Also, Crashspace has a group on instructables. Go see what we’re all up to lately.
If you haven’t gathered, Crashspace is my hackerspace home, and the signs on the room doors were in dire need of update. (“Dante cleaned Shop One! Yay, Dante! Wait, which one is that?”) There were signs, but they were subtle printings on paper, which no one ever looked at.
So I made some new signs that are tool-specific to each room. Lasercut acrylic for Shop One, CNC router for Shop Two, and 3d printed for the Library. As I am wont to do, I made some tweaks in Illustrator of Peralta (one of my favorite fonts), and then translated it for the three different tools. Note: I did a little cleanup on the Shop Two sign, this picture shows it fresh off the router.
Now if you don’t know which room is which, you’ll be directed to the big, obvious, lovely signs on the doors.
I’ve done a lot of instructables lately. Last week was the end of their Makerspace competition, which had a lot of fabulous entries, and our very own CRASHspace won with my Hexachord instructable. Woohoo! My Light-up Hobbit Papercut Bookmark also won second prize in the papercraft contest.
Which is not to say that I haven’t been creating physical things as well. The CNC router is just too much fun to leave alone, and I’ve made a couple wood signs, including this in-progress one of one of my favorite quotes from Steal Like an Artist. More pictures when it’s done.
We’ve also been using a lot of T-Glase filament in the Bukito 3D printer, which is transparent(ish) and awesome for things like hanging air plant terrariums. Here’s the STL of the terrarium I designed in the picture above (where the clear filament looks more like silver). Oh, how I’d love to play with a resin printer.
This spring break and summer, I’ll be running the reDiscover Center’s Tinkering Camps, for which we have all kinds of fun plans, and starting this coming Saturday, February 7th, I’ll be doing Tinkering Studio afternoons as well. I am super excited about these upcoming events!
Crashspace has been hosting a number of Instructables Build Nights lately, in which we’re sent a package of new tools or technologies to play with and use for making tutorials for the Instructables site. They get advertising and a greater project presence online, we get to host free events with the latest stuff. It’s fun.
For November, we did a Build Night using the new(ish) Spark.io technology, including Spark Cores and their not-currently-available Internet Buttons. The basic gist is that they’re wifi-enabled microcontrollers that hook up to their cloud and let you do “Internet of Things” projects. Think toaster that prints the weather forecast on your breakfast. As it’s a fairly new product, there are still glitches, so it was a bit of a slog to get them working. But that means that we’ve put together more detailed instructions for starting out.
I am systematically attacking all of the tools and media available at Crashspace, in my perennial quest for world domination generalist maker skills. For the last few months I’ve been buried largely in the 3d printers and 3d modeling software. For many reasons, I’ve focused largely on Autodesk’s 123D Design (and a bit of Blender), and most of the things I print are my own designs. I like the mix of virtual and physical, and I like spending time with my beloved calipers.
In any case, I posted an instructable for a couple 3d printed diffusers I designed and printed for the Spark.io Build Night. They were a hit. The instructable shows how to make the model that I did, but the real aim is to show how to design a case/diffuser for a different device.
Another recent project is creation of a hybrid car badge for the limited release Rav4 Toyota/Tesla collaboration. The modeling stage is done, it’s been printed, acetone vapor bathed, and made smooth with a sandable primer, and I’m currently in the middle of an education on molding and chrome plating.
Soon, I’ll be posting a new tutorial for a Chibitronics Papercut Bookmark that I made for my dad for Christmas.
Hey folks! If you recall, a while back I was involved in a flipbook gallery show. (Here’s a video of my contribution – Ms. Beatrice Howard) Turns out, the FlipBooKit folks are doing another Kickstarter for a new, more affordable release of their miniature movie machine! It funded in 17 hours. Seventeen. These things are that cool. It runs until December 2nd, and, as of this writing, there are still some early bird perks available. Consider this a recommendation. Go now!
I’ve posted another Instructable, this one for how to make poetry that lights up, using conductive paint and LEDs.
This is a project I came up with last year at the Exploratory to accompany a Bare Conductive paint event. It’s fun to make ridiculous filler words. Why, of course, I carry your fish in my shoe! Why would you question that?
Tinkering is an activity, a skill, a way of life. It has so much value when it’s open-ended. A big part of its value for adults is that it requires letting go of the “I’m not creative, I need discrete instructions” mindset. Something for adults to consider is that children can do it, and they don’t have the slightest doubt that they can. Adults, you were once children, it was once your job to tinker. You’ve only forgotten that you can.
Hmm, I wonder what this does.
Tinkering can also be a more intentional process. That’s where prototyping lives, between making and tinkering.
I have a standard toolkit for tinkering. It’s the set of materials I pull out when I want to tinker with an idea or do a super quick prototype for a specific project. It’s also the basic set I bring along to tinkering classes and events with kids. Other folks (particularly those in specialized fields) might use different items, some might use more expensive things. When I’m playing, I like to not have to worry about the cost or availability of my materials. It’s okay if I break something, or waste a bunch in a “failed” attempt (though, there is no failure in tinkering, there are only learning experiences), because I can grab some more and try again. So most of the things you’ll find in my ever-expanding tinkering toolbox are inexpensive and/or available in bulk.
I should point out that this particular toolkit doesn’t include electronics, or recycled materials. Those are lists for another day.
This is hardly a full list, but it is good for starters. Leave a note if you have suggestions that you’ve found useful!
As a footnote, there are a few things that I do not bring when working with kids, because of their propensity for suppressing creativity.
Many thanks to everyone who came to my talks at Two Bit Circus‘ STEAM Carnival this weekend! I had a great time and was excited to talk to folks about making my instrument.
What’s more, the event was just plain fun! Geeky games and carny exhibits? Awesome! I took a ton of pictures (admittedly many of them were of the Dunk Tank Flambé). You can check out the full flickr album here.
If you’re heading to the STEAM Carnival this weekend, be sure to check out my talk about my Hexachord. See it in person, and hear about how tinkering factored into its construction.
I’ll be presenting both Saturday, Oct 25, and Sunday Oct 26 at 1:15pm.