• The Pebble Watch

    Another View Of The Pebble

    Guest reviewer, Miles Witthaus on the Pebble.

    Thanks for letting me try out the Pebble watch. It was definitely neat to give it a try. I think my biggest criticism comes with regard to the concept of a smart watch to begin with. It seems to me that the importance of a watch has in many ways decreased of late. We are almost always surrounded by the time given by our computers, cars, and most notably phones. Given such proximity of an iPhone, a wrist watch at best saves you the additional 2 seconds it would have taken to just check your phone, something many people have an incessant need to check anyway.

    Of course despite the easy ability to check time elsewhere almost everyone in many industries would still consider their watch a necessity. I think that is largely due to a sense of tradition and class. It is in this respect I think the Pebble falls the shortest. In neither form nor function does it come anywhere close to something that could be worn in a professional setting. It looks more like (and with features like the ability to play “Snake” acts like) a childish, portable Gameboy than an expensive or respectable accessory to your everyday wardrobe.

    With that said, I do think there is a niche market full of excited early adapters who would enjoy and benefit from a smart watch. I don’t think the Pebble is that device tough. There really weren’t any features that showed off the technological abilities in a way that made me think “wow” or make me want to show it off to my friends. Even the most basic features like the buttons that were placed to close together and didn’t go all the way down with ease made me think that little work had been put into really making the device into an enjoyable experience.

    Maybe with better technology the smart watch will take off. For now though, an untraditional gadget for an accessory that’s all about being traditional just isn’t cutting it.

    Miles Witthaus

  • Votsh Waves is Coming Soon

  • Blender for 3D Modeling and Printing

    At Votsh we use the Blender 3D modeling and animation tool to prototype designs and print models of our products on 3D printers. Blender is Open Source Software (OSS). It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. The user interface is powerful. It may even be daunting to learn its many controls. It took me 1 solid week to get productive with Blender. Below are the shortcut and tutorial notes I took while learning Blender.

    Click here to read Blender Shortcuts.


  • Blender Shortcuts

    Starting, use Scene icon in right menu, Units, Metric


    A – Deselect all

    B – Border select

    Right-click object select/de-select

    C – Circle select, ala paintbrush

    Ctrl – Left Click – Lasso select



    Working with Meshes

    Control A, Scale

    X – Delete

    R – Make a mesh bigger

    Tab – toggles edit/object, to view vertices

    Edge select – little icon at top menu, in 3D view

    Select menu -> Linked Geometry selects everything around a vertex

    Select -> Inverse

    Floating White thing, you didn’t know what it does, is a “manipulator”, when you selected some edges use the manipulator. Hold shift key when using the manipulator’s white selection band, to make fine changes


    Bend the edge of a cube mesh – Control B

    3D Printing

    Tab, A, W, Remove Doubles

    Non manifold shapes, can’t print them in 3D

    Edit mode, vertex select icon (top)

    A – deselect all

    space-bar, type: non manifold

    space-bar, bridge to edge loops

    Time 18:45, using bevels and pipes

    Exporting an STL from Blender

    Select the object and enter Edit mode (Tab). Select all vertices with A, then press W and select “Remove Doubles”. This merges any doubled up vertices that are sitting on top of each other.

    Blender will triangulate your mesh when you export. Sometimes this can cause issues with smooth or curved parts of your model, so to check to see what it will look like, select all vertices and press CTRL-T.

    Blender will only export the selected objects

    Select all vertices in Edit mode and press CTRL-N and click Recalculate normals outside.

    Shift D – Duplicate

    Command = alt

    Option = right click

    Tab – Edit mode

    In Edit mode

    Box Select – B

    Drag Select – C

    A – Select All

    Alt M – merge to center

    Extrude – E

    Size – S, then press 0

    1 3 7 – front side top view

    Z – Wire frame view

    Making 3D Mickey

    Drag object in Omnigraffle, export to svg

    Blender: Select Info view, File, Import

    Click on Curve object, then Object data

    Geometry, change depth to 0.0125

    Object>Convert To>Mesh from Curve

    To clean up the mesh:

    Mesh -> Faces -> Beautify Fill.

    To remove redundant edges (and get an ngon), select the face area. Select the menu item Mesh -> Delete -> Limited Dissolve. set the angle very low to avoid loosing details of the shape, this will give you an ngon.

    Create a box, can’t print it, walls are not thick, so

    use Solidify Modifier (access from little wrench icon in right panel helper)

    User preferences are in File menu halfway down

    Choose Maya preferences, 2 places


    Alt-R Clears Camera Rotations

    Ctrl-P Parent the path to the empty/camera

    Click on timeline, then i, to add a keyframe

    Shift A – Add

    Shift W – Specials

    In Camera View

    0 – Camera view

    R – Roll

    R X X – Vertical Pan or pitch

    R Y Y – Horizontal pan or yaw

    G Z Z – Dolly

    Select both objects, then Ctrl T for track constraints

    Plastic supply

    ABS – for strength (red), leaches styrene into body, brittle, warps a lot, won’t print to scale, can do acetone vapor wash

    PLA – for eating utensils and the like, (orange), corn, bio-degradable, not as long lasting, stiffer, nice tight tollerances

    Nylon – (white) – good for ABS

    FilamentSupply – low temperature PLA 220-225

    Makerbot – temperature 230

    Makerware, covert STL to print

    Never use usb cable, use cards

    Don’t set to ABS and load PLA, ok the other way

    Turn ‘support’ on always

    Infill and number of shells,

    small 2-3 shells, 15-33% infill

    large, 4-6 shells, 0-15% infill

    most of strength comes from shells

    infill makes the object strong while printing

  • Help Wanted

    We’re Hiring – Hardware Engineer

    Votsh has an opportunity for a Hardware Engineer to design and layout an Arduino-based system. Votsh will manufacture horological machines based on the traditions of watch making. Our goal is to sculpt a set of creative, fashion-forward, technological products for modern men.

    The internals of the watch will use Arduino software, Atmega328AU, Bluetooth BLE, and ePaper display tech. All this needs to fit into a mens watch case – the pc board will be small, round, and surface mounted. We need someone familiar with these circuits and can do board mechanical layout and schematic designs. You will be working directly with me (Frank Cohen, founder of Votsh) and together we will work through all of the issues.

    While this is a paid position, depending on your flexibility there is start-up stock in the company available.

    Your work will most likely contribute to the hardware designs as an open source project for the benefit of the Arduino community. Does it seem to you that there should be an Arduino kit with BLE?

    Please reply to this posting or send an email to


    -Frank Cohen