Posts filed under ‘Halloween’

Open Source – Adjustable Face Jack-O-Lantern (The Dial-O-Lantern)

Believe or not, my favorite 3D printing project is not my Library of Congress Ornament that won the White House 3D Printed Ornament Challenge.

My favorite project (so far— it tends to change each time I receive a new model) is my first moving parts project! One of the great things about 3D printing if you can have separate parts print in their respective spots. My first “moving parts” project was a little Jack-O-Lantern for my kids. With three sliding parts that print completely assembled, my boys can chose between three sets of eyes, three sets of noses, and three sets of mouths to configure what face they want. I’m totally in love with it… maybe even more so than my kids. : )

Because pictures don’t do it justice– a quick video demo! : )

I recently published an article on Instructables going over my design decisions and my modeling process in Blender.

And of course, if you don’t have a printer of your own and you covet a “Dial-O-Lantern” of your own– you can order a print from Shapeways.

January 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm 2 comments

Halloween… and Convergent Evolution

Happy Halloween!

For Sagan’s first Halloween, Ryan and I wanted to pick something delightfully geeky. Star Trek was too obvious and “Tetris Piece” looked like it would be uncomfortable for Sagan to wear… or more importantly, uncomfortable for Mommy to put on Sagan.  Every time I have to put something on over his head, I remind him about the birth canal but he seems to find little solace in precedence.

Ryan suggested “Gir” from Invader Zim. Sagan’s Aunt Carolyn is a big Gir fan and even has a handmade Gir hat! I have friends in Washington State who named their dog after Gir. Ryan’s suggestion seemed like it would be an instant score in a niche audience!


Gir

So how does one with limited time make a costume for a 16 week old baby? Well, to help answer that question I needed to look no further than Kitty’s Heart of Nature. Last year for her daughter’s first Halloween, Kitty made adorable owl costumes, using brown hoodies as the base.

I ordered a reversible green jacket (with hood!) from Precious Cargo. Take your handy glue gun, a supply of felt and two foam balls and voila– Gir costume.

Sagan - Halloween - Outfit Alone
Gir Costume

And like the “real Gir”, Sagan could be completely in disguise or reveal his inner self.

Sagan - Halloween - Gir (Hood Down) with Mommy
Who’s Gir?

Sagan - Halloween - Riding as Gir
Sagan’s Gir!!!

Even though I copied Kitty’s hoodie technique, I was still feeling pretty creative and unique. That is, until I did a search on “Gir Hoodie”. It turns out, there are quite a few Gir Halloween costumes out there. As I scanned the photos in Google and Flickr, I realized I had taken part in a demonstration of convergent evolution.

Convergent evolution is when unrelated species independently acquire the same biological trait. A good example is wings. Mammals, birds and insects all “invented” the wing and guess what, they were reinventing something the reptiles had done way back in the day of the pterodactyls!


Convergent Evolution
Photos by Michael Pennay, CaptPiper, and tanakawho

Really when you boil it down, convergent evolution is about problem solving. An organism is presented with a challenge in its environment and it comes up with a solution. Sometimes the solution is such a perfect fit to the problem, it is just asking to be discovered again…and again…and again.

Such is the case with the Gir Halloween Costume.

Problem:
You have a green character whose head can peel back and reveal his robot self.

Solution:
Uh… green hooded article of clothing. Duh!!!


Convergent Girs
(Photo Credits: DilanofDreams, spookykittencouture, windmillcookie, and ME!)

Sagan’s costume does have one thing going for it. I didn’t find any other babies dressed up as Gir.

“He’s the only Gir that’s about the right size,” Ryan pointed out. 🙂

11/1/2011 Update! – Sagan is NOT the only baby dressed up as Gir. Check out adorable little Paige and her vastly superior Gir costume! (Hat Tip, Scott!)

There are more pictures of Sagan in his Gir costume on Flickr and there are plenty of pictures of other Gir costumes all over the internet.

P.S. If you are interested in purchasing a Gir costume for yourself, SpookyKittenCoutures (pictured above) does do custom orders. You can also find a whole slew of Gir-themed products at HotTopic.

October 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm 2 comments


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