We’re broadcasting shortly! Our holiday episode of Make: Live features some fun project ideas for this festive time of year, and we’ll give away some seriously cheerful electronics prizes to live viewers in the chat from Digi-Key:
Make: Live 22: Holiday Giveaway
This simple demonstration of eddy current braking (Wikipedia) will probably be familiar to many of you, but this video from YouTuber JamesRB1995 is a short, well-shot, impressive documentation of the effect. Keep in mind that copper is not ferromagnetic, and there is no direct magnetic attraction going on here.
Everything is Kinect’izing.
Increasingly, we as makers are needing to become industrial designers. I used to teach a basic design course years ago and I made the point to my students that we really don’t become active participants in our world, moving from passive consumers to active creators, until we fully understand and engage in the designed world. Ultimately, we are all designers. And, of course, that’s what making is all about (understanding and engaging with the built world). Except many makers pay little thought to how things are designed, how they interface with their users, and how they integrate with the other artifacts in our world. At a staff meeting recently, somebody was commenting on how many projects we see that have no enclosure, no knobs, no thought to longevity and usability. Some of this is obviously because many of these projects are basically proof of “can-do” and they’ll likely end up in a box of other such projects — experiments — not part of one’s daily life. But hopefully, as the DIY/maker movement matures, this will be less the case. As we start thinking about using more projects in everyday life, and bringing projects to market as products, industrial and user-interface design becomes another skill set makers need to acquire.
So that got me thinking about sharing some of my favorite design resources and picking your brains for more. What are some of your favorites? Please share in the comments below.
MAKE – OK, this is tremendously self-serving, but I think a big part of design literacy comes from regular exposure to inspired ideas and designs. And we try and provide a steady diet of that here on Makezine. The first step to understanding design is understanding how things go together; how they were designed and built. We offer a lot of such inspiration and instruction here. There are, of course, many other sites about making things and ones far more dedicated to exemplary design. One of my favorites is…
Core77 – This is probably my favorite design site and I visit it on a regular basis. They cover all aspects of design, have great articles, designer profiles, design news, product reviews, you name it. If you’re trying to feed your head with design literacy, this site goes great with a morning bagel and coffee.
Here’s a great three-part Core77 interview with MAKE contributors Jeffrey McGrew and Jillian Northrup, talking about their design-build firm Because We Can.
Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Janine M. Benyus – One of my interests, especially in robot design, is in looking to nature for inspiration. In this book, science writer Janine M. Benyus does an excellent job of explaining what biomimicry is, what some of the successful designs are that nature has inspired, and where the future of this discipline may be headed. Another related book I highly recommend is The Gecko’s Foot: Bio-Inspiration: Engineering New Materials from Nature by Peter Forbes.
Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty, David Kadavy – I haven’t actually read this book, but I’m intrigued by it. It uses the hacker ethos to look at the designed world, with a focus on graphic/web design and user-interface. But really, it’s designed to get the reader to start seeing the world through designer’s eyes, which was the basic approach of my old design classes. If anyone has read this, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I asked our online team for some of their faves and here are a few:
Castle designed in SketchUp for Linux
And Sean Ragan adds: Google SketchUp and Google SketchUp’s online 3D warehouse free model sharing repository. You can get to it from the drop-down “file” menu in the application itself, and there’s a “import into your current model” option. The database is full of great 3D models you can use for free. And if you model a common part or component you can upload and share it so others don’t have to repeat the work.
“Design” is obviously a very broad topic with many facets. These are just some of our favorite design resources, both theoretical and practical. What are some of yours?
This post is sponsored by Chevy Volt.
Animator Charles F. Hamper of Monterey Motion Graphics published a cool tutorial on how he makes his own adjustable stop-motion puppet armature parts from hardware-store raw materials including stock brass, threaded rod, and lamp parts. The images are small, but they’re big enough to see what’s going on.
A band of night surfers made their boards and wetsuits glow with what appears to be EL wire and tape. It seems to be a promo film produced by Strongbow Australia. I’d be curious to see their scheme for waterproofing the connections and battery packs!
To celebrate the release of our latest publication, the Make: Ultimate Kit Guide 2012 (and its companion website), we’re giving away at least one of the cool kits reviewed in the issue each day during the holiday season.
To be eligible for today’s giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment below in this post. The entry period for today’s prize will be until 11:59pm PST tonight. We’ll choose one person at random, you’ll be notified by email, and you’ll have 48 hours to respond. The Winners List is kept on the Giveaway landing page. That’s it! No purchase necessary or anything else to do. Please leave only one comment per post. You can enter as many giveaways as you like until you win. This giveaway is for US residents only. You also must be 18 years old to enter (Kids: Ask your parents to enter). See the Kit-A-Day Giveaway landing page for full sweepstakes details and Official Rules.
Important Note: If you enter this drawing, when it’s over, please check the place where you registered to comment (eg. Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter) and make sure your profile is visible. Some people are winning these kits and then not responding when we send them a message using the available means of contacting them. We want to make sure you get your giveaway!
It’s tonight! Our holiday episode features some fun project ideas for this festive time of year, and we’ll give away some seriously cheerful electronics prizes to live viewers in the chat from Digi-Key:
Make: Live 22: Holiday Giveaway
More guest info after the jump.
Episode 22 features the lovely and talented:
Want to show us your project for an upcoming episode? Upload a video or photos and send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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