Maker Project Lab
November 30, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Time to Print the Ornaments [Maker Update #12]

This week on Maker Update: a payphone that calls the 90’s, a moon for your nightstand, a way to finally get your fish talking, a mini NES with NFC, 3D printed ornaments, a sewing machine for makers, a ridiculous amount of maker contests, and the first Maker Faire in L.A.
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November 29, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News, Tools, Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , ,

Hands-On with the Fotokite Phi Drone

About a month ago I got a call from the people behind a drone called Fotokite, wondering if I’d be interested in seeing a demo of their product. I already knew the product pretty well based on a demo of their prototype I was given last year while I was on staff at Make Magazine. With this in mind, I was curious to see how the product had evolved into its final state.

So here are my thoughts based on my hands-on time with the shipping version of the Fotokite Phi, a drone with a thin, strong leash attached to it, selling now for $249.

Fotokite Retractable Leash

The prototype model of this I played with last year had limited features, no camera controls, and a somewhat fragile 3D printed construction — but it was a fun product and the concept was still strong. It’s a fold-up drone you can fit in a backpack and launch in the air in just a minute with no fear of it flying off or getting stuck in a tree.

Fotokite Foldup Design

This final shipping version uses a stronger injection-molded plastic that I bounced off the wall a few times without losing control. It also includes more control features in the handle, which help steer it around and can directly control a GoPro mounted on the front. You have to provide the GoPro, though, so that’s an extra cost. A less expensive GoPro alternative can be substituted in the same space, however you’ll have to operate the controls manually directly on the camera before and after flight.

Fotokite Camera Front

They’ve also included a new follow mode that allows you to just tow this thing behind you while you’re snowboarding or biking or whatever. The included leash extends 25ft, but can be upgraded to 100ft. To hear them tell it, this is a big deal because many of the more expensive drone solutions with follow modes still have a tendency to wander off.

Fotokite Outdoors

All-in-all, I walked away wanting one — not because it’s a drone, but because it’s like a kind of magic kite really. This sounds sorta obvious when you consider the name, but when you first look at this thing it takes a minute to reconcile that it’s not the drone toy you expect it to be — and as someone who’s not a big fan of drones that’s a good thing.

And to be clear, this isn’t a paid endorsement. I just wanted to share my experience because I thought it was pretty cool, and neat to see a unique product go from concept to finished design. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment on the video above.

November 16, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The DIY Nintendo You Really Want [Maker Update #11]

This week on Maker Update: a project for painting the air, a new ally for Maker Spaces, Hackster has a new owner, Make Magazine’s 3D printer shootout, hacking the NES Classic, making your own NES Classic, and Maker Faires.

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November 9, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Hack Alexa into a Fish [Maker Update #10]

This week on Maker Update: making your own Alexa-Powered Billy Bass, the rise of the modular swarm bots, DIY candy dispensers, 3D printed Thanksgiving accessories, and a good excuse for a blow torch.

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November 2, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Warping Infinity Mirrors and Disposable Drones [Maker Update 09]

This week, an infinity mirror that bends, a single-motor miniature drone, a no-weld go-kart, mechanical iris goggles, and more.

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October 26, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The $500 CNC Router That’s Too Good To Ignore [Maker Update #08]

This week: a fog machine for your pocket, a CNC for under $500, flipdots, fidgets, contests, Maker books and Maker Faires. 

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October 19, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maker Update #07: Put On Your Drinking Dress

This week on Maker Update we’ll take a look at a DIY cocktail robotic dress designed by Anouk Wipprecht. We’ll take a look at a new online 3D design tool from SketchUp and a new 3D printer from Ultimaker. Learn how to quickly create your own prop Star Wars Gonk droid, as well as an interactive Stranger Things alphabet wall. Tips on storing small components (and getting rid of them), new product announcements, and the latest Maker Faires for the upcoming weekend.

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SHOW NOTES
-=-=-=-=-
Project of the Week
Anouk’s Cocktail Dress Instructable
http://www.instructables.com/id/HOW-TO-MAKE-YOUR-OWN-ROBOTIC-COCKTAIL-DRESS/

News
SketchUp in Browser: MySketchUp (Open Beta)
http://www.sketchup.com/products/my-sketchup

Ultimaker 3 announced
https://ultimaker.com/en/products/ultimaker-3

Projects
Arduino-Powered Stranger Things Wall
http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Based-Stranger-Things-Lights/

Gonk Droid Prop from Junk
http://www.instructables.com/id/GONK-Droid-From-Junk/

Tools/Tips
BooSTick
https://www.adafruit.com/products/3265?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=videodescrip&utm_campaign=newproducts

Teensy 3.6
https://www.adafruit.com/products/3266?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=videodescrip&utm_campaign=newproducts

Teensy 3.5
https://www.adafruit.com/products/3267?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=videodescrip&utm_campaign=newproducts

Small Parts Organization
http://makezine.com/2016/10/15/small-parts-organization-in-the-shop/

Too Good to Throw Away
http://hackaday.com/2016/10/13/too-good-to-throw-away-dealing-with-an-out-of-control-junk-hoard/

Maker Faires
http://makerfaire.com/map/
October 22, 2016 Derby Mini Maker Faire Derby, Derbyshire UK
October 22, 2016 Fredonia Mini Maker Faire Fredonia, New York USA
October 22, 2016 Shreveport Mini Maker Faire Shreveport, Louisiana USA
October 22 + 23, 2016 Maker Faire Orlando Orlando, Florida USA
October 23, 2016 East Bay Mini Maker Faire Oakland, California USA
October 21 + 22 + 23, 2016 Maker Faire Shenzhen Shenzhen China
October 23, 2016 Bengaluru Mini Maker Faire Bengaluru India

October 12, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maker Update #06: Garbage Ghosts & Key Bangers

This week’s Maker Update is dedicated to taking your Halloween up a notch, with tips on costume resources, cheap and easy (and scary) DIY ghosts, 3D printed cosplay props, and site recommendations for professional haunted house props and controllers.

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October 5, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maker Update #05: Love Conquers Arduino

This week on Maker Update: How to Make a 3D Map from cardboard, Arduino Makes up with Arduino, an orbiting time-lapse rig, maker contests, Maker Faires, and 3D printed designs to fuel your coffee addiction.

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September 28, 2016 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maker Update #04: The Year’s Most Controversial DIY

This week on Maker Update! The most controversial DIY project of the year, a desk fan that can see your face, glowing horns, animated knots, and a 3D printed boat battle.

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