MAKE Magazine

Open MAKE and Young Makers Regional Meeting this Saturday


From Michelle Hlubinka, MAKE's Education Director:

Get a little pre-season Maker Faire appetizer at the Exploratorium this Saturday at the first Open MAKE of 2011. This year, each Open MAKE will center around a different material-centric theme. This month it's PLASTICS.

Open MAKE is a monthly program highlighting the tools, techniques, and ingenuity of local makers. Visitors are invited to participate in tinkering and making activities inside the Tinkering Studio, where makers from around the Bay Area will share their work. In addition, Dale Dougherty, founder and publisher of MAKE magazine, will interview Featured Makers in the McBean Theater.

Come by the museum between 11am to 2pm to tinker with plastics. Julie Yu will show you how to make "shrinky dinks" with discarded plastics, and Michael Shiloh will invite you to engage in a little "Freeform Tinkering." Karen Wilkinson will demo fusing recycled plastics into a sewable "fabric," and welcome you to give it a go, too. And museum staff will lead visitors in playing with wind tubes.

Join Dale Dougherty in the McBean Theater (just inside the museum) at 1pm for interviews with our four Featured Makers (lengthier bios here):

Shih Chieh Huang ("Cj") will display one of his mind-bending multimedia art pieces. He uses recycled plastic and found objects to create otherwordly installations.

Lanny Smoot will showcase his incredible strobing zoetrope. You'll be able to lipsync a Ping-Pong ball to your voice!

Virginia Fleck will host a workshop on building a collaborative, inflatable meditation cushion made of recycled plastic bags.

Shawn Lani's Strobe Flower lanterns will be installed in the Tinkering Studio. A simple plastic bag becomes a thing of beauty.

All Open MAKE activities end at 2pm.

Since kicking off the new season of the Young Makers program (a collaboration between the Exploratorium, MAKE magazine, and Pixar Animation Studios) late last fall, we've been amazed at how quickly and enthusiastically the model has been adopted by new Maker Clubs in schools and neighborhoods around the Bay Area and all over the country. Club members and mentors will hold our first regional meeting in the hour before Open MAKE begins, and they will share projects they're building for this May's Maker Faire Bay Area in closed-to-the-public "plussing" sessions mid-day.

Check out what we have going on for Young Makers here, and if you'd like to add your organization to our network or start a new Club, please be in touch with Michelle Hlubinka and Tony DeRose.

The next Open MAKE (on the theme of cardboard) and Young Makers Regional Meeting will be February 19th, 2010.

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Lighters turned motorcycles

Make-A-Bot, a MakerBot remixed


MIT student ChArLeS wrote in with his latest project, a 3D printer.

My first entry into the DIY 3d printer game is tongue-in-cheek christened Make-A-Bot because of the numerous design inspirations it features from the similarly named commercial kit machines. It's a Fused Deposition Modeling / Fused Filament Fabrication type machine that draws successive layers of an object using a continuously extruded molten plastic fiament. FDM/FFF creates structural parts that are usable immediately. Most of the deviations on this machine from existing open-source kit machines are in the interest of exploration. The work envelope is designed to be larger and taller, and the mechanics are fully custom. The machine also features some small design experiments such as flexure-mounted guide bearings and a fast-travel Z-axis. Otherwise, it uses stock Makerbot and RepRap electronics and the extruder head.
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Laser cutting circuit boards



Jean-Baptiste Labrune and his research group at MIT's Tangible Media Group have been experimenting with using a laser cutter to turn ordinary materials into printed circuit boards (PCBs). They have a clever process for making the traces. Since it is very difficult to cut metal with a laser, they can't start with a solid sheet of metal material and burn away the parts that they don't want. Instead, they put a piece of masking tape over the material that they want to make traces on, then use the laser to burn off the tape in places where they want metal to be. Finally, they use a paintbrush to apply conductive paint into the newly cut grooves, and remove the masking tape mask.They've got some more photos of the process in a Flickr set. [thanks, Akiba!]

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Skill Set: Understanding electronic components


Over the last few years, our very own Collin Cunningham has authored a series of awesome videos called MAKE Presents. Each video covers an electronic component (and one fundamental law of electronics). Understanding how these components function, and that law, are important first steps in understanding electronics. Here are all of the MAKE Presents videos to date. Collin is currently working on an episode on the basics of using a digital multimeter (the Swiss Army knife of electronics testing tools).

MAKE Presents: The LED - A movie about the origins of the LED and how to make your own from carborundum!

MAKE presents: The Resistor

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Fallout 3 replica helmet


Pretty impressive replica prop work from Josh Jay, posted by his buddy Chris Bartlett. Josh started with a folded-paper model. Detailed construction pics are available in Josh's Facebook photo set. [via Gizmodo]


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Arduino Tetris on the Video Game Shield

Wayne and Layne have adapted Myles Metzler's Tetris clone for use on their Video Game Shield.

Myles recently ported an open Tetris clone to the Arduino. We added support for the Nunchuck (so now it works with both the Nunchuck and the Classic Controller) as well as music!
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Tron bag 2.0


Roy S. wrote in to share his Tron bag based on our tutorial, so awesome!


Tron Bag with EL Wire - CRAFT Video

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In the Maker Shed: Peggy 2 LED display kit

Peggy 2 is an updated version of the original Peggy light-emitting pegboard display. Version 2 adds simple animation capability and Arduino compatibility. Like its predecessor, the open-source Peggy 2 provides a quick and efficient way to drive up to 625 LEDs.

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Global clock shows 11 time zones at the same time


The difference between GLOBAL CLOCK and normal clocks is: GLOBAL CLOCK has a disc hour hand (hour dial) instead of normal needle hour hand. On the disc hour hand, many cities or countries' names and arrows are printed. The disc hour hand turns clockwise as normal clock needle hour hand does. By this unique simple design, Global Clock can display current local time (UK time) and time in 10 other time zones at once. Each international time zone is represented by a city's name. No more push button. No more hanging many clocks on wall to get world time (One Global Clock will do 11 normal clocks' job).

[Thanks, Q Gang!]

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Cylon toilet paper dispenser

Moveable Kitchen


Judging from the fleets of gas grills parked outside almost every big box home improvement store for the last five or six years one could assume that there's been a bit of an uptick in outdoor cooking. While barbeque tends to take center stage in this ritual, there's almost no thought given to basic kitchen amenities outside of the more elaborate setups. If you do a fair amount of your cooking outside, when the weather's nice, and you'd like access to a sink, gas burner, cutting surface and storage space, check out this handsome DIY outdoor kitchen from London-based designer Nina Tolstrup. Step-by-step PDF instructions are available on her site. [via likecool]

The outdoor kitchen comprises of gas cooking hob, a bucket sink, a chopping board and storage for crockery, utensils and a few food ingredients. Water is connected from the garden hose and waste water is collected in a watering can placed beneath the sink, so grey water can be reused.
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