DIY projects, how-tos, and inspiration from geeks, makers, and hackers
Updated: 1 hour 43 min ago
Create some awesome, sweet Escher cookies using 3D printed rollers with MC Escher art on them. Former Math Monday columnist George Hart shows you how.
Jude Pullen created this cool solder buddy, which consists of a length of solder fed through an old brake cable by a servo. A button near the business end, with a Sugru grip, activates the servo by using the solder itself, as well as the metal windings of the brake [...]
On this episode of DiResta, Jimmy makes a burly bulletin board from dumpster-dived wood and coat hooks he fabricated himself.
Ben Light may love his lathe just a little too much, and in this video he shows us how to use it to turn a piece of firewood into the handle for a mallet, and a block of scrap wood into the head.
Inspired by the MonoBox Powered Speaker weekend project, Tony built his "boom box" into a solid MDF chassis approximately 6" cubed. He attached a bungee cord to the box for portability, and opted for a combo on/off/volume switch.
The Buckeye Gathering is an annual event in Northern California aimed at teaching and reviving lost arts and primitive skills. Here's how the organizers described reskilling or primitive living skills: "Primitive living skills are our original technologies. All of us, every human, has ancestors who made fire and tools from plant, stone, & bone. Because reconnecting with traditional living requires knowledge of the local ecosystems, of the bioregion and its resources, we emphasize local flora and fauna. Although all of our forebears lived earth-based cultures at some point, California Indians tended this land for millennia before European arrival, so we at Buckeye place their particular technology and history at the forefront. We cannot roll back time to a pristine past, but we may learn fundamental lessons from the people who have come before, teachings integral to our healthy survival." Today on Food Makers, a Google+ hangout on air at 2pm PST/5EST, I'll be talking food and food making with some of the organizers behind the Buckeye Gathering about what skills we've lost and how we can go about relearning them.
The last 12 months have been a busy time for Seb Lee-Delisle. With a buzzing schedule of speaking, creative coding workshops, exhibitions and public events, it looks like this is the year he's found his feet as a digital artist. His path has taken many turns. He started by dropping out of a computer science degree, then hopping around various creative digital disciplines, from desktop publishing to music production. In the early 2000s he began to carve out a career in multimedia production for the web. A growing client list led him to set up his own agency, Plug-in Media. But client work began to take its toll: "We were doing probably the best work you could imagine, very creative, for high-profile clients, but the thing I realised was, even with the best clients, " he said. "I only spent about 10 percent of my time doing the stuff I really wanted to do and the other 90 percent negotiating, in meetings, scheduling, budgeting, and team management – all this extra stuff, which I wasn't that interested in doing. It was frustrating; I just wanted to do that 10 perent."
Uber-maker Mikey Sklar demonstrates how to charge, test, and recover a sealed 12V lead-acid battery from the dumpster, using his Power In My Pocket open source kit. Filed under: Electronics
What goes on, exactly, inside those AAA batteries powering your LED flashlight? The short answer is: Chemistry. Chemical reactions can encourage electrons to flow out from one terminal and back to the other, doing some useful work along the way. Meanwhile, inside the battery, positive ions, also known as electron-holes, are changing places. Eventually the chemical reactions run down, and the battery stops delivering power. If it is a rechargeable type, you can force the electrons and the positive ions to go back where they started, ready to run again.
For hackers whose medium is art and artists whose medium is tech, Art Hack Day has established itself as an annual event of wonder in NYC.
Friday night kicked off the #hackPHX Arduino hackathon at HeatSync Labs, the Phoenix area hackerspace. Everyone gathered to form 10 teams that included one Arduino newbie, one veteran, and one entrant with "hackerspace" skills (3D printing lasering welding sewing, whatever). They would have use of the entire hackerspace, an on-site designer from sponsor Cynergy, and whatever they could find at local hardware stores. Oh, and one more thing, they had to use our secret ingredient: The Shieldbot from SeeedStudios, developed by Colin Ho is a shield robot for Arduino that has five reflectance sensors, two DC motors and a 3.7V lion battery.
MAKE Asks: is a weekly column where we ask you, our readers, for responses to maker-related questions. We hope the column sparks interesting conversation and is a way for us to get to know more about each other.
Inspired by the Sandables concept that recently made the rounds, we've been experimenting with adding abrasive grit to polycaprolactone (aka ShapeLock) thermoplastic to make rigid sanding blocks that can be reformed, with mild heating, to fit into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies on your work.
When 13-year-old Tahoe native Logan LaPlant takes the stage for his TEDx talk at the University of Nevada, what follows are 11 minutes of eloquent, confident wisdom on his style of education, which he calls “hackschooling.” Here’s a sample: I’m not tied to one particular curriculum, and I’m not dedicated [...]
One of my big dreams is to communicate fluently with animals. I'm completely aware of how crazy that might sound. In fact, that's why I almost never discuss or admit to it. It seems too far out there for most people. But does it really seems that far fetched? When my grandparents were my age, I don't think they ever could have imagined that they would be able to have video calls with someone halfway around the world or access to so much of the world's information at the tip of their fingers. It's impossible to predict where the technology might evolve. Last week at TED, the interspecies communication movement recieved a huge boost. An unlikely team of Peter Gabriel, Vint Cerf, Diana Reiss, and Neil Gershenfeld (the intellectual godfather of the Maker Movement) announced their plans for an interspecies internet. My heart soared!
Recently, we unveiled our Scout pre-order site to the world. Scout is a hassle-free, do-it-yourself home security system. You can check it out at www.scoutalarm.com. We took a gamble with the Scout project and “rolled our own” crowdfunding site. Similar to Lockitron, Scout would not be allowed on Kickstarter since our products haven’t been produced yet, so we had to forgo that avenue for fundraising and strike out on our own. Luckily, Lockitron made our path a little easier by open sourcing its project. The Scout project is, thus far, not wildly oversubscribed like Lockitron, but we’re doing well for being two weeks in. What we’ve realized in the process is that there’s not a lot of information available on what it takes to roll your own crowdfunding site. We’re one of only a handful of companies that has taken a shot at it, so we want to pass along what we’re learning as we go. Hopefully, this post will make it a little easier for the next company that follows behind us.
When we post new content on MAKE, we love hearing from our readers. Whether the comments be informative, insightful, or funny, here are our favorites from the past week, from Makezine, our Facebook page, Google+ Community, and Twitter.
Last year, at Maker Faire in San Mateo, we launched a global competition to find ways to reduce the cost of producing parts on a 3D printer that uses plastic filament as its feedstock. 3D printing holds great promise for prototyping and small-volume production, but it has the potential for high volume production as well. Over time, the software interfaces that control these machines will improve, the number of files available for printing will increase exponentially, and the precision of the machines will be indistinguishable from parts made on an injection molding machine. However, to become competitive with conventional manufacturing processes, the unit cost of each part produced by 3D printers must be reduced. Low-cost 3D printing, including Up! Plus, Makerbot's Replicator II, Cubify, Printrbot, Solidoodle, and the Ultimaker, range in price from $399-$2200. These machines require extruded plastic filament that costs about $40-$54 per kg. This is between 5-10 times the cost of the raw resin pellets.
Our friends Nick, Kevin, and Jess from Parallax just released this video with tips for getting started with the ELEV-8 Quadcopter. It outlines common beginner mistakes and how to correct them, along how to safely get airborne the first time out.
Last June, the LVL1 hackerspace in Louisville, KY, held a 24-hour hackathon, where several teams stayed up all night, competing with each other to use an Arduino, a breadboard, as well as any components they could harvest from LVL1′s junkpile, to build the coolest project possible. Joe Pugh and his [...]