For the sake of making home espresso easier, I’ve designed the Grindtamp concept. It removes the need for the fiddly process between grinding beans, and tamping the grounds into the portafilter by combining the mill grinder and tamp into a single object.


Obviously inspired by the hario slim, which is a great mill grinder, but it’s annoying getting the grounds out of it and into the portafilter. The Grindtamp concept would help greatly. You would pull the tamp plunger out, grind beans into the container, upturn the container into your portafilter, and push the plunger back in to tamp the grounds.

The tamp size adjustment, which you can see screwed onto the top of the ground container, could come in different sizes to account for the various portafilter sizes.



Chorded Keyboard


For the sake of this article, I’m going to assume you know nothing of chorded keyboards. If that’s not the case, you may want to skip down a ways, or just go over here:


I’m a bit of a fan of human computer interaction, and I’ve found myself quite interested by touch typing and the history of the keyboard. It seems the basic layout for keyboards that is in use today got started on mechanical typewriters. Cool machines, but the concerns involved in making a mechanical typing machine which influenced the keyboard layout are definitely no longer relevant. You can read more about it on wikipedia if you’re interested.

So obviously there are other ways we can be handling input now that input is handled by digital machines. Ultimately I’d like to do some quite radical experimentation in computer input, but I feel building a chorded keyboard is a good first step. On a normal keyboard letters are represented by keys. You press a key, you get a letter, you press a different key, you get a different letter, you press two keys, you get two letters. On a chorded keyboard letters are represented by combinations of keys, or ‘chords’.  You press a key, you get a letter, you press two keys, you get a different letter. In this way you can represent many more letters (inputs) with much fewer keys. I’ve taken this concept reasonably far by making a keyboard with only 8 keys. Not very many, but those 8 keys can represent 2**8 – 1 = 255 different inputs. More info on chorded keyboards can also be found on wikipedia.


I started out with a sketchy concept of what I wanted to make.


I made sure I was capable of compiling and flashing code to the teensyduino. Then I went to blender and made 3d files for 3d printing.


Then, while 3d printing the things, I hacked on the teensy code to get it working in a chorded schema.

Finally, everything came together with a bit of solder and the usual things.


I’m still pretty slow, but I’ve been getting better at typing on them, and it’s a really cool, comfy typing experience.

PS: I wrote this article using this chorded keyboard.

3D Printed Sonico Headphones


I like how the character Super Sonico is always depicted wearing these funky headphones she wears. It makes me think of her as some kind of avatar of enjoying music. So when I found myself with the perfectly reasonable desire to build myself a pair of headphones, I decided to model them after hers.

Sonico wearing the funky headphones she wears.

I started out with a pair of Sony MDRZX100’s, and threw out everything other than the cable and the drivers. I then went online to look at pics of Sonico’s headphones, and do some sketches of how I wanted mine to look. After that I took some measurements and did some sketches of how to make them fit together mechanically.


I modeled the components to be printed in blender, and 3d printed them. I also 3d printed a jig for bending coat-hanger wire to make the headband supports.

For those of you interested, I’ve uploaded the stl (3d printable) files to dropbox:


I was interested in making them flash along to the beat of my music. So I bought some bjt’s, and soldered some leds and a connection to a 9 volt battery into the circuit. The threshold of the bjt’s I got are a bit higher than I was expecting though, so I need to turn the music up pretty high to get a noticeable strobing effect. I’ll upload a video if anyone comments with interest.

For the head-strap I used velcro tape from the local hardware store. I was thinking I would sew a custom strap and sew velcro onto it, but it turns out the velcro tape makes a comfortable strap on its own.

The earmuffs were interesting. I could have used the original Sony muffs, but I found them small and uncomfortable, so I decided to try sewing my own. For each muff I cut out two rings that just fit around my ears. I sewed them together with strips of fabric such that they could be stuffed with memory foam rings. I had a bit of trouble cutting the memory foam at first, but it was only 1 inch thick, so I found that cutting it with scissors worked well. If I was doing more of them I might want to build something like this.

All in all they where probably more work than they are worth, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

Thanks for reading. Sorry I didn’t remember to take more pictures of the process. Hope you enjoyed anyway.