FindDay #18

Every Friday I share the five coolest things I’ve found on the web in the last week.

1 - DIY Toolbag Organizer I have a number of toolboxes, but when I’m not working on a specific project I have a small toolbag I like to throw in the trunk that covers the basics and is a lot lighter than the boxes. The only problem with the bag is that it’s just a pile of tools, so it’s hard to know exactly what you’re taking with. It’s also hard to find the right tool when you’re elbow-deep in whatever it is you’re trying to fix. This simple organizer project solves both problems by making a place for everything in the bag without all the added weight of a full-blown toolbox. The best thing is that you can customize it to fit your particular bag and tool assortment (you could even make a couple that carry specific tools for specialized missions). (via Instructables newsletter)  

2 - 3D Printed Science Projects Got a 3D printer but tired of using it to print useless trinkets? This book is a great way to put it to use and get smarter along the way. 3D Printed Science Projects is a collection lessons in science which use 3D printable models to provide tools and references to carry-out exercises or explain concepts that would otherwise require expensive (or non-existent) equipment. This would be a great way to offset the cost of adding a printer to the classroom and introduce students (or anyone) to the practical application of these machines.  

3 - Vinyl Soundtrack for “The Fifth Element” 5thelement-ost-ttl_1800x One of my favorite movies is now a very cool piece of vinyl. I’m particularly impressed with how the design of the sleeve and the records themselves reflect the beauty of the film without simply reproducing the imagery verbatim. (via Turntable Lab newsletter)  

4 - Makerwheel 6781991499967454212 Makerwheel is an open-source printable part designed to replace more expensive, harder-to-get mechanical components. The examples include a worm gear drive, rack-and-pinion and a linear slide but it’s not hard to imagine other uses for this clever little wheel (via  

5 - No Instruction Set Computing When I first learned about FPGA’s, this is one of the first applications I imagined for them. Most people I tried to explain this to didn’t understand what I was talking about so I was very excited this week to learn that there’s a name for what I was talking about. It’s hard to describe without a lot of background in the subject matter, but in simplest terms, instead of compiling a program to run on a particular processor, this approach compiles a processor to run a particular program. The result is a piece of hardware optimized to run one piece of code, instead of the general-purpose processors used in most computers. This approach opens new realms of potential in terms of performance an efficiency. It also makes the power of hardware technologies like FPGA to a much wider range of programmers. I hope to set aside some time to explore all three soon.