basement.

Here are some fun facts about stats over the last couple years:

Total hits: 14,286,663

Average hit size: 32.53kb

Total Visitors: 907,787

Browsers in 2008:

Most_Used_Browsers 07

Browsers in 2011:

Most_Used_Browsers 11

So here’s to another 10 years, and thanks for visiting.

posted @ Saturday, May 28, 2011 11:21 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Tech ]

Thursday, May 12, 2011

This Cupcake is a Lie

The cupcake is a lie

With the recent release of Portal 2 and a birthday of a friend of mine, I wanted to do a portal themed laser something to give him. Sometimes the simplest projects are the most fun.

What I came up with is this, a small flag you can put in your cupcakes or other baked goods. Yes, I know cake does not make a appearance in Portal 2, but it is still my favorite Portal reference and is well known.

I made mine with white acrylic, which is easy to clean and is durable enough to reuse several times.

So, cut your self some flags and declare your cake a lie.*

Lie Flag

This item is also in my Ponoko Showroom, so you can easily buy a set today!

*The above statement may or may not be a lie.

posted @ Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:24 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Laser ]

Online Shop and 4volt Ponoko Showroom

A few months ago I dropped my online store here, mostly because it was too much work for me to cut and ship the Jansen Walker parts, and I was basically losing money in the process.

However, I’ve decided to put up a Ponoko Showroom that you can support the site with and buy some of the cool things I make here.

I’m still planning on releasing most or all of my deigns freely, but Ponoko will cut and send them to you.

So check it out at: ponoko.com/showroom/4volt


Have fun!

posted @ Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:58 AM | Feedback (0) |

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Interview on Open Hardware Junkies and Museum Exhibit

I was recently interviewed on a new podcast called Open Source Hardware Junkies about the Jansen walker, we talked about the walker, CAD and laser cutters. It was fun and you should check it out.


Also, I’m taking the opportunity to post these photos from the exhibit the my “Jansen Walker” and a Theo Jansen original Strandbeest last fall.

R0015446 R0015447
R0015448 R0015464 

It was Jansen Walker built to my design in the an exhibition at the Verbeke Foundation. (www.verbekefoundation.com)

(It's the version built by hexman, Kurt Van Houtte, Ghent)

The exhibition was about copies VS. original art and the attitude of artists towards reproductions.

posted @ Saturday, May 07, 2011 3:35 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Commentary ]

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Simple Hack: 3D to 2D glasses

Here is another simple hack for all of you that dislike 3d movies, converting 2 pairs of 3d glasses into 2 pairs of 2D glasses is quite easy.

These glasses will make 3d movies look like regular 2d movies while you are wearing them.

First a quick recap: most 3d glasses use differently polarized plastic lenses to filter the 2 images projected on a 3d screen into your two eyes. However you can swap lenses around to make sure the same image goes into both eyes.

However this method only works with the “cheap” plastic 3d glasses, not the heavy electronically controlled LCD glasses. (Those are less common)

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Find two pairs of 3d glasses, if your going to the movies with a friend, you already have them
  2. Pop out the left lens in one pair, and the right lens in the other pair
  3. Put both left lenses in one pair, and both right lenses in the other
  4. Done!

See the illustration below for an example:
Note: the lenses in your glasses aren’t actually red and blue, I’ve added those colors for clarity.


posted @ Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:07 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ DIY Simple Hacks ]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Simple Hack: Fixing Tripod Slide

Simple hacks is a short series of posts I’ve been meaning to do about simple tricks and alternative uses for things I’ve accumulated over the last year and documented. I’ll be trying to post one every couple of days. Some of them you may be aware of, or seem very simple, but they've all saved me time and aggravation over the last year.

Simple Hack 1: Fixing a friction style tripod slide column

My main photo and video tripod, the Manfrotto 7258 has a friction type center post. It’s great because it’s quick to adjust and set it place, the bad part is the friction has gradually lost holding power, and eventually could not hold up my camera, it would just slowly slide down.

So I put to work fixing it, I ended up trying several fixes including taking apart the whole head assembly and trying to adjust everything that could be adjusted.


Eventually the solution I settled on was about as easy as they come, a strip of electrical tape on the inside opposing side of the center tightened the tolerance enough that the friction grip worked much better. The electrical tape is also has more grip than the walls of the tripod holder, and the color blends with the tripod perfectly.

IMG_7224 IMG_7225

Now my tripod can hold just about any weight on the center column, much more then it could when new even, more even than it seems like the legs themselves will support safely.


posted @ Tuesday, April 19, 2011 1:56 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ DIY Simple Hacks ]