Nexus 5 sin cámara

Nexus 5 camera replacement

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It looks like planned obsolescence is quite applied to smartphones, since they don’t last more than a couple of years without issues. It may be because the battery slowly dies or because or failures that are piling up.

Nexus 5 camera

In my case the rear camera started to fail. Looking at the screen before shooting you were seeing the image vibrate, and the pictures were all blurry. It was not happening with the front camera, and the same issue was happening with other camera apps, so I assumed it was a hardware issue.

As usual Internet is the knowledge source, and pretty soon I identified a video explaining the replacement process.

 

Same as I did with the sticky button issue, you have to take out the cover and unscrew more covers until you reach the camera. This time there is no need to take the battery off 🙂

So don’t follow all the step in this video. In the Sticky button post you have the video with with the part explaining how to get access to the camera without disassembling the battery.

I bought the camera at Repuestos Fuentes and it had a price lower than 20 Eur. At least it’s a cheap way of extending my smartphone life…

A couple of pictures:

Nexus 5 camara

You can see here the location of the camera once the covers are out, with no need to unplug battery or connectors.

The camera gets out easily, disconnect and lift it smoothly. You only have to replace it.

Nexus 5 sin cámara

Same picture with the camera out

Then you just mount everything back and that’s all.

Nexus 5 microphone

The bad thing, after so much opening and closing of the phone, is that some connector suffered in the process and one day the microphone stopped working, well intermittently.

Looking up again in Google it seems it is not an isolated problem.

It’s simply because the connector stops connecting properly. All solutions applied were about adding more pressure to keep the connection well joined.

And I decided for the option that seemed more clean and simple. To add a piece of duct tape on top of the connector to put more volume and ensure proper contact under pressure.

Micrófono Nexus 5

You can see the piece of red duct tape, with the protection on the upper side kept. Anything that keeps there and adds volume works well.

makerfaire rome

Enjoying our 3D printing project: the VIT

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We are just few days from the Makerfaire Rome, after the craziness of Barcelona Printer Party this Saturday where I am also part of the organization. And in just a couple of days we leave for Rome.
makerfaire rome

Days of intense activity. We continue at top speed with the last external finish details of the third VIT prototype, a low cost laser sintering 3D printer. There are few options in the low cost range for 3D printers of SLS technology, and we expect high demand at least from the request received up to now from interested resellers.

VIT 3D printer front

The VIT 3D printer prototype version 2
In addition, we are preparing a crowdfunding campaign for Kickstarter, to be launched when I return form Nepal. The initial aim was to launch by mid October, but the campaign preparation requires more work than we thought.
When you watch others campaigns you get the feeling that it’s two guys that met, made a video and took some pictures and that’s all…but everything needs to be thought and calculated. The major difficulty is to define what you get in exchange of the rewards. Because if you make a mistake it goes against you, and it does not happen often to ask for additional money and it is not well considered anyway.

One aspect that is becoming more complex than expected is shipment, for example, since the volume of a machine plus the 10kg powder is a European pallet of 130cm height and almost 140kg.
Well, I said this before shooting the video!! this will really be difficult 😛
These are intense moments, but also very exciting. What we do now determines the future of the Natural Robotics company and its growth. Let’s see how we remember this in a while!!
I got friends that started an entrepreneurial activity related to 3D printing and had to shut down. I hope I learnt something from the mistakes they shared with me…

Mochila reparada

Backpack repair with 3D printing and the Delta Black

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3D printing is so polyvalent, that one gets lost with the amount of things you can do, be printing existing objects from repositories such as Thingiverse or Youmagine or create new designs.

My view is that at he beginning people get caught with printing things from those repositories, but quickly discover he part that brings more passion in 3D printing: to imagine something, to model it and to print it. What I like most is to build small solutions. Quick and pragmatic. And I applied this to several things at home or with mountain equipment. Knowing that the strength of pieces is almost zero compared to what is required in mountain activity, just be careful. No belay material. And don’t dare to print a carabiner!

The problem

The other day I broke a backpack, one of those you get in courses, a piece of cloth with metallic parts that did not last long. But looking at the design, it does not surprise me.

Mochila rota

The metallic supports for the small ropes had a very small contact surface, so the cloth just broke apart from the metallic piece. Then I took the caliper, and started measuring the current piece in order to have a starting point to improve it.

The solution

I just had to do a top for the small ropes that as enough wide to avoid breaking the cloth again.

I keep using MOI for modeling, especially when you look at something more organic. In fact it’s a spin-off form Rhino…

MOI tope mochila

I uploaded the model to Thingiverse here.

Mochila reparada

This is what I really like from 3D printing, the capacity to solve things. You will see plenty of jars and figurines 3D printed in the fairs. But what really adds value is the ability to design, model and create useful objects, and not talking about prototypes. In my case what gives me more satisfaction i exactly this, to repair or to improve something in a matter of minutes of design work. And some more to 3D print it.

3D printing at ultrafast speed 500 mm/s

In addition, since I co-founded Natural Robotics I have plenty of Delta Black 3D printers at my disposal. If there is something to mention that makes them special its their speed.

In less than four minutes I had the object printed. I took the opportunity to record a video, the first ever that I am talking :O

And the thing is that it went very improvised, and so you notice because yes, it’s totally improvised 😛

 

This is the perfect use case to print at maximum speed, the amazing 500 mm/s. The piece was a top that goes inside the backpack, and is not visible so if the print finish is not completely perfect nothing happens. My goal is to print it in the lower possible amount of time.

This is also applicable to prototypes where you only want to check the shape, more than details. We have performed quality printings at 350 mm/s, which is a speed highly outstanding already if we take into consideration that a cartesian 3D printer usually prints at 100 mm/s.

New spool holder

Updating my 3D printer – spool holder

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I have a BCN3D 3D printer that starts to be a relic now. I built it three years ago in a workshop from bcn3dtechnologies, reprapbcn at that time.

And during these years I did several upgrades at different moments: layer fan, full metal extruder, and an auto bed leveling that I have not finished yet because I need to tweak the firmware. Hardware is in place and I am waiting that we organize the next 3D Printer maintenance workshop in 3dprint Barcelona group to finish the job.

The Marlin firmware provided by RepRapBCN had several functions skimmed, so I need to pick up a recent Marlin version and transfer all the configs from my printer, plus check if there is any function out of standard that I need to transfer.

It’s in my ToDo list…

In the meantime, some weeks ago I upgraded the spool holder. The original one broke in several points, due to a design shortcoming. This is clearly due to

moving the 3d printer around, to different events such as maker faires, printer parties and so on. By the way, we are organizing a Printer Party in Barcelona for October 8th.
I took the original spool holder STL files from BCN3D+ 3D printer and reused some of the material I had in my broken spool holder.

Old spool holder

Final result is here. I would have liked something more flexible to change the holder position according to the spool size, but I do not have time to work on it right now. In fact with independent screws for both sides it’s probably easy to adjust.

New spool holder

Anyway this is more for nostalgic feeling, I got now plenty of Natural Robotics 3D printers at my disposal 😀

Check the Delta Black, a fast FDM 3D printer…

Feria in3dustry

Cambio de vida

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After 17 years working for a multinational and at 46 years old I’ve done a change of life, a big bet that I hope works well.

It did not happen overnight, well the exit yes obviously, but I had entrepreneurial desires that became more and more strong. At the beginning I was thinking about starting up something and it was like looking at a megaproject like buitnding a castle on my own, but then I got myself involved in the meetup groups related to startups in Barcelona (strongly recommended). Her ethe majority of people has around 25 to 33 years, so less risk averse that older people to say it nicely 😛

When there are no kids, no mortgage, etc everything gets easier: change of job, live with no income for a while, change of country, etc…

Kudos for the people who start businesses with kids, mortgages and other responsibilities on top!! it’s not my case so risk is lower for me. The truth is that my mother, who was from the conservative generation with the concept of a lifetime job, would have had a heart attack!!

In these groups there is usually networking time and people talk about their projects and somehow you get caught with this atmosphere.

I got bored of the current format “I have an idea – build a team – pitch and more pitch – raise interest from an investor that wants to multiply its investment 10 times – …”. The TV show “Silicon Valley” shows it very well, don’t miss any opportunity to watch it!!

In my case I prefer businesses that generate revenue form the beginning and grow organically. No “change the world” and no “take the world”…

After this I moved into action and did some attempt as a side project with members of the 3D group. It did not work out but I saw it was feasible to build something. That was two years ago. It was the moment to build a DLP 3D printer, now there are even too many…

After this project and some other stuff related to 3D y came back to focus on my mountain activities, with always great satisfaction 😀

LynxCross gym

But the need stays there, and at the beginning of last year I joined Christian Ducos and Flor to open a gym. It was not an usual gym and it was more a proof of concept to see how the methodology worked. It’s called LynxCross. Functional training where climbing walls is an important element in the high intensity circuits that we practice there. Wood walls and holds and climbing with socks, a new concept for all public that is working really well.

Christian already designed the activity like more than a year ago before we joined our forces, in an indoor boulder. And we have been defining the activity in this year and a half, since in fact we all came from rock climbing and we changed the concept to leave the climbing shoes out. You can check a good article in Catalan in TimeOut.

Christian is fully dedicated to the gym and we have been growing organically with the resources we had, so if it requires a certain amount of dedication form my side it is not full-time requirement and in fact I could not make a proper living form it now. Now that we have plans to open a second center we’ll see….

Here you can see my crazy partner having fun in a moment he did not have clients months ago 😛

Every Friday at 19h30 there is a free Introduction session. It really works because people can try by themselves and make their minds if they like it or not. The usual client profile is a person that is bored already of doing workouts with machines or weights.

Circuito Lynxcross

An example of an Intro session. Practicing a LynxCross cricuit

To have a better idea of what we do the best is to look at our Instagram account. Plenty of creativity, signature of Christian!

Natural Robotics 3D printers

But I kept having interest on 3D printing, and so I joined Héctor Esteller to start a company to design and make 3D printers. It’s not the best moment for consumer segment, the hype is over, but for professional it still works and will continue working.

I spoke with Héctor a year ago already but I had too many things starting at the same time so each one followed his path. We kept seeing each other frequently with the 3D Print Barcelona group, in fact we perform together the Introduction to 3D Printing talks with a very good connection, and finally we met again this year.

And we started Natural Robotics. With a filament 3D printer, the Delta Black, that Héctor had already developed and tested some time ago, and with good expectations with our SLS low cost prototype, the VIT. So I just jumped into this, plenty of stress for some months because I had to combine activities in both projects with my job in the multinational, and now fully dedicated to both.

 

Feria in3dustry

In In(3D)ustry fair in June in Barcelona

The thing I most enjoyed since the very first day of my new life, especially with the current hot weather, is to not have to ear a suit anymore. I love going with shorts and flip-flops 😀

How can go back now haha. I had already abandoned the tie a while ago at least…

And the other thing is not having an alarm in the morning. But here I have to find a balance because I am a night guy by nature. I was already going to sleep late when I had work schedule and now without time schedule pressure well…no comments…my body will adjust over time, I can pretend to change everything in a row!!

I will active and in Barcelona in August so if you have any topic you need to know, you want to know more about my experience because you are in a similar phase, etc… glad to talk over a beer.

Nexus 5 back

Nexus 5 sticky button solved

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One day my Nexus 5 started to reboot in an endless loop, I was just heading to a via ferrata so no way to look for a solution at that moment. We managed to stop the behavior. But it was happening over and over again later.

Checking in the internet I found some misleading comments in forums about the issue caused by a software update and things like this.

The fact is the issue comes from a design problem. With time, dirt gets into the switch inside the cellphone. Not the button but the switch behind it. And it gets sticky.

So when you push the button, the switch gets activated but stays there forever or not. No predictable behavior. If can happen that it stays activated and creates a never ending loop of reboots, or that it just shuts down.

At the same time, the cellphone battery had gradually lost its power capacity. It’s usually the same timing, about two years 😛

There is a simple solution for the sticky button. Simply clean the switch properly to eliminate all the dirt.

The process is explained in detail here:

 

First release the cover gently. Be careful if you use a screwdriver. In my case I scratched a bit the cover.

Nexus 5 cover

Remove the screws and then the plastic cover.

Nexus 5 back

Now take all the connectors out, I count six.

Nexus 5 cover out

This is the switch to clean

Nexus 5 sticky button

As I was also in the same process, I changed the battery.

First cleaned the switch, checked that it worked, and then changed the battery.

Don’t apply several changes at the same time otherwise you cannot troubleshoot where the problem is in case of an issue.

It has been working fine for several days, so happy to extend my Nexus 5 life 😀

Ethereum

Ethereum and The DAO

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I followed the Ethereum evolution since last summer.

Ethereum

Ethereum was sort of the step beyond the creation of Bitcoin. It still uses the blockchain structure but instead of just focusing on cryptocoins, it can manage any type of contract, in fact it holds a piece of code. So they are called smart contracts.

The blockchain, through its decentralized network of users, performs the validation of the contracts. You can build anything over the Ethereum structure, like more cryptocoins, any type of transactional service to the point that you could even get married in Ethereum, have a land registry in there and track all real estate buy and sell transactions, even a decentralized organization. Up to your imagination.

It is really powerful. Many startups are working on services on top of it.

It is so powerful that a group of banks are also looking at the blockchain concept to build a private blockchain network among them and simplify their internal transactions, especially in the validation aspect. It is expected to bring high levels of savings just because of that, in addition to the immediacy of validation and reduction of risk.

Ethereum raised a cryptocoin to fund the foundation that works on the development. It is the Ether (ETH), which is available for trading in several trading services such as Poloniex or Kraken. Since July the ETH value has multiplied several times its value and now there is also a substantial increase due to the release of The DAO.

DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. It is based on Ethereum and it is an organization based on software. The DAO is a type of smart contract that allows to run a decentralized organization. The first DAO to appear is The DAO and was created by Slock.it team and funded during this month of May. The participants exchange ETH for DAO tokens. The tokens owners have capability to submit proposals to The DAO and to vote upon proposals The DAO has received. There is a Curator role to avoid misbehaviors, for example someone having the majority putting a proposal to take all the ETH sent to him.

The DAO is a piece of code that manages ETH in fact, so it cannot own things and, even the huge amount of funding it is taking (as of today 143 million dollars), it cannot act as an investment fund. But it can sign contracts with contractors, when this has been voted in a proposal. More details in this TechCrunch article.

There is a high expectation with The DAO, I am concerned that the speculation is really high here. And there is also a lot of uncertainty. As the funding gets bigger and bigger and the only possible activity is to request services we will see the ability to bring some ROI there. Anyway the destiny of the DAO will be driven by the proposals and the token owners votes. We don’t know if there are any major investors that could strongly influence its direction with their votes.

This is the first experiment of a decentralized organization, and in fact Ethereum provides the infrastructure to build more DAOs on top of it. Let’s see how this evolves.

I see a lot of potential for community driven activities where there is no owner and no need for a foundation, particularly in open source ones.

For example let’s say a repository of models for 3D printing. There are many repositories out there but the most relevant are linked to a 3D printer manufacturer e.g. Thingiverse, Youmagine and Pinshape. This dependency on a “for profit” company is not very reassuring. So we could build a DAO with small contribution from several people. It has less risk than a crowdfunding since the funds use is decided by proposals vote of the members and you can steer the destiny of the DAO through participation.

Something to think about…!

Yoda ABS

3D printing – the hype is finished

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We are all human and we cannot avoid to get excited. This explains some of the bubbles, magnified by the natural drive to greed for some people.

3D Printing for consumers

We also suffered this with 3D printing. In fact, it follows the natural cycle that Gartner points in the Annual Hype Cycle Chart.

lt’s interesting to see in this blog the evolution of Gartner charts since 2012. Consumer 3D printing moved from the peak of Inflated Expectations to way in the Trough of Disillusionment. However, Enterprise 3D printing is approaching the Plateau of Productivity.

 

gartner-hype-2012-to-2015

The effect is already visible, with several movements and announcements:

Pinshape joins Formlabs

3D Printing for Enterprise

In Enterprise 3D Printing there is not much to say. The industry existed for thirty years, formerly known as Rapid Prototyping and it will continue to grow. I don’t know the 2015 stats, but until now and for all these years this industry experienced annual growth rates of 25-30%.

Whv? Because 3D printing has obvious advantages for prototyping. In addition, during this hype period new fabrication techniques and tools, or substantial improvements, have moved 3D printing from the prototyping scenario to final product fabrication. This is the case of aeronautical companies, automobile, health and others that benefit of 3D printing fabrication of high value added products.

lt is true that 3D printing allows making objects with complex geometries, impossible to build in another way. So they simplify the fabrication process, add lightness and strength with maximum customization, and these advantages keep spreading into more and more industries. Enterprise 3D printing will not stop growing since there is a clear driver for improvement.

Conclusions

On the other hand, the consumer 3D printing is decreasing. Deception among consumers?
Probably. The manufacturers also deserve it somehow. I remember pictures of Makerbot a couple of years ago where they were showing objects that were not made with their own printers, pure unfaithful marketing. The consumer has not been properly educated, giving the impression that it was another home appliance and as easy to use as an appliance, only thinking about selling and selling more. While in fact the printers have maintenance, have problems, bottom line you need to be patient. And all this to make objects that are not wonderful in fact.

You reap what you sow, so here it is: Disillusionment.

In our 3D Print Barcelona group we have been using 3D printers for years, and we make clear the constraints and limitations in our Introduction events. Sooner or later you will have to deal with the 3D printer. Our group events continue to be fully crowded, so I cannot tell from this if there is a downward trend.
In fact events like “3D printing workshop: from your mind to your hands” had a waiting list longer than the attendees numbers. We scheduled another session and we had waiting list again. What is special here? it is hands-on. We explain how to make the whole process starting with the idea, modeling with an application, slicing to transfer it to the 3D printer and finally the printing.

There is no star use case for consumers. For example, 2D printer avoided people to go to the printing shops then. I think it was more about comfort than price, since the price per liter of the ink is way higher than any other liquid on the planet. Now 2D printers are also in a downward trend because the smartphones adoption has made us all more digital. One example: you don’t need to print the ticket anymore to attend an event, or the boarding pass to board a plane.
In 3D printing you have two options as a consumer:

  • You model objects yourself
  • You download models from a repository

Using only the second option does not justify the cost of a 3D printer. However, there was a study that concluded that printing your day to day objects was even cheaper than buying them so you could offset the printer cost.
When I started in 3D printing 3 years ago I thought modeling was the bottleneck, the one thing that prevented 3D printer massive adoption at home. I was thinking about the long learning curve of a CAD application then. But when I see software so intuitive as TinkerCAD, I think this is not the problem anymore.

The problem is to have something to print. And I am not talking about the usual Yodas and vases. I am talking about something that people need, in the broader sense of need.

Leaving hobbies particular cases apart and the prosumers who use the printer for some professional or almost professional activities, what people around me is printing at home is:

  • Replacements and repairs. Old spare parts that broke and there is no replacement. You model it and you print it. e.g. an old microwave button.
  • Objects improvements. Tuning stuff. e.g. a bicycle support, GoPro accessories.
  • Practical customized objects. e.g. small drawers to keep something in particular, USB cables support to fit at your table, etc.
  • Decoration. The vases and the Yodas!

Yoda ABS

You have to be passionate about the topic to get involved, honestly.
How many 3D printers may be parked somewhere at people’s home? Who knows…
Anyway I am ta king at macro levels. The big sales and consumer industry growth are gone, does not mean that there are niches that will continue to grow.

In prosumers it’s obvious, the DLP 3D printers bloomed and there are more and more jewelry shops that use them. Designers need to see their creations quick and with the ability to perform iterations, no sense to order it outside since you offset the printer cost pretty soon.
Makers are always making stuff, it is a nice tool to combine with other things.
And we have the hobbyists. They find multiple options to apply 3D printing in their hobby. If it is related to small dimensions they may need a DLP 3D printer, for example for train models.

Let’s see how this evolves in the following months.

A petar

Mini MakerFaire Barcelona 2016

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[Reviewing my blog I found a post that was never published. From February this year. Here it goes as is]

Last Sunday we went to the Barcelona Mini MakerFaire, that took place at CosmoCaixa. With our 3d Print Barcelona group.

It’s not the same to organize than to exhibit, clear enough. We just sorted out what we were going to do in a couple of meetings.

For the Printer Party it took us a month and a half with weekly meetings, it is really not the same 😉

We went around 10 volunteers from our group. I was even a bit embarrassed when sending such a big list of participants to the organization, but well, they know us..

Some stayed the whole day, while the rest were shifting between morning and afternoon.

The group article is in this link, so I am going to explain the most personal piece.

A petar

Few members of the group in  full action

The place got really crowded, we honestly did not know how it was going to go in such a far place, but it was already full the moment they opened.  And it got even more full during the day!

On Saturday I printed the group logo, in big size, so I had to make it in two pieces. First the “3D” that I could finish at home, then I had the “Print Barcelona” to do the they after during the faire because I had to bring the 3d printer to CosmoCaixa the afternoon before. All unloading was done this day.

Logo 3D

The logo, the piece made at home

So I started another print during the faire.

Logo 3D 2a parte

A failed printing attempt

We had fail samples already, but well, here goes a fail in time. If you look at the right side you will notice a warping. Lack of hairspray was the verdict 😉

Due to my involvement in LynxCross gym, a functional training a bit special because it includes vertical moves on a wall, I no longer follow the maker and 3d printing movement as I did in the past. There is a lot of DIY in my gym, if anyone is interested or curious to see it he is welcome! it’s in Sants neighborhood.

So that these type of events come in handy to get up to speed quickly. You can see things lije a 6 extruders 3D printer, or someone growing up mushrooms with a system automated with Arduino, and others in similar fashion that just keep me in surprise mode.

The most common were drones and 3D printers. We start to have some SLAs in Barcelona: one from Printhatshit, a new one from Raúl from Hangar and I saw another one shown by I did not have the time to talk to them.

Many known people from Barcelona circle between makerspaces and local shops, many of them from group members with a drive for entrepreneurship that have started their own business. And that unfortunately we see less by now, because they have to attend their own business!!

Plenty of good vibes between the people, David from 3D-Seed gave me a sample of PETG filament to test it, but I did not notice it was 1.75 filament and I continue with the old fashioned 3mm. Soon it will be three years with my 3d printer! so I had to give this sample to someone else in our group.

Roger from BCN 3D Technologies gave me a spool of PLA from Colorfila also to test it. It is local filament, and I am hearing positive comments about it, good that we have local products to supports entrepreneurs from here.

Jordi from Makers and Bits gave me a 3D printed minion also haha.

I am printing the second part of the logo again, to have it done once and for all. when it’s done I will test this filament.

From our stand the most successful were the the Fails. We could not get much because I thought about it the evening before. We knew there were many shops, showing the marvels that can be done with 3d printing. What could we add as a non for profit group? well, showing the less nice part, the fails. We all go through it and it is good that people know that it happens and how to prevent them.

Fails

In fact right there the filament broke and I had a fail. You can avoid it, by keeping the filament in a zip bag with dryer material away from humidity, but I haven’t done it before.

The second thing with most success were the 3D printed letters, because we were giving them for free! we had so many spared from the Printer Party that we still have to giver. In fact we missed something important, to add a sign stating that they were for free, only someone thought about it in the afternoon.

And then another thing that was catching a lot of attention from kids was the 3D printed Tetris, because you can play to place the pieces at your will. Some kids were directly jumping into moving pieces around without even asking…times change. What is interesting is the lack of references in some cases, it’s not a modern game, and I was seeing some kids setting pieces on the top side, like a jigsaw. Anyone that has played with Tetris puts the pieces starting at the bottom without even thinking about it, just where the pieces would fall in the game 😛

Tetris

I also met César and Sara from Makespace Madrid, that let me touch and hold the awaited “Manual de Supervivencia Maker” book. They made it happen, not without plenty of effort and issues that happen in such a project. In my case I contributed to the e-book version that I am already reading since few days.

 

Well, a full big day, with plenty of curious people, many creators and new things to learn.

Silent Running poster

Silent Running, the movie

By | maker, Thoughts | No Comments

I recently watched the movie “Silent Running“. It is a sci-fi movie from 1972, predecessor of the well known Star Wars from 1977.

Silent Running poster

I did not know about the film before, and in fact I do not even remember how I ended up watching it. It was reading a reference somewhere, as it went in my ToDo list but unfortunately I don’t record any context about how tasks get created.

This is not an epic movie, there is action but not with the intensity we are used to nowadays. In fact it is a claim for preservation of our environment, with music from Joan Baez to add it to the ecologistic atmosphere.

Here the trailer:

The plot starts with a spaceship where its crew has been growing nature for several years: trees, plants, animals, etc.. nature that does not exist anymore on Earth and as a way of preservation attempt to restore it later. There are several ships with the same purpose.

But the team lead is requested to destroy everything, and then things happen but I am not going to explain more otherwise I would be spoiling the movie 😉

I thought it was not a very notorious film, but I was amazed with the amount of information available in the Web.

Things that make Silent Running special

  • the drones design: It is a real hack, given their small size. They were managed by amputees, custom made for each actor, using their arms as if they were the drone legs, giving a lot of humanity to their movements. They can be reprogrammed, e.g. there is a scene of a nice poker game.
  • the spaceship: That was a real old-fashion maker stunt of 8 metres long. Making the spaceship model took 6 months. There are shots taken near and with travelling, similar to what we see in Starwars some years later. Would have been easier with 3d printing, right?
  • the karts: they have a nice design. You just want to drive them!

Silent Running drone

Source: cyberneticzoo.com

To summarize, I believe it is another of these cult films that you must watch once if you are into sci-fi. The plot is not very well reviewed by critics, and I also found it lacking of content while the message is however pretty clear. On the bright side, the FX and the acting of Bruce Dern are really good.