Entries tagged with: NOTlabs

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*notcot in travel - 2 Notes

NOTFZJ80: ARB Outback Solutions Drawers

drawerMAIN.jpg Here’s the latest in our adventures with the NOTFZJ80 - we realized it was time to get more organized before the next trip! So ARB was kind enough to help us out with some of their ARB Outback Solutions Modular Roller Drawer Systems. While we were considering building our own, when it came down to time/energy/money… and weight, it was going to be hard to beat their stainless steel frame, structural ply top with UV stable carpeting and aluminum and plastic details. You can easily customize your configuration between two depths of rolling drawers and fixed or rolling floors. You can stack them, have two side by side, or just install one. While they have special fit kits for popular trucks and SUVs, you can easily adapt them to just about anything you can imagine. (Check out all the details on this pdf.)

After much discussion, we opted for two rolling drawers, both with rolling floors (it’s so convenient! if you don’t want to use one, you can just lock it.), and the fit kit to create a perfectly flushed platform top. When the tailgate is closed, you don’t even see them! While we were tempted to get more drawers to stack, it is nice to leave space for the random things that will inevitably stack up in the trunk, and know you have a chance for some rear visibility. So far i’m loving them - honestly wondering how i haven’t always put these in my previous SUVs. It’s SO useful! They fit a ridiculous amount, open and close so easily, and basically just look like you lifted the floor a bit. Take a look at our unboxing, install, and filling them up on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Test Trip, Big Bear II

map0.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

So for Part I of the NOTFZJ80 Test Trip, we focused on Camping… in Part II, it’s time for off roading! And in this case, we decided to explore the Forest Service Roads around Big Bear further and really put the NOTFZJ80 through its paces. So from paved roads and highways… we headed down Forest Service Roads to find our campsite. They varied from paved to dirt to rocky… as we used the yellow post sites as an excuse to weave our way through the mountains as we checked out a few more spots, we arbitrarily picked service roads to explore! The result? everything from easy scenic routes to steeper routes… super steep rocky routes… weaving from peeks of lake views… through once burned forests starting to get lush with new growth… coming across a surprised family of deer… and more! Most importantly? It was fun, relaxing, and the NOTFZJ80 handled like a tank! you can see our route on the map above - the X is where we camped, and the rest is where we wiggled before popping out in Fawnskin. Take a peek on the next page…

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Test Trip, Big Bear I

maincamp0.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

I can’t believe we’re finally at this stage… TEST TRIP! For our first quick test trip there are two big things that need testing: #1 Camping! #2 Offroading! It still blows my mind how quickly we’ve gotten here, and how much we’ve done. It looks like such a different car from when we first brought it home. Looking back for a moment - we’ve been asked “Why THIS project car?” quite a bit, and without a doubt, it’s all about the experience for me. This isn’t exactly the type of setup you can just rent - and there’s something different when you do it all yourself bit by bit to make your ultimate setup! And as NOTCOT closes in on 10, I can’t even count how many incredible experiences i’ve been exposed to as i’ve run around covering events, exploring brands, testing (new) cars all over the world, but what has been lacking are the random vacations and goal free explorations I used to have. So the NOTFZJ80 is our way to do something that none of our other vehicles can do, and a reason to simply venture out, get lost, and get inspired by the unplannable unknown. Will it work? I can’t wait to find out!

So back to first test trip… having just gotten back from Atlanta, and heading to Iron Mountain, Michigan tomorrow… we didn’t have much time to squeeze in a little test trip. So it had to be close to home! A bit of research landed us on Big Bear! Only 2.5 hours away, gorgeous lake, and an easy spot to camp for a night and off road a bit… so take a look at part one (Camping!) on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 2 Notes

NOTFZJ80: PART IV

fzjupdate.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

Wow. We’ve so much has changed since the last update on our NOTFZJ80 Project. When you last saw it, we installed the front bumper + winch and were in a holding pattern as it got some work done at TLC. Well - it’s back! It’s had front axel, transfer case, bushings, and differential rebuilt and new Old Man Emu suspension, DBA brakes, radiator and rear bumper installed. Since it’s been back we’ve also installed a 40” LED light bar and snorkel on the front - awning off the passenger side and annex under the rooftop tent - and filled the rear bumper with jerry cans, spare tire, MaxTrax, and grill! Needless to say - we’ve been busy, and we’re just about ready to go test out camp with the NOTFZJ80. Check out our progress on the next page.

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NOTFZJ80: PART III

update0.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

Seems about time for a NOTFZJ80 Project update! This update is a combo of accessorizing and… waiting. So much patient waiting… as the Land Cruiser heads in to TLC to get some work done. But just because the car isn’t here doesn’t mean there aren’t NOTFZJ80 Project related tasks to be done. In this update we’ve got the front bumper + winch installed, dropped it off to the shop, started the scavenger hunt for parts (which even brings us over to AutoNation Toyota in Irvine), amusement with jigger siphons, jerry cans, MaxTrax, D-ring shackle bracelets, marine grade battery and more… check out the latest progress on the next page! We are nearly adventure ready!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

Unboxing: Formlabs Form 1+

formlabs0.jpg I’ve been curious to see a Formlabs desktop stereolithographic 3D printer in action since they blew up on Kickstarter back in 2012. Since that time they have now launched the second iteration, The Formlabs Form 1+, and i’ve been learning far more from Shawn with our NOTlabs experiments and projects about the trials and tribulations of consumer desktop 3D Printing - so it has been quite a treat to spend the last few weeks experimenting with the new Formlabs Form 1+!

Physically, the design of the Formlabs 3D printer is a stunning iconic object that you can’t help but be drawn in any studio. It’s a piece of art! That glowing orange acrylic cube, that opens and closes so nicely (I particularly love how precisely tiny the gap is between the cover and the build plate when you open it!) and there’s a single button on the front - all the details are so well thought out! And the quality of the prints - wow - the resin layers can get down to 25 microns now! So thin, they are nearly undetectably smooth. The prints are lovely!

Before we jump into the unboxing and look at the printing process and outcome - I just want to address a few key things i’ve learned as i’ve been playing with the consumer 3D printers and the questions that keep coming up. Yes things always go wrong, prints will fail, tweaking is always needed - be it in your file, the hardware, some tiny overlooked detail (from the tape you put down to the resin you poured in) - there is ALWAYS something. I’ve accepted that as just part of it at this stage in the maturity of consumer 3D Printers. But they are getting there! Every new machine we play with impresses me more and more - but for something to get plugged in and have everything consistently churn out perfection - I know that patience and learning with each print is key. We’ve played with a slew of printers for various projects - from Objets to Makerbots, Z Corp to Stratasys, and more… so just know that going into this review, i’m approaching it with patience and curiosity!

That being said - to the unboxing and test prints on the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

Laser Smashball Experiment

smash1.jpg It feels like it’s been summer here since february or so… and when we were checking out at the supermarket, had a nostalgic moment when i spotted Smashball - that beachy wooden paddle ball game thats been around since the 70s with such an adorably iconic logo. It also seemed like a fun one to experiment with in the Laser Cutter! Remember the hexagon experiment from the laser challenge? Well we threw some of those patterns together and played with painting and etching it into the paddles and toying with some custom colored plastidip. Take a peek at more details of the experiment on the next page!

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*notcot in travel - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: ARB Simpson III Roof Top Tent

arbtent0b.jpg So excited to announce that The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

On NOTFZJ80 updates - the truck is currently in the shop at TLC and we have put in an order for some OEM parts over at AutoNation Toyota Irvine - so big updates to come in the following weeks! Currently the biggest update is the addition of our ARB Simpson III Roof Top Tent we received, installed, and climbed around in… (No, i haven’t spent the night in it yet!) I’m still in awe of it - so fun, so BIG, and i love the way it opens and closes. While rooftop tents have long been the norm in places like Australia and Africa (keeps you up above the creepy crawlies and such) - they are starting to pop up more and more in the US lately. It took Shawn a bit to convince me it was the way to go - until our adventures at Overland Expo where i got to climb in and around a few models to fully understand how this was so different from camping in a regular tent… and picked this one!

So what’s so different? Firstly, THE VIEW! Everything looks so different peeking out from the windows up above the car. And they say a shift in perspective can do wonders - i’ve even heard that taller beds often changing the way you dream! There’s also something treehouse like about being perched up there. Secondly, the nearly queen sized foam mattress! Yup, this isn’t just sleeping on a sleeping pad in a sleeping bag. You can even close it up with your bedding in there. And thirdly, the way it opens and closes with ease - just pull off the cover, slide out the ladder, and pull it open! With a little practice, we’re getting faster and faster with it!

Oh, and yes the cantilever is super secure - and no the ladder is not structural. (First thing everyone asks as they climb up in there!) Ready to see all the details of it up close? To the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Part II

arb2-0.jpg We are long overdue for an update on The NOTFZJ80 Project - though, i also can’t believe that we’ve had it a mere 2 months! We have mostly been in a holding pattern waiting for parts to arrive at this point… and a big palette just showed up from Australia thanks to ARB! Since the last update, we have debadged the Full Tine 4WD, blacked spray painted the T, fully detailed the car (the paint pops again!), powder coated the 5th wheel, removed the running boards, took it on a little roadtrip to Oakley, received Rotopax, picked up the snorkel, front bumper, winch, rooftop tent, and awning, installed the tent… and even got gifted quite the US Army Survival Manual! Phew. We’ve been busy - but there’s still a bit to go. Check out the progress on the next page…

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack

frontrunners0.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project continues… one of the most important parts of roof top camping is having a roof rack that can handle the weight of the tent, the people inside the tent, and any other gear that’s going up there - and reading forums we quickly learned that quite a few people learned that the hard way using normal roof racks! Well when we visited Front Runner Outfitters (the one with those AMAZING ads!), I got caught up on all things off-road/overlanding, and learned that over the last 15 years, if you’re cruising around Africa (and South Africa especially) the majority of roof racks you see will be theirs! Their latest is the Slimline II Roof Rack. I love that their system is incredibly modular (versus those monstrous welded pieces that will come as freight.) Upsides to the modularity? Well it packs down to an impressively efficient fedex-drop-tested-box, you can customize and adjust as desired, in case of any accidents (low hanging overpasses, etc) you can replace just the parts that get damaged versus the whole thing… and best of all, tons of accessories you can add on or create! Downside to modularity? Too many options… and then we keep trying and shifting and reconfiguring to see what feels best. Definitely a luxury problem.

The nice folks at Front Runner Outfitters were kind enough to help our rig out with a roof rack… and then we couldn’t resist starting off with some accessories to try it all out! As you can see there’s the camp table (with mirror like underside) that slides right under the roof rack, the shower arm, tie down rings, and a ratcheting shovel mount (with snowboard boot binding-eque clasps), and more… There are so many options, this is what we’re starting with as i get to know the system, our NOTFZJ80 and figure out how we’ll be using it all. Take a peek at the unboxing, assembly, and details on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 3 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Part I

fzjupdate0.jpg Wow - we’ve been busy on The NOTFZJ80 Project - while it has been a blast getting my hands dirty, and learning a ton on my first project car, it has also meant days flying by and far less internet time… The 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser is coming along nicely. The last time we showed you the NOTFZJ80, we had just picked it up, explored the options, and started cleaning it out! Well a lot has happened since then, so it seemed like a good time for an update! Since then we have… stripped out all of the interior, run off to the eastern sierras, dynamatted, dynalined, pressure washed, put it all back together, installed a CB radio in the ash tray, camo’d the seats, installed big tires, started undoing the gold package, NOTCOT stickered it and more… check out what we’ve been up on on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 6 Notes

Unboxing the NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap

newnescafemain.jpg The NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap is here! The press release reads: “Mexico City, May 8th, 2014 - NESCAFÉ® embraces consumer maker technologies to quickly design and build 200 limited edition, 3D Printed, Arduino-based NESCAFÉ® Alarm Caps.” and I can’t tell you enough how thrilled I am to show you our latest NOTlabs project. Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Lab brought us on to collaborate in bringing the NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap to life. The NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap utilizes 7 different tones synchronized with light, which are scientifically proven to create a soft and natural awakening, ending when you open the cap to enjoy the delicious aroma of NESCAFÉ. So yes, you can literally wake up and smell the… NESCAFÉ!

As you’ve seen - we’ve been busy with quite a bit of 3D Printing and electronics overdosing the last few weeks, and this is what we’ve been up to! Currently making their way throughout the world are 200 limited edition NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap press kits to celebrate the new brand identity of NESCAFÉ! There are two cap design variations, the faceted cap and the accent cap. Each piece was hand-assembled in California, with the exteriors 3D printed in nylon (and dyed and polished) by Shapeways on an SLS printer, and the interiors 3D printed on our Makerbots. Along with the Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Lab , we worked with Eric Brockmeyer on the electronics and code, Charmaine Choi on the pattern illustrations, and The Lift for the video. Let’s get to the unboxing! See it all on the next page…

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*notcot in tech - 2 Notes

NOTFZJ80: 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser

fzj00.jpg Those following us on the NOTlabs Instagram, have seen that between other craziness we have taken on a project car: a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80! Between regular visits to ICON and seeing more of the TLC side of things… we caught the Land Cruiser bug. It’s no surprise that they just don’t build things like they used to… priorities have changed, and accessibility to grab a toolkit and access/fix just about anything on the go just isn’t quite the same. But while we wanted something fun to play with, we also wanted something safe, comfortable, and functional as well, that made sense for longer roadtrips before offroading/overlanding! So we settled on the ‘95-97 FZJ80, which has a/c, airbags, and other amenities but are some of the last years of solid axles, factory front/rear locking differentials and such. Also, when you see the modifications you can make and even build yourself… it’s like a designer’s dream! (but more on that to come…)

So between the soldering, electronics assembly, 3d prints and more on the _____ project… we scoured craigslist and local listings and watched hours upon hours of overlanding youtube videos… and ended up popping down to Costa Mesa to see about a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80. With 160k miles on it, a single owner, clean title, locking diffs, and having never left southern california… we couldn’t resist! So the adventure begins… check out how it looks and where we’re at so far on the next page!

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*notcot in playful - 0 Notes

72U & NOTlabs: Social Impact Project

72u1.jpg In continuing this year’s trend of trying new things ~ for the last two weeks Shawn and I led a workshop with the 72U Winter Session 2014 class to create a Social Impact Project to make people smile. 72U is a special project inside global ad agency, 72andSunny, which takes place right in the middle of all the action in their Playa Vista office, which is housed in the old offices of Howard Hughes. Self-described as “an intensive one-of-a-kind learning experience designed to open people up to new ways of thinking, collaborating, and tackling modern communication problems,” 72U feels like a creative take on The Real World (yes, there’s even a 72U house), where around half a dozen chosen applicants from around the world, with a myriad of backgrounds, are fully immersed in the world of 72andSunny (assisting and learning on various accounts), inspirational guest speakers, workshops/projects, field trips, and more for 12 fast paced weeks! Even spending a mere 2 weeks with them, I’m amazed at the pace they are running at! It’s no surprise that the majority of participants who survive the program become a part of the 72andSunny family.

But back to the Social Impact Project NOTLabs just completed with 72U! The group was tasked to ‘engage people and make them smile’ - to ultimately create an object that can also be easily shipped and activated around the world. Of course the biggest challenge of all wasn’t concepting or creating, but being realistic about what is feasible in the short time frame to bring an idea to life ~ and they were armed with the new 72andSunny laser cutter! Keep in mind that beyond this project, they are simultaneously planning a HUGE mural, an art show, and assisting on various secret projects and more… So head to the next page to see what they came up with!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

Laser Etching Highland Park Cask Wood

woodhp0.jpg I’ve been learning a lot from Shawn and have come a long way since we first got our Laser Cutter! My latest little project is for last night’s Highland Park Hero’s Chest Dinner (inspiration overload!) ~ etching table and bar signage into real spanish sherry oak cask wood that was used to create the delicious Highland Park Whiskey we tasted during the evening! And the added bonus was that with each cut and etch, you could smell the complex aromas absorbed into the wood over the years… The challenge was to laser etch the aged (and very curved!) wood, but keep the final outcome looking just as aged… Take a peek on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

NOTlabs Instagram: Electronics Overdosing

making0.jpg I have to admit, it’s been terribly difficult (and also weirdly freeing) to be working on so many projects and doing so many things i CAN’T share on NOTCOT… yet! So of course, where i can, peeks at the process and inspiration and randomness encountered along the way sneak on to the NOTlabs Instagram. I’m currently sitting in the lab surrounded by excessive amounts of electronics parts and awaiting the arrival of more before it’s time to become our own little assembly line to build the ______ i can’t wait to share with you! Soon! I hope! It’s getting there…

I have been learning SO much the last few weeks. Random things like, outsourced 3D printing lead times are insanely slow (relative to my love of instant gratification). Chinese New Year WILL interfere with electronics orders coming from China - a few days turns into a few weeks. Some stores can’t ship more than 2 (if it has to fly - 12 if shipping ground) lithium ion batteries per package. And UPS will put your mountain of small boxes in a tied up plastic bag for delivery. Super tiny limit switches are hard to find. As are tiny, stumpy 4 way joystick buttons - especially if you want a click button in the center too. Just because there are 14,000 of something in stock, doesn’t mean it will stay there till the next day… and restocking may take weeks. Companies that use only paypal are not the best setup when international clients need to make massive payments on a credit card… so many limits and complications! Sparkfun’s red boxes make me smile every time they show up. And so much more i’m sure i’m not even remembering right now!

None the less, the craziness has barely begun ~ prototyping done, ordering in progress, awaiting all the parts, then comes days of soldering, assembly, etc… so take a peek at what we’ve got so far on the next page

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

Laser Challenge #13: Laser Metal Marking

metalmark0.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

We’ve been meaning to test out the LMM-6000 Metal Marking Material for some time, so Shawn played with it for Laser Challenge #13! Basically ~ you spray a layer down on metal, laser over it, and everywhere the laser hits, a chemical reaction occurs! So Shawn tested things out on his MacBookPro ~ check out the details and process on the next page!

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment! And if you’re curious about the laser cutter we’re using, here’s the unboxing.

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Laser Challenge #12: Bokeh Shape Filters

robot0.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

Laser Challenge #12 was inspired by Bokeh Shape Filter Kits which you can buy (but never fit my primary lens which has larger wide angle) and DIY versions. Bokeh means blurred in Japanese, and it’s used to describe the out of focused lights in your dark/night shots. By placing one of these filters on your lens (essentially a black disk with a shape cut out in the center) you can change the shape of those light blurs! There’s something fun about playing with a process so analog and instantaneous in a world where its so easy to photoshop everything… it’s almost magical to see what light shapes appear through the viewfinder.

And since i was chatting with Rich of Diesel Sweeties while testing out shape ideas… we were inspired to try one of his red robots! … as well as jumping sheep and a gear/burst! Ultimately, the robots were our favorite as we tested it out taking pictures in santa monica of the pier, pch traffic, the intersections and more! They also work fantastically for video… the mesmerizing robots that emerge from every light we drove by as they danced to the music makes it tempting to choreograph a music video light show or sorts, or a light driven stop motion animation… but perhaps that’s a project for another night? Check out our driving video experiments as well as some fun photo effects we discovered while playing with the Bokeh shapes on the next page!

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment! And if you’re curious about the laser cutter we’re using, here’s the unboxing.

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*notcot in home+decor - 4 Notes

Laser Challenge #11: Plant Scaffolding

stake00.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: The ground rules are: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

For #11, Shawn decided to start saving our beans in progress… that were starting to grow and flop a bit. In order to make the garden a bit more fun, he prototyped an idea for modular plant scaffolding ~ in wood, since scraps were around ~ but we were imagining doing different ones in plastic or coated wood/metal ~ and we are also imagining larger ones for our tomatoes! Basically they slot together and have zip ties to strengthen the set up… and you can build up up and away in any way you want (or in the way your plants want to go)! Take a peek at the making of and details on the next page…

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment! And if you’re curious about the laser cutter we’re using, here’s the unboxing.

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*notcot in nature - 4 Notes

Laser Challenges #9 + 10: Bird Feeders

birdfeeder0.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: The ground rules are: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

Laser Challenges #9 and #10 are here! We’ve slipped behind a tiny bit, but the rules still hold that each project goes from idea to post in less than a day… so today we teamed up for a pair of projects that complement and grew off each other. Looking around NOTlabs, i’ve had glass bottles around that are too pretty to throw away, but we also couldn’t figure out what to do with them (other than vases and as “future projects”) ~ including these Aladdin Sake Bottles and the Sofia Coppola Bottles… we also have a yard full of birds, from finches and jays to parrots and hummingbirds and more… so we decided to try turning them into bird feeders, with just laser cut acrylic and paracord. Of course all of this turned into a fun late night experiment playing with finding the perfect curves (and my learning more rhino from shawn), mastering snap fits down to such tiny measurements, and then a late night bird feeder hanging and photoshoot! Shawn’s #9 turns the wine bottle into a beautiful feeder that plays off of the curves so nicely! My #10 plays off of his ideas and takes them one step further with the stacked sake bottles of food and water (yay for the magic of surface tension) which can also be turned into a finches and little birds on top - hummingbirds downstairs set up. Just took the picture above while sitting here waiting to see if the birds come today… but for now, see the process and details of our two bird feeders on the next page!

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment! And if you’re curious about the laser cutter we’re using, here’s the unboxing.

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*notcot in food+drink - 0 Notes

Laser Challenge #8: Dog Treat Seaweed Flyers

seaweedfly0.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: The ground rules are: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

Here’s Laser Challenge #8! Since Bucky, the NOTpuppy, LOVES paper (receipts especially) and flying/jumping insects (moths and crickets are his favorite)… and he also destroys toys and devours treats nearly instantaneously these days… on a hunt for fun, healthy, affordable, and amusing… for today’s challenge i laser cut SEAWEED! (The everything-free dried seaweed sheets you can buy for sushi making) I figured, it’s dog friendly deliciousness, feels like paper, and cut in the right shapes it flies and flutters like his bugs! And it is AMAZING… with a flick of the wrist (and depending on the breeze) it will fly and float and flutter around in ways he can barely anticipate as he leaps and contorts in every which way to devour them. While it was nearly impossible to get a good video of them (and Bucky’s pretty fast!) the movement of these little guys mimic Maple Seeds ~ the ones that look like little propellers! And while having fun experimenting with shapes for optimal flight, Shawn and i also noticed our home states of California and Tennessee looked like they might work too… and they work awesomely! So take a peek at the laser cutting of these dog treat/toy seaweed flyers and the madness that ensues when we play with feeding them to Bucky on the next page!

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment! And if you’re curious about the laser cutter we’re using, here’s the unboxing.

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*notcot in design - 4 Notes

Laser Challenge #7: Poker Chips to Build With

chipbuild0.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: The ground rules are: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

Laser Challenge #7 is here! When Shawn was teaching me to play poker this weekend, I found it hard to stop playing with the chips (and it was driving me crazy how ugly they were) ~ so naturally the conversation evolved to sparking ideas about how much more fun they could be! So for today’s challenge, he prototyped some gorgeous wooden poker chips that you can BUILD with! They interlock to make fun little structures during the game… we’re still fine tuning it more before we end up with a full set - perhaps the future ones with use different woods/materials for different values, or a splash of lacquered color along the edges, and have deeper notches to help them attach better, but it’s a fun start! See the making of and details on the next page!

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment! And if you’re curious about the laser cutter we’re using, here’s the unboxing.

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Laser Challenge #6: Veg Garden Guys

gardenguys3.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: The ground rules are: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

Weekends are tougher - especially with guests! But it also means more people to help… or pose! So here’s my Laser Challenge #6 from last night - Vegetable Garden Guys! It’s that perfect time of year to get our vege garden going again, but i tend to forget what went where and it’s a surprise when it all pops up… so i rounded the guys up to pose against the white wall (as if holding massive vegetables) to turn them into wooden garden markers. Of course a few things went wrong for this speed project ~ it was a learning experience for us to see what built in settings for engraving from photographic images the laser cutter hard (total fail, learning about rasterizing/engraving on the side now) - then i decided to just print them out on paper to stick on to the guys - and printer started running out of ink. But the little guys are still pretty fun, and i’ll definitely be revisiting them for a round 2! Take a peek at fun on the next page ~ romanesco broccoli seeds started and cucumbers, bush beans, honeydew, and lettuce on the way!

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment! And if you’re curious about the laser cutter we’re using, here’s the unboxing.

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

Laser Challenge #5: Cardboard Building Set

ctoy0.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: The ground rules are: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

Day 5 is here ~ and being an odd day, it’s Shawn’s turn! Tonight he created a playful cardboard building set made of two complex shapes which combined can create a variety of creations. Here’s what he has to say about it, “The geometry is of an icosahedron which consists of 20 triangular faces. Connectors are needed to attach each face to the next and if they are all oriented inwards you have the whole icosahedral shape. If you occasionally flip the connector angle you can make mini landscapes too. I cut 90 faces and a ton of connectors.” Take a peek at the making of and some of our creations on the next page!

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment!

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*notcot in design - 4 Notes

Laser Challenge #4: Wax Seals

waxy0.jpg This post is part of the NOTlabs Laser Challenge: The ground rules are: Shawn and I are alternating days with executing and sharing a Laser Cutter involved experiment! And most importantly - we’re supposed to have fun, explore ideas, and it’s less about a fully formed product/concept at the end of the day, but more about seeing where the experiment takes us!

Day 4! My turn… for some reason, wax seals came up yesterday, and it’s one of those things i have always wanted, been meaning to design, but could never quite commit to what to put on it to have a proper brass one made. So, why not try engraving acrylic and seeing how it works as a wax seal? It was also a chance to explore the option of grade engrave, which is used for rubber stamps, etc so that things like the dot in a lower case i are more stable (and don’t break off in use) - basically it tapers the edge instead of being perfectly horizontal. Now i can leave a seal of “Imagined by NOTlabs. Made with lasers!” and “Inspired by NOTCOT. Realized by NOTlabs.” on things! To be honest, it worked better than i expected, but also needs a bit of refining… might have to experiment a bit more, and if i had more time, i have a feeling mounting the engraved discs on a handle would help quite a bit, also figuring out the right timing of how long to let the wax sit before pressing the seal in. But that being said, still got quite a few good examples, and will definitely be exploring it more… also such a fun way to seal things up… take a peek at the details and process on the next page!

p.s. If you have ideas, or want some laser cutting done, or want to play with us… feel free to use the contact form or leave a comment!

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