Barb Makes Things: Scribble Bots

Scribble bots are something I’ve been doing for quite a while, they’re awesome as a project for kids, and you can actually see some of the bots made by my Art Machines tinkering class at reDiscover Center last Friday. So enjoy this week’s Barb Makes Things with scribble bots!

 

Barb Makes Things: 3D Printed Poking Device

DSC01745 copyIt’s Tuesday again, which means a new video. In this one, I recreate a 3d printed device I made for a previous Halloween costume, about 2/3 size and printed with stainless steel filament. It is a poking device mounted on a scissor mechanism. I mean, really, why not?

 

I also posted a full instructable for my Layered Wood Pendant Necklace video.

 

 

 

Barb Makes Things: Arduino Hair Wrap

Finally, an Arduino video and a wearables video, in one! I do both frequently enough. This project is a combination of the hair wraps I did all through my teenage years and the electronics I didn’t dive into until my 30s. I did make an effort in this direction a few years ago with conductive thread, but it just wasn’t reliable. Then I was introduced by a friend at Two Bit Circus to silicone-covered wire. *choir sings* Perfect.

 

The Arduino board is a nifty new little thing by Qtechknow called the Qduino mini. It has a built-in lipo battery charger, meter, and switch, which makes it ideal for this project as I wanted to mount everything to the hair clip and leave it be. I’d like to expand this project to have more strands, potentially rgb LEDs, and some sensors (light and accelerometer, perhaps), but for now, it works and I like it. See video below.

 

If you haven’t already, go on over to my YouTube channel, Barb Makes Things, and check out my other videos. This is number eleven!

 

Barb Makes Things: Marble Run

In this post about tinkering and prototyping materials, I mention bamboo skewers and show a video of a marble run I built. I thought it was time I show the actual process of building one. This may expand to a larger thing, possibly to live on the walls at CRASH Space. The frame is made from dowels, and the rails and stops from bamboo skewers, and the whole thing is held together with hot glue. This makes for a quick, easy assembly and fast fun.

 

 

Keep an eye out for next week’s video, in which I use a Qduino mini.

Barb Makes Things: December and January

A roundup of my videos on Barb Makes Things from the last month or so:

 

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Layered Wood Pendant Necklace

I’ve been making a fair amount of jewelry lately, and Rockler has tons of great, super thin veneer sheets. There are a few tutorials on instructables about making bent wood rings, I decided to go another direction… literally. I’ve now made several rings with many glued layers, and which I finish with tung oil and cyanoacrylate (super glue), and in this video, I make a necklace in a similar style.

 

3D Cookies

When I say 3D, I mean that in multiple ways: I 3D modeled and printed custom cookie cutters, and the resulting pieces slot together to make a shape that stands up. I only show the process of modeling the tree cookie cutters, but I also created ones for a moose, which you do see toward the end of the video. They were tasty, and an awful lot of fun to make.

 

Tiled Desk

This is actually footage from back when I was first setting up my desk, so it’s technically my first video. I used floor tiles and hot glued them to a piece of plywood that rests on two small bookshelves. I could have used a more permanent adhesive, or done a finishing coat over the whole thing, but I wanted the flexibility to peel up and replace individual tiles, should they get damaged. And a hot glue gun is an often underestimated tool; the tiles are all staying perfectly.

 

Wooden Camera Arm

I’ve done a number of tutorial videos in the past, and the tripod is simultaneously helpful, and a huge pain. Getting the camera in the right place for the right shot is one thing, but when you need to reach around it to try to make something, all the while paying extra attention to staying in the shot, well… I knew there had to be a better solution. My first attempt was a custom frame for my camera that would hang from four hooks in the ceiling. It worked for a while, but wasn’t entirely reliable, and wasn’t remotely adjustable. Hence, the custom camera arm. I love mechanisms, especially ones made from wood, and this extending arm does the trick.

 

Wooden Toy Car

My work at the reDiscover Center focuses mainly on reusing materials, so this video shows a project that someone might make there (actually, cars are a popular thing with the kids who come in). I also spend most of this video working at the kids’ makerspace, so you get to see some of the tools that we (and the kids!) use there.

Barb Makes Things: Shrink Plastic Light-up Edison Bulb

I’ve long been a fan of shrink plastic (aka shrinky dinks), and I’ve done similar projects before, making 3d light up shapes with LEDs (see my instructable tutorial from a year ago), but I’m a fan of vintage and steampunk and I decided it was time for an Edison bulb with a wire cage surrounding it. A set of these would make for a neat decoration, and a friend from CRASH Space handed me an 8mm RGB LED at the last meeting, instructing me to make something like this to hook up to an Arduino. I’ll keep you apprised. 

 

So check out week 3 of Barb Makes Things, a Shrink Plastic Edison Bulb:

 

Barb Makes Things on YouTube

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As you may know, I do a lot of tutorials, both written and video. Some recent ones include a Concrete “PotHead” (which CRASH Space members intend to turn into an Easter Island-style display out front of the building), Concrete Letterpress Sign, and the latest tutorial for FlipBooKit, about assembling a Moto kit.

 

And now I’ve started a new YouTube channel called Barb Makes Things, in which I will explore some of my many maker interests with a new video each week. I’ve made a mount for my camera above my desk and am posting high-speed videos of what happens there. Some will have associated instructables, like the first one for the Concrete Letterpress Sign. Plans for upcoming videos include a papercut and frame, assembling my tiled desk top, and wooden rag dolls. If you have anything you’d like to see me make, let me know!

 

Head on over and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any.

 

Kinetic Show:LA

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Mark and Wendy of CRASH Space and FlipBooKit have put together a truly unique exhibition called Kinetic Show: LA at ARENA 1 Gallery in Santa Monica, featuring a ton of tech and kinetic art. This is well worth checking out! What’s more, both of my Hexachords are on display to see, hear, and play. The Arduino-powered Hexachord has some shiny new code under the hood. Tonight is the opening, and it’ll be running through October 6th, so make sure you get out to see all of the fun!

 

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Prepping for Maker Faire 2015

Maker Faire Bay Area is just a week away! I am so excited, and sooo busy.

 

Last year for Maker Faire, I showed my first Hexachord, a 3-foot-tall six-chambered rotary instrument. This year, I’ll be showing both the original and a new version. It’s a single-chambered design with six necks radiating from the center, and played by six servos hooked up to an Arduino Uno. Have a look at all of the in-progress pictures here and stop by the CRASHspace booth in the Expo Hall to see the completed instrument!

 

Hexachord interior assembled

Hexachord top  New Hexachord Necks

 

I will also be running workshops at the FlipBooKit booth in the Maker Shed, so come on by. There will be a sneak peek of my new ‘How to Make a Custom Animation’ video playing in the shed along with the original assembly one. Here’s the finished animation from my demo!

 

 

See you there!

Spring Break Tinkering School, Part 2


rDC Spring Tinkering Camp

Spring Break Tinkering School at reDiscover Center finished about a month ago now, and was great fun, and finally I have the chance to show you more pictures and video from the week! Check out my Flickr album here. The kids got a basic understanding of many of the things that go into creating a movie while building and playing with their creations. Thursday morning, we finished up our sets, props, and costumes, and in the afternoon we had some rehearsals, followed by quick filming. As it turned out, our main character was one of the script writers, and he had his lines memorized pretty much from the get go.

 

There were a few places where the counselors needed to supervise more closely than we might have ordinarily, given more time, so that we could get a video that effectively captured their creations. Several campers took turns operating the camera dolly with a counselor always on hand to keep an eye on the camera angle and record button, and one in particular took a keen interest in the audio recording, spending a lot of Thursday roaming camp with a recorder mounted on a camera tripod acting as a boom and headphones so she could hear what the microphone heard.

 

Thursday night, I edited our footage, a panoply of experimentation, improvisation, and sometimes intentional bloopers. (If I’d had more time, I would have created a blooper reel as well)

 

First thing Friday, after our welcome activity, the campers had the opportunity to see their movie, Attack of the Marshmallow Maniac, which clocked in at a whopping six minutes. Click below to watch it!

 

 

One of the things that most impressed me was that, once we hit our stride on Friday, creating elements of our theater/arcade for the parents’ screening, the campers had reached a point where they were comfortable enough with the tools that they could focus almost entirely on their creations. It is such a satisfying experience to see your campers truly absorb the medium.

 

There are many exciting plans in the works for Summer Tinkering School (one-week sessions starting June 15th – some spots are still available), but I won’t list them here in case any future campers are reading. It’s a surprise! You’ll love it!