It has been hard to pull myself away from my newest obsession, Horizon Zero Dawn. Something about a post-post apocalyptic world filled with robot dinosaurs and primitive protagonist trying to decipher modern technology just appeals to the Geek side of me. Luckily for all our readers, my wireless controllers only have so much juice before I have to charge them up. This afforded me the time needed to put together this publication for you, and I may be biased, but in my opinion this Weekly is in the top 3 we have done so far this generation. This time around we have an article about a device that puts 3D printing into the palm of your hand. We also have an article about the newest in Mod options for your Moto Z Phone from our very own David Jarvey. We finish up with a bit of news about the future of renewable energy, and finally Kenan Goyette brings us some great moments in Geek-istory that are well worth the read. Enjoy.
Moto Mod Mayhem
Today we’ll be focusing on a few Moto Mods for the Moto Z lineup.
As many of you know there was major hype surrounding the Moto Z Series of devices this year in regards to them having the ability to add Mods to the back with nothing more than a snap. As of now you can purchase a speaker, Battery Pack, Projector and a Camera. That however isn’t stopping them from asking others to make new fancy innovative attachments so others find it more fun or suited for their everyday needs. Check out all of the fancy mods you can pack down below!
Edge has come up with a phone bumper case…not just that though.
Every phone case right now that’s main stream for the Z either lets you put a nice case on OR attach a Mod to the back but not both. This in turn gives you the option to choose between “Should I protect this thing or jam out to some tunes outside?”
Edge has come out with a protective bumper that allows you to do both for a relatively low price of $ 25.00 USD that comes in three colors Midnight Black, Moonlight Silver or Crimson Red.
Accompanied with the bumper you can also choose to purchase one of their Edge Mod’s which both have a LED notification feature equipped around the edges of the device that can be fully customized for each application so you can tell if you should answer a text or wait to check that email from across the room.
Adding Even More Power To An Already Incredible Battery Life
Edge Force is 2000 mAh battery pack that extends your battery life by an extra 75% or the Edge Air allows you the benefit of wireless charging so you don’t have to bother plugging your phone in all the time.
Wireless charging, with a color flair.
User Friendly Customization App
Check out their page at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/edge-mod-supercharge-your-moto-z#/
LIVERMORIUM - A Physical Keyboard Mod
A while ago a keyboard was all the rage for phones whether it be for business emails or personal text messages people held onto their physical keyboard for dear life.
Now it’s back in a new sliding Moto Mod with five rows of finger crunching fury!
This little buddy has a designated number row, shortcut and directional features as well as being backlit for typing late at night in the dark. It’s been tested to withstand over 200,00 individual key presses so it should hold up without to your little digits texting flurry on a regular basis. Follow the link and pick one up in black, silver or gold!
Three Colors To Fit Your Individual Style
Mashing Art & 3d Printing with Lix Pen
A few years ago I opted to take my level of Geek to new heights, and change up the landscape of my Geek-Cave, with the addition of a 3d Printer. This new toy had a large form factor about double the size of a good multi-function printer/copier, and made its presence known with a smell of melting plastic, and the music of the stepper motors moving the print head around the build platform. For the following year, it was almost all I could talk about. The numerous items I had made, both functional as well as fashionable, and the amazing way it had changed my life. Well now I have done it again. Only this time, in a significantly more compact design.
The Lix pen is a 3D printer scaled down to, as the name implies, the size of a pen. It has an aluminum chassis, and a sleek design that almost gives it the appearance of a normal every day ball point pen. Now obviously having a 3D printer as small as a pen comes with a few drawbacks and a few bonus that are worth mentioning. First off it is lacking the auto printing function of its larger 3D printing brothers, as you as the user are functioning as the pulleys and motors that move the print head around, and as the software that controls exactly what is printed. Yet on the converse, it does allow you to essentially draw in a 3D format, whatever your imagination can come up with. It was this particular function that interested me the most.
My lix pen arrived promptly from Amazon, and I took little time to cut into the shrink plastic and open up the box. Speaking of the box, it is very reminiscent of the kinds of packaging we have become used to from major cell phone manufacturers. The fit was snug, and the top pulled off in a slow fashion as if to build anticipation for the device within. Upon getting the box open, I was immediately presented with the Lix Pen in all its glory. Nestled in a firm foam bed, the pen was gleaming at me, all silver and begging to be touched. It is available in 2 colors, black & silver, and although I would have normally been all about the sleek black look, the silver just seemed to catch my eye a bit more.
Holding the Lix Pen in my hand for the first time, I was immediately aware of how light it is. For a device that contains a heating element, a motor to push the filament, and the electronics required to make it all work, it hardly weighed more than a standard ballpoint pen. Pulling up the foam tray that held the pen I was introduced to the other essential components for the device. The first of which being the power brick. This being a device made in Brussels, comes with a universal brick, with an adapter for US outlets. This actually felt like a pretty good design idea, as it would allow for them to easily ship their product to any country worldwide and simply include the required adapter to make it work in that particular country. Along with the power brick was a USB to Micro-AC cable. This cable is actually what excited me the most. According to the people at Lix, this particular 3D Pen can be powered via its supplied power brick, or via any USB port that puts out sufficient power. In my test this meant that instead of being tethered to a wall or extension cord, I could plug the device into my portable battery, and print for quite a long time.
Also in the box was two cylindrical containers filled with filament sticks. For those of you not familiar with how a 3D printer works, generally plastic filament is melted and extruded in small layers to build up the shape of the object you are creating. This filament usually comes on big spools, allowing for continuous printing without interruption or the need to change material mid print. In the case of the Lix Pen, it ships with a randomly selected supply of filament sticks to help maintain that portability. I did find in my trials with the Lix Pen that these sticks run through the machine pretty quickly and it did throw off my work flow to keep changing them out. However since the people at Lix thought to utilize the standard 1.75mm filament size, I was able to capitalize on the filament supply I already owned for my current 3D printer. Pulling about 5 feet of filament off of the spool, I was able to print for quite a while without interruption, and the spooled filament coils up nicely to keep it compact while drawing out your 3D design.
Drawing In Air, With Plastic
Now initially I was a little unsure about getting my hands on this particular device. It was a Kickstarter project a couple years ago, and the initial reviews of the device appeared poor. This is where doing my homework payed off. It seems the vast majority of the negative reviews were from Kickstarter backers upset about the delay in the initial shipment of the device, and had little if anything to do with the actual function of the device. More recent reviews actually showed an overwhelming level of positivity. The only thing I can add, is that like some others I did notice the unit gets a little warm when printing for an extended period of time, but considering it is heating up plastic to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, I can let that go. In the long run it didn’t make the pen uncomfortable to use, and taking into account my amateur status as a 3D Pen artist, the results were still beautiful in an artistic sort of way.
For anyone thinking they want a nifty new toy in their lives, or anyone who fancies themselves an artist and wants a whole new medium to work in… the Lix Pen may just be the device to make it a reality.
Art By You, Made Reality By Lix Pen
Taking a flip side view at the world of the geek
Many in the geek world love the idea of having enough power to maintain every device and need in our homes, but also hate the idea of paying the high energy bills associated with it. Our friends at Tesla have a solution. A Solar Roof. I know some of us have seen the houses that have the big gaudy solar panels up on their roofs. Often these eyesores take away from the curb value of the home, and because of their inefficient design and high cost, they have limited appeal to the average home owner as well. Tesla hopes to change that. In a press event late last year, Elon Musk stated that their new design for a fully solar roof would be an affordable replacement for any home, at a cost that would rival a traditional roofing material, when taking into account the energy savings provided. This was a pretty big statement, and was overshadowed only a few short days ago when they announced that with the ability to source materials at a cost lower than anticipated, and the ease of the manufacturing method needed to create the product, their new solar roof should be able to rival the cost of a traditional roof before taking into account the energy savings. This means that every home in America could at some point be fitted with it's own solar roof, in one of 4 attractive designs, and help free us from the constraints of the standard power company pitfalls. They hope to start installing the first roofs before mid 2017, and help accelerate the entire worlds transition into renewable energy.
A Classic Look Providing Modern Power Solutions
A look at what past geeks were up to this week
March 5th, 1836 - Firearm Tech
Samuel Colt manufactures 1st pistol, 34-caliber "Texas" model
March 3rd, 1843 - Early Communication Advances
Congress appropriates $30,000 "to test the practicability of establishing a system of electro-magnetic telegraphs" by the US
March 5th 1868 - A Big Day For Paper Fasteners
Stapler patented in England by C H Gould
March 1st, 1873 - Word Processing Gets Easier
E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York begins production of the first practical typewriter.
March 4th, 1882 - Electric Transportation
Britain's first electric trams run in East London.
March 2nd, 1972 - Probing Deep Space
NASA launches its Pioneer 10 space probe to Jupiter
March 1st 1985 - Big Bucks To Purchase The Bucks
Milwaukee businessman Herb Kohl purchases the Milwaukee Bucks
March 5th, 2013 - Mobile Phones Get Smaller
Willcom announces the world’s smallest mobile phone, weighing 32 grams and measuring just 32 x 70 x 10.7mm compare it to the iPhone 7 at 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm and 138 grams.