prop hold down

3D milling workshop at AS220

At FabLab AS220 in Providence, I gave a workshop on how to make wooden multicopter propellers with two-sided milling. The trick is to use a zero position in the middle of your files. Then you can do a separate 2D drilling job in order to make alignment holes all the way through your material and into the sacrificial layer. When you flip you material to work from the other side, you use wooden plugs through these holes in order to position your part accurately. See the pics for reference, follow this link to download the propeller STL files:

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No succes

Hexacopter polycarb arms

Since the Maui Makers are in a bit of a transition phase, it was not a much we could do in the current Makerspace. But as a true maker he is, Jerry has a Epilog lasercutter in his garage. After some forum scanning on polycarbonate, I decided to try out some careful laser cutting of polycarbonate arms for a new Hexacopter body. Unfortunately the 1/8 inch polyarb did not cut very well at all, and the rubber plastic bending strip I bought did not provide enough heat to bend accurately. So after a day of cutting and inventing double folded clamped bending tricks I was left with a bunch of imprecise Continue Reading →

maui makers map

The Maui Makers

Makerspace Hawaii, or the Maui Makers, is an interesting DIY community in development. Situated on Maui, they started out in a shipping container and have recently moved into an empty school building. The project is initiated and driven by Jerry Isdale, a fantastic maker of high caliber. Jerry was originally planning on starting a FabLab, especially since he jokingly refers to Hawaii having third world like conditions. But because of the high start costs and sponsorship required of a FabLab, Jerry decided to start a makerspace instead. He also had a hard time finding an open community supporting FabLab. And he became a bit disappointed by US FabLab meeting in Tulsa, where he found that knowledge sharing was practised a lot less than it was talked about, and that most of the US FabLab members seemed to be mainly focused on providing workshop facilities for their students at Continue Reading →

Making Living Sharing – Trailer #1

It’s finally online, the very first trailer for my upcoming research documentary. The movie will be about my adventures in global collaboration and local fabrication. How can we help people create their own products? How can we make a living from sharing?

It will feature shots from FabLabs and projects around the world, animations about design by sharing and interviews with various makers and generally awesome people.

Making Sharing Living will premiere in August 2013 at FAB9 in Yokohama, Japan

Picture by Cassandra Niki S

Hexacopter crash in San Francisco

Epic fail while trying out the new KKmulticoper 2.0 Flightcontrol board. It seems like sloppy calibration and speed reading the manual rewarded me with six broken Hexacopter arms. It was also my first attempt at controlling the multicopter with my smartphone and the Kickstarter funded iPhly device. Definitely a steeper learning curve to fly by touch screen and gyroscope than traditional joysticks. Amazingly all six birch propellers survived, perhaps saved by the Continue Reading →

Cool autonomous robot project next to the electronics station

Noisebridge hackerspace

In nice contrast to the seriously organized Techshop, I paid a visit to the more anarchistic Noisebridge. It is one of the most famous hackerspaces around, and they have pulled of some very nice projects. Check their web for more info on projects. It was quite a nice feeling to arrive as a stranger in the city and have full access to the soldering equipment I needed to get my hexacopter flying again. So in return for Continue Reading →

Welding station

TechShop in San Francisco

Here are a few shots from TechShop in downtown San Francisco. I was lucky to be shown around by Jesse Harrington who is doing some interesting work for Autodesk 123D and the DIY community. TechShop’s have an interesting take on a facilitating creation and innovation through a shared workshops. It seems to be a smaller focus on community, grassroots empowerment and collaboration than most FabLabs, but a larger focus on helping professional startups Continue Reading →

animismed layerchair

Animism for FabLab designs

During the goodbye party that FabLab Kamkakura arranged for me at FabCafe, I pitched a future collaboration project inspired by the Japanese tradition of animism. Most Japanese believe that all things have a spirit, and as a result objects often are portrayed as living animals. Usually with the help of cute eyes, eyebrows and a mouth. My proposal is to develop a a set of animatronic eyes that can be clicked onto any kind of object made in a FabLab. A universal click mount system should make it easy to make a design compatible with the animism eyes. If a curious visitor to the FabLab wants to learn to learn more about a design, he needs only to attach the animism eyes to the dedicated connectors.

“Coding pins” of various lengths will to enable the designer to choose what kind of personality the the moving eyes and eyebrows will convey. Perhaps one pin for Continue Reading →

new ideas

Wood joint with locking wedge test

With some new ideas from the Japanese woodworking traditions, I tested out a locking wood joint principle. As the wedge gets hammered into the slot, it breaks the thin walls loose. The result is a sort of click joint that locks very well with the help of a lasercut 6mm wedge. After the initial hammering, you can insert and remove the wedge with your hands, yet the joint is Continue Reading →

Almost reassembled

Visit to Japanese wood joinery master

I was very lucky to join the FabLab Kamakura team to a visit of traditional Japanese wood joint master Wadako Gei. He has developed an educational joint chair that consists of more than 30 unique wood joints. These joints come from hundreds of years of architecture tradition in Japan,

Some joints with pins are designed so that in an earthquake, only the locking pins would break and can easily be replaced. Some beams where divided into Continue Reading →