Free Universal Construction – LEGOs and more

The Free Art and Technology Lab today announced a Free Univeral Construction Kit consisting of blueprints for 3D printing of 80 blocks and connectors that allow you to connect a varity of existing building kits.

Currently the kit interfaces with Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles / Bristle Blocks, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob pieces.  Individual adapters can be found on or downloaded as a package of STL files.

Three cheers for easier and better building experiences.  We are big fans of building things as a component of learning and as motivation, and have done extensive work with LEGO over the years including making the XO easy to connect with LEGO WeDo kits and other robotic tools.

Self-replicating XOs, Part 1

Vik Olliver developed the RepRap 3D printer, an early draft of the holy grail of 3D printing: a printer that can replicate itself. Since then, RepRaps have taken hold of people’s imaginations and workshops around the world. Vik currently runs his own out of his basement, driven by Linux software running off of an XO.

To add another layer of awesome, Vik has been turning out gen-3 viewfinders for the XO. Cruder than gen-2, perhaps, but 10x cheaper.  For those of you who don’t regularly use your XO as a camera, here is the evolution of the XOview viewfinder:

But I just today saw my first of these third-generaiton XOviews, when Mike passed out a stack for our Cambridge office. (Thanks!)

As to how an XO is driving this machine making XO parts, OLPC NZ posted a lovely ‘how do they do that?’ video last fall as well. I’ve watched the video a couple of times, and I still want to see it in person. Are any local reprap owners willing to give a live demo?