Here's an updated list of initiatives to 3D-print masks and face shields for coronavirus health care workers

Forbes senior contributor, TJ McCue, has been keeping an updated list of various corporate and maker/makerspace initiatives to 3D print filter masks and face shields for healthcare workers. Read the rest

Russian gearheads make the quietest car exhaust using 9 mufflers

The Russian gearheads of Garage 54 outfitted a car with nine mufflers to almost entirely dampen the exhaust system. While you may not hear this Max Max mobile coming, it's still hard to miss.

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Vacuum and hand dryer maker Dyson designed a new ventilator for COVID-19 patients

British inventor James Dyson announced that his company has spent the last week designing a new ventilator for COVID-19 patients and will ship 10,000 of them early next month to support the UK's National Health Service. He's also donating 5,000 more of them to international initiatives. From CNN:

Dyson said the company had designed and built an entirely new ventilator, called the "CoVent," since he received a call 10 days ago from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.,P"This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume," Dyson added, saying that the new ventilator has been designed to "address the specific needs" of coronavirus patients....

"The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time," he added. "The race is now on to get it into production."

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Family Maker Camp 2020 is starting

Make is kicking off Family Maker Camp this week, and the timing couldn't be better for this free, at-home guided week of fun activities that families can enjoy together.

Dale Dougherty, founder of Make, says:

Family Maker Camp encourages making and hands-on learning at home. Making is fun and engaging for kids as well as adults.

What is making? It can be many things and use all kinds of materials and tools. Making is usually defined as a project shaped by your ideas and interests. Making is as much about the process of taking an idea and bringing it to life. Making integrates science and technology as well as arts and crafts.

Family Maker Camp provides inspiration, guidance and an opportunity to share what you do with others online. We have many projects that will help you get started and continue to develop new skills and a maker mindset.

Most importantly, Family Maker Camp will connect you with a community of makers of all ages who have a broad range of interests and skills. We will introduce you to makers online and have them talk about their projects and their process.

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Check out Money Mark's fantastic daily musical experiments!

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You don’t wanna miss *tomorrow’s post* it’ll be good. But for now this experimental piece inspired by John Cage. Been washing my hands so much in the basin—made me think of Water Music. My classic CR-78 and metal meets water. Our world, our habitat is a giant experiment! In geological time—-we’ve been here for the tiniest fraction. C’mon, let’s make it good. Everybody In. March 17,2020 #isolationjams

A post shared by Money Mark (@moneymarkofficial) on Mar 17, 2020 at 3:45pm PDT

My pal Money Mark, longtime key(board) collaborator with the Beastie Boys, is one of the most creative and inspiring music makers I've ever met. Since California's shelter-in-place order began, he's been sharing daily "Isolation Jams" on Instagram! The truly "experimental" music brings me great joy. See more below and @MoneyMarkOfficial. Here's what Mark told me:

Making Isolation jams is a daily meditation. I call them 'Song Poems’ or ‘Sound Poems,' an exercise I’ve kept for years. Only now, I realize, documenting them and posting the audio/video is helping others. Routine is power like the sun rising and setting.

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Isolation jams number 9. Feedback studies I did in the 90’s spawned over a dozen pieces inspired by #johncage ...@realkidkoala Kid Koala and I toured the world together and I would open the show by walking thru the crowd with a boom box and microphone; taped on the back, a small drum machine and an echo pedal. Jimi Hendrix made it popular and I thought I’d take it to the next level.

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Join the Mask Force, help manufacture DIY emergency PPE supplies

The ever-clever and resourceful Danielle Baskin has created a site for the online coordination and distribution of DIY-produced filter masks, face shields and other PPE (personal protective equipment).

In times of emergency, the CDC allows production for crisis capacity scenarios. Homemade supplies are an emergency supply for overwhelmed hospitals and we have to prepare right now for it. While factory capacity is limited, we are building a distributed factory of crafters, DIYers, and organizers across the country. Here's what we need to focus on first: Surgical masks Gowns Face shields

Note: Some hospitals will not accept DIY PPE supplies.

Join the Mask Force here. Read the rest

Here's something fun and productive to do with the kids: Make: launches annual Maker Camp

Maker Camp, Make:’s annual virtual camp for kids has launched for 2020. Make: Community staffer, Keith Hammond writes:

Cooped up with the kids like I am? Maker Camp 2020 is now live! Every kid can join because Maker Camp is online, and it’s free. Since 2012 over a million campers have connected through Maker Camp, learned to make stuff, and shared their experiences with other campers. As you build and make, share your pictures on social media with the hashtag #makeathome and they’ll appear on our site!

The projects you’ll find at Maker Camp have been researched, tested, built, and thoroughly documented so we’re absolutely sure you can replicate them at home. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year we’ve focused on projects you can do with what you might have on-hand, already in your home. We’re sure there’s something there for you!

Find out how to get started on the Maker Camp landing page. Read the rest

Italian hospital needed an $11K part for its ventilators, volunteers 3D printed them at $1 each, original manufacturer threatened to sue

TechDirt has shared this heartwarming little tale in the face of a global pandemic. A hospital in Bescia needed a special valve for a ventilator which costs US$11,000. Even at that jaw-dropping price, the manufacturer was still unable to supply the critical part (due to global demand). So, the hospital tracked down someone with 3D printing experience and asked him to try and 3D print the part. Then things got shitty.

...the original manufacturer ... refused to share the relevant 3D file with Fracassi to help him print the valve. It even went so far as to threaten him for patent infringement if he tried to do so on his own. Since lives were at stake, he went ahead anyway, creating the 3D file from scratch. According to the Metro article, he produced an initial batch of ten, and then 100 more, all for free. Fracassi admits that his 3D-printed versions might not be very durable or re-usable. But when it's possible to make replacements so cheaply -- each 3D-printed part costs just one euro, or roughly a dollar -- that isn't a problem. At least it wouldn't be, except for that threat of legal action, which is also why Fracassi doesn't dare share his 3D file with other hospitals, despite their desperate need for these valves.

As one commenter points out, there may be legit reasons why 3D printing a part may not be safe, not tested, and there may be a reason why the part was so expensive to begin with. Read the rest

FB group forms to open-source development of coronavirus-related medical hardware

A group has been formed on Facebook to help facilitate the open-source development of medical hardware (such as ventilators, filter masks, non-contact door openers, etc) to help fight the global coronavirus pandemic.

Here's the statement on their page:

COVID19 is currently spreading exponentially, in a mostly unchecked fashion, throughout the world. Infection doubling rates are as high as 2-3 days. Under simplistic models, such unchecked growth means the disease infects most of the world in months. Current statistics indicate that 15-20% of people who get it require hospitalization for respiratory failure for multiple weeks, and often need intense healthcare from medical professionals who are at severe risk treating these highly infectious patients. If infections proceed at their current pace across the globe, we will not have enough supplies like ventilators, respirators, PPE, etc. to meet demand.

This group is being formed to evaluate, design, validate, and source the fabrication of open source emergency medical supplies around the world, given a variety of local supply conditions.

This is an example of the sorts of projects being shared and discussed there:

And this, a 3D printable device for opening door handles without touching them.

Here is the link if you have something to contribute and want to join.

[H/t Goli Mohammadi]

Image: YouTube screengrab Read the rest

Review of Raspberry Pi's 7-inch touchscreen display

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently introduced a low-cost  7-inch touchscreen display for the Pi (compatible with all models expect the Pi 1). It's a great display for retro-games and other projects. Here's a quick review from ETA Prime. Read the rest

DIY plywood chair with book storage

Laura Kampf made this cool looking plywood chair with a storage space for books. She says she'll upload plans for making one of your own soon.

If you like videos of people making things, I highly recommend Laura's YouTube channel. She makes a new thing every week, such as a cargo bike, a bike trailer for her dog, and a solar food dehydrator. I don't know how she does it!

Image: YouTube Read the rest

HackSpace magazine lowers its US print subscription price

In case you don't know, HackSpace is a terrific monthly maker magazine from the U.K. Published by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, HackSpace includes articles by bunnie huang, Andrew Lewis, Marc de Vinck, Sophy Wong, Bob Knetzger, and many other authors you many recognize from the pages of Make: magazine and other domains of the maker movement. I contribute a monthly tips and tutorials column.

One of the great benefits to HackSpace is that it has always been a free PDF for those who can't afford the high (over $100/year) international subscription rate. Well, good news, everyone! You can now get HackSpace for $60 a year (12 issues) and your sub comes with an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express (worth $25). Read the rest

DIY electromechanical sequin clock inspired by the popular kids t-shirts

My daughter loves the flip sequin shirts that are all the rage for kids these days. Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi's daughter digs them too and she inspired his fantastic Sequino clock that "writes and rewrites" the time by flipping the sequins. Kalsi posted his build notes over at Hackaday.

Sequino: A Clock Which Rewrites Time Again and Again

Read the rest

Cool retro console lets you play Conway's Game of Life

Love Hultén, who makes retrofuturistic game consoles, built this thing called an EvoBoxx, which lets you play mathematician John Horton Conway's Game of Life, a cellular automaton he devised in 1970. "The game is a zero-player game," writes Hultén, "meaning that its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. One interacts with the Game of Life by creating an initial configuration and observing how it evolves, or, for advanced players, by creating patterns with particular properties."

If you don't have an EvoBoxx, you can play The Game of Life here.

Image: Love Hultén Read the rest

Man hacks his prosthetic arm to control music synthesizer with his thoughts

Bertolt Meyer wears a myoelectric prosthetic arm and hand controlled by electrodes attached to his residual limb that pick up impulses generated when he consciously contracts that muscle. Those impulses are then translated into control signals for the prosthetic hand. An electronic musician, Meyer had the idea to swap out the prosthetic hand for a DIY controller for his modular synthesizers so he can play music just by thinking about it. This is the SynLimb. Meyer writes:

Together with Chrisi from KOMA Elektronik and my husband Daniel, I am in the process of building a device (the "SynLimb") that attaches to my arm prosthesis instead of the prosthetic hand. The SynLimb converts the electrode signals that my prosthesis picks up from my residual limb into control voltages (CV) for controlling my modular synthesizer. The SynLimb thus allows me to plug my prosthesis directly into my snythesizer so that I can control its parameters with the signals from my body that normally control the hand. For me, this feels like controlling the synth with my thoughts.

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Seven top tips from makers so far this year

Here are seven of my favorite DIY/maker tips published this year in my weekly newsletter, Gareth's Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales.

Etching Metal with a 9v Battery Etching is easier than you think. Leah of See Jane Drill demonstrates how easy it is to etch a metal surface using little more than a 9v battery and wires, vinegar, salt, and Q-tips.

Finding the Thickness of a Wire Emory Kimbrough was one of the winners of my Tips book drawing in December. I asked contestants for one great tip. Emory sent me ten. And then, a few days later, he sent me another five – all publication-worthy. I’m excited to share them. Look for more Emory tips in the coming months. Here’s the first one:

If you need to find the thickness of a wire but don’t have a micrometer or calipers, wrap the wire around a dowel many times in a tight helix leaving no gaps between the coils. Now, just measure the width of, say, thirty coils with an ordinary ruler and divide by thirty. The more coils you wind, the more accurate your measurement. And even if you do use top-quality digital calipers, it’s even more accurate if you use this wind-and-divide method than if you measure a single thickness.

Organize Cables in Dollar Store Pencil Cases The column I’m currently working on for HackSpace magazine will cover workshop storage and organizing. As part of my research, I asked for relevant storage ideas on my Facebook page. My friend Jake Hildebrandt shared this idea. Read the rest

Father knitted a data viz blanket of his infant's sleep patterns

Seung Lee double knit this blanket based on data about his son's sleep patterns during his first year of life.

"Each stitch represents 6 minutes of time spent awake or asleep," Lee tweeted.

The blanket is 42" x 45," contains approximately 185,000 stitches and took around 300 hours to make. From Twitter:

The original plan was to crochet the entire blanket but I switched to double knitting because the data was much more clearly visualized and the color changes (of which there were literally thousands) were significantly easier..

The sleep data was collected with the BabyConnect app which lets you export to CSV. The CSVs were filtered and converted into JSON (using Google Apps Script and Python) which could then be used for visualization and tracking...

I built a tool in HTML/JavaScript so I could position stitch markers for the color changes and track overall progress. I made it browser based so I could pull it up on any device wherever I was...

(via Kottke) Read the rest

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