Watch Adam Savage get zapped by electricity

A fun video from 2011 Maker Faire. Read the rest

Thinking back on the special magic of Make: and Maker Faire

As you may have heard by now, news began to break Friday night that Maker Media, home to Make: magazine, Maker Faire, and Maker Shed, was folding up their big top and calling it quits (though founder Dale Dougherty has vowed to attempt a resurrection in some form). As the sad news began to thread its way through social media, the sense of shock, grief, and confusion was palpable. As when a beloved artist, entertainer, or other famous figure dies, people began posting pictures of themselves with the deceased, sharing peak experiences at Maker Faire, and sharing stories of the impact that Make:, Maker Faire, and the maker movement has had on their lives. Many of these have been quite inspiring and moving.

As someone who worked with or at Make: since its inception in 2005, my inboxes began filling up with people asking me if I was OK, if they could do anything to help (bring over cake and whiskey?), and they too began pouring out their feelings to me. Several people shared stories on social media and asked me to share some of mine. This made me immediately think of an essay I wrote for my 2014 memoir, Borg Like Me. Called "Make vs. The Blob," in it, I attempted to capture some of the magic and inspired sense of wonder I experienced while working at Maker Media and attending nearly all of the Bay Area, New York, and the two Austin Maker Faires. As part of that piece, I shared three particularly enchanting tableaux from the 2007 Austin Maker Faire. Read the rest

LED eyelashes coming to a dance floor near you went to the Maker Faire in the East Bay, where they found Tien Pham sporting his latest creation: F.Lashes, interactive LED false eyelashes. Read the rest

Adam Savage announces the White House's upcoming National Week of Making

In a new video, Adam Savage celebrates the upcoming National Week of Making that the White House is hosting again this year. To kick off his week in the sort of unique way that only Adam Savage can, he has been asking his social media followers to tag pictures of their personal workspaces, the happy places where they go to create something from nothing.

In the video above, he shows off a number of these wonderfully diverse shops (see a few below) and talks passionately about the joys of making and how we should all yield to the hands-on imperative.

The National Week of Making kicks off on Friday and includes the second annual National Maker Faire, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the UDC-Van Ness campus in the District of Columbia. This is one of Maker Media's full-blown flagship events, joining the long-running Maker Faire Bay Area and World Maker Faire in New York. Unlike those events, the National Maker Faire is free to the public.

You can find out more about the National Week of Making and how to get involved on the event's official website.

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Timelapse assembly of giant, crowdsourced, 3D printed Ben Franklin

Todd from We the Builders writes, "100 people worldwide 3D printed pieces for this three foot tall sculpture of the Houdon bust of Benjamin Franklin.; all 200 pieces were mailed to Baltimore where they were assembled at the Baltimore Node Hackerspace." Read the rest

White House Maker Faire taking place in 2014

BB pal Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at the White House, sends word of the first White House Maker Faire taking place later this year. From the White House Blog:

Inspired by “Joey Marshmallow” and the millions of citizen-makers driving the next era of American innovation, we are thrilled to announce plans to host the first-ever White House Maker Faire later this year. We will release more details on the event soon, but it will be an opportunity to highlight both the remarkable stories of Makers like Joey and commitments by leading organizations to help more students and entrepreneurs get involved in making things.

Meanwhile, you can get involved by sending pictures or videos of your creations or a description of how you are working to advance the maker movement to, or on Twitter using the hashtag #IMadeThis. Take Joey’s advice – don’t be bored, make something. Maybe you, like Joey, can take your making all the way to The White House.

"Announcing the First White House Maker Faire"

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Bruce Sterling at Maker Faire Rome: Desirable, Buildable, Profitable

Last week I was in Italy for the first Maker Faire Rome. (You can see my photo galleries of the event here and here.) The Faire kicked off on Thursday with a series of presentations. One of my favorites was given by science fiction writer and design critic Bruce Sterling. He gave a slideshow about his Venn diagram of things that are desirable, profitable, and buildable.

For instance, things that are profitable, but not desirable or buildable, include speculation, embezzlement, frauds, hoarding, theft, vaporware, and hoaxes. Things that are desirable, but not buildable or profitable, include fantasies, speculations, the magical, and the mythical. Things that are buildable, but neither profitable nor desirable, include trash, pollution, and entropy. Things that are buildable and profitable but not desirable include niche products, hobby gear, long tail objects, weaponry, and criminal hardware. All in all, there were seven categories of products that Sterling identified, and gave examples of, in his slideshow.

An improvised explosive device (IED) is buildable and profitable, but not desirable (at least not by anyone other than the people making and using them) Read the rest

Maker Faire Rome: Highlights from Day 1

Greetings from rainy Roma, where I'm at Maker Faire: The European Edition for a 4-day celebration of innovation, education, and unbridled enthusiasm for creativity. Today I visited about 1/3 of the over 200 exhibits on display, and hope to blaze through the rest tomorrow before I return home.

Highlights so far have included Fritzing's introductory Arduino kit, a robot that follows you when you go shopping and carries your stuff, Nicolas Huchet's handmade hand (above left), Kulptfunzel's modded Swiss Army Flashlight, and seeing my friends Julie Watai (above) and Francesco Fondi.

You can see photos and videos with more information on my Instagram feed. Dale Dougherty, MAKE's founder and publisher has even more photos. Read the rest

Kids' toy hacking workshop at Toronto Maker Faire

Andy (from Toronto's excellent Makerkids) sez, "Toronto's Mini Maker Faire is back on after a 2 year gap! MakerKids is very excited to be a part of it, and we're running Toy Hacking all weekend and a Robot Battle Arena on Sunday. Bring your own battle robot, or customize one of ours on site! There are all kinds of other maker activities and projects on display at the Faire, come check it out!" Read the rest

Steampunk armada made from recycled plastic bottles

IZ Reloaded sez, "Spotted at Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013! Using discarded plastic bottles, bits of old toys, disassembled computers and other recycled unwanted items, David Liew of the Sleeping Iron foundry has created an armada of steampunk inspired spaceships known as the Bottle Fleet. Each model has been sculpted and painted to the level similar to that of movie production models and miniatures." Read the rest

3D printing: with 2D; with holograms; and all-in-one 3D scanning

Here's a video from last week's Maker Faire showcasing technologies for printing out 3D-ish objects using 2D printers: ModelBox turns a 3D model into a series of 2D images you print on acetate and set into a frame to cheaply and quickly prototype/simulate the 3D object; Zebra Images turns 3D models into holograms; and Lynx Laboratories demos its all-in-one 3D scanner.

3D Printing on a 2D printer?! - Maker Faire 2013

(Thanks, Francis!) Read the rest

Face morphing mirror at Maker Faire 2013

One of my favorite exhibits at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013 (held last weekend) was Alex Andre's Metamorphosis Project. It's a six-foot-diameter spinning disc with a hand crank. The disc is made of clear glass and mirrors in alternating quadrants. You stand on one side and line up your nose with a person standing on the other side. As the disc spins, you see a rapidly flickering image of your reflection and the other person's face. The effect was hallucinatory - I not only saw my face merge with the other person's face, but I also saw faces pop in and out that looked nothing like either of our faces. These videos give you just a small taste of the trippiness. I hope you get a chance to experience it yourself one day. Read the rest

Modded Power Wheels racing

MAKE senior editor Goli Mohammadi interviewed Jim Burke, organizer of the Power Racing Series, an event where adults soup-up battery-operated Power Wheels cars and race them on a track, often wearing costumes. If you are coming to Maker Faire New York later this month, you can see these wacky races first-hand.

Power Racing Series Coming to Maker Faire New York Read the rest

MAKE founder Dale Dougherty profiled on CNN

[Video Link] MAKE founder Dale Dougherty was profiled on a recent episode of CNN's The Next List, hosted by Sanjay Gupta.

Dale Dougherty is the founder of MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire. He believes in a simple idea: that we all have potential to be makers. He is passionate about creating a generation who are creative, innovative, curious, and making things to improve our world.

See part 2 Read the rest

Adam Savage's Maker Faire 2012 Talk: Why We Make

[Video Link] It was so great to see Adam Savage at Maker Faire again this year. Thousands of people crammed into the the giant Fiesta Hall for Adam's presentation.

Adam started by talking about his fedora, which is a replica of the one Harrison Ford wore in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. He explained that the hat was made by a guy named Marc Kitter. Unable to find an accurate Indiana Jones fedora, Kitter taught himself millenary, so he could make one for himself.

After Kitter got good at hat making, he started his own company, the Adventurebilt Hat Company, which makes 40 to 50 pure beaver felt fedoras per year for $650 each. They are so good that Harrison Ford wears an Adventurebilt in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I wonder how many extra orders Kitter got as a result of Adam's talk? Read the rest

The stunning packaging design for Arduino products

One the highlights of Maker Faire for me was meeting Massimo Banzi, the co-founder of the Arduino project. He's very friendly and we had a nice time talking about design. I also enjoyed meeting Luisa Castiglioni, his girlfriend. She's a writer for a number of design magazines, including Domus. (Here's an article she wrote for Domus about makers in the Italian design world.)

Massimo brought with him to Maker Faire samples of the new packaging for Arduino's line of products, and they are beautiful. There were designed by Todo studio, which is run by Giorgio Olivero. Massimo was Giorgio's professor at the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy.

Take a look at Todo's photo gallery of Arduino packaging. Read the rest

Attract potential romantic partners with these animated LED glasses

[Video Link] I saw these glasses in action at the Maker Faire 2012 wrap dinner. The gents from macetech LLC who were wearing them were the life of the party.

We at macetech LLC are proud of our existence as an intra-spacetime provider of technology. Our goal is to insert technological developments into the time periods where they should exist, rather than where they were initially developed. The LED matrix shades project was successfully inserted into 1981 at considerable risk.

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