March 29, 2017 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Kimono for the Self Involved [Maker Update #27]

This week on Maker Update, an egotistical kimono, a personal cloud for your MP3s, your basic cocktail robot, makerspace storage, tiny joysticks, one feather to rule them all, taming eye hooks, tracking Pis, and tinker techno. SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE!


MusicBox Project

Controlling Pi Music Box Speaker

Custom Print Kimono by randofo

Custom Print Kimono

Arduino Uno Drinkbot Bartender by Ted Kinsman

Arduino Bartender making mai tai

Banker’s Box Project Storage Shelf (via Hackaday)

Bankers Box Storage

Transforming Open/Close sign by Matt Harrison (based on Yosuke Ikeda’s work)



Adafruit Joy Bonnet

Adafruit Feather nRF52 Bluefruit LE

Adafruit Feather nRF52 Bluefruit LE

Drilling in Eye Hooks (via Bill Livolsi)

Bill Livolsi Drilling eye hook

The Pi Locator (via Hackaday)

DaDa Machine

Dada Automat full kit

Maker Faires

Maker Faire UK (Newcastle upon Tyne, England)
Simsbury Mini Maker Faire (Simsbury, Connecticut)
Wittwer Mini Maker Faire (Stuttgart, Germany)
Benicia Mini Maker Faire (Benicia, California)
Pi Wars


This week on Maker Update, egotistical kimonos, a personal cloud for your MP3s, your basic cocktail robot, makerspace storage, tiny joysticks, one feather to rule them all, taming eye hooks, tracking Pis, and tinker techno.

It’s Wednesday, March 29th, I’m Donald Bell, and welcome to another Maker Update! I hope everyone’s doing well. In case you missed it, I finally got my project up. It’s a guide on using a Pi Zero/hard drive combo to host your MP3 collection on your local network. It’s a fun project that I genuinely use every day, and the video for it is doing better than anything I’ve ever done.

But there were some other really great projects this week, so let’s jump right into it.

Randy Sarafan, founder of the Instructables Design Studio, has a guide on sewing your own silk kimono, printed with pictures of yourself on it. I’m sorry, but that’s just too weird not to include.

So, this is part sewing machine tutorial, using a free, downloadable pattern. And part guide for having fabric custom printed for you. Randy got his fabric from Spoonflower, which has a number of different printable fabric options aside from silk.

Personally I’m more excited about the custom printed fabric than the kimono itself. It got me thinking about making a hawaiian print shirt, with a pattern of pictures of me wearing other hawaiian print shirts. It’d be like a turducken of tacky.

Speaking of tiki, on Makezine I found this approachable guide to making a basic cocktail robot using an Arduino Uno and aquarium pumps. This particular bar-bot is setup to make a somewhat bastardized version of a Mai Tai — which by the way is the official cocktail of Oakland CA, where it was invented. But if Mai Tais aren’t your thing there’s no reason you couldn’t swap out the bottles for a different drink, and adjust the portions in the Arduino code.

Now, I’ve been obsessed with cocktail robots for some time now and I’ve seen plenty of approaches. There are two things I like about this one. One — it’s economical. It’s an Arduino Uno, some basic pumps, a relay bank and some wood.

Two — it’s so boring looking. No offense, but my imagination just lights up thinking of all the ways to put my own stamp on it — starting with a proper tiki mug! I mean no offense — I genuinely like that this project leaves something to the imagination.

Speaking of boring yet awesome, here’s a Bankers Box storage shelf from the Omaha Maker’s Group. Up until now, this Makerspace had been using a mismatched assortment of plastic totes for storing member’s projects, but it was expensive and inefficient. Their solution is to use inexpensive and ubiquitous Banker’s Boxes plugged into a tight shelving grid.

The entire shelf is made from two sheets of plywood and two sheets of MDF. If you want to make something similar, they have detailed cutting templates I’ll include in the show notes.

And finally, check out this 3D printed Open sign, that transforms into a Closed sign. I spotted this on the Core77 blog. It’s based on a design by Yosuke Ikeda, who figured out a design that went from open to “close”. Obsessed with getting a “d” at the end, designer Matt Harrison figured out how to overlap an inverted “d” over the “cl” and boom! Open, closed. I love it. The full design, gears and all, is available as a set of 3D printable files over on Thingiverse.

Time for some tools and tips. There are two hot new boards from Adafruit. One is this hat or bonnet for the Raspberry Pi Zero. It’s called the Joy Bonnet, short for joystick. It just stacks right onto the Pi Zero and gives you a classic sorta Super-NES style gamepad. It’s $15, but you’ll also want a case of some kind for the Pi, just to protect it from hand sweat.

They’ve also got a brand new Feather board with an awful name. It’s the nRF52 Bluefruit LE. In spite of the name, this is actually the first Feather board I’m really excited about. It works just like an Arduino, but small, fast, lot’s of memory, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE.

So not only does it work with Adafruit’s Bluefruit app for making custom smartphone interactions, but it also plugs right into the suite of Featherwing shields they’ve been developing over the past year, so you can add screens and lights and relays and audio output and motor control. Best of all, the board is $25, so it’s an easy choice over most of the Arduinos and I’m looking forward to checking it out.

On Makezine, Gareth Branwyn has his regular roundup of weekly tips. My favorite from this one is chucking a hook into a drill for quickly screwing in eye hooks.

On Hackaday, I learned about This site keeps track of what online retailers currently have Raspberry Pi Zeros and Zero Ws in stock. It’s been touch and go since the W came out, so this site comes in handy.

Finally, I got an email from my friend Johannes Lohbihler, a maker I met at Maker Faire Berlin back in 2015. Back then he showed me a demo of a project he called DaDa machine that sends MIDI music sequences out to a handful of solenoids that knock into stuff. Well he’s launched it as a product now — just today — on Kickstarter. It’s beautiful. It’s made for makers and musicians and you should check it out.

Maker Faires! We have four faires this weekend, including Maker Faire UK, Simsbury, Connecticut, Stuttgart Germany, and Benicia California. I also noticed that Cambridge University is host a Pi robotics challenge this weekend called Pi Wars, as part of the Cambridge Raspberry Jam. That looks like fun.

And that’s it for this week’s show. I hope you’re into it. I know this thing doesn’t get crazy traffic, but it makes me so good when I see how many of you give it a thumb’s up or leave a comment. Alright? So thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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