Happy Yuri’s Night!

Yuri’s Night is an international celebration of the achievement of human spaceflight, named after Yuri Gagarin and in celebration of the 51st anniversary of his flight. Yay Yuri!

Adam Savage To Speak at Maker Faire Bay Area!

photo by madichan

The Call for Makers for Maker Faire Bay Area has closed and acceptance letters have been sent out. This is the really exciting part of the production, when the team begins to get a bird’s eye view of the event, and some of the programming starts to fall in place. On that note, we’re really excited to announce that MythBusters host and all-around maker extraordinaire Adam Savage will be returning to Maker Faire Bay Area this year for a talk on Sunday, May 20th. He’ll be presenting starting at 11AM, and if his talk, “Problem Solving: How I Do It” from 2010, or his hour-long talk on getting inspired from 2011 are any indication, it will be a packed house and a memorable experience. Plan to arrive early that day!

The Greatest “Show & Tell” on Earth opens in just 36 days! Early-Bird tickets are available here for a limited time.

Adam Savage on NewsHour, Discussing Maker Movement
Adam Savage talking on the importance of failure

Want to Be a “Resident Goodnik?”

My old friend and cohort Nate Heasley sent me this announcement for a cool summer opportunity available through his non-profit org, Goodnik:

NY’s School of Visual Arts has a new “maker” MFA program starting in the fall called Products of Design. Before the program officially starts, they’ve decided to open their space this summer to create a coworking community of innovative designers. As part of that program, and in partnership with, they are taking on one designer to be named the Resident Goodnik – someone who is designing a product that will have a tangibly positive impact on the world. The Residency spot includes a designer-friendly work desk in a community of makers, and it also comes with access to their new Visible Futures Lab, which has all kinds of cool maker toys like a laser cutter, 3D printer, woodshop, electronics lab. Applications are now being accepted at

Playing With UV-Cured Resin

NYC Resistor members recently spent an evening playing around with resin:

For today’s #hackfriday at NYC Resistor a bunch of us were inspired by Junior and ScribbleJ‘s 3D printing projects and experimented with UV curing resin using a DLP projector.

We had some JMP UV stamp resin, although it didn’t cure solid with the normal projected image in our test. Even with thirty minutes of exposure, the resin was unchanged in viscosity.

As a next step, we removed the DLP’s mercury arc lamp and drove it positioned just a few cm directly over the resin.

With the interlock defeated and proper safety precautions, the result was a very quickly cured puck of resin. Which is good news, since it means that there is enough light intensity around 380 nm.

[photos by Trammell Hudson and William Ward]

Honor the Exotic Pliers

Wire strippers?

On Brookelynn Morris’ video instructions for our zippy new Supercap Racer kit, YouTube user hevyAccel makes a thoughtful comment:

You have to be more PC! They aren’t wire strippers! They are “exotic pliers!”

Thank you, hevyAccel — you are absolutely right. I am using the term “exotic pliers” from now on!

(Check out the kit– these things are fun!)

The Concrete Lathe Project

The origin of mechanical precision is a classic chicken-and-egg problem: If you need a precision machine tool to make a precision machine tool, where do precision machine tools come from, in the first place? There’s the historical question—how did human beings go from sticks and stones to diamond-turning optical lathes capable of millionth-inch precision? And there’s the slightly humbler, more practical version of the same problem—if I don’t have access to a precision machine tool, for whatever reasons, how do I go about making one?

Like maker patron saint Dave Gingery, septuagenerian Palestine, Texas, resident Pat Delany has a passion for that practical problem. Inspired by a WWI-era improvement in the expedient manufacture of machine tools by Lucien Ingraham Yeomans, Pat has been working since 2002 to develop a metalworking lathe design that uses concrete parts cast in wooden molds to achieve high precision at a rock-bottom price. Like $100-$200. Generally, the method involves casting the bed with slightly oversize voids to mount the ways and other parts requiring precision alignment. The parts are then carefully aligned using screws or shims, and fixed in place by pouring low-melting type metal into the extra space.

Pat’s current design lives on Make: Projects, and you can check it out at the link below. [Thanks, Pat!]

The Multimachine – $150, 12″ Swing, Metal Lathe/Mill/Drill


Open Source Hardware Association Announced!


Open Source Hardware Association.

The Open Source Hardware Association is Coming Soon! It will be a non-profit organization (status pending) working to spread the love of open source hardware. We’re working out details, and as soon as we know, you’ll know! Check back at for upcoming news.

And here’s a note from Windell, one of the OSHWA board members.

OSHWA’s first project is a survey, “to better understand the Open Source Hardware community.” Catarina Mota has lead this project and created a survey along with David Mellis and John De Cristofaro. The aggregate and anonymous results will be made publicly available in May. If you’re involved with the OSHW community, we’d invite you to take the survey.

Exciting news and another milestone for open-source hardware!

Soapbox: The {Unspoken} Rules of Open Source Hardware.

Quick and Easy Drawbot For Kids

Artist Lorenzo Bravi ran a drawbot class for kids as part of the Minimondi Festival in Parma, Italy. His design uses a battery powered milk frother with pens velcroed to it, making some lovely Spirograph-esque art.

The Most Beautiful Homemade Device I’ve Ever Seen

I covered British electronics hobbyist Rupert Hirst’s lovely freeform headphone amp back in December, when it was still “just” a skeletonized circuit. Now he’s finished up by casting the meticulously-constructed electronics in clear resin, with equally meticulous care. He built a custom mold from 1.5mm cardstock, carefully sealed the jacks against resin infiltration, and mounted the wire frame inside the mold. After pouring the resin and allowing it to cure, he squared up the block on a belt sander, chamfered the edges with a router, and finally polished everything up with wet/dry sandpaper and Brasso. Rupert’s aesthetic—doing relatively simple things with extraordinary attention to detail—is always inspirational to me.

Crystal cMoy Freeform Headphone Amp

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