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.
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 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!]
And here’s a note from Windell, one of the OSHWA board members.
Exciting news and another milestone for open-source hardware!
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.
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.
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