Cory Collins11:59 AM

kristina panos11:59 AM

Dan Maloney12:00 PM
All righty then, let's get started. Welcome all, thanks for coming to the Hack Chat today. I'm Dan, I'll be minding the shop today along with Dusan as we welcome Cory Collins to the Hack Chat. Looks like Cory just joined, so welcome!

Cory Collins12:00 PM
Hi, it's nice to see you here.

Dan Maloney12:00 PM
Cory, can you start us off with a little about your background please?

Cory Collins12:03 PM
Sure. I've been an artist and animator for about 20 or so years professionally. And pretty much all of my life before that as well. I've worked in the video game industry for a while before finding a home at a company that makes digital simulations of patients for nurse and healthcare education.

Cory Collins12:03 PM



As a leader in educational simulation technology, Shadow Health has developed an extensive network of partner experts and institutions to support our mission of nursing excellence and patient health. Our Academic Advisory Board provides us with state of the field recommendations on our ever-expanding and ever-improving curriculum.

Read this on Shadowhealth

Dan Maloney12:04 PM
I really found that part of your CV interesting. Basically VR for doctors and nurses?

Cory Collins12:06 PM
But, in my free time, I animate for some cool indie projects and films, and making paper sculptures from my favorite genres sci fi and horror films. Lately I have bee attempting to add electronics and motors, servos, motor controllers to my creations to make them com alive. Sort of like Dr. Frankenstein, lol!\

Cory Collins12:07 PM
We are now working toward vr and ar. But our mission was to provide these similations, over a web based system so we could be used with no expensive hardware or setups. Basically a pc or a Mac laptop.

Cory Collins12:08 PM
Our patented technology was actually developed at University of Florida. It's a very deep conversation engine.

Nicolas Tremblay joined  the room.12:09 PM

Cory Collins12:09 PM
We use the Unity game engine to develop the simulation around that engine

kristina panos12:09 PM
Oh, that is cool

Dan Maloney12:10 PM
Unity? Wow, that's a pretty innovative way to stretch the technology.

Cory Collins12:10 PM
It's much more satsifying as an artist, to have your work help make the world a better place. Over killing zombies or the like.

Cory Collins12:10 PM
From my point of view, anyway, lol

Dan Maloney12:11 PM
One can argue that killing zombies makes the world a better place ;-)

Thomas Shaddack12:11 PM
Isn't killing zombies supposed to be making world a better place?

Cory Collins12:11 PM
This is true.

Nicolas Tremblay12:11 PM
So now we can chat up with the zombies?

Cory Collins12:11 PM
But, with out them, we wouldn't have all of these cool games and, there is a purpose! :)

Cory Collins12:13 PM
We recently were approved to have our simulations count for actual clinical hours in courses. This helps schools with fewer resources or access to clinics and patient actors.

Dan Maloney12:14 PM
So, for the simulations I'd expect that artistic accuracy is a big deal. Do you really have to work hard to make sure you're showing exactly what a practitioner would see?

Nicolas Tremblay12:14 PM
Wow, that is great. Must be a big step forward for the company

Cory Collins12:14 PM
But my real passion in life is to just create stuff, and make it come to life or be interactive. That's where my love for art and tech really comes togther.

Cory Collins12:14 PM
It is.

Cory Collins12:16 PM
Some of my non work projects include walking robots, flying models of different crafts, and a whole splurge of both paper sculptures and 3d printed models of different vintage horror and sci fi characters.

kristina panos12:16 PM
Are you working on anything now?

Laura12:18 PM
When you’re starting art projects, do you start with a vision and figure out how to make it, or do you have some tech in mind and figure out what you can do with it?

Cory Collins12:18 PM
Yes, I am making a flying model of the Lunar Lander Training Vehicle or LLTV that was used to train the Apollo astronauts to land on the moon.

Cory Collins12:18 PM
I gotta link here, just a sec...

Dan Maloney12:19 PM
That's the "Flying Bedstead" right?

Cory Collins12:19 PM

This shows the progession from paper sculpture to a more detailed version

Nicolas Tremblay12:19 PM
I really love your tankbot. I would like to try my hand at reproducing some Masamune Shirow's work (Ghost in the Shell).

Cory Collins12:20 PM
And also my ability to hack low cost electronic toys into my art pieces, lol

Thomas Shaddack12:21 PM
Any stories involving magic smoke leaking from its intended places?

Cory Collins12:21 PM
Here's the tankbot:

Cory Collins12:22 PM
Yes! I have released the magic genie several times! Once from my 3d printer, and several times hacking together these robots!

Here's a list of my robot works:

Laura12:23 PM
That is so cool - and inspiring!

Cory Collins12:23 PM
Or a playlist

Thomas Shaddack12:23 PM
Beautiful! (And needs gun platform stabilization. The barrel vibrates so much it'd need to stop to fire, rendering itself more vulnerable to enemy fire.)

Laura12:23 PM
(I mean the LLTV)

Cory Collins12:24 PM

Here's a page detailing how I failed on making the tank bot turrent work. There is a funny video of it in action embedded in the middle:

Cory Collins12:25 PM
I have since replaced the big gun with a smaller version and changed the gear ratio in the turret control so it rotates much slower.

Dan Maloney12:26 PM
Love the laugh track!

Cory Collins12:27 PM
Lol, it's good to be able share the fails, and get a good laugh from it too!

Cory Collins12:28 PM
One of my other favorite projects was the Big Ass Wall Plotter (BAWP) that was covered her on Hack-a-Day:

Dan Maloney12:30 PM
I love using electrical conduit for projects! Great stuff, so versatile.

Thomas Shaddack12:30 PM
sweet! How did you suppress vibrations of the vertical beam hanging down?

Cory Collins12:31 PM
Here is a whole gaggle of plotter projects:

Making these guys got me started on this whole "hack together what you can" trip I have found myself on. Learned a lot about both electrtonics and mechanics on these

Cory Collins12:32 PM
It runs pretty slow. Lol

Cory Collins12:33 PM
But, it was intended to print out large parts from paper sculpture designs, so it didn't have to be supper accurate. As long as I cut it with a steady hand, lol

Thomas Shaddack12:33 PM

Dan Maloney12:33 PM
Yeah, the CNC you actually build is infinitely better than the one you spend your life designing but never actually build. AMHIK

Cory Collins12:34 PM
That's my goal!

Thomas Shaddack12:34 PM
If using a blue laser diode, and the paper is white and reflects too much energy, you can first draw the outline with a yellow pen and THEN cut the same path with blue laser. Works marvels.

Cory Collins12:36 PM
Yeah, I kept reading that the lower powered lasers would cut black paper easily, but reflected too much to cut on white paper. Which bummed me out. I nver thought of doing the design in a marker first, the lasering it! Thanks for that tip!!!

Cory Collins12:36 PM
There may be new life for the BAWP even yet! LOL!

Thomas Shaddack12:36 PM
A trick commonly used in industry for laser welding of transparent components is an IR-absorbing ink on the interface. Laser shines through, gets absorbed where the heat is needed.

Thomas Shaddack12:37 PM
This is a variant on the same. :D

Cory Collins12:37 PM
Very cool! You have definitely thrown fuel on that fire again!!!! :)

Thomas Shaddack12:37 PM
If cutting cloth, a water-soluble marker can be used.

Thomas Shaddack12:38 PM
A fugitive adhesive and some backing can prevent the cutouts from falling out or deform during cutting.

Thomas Shaddack12:38 PM
Thought about it for cloth.

Cory Collins12:38 PM
Does the yellow pen have to be a certain ink or wavelength?

Thomas Shaddack12:39 PM
Anything that absorbs the used wavelength. Any yellow for blue. Any near-IR for 808 nm.

Cory Collins12:39 PM
I finally broke down and bought a Silhouette Cameo 3 for the small to mid size paper cutting projects.

Thomas Shaddack12:40 PM
A K40-III CO2 laser is a sweet thing for small stuff. If you replace the electronics with anything that can be fed with regular g-code.

Cory Collins12:41 PM
I have a disease called Myasthenia Gravis, that greatly reduces my hand strength, so I had to find a way to keep creating. These plotters and cutters do that for me, and this idea for cutting with the big plotter is da bomb!

Dan Maloney12:42 PM
Wow, glad to hear that you could leverage tech to keep in the game.

Thomas Shaddack12:42 PM
For grayscaling, an excellent way to dose the energy is in time domain. Lasers behave strange at low power levels, the gas ones won't ignite discharge, the diodes go below lasing threshold and become effectively LEDs. But pulses are easy to make with very high precision. And at short enough intervals when we can neglect the material's heat dissipation we just need to deliver the same amount of joules per square millimeter.

Thomas Shaddack12:42 PM
Human bodies suck. :(

Cory Collins12:45 PM
Lol, true dat! Luckily tech is helping us out, but it doesn't have to be radical brain implants to help. I recently saw on here someone soldering with a device that steadies their tremors. This interested me much, as I have general tremors as well, and soldering can such a pain.

Dan Maloney12:46 PM


Soldering Iron Plus Camera Gimbal Helps Cancel Out Hacker's Hand Tremors

Soldering requires steady hands, so when [Jonathan Gleich] sadly developed a condition called an essential tremor affecting his hands, soldering became much more difficult. But one day, while [Jonathan] was chatting with a friend, they were visited by the Good Ideas Fairy and in true hacker fashion, he ended up repurposing a handheld camera stabilizing gimbal to hold a soldering iron instead of a camera or smartphone.

Read this on Hackaday

Cory Collins12:46 PM
be such a pain. I think that is why paper is such a good medium for me. There is practically no end to the availability of replacement parts!

Thomas Shaddack12:47 PM
The same approach can be used for steadying mouse pointer, though software-only is sufficient here.

Thomas Shaddack12:47 PM
Or a spoon to counter Parkinson.

Cory Collins12:48 PM
That's the one. Also there was an article on an even lower level of the same item, but made for holding a spoon

Cory Collins12:48 PM
Used a couple of the little sg90 servos.

Cory Collins12:48 PM
That's the one, yeah

Thomas Shaddack12:49 PM
Laser soldering. Also a way to deliver heat to the point. But needs either UV laser that isn't so well reflected by the metal, or enough power, or mediate through dyed flux.

Thomas Shaddack12:49 PM
Parts are getting smaller and smaller. Heat conduction through the tip is getting less and less sufficient.

Cory Collins12:51 PM
Funny story about adopting technologies- From an old animator:

Early in my career, motion capture was getting introduced as a viable source for game animations, and cinematics as well.

I swore, as an animator, I would never, ever use mocap! But as I worked in the industry more, used that technology, I became a damn good mocap editor, and loved doing it.

Dan Maloney12:52 PM
What changed your mind?

Cory Collins12:52 PM
As an artist, some one who made sculpts in clay, there came along a new technology to threaten me. 3D Printers.

Cory Collins12:53 PM
I swore I would never use one. Until I did, lol. Now I love it. And have both an FDM printer and a SLA printer, lol.

Cory Collins12:54 PM
The studio I worked at had made the decision to use mocap over animation. So I had to learn it. Or get another job, lol.

Dan Maloney12:54 PM
It do be like that sometimes...

Cory Collins12:56 PM
But once I got into it, I found the art. Y'know? The same with 3d printers, and the same with electronics. I found the art that satisfied my craving to constantly be making something. Making art actually exists in the real world. Hold it in your hand. And have it react and move.

Dan Maloney12:58 PM
An interesting take. Maybe the same as the struggle painters faced when photography came around. You want Impressionism? Cause that's how you get Impressionism!

Cory Collins12:58 PM
I think that is what it boils down to. The hacking expands the art, and the art exapnds the hacking. :)

Thomas Shaddack12:58 PM
Is there a fixed boundary between them anyway?

Cory Collins12:59 PM
Not really. I think only in my mind to start with, there was a barrier. But I still get stumped and need someone to bail me out.

Cory Collins12:59 PM
On the more technical side.

Thomas Shaddack1:01 PM
People too often see things through their names and not through their nature. That then limits ideas of how to use them.

Thomas Shaddack1:02 PM
Also, a 3d printer trick for drawing/plotting. If the substrate gets shifted/deformed laterally under the pen tip, avoid lateral movements and print as dots. Move to xy, peck down in z, repeat for next dot.

Cory Collins1:03 PM
I love to collaborate. I found a friend of mine at work who loves the technical aspects of making robots as much as I love the artistic side. We have just started making our own designs for robots and are a pretty good team.

I suck at understanding how to write code for Arduinos and such, and he can take my ideas and make them work in a sensible way with the tech.

jonalbertson joined  the room.1:03 PM

jonalbertson1:03 PM
Hi Cory!

Cory Collins1:04 PM
Ah, makes sense, Like a dot matrix printer, lol

Cory Collins1:04 PM
Hi Jon!

Dan Maloney1:04 PM
+100 on collaboration -- the whole exceeds the sum of its parts.

So, we're up to the end of our hour, so we have to let Cory go if he needs to get back to work. I really appreciate the time you shared with us today, thanks so much. And thanks to everyone for an interesting discussion -- a bit of a departure from our usual fare, but still really cool to explore other areas like this.

Of course the Hack Chat is always open, so feel free to keep the conversation going.

jonalbertson1:04 PM
I think I'm like an hour late, just wanted to see what this was all about

Thomas Shaddack1:05 PM
Could also work with a pointed tip, for making holes-in-paper art.

Cory Collins1:06 PM
Thanks, Dan! And if anyone needs any art or animations or sculpted stuff for projects, and would like to collaborate, feel free to just message me! I'm up for anything interesting or fun!

Thomas Shaddack1:06 PM
Or with any sort of attachment, just replace the z-axis peck with its g-code.

Laura1:06 PM
Thanks Cory!