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Mac Millan’s Amazing DIY Raygun Props

I am so excited to bring this to the web!  I’m even more excited to put the work of a true DIY artisan out there to the world.  All I know is that you need to hire this guy if you have something that needs done like he can do.

I want you to meet Mac Millan – I met Mac at SETC 2011 in Atlanta this year when I was judging the Student Design competition.  I was so taken with Mac’s inventions that I asked for images and video so that the JimOnLight.com Community and the world could see the skill and mastery put into these devices that Mac built.

You might see these and say STEAMPUNK – I see them and say awesome.  Makers and DIY’ers, take notice!  These raygun props are electrified, illuminated, special effect pieces of genius.  Congratulations on a great project, Mac!

From the creator’s mouth:

Ok, let’s get this out of the way.

Steampunk.

Yes, these are steampunk as hell, and while I love the aesthetics of a lot of what comes out of the steampunk culture I don’t wake up in the morning thinking about zeppelins (unless we’re talking about the sandwich, I’m always thinking about the sandwich).

Anyway, back to the matter at hand: three steampunk-as-hell rayguns. These were all built almost entirely out of found objects I had already accumulated in my apartment (I’m a packrat with expensive taste). The initial inspiration came from the silver Thor power drill seen in the smallest of the three rayguns; I inherited a similar drill from my Grandfather, and from the second I saw it I couldn’t help envisioning an art deco pistol of some sort. I purchased a duplicate to avoid destroying an heirloom, glued a photo enlarger I found on the street to the end and filled it with LEDs and flash cannons.

The second model is the orange and brown number, built on a Thor-Nado electric jackhammer purchased off Ebay in high school paired with a photo enlarger. The third is an ellipsoidal stage light and a photo enlarger salvaged from my high school. See a pattern yet? Again, the major structural components for all three were things I had lying around, I just glued and bolted them together and added blinky lights.

On the how and why: I’m a very hands-on learner, and working with my hands is how I clear my head. I wanted to learn more about motors, LEDs, lights and mechanics, so I started making rayguns. A desire to actually use some of the hundreds of pounds of industrial detritus filling my apartment may also have been involved. Specifics are for another day, but let me just say there was a lot of wire and glue involved. A LOT of glue. And let me just say, gluing a nonporous material to a nonporous material SUCKS.

Check out this video – Mac’s rayguns light up, they have smoke effects built in, and one of them fires a magic flash!

Mac Millan’s Steampunk Rayguns from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

Here’s a gallery of all of Mac’s three rayguns.  Click on a thumbnail and a gallery view will open up for you!

Does This LED Middle Finger Count as Road Rage?

I get a metric ton of emails from LED manufacturing companies located all over the world.  You know the ones – if you’ve ever done a search on Google for “lighting” or entered your email address into a subscription list, you’ve probably gotten spammed with something like this:

Dear Sir:

It has been long time for communication with you.  at the beginning of 2010, we have launched some new led bulb and lightings.

You can visit our website to download our 2010 catalogue, [website address redacted]

If you want to download, please contact me to get the account to download the files.

[name redacted]
Dreamy Lighting Co., LTD

Normally these come with some kind of PDF full of blatant copies of good brands like Martin’s Mac 2000, along with LED striplights, wall washers, and other inexpensive LED lighting.  It’s been this way with manufacturers in this area for many years – when white LED manufacturing made its debut, companies bombarded the world with cheap quality and cost white LED products.  When CFLs got huge, same thing.

Sometimes the products (and English translations) are absolutely ridiculous, and sometimes it is overwhelmingly hilarious.  I just got one from a company (that I shall not name because they CONSTANTLY SPAM ME) that had a pretty funny product being advertised – an LED sign for the inside of your car that sends visual messages to the car behind you, up to and including the middle finger.  Meet the “CAR Emotion Light”:

What a phenomenally hilarious idea.  Note the middle finger  icon that you can display in gleaming red LED light for your already late for dinner angry road raging Hummer driver you just cut off.

Epic win.

Holy LED Umbrellas, Batman!

I just found the most ridiculous awful lit-up thing – an LED umbrella with LEDs composing the shaft of the umbrella.  That’s pretty cool in my opinion.  Now if I could only slap an effects engine into the umbrella and make the umbrella itself unrippable, then I am set!

Check out the umbrella on Brando’s website – and check out the video and pictures below.  It’s running around $50 shipped I think, which is a little rich for my blood right now.  Cool umbrella though!

led-umbrella-1

led-umbrella-5

led-umbrella-3

led-umbrella-2

Uchiage Hanabi Fireworks Projector

The Uchiage Hanabi Fireworks Projector from Sega Toys is true to the name – it’s a projector for a room in your house that projects moving images of fireworks on the walls and ceiling. This thing is pretty awesome! The unit uses five customizable lenses, and “projection plates” that are apparently also customizable. The video is cool:

The only bummer is that they’re not shipping until August 1. It’s $166 USD.

fireworks projector

Thanks, Japan Trend Shop!

The Sun Jar – Like Tinkerbell Stuck In A Bottle?

sun jar

I just read an interesting post over at Apartment Therapy Unplugged about a solar powered, sealed jar light that looks pretty cool.  It really looks like the little jars of health that the main character in the old Nintendo game “Star Tropics” needed when you were getting your tail beaten.  Or, it looks like a jar of magic.  Or, formulate your own opinion, as I’m out of metapohor.  It’s a cool little lighting gadgety thing!

sun jar

sun jar

sun jar