Posted: February 6th, 2013 | Author: nathan lachenmyer | Filed under: 3dprinting, art, electronics | 2 Comments »
I really, really like LEDs. I’ve spent countless hours building LED controllers, programming them, and incorporating them into my projects. So, naturally, I’ll jump at the opportunity to integrate LEDs into almost anything. Such an opportunity came up when Jesse and Jessica were invited to an innovation event by Nooka and were asked to bring a piece with them. We wanted our piece to be both representative of our normal work, but also a bit more dynamic and eye-catching. So we did the obvious thing: take one of our previously 3d printed pieces, and add some LEDs to it:
The implementation was rather simple. We used 3 Watt ultrabright LEDs with a MOSFET to control them (‘CTRL’ in the schematic) and a series resistor to regulate the current.
The control signal was created with a Leaflabs Maple microcontroller (we used this instead of an Arduino because it has 16-bit PWM outputs rather than Arduino’s 8-bit PWM, meaning that the lights fade much more smoothly), and we programmed about a half-dozen different patterns into the box. The final result:
One of my side projects has been to improve on the LED circuit we used for this project to make a cheap and durable yet multipurpose driver for lighting up our projects. The goal is for it to be powerful enough to drive ultrabright LEDs for lighting up display pieces, yet easily modified to light up smaller pieces (perhaps even jewelry!). My current design is a simple analog circuit that serves as a constant current source:
Why all of the additional parts over the first circuit? Superbright LEDs (like those that we used in The Cave) dissipate quite a bit of heat — and this dissipated heat can be enough to damage the LED itself and shorten its lifespan. Even worse, heating of the resistor lowers its resistance, allowing more current flow, creating a positive feedback loop where the circuit just gets hotter and hotter. Not good at all! The solution shown uses a pair of transistors to switch the LEDs on and off (Q1) and stabilize the current with negative feedback (Q2). The current is entirely determined by R2, so by swapping out one component the board can accomodate virtually any LED we’d like to drive. The best part is the low cost — while dedicated LED driver circuits can cost upwards of $3 per chip, this design costs less than $0.25.
Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting, events | No Comments »
You’re obsessed with 3d-printing. We’re obsessed with 3d-printing. Let’s get together. Come talk about 3d-printing technologies, applications, materials, software and future developments! Feel free to bring things including: stuff you’ve made with a 3d-printer, a 3d-printer you’ve made, juicy 3d-printing gossip, and snacks (3d-printed snacks will receive special appreciation).
The event is part of the Boston 3d-printing meetup series organized by our friends at Figulo (an amazing Boston-based ceramic 3d-printing company). It starts at 6:30pm and will run until 8pm at 561 Windsor St, Suite A206 (same building as Taza Chocolate) in Somerville, MA. Parking is available.
Please RSVP here: http://boston3dp.eventbrite.com/
Posted: October 1st, 2012 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting, events | No Comments »
Please join Nervous System this Thursday October, 4th for an exclusive 3d-printing event at Room 68
in Jamaica Plain from 6 to 8pm!
Jesse and Jessica, Nervous System designers and co-founders, will be on hand to answer questions. Our Makerbot Replicator will be printing some of our latest designs throughout the evening. Our custom jewelry applications will also be up and running on laptops. We will have many designs available for sale including pieces from our Cell Cycle collection in Turquoise, new lamp designs and our laser cut Jigsaw Puzzles!
Room 68 is a concept store focusing on new design for your home, workspace and self. Intertwining a mixture of furniture, functional objects and contemporary design. Room 68 is located at 68 South St. in Jamaica Plain.
Posted: September 18th, 2012 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting, jewelry | No Comments »
Last month we asked our fans on facebook what color they would like us to add to our jewelry collection. The overwhelming majority said turquoise (or related colors like teal). So, without further ado, introducing our first seasonal color…. turquoise! The entire Cell Cycle collection is now available in turquoise 3d-printed nylon. The pieces are 3d-printed by Selective Laser Sintering in white nylon and then polished in a vibratory tumbler with ceramic media. Afterwards, we dye them turquoise and seal them with a UV-protective coating.
And for our Hyphae collection, the seasonal color is red! We selected this orange-y red because it reminds of coral.
Do you have suggestions for what colors we should feature next season? Let us know in the comments.
Posted: September 4th, 2012 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting | No Comments »
Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of orders for custom cell cycle rings in gold and platinum. So, we decided to streamline the process, making it easier for you and us to make your designs in precious metals. We’ve added 14kt gold and platinum to the app and a request quote button for automatically getting your ring priced. Once we receive your request, we’ll get back to you within 2 business days. We can also make rings in palladium, white gold, and rose gold.
Posted: March 26th, 2012 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting, work in progress | Tags: hyphae | No Comments »
We’re working on a number of different lamps designs that we hope to introduce at ICFF this May. This lamp will be comparatively inexpensive to the ones we sell now because of it’s smaller size. It uses a powerful single LED light fixture. Each lamp will be unique both in overall form and in pattern. The variable sizes of the lamps will allow for variable pricing.
Posted: March 9th, 2012 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting, design, software | No Comments »
We’re excited to announce the release of a new Cell Cycle app! It’s a major upgrade from the previous Java applet and runs directly inside modern browsers. We’ve added a ton of new features including the ability to save, share and load designs. We’ve also added a 1-layer design option and a choice of four 3d-printed materials: white nylon, black nylon, red nylon and sterling silver. We think using the app is pretty self explanatory, but if you have any questions please consult the help section.
We’ll do a blog post next week about some of the technical issues behind the development of the app, but in the meantime…enjoy! You can access the app at http://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com/cellCycle . You’ll need a webGL enabled browser. We recommend Google Chrome.
If you are interested in learning more about our Cell Cycle concept and seeing pieces we’ve design with the app, please check out the Cell Cycle line page.
Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting, jewelry, stores | No Comments »
Cell Cycle, our first line of 3d-printed jewelry, was introduced in 2009 and originally only consisted of bangle bracelets and rings. Earlier this year, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Store asked us to create a companion earring design to add to our bestselling rings and bracelets. You can see the earrings we created for them below. They are available for purchase exclusively at the SFMoMA store in San Francisco and online.
We also created a matching necklace design which is for sale on our own website. The Cellular Pendant, the first necklace in the Cell Cycle collection, is available in black and white polished nylon and also in sterling silver. The black and white nylon pieces are 3d-printed using Selective Laser Sintering while the sterling silver version is cast from a 3d-printed wax. The sterling silver version of the Cellular Pendant comes on a 20″ sterling silver snake chain and is packaged in wood box laser engraved with cellular pattern. It’s for sale here on our website and also at the WIRED holiday store in NYC. The black and white versions come with 18″ sterling silver cable chains.
Posted: November 22nd, 2011 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting, housewares | Tags: lighting, reaction, reaction diffusion | 1 Comment »
Nervous System has released Reaction, their first collection of housewares. The collection includes porcelain cups and plates and matching 3D printed lamps. The pieces are intricately embossed with intertwining patterns of ridges and valleys that create a unique experience that is both visual and tactile. The designs are grown through a computer simulation of reaction-diffusion, a chemical patterning mechanism observed in a myriad of biological systems, from animal prints to slime molds.
Two porcelain tableware designs. These are dishwasher and microwave safe.
The Reaction Cup – $20 each or $60 for a set of 4. 3” x3.5” high (7.6×8.9cm), holds approximately 10 oz of fluid. It works for both cold and hot beverages, as the ridges provide an extra layer of insulation.
The Reaction Plate – $25 each or $80 for a set of 4. 8” (20.3cm) diameter. Features a spiraling embossed reaction pattern. The ridges are more highly raise at the edges of the plate and get flatter towards the center.
One of our Reaction plates imaginatively plated by Andrew and Michael of A Razor, A Shiny Knife
Lamps come in a variety of styles and sizes and are made of rigid nylon plastic. The forms are reminiscent of corals, sand dunes, and seed pods. The pattern modulates the surface thickness to reveal a cellular texture when lit. Each is lit by a 3-watt Cree LED fixture with switch and wall US wall plug. More information is available on the individual product pages.
The Reaction Lamp – 7” diameter (~18cm), $900
The large Seed Lamp – 10.5” diameter (~27cm) $1400
The small Seed Lamp – 7” diameter (~18cm) $900
The cup and plates sets come in the packaging (shown below) which describes the ideas behind the designs.
photographs of animal patternings by Jessica Rosenkrantz of Nervous System
Reaction-diffusion (RD) is a canonical example of complex behavior that emerges from a simple set of rules. RD models a set of substances that are diffusing, or spreading; these substances also react with one another to create new substances. This simple idea has been suggested as a model for a diverse set of biological phenomena. All kinds of animals from fish to zebras display interesting color patterns on their skin and shells which play important roles in their behavior. However, the underlying cause of these patterns is still not understood. In 1952, Alan Turing suggested the RD system as an answer to not only this question but also the more general one of why cells differentiate. How do individual cells locate themselves in the larger scale structure and pattern of an organism? The patterns seen on the animals occur over a scale much larger than a cell, yet they display remarkable self-similarity on every part of the animal’s body.
Turing studied the behavior of a complex system in which two substances interact with each other and diffuse at different rates. He proved mathematically that such a system can form stable periodic patterns even from uniform starting conditions. One of the most interesting things about RD is that you can have a homogeneous system where every cell is doing exactly the same action (for instance just producing a certain amount of some chemicals); but from this one process a large scale structure emerges.
You can read more about reaction diffusion in our previous blog posts on our work with it.
We wrote a computer program to generate 3D forms using a mathematical simulation of RD, and used this software to grow the designs of the reaction collection. Parameters of the simulation can be varied for differing effects, creating different types or directions of pattern. These parameters are controlled and change through space to express design intent. The process begins on an imported underlying surface, and a 3 dimensional object is formed by embossing or removing material from that surface based on the chemical concentration present at each point in space. Multiple scales of pattern and simulation are used to create more detailed forms.
After being computationally grown, the digital objects are made physical through 3D printing.
The lamps are produced directly using selective laser sintering, a type of 3d-printing where nylon powder is fused by a laser. However, the cups are plates are produced by slipcasting, a process where clay slurry is poured into plaster molds. A master cup and plate model is printed using SLA to create molds.
(SLA positives of the cup and plate designs for slipcasting)
These models are produced 15% larger than the final pieces to account for shrinkage that occurs when porcelain is fired. A rubber positive master mold is made of these 3D prints, which is used for the creation of plaster production molds. Slip is poured into each mold and dries. The plaster mold absorbs moisture, hardening the exterior of the slip, the rest is poured out, leaving a shell. This shell is the cup; but, it’s in a “green” state and must be fired in a kiln and glazed to realize the final product.
Here are some images of sketches we produced while working on the designs for the cups, plates and lamps.
Posted: August 21st, 2011 | Author: Jessica Rosenkrantz | Filed under: 3dprinting, housewares | Tags: lighting | 1 Comment »
We’ve been really excited about the enthusiastic response to our Hyphae Lamps! On August 16th, we sold the last Hyphae Lamp from the first series that was available on our website. Each lamp in the series is a one of a kind design but the series itself is unlimited. So in the following days, we’ve grown the next group of lamps. These lamps number 14 through 28 and are currently available for purchase in our online shop.
One of the great things about having sold the first batch of lamps is that they were all printed and we were able to do a family portrait of a number of them together. We also had a chance to design packaging for the lamps which we are making in house on our laser cutter. Each lamp comes in a two part box with a detailed laser engraved venation pattern and edition number.