Welcome to Max, a DAAD RISE summer student! His project will be to help us harness the power of our 40W CO2 laser for good (not evil).
On July 14th, Lily Childress and I said our vows on a mountaintop in the Adirondacks.
And now, something nerdy:
A Scalable Solution to the Choice of Last Name
Lily and I both felt strongly about having the same last name. However, the usual hyphenation scheme is not a scalable, and none of the hybrid names involving “Sankey” and “Childress” appealed to either of us.
Apparently using the design to weight the coin can only take you so far. We recovered from the flip, said our vows, descended the mountain, and filled out the necessary paperwork in town at the Town of Harrietstown Town Court. It seems Harrietstown is a town.
Since I spent a stupid amount of time figuring out this script, I thought I would publish it. If you are interested in making coins or discs, feel free to try this script out. Here is how it works:
- Install python, numpy, and mayavi. Or just install the enthought / python(x,y).
- Download the script coin.py into a directory containing two gray-scale images: “top.png” and “bottom.png”. These images define the height map of the top and bottom of the coin. I recommend using Inkscape to design the images.
- Double-click the script. It’s horribly inefficient, but after a few seconds, a preview plot should pop up. If it does, then you will probably find the file “coin_mesh.obj” in the same directory.
- Upload the generated “coin_mesh.obj” to shapeways, specifying units of millimeters, pick a material and go!
- Currently the script re-samples the image in a “pie” grid, using nearest-neighbor sampling, so make sure to blur your image!
- Also ensure the features you care about are larger than the minimum resolution for the shapeways material of choice.
- Shapeways has a maximum number of mesh triangles (currently ~1,000,000). Changing the resolution (R0) or size (D) can alleviate problems surrounding this issue.
Strangely, if you are a citizen of Quebec, you cannot change your last name by law. However, such coins could still be useful for naming children or choosing who gets to pick out the ice cream flavor this week, Lily.
If you use or improve the script, let me know!
Happy decision making,
Our first überfancy laser has arrived! Apparently this (rather underwhelming) blue thing can dump 100 mW of incredibly clean (< 200 Hz linewidth) 1550-nm laser light into a polarization-maintaining fibre. Fancy.
Another (potentially equally) important addition to the group is a pair of handsome fleece-lined laser goggles: