MAKE friend and founder of iFixit Kyle Wiens is traveling with a crew through the slums of Kibera, Cairo’s infamous Garbage City, and Cairo’s electronics markets revealing how and why fixers do what they do. They’re working on a documentary film about repair titled Fixers.
This weekend, makers in Phoenix, AZ, and Oakland, CA, will be diving into their exciting Maker Faires!
See the list of makers for details.
Phoenix Maker Faire will take place this Saturday, from 11am-7pm, at Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix.
David Lang is on a journey, intensively immersing himself in maker culture and learning as many DIY skills as he can, through a generous arrangement with our pals at TechShop. He’s regularly chronicling his efforts in this column — what he’s learning, who he’s meeting, and what hurdles he’s clearing (um… or not). –Gareth
When I started this Zero to Maker process, I was inspired by the idea that I could become a self-made industrial designer – that I could bypass an expensive education by learning only what I really needed to get started. Now that I’ve started down the road, I’ve realized that it’s a very long road. The good news is that I remain committed to my initial belief that there’s a less expensive (and faster) way to learn: through a strategic blend of internet resources, access to the right tools, and involvement in a community of like-minded makers. Most important for me, however, has been the commitment to trying to figure out and examine more of what I don’t know.
In a stroke of pure luck, I met someone at the Open Hardware Summit who’s thinking about exactly this. Matt Sinclair, a practicing industrial designer who is also studying for his PhD at The Design School at Loughborough University, was giving a talk on DIY Reverse Engineering during one of the breakout sessions of the Summit. In one of his first slides, he explained his research of how digital fabrication technologies (and Additive Manufacturing technologies in particular) will impact the professional industrial designer’s role and what happens when the consumer takes design into their own hands. Basically, what the self-made industrial designers aren’t thinking about.
He went on to list five common issues that new makers and those of us without professional degrees tend to overlook. Matt was kind enough to summarize each of the issues into new-maker speak. By no means are these issues all inclusive or exclusive. In fact, I’m sure every maker, professional or not, runs into these issues in some form or another – the learning by doing (or mistaking) process.
Post Production Finishing
[David's Note: This is so important. In my last post, I may have gone a little overboard about my excitement for CNC machines without mentioning the sanding we had to do afterwards because the parts didn't quite fit together. It’s truly amazing what the machines can do, but it seems to me the most experienced CNC operators know just as much about what their machines can’t do.]
For more information on Matt and his work, please visit his website. Let us know what you think in the comments. What you would add to this list? Any stories to share?
Make: Live episode 18 featured makers in MAKE v28, the toys & games issue! Onyx Ashanti performs and talks Xbees and sensors, and Michael Colombo explains his reflective improvement to flashlight tag. David Harris made Charlie’s bear (above), originally designed for his nephew with cerebral palsy. It’s a location aware plush toy with an embedded RFID reader, speaker, Arduino and wave shield to play sounds when it interacts with objects. Learn about how David made this fun toy and how Charlie himself has reacted to the bear.
Electronic musician Onyx Ashanti performs at Maker Faire NY and joins us on video chat from Berlin to discuss his innovative (and open source) Beatjazz controllers for live performance. Find out how his pressure sensor mouthpiece works in conjunction with his accelerometer and FSR hand controllers and see him perform. Support the Beatjazz controllers funding campaign!
Michael Colombo (in collaboration with Eszter Ozsvald) came up with a new variation on flashlight tag that uses retroreflective letters on armbands. Find out about Mike’s experience running the game (and coming up with new ones) with some summer campers.
Want to show us your project? Upload a video or photos and send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maker Jimmy DiResta shares his modded keys at World Maker Faire NYC. His collection of handmade keys are a combination of his problem solving skills and creativity. They are a great example of making art from everyday items without sacrificing functionality. Jimmy is a designer and fabricator who can make just about anything, from just about anything. He’s a woodworker, he sculpts in resin, he welds, and builds with plastics. His hammer and ax skull and crossbone belt buckle started as one of his wooden carvings before he cast it in metal. On a recent tour of his shop, I found the sewing machine he uses to add leather fronts to his pants next to the high-end wooden display he was building for a pop-up gallery.
Jimmy is perhaps best know for finding junk and transforming it on the Discovery Channel show, Dirty Money. He and his brother search the city for unusual and lackluster objects, then re-make them to be sold at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market. It is hilarious to watch them banter and hassle each other as they work on projects, but the backbone of the show is what comes out of the shop. The shop with the most interesting keys in NYC.
Watch Jimmy’s show Dirty Money tonight on the Discovery Channel at 10:30pm Eastern, 7:30pm Pacific.
Subscribe to the Maker Faire podcast in iTunes
, or watch the video on YouTube and Vimeo.
Clever, clever idea from NY design studio Rich Brilliant Willing (a play on the three founders’ names, FYI), on contract for design blog Core77, which is giving these away to winners of its inaugural Design Awards this year. [via Boing Boing]
Folks on Thingiverse are talking about possibly banning uploads which could be used as, or relate to, weapons. In particular, a bunch of different builders have started to upload parts of an AR-15 rifle, including Crank’s 5-shot magazine, pictured above. Where is this trend going? Should Thingiverse ban anything that could be used as a weapon? Leave your thoughts here or on Thingiverse’s discussion page.
Is Grandma’s pottery or glass collection radioactive? Do bananas give off radiation? Is that granite table given to you by your mother-in-law slightly “hot?” (In my case, yes!) With this Geiger Counter Kit these questions are yours to answer. While this is a functional Geiger counter it is for educational purposes only. Please do not use it for anything important.
Retired dentist Young C. Park built this 1/16 scale replica of the classic WWII-era fighter plane mostly from common aluminum roof flashing, of the type sold in big rolls at most hardware stores. Dr. Park spent considerable time and energy developing special methods for working this material, including an annealing technique that’s a real gem:
The parts are shaped using a his old dental hand-piece, and joined using small wire rivets. There’s a bunch of additional info about Dr. Park’s process, and many more cool pictures of this and other models he’s made, over at The Internet Craftsmanship Museum. [Thanks, Ken!]
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