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    The Art of Custom Mechanical Keyboard Keycaps

    We meet a 3D artist who models and 3D prints custom keycaps for mechanical keyboards! Robert, who runs Clackeys, explains to us how he designs unique keycaps inspired by video games and pop culture, treating the surface of a key as his canvas. We about talk his approach to printing these designs and the amount of complexity he can get from an SLA print.

    Artist Jason Freeny on Toy Design and His Anatomical Sculptures

    We catch up with artist Jason Freeny, whose anatomical sculptures we first featured on Tested over four years ago. Since then, Jason has teamed up with the toymakers at MightyJaxx to release a line of anatomical collectibles, including ones inspired by DC Comics characters, LEGO figures, and even mythological creatures. We discuss toy design and what's next for Jason's creations.

    Tim Shea's Amateur Hour - Episode 80 -11/17/17
    On this episode, Frank and Len look at the hobbyist angle of doing your own design work with our guest Tim Shea. You may recognize some of Tim's work from past Tested videos, although you would never know he is an amateur designer. Tim just wrapped up a whirlwind weekend at DesignerCon in LA and he chats all about it, as well as the Predator design, Frank's haunted apartment and more. If you're digging what you hear, please head over to http://www.patreon.com/creaturegeek and support us with a few bucks. We truly appreciate your support!
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    Adam Savage Tours the Jim Henson Exhibition!

    Adam Savage visits the Museum of the Moving Image, which recently opened a landmark exhibition showcasing the works of Jim Henson. From the Muppet Show to Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock to the Dark Crystal, we get up close with many of the puppets, props, and film artifacts from Henson's world-changing career.

    Hobby RC: Testing High-Voltage LiPo Batteries

    Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries are presently the standard power source for most hobby-grade RC vehicles. These batteries have seen steady improvement since they were first introduced to the hobby around the turn of this century. Most of that progress has been related to increasing their fast discharge and charge capabilities. During the last year or so, we have seen the emergence of LiPo cells that evolved in a slightly different direction. High-Voltage LiPo batteries (LiHV) look and perform much like contemporary LiPo cells, but have a tad more voltage.

    More voltage fed your electric motor equals more RPMs. That will give your RC toy a zippy performance boost, right? Well, maybe. There is more to consider than just voltage. I recently tested a LiHV battery to determine whether these types of cells are an overall advantage for me.

    What is LiHV?

    Standard LiPo batteries have 4.2 volts per cell when fully-charged. LiHV cells go up to 4.35 volts. That extra .15 volts may not seem like much, but it could make a significant difference in some applications. Most RC vehicles use two or more cells in series. So the extra voltage of a LiHV battery is multiplied by the number of cells.

    A regular LiPo is considered discharged when it drops to 3.2 volts per cell under load. This usually equates to about 3.7 volts at rest. LiHV cells have the same bottom end values. So, LiHV cells operate over a slightly broader voltage range than standard LiPo variants.

    LiHV batteries have slightly more voltage than LiPo cells. This presents potential performance benefits as well as new considerations.

    There are numerous LiHV options available on the market. From what I can tell, most of these batteries are very similar in size, weight, price, and discharge capabilities to their normal-voltage contemporaries. Yes, there are some differences. But I think most of those deltas would be insignificant to the average hobbyist.

    Hyperion provided two similar batteries for testing, one LiPo and one LiHV. The LiPo is their G5 3-cell (12.6 volts) 850mAh unit that is rated for 70C maximum discharge (59.5 amps). On the LiHV side is a G7 3-cell (13.05 volts) 900mAh battery rated for 60C discharge (54 amps). Before getting into my results from using these batteries, we should cover a few things to think about regarding LiHV cells.

    Adam Savage on Blade Runner 2049's Massive Water Set!

    Adam gets to be an honorary stunt performer on the set of Blade Runner 2049 as he visits the massive water tank used for production. Chatting with Special Effects Supervisor Gerd Nefzer, Adam learns how this tank is used to simulate turbulent waves by dropping literally tons of water into the pool.

    Heavy Poly's Hoverbike Resin Garage Kit

    One of the most beautiful things we saw at DesignerCon was this hoverbike garage kit, designed and made by collaborators Vaughan Ling and Kirk Shinmoto. The duo sculpted this intricate model, 3D printed over 70 prototype parts, and then made their own molds to cast parts for a limited release. Their attention to detail is breathtaking!

    Adam Savage's Maker Tour: Lower 48

    In Oakland, Adam meets Lower 48 founder Jolie Karno, who converted a truck container into a nonprofit woodshop where she teaches people the joy of making. During his visit, Adam gets his own lesson in wood turning, and begins making his own wood bowl! (This series and tour is made possible by The Fab Foundation and Chevron.)

    Rock-afire Explosion Billy Bob Figure Prototype

    Remember the Rock-afire Explosion band from Showbiz Pizza? The spirit of the animatronic house band lives on in collectors and fans like Justin Ishmael, who's developing a licensed figure of Billy Bob. At this year's Designercon, we check out the prototype of this toy and chat with Justin--who previously ran Mondo--about the process of making collectibles for niche fandoms.

    The Making of Hela's Headdress from Thor: Ragnarok

    At this year's DesignerCon, we meet up with Ironhead Studio, the costume and prop fabricators who made Hela's jaw-dropping costume from Thor: Ragnarok! Jose Fernandez walks us through how his team made Hela's iconic headdress for Cate Blanchett to wear in the film, explaining how the helmet's pieces hold together and what goes into its brilliant finish.

    Sculpting the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Messenger Droid Mask

    We time warp back to before New York Comic Con to meet up with Frank at his shop and learn how he sculpted the mask for the Sentinel cosplay! We see how the painting and details of this silicone mask help simulate the holographic image on this character from Star Wars Battlefront II. (This video was sponsored by Electronic Arts. Star Wars Battlefront II will be available on November 17th.)

    Mike Hill Takes On Werewolves - Episode 79 -11/10/17
    Frank and Len close the classic monster trilogy of podcasts by covering one of our favorite topics, werewolves. And we've brought in werewolf expert and master sculptor Mike Hill to chat about lycanthropes. We also look at these lists of favorite werewolf film from Paste Magazine and Den of Geek and see if they match our list. (SPOILER: Mostly, they do.) If you're digging this podcast, please head over to http://www.patreon.com/creaturegeek and support us with a few bucks. We truly appreciate your support!
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    Machination Studio's Mechanized Armored Walker!

    We're huge fans of Michael Sng, a toy designer who successfully launched his first mechanized scale model on Kickstarter a year ago. Michael visits our studio to show off his newest creation: the Schnauzer Armored Walker prototype that he hopes to bring to collectors. Its movement, detail, and paint finish are most impressive!

    A New Battery Option for RC Cars

    My inbox is often filled with press releases about the latest RC hobby products. I try to focus my attention on the truly unique and innovative stuff. That's why the ARRMA Granite Voltage ($140) caught my eye. On the surface, it appears to be a run-of-the-mill 1/10-scale monster truck. But this is no ordinary backyard basher. The Granite Voltage is equipped to use a power source that I've never before seen in an RC truck, cylindrical Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries. I'm a battery nerd, so I had to take a closer look.

    The 18650-sized (18mm diameter, 65mm long) Li-Ion batteries used by the Granite Voltage are not new. Derivatives of these cells have been around for more than 20 years. They've always been a popular choice for small electronic devices because of their high energy density, convenient size, and robust housing. However, these cells never really captured the interest of RC hobbyists. The issue was that Li-Ion cells couldn't discharge rapidly enough to meet the high-current demands of most RC vehicles. Simply put, Li-Ion batteries were great at storing energy, but not so great at expending that energy quickly. Most hobbyists adopted a different flavor of Lithium-Ion technology with more favorable discharge characteristics, the soft, flat Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) cells that now dominate RC applications.

    Recent developments with cylindrical Li-Ion batteries have finally made them contenders for hobbyists. The latest generation of 18650 cells have high discharge capabilities, giving backyard drivers another battery option. I also found it interesting that Tesla and the vaping community have also embraced the allure of modern 18650 Li-Ion batteries.

    Adam Savage Visits The Crucible Maker Space

    Adam Savage visits a workshop at The Crucible, one of our favorite maker spaces in the Bay Area that teaches everything from neon sign-making to electronics. This video is a partnership with Acer and The Crucible. Acer is committed to partnering with education institutions and organizations like ours to provide technology designed to engage, empower, and enable the next generation. Learn more at http://www.acer.com/education

    Prop Restoration - Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project - 11/7/17
    Guest Tom Spina of Tom Spina Designs joins us this week to talk about the process of prop restoration! Tom and his team have helped restore some of the most important prop and makeup artifacts from film history, including creatures from Star Wars. Plus, we dive into a half-spoilercast of Stranger Things Season 2!
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