Last summer I wrote about 3D printing a replacement gear for a mechanical device in my office at Fivium. This topic came up recently while talking to one of the directors during the company's 10th birthday party and I mentioned how it was a fairly simple thing to do, fun and how much I'd like to do it more yet the cost of paying a third party to print is a high barrier for personal projects.
Thankfully for me they were interested in having the company logo, a water droplet, printed in 3D when I mentioned that I had attempted to model it during the time I created the gear.
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I bought a Leap Motion years ago and despite a few hack day projects here and there it doesn't get much use aside from gathering dust in one of my cupboards.
During lunch with a friend we got talking about 3D scanning tools I figured I'd see if the Leap could do it as aside from a 1st generation Kinect I don't have anything which has decent stereo cameras.
After what feels like decades of reading all this hype I figured it would be a good idea to jump aboard that hype train and try my own hand at making something with Rust that would take advantage of the features Rust gives you as a developer.
When it comes to the type of software I work on, either for my day job or hobby coding I don't think I'd put any of it in the "systems programming" category where Rust seems to fill a niche. None of my existing projects would make sense to port so instead I decided to try and push my boundaries and dip a toe into the lower level software development world.
As I'm mainly a Java developer, and a Java developer who's spent quite some time learning how the JVM works internally, I thought it could be a fun project to attempt to write my own JVM. Thankfully for me the JVM has a very detailed and open specification which makes it much less daunting to start than some may think.
This past Christmas (2015) I was given a Konstruktor camera. The Konstruktor is a Do-It-Yourself kit of a fully-functional 35mm SLR camera which comes in a fairly flat box with all parts, except the mirror assembly, requiring assembly.
The Konstruktor kit was created and sold by Lomography, an organisation dedicated to experimental and creative photography, with a fairly heavy focus on analog photography.
In my previous post, Contributing to iText, I talked about my use of a great Java library called iText that lets you create and read PDF files. This is a post explaining the project, Adventurer, that I was working on which uses iText.
All the way back in December 2012 I backed a Kickstarter project by Ryan North for a choose your own adventure version of Hamlet called To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure. I pledged $35 to the project with the hopes of getting a signed physical book, some rad temporary tattoos as well as a DRM-free digital copy of the book. You can read more about the book over on Wikipedia.
In August 2013 I got the digital copies of the book, though I held off reading those versions for a couple of weeks while enjoying the physical book. Reading the physical book was great fun, there's so much content and despite being based on what I'd consider fairly dry original material (Shakespeare was never my kind of thing) Ryan has done a fantastic job of modernising it and making it fun to read and play with.
This blog post isn't a review of the book however, it's about the project it inspired me to make. While the book was great fun to read it's also fun to flick through and look at some of the crazy endings that may happen. Unfortunately there's no easy way to find out how to get to some of these endings, and while playing through the book is very fun, sometimes you just want to find out the fastest route to some page you flicked past once that looked funny, and that's where my project comes in.