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To catch the rain cover.png Rainwater catchment around the world. Get a paperback on Amazon or free digitally at http://www.tocatchtherain.org.


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Dremelfuge
Open source 3-D printing of OSAT. There have been a number of open source 3D printers, such as the RepRap developed. The basic idea for this project is to use them as tools to create OSAT in the field to help the goals of sustainable development. Prices on 3D printers are dropping rapidly.

An example of how these 3D printers can be used to meet these goals is the DremelFuge. The Dremelfuge is brilliant Open Source Hardware project developed by Cathal Garvey in Ireland. The DremelFuge is a printable rotor for centrifuging standard microcentrifuge tubes and miniprep columns. It is at least 10 times less expensive than a standard centrifuge and can be used by field workers in doing things like blood tests, but also by DYI biologists and educators. It requires industry standard 1.5ml/2ml Eppendorf/Microcentrifuge tubes.

  • Used with a drill at 3000 RPM, the Dremelfuge will deliver over 400g, enough to comfortably spin down Miniprep samples (proven personally). It will likely achieve acceptable results at lower speeds, too.
  • Used at 10krpm, on a Rotary tool for instance, a Dremelfuge should deliver over 4400g, more than enough to spin down bacterial cells.
  • At 16krpm, Dremelfuge matches commercial centrifuges.
  • On a Dremel 300, a maximum speed of 33krpm equates to a force of over 50,000 times earth's gravity, which puts it into so-called "Ultracentrifuge" territory. The latest version (as printed by Shapeways) has successfully spun tubes at this speed.
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Photovoltaic vaccine refrigeration at Centro De Salud

Building a solar powered (photovoltaic) vaccine refrigerator with a community hospital in Northern Mexico. Now the sun helps keep the vaccines consistently cold.

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Community action news

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May 6 Biodiversity news: Humans 'threaten 1m species with extinction' [1]

May 6 Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle: Bringing the power of plastic recycling to the people [2]

May 2 Mexico: A new, collective business model for traditional crafts in Oaxaca [3]

May 1 UK Climate news: UK Parliament Declares Environment and Climate Emergency, Claire Mitchell [4]

May 1 Bank On San Francisco: Supporting community financial empowerment [5]

Read More...


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Henry David Thoreau
For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.

Henry David ThoreauW
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The Sun photographed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA 304) of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy's uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, daylighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes.To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

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ENGR 215 Introduction to Design projects – Spring 2011: Locally Delicious: The Spring 2011 semester of Engineering 215 worked with Locally Delicious to design, build, test and disseminate projects that support healthy lifestyles among youths grades 4th through 6th and their families.

Spring 2011 ENGR 215 Intro to Design Projects - Locally Delicious
Tear the Roof off
Dry sliced apples in 18 hours of sunlight with this legless solar dehydrator  
The GnomeTainer
Modular, raised garden with integrated rain catchment that can be installed on a porch  
Catch and Cook
A solar oven capable of reaching 160°F in 20 minutes  
Solar Bowling Oven
Solar oven kids can build and use on their own  
Wormland worm bin
Scalable vermiculture system from free materials for kids  
Row Blender
Row yourself a smoothie with an exercise powered blender  
Sodhoppers' Solar Dehydrator
Durable food dehydrator for a school from a waste kitchen cabinet  
Interactive School Garden
Modular school garden design incorporating several different garden styles  
The Solar Swing
Solar oven for a school reaching 200°F in 30 minutes  
School Worm Bin
Worm bin for a school built from a 55 gallon drum  
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  5. Love your local market
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  7. Caster Wheel Material Application Guide
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