Dev

Jan. 21, 2014 10:15 am

Changing the color of a 3D-printed acronym with Python and Raspberry Pi

A clever hack by two Digital Harbor Foundation students was on display last week during the one-year anniversary of the Digital Harbor Tech Center.

From left: Glory Barongozi and Birendra Rai.

A clever hack by two Digital Harbor Foundation (DHF) students was on display last week during the one-year anniversary of the Digital Harbor Tech Center.

Two DHF youth members Birendra Rai and Glory Barongozi, using Python programming language and a Raspberry Pi (a computer the size of a credit card that can be used in a variety of DIY electronics projects), came up with a way to change the color on the inside of a wired-up, 3D model of DHF, as seen below:

DHFlogoDuring Thursday night’s anniversary, as more than 150 people crammed into the Digital Harbor Tech Center in Federal Hill, any color tweeted out by someone that was also tagged #DHFcolor would automatically change the color of the 3D acronym. (The script the students wrote scraped Twitter for the hashtag, which then triggered the color-changing process.) Some colors — gold, for instance — wouldn’t work. But purple, blue and the green Technical.ly Baltimore tweeted were fair game.

raspberrypi

The Raspberry Pi mini-computer, on the left, attached to the electrical board that changed the color of the lights.

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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