Previous  |  Next



Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Make: 3D PDF of Spud Gun Project

OK, we're biased, but Make: magazine does some of the coolest, most cutting edge publishing around. It's an old-fashioned print magazine (described variously as "Popular Mechanics for the 21st century" and "Martha Stewart for Geeks"), but it's also got a Technorati Top 100 blog, one of the first publishing presences in Second Life, video and audio podcasts available via iTunes, and now, some pioneering 3D publishing, with projects you can interact with.

They started this new initiative with one of the all time most popular Make: projects, the spud cannon from issue 3. This is a device made from clear PVC pipe that you load up with hair spray and a potato, ignite with a tazer, and send off like a tracer bullet 200+ yards into the night sky. I loved the time I was briefing some top IBM execs on my ideas about the future of technology. They asked for a brief run down about O'Reilly, and when I came to Make:, one of them started googling, found the spud gun, and excitedly started showing it to his peers, interrupting the meeting. These are guys running multi-billion dollar enterprise businesses, and they were as excited as kids, or the hackers they once were.

Well, now, this project has been released as a 3D PDF. As Phil Torrone writes on the Make blog: "For the first time ever, you can watch a video of how to make something, print out the magazine article with instructions and then manipulate the object in 3D (!!!) within the pdf to check it out from every angle! Never have the barriers to making a spud gun been so low!" (Requires the lastest version of Adobe Reader.)

(There's also a video podcast of the same project.)

tags:   | comments: 3   | Sphere It


1 TrackBacks

TrackBack URL for this entry:

» Today's documents from JD on EP

Today's documents: This link goes to a PDF subsection of issue #3 of MAKE magazine... I heard of it from John Nack this weekend, but didn't click through until the mention from Tim O'Reilly today. I'm linking to it because it's a good example of what d... Read More

Comments: 3

Kempton   [10.29.06 09:08 AM]

Thanks Tim. The 3D PDF file is so cool and the "Explode" and "Implode" inside the PDF works great. How did they do it? Just with embedded QT movie and QT VR?

pt   [10.29.06 09:24 AM]

>>Thanks Tim. The 3D PDF file is so cool and the "Explode" and "Implode" inside the PDF works great. How did they do it? Just with embedded QT movie and QT VR?

you can use acrobat 3d from adobe:

i use that now, but for MAKE we're using a new tool with alibre design - their low cost CAD tools can/will export to adobe 3D.

my prediction - many 3D tools (like google sketch up, maybe even second life) will have 3D PDF exporting in the next next year or so.


phillip torrone
senior editor

MAKE magazine

CRAFT magazine

tel: 206-355-1323
aim/ichat: pmtorrone

Acrobat3D Webmaster   [10.29.06 03:40 PM]

The 3D animations in the 3D PDF are standard Acrobat 3D stuff (pretty cool huh?).

You can create these easily in Acrobat 3D Toolkit. Basically it is a simple matter of keyframing.

Check out the tutorials at:

or check out some of the gallery entries

The buttons are simple javascripts that control the animations.

Post A Comment:

 (please be patient, comments may take awhile to post)

Remember Me?

Subscribe to this Site

Radar RSS feed