Gamifying the Workplace: Badges IRL with 3D Printing

Heartbleed BadgeWe’ve seen badges and gamificiation appear in everything from a core business plan (Foursquare & Gowalla) to navigation apps (Waze).  I’ve seen them on a user homepage at least two companies.  It helps get people engaged by bringing together groups of common interest and drive involvement in tasks that they might not otherwise be involved in.  You look up a colleagues and find they’ve done something similar to you.

The problem with the virtual badges is that they are too cheap to make (effectively free to create a new one) and only appear when you go to the employee’s homepage.  Having played with 3d printing, I realized that you could make these badges in real life and bring a bit of physical interest to the work place, applying the same rules.    With a few minutes on an online 3d modeling tool, online 3d printing services, and finally a magnet and some super glue,  you can easily end up with full color sandstone badge.

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3D Printing Board Game Pieces

For Christmas I bought Robot Turtles for the family. It’s a great game, and very easily customizable for different skill levels.

Although the cards are nice, I thought it would be fun to to go from the card playing pieces to 3D printing from ShapeWays.  I came across a turtle model on ShapeWays and contacted the designer asking if they could be extended to support the color schemes (and possibly the addition of lasers on the back.  A few weeks later a TMNT variant of the turtles appear on his shop.  Next ShapeWays purchase I included the little turtles in the request. Read on for pictures of the turtles.

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3D Printing Shelf Pegs [Updated]

Update: After Shapeways tweaked their pricing. I’ve moved over to selling them online at https://badgly.com/. I’m keeping them on Shapeways, but I have a lot more control on Badgly. Have a look there and feel free to use the 5OFF coupon code for 5% off.

When buying a house, you always find that there are some parts of the house that the previous owner had something installed, and the bag of spare parts and the supplier they used are lost to antiquity.  This some times only gives you the option of replace, hack, or just live with it.  This happened in the house we bought last year.

The shelves in the kitchen don’t have your standard Ikea style shelf pegs that hold the shelves up.  Neither do they have the standard shelf pegs you can buy at home depot.  These are custom jobs created by some unknown manufacturer.  Not only are they non-standard pegs, but the holes they fit into are not only custom, they are a funky insert, twist and lock style.

After a discussion with a colleague at work I thought I’d 3D printing.  After going through a bit of a process, I ended up ordering a set from shapeways.com.  Here is the comparison of the original with the new.

Ultimately, I ended up with this shapeways part.  I’ve included a rendering below.

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Exploring Caffè Latte Art

Although I am not a coffee drinker my wife is.  As part of the morning routine of getting the my girls to school, I usually make her a coffee.  Recently I’ve started taking inspiration from the last bit of froth that gets added and have started getting artistic.

The coffee is made using a Stove Top Expresso Maker topped with frothed milk from a Manual Glass Milk Frother.  As the milk is poured into the coffee the last bit usually ends up something like a random shape like a cloud.  From there you look for inspiration. Then armed with a chopstick and the remaining foam, you can build something interesting.  Included below are a couple of my better pieces.  Continue reading “Exploring Caffè Latte Art”

Dust Jacket Panorama Art

Inspired by Dust Jacket Art, I decided to take it up a notch and use the same concept with a panorama and hide a random collection of paperback books behind a scenic picture.

See below for how I did it.

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