MAKE


Wax Sculpting Tutorial


I’m out at MAKE HQ in Sebastopol (from Arlington, VA) this week with much of the MAKE team week as we do our 2012 planning. I’ve been having fun geeking out with Jason Babler, our new senior art director, over garage figure modeling.

He just showed me this amazing sculpt and resin cast he did of the Diablo III Unburied character. My first reaction was: “Why didn’t you submit this during Hobby Month!?” (Hemming, hawing ensued) Ah, our humble, talented staff. Check out Jason’s newly minted Mantle Studios sculpting blog. And see the link below to the excellent PDF tutorial for creating skin textures using the wax sculpting method he used.

Wax Sculpting Tutorial PDF

 


The 2011 Halloween Contest Countdown



Monster Eggs are edible and fun to make!

The countdown has begun! You have until 11:59pm PST TONIGHT to submit your spooktacular project to our MAKE/CRAFT 2011 Halloween Contest. Winners of each of the four project categories, Costume, Decor, Food, and Props, will receive some awesome prizes, including a Dremel 3000, Singer sewing machines, Eye-Fi wireless SD card, Cool Neon lighting system, and more. We already have some superb entries. Be sure to get yours in my the deadline (or beef up your existing entry with some good photography) and be as thorough and descriptive as possible with your content. Our judges will decide which category your project belongs in, but be sure to tag it with ‘halloween2011′ in the Keyword Tags field, and it will automatically be entered into the contest. If you have any last-minute questions, leave a comment below and we’ll respond quickly while we monitor the contest across the finish line.


Inspired to make something for Halloween? Be sure to enter it in our MAKE Halloween contest to win cool prizes. Costumes, decor, food, whatever you create for Halloween, is welcome in the contest.

Read our full contest page for all the details.

 

Rad Green Army Man Costume

Harrison Jones' G.I. Joe Costume

My friend Harrison Jones went to town on his green army man costume for Halloween, and nailed the classic icon. The result is definitely one of the best costumes I saw this year. How did he do it? Harrison started by picking out the perfect green tarp, then taking it to the hardware store and having them color match a quart of semi-gloss interior latex paint. He then painted the air soft helmet, boots, and gun with several coats of the green paint. Next, he cut out cardboard in an oval shape, painted it green, and used duct tape in a loop to stick to his boots.

As for the uniform, he picked out a long-sleeve shirt and a pair of pants he was willing to sacrifice, and cut them both along the seams. Harrison then spread the chopped shirt and pants out on the tarp, pinned them to the tarp, and cut around the fabric, leaving about a half inch of extra tarp (the sleeves were done separately). He used duct tape to “sew” the tarp back together, leaving half of the tape’s sticky side exposed and putting it on the inside of the seam, and then connecting the matching part of the tarp, adjusting to the right fit.

Possibly not the best skin treatment, but he then painted his hands and face with the same latex paint. I had to ask how that latex paint felt on his skin, and he said, “It was okay as long as I wasn’t in direct sunlight, and after a while it would crack if I smiled or moved my face. It ended up just being able to peel off in warm water.” Harrison amazingly managed to work his shift at Andy’s market (best produce ever!) down the street from MAKE headquarters. Nice work, soldier!

Harrison Jones' G.I. Joe Costume

 


It’s Machining Month


In a follow-up to September’s Metal Working theme, for November, we’ll be delving deeper into machining tools: lathes, cutters, drill presses, metal CNC machines/laser cutters. We’re bringing Hackett back to continue to explore his lo-tek take on metal, we’ll have some introductions to basic machining tools, some posts from resident Make: Labs’ metalman Dan Spangler, more Tubalcain tutorial videos, and more.

As usual, we’d love to hear about what you’d like to see us cover during the month. Let us know in the comments and we’ll see what we can do.

More:
Metal Working Skill Builder

 

Printable Iron Man Shoelace Covers

Everything about this printable from Thingiverse user DrewPetitclerc makes me happy. Especially his description:

For many decades I’ve had trouble getting interesting shoe designs, my size is not common and I got tired of being told no or we have these in white or black only, so when I found you can design your own on the internet I became a “sneaker head”, I have multiple custom designs and one of them are my IMMK4 “Iron Man Mark 4″ red and yellow Reebok’s. I needed to complete the look so I designed flexible plates to cover the laces so when I walk the conventions people will stop asking if I beat up “Ronald McDonald” and stole his shoes.

To you, sir, a hearty “Excelsior!” Keep up the good work.

More:


Inspired to make something for Halloween? Be sure to enter it in our MAKE Halloween contest to win cool prizes. Costumes, decor, food, whatever you create for Halloween, is welcome in the contest.

Read our full contest page for all the details.

 


Tool Review: MetaWatch Android-Compatible Wristwatch

MZ_Toolbox2010.gif

The MetaWatch is a sweet-looking programmable watch that can be paired with an Android device via Bluetooth in order to bring some of the smartphone’s functionality to the watch, reducing the need to haul out your phone to check on an alert.

The MetaWatch was originally developed at Fossil but the line was spun off into its own privately-held company. The units cost $199 for either the digital or analog versions. The digital watch has a 96×96 TFT dot-matrix display, while the analog version has two tiny OLED displays and the dial. Both have an accelerometer, a light sensor, vibration motor, a bluetooth radio, as well as a stainless steel case and leather band. The digital watch has six buttons while the analog has three.

When I got my MetaWatch I quickly came to the conclusion that I couldn’t actually use it because (silly me) I lack an Android phone. So I recruited a Android hacker friend of mine, McSteve, to play around with it. He downloaded the Metawatch Manager (MWM) from the company website. This is an application that handles communications between the computer and the watch. McSteve described how it works:

The MWM exposes a pretty simple API. The MWM runs as a service, and listens for Intents broadcast from other running applications. An application can, by broadcasting one of these Intents, send a notification to the MetaWatch with custom screen contents and optional vibration. Another Intent allows an app to switch the watch into “Application Mode”, where the app can have exclusive control over the MetaWatch’s screen and buttons. Button press events are sent as Intents broadcast from the MWM, which interested applications can receive.

McSteve is working on an Android app that will look up bus times, with the thought being that the next arrival time could be displayed. With a MetaWatch, he could check on the time in a dodgy neighborhood without hauling out an expensive smartphone. Plus, with winter approaching, the MetaWatch’s buttons will be easier to manipulate than a touch screen.

The current problem I am attempting to deal with is that displaying anything on the MetaWatch screen seems to require painting the entire screen at once with a 96×96 pixel bitmap. Therefore, to display text, it has to first be painted onto a bitmap using an appropriate font, and sent to the watch. Fortunately, a set of fonts is available from metawatch.org/developers, and reading the MetaWatch Manager source code provides plenty of insight on how to paint text into a buffer suitable for sending to the watch.

The MetaWatch product line has some fantastic possibilities and I’m looking forward to all of McSteve’s cool hacks, as well as those of the other early adopters. It even looks like MetaWatch will even produce custom units (either the entire watch or just the guts) if you do develop something cool that you want to sell.

 

Korg Releases Two New Monotron Synths

Everybody’s favorite hackable retro analog ribbon synth just got two new cousins: the Monotron Delay and the Monotron Duo.  The names are pretty straight-up:  The Monotron Delay has an analog “tape echo” effect, while the Duo has two individually-tunable oscillators.   [via Boing Boing]

More:

 

Enter the MAKE Halloween Contest – Deadline Today!



There are a bunch of great projects in our Halloween contest on Make: Projects, but yours is still missing! Enter your Halloween projects today by 11:59pm PT to enter to win these great prizes:

Grand Prize in Tech

  • Dremel 3000 rotary tool
  • Cool Neon Arduino shield with 5x5ft presoldered sections of 5mm highbright long-life EL wire
  • GarretWade field electrician’s knife
  • Panavise 350
  • Make: Electronics book
  • Maker’s Notebook
  • $50 Maker Shed gift certificate

Grand Prize in Craft

  • SINGER Futura XL-400 sewing and embroidery machine with bonus AutoPunch and Advanced Editing software
  • GarrettWade dressmaker’s scissors
  • CRAFT box set
  • Maker’s Notebook
  • $50 Maker Shed gift certificate

1st Place in Costume

  • SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty sewing machine
  • GarrettWade 5.5″ sewing scissors
  • Panavise PV Jr. (201)
  • CRAFT box set
  • Maker’s Notebook
  • $50 Maker Shed gift certificate

1st Place in Props

  • GarrettWade Japanese saws with canvas case
  • Dremel pumpkin carving tool
  • Panavise PV Jr. (201)
  • Getting Started With Arduino Getting Started With Arduino kit and book and
  • Tulip Prize Pack filled with cool stuff by the Crafty Chica
  • Maker’s Notebook
  • $50 Maker Shed gift certificate

1st Place in Decor

  • Cool Neon 25 pixel total control lighting kit
  • GarrettWade push drill
  • Dremel pumpkin carving tool
  • Panavise PV Jr. (201)
  • Maker’s Notebook
  • $50 Maker Shed gift certificate

1st Place in Food

  • Eye-Fi Mobile X2 SD card SD card
  • GarrettWade kitchen shears
  • Dremel pumpkin carving tool
  • Panavise PV Jr. (201)
  • Cooking for Geeks book
  • Maker’s Notebook
  • $50 Maker Shed gift certificate

 

How-To: Green Lantern. Literally.

No power rings are involved, here, just boric acid, methanol, and a homemade spirit lamp. It’s all nicely explained by Instructables user The Green Gentleman.

More:
Nobody Doesn’t Like Molten Boron


Inspired to make something for Halloween? Be sure to enter it in our MAKE Halloween contest to win cool prizes. Costumes, decor, food, whatever you create for Halloween, is welcome in the contest.

Read our full contest page for all the details.

 

New in the Maker Shed: TTL Serial JPEG Camera with NTSC Video

This new camera, now available in the Maker Shed, can be a great addition to your project. It was designed to be used in security systems and does two main things – it outputs NTSC video and can take snapshots of that video and transmit them over the TTL serial link. You can snap pictures at 640×480, 320×240 or 160×120 and they are pre-compressed into JPEG images which makes them nice, small and easy to store on an SD card. Perfect for a data-logging, security, or photography projects. It also packs a lot of features such as manually adjustable focus, auto-white-balance, auto-brightness, auto-contrast and built in motion detection. That means you can have it alert your project when something moved in the frame. Oh, and did I mention that it’s Arduino compatible? We have an Arduino library for this camera available right on the product page.

 


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