Julia Longtin to present at @31c3

Cast aluminum part fabbed via lost PLA with aluminum melted using kiln made from consumer microwave oven magnetron.HacDC member Julia Longtin will give a talk at the upcoming 31st annual Chaos Computer Club Congress in Hamburg, Germany, Earth, Milky Way. She will lecture about a process she has been perfecting over the past year for 3D casting aluminum parts via the lost PLA method using repurposed consumer microwave ovens to liquify the metal.

We use microwaves to cast aluminum from 3D printed [PLA] objects. This gives us the ability to cast high quality 6040 aluminum pieces using a 3D printer and commercially available consumer microwaves.

We manufacture microwave safe kilns for melting aluminum. We create microwave transparent molds that allow us to burn out plastic without heating the mold itself there[by] creating a quicker method of accomplishing the lost PLA process.

Julia‘s process is being developed as a contribution to the larger FOSSCar initiative, which aims to use an open source production and development model and recycled materials including refurbished and repurposed off-the-shelf technology to fabricate a road-worthy car.

Hack the Genome Shmoocon Presentation


Had a bunch of really interested folks at the “Hack the Genome, the age of biomolecular cryptography” talk today at Shmoocon.  Lots of fantastic ideas and great discussions afterwards with interested hackers.  It is great to see how much creative knowledge and energy there is in our community.  I was asked to share my slides, so I have put them up on my site over at Radio Free Genome, and you can download the presentation directly from here.

Hacking the SmarTrip – Part I

Thanks to DCist – http://tinyurl.com/5spogg – I got inspired to rip apart an extra SmarTrip card I had lying around for when friends/family visit me in the D.C. area. Unfortunately for them, they will now have to buy the day-long pass until I am done playing!

To start, today I took the extra card and soaked it in acetone for about an hour and after that time I was able to rip off the initial plastic of the card. After that hour-long of soaking you’ll find the card becomes very flexible and if you attack the corners with tweezers you’ll eventually realize the 3 layers of the card. The face of each side should peel off rather easily, although a minute amount of force is required.

See the Flickr set here: http://tinyurl.com/6ck5q5

If you take a look at the images you’ll see that all of the electronics (controller, antenna) are now exposed and we can start to play. My girlfriend just handed me a Faraday flashlight with a GIANT coil of magnet wire inside of it, so now we’re working on extracting that wire to use as the antenna for the smarTrip’s microcontroller.

More to come…