Grace Choi

Grace Choi is pretty awesome. She’s come up with a way to print makeup using a hacked inkjet printer. Yeah, what? You can check out this HOW TO, or just check out how she plans to disrupt a huge and extremely profitable industry.

I found her demo to be a bit unpolished from the software end, but she seems to know that there’s a great opportunity for developers to fill that gap.

I’m not really into makeup, but I am into 3D printing, and disrupting entire industries is definitely an interesting proposition. Here’s a bit of what Grace had to say that really illustrates the kind of person she is.

“One person alone can’t disrupt this entire beauty market,” Choi says. “Together, as a community, we can disrupt it. I’m willing to take a hit financially because my number one motivation is for change. This is a very important social mission for me. I think of Mink as an educational tool for kids, and one that can get girls interested in technology. I don’t need to be on some billionaires list. I’m aggressive and I’m going to make this happen. Before I die, this [beauty revolution] will happen.”

And if that’s not enough, there’s also this one:

“The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bullshit. They charge a huge premium on something that tech provides for free. That one thing is color.”

Definitely one to watch…

Earth

Yesterday I was talking to Caitlin (a fellow Grad Student at UWM) when two Undergrads approached us, and asked if they could ask us a question, and that question was “What gift would you give to the next generation?” I tried to answer something along the lines of “A better world” but I wasn’t very articulate. I thought about it a bit more, and here’s my answer.

I want to give the next generation a better world. A world with more understanding, and more knowledge. Not just information, but real knowledge. Useful data that can be used to make informed decisions. A world with less problems. Solutions to existing problems so that the future generation doesn’t have to worry about them.

I was thinking about the idea that you should leave your campground better than you found it, and stumbled upon The Boy Scout Rule (applied to software in this case, but it doesn’t matter.)

The Boy Scouts have a rule: “Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it.” If you find a mess on the ground, you clean it up regardless of who might have made the mess. You intentionally improve the environment for the next group of campers. Actually the original form of that rule, written by Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, the father of scouting, was “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.”

I’d highlight “leave this world a little better than you found it.” (And yes, I marked the “try and” in the above quote as deleted because I’m trying to leave this bit of wisdom better than I found it. :)

That’s it. It should be that simple: Leave this world a little better than you found it.

wmf2014t

Did I mention I’ll be at Maker Faire New York on Sept. 20th & 21st, 2014? Well, I will! (Actually, I’ll be arriving on Friday the 19th, to be exact.)

I’ll mainly be covering the action for the Power Racing Series with multiple cameras and multiple roles. Chances are good you’ll see me running around the track and lying on the ground during the races. I may do a bit of driving as well on Sunday.

I also hope to catch a lot of the fair, as there will be much to see, and so little time to see it all…

If you’ll be there too and want to meet up, look for me at the racetrack, or get in touch with me through the various methods that seem to work for such things.

wmf2014b

Hey, this post is only four months late! I had these files sitting on my desktop so I thought I should do something with them instead of just deleting them. I’ll explain a little bit about the process of preparing artwork for screen printing in a timely manner. (Unlike this blog post.)

Back in May I did a screen printing demo at Bay View Gallery Night at Milwaukee Makerspace, so I figured I would make a new screen. I also figured I would use the vinyl method.

Art

I started with some weird drawing of a TV monster with the letters “BVGN” using a Sharpie on scrap paper.

Scanning

I scanned it in as a black & white image at 600 dpi and saved it as a TIFF file.

Raster TIFF file

The resulting scan looked like this. No grey tones, just high contrast black & white.

Converting

I then imported the (raster-based) TIFF file into Inkscape so I could convert it to vector artwork. The “Trace Bitmap” command lets you do the conversion.

Vector Art

Here is the artwork as an outline. Vector artwork is needed for the vinyl cutter part of the process. Typically there would be some cleanup after the conversion process, but I was doing this all really quickly and didn’t have time for perfection.

I didn’t get any photos of the vinyl cutting and screen prep part, but it’s explained well in this post and a bit in this post.

Screen Printed

For the event, I tore pages from an old book on video production and used the pages to print on. I wasn’t after amazing quality with these prints, I just wanted something to demo during the evening. I got a few clogs since the screen sat around with ink in it for over five hours, but that’s how these things go.

The nice thing about using vinyl is that it’s fast, and if you’ve got an idea you can go from a hard-drawn image to screen printing it in a matter of hours. The vinyl method doesn’t work for all artwork though, but that’s the trade-off.

Change

Well, folks… I’m quite pleased to announce, it’s time for a change!

In December of 1993 I graduated from UWM with a BFA in Graphic Design. Now, nearly 21 years later, I’m returning. I’ll be pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in a new program focused on Digital Fabrication and Design at UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. Yes, I’m going to Graduate School.

I’ve had quite a bit of variety in the last two decades of my career, and the list of things I’ve done is getting lengthy, including design, software & web development, project management, photography, video, and audio production, system administration, model/actor, prop maker, technical editor, communications director, product development, writer, robot builder, race car driver… (OK, that last one is only slightly true.)

The one thing I’ve been surprised by when telling people about this change is that nearly everyone has been extremely supportive and excited about it. Their excitement may be due to my own excitement being reflected back, but I’ll take it!

Anyway, you can expect more changes in the coming months, but I’m pretty sure that no matter what the change brings, it’ll be exciting.

Onward!

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