All posts by ctasso

3D Printed Replacement Shell Saves A Tortoise’s Life

In Santos, São Paulo, Brazil, a Red-Footed Tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaris) named Fred, received a 3D printed replacement shell, in order to replace the shell he lost during a recent forest fire.



To fix this issue, the good-natured and tech savvy veterinarians of Santos decided that they would use 3D printing technology to create a new shell for Fred!

The veterinarians in Santos teamed up with a dentist and a graphical designer and worked for three months to come up with a shell that would protect and cover Fred, as good as his original shell.


The shell was printed with the same PLA material found on most 3D desktop printers and was surgically attached to Fred. So far it has been holding up well, but researchers are still uncertain how long it will hold up in the wild.

For now the shell has been left its original white color, but Brazilian artists have been contacting Fred’s veterinarians in order to see if they can paint it the same colors of his original shell. At this time the veterinarians are still trying to figure out if the paint would be harmful or not.

Hopefully all works out for Fred! This story is an excellent example of just how versatile and helpful 3D printing technology can be.



I-Lab Featured in Stony Brook Happenings

Last Friday, July 31st, 2015, Stony Brook Happenings, an online newsletter covering events, updates, and various information concerning Stony Brook University, wrote an article on our being featured in InnovateLi!





The article on Stony Brook Happenings can be found here.


The article covers what we are doing in the lab, have done, and will be doing here in the near future. Be sure to give it a gander!

We hope to be featured somewhere new soon!



The Innovation Lab


InnovateLI’s Article on the Innovation Lab!

InnovateLI, an online news site covering startups, biotech, IT, and clean energy on Long Island, recently wrote an article on the Innovation lab!

The Lab’s Director, David Ecker, and team member Samiha Shakil, were interviewed on what we do, have done, and are planning to do at the Innovation lab.

The article sheds light on how Stony Brook University’s Innovation Lab is a unique space on campus where students from all backgrounds can get together to design and build new products. It also focused in on the workshops and competitions that we offer and will be offering, such as the soldering workshop and our first pitch night!

InnovateLI seemed extremely impressed with all of our outreach efforts, such as our WISE workshops and our participation in the LI MakerFest.

Having this article done on the lab is very reassuring and motivating as we move forward!

3D Printed Music

Ever wonder what it would be like to see music?

Recently, Allison Wood and Kei Gowda began a startup called Reify which focuses around not only hearing music, but seeing it.

Reify turns sound waves into 3-D printed sculptures that play the sound back with an augmented reality app. Wood models her startup on the neurological phenomenon Synesthesia.

Synesthesia occurs when the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway produces automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. In the case of music, synesthetes generally tend to see colors and form. Many famous musicians have been said to have Synesthesia; most recently, it’s been Kanye West…


With Reify, Wood and Gowda aim to allow non-synesthetes the ability to experience music visually—digital synesthesia.

Reify designs a totem—a 3D printed object that represents the song—using Echo Nest API to analyze its rhythm, structure, amplification, harmony, etc. All of this data correlates to physical attributes such as weight, height, and mass. The form of the totem is finalized once the artist evaluates it, and decides whether it is a worthy representation of their work.


To hear the 3D printed musical sculpture, one must use the Reify augmented reality app. When the totem is in front of the camera, the app reads its form and will play the song to you on your phone, and begins to animate your screen—replicating the actual experience of Synesthesia.

As of now, Reify is still in its early stages as a startup, but hopefully we will see more of them in the near future!

iLab T-Shirts!

The Innovation Lab team just recently designed and made their own t-shirts!

The t-shirts include the Innovation Lab’s logo, motto, #SBUcreate, and the lab’s associations (College of Business and Research Technologies). See images below for a peek at the shirt.


The creation of the Innovation Lab’s t-shirts not only mark another step in the lab’s progress of displaying their identity and values, but also serve as a landmark in the development of the I-lab team!

This summer the Innovation Lab hired many new employees from all disciplines, ranging from Chemical Engineering to English. Being a cross-disciplinary lab, having staff from a variety of majors has helped in developing and making the lab a place for all students, no matter what they study.

Be prepared to see the I-Lab shirts this summer and the upcoming semester, as the iLab team will continue to expand and make its presence known on campus!


WISE Workshop Part 1!

Last week on Wednesday, July 1st, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), brought their members to the Innovation Lab to learn about the lab and the technology we offer. The members that came were between the ages of 12-13.

Upon entering the lab, members of our team, Nancy, Allisha, Ellie, and Samiha, took them on an orientation of the lab to inform and acquaint them about the facility. The WISE members were given two presentations: one on the Green Screen and another on the 3D printer and 3D printing.


Members of the Innovation Lab team demonstrated to WISE students how to use the 3D printer, how to use TinkerCad–a 3D printing software–,how to explore with Google Cardboard, and how to take pictures using the Green Screen and use Green Screen apps.

WISE students quickly learned the information taught to them, and did not hesitate to get right started on designing with TinkerCad, taking Green Screen photos, and 3D printing.


As a complimentary gift, the Lab gave each member a 3D printed photo frame, in order for the WISE students to place their Green Screen photos in.

We look forward to seeing all of them again!

If you have an organization or club interested in visiting the lab, please contact us at:


What? A Post-it Speaker?

Do not be so surprised when you hear music coming from your post-it notes. Yes, you’ve read that correctly; music from your post-it notes.

post-it-noteRecently, David Sheinkopf, director of education at New York’s Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, discovered a way to turn a post-it note into a speaker. Sheinkopf explained the process as such, “Run a current through a coil of wire, and you have an electromagnet. This pushes and pulls against a fixed magnet next to it, turning magnetomotive force into motion, which moves the Post-it and disturbs the air around it.” The disturbances this process creates are transformed into sound once they reach your eardrum.

copper wire


So whats needed in order to build the post-it speaker, you may be wondering? The items are fairly simple and easy to find. You need a post-it note, a magnet wire, a strong magnet, clear tape, alligator clips, a male-to-male headphone cable, scissors, and sandpaper.

To begin making the speaker you have to prepare the magnet wire. This is done by taking 120 cm of wire and sanding away the thin enamel at the ends. This step allows the underneath copper to become visible. Next, you wind the wire around your finger, leaving 5cm at each end. Once the wire is removed from your finger, it should resemble a donut shape. The clear tape should then be used to maintain the shape.

Once the magnet wire has been prepared, you must attach the post-it note. This is done by taping your magnet to a surface and then placing the post-it note on top of the magnet. Next, tape the donut in the centre of the post-it, so it sits directly on top of the magnet.

Almost finished. After the donut is taped to the magnet, you attach the alligator clips to one end of the headphone cable. Sheinkopf says to “clip a length of prepared wire to the tip of the jack and another to the next segment. Attach the two other ends to the magnet wires coming off your wire loop.” After this, in order to begin listening, you plug the opposite end of the headphone cable into a phone or media player.


post is speaker


And voila! You’ve made your very own post-it speaker. To obtain the best listening experience, it is advised that you press your ear against the surface the speaker is taped to.

Google Has Found Its Way Onto You’re Car Display

General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, recently announced that 14 of Chevrolet’s 2016 model vehicles will be featuring Android Auto compatibility. This announcement was made during the Code conference held in Rancho Palos Verdes, California on Wednesday May 27th. This is exciting news because this will be the largest number of vehicles from any motor vehicle company to include Android Auto.

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Android Auto projects a customized version of a compatible Android smartphone onto the car display once the phone is connected to the car via USB. All phone calls are received through Bluetooth, allowing the use of mobile apps such as Google Maps and Google Play Music, along with third-party apps such as Pandora, while behind the wheel. Android Auto can be navigated with taps and swipes or through voice command.

The inclusion of Android Auto in 14 of Chevrolet’s new vehicles is significant because it offers a safer and more effective alternative to texting while driving, or even attaching one’s phone to the windshield using a suction cup holder. Chevrolet is prepared for any mishaps or confusion with the new technology in their cars; they are creating a new, dedicated technical support staff designated to problems specifically dealing with Android Auto.

So for all those who are looking for a safer way to use their phone as a tool for travel, 2016 will bring a whole new line of automobiles that comprehensively integrate cellphones with in-car technology and display.