Makers from all over the nation will make their way to The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan for Maker Faire, July 31-August 1, 2010. This two-day, family-friendly event celebrates creative and resourceful people in the areas of science and technology, engineering, food, and arts and crafts.
“At its core, Maker Faire Detroit is about the possibility of what ordinary individuals can do,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “It’s about people being resourceful and innovative, using their hands, and tinkering to create actual objects and, possibly, to use those objects to create change. The great innovators of our past—Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers—all believed in exploring new ideas, and making new things to create a better world. There is simply no better place to bring this event to than Detroit. We are the birthplace of modern manufacturing and today we are a hotbed of innovation. We are a region brimming with doers, thinkers and makers.”
Created by the publishers of MAKE magazine and makezine.com, Maker Faire draws tech and DIY enthusiasts. The event attracts families, school teachers, students, local science, hobby and tech clubs, as well as those who are drawn by a curiosity for the unorthodox and often whimsical MacGyver-like nature of Makers and their projects. Maker Faire will feature demonstrations and hands-on workshops over the two days. Visitors will enjoy arts and crafts, science and engineering, robotics, sustainable living, music and fine arts, fun for kids and families and more.
“We’re excited to partner with The Henry Ford, which celebrates the history of American makers,” said Dale Dougherty, publisher of MAKE magazine (in print and online at makezine.com). “We’re also excited to bring our event to Detroit to showcase the technical and creative talent of the region.”
I’ve came across this interesting thread on Arduino forum about using IKEA DIODER and other RGB LED strips to build mood/ambient light. This allows you to create the same effect that you can now find on some TVs. I thought it would be a fun little project to do, and here is a short clip to show you the result…
If you’ll recall, some months ago we held a little competition for readers to submit artwork destined for laser-etching on the backsides of Amazon’s Kindle. After everyone voted on the top five out of the mountain of selections, we took the gaggle of readers down to our friends at Adafruit Industries (headed up by the lovely and delightful Limor Fried and Phil Torrone) for some time under the laser. While we were there getting our etch on with their massive laser, we convinced Limor and Phil to show off some of the other crazy kit they’ve got in the labs — and we’ve captured it all on film… er, video. Take a look at our excursion into the world of dynamic DIY’ing — we think you’ll like what you see.
We posted some additional photos of the etched Kindles here – and you can also view the Engadget show M4V here…
Chris (DIY drones, Wired) is making the rounds with “Atoms are the New Bits” – here is an overview of his talk, sounds excellent -
The Web revolution is hitting the real world. “We are entering a new manufacturing age,” said Anderson. “I’ve been thinking about being analog and the world of manufacturing.”
Manufacturing businesses are utilizing a lot of the techniques pioneered on the Web.
Tools of production are being democratized. Exhibit A: 3D printers will now run you $750. Anderson has one in his basement. Laser cutters and circuit boards can all be designed in your basement using world class industrial technologies.
If you want scale, a Chinese factory will work with you where ever you are. “I can click a button and make robots in a Chinese factory move,” said Anderson. “These factories want to work with smaller companies because there’s the flexibility to do so and higher margins. You have access to the same factory as Sony.”
The list goes on. Anderson’s big point is that the barriers to manufacturing are falling away. In fact, we may all be manufacturers down the road. Consider it the long tail of physical stuff.
We like stats, if we’re not measuring something it might not be worth doing. We’ll try and remember to post some traffic, metrics and other things each month. This month (11-2009) we were up 24% and 4% on our two sites (page views) – a good month! Ladyada.net is our project resource site (free, gigs of files downloaded per month, ad free and always will be). Adafruit.com is our open source hardware store that is supported by you!
Launching tomorrow: Something like Play-Doh for industrial designers, Sugru is a modeling-clay-like silicone that can be used for everything from molding ergonomic grips to repairing leaky sneakers. Once removed from its packaging, it can be molded for a 30-minute period, and it then cures at room temperature in about 24 hours. Self-adhesive, waterproof, and dishwasher-safe.
I understand why commercial developers dislike the entry of an open source project into their market and hope it will fail. But the trend lines are clear on this one: open source is here to stay and is spreading, mostly because it leads to more, cheaper products faster. ArduPilot, for example. went from concept to maturity (with the 2.5 code, now in the hands of beta testers) in a year, including a full suite of supporting tools. There is no commercial autopilot that has come close to that speed of development. And as the DIY Drones community grows and our tools of group development improve, we are extending that to a host of new products created by the members here. To hire this many engineers would be ruinous, but by creating a community of shared interest and a culture of collaboration, we can do so at almost no cost at all. It’s really quite magical.
A more functional train microcontroller… Power is coming from a 12V wall transformer which powers both the Arduino (at 5V), and the shield(at 12V). The shield provides pulse-width modulated DC to the rails. The microcontroller is programmed to control direction, maximum speed, and rate of change. I am using a momentary toggle switch with center off to increase or decrease speed. The computer is reading the current settings from the controller over a USB connection. Hitting the reset button automatically stops the train.
Holy smokes. That was easy. In one evening I soldered the kit and had my model train doing the “PWM-boogie”. Thanks to Lady Ada for making it possible for wantabe hacks like me to do cool stuff! [and] Added a toggle switch and more code, and now it is a functional train controller. I can set the max speed and max rate of change to simulate a real engine while keeping is easy enough for my 7yo daughter to run. All I need is some positional sensing and I can do some auto reversing, ect. I’m amazed how easy you made this for us! Many thanks Lady Ada!