A Maker’s Take on the Ice Bucket Challenge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoODAKYEykU

By now you’ve all seen the videos. Someone dumps a bucket of ice water on themselves and challenges their friends and family to do the same or donate to charity, frequently the ALS Association. But Contributor and friend of Make: John Park took the ice bucket challenge to a whole new maker level. Starting with the Burrito Blaster project, he loaded up PVC the air pressure cannon with ice water which he shot at himself with a remote trigger.

Perhaps now we’ll start to see a wave of makers taking the challenge with 3D-printed buckets, Rube Golderberg-style triggering mechanisms, or even Internet-connected Raspberry Pi-based CNC bucket tippers!


Come Jam with Burnkit2600

Justin Emerson, Brett Marshall Lefferts, and Thom Uliasz are out to shatter the mystery of electronic music making. The trio perform, run workshops and make and modify electronic instruments under the name Burnkit2600.

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Last year at World Maker Faire in New York Burnkit2600 laid down the jams, keeping the crowds entertained all day. The trio of electronic gurus will be at World Maker Faire again this year, and running an official jam session. Show up with your own circuit bent electronic instrument or try out some of theirs.

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You can contact Burnkit2600 at their website or visit their Facebook page.


Building a Makeshift Bubble Machine

drenehtsral’s Makeshift Bubble Machine uses a CPU fan and gear motor to produce bubbles

drenehtsral’s Makeshift Bubble Machine uses a CPU fan and gear motor to produce bubbles, and fascination

Kids are simple when it comes to entertainment, even a cardboard box can have the same magic effect as a videogame console does at providing pure enjoyment. The same can be said for bubbles, which have amazed and astounded children since the 17th century (perhaps longer). What’s better than blowing bubbles you ask? How about a machine that does it for you, such as the one created by maker Drenehtral to amuse his kids.

His ‘Makeshift bubble machine’ was designed using a 15-rpm gear motor that rotates the bubble loops through the soapy solution that sits in a cutout plastic vinegar bottle. A CPU case fan provides the blowing power, which is powered by a 12V battery and a 5V regulator to maintain a steady rpm (too fast and the bubbles are a no-go). All the electronics and battery are housed in a Rubbermaid Roughneck 3-gallon plastic tub, giving it that ‘neat, streamlined’ look. Obviously, you could simply purchase a bubble machine to keep your kids endlessly entertained, but where is the fun in that? Not to mention using materials that are already on hand, makes this a cheaper alternative. See the YouTube video below for more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI63kaSsP8g

 


Fractal Lamp Design Based Off Of Koch Vases

repkid’s Fractal Lamp features 3D printed Koch vases with an IKEA dioder for illumination

repkid’s Fractal Lamp features 3D printed Koch vases with an IKEA dioder for illumination

Looking for a new lamp that goes with your unusual tastes in décor? On the other hand, maybe you have a deep interest in fractal mathematical curves. Either way, you can’t go wrong with repkid’s Fractal Lamp, which turns fractal geometry into an interesting work of art. The maker designed his lamp centered around 3D printed Koch vases (found all over Thingiverse), which he used for the lamp’s striking bulbs of twisted artwork. For the internal illumination, he used an IKEA dioder and affixed each strip to a custom laser-cut acrylic housing affixed with to inside of the lamp using clear tape.

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The bulbs were then affixed to a wooden base that houses a PICAXE 14M2 controller that powers the dioder along with a wireless receiver. The receiver communicates with a custom control box that features a 3-dial remote and another PICAXE controller to send RGB values to the lamp to change its colors. The project took him over a year to complete but the end result is a unique design that definitely sticks out no matter where you place it. Head over to instructables to build your own.

Behind the magic

Behind the magic

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The simple giant button controller is a nice change to the barrage of smartphone connected light.


DIY Audio Book Reader for Grandfather Losing Sight

Willem’s Audio Book Reader features a Raspberry Pi and RFID card to read audio books

Willem’s Audio Book Reader features a Raspberry Pi and RFID card to read audio books

We all have elderly family members or friends that were subjected to disabilities as they grew older. More often than not, there’s nothing we can do except offer comfort and support instead of a medical miracle. As we grow older, some of us lose our sight, which can seem like the world is coming to a close. We depend on it to do our daily tasks and take it for granted when we have it and feel hopeless when it is gone. The simple task of reading becomes impossible and even though there are audio book readers (Kindle, Nook, Kobo) they often need to be navigated using a touchscreen, which still needs a measure of sight to use.

Willem van der Jagt’s 93-year old grandfather is one of those who have lost his sight and while thinking of things to do, Willem suggested listening to audio books. After realizing the issue of navigation mentioned above, Willem decided to build his own that didn’t require vision to operate. He designed his Audio Book Reader using a Raspberry Pi as the eBook, complete with a host of books stored on the SBC’s RAM. Each book stored also has a corresponding DVD box with an embedded RFID card, which is then scanned by an RFID scanner housed inside the eBook enclosure. The book begins playing when the DVD is placed on top of the box and is navigated using four large buttons on the unit’s face, which includes pause, rewind and two for volume controls. A year has gone by since Willem designed his Audio Book Reader and his grandfather continues to use it daily, in fact, he has since requested music files to be incorporated into the device as well! It may not be a miracle but Willem’s device has opened new doors for his grandfather where physical sight is no longer considered a handicap.

Checkout Willem’s complete project at: https://gist.github.com/wkjagt/814b3f62ea03c7b1a765

Willem’s Audio Book Reader with finished enclosure complete with power button and headphone jack

Willem’s Audio Book Reader with finished enclosure complete with power button and headphone jack


Recycle Your Own Plastic With Precious Plastic

Precious Plastic designed open-source machines recycle old plastic into new objects

Precious Plastic designed open-source machines recycle old plastic into new objects

Even though we have recycling centers, plastic trash is still a big issue. It can be found in every nook and cranny, even in remote locations! In a deep wood park, at the farthest reaches of a gorge, there sat some plastic bags and wrappers. The end of that adventure was depressing.

Only about 10% of what we throw away actually gets recycled. What if we could recycle our plastic trash at home and 3D print it out into things we can use. Now we can, thanks to Dutch designer Dave Hakkens, whose Precious Plastic initiative makes use of new open-sourced machines to turn unwanted plastic into renewed goods. Dave designed several machines using scrap material and sheet metal that can be found in almost any scrap yard.

Each machine recycles plastic material using different methods and includes a rotational molding device, and extrusion machine and an injection-molding machine along with a simple shredder. Dave doesn’t envision these machines as consumer products but rather used in small communities where people can be reimbursed for their plastic waste and then the recycling center can make new purchasable goods. Those interested in building their own machines can get the blueprints from the Precious Plastic website.

The options…

The Injection Molding Machine allows users to manually press heated plastic into new molds

The Injection Molding Machine allows users to manually press heated plastic into new molds

The Rotation Machine is actually rotational oven that heats the plastic to form hollow objects.

The Rotation Machine is actually rotational oven that heats the plastic to form hollow objects

The Extrusion Machine uses a screw to press the plastic through a heating element to form a line of molded plastic.

The Extrusion Machine uses a screw to press the plastic through a heating element to form a line of molded plastic

While these designs aren’t specifically focused on making plastics for 3d printing, minor modifications could probably be made to turn this into a filament extruder, like the filastruder.


Turn any 1 bedroom into a 2 bedroom for $300

If you live in a major city, then you know that renting a nice apartment may cost you all of your money and the lint in your pocket, too. Well, one man out of Silicon Valley, California, refused to pay the outrageous prices for a two bedroom in his area, so he actually rented a one-bedroom apartment with a friend and converted it into a two bedroom himself. A little part of you may argue that’s ghetto… but another part of you can’t wait to do it to your next apartment.

The renter, who goes by the alias Hypurban on YouTube, began the process by measuring out the room he wants to convert. He measured the room from floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall, taking into account the position of windows and power outlets. Once he had the measurements, he made a run to the nearest home improvement store and the fun begins.

One lonely bedroom

One lonely bedroom

The Californian had a short list of supplies that includes 2x4s for the frame of the walls, Simpson strong tie assembly brackets, a full doorknob assembly kit, foam/leather straps, Styrofoam wall sheets and a pre-hung door with no frills. He made a spreadsheet that includes both measurements and the cost of the supplies and enters it all onto Blender to create a 3D blueprint of the room before he gets to work.

Blender is a 3D modeling software package geared towards video games or basic 3D modeling.  (You know, simple CAD work). With zero knowledge of CAD, Hypurban used Blender to essentially do CAD.  In this case, he was able to grab all the dimensions and how to cut said pieces in order to achieve his makeshift masterpiece. You CAD drafters out there, you should be able to whip these level conversions out in no time.

Once the frame was complete, Hypurban wraps all of the edges with the foam straps to ensure it never touches/damages the original room. When the guys move out, they need only take the frame with them and pretend it never happened.

Now, two bedrooms! Sort of like dorm living... I could handle it.

Now, two bedrooms! Sort of like dorm living… I could handle it.

So, next time you’re thinking about renting that fancy two-bedroom, ask yourself, “Could I rent a one-bedroom instead, convert it myself for $300 and use the money I save for a relaxing vacation to Fiji?” Well, here’s to dreaming.


The Bathtub Becomes Automated and Arduino-Compatible

raptor_demon’s Arduino Compatible Bathtub Controller: complete with soothing bubbles

raptor_demon’s Arduino Compatible Bathtub Controller: complete with soothing bubbles

After a grueling 3-hour workweek, there’s nothing like coming home and soaking in a hot bubble bath. The problem is, most of us are too tired to even attempt to turn on the water, much less pour in the bubble-bath concoction. Lucky for us, inventor raptor_demon has made it remarkably easier to turn on the hot water and add our bubble flavor of choice with the help of an Atmel microcontroller.

 

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His design uses an Arduino-compatible Atmel ATmega328P microcontroller to trip three relays, one for a fill-valve and pump, one to dispense soap and for the drain-valve and pump. Filling the tub with water is time-based rather than using a floatation-switch, which is calibrated manually. To monitor the temperature of the water in the tub, raptor housed another Atmel microcontroller sealed inside of a rubber duck (my favorite part). The duck sends the temperature data wirelessly (using a 434MHz transmitter) to the other controller (AKA- Bath Computer v2), which can then be monitored on an Adafruit LCD Shield.

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Using his setup allows users to take a bath by just pressing a button on the control box rather than doing everything by hand, because taking a soothing bath shouldn’t be an ‘manual ordeal’. Raptor is looking to upgrade a future version for use within an IoT environment and integrate it into smart-home platforms. I can see it now… one button for remote bath running… then flooding. Do that yourself at Instructables!

 


R2-Beer2: Old Fridge Turned Into Star Wars Kegerator

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Attention Star Wars fans! Attention beer fans! 

Introducing: R2-Beer2. The Kegerator.

The wonderful world of Imgur has once again proven that with an idea, a little determination, and some hard work, you can make all your nerdy dreams come true. It all began with a 1955 GE fridge that was getting ready to be tossed in the garbage. The Imgur user known as Weylund’s grandparents had bought the fridge when they moved into their current house in 1955, but would no longer have use for it after their coming relocation, so they were going to pitch it. They’d only moved it once since buying it 1955 — into their basement — when they replaced it with a more modern fridge. But instead of letting it go, Weylund and a friend got a U-Haul van, and a new project was born for the old fridge.

The finished Kegerator holds two ⅙ kegs and a 5lb CO2 tank comfortably inside it. The process involved a lot of trial-and-error, sanding, painting, more sanding, more coats of paint, taking things apart, putting them back together, and installing new things like insulation. It got tricky in some parts, such as rewiring and putting it back together which almost resulted in the door handle becoming “a very dangerous version of one of those old buzzer gags”. But after fixing a dislodged ceramic tube inside a metal housing on the side of the compressor, all was well again and R2-Beer2 became a fully-functioning Kegerator. Now if you’ll excuse me, my fridge is starting to look like a very nice R2-D2. I’ve got work to do.


How-To: Darth Vader Stove

vader-outdoor-stove

Have you been looking for an outdoor stove, but can’t find one that’s ominous enough? Or maybe you’re just looking to build a steam locomotive version of the Death Star (The Death Star Express!) and need an appropriate firebox? Either way, Instuctbles member doddieszoomer has you covered with this magnificent Darth Vader Gas Bottle Log Burner tutorial.

[via Technabob]