Update: Hey, it's for sale! $300 Canadian Kroner!
Makies, the 3D-printed toy company that lets you design your own poseable action doll, has just announced a major price-drop, to £69 (down from £99), just in time for the hols! Makies is based in east London, and ships worldwide.
(Disclosure: I'm extremely proud to be married to Alice Taylor, the founder and CEO of MakieLab)
Five years ago this month, my pal, BB contributor, and IFTF colleague Ariel Waldman created Spacehack, a directory of projects through which anyone can participate in space exploration. It was a very influential endeavor, igniting many people's interest and excitement in space research and how we can all get involved even here on terra firm. Today, Ariel has launched Seahack, a similar site to spur participation in sea exploration! From DIY underwater robots to crowdsourced analysis of deep-sea videos to a project aimed at decoding the language of whales, Seahack is a great way to get your feet wet (sorry) in ocean science even if you're a landlubber like me. Congratulations, Ariel!
The self-described Crazy Russian Hacker of Youtube demonstrates in eye-watering detail a method for tool-free can opening: just grind down the can's rim on a handy block of concrete, then squeeze. The stunt is repeated several times, just to be sure you've absorbed the technique in all its complexity. It's all framed in post-apocalyptic terms, naturally: a kind of Russo-Survivalist Youtube version of Three Men in a Boat.
Liberty United turn guns and bullet shells into handsome rings, bracelets, necklaces, and other jewelry. The source gun's serial number is stamped into each piece. Profits go to reduce gun violence and destroy illegal guns through programs in partner communities.
Mad Men's Vincent Kartheiser hired designer Funn Roberts to create a bed that retracts into the rafters of his compact home when it's not in use. I wish they showed the mechanism in more detail -- I can't tell if it's using counterweights or motors or some other means to make hoisting the bed easier. I once built a bed-frame that hung on ropes from the crossbeams of the warehouse I was renting; it rocked gently, like a hammock, and I loved it. But I never quite figured out how to retract it into the flies when it wasn't in use.
Machines that bend strong steel wire have been an important part of industrial manufacturing for decades. But on Saturday, I saw a $3,000 wire-bending machine the size of a laser printer, and my brain bubbled with excitement over the possibilities for hobbyists and small businesses. The machine, called the DIWire, can take a curve that's been drawn in Adobe Illustrator and "print" it on a length of stiff wire. You could make some awesome Eames-style furniture with one of these machines. NASA is already interested in using it to make antennae. It opens new frontiers for artists and designers, too.
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Joly sez, "Maker navic09 demos a prototype trainable robotic arm, made from 3d printed parts, an Arduino, and Adafruit analog feedback servos. Inspired by the Baxter robot, this arm can be trained to move with your own hands. Once the train button is pressed, you move the arm and gripper as needed while the Arduino stores the positions in EEPROM. After that the arm will replay the motion as needed."
Nick and Tesla are a couple of teenagers who get themselves into trouble and must build MAKE-style projects to save the day. There are two books in the series, aimed at ages 9-12, and they contain a number of fun DIY projects. The publisher, Quirk Books, kindly gave us permission to run a lengthy PDF excerpt from Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab that includes plans for making a compressed-air water rocket.
The forthcoming followup title is called Nick and Tesla's Robot Army Rampage: A Mystery with Hoverbots, Bristle Bots, and Other Robots You Can Build Yourself.