MakerFaire Ljubljana 2017

Last week I have attended and helped at the first local Maker Faire event in Ljubljana. This is an event that tries to bring together people or organizations that create things (everything from software and electronics to art and woodwork) in order to promote science, curiosity and knowledge transfer.

In the stands we could meet with the makers from Slovenia and all other neighboring country. Among other things it was apparent that there is a strong motion towards using 3d printers and Arduino platforms as most of the stands showcased a product or idea based on one of them.

The biggest advantage of an event like this for me was a practical aspect of it. There were numerous hands-on activities where you cold try the state-of-the-art equipment, play with different experiments or create your own simple electrical circuit.

Official website of the event: http://ljubljana.makerfaire.com/

Image gallery:

Warmer coat for Larping

Here is a quick tutorial on how to create a warmer coat that can be used for the purpose of the fantasy an medieval LARP events. My plan was to create a warmer and water resistant (not water proof) that can be used for different events or characters. Its design is based on a piece of clothing named gambeson. Historically it was used a stand-alone protective layer or worn under metallic armor.

Fabric used for the creation of this piece:

  • Wool fabric
  • Old bedding fabric used as a filler material
  • Another layer of fabric for lining
  • Assorted sewing materials
  • Buttons

Fabrication process:
1. Cut out all need layers of fabric. In my case I used 4 layers of filling, upper woolen layer and cotton layer as lining. All six layers together form a sturdy and warm clothing.

2. Using parallel seams I quilted all the layers together. This prevents them to move independently. Quilting patter can wary, depending on your preferences.

2a. Optional: Stuff additional fabric between the quilting seams for even more warmer clothing with additional protection.

3. Sew all pieces of the clothing together. Length of the sleeves can wary depending on your preferences. I created shorter sleeves so the piece could also be used in the warmer months. Shorter sleeves also allow for greater flexibility of arms.

4. All outer visible parts of the clothing should have hemmed edges.

5. Add buttons. For this purpose I used 6 metallic buttons with slightly unusual look.

6. Have fun wearing it. Mine was already tested in few events.

Scarecrow Arkham Asylum cosplay

For this year’s edition of our Slovenian sci-fi and fantasy convention Na meji nevidnega I prepared a Scarecrow cosplay that is based on the costume design from Batman Arkham Asylum computer game.

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Gauntlet

All the parts of cosplay, from gauntlet to the mask, were designed and hand made by me. The first thigh that I made was the mask. Its base is made in paper mache technique and covered with old fabric that was used as potato bags. The filters for the mask were taken from a spray paint mask and glued to my mask using got glue.

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Scarecrow from Arkham Asylum cosplay.

The same fabric was also used to create a hood and skirt. It was torn apart at first and then sew back to get nicer ripped look. Everything else is sewn from a brown cotton fabric. To highlight some feature I added quite large white stitches were two parts of fabric met. There are also some leather straps and hangman’s noose that add to the credibility of the costume.

Easy LARP leather shoes.

Probably one of the priciest pieces of equipment and hardest to do by yourself are boots. Therefore I tried to create my own piece, but not completely from scratch. For this I used an old pair of worn out Allstar shoes. They heave more elvish look (for my elven character) and are made of faux leather. Here is a quick description of how I managed to do that.

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Design of the shoe cover drawn on the back side of the faux leather.

The first thing was to design and cut the pieces out of fabric. I used three simple pieces. One narrow strip for the tongue on two for the sides that are show in the image above. The shape are only approximate and were modified during the process. The first thing that I did was to sew a new longer tongue on top of the original one.

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The side pieces were sewn together along the shorter back side and then attacked to the old shoe. I managed to do that using combination of sewing (to add some detail) and gluing to the sole. New shoes are much more resistant to water that old because of used material and gluing.

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The eyelets for the laces are inserted alongside the whole length of the length.

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Eyelets for the shoe laces added.

And this is the final form of the shoe. In this picture the cover over the front black toe is still missing and has to be glued on.

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Cooling Basler camera

To examine the effect of heating up a Basler acA640-100gm on image dark current noise during imaging, I conducted an experiment where I took multiple longer (~2 min) films (conditions: dark room, cap on, constant ambient temperature) with different frame exposure lengths and observed mean image pixel value at the beginning and end of the test. Frame exposure lengths and film durations are approximately equal to the ones used in planetary imaging with this camera and not suitable for DSO imaging.

Image exposure length With cooler – mean pixel value Without cooler – mean pixel value
At the beginning of the test 10 ms 17.8 17.5
50 ms 18.1 18.3
500 ms 26.7 26.0
1000 ms = 1 s 44.7 40.1
In the end of the test, after ~2 min when the casing temperature was constant 10 ms 18.1 18.5
50 ms 18.7 19.4
500 ms 32.5 42.4
1000 ms = 1 s 60.6 96.1
Basler camera with attached DIY aluminium cooler (without any fan), salvaged from an older CPU.

The following graphs show, the change of camera casing temperature over time in comparison to the constant ambient temperature. From the plots it is observable that majority of heat up occurs in the first 30 sec of imaging and remains almost constant after that.

Working temperature plot with attached cooler.

Working temperature plot without attached cooler.

Leather Scale Armor

For the purpose of our Larp events I started making my own costume for the character I usually play. For the armor I decided to create a lightweight Scale armor made of leather. First I had to find out what shape of scales would give me the desired look. Scales can be found in a variety of shapes from simple squares to more complex patterns.

Scales and rivets.

After cutting out all the scale pieces (a lot of them) add poking holes through the corners, it was time to bind them together. This can be done in many ways, for example binding them with rope, metal rings, rivets… The look I was going for involves rivets (around 200 rivets used for the whole armor). Every scale, except those on the edges of the armor, is connected to four neighboring scales.

Breast-plate (front view).

For fastening the armor around the torso, there are two leather straps located just under the armpit. They can be easily adjusted by the wearer at any time.

Back-plate (back view).

Armor is not finished yet and it is still in the process of making. The next step is to add pauldrons to cover the shoulder area and upper arms.