Category Archives: Friendships

A real friendship blended by digital fabrication


Artica is a creative computing Portuguese company, specializing in digital fabrication, electronics production and app development, which aims to transform emerging technologies and art into impactful human experiences. These peeps work with electronics and computing, so they love robots, digital fabrication and prototyping!

As you probably noticed on our website, Artica and Azorean are buds. Artica have been producing Ziphius’ shell prototypes, in their laboratory, where they have a CNC (Computer Numeric Control) milling (milling is a cutting process that uses a milling cutter to remove material from the surface of a work piece) and other machinery for object fabrication.

CNC Milling

We spoke to André Almeida, who told us a bit more about the whole process behind making Ziphius’ shell come to life! Apparently it was a first run for them, since Ziphius was the first three-dimensional object created with their CNC.

“Making Ziphius’ shell has given us the opportunity to explore our CNC’s machine new capabilities. Before this, the CNC has been used a lot on our robots Farruscos for bi-dimensional cutting (cutting PVC, acrylics, wood) but with Ziphius we had to implement new techniques, as it is a 3D object. It has to be done in slices, first on one side and then the other, to be machined in both sides.”

Each shell takes from 16 to 20 hours to be created. André said they are working on improving the timing each time they produce a new one. It’s all about experience and process optimization! Artica members envision that they can still shorten the time, which is great.

CNC’s milling operation is extremely easy: you have three axes (X, Y Z) and a motor for cutting. First a raft cut is done to prune the material, and then a more detailed cut to give the shell its form. “Ziphius will be an aquatic drone, so there will be a submerged part. Ziphius’ hull is cut in a longitudinal way, according to the water flow” says André. 


João Ribeiro and André Almeida, keeping up with Ziphius’ shell prototyping

Not  everything is smooth sailing… there were, of course, failed attempts. For instance, trying to get the perfect height so all the pieces fit together and Ziphius achieved its intended size. But it all ends well, or as André puts it, Ziphius’ shell is “pixel perfect”! 


André Almeida and Guilherme Martins: Robots, robots everywhere!


Artica’s office – from left to right: BEETHEFIRST. Sapo, Farrusco, Ultimaker and, on the second image, Magabot

We would like to thank Artica for all the hard work. André, João and Guilherme, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! 🙂

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Ziphius loves Pi – happy birthday!

Next month Raspberry Pi is going to have a reason to celebrate: it’s its 2 years old birthday!

Ziphius heart has always been Raspberry Pi (and with Raspberry Pi!). Needless to say, it is a healthy and strong one, beating way fast. Actually, we’ve been using the Pi since September 2012 so, yeah, we’re lucky enough to have been among the first ones to experiment with it! We had Rob Bishop helping us getting familiarized with the Raspberry Pi camera a while back, which was really cool too.

Ziphius is featured in their second anniversary video (at 2:29), which was produced by The Raspberry Pi Guy. Pretty honored, to say the least. 🙂

We love being part of such a vibrant and participative community that is expanding everyday.

The Rasberry Pi team have been releasing a lot of cool contents on their website, including this rather entertaining animation video about the most basic question about it all: in the end, WHAT is a Raspberry Pi? What is it good for?

We want to congratulate the creators for this invention and wish them the best of luck in the future. Ziphius wishes Pi a happy birthday!

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Congrats Snapzoom!

Congrats to Snapzoom and best of luck in the future, which seems veryyyy bright 🙂

Ziphius team met the Snapzoom founders on the Engadget competition in March. After that, Snapzoom entered the crowdfunding world through Kickstarter. On May 26, their campaign had a successful end, raising its funding goal!

We loved to meet Snapzoom at Engadget: it’s innovative and useful. That’s why we’ve been supportive since the beginning. If you’re attentive, you can see that Ziphius is making a little appearance on their Kickstarter page (pay attention to the background).

About: ba91e4d4ea1db15251228e6f7e099069_large

Born: Hawaii

Founders: Daniel Fuijikake and Mac Nguyen

What is it? Snapzoom is an universal scope adaptor for smartphones, a thrilling option for every photography lover. This tool works as a connector between your phone camera and the eyepiece of an optical scope, magnifying your view and allowing you to capture subjects that are far away from you. Check their website to know more.

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Adventure time

This time, Ziphius joined surfers for a little fun at the beach! Early in the morning, Ziphius got even more adventurous and faced the cold waves with the surfers. This cute dog came to meet Ziphius and seemed to enjoy its company… 🙂


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