Start your year off right with some of these neat Kickstarter projects: the first full-color 3D-printer, an open-source machine vision module, and 6LoWPAN devices to help you expand your IoT projects.

The NIX: A Full-Color, High-Resolution 3D Printer

The NIX 3D-printer touts itself as the first full-color, high-resolution 3D-printer capable of printing to resolutions up to 5-microns. The printer makes use of a tri-color blending nozzle which enables the user to print in a variety of customized colors. The nozzle consists of three Bowden extruders with customized components that distribute a certain percentage of colored filament, blend it, and then prepare it for printing.

Traditional tri-color blends such as red, yellow, and blue can be used to achieve most colors. However, special filaments such as transparent, metallic, or carbon-fiber can be used to achieve additional effects. The printer uses open-source Repetier software.

The team behind the NIX 3D-printer stuck by their goal of making the printer affordable for consumers by using laser cutting for the printer components and using clever engineering to ensure the printer does not cost more than it needs to.

The NIX 3D printer makes a nice addition to any 3D-printing hobbyist’s repertoire of tools. Visit their Kickstarter page here



JeVois: Open-Source Machine Vision Camera

The JeVois is a petite 1.7 cubic inch module which can add machine vision capabilities to a variety of Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or PC projects. JeVois features a video sensor, quad-core ARM-v7 CPU, 256 MB DDR3-1600 RAM, dual-core Mali-400 GPU,  USB 2.0 video port, a micro SD slot, serial port, and can be powered using standard USB. The device also comes with an SD card preloaded with open-source software to enable the device to begin sensing immediately.

The JeVois was developed as a means to fill in a hardware gap in accessible hardware for machine vision learning. Some of the pre-loaded algorithms include:

  • ArUco, which can detect and decode patterns
  • QR and barcode detection and decoding
  • Eye tracking
  • Color recognition
  • Movement tracking

The JeVois is a great tool for experimenting and learning machine vision techniques, as well as makes a great addition to any microcontroller project. Check out their Kickstarter page for more about the device.



SmartMachine 6LoWPAN Device for Network and IoT Applications

The SmartMachine is a device that couples with the user’s smartphone to create networks and implement IoT applications. The SmartMachine’s specs feature:

  • IPv6 address
  • AES-128 security module
  • Sub 1Ghz radio
  • ARM® Cortex® M3
  • 5 GPIOs
  • Can be powered by battery or USB

With the ARM Cortex M3 chip, the device can be used with ContikiOS, an open-source operating system for IoT applications with a large developer community. 6LoWPAN also permits the use of the SmartMachine in mesh or star network configurations. SmartMachine pairs with individual SmartModules, a transceiver which can be interfaced with third-party hardware.

SmartMachine also makes use of Thingsquare, a smartphone app available on iOS, Android, and as a Chrome browser extension.

SmartMachine can be used for rapid prototyping and personal projects. Check out their Kickstarter page.


Featured screengrab used courtesy of Ferdinando Francesco Verolino.