London Designer 3D Prints Weather Forecasting Wave Lamp

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While many of us relegate talking about the weather to people-pleasing small talk, knowing whether it is going to rain or snow today, tomorrow, and later in the week is something most of us take for granted. Detailed information is widely available. You may spend part of each day tuned into the weather channel, wading through loads of extraneous information before you finally get what you need, or focusing on a couple of icons that tell you what the day will bring from your phone.

What if you could just roll over in the morning though, squint through still half-asleep eyes, and know what weaththe weather held simply through the hue of the lamp at your bedside? Leave it to curious makers like Dushyant Ahuja to come up with something just like that. Upon perusing the annals of Thingiverse, the London designer’s attention was gotten by a wave lamp that inspired him to go one step further and include the weather forecast.

“I couldn’t simply leave it to be a bedside lamp. I had to make it wifi and show the weather,” explains Ahuja in his Instructable.

He uses a ESP8266 module with WS2812B LEDs for showing the forecast based on corresponding colors, with the light switching off at 10 PM and then back on in the morning at 6 AM.

If you are interested in making your own weather forecasting wave lamp, you will need the following:

Tools:

  • 3D printer – one that can print at least 30-35cm
  • USB-TTL module to program the ESP-12E
  • Hot glue gun
  • Soldering iron

Consumables:

  • PLA – white for the lamp and another color for the base
  • 30 WS2812B Addressable RGB LEDs
  • ESP8266 – 12E
  • 74HCT245N
  • 5V power supply
  • 5V-3.3V Power converter
  • A few header pins and resistors
  • Solder

Although this is quite a time-consuming piece to make, one of the attractive points is that it does not require any supports, although Ahuja did use a 5mm brim to see that the print adhered to the bed. See the Instructable for settings.

“…This is a huge print and takes a lot of time,” states Ahuja. “So, if you’re not comfortable leaving your printer overnight (or over several nights) this is not for you. Get it printed using 3D Hubs. Mine took over 30 hours.”

He created the stand with Tinkercad, and you can download the design here, using colored PLA for printing.

“Be warned though – the cavity I’ve created doesn’t have any supports and the inside gets a little messy, especially with the woodfill PLA that doesn’t bridge well,” says Ahuja.

The top is an optional piece. If you are interested in creating it, see more here.

“I created it in Tinkercad to hide the hole at the top of the lamp. It’s nothing great, but works,” says Ahuja.

Next, you will need to create the circuit. Ahuja had a couple of boards left over from previous projects, and used those for the lamp project.

“The circuit used for this lamp is extremely simple and if your WS2812Bs (some do, some don’t) work at 3.3V signal, it’s even simpler as you can then avoid the 74HCT245N.”

Follow the directions for programming and coding, and then all that is left is assembly. Ahuja states that this is a functional design, but he is still working on it, adding other new features such as a notification for missed phone calls, wake up light, and more. He is open to suggestions, and asks that you post images if you create your own lamp.

Discuss this article and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

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[Sources: Hackaday; Instructables]

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Helping the maritime industry ride the 'smart' wave

SINGAPORE — Unglamorous and out of sight to most people as it may be, Singapore’s maritime industry is a key pillar of the nation’s economy, contributing 7 per cent of gross domestic product and employing more than 170,000 workers.

However, it is under siege and the industry is fighting back: From 3D printing of spare parts to “smart” technologies for ships and ports, which would allow them to communicate with each other and offer predictive maintenance for example, the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) is looking into various disruptive developments that would have a substantial impact, including on the jobs of ship operators and engineers, among others.

The maritime industry includes sectors such as shipping, port and maritime services as well as offshore and marine. The SMI was set up in 2011 to create a maritime knowledge hub and conduct research in areas such as smart technology, sustainability, safety and emerging technologies, to ensure the industry stays ahead of the curve.

In an interview with TODAY, SMI executive director Heng Chiang Gnee said: “(It) is a conservative industry — people would continue to do what they want if they can, but now they realise that they can no longer do so. If the players do not ride on (the changes), they will lose relevance.”

He added: “We are now looking at smart ship technologies and smart ports using sensors … and the skill set of workers could clearly see a shift. For example, a chief engineer who has had a lot of hands-on experience on the ship could potentially, going forward, just sit in a remote place and let all the data of the ship be fed to him. His skills would require him to be savvy enough in ICT (information and communications technology).”

The advances in 3D printing could also disrupt the entire ship repair industry altogether, said Mr Heng. Currently, 3D printers can print objects up to 2m in length but Mr Heng reckoned that soon, the technology would be advanced enough to print larger items, such as spare parts for ships that can be as long as a few hundred metres. “This is something that we are watching and the current technology for 3D printing has shown that it has reached a level where we should see it in a bigger way in the next few years,” he said.

Already, some European cities are studying ways to compete with low-cost countries by using digitisation to bring down their costs — for example, by using data to plan for the building of ships, he noted.

To ensure that training of future maritime workers stays up-to-date, discussions are ongoing in the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, which offer maritime courses. “We are mindful that training needs in schools have to change, and some specialised programmes could likely be modified. Everyone is mindful of this and we are actively exchanging ideas to see what can be done,” he said.

Globally, Singapore is an established maritime centre. A report by Norwegian consulting firm Menon last year ranked Singapore as the top maritime city in the world, ahead of Hamburg, Oslo, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

However, the industry is facing strong headwinds, including a cyclical downturn. In 2014, the offshore and marine sector — which employed 95,500 workers as of last year — had a turnover of S$17.2 billion. This declined by 15 per cent to about S$14.7 billion last year and the figure is set to fall further this year, said Mr Heng, who nevertheless attributed the fall mainly to cyclical factors.

“The global industry grew at a steep pace between 2006 and 2008. It continued to grow for the oil and gas sector until some years ago when it started to come down. A lot of capacity was created and it has outstripped demand. (Over) the last two years we have been seeing a consolidation of shipyards and ship companies,” he said.

The industry had been hit in recent months by the bankruptcy of South Korean giant Hanjin Shipping as well as the sudden collapse of Singapore company Swiber. Last month, Keppel Corp said its offshore and marine division had slashed 3,080 jobs worldwide in the third quarter, including 660 jobs in Singapore.

Mr Heng noted that employment at many shipping companies is linked to their order books. “If it shrinks, headcount falls. If the order book is not sustained, one can see further displacement,” he said.

Still, he expects a recovery in the shipping sector between 2018 and 2019, followed by an upturn in the oil and gas industry between 2020 and 2021 which would give the maritime industry a further lift. By then, it is crucial that Singapore is poised to ride the wave of changes.

Mr Heng said: “We are currently researching all these (disruptive developments) to help Singapore’s maritime industry position themselves as leaders, by focusing on what could happen and develop resources so that we have the capabilities and structure. This is not just to solve a problem, but to add value to the industry, so that ship vessels and owners here have a greater assurance.”

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This was a fun little project that you can do it with your kids, and surely you and your kids would love that!

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This spectrum electronic DIY kit need to assemble by yourself, it need more patience and careful.
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