Freed Projects from Past 10 Volumes of MAKE

MAKE Volume 20 Projects

When we first launched Make: Projects, our DIY library, a year and a half ago, one of our goals was to free up projects from past issues of MAKE, for the community to collaborate on. With 29 volumes of MAKE, we had some work to do, chipping away at entering projects in the system. We have over 450 projects from previous issues on Make: Projects for you to freely peruse, and we’re not stopping anytime soon. We’ve created pages for each of the past 10 volumes, giving you yet another way to browse. Some volumes have a lot of projects shared (like Volume 20, screen grab pictured above), and others will soon. Check out the pages for Volumes 19 through 29, linked below, and look for older issue pages coming soon. Enjoy!

MAKE Volume 29: DIY Superhuman
MAKE Volume 28: Toys and Games
MAKE Volume 27: Robots
MAKE Volume 26: Karts and Wheels
MAKE Volume 25: Microcontrollers and Arduino
MAKE Volume 24: DIY Space
MAKE Volume 23: Gadgets
MAKE Volume 22: Remote Control/Wireless
MAKE Volume 21: Desktop Manufacturing
MAKE Volume 20:For Kids of All Ages
MAKE Volume 19: Robots


Label Paint Cans with the Things They Painted

The amazing and most resourceful Craig Smith shares another smart, simple tip:

If you’re like me, you have a small inventory of wood stains on hand. And if you’re further like me, you have a few nice projects that you’re proud of. But when it comes to touching up a scuff, or making a matching piece years later… “What color did I use?” Recently, I’ve been making sure to flip the cans upside down and label them with the projects they were used on. This after I had to put four different stains on a test piece to determined which one I’d used on the bookcase, in order to make an additional matching shelf years later. From now on, I will label!

The tips and projects of Craig Smith


An Instrument A Day Plays the Blues Away

(photo by Ranjit, from Instrument A Day 2012)

February in NYC can be particularly brutal when it comes to weather. So staying indoors, becoming a maker-hermit of sorts, and working on as many projects as possible is typical of many artists and makers in the city of five boroughs. For the fifth year in a row, Brooklyn-based Ranjit Bhatnagar has committed to making an Instrument A Day every day in February – itself a shorter month than most, we’re still talking about 29 novel musical instruments being made this year!

In order to label them true “day” projects, he spends little time planning ahead, so they’re conceived, designed, and built all in the same day. Projects this year have included everything from electronic doorbells and Fluxus-inspired noise-making objects, to 3D-printed parts and pieces, to variations on previous projects like the JelTone and 8-bit violin. Two of my favorites, made near the finish line, include his musical remote controls and optical siren (videos below).

See all his videos from this series here. And if you happen to be in town next Wednesday, Ranjit will be speaking about his Instrument a Day series at Dorkbot in SoHo.


PlaTVer and Other TV Hacks – Upcoming in MAKE Magazine

For MAKE Volume 32, coming out this summer, an article that I’m especially excited about will detail hacks that you can do with a regular living room TV, turning it into something unusual, ambient, or interactive when you’re having a party. The authors of the article are the NYC-based video art duo LoVid, and they’re collaborating with Tanya Bezreh, Clay Lacefield, Oliver Lyons, Douglas Repetto, and Ron Rosenman for the different TV hacks.

Here’s a sneak peak at one of the pieces, the PlaTVer, by Tanya Bezreh. I think it’s such a simple and beautiful idea — use a flat-screen TV as an animated serving platter. We’ll publish video backgrounds to use with the PlaTVer when the issue comes out, including the dancing crudités seen in the video here.


Reusable Codd-Neck Soda Bottles

Image from Wikipedia

Codd-neck bottles were first patented in 1870 by British soft drink maker Hiram Codd. The unusual bottle design achieves a seal by utilizing the soda’s carbon dioxide gas to press a glass marble up against a rubber washer directly under the lip of the opening (the bottles are filled upside down). The thirsty consumer breaks the seal by pressing down on the marble and releasing some of the carbon dioxide.

The bottle style was popular in Canada, India, and Australia, but over time it has declined in popularity. Today these bottles can still be found in Japan and India, and Lindsay at Ouno Design has a post up about Codd-neck bottles, including images from her recent trip to India. Lindsay writes:

I only saw these bottles rarely, and only in old-fashioned soda carts like this one. As I said, on my last trip these bottles were everywhere. Because the soda water was sterilized, it was a safe drink for foreigners and I must have drunk hundreds of bottles of it, while my boyfriend drank the sweet stuff, mostly orange. There were no plastic water bottles anywhere to be seen.

By the way, these citrus soda carts are a brilliant idea. Delicious fresh lemon or lime sodas are made by mixing the plain soda water with freshly squeezed local citrus and local cane sugar, which is far better for you than our current sweeteners in North America. (High fructose corn syrup, which is unnatural, molecularly different and recently incontrovertibly linked to obesity, hasn’t been forced on India yet by the aggressive American corn industry.) Handmade lemon soda drink is far better than our soda pop here, and healthier too as long as the bottles are fully dried before refilling. Lastly it’s far better for the environment than anything we’re doing now. Plastic! Re-melting aluminum! Melting down glass! Argh.



Ethereal LED “Cathedral” in Belgium

This installation by Italian lighting design firm Luminarie De Cagna was on display in Belfortstraat, Ghent, Belgium, from January 26 to January 29, as part of their 2012 Festival of Lights, where it reportedly stole the show.

One can see how it might.

The festival site refers to the work as “Cagna Illuminations,” but that sounds, to me, like it might just be a misplaced translation of the name of the company that designed it. FWIW, the Luminarie De Cagna website refers to the cathedral simply as “Tunnel Installation.” Colossal has a round-up of some truly stunning Flickr images. [via adafruit]

De Cagna | Cagna Illuminations | Light Festival Ghent


“Unchained Reaction” Promo

I’m very excited to watch Unchained Reaction (video in this link) when it comes out. It’s a show, produced by Jamie and Adam of the Mythbusters, that pits teams against each other in a battle of Rube Goldberg machines! Woot! It sounds like L.A. hackerspace CRASH Space contributed teams to the show. The debut is scheduled for Sunday, March 18th.


Mini Quadrotors Play the James Bond Theme

A group of UPenn Engineering students have taken several quadrotors and turned them into robotic musicians. We’ve seen the great swarming abilities of these machines recently, but now using various instruments and noisemakers, these aerial drones manage to plunk out a fairly convincing version of the “James Bond” theme.

The students who created this piece have started their own company, KMel Robotics, from which I’m sure we’ll see (and hear) more innovation by these tiny UAVs.

[via The Creators Project]



Aerial Drones and U.S. Law

My post last Friday (Making Money with Drone-Based Businesses) was long on enthusiasm and short on facts. Thanks, as always, to our fantastic commentariat for helping me get up to speed.  The story of drone entrepreneurship is, in fact, emerging, but the technology and the willing entrepreneurs are mostly in place, already, and the action, for now, is about the law and how it’s changing.

As things stand, to legally operate an unmanned aircraft in US national airspace for other than recreational purposes, or at altitudes above 400 feet, requires a special certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA does not issue these for commercial use, though it has issued some dozens for experimental purposes and some hundreds to public agencies like the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

This lawsuit from the Electronic Frontier Foundation over FAA disclosure of certificate-holder information provides a dense but well-researched summary of the law as of January 2012.

The FAA Fact Sheet on Unmanned Aircraft Systems makes their position clear:

The introduction of UASs into the NAS is challenging for the FAA and the aviation community.  UAS proponents have a growing interest in expediting access to the NAS.  There is an increase in the number and scope of UAS flights in an already busy NAS.

The design of many UASs makes them difficult to see and adequate “detect, sense and avoid” technology is years away.  Decisions being made about UAS airworthiness and operational requirements must fully address safety implications of UASs flying in the same airspace as manned aircraft, and perhaps more importantly, aircraft with passengers.

Finally, this piece from the AP’s Joan Lowy gives a good sense of the outlook:

Congress has told the FAA that the agency must allow civilian and military drones to fly in civilian airspace by September 2015. This spring, the FAA is set to take a first step by proposing rules that would allow limited commercial use of small drones for the first time.

[Thanks, Adam, Nikoli, Scott, Andrew, Chris Kean, Alan Dove, and Daniel Kim!]

Pressure builds for civilian drone flights at home


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