Maker Faire visits Vienna

Maker Faire Vienna Austria LogoI was very exited to hear that the legendary Maker Faire will visit Vienna (see Maker Faire Vienna) and therefore Austria in 2016 for the very first time! Since its very beginning in 2006 Maker Faires all over the world stand for family centric festivals with a strong focus on delivering Do-it-Yourself skills to kids and adults. Its founding Make magazine represents a must-read literature for every tech loving and teaching dad (or mum). Every Maker Faire worldwide is a perfect place to meet fascinating people and their unique projects and to take part in tutorials to learn new skills and to open your mind for new ideas. Personally, I was always fascinated by the Make magazine and its community as it delivers the most positive and creative spirit cross all generations of people with the goal to open the minds to create and inspire new ideas. Make spirit not only covers areas such as electronics, coding, manufacturing but spans a much wider audience to design or art. So i am very curios how the start of the first Maker Faire in Austria will work out, but i am sure we will have a great time on 16. – 17. April 2016 in Vienna!

Submit your Arduino Projects to the Maker Fair in ROME

Maker Faire Rome - The European Edition
Save the date for the European Maker Faire that takes place from 3 to 6 October in ROME, Italy!

Massimo Banzi, one of the inventors of Arduino, is promoting and hosting this cool Make Event in October. It will be the perfect event for meeting the community of DIY activists and Makers all over Europe. The deadline for submitting your own Make projects and creations has been postopened until end of June. Submit your own Arduino projects here.
Maker Faire showcases the amazing work of all kinds and ages of makers—anyone who is embracing the do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) spirit and wants to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience.
Topics for the Maker Call are: 3D Printing, Robot, Education, Design, Fashion, Arduino, Crafts, Science, Digital Fabrication, Green, Transportation, Interaction and Young Makers (under 16);

Silk Screened Circuits on Ceramic Ware

This concept from designers Ami Drach and Dov Ganchrow is called +/- hot plate. PT hit it back in 2009, but it seemed worthwhile to bring it back around, again, in honor of Ceramics Month.

The plates are silkscreened with conductive inks to create circuit traces, in this case simple resistive heating elements arranged in artful patterns. If the traces will hold up to soldering, adding SMT components would be a cool n + 1 move.

“+/-” Silk-screened Electronic Plate – Fashioning Technology

Szymon Klimek’s Miniature Mechanical Creations

By Craig Couden

Photo by Szymon Klimek

Without an everyday reference for a sense of scale, Szymon Klimek’s intricate mechanical creations could easily be mistaken for twice their true size. Made from 0.1 millimeter sheets of brass and bronze, Klimek’s miniature machines dance effortlessly in wine-glass enclosures that measure little more than 4 inches across.

Klimek’s latest creation, Sponge, is a steam engine-like machine named for the latticework of tiny, interconnected brass pieces that expands and contracts as the engine runs. Sitting in a wine glass about a foot tall, a small silicon solar cell powers a concealed electric motor, which drives the 3-inch flywheel. He doesn’t work to a specific scale, but customizes his designs for each glass: the opening of Sponge’s wine glass and the diameter of its flywheel differed by less than a millimeter. CAD programs assist with design, and Klimek, 57, assembles most of the machinery outside of the enclosures, cutting and shaping the pieces by hand. He says the wine glasses lend a bit of elegance to the display, and the spherical shape allows viewers to see the work from any angle. Sealing the top and gluing the machines down with clear resin also protects the delicate pieces from dust and curious fingers.

Living in Poznan, Poland, Klimek entered into the world of small-scale making in 2004 with a miniature steam locomotive and coal wagon, measuring about 3 inches. He’s built close to a hundred handcrafted brass and bronze miniatures, including ornate carriages, early 20th-century roadsters, and yes, even a ship with billowing sails that fits in a wine glass. Since 2008 he’s created nine “active devices.”

Next, Klimek wants to tackle a more challenging material: steel.

Above is an excerpt from MAKE Volume 30.


From the pages of MAKE Volume 30:

MAKE Volume 30Until recently, home automation was gimmicky, finicky, and user-hostile. But today, thanks to a new crop of devices and technology standards, home automation is useful, fun, and maker-friendly. In the special section of MAKE Volume 30, we’ll show you: how to flip any switch in your home with a smartphone, home automation without programming, controlling your HVAC with an Arduino, a webcam security system, and a wall-mounted Notification Alert Generator (NAG) that plays timely reminders as you walk by. Plus, you’ll build a Yakitori Grill, a robust R/C flying-wing airplane, sturdy furnishings from PVC, and more!


Netduino Go Starter Kit

You wanted a Netduino with more speed, flash, and RAM. You wanted a Netduino with more GPIOs, more serial ports, more analog inputs and more PWMs. You wanted an easy to use, plug and play board with no soldering required. You wanted it and now it’s here; The Netduino Go Starter Kit. Available now in the Maker Shed.

The Netduino Go is an open source, plug and play Netduino with 4 times the speed (168MHz), 6 times the code space (384KB) and twice the RAM (100KB+) of the Netduino Plus. The peripherals are virtualized and contain a microchip that works with the mainboard. All you have to do is pick what you need, plug it in, and it’s ready to go.

The Netduino Go Starter Kit is designed to get you up an running quickly. It includes the Netduino Go mainboard, one button module, shield base (beta) module, potentiometer module, RGB LED module, two 5cm Go cables, two 10cm Go Cables, and a 3 foot micro USB cable. It’s like freedom in the form of electrons!

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is This Weekend! June 23rd-24th

Vancouver Makers are congregating for the second ever Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this weekend, June 23rd-24th at the PNE Forum (That’s Vancouver, British Columbia – in Canada). The Vancouver Mini Maker Faire was founded by members of our local hackerspace, Vancouver Hack Space, with the help of eatART and Vancouver Community Lab.

Hosting a mini has been an amazing way for local maker groups to converge and cross-pollinate ideas. In our inaugural year, we had around 80 makers, and close to 3,000 attendees. This year we have over 100 makers, and a much larger venue to accommodate more attendees throughout the weekend. There will be bands, a young makers section, an eco village, and more. If you’re around, come check it out! [via Make]


Makezine: Some Tips on DIY Projects and Waste Disposition

All forms of making, from electronics and crafts to DIY automotive, invariably produce some type of waste product. Not everything can be endlessly upcycled into something new. From exhausted batteries and spoiled paint products, to that unlabeled bottle of mysterious liquid in your basement, the question of what to do next with waste product and liquids in particular (oils, fuel, degreaser, etc.) can be challenging.

All of these products and more fall under the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) column, and thankfully, most municipal governments and counties have facilities to properly handle HHW disposal and treatment (quite often including recycling). So whether you decided to flush your vehicle’s radiator DIY-style, or have spent hydraulic fluid from your homemade flight simulator or submersible, call up your local government or search online for a collection site near you. Likewise ask your nearby automotive store, gas station, or hardware store if they have a collection program in place. You’d be surprised to learn what they accept. When drop-off or pick-up events take place (pictured above), they have the added benefit of spreading awareness and building community.

Some tips about HHW and your DIY projects to consider:

  • Never pour waste down storm drains, as they might connect with nearby rivers or streams.
  • Ask yourself, “Would I dump this on or bury this in my yard?” Probably not.
  • Don’t mix things! A good general rule to follow. Because, well, you never know!
  • Keep liquids in separate, labelled containers.
  • Befriend your local retailers, most of them will help you dispose of spent product properly. (For example I take batteries to a local hardware store, and metals to a nearby machining shop for recycling.)
  • Most importantly, have fun making – then act responsibly with the world around you!

Do you have other pointers or tips to share? Leave a comment below.

This post is brought to you by the new OE Fine Wire Spark Plug line from Bosch.

Image courtesy armyenvironmental

Makey Awards 2012 Nominee 01: Altoids Tin, Most Hackable Gadget

The suggestions for nominees in the 2012 MAKE Magazine Industry Maker Awards are staring to come in. We have some fine candidates so far. One surprise nominee that we received from several people was Altoids, for their mint tins which have become something of their own category of project box in hobby electronics. We giggled at the first suggestion and then took it more seriously when we got the second. Why not? Where would the MintyBoost or our own Mintronics line of products be without the inspiration of the ubiquitous Altoids mint tin?

Here’s the “Story of Altoids,” as told on the paper liner that comes in come of their mint tins:

Altoids, the Original Celebrated Curiously Strong Mints, were first produced in England at the turn of the 19th century during the reign of King George III. Smith & Co. (est. 1780), the small London firm that developed the original “curiously strong” recipe, later became part of Callard & Bowser, a prestigious English confectioner founded in 1837.

Altoids peppermints are specially formulated peppermint lozenges many times stronger than ordinary mints. Their curious strength comes from the more than generous use of real peppermint oil, as prescribed in the original recipe developed by Smith & Co. at the turn of the 19th century.

Today, all Altoids varieties including: Peppermint, wintergreen, Spearmint, Liquorice, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Creme de Menthe are made to the same exacting standards as the original Altoids recipe developed more than 200 years ago.

Craig Smith’s crystal radio in an Altoids tin

In the hacker/maker realm, mint tins have found a home as a handy, sturdy small project box and storage container. In ham radio, they’re used for tiny low-power transmitters, and in hobby stereo, as cases for amps. Other uses include pinhole cameras, pocket zen gardens, desktop trebuchet, first aid and field repair kits, and geocaching stash boxes. 1001 geeky uses! They’ve become an iconic feature of the maker/hacker scene, so we though they were worthy of our acknowledgement.

The MAKE Magazine Industry Maker Awards (aka The Makeys) is our annual award series and ceremony honoring mainstream companies that serve the interests of makers and the maker movement. Between now and World Maker Faire (NYC, Sept 29-30) we’ll be nominating and profiling companies in a series of posts. Then our readers will vote on their favorites and they’ll receive Makey Awards at a glamorous ceremony (OK, a ceremony) at the Faire. See the Makeys landing page for more info, the four nomination categories, and a list of last year’s finalists and winners. And please share your potential nominee ideas in the comments below. Remember, this is for mainstream commercial companies who, in some way(s), serve or embody the maker spirit. We want this program to hold them up and celebrate them to encourage them and others to better serve our interests.


Altoids tin projects on MAKE

New Project Site for Young Makers

The recently-launched attracted some 3,000 kids in its first week and a half online, including youngsters from Asia, Europe, and South America. Using their parent’s email address to register, any kid can upload digital photos of their handiwork to the site and share the URL of their page with whomever they like.

Isaiah Saxon, chief creative officer of the DIY Co., the business that owns the site, said the first few thousand projects posted on it include “everything from birdhouses to bows & arrows to block forts to amazing paintings to bike jumps.”

Working out of a former laundromat in San Francisco’s Mission district, the headquarters has three long tables made from slabs of Douglas fir on metal frames welded by chief technical officer Andrew Sliwinski, a co-founder of the hackerspace Omni Corp Detroit. The headquarters also has a makerspace for its maker-in-chief, who is identified on the site only as Shawn. The staff of 10 uses an old closet that has been transformed into a treehouse-like conference room for meetings. The “treehouse” was built by Rob Wilson, a Bay Area web wiz who lives in a treehouse that is 24 feet off the ground when he visits Trout Gulch, a homestead devoted to the DIY ethic outside Santa Cruz, California.

“Our goal is to create a youth organization and not a profiteering company,” Saxon stresses. “But we feel that the most sustainable way to build something that reaches a lot of people, is to do it as a business and not be limited by donations and the structure of a non-profit.”

The website intends to roll out some sort of premium service in the near future that will require a modest monthly subscription. Saxon says won’t have advertising, nor will it be collecting or selling data on its members.

Kids can upload pictures of their projects through the site or an app that works on later model iOS devices. After registering with the site and having mom or dad respond to an email giving permission, young makers are advised that the “bad things to share” are “your cat, your face, stuff you didn’t make.” They can make up their own nickname or click on a nickname generator to create one for them. Kids also need to select an animal avatar to represent themselves online. They can be a raccoon, fox, bear, bison, hawk, salamander, sparrow, moose, bobcat, coyote, owl, or turtle. The avatars are all characters in an animated film with a DIY theme that Saxon and his Encyclopedia Pictura brethren have in development.

At the moment the only form of feedback for kids who display their projects on the site are four virtual stickers, all of which express something positive. But eventually, there will be a text-based comment system between family and kids.

“What we don’t want to do is expose kids to the Internet culture of snarky feedback,” explains Saxon. “We don’t want this to be a YouTube-type community where people are posting their hopes and dreams to the Internet and other people are shooting them down. We want to create a respectful community that encourages kids.”

When Saxon said primarily thinks of itself as a youth organization, I asked him if that might include the possibility of kids who like to make stuff meeting up in person. He replied: “Eventually it’s logical that people will want to meet other makers in their area. We know that if we succeed on other fronts that people will want to gather. And we will be a platform to help that happen.”