Pure Magic

vaavud-iphone-red-mod-82x140 I just bought a Vaavud Wind Meter. As a pilot, I could justify the purchase by saying it would be great to know the wind speed at an airport without weather services, but do you want to know the real reason I bought it, it is pure magic! Kickstarter describes the VaaVud Wind Meter as “a wireless wind meter containing no electronics.” Then goes on to say:  “The secret is two small magnets in the rotor. The magnetic field sensor in the phone can detect when they rotate, and by using algorithms normally used for sound processing, the rotations can be converted to wind speed. Complicated engineering, made user friendly and simple. In fact, nobody has utilized the smartphone magnetometer in this way before.”

I hesitate to say that this is “out of the box” thinking as this is really thinking in many boxes, in reality, this is innovative thinking at its finest. Andreas Bruun Okholm, a Danish Engineering student and entrepreneur, developed the concept for the wind meter as a part of his Bachelor thesis in 2011. According to a November 2013 Vaavud press release, the wind meter is now being used on 6 continents and in 70 countries. While I am constantly amazed with the simplicity and the ingenuity of the product, I find the speed and the process of getting the product to market astounding. In two short years the wind meter went from design stage, to winning the “Mobile & web” category in a Danish entrepreneur competition, to a Kickstarter campaign that ended 22 April 2013, to having distributions deals in 12 countries by Fall 2013, to the point I could buy one in January 2014. See the Vaavud brand story – measuring wind on smartphones. Continue reading “Pure Magic”

3D Printing – Need to think outside the box!

Do you think outside the “box” and do you want to get ahead in the exciting world of 3D Printing? Then start designing your creations. There are free software packages on the web that allow artists to create an electronic sculpture or an engineer to de3D Printersign a widget that will change the world. The great thing is that GPRC CRI has a 3D printer that can turn your idea into an ABS plastic model.

3D Printing is also referred to as Additive Manufacturing and Direct Digital Manufacturing. Then just to confuse the issue there are a number of printing methods that are used to create the 3D models. At GPRC/CRI we have what is known as a Fused Deposition Modeling Additive Manufacturing System. Put in simpler terms what we have is a very high tech glue gun that puts down very thin layers of ABS plastic to build a 3D model layer by layer. Continue reading “3D Printing – Need to think outside the box!”