Jon Danforth from Mini Maker Faire North Carolina wrote in to let us know that their call to makers is now open!
Two young makers from Toronto, Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, both age 17, successfully sent a Lego minifig and four cameras to roughly 78,000 feet elevation on a homemade weather balloon. After a 97-minute flight, the balloon returned to Earth with great footage of the journey.
Inspired by a similar project done by MIT students, they were determined to make everything from scratch, down to sewing the 5-foot-diameter parachute. After about five months worth of weekends devoted to the build, they did it, and have some great photos to show for their hard work. Check out the video posted on the Toronto Star to hear them talk about their project and to see their balloon pics.
HydroSpan 100, from Houston-based Industrial Polymers Corporation, is billed as “a 3 dimensional copy machine enlarging any shape or design in near perfect proportion and detail.” Shown uppermost, a Morgan silver dollar from 1896, enlarged via three generations of HydroSpan 100 casting to about the size of a salad plate. To use it, two components are mixed and poured into a conventional silicone mold. After curing for 24 hours, the resulting casting is soaked in water for a period of several days, swelling it uniformly to 160% of its original size. The enlarged casting can then be remolded and the process repeated as many times as necessary to achieve the desired final size. Industrial Polymers also manufactures a shrinking casting resin if you want to go down the rabbit hole, instead.
Makerbot has a great post on this too.
As you likely know, Make: Live is our bi-weekly streaming video show. We had an amazing first season and were thrilled to see that a live show about MAKE and making could be so well-received and so much fun to create. A million thanks to Becky Stern and Matt Richardson for doing such a great job of helming the show, MakerBot for graciously hosting us, Micheal Colombo for crewing, Collin Cunningham for the show music, Digi-Key, our sponsor, and all of the other folks at MAKE and beyond who made the first season such a success. And to all of our viewers and chat room contributors — you all are what made the show the most fun. I loved the fact that, during nearly every episode, at least one person in the comments would bust out with: “I love this show!”, “This is SO awesome,” or similar.
We look forward to bringing more of the awesome to future Make: Live programming. But for the moment, we’re talking a break, doing some regrouping, and figuring out what form we want a future Make: Live to take. Look for a likely reboot in the spring.
In the meantime, we’d love to get your feedback on the show. What did you like? What didn’t work for you? What would you like to see us do differently? What would be an optimum time to stream the show for you? How long should the show be? Please share your thoughts via the form below. Thanks! And look for our “On Air” light again soon![contact-form]
I’ve been looking forward to Art Hack Day for many months now, and it’s finally here this weekend in Brooklyn! For the 50+ artist/hacker participants it’s actually a 3-day long “happening” of collective creativity and DIY expression that will culminate at 7pm on Saturday, January 28th, with a public exhibition of all of their fabrications. Attempting to make transparent the process of creating art, “with special reverence toward open-source technologies,” visitors are invited to interact with the participants during the event online. I hope to swing by before the opening to catch a sneak peek of what they’re building, so stay tuned for some photos if you’re out of town, or I hope to see you there this Saturday!
Art Hack Day
Joel Miller of Massachusetts (known for his excellent MakerBot Transformer) is working on converting a milling machine into a CNC. He’s even creating his own enclosure with touch screen, complete with PCBs he etched himself. Joel’s blog posts have tons of information on how he accomplished each step of the project — check ‘em out!
Yesterday I mentioned MIT’s soon-to-be-released open-courseware materials detailing a DIY phrased radar array radar system built from pegboard and wi-fi antennae. The project, from MIT engineers Drs. Bradley Perry, Jonathan Paul Kitchens, Patrick Bell, Jeffrey Herd, and Greg Charvat produces ‘radar video’ at about three frames per second. Greg just e-mailed me a link to this first video showing what the imagery actually looks like. [Thanks, Greg!]
I love it when people use humble PVC as a project enclosure. In this case, Alex Avtanski of San Jose, CA, built this DIY Magnetometer to detect and measure magnetic storms.
MAKE pal Dino Segovis brings us this handy tutorial on running a stepper motor in “reverse,” i.e. turning the shaft mechanically in order to generate electrical power, instead of the normal usage. He writes:
The AC current can be used as-is, he reports, to run LEDs, or easily rectified to give DC. [Thanks, Dino!]
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