Maker Inspiration

Thinking about starting a new project?  Your going to need some motivation and inspiration to get started.  The problem is that the internet is a big place, and often makers ask where is a good site to find fun projects and inspiration.  These are a few of the spots I use regularly to find new approaches and techniques for my next project.  Everything from step by step guides which get the maker-juices flowing to TED talks that get me thinking different.

Make Magazine:

First lets talk about the elephant in the room; one of the largest resources for makers everywhere is Make magazine, which has been publishing articles in print and digital form since 2005. This gives them a solid name (and market) in the world of Making. Covering everything from wood working to Arduino programming you will find plenty of projects that will take you down the make-rabbit hole.  Their step by step guides are easy to follow and well written; including parts and tool lists to make sure you finish with something to show off to your friends and family.

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The nerd in me can’t write about maker project inspiration with out talking about Adafruit.  Adafruit is a distributor and creator of all things ardino and raspberry pi.  Not only can you find just about any component for your breadboard but they will also show you how to get started.  Learn.adafruit is full of videos and step by step guides to teach you how to add bluetooth, LED’s and more to your next build- big or small.  Each tutorial features links to parts right on one page, so getting started is easy.

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I consider my self to be an avid pinner.  It’s rare that I start or finish a project with out a few hours on Pinterest.  There is almost nothing you can’t find after using their search feature; amazing design and ingenuous engineering will quickly fill your pinning feed with tons of ideas.  The downside is that you will find less step by step guides and more general inspiration, though some pins will take you to the sites with simple to detailed directions – so clicking the link may be worth a try.  Woodturning, Metal Casting, and paper crafts are just some of the things you will find to get you started.

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There are countless podcasts about making things, some good and some dismal; however at the top of my list is a podcast on the TWIT network called “Know How”.  The two hosts are great and the production quality is second to none.  It’s more like a show on network television than a show you watch on your mobil device. You would be a ‘twit’ not to check them out when looking for inspiration.

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Meet Joe

Last month we started a maker profile video series; we began with our very own industrial furniture maker Joe.  As a member, Joe, has made some amazing furniture using reclaimed parts from industrial machines.  One person’s trash is this maker’s treasure and he has found some gems.  These images are just a few pieces of Joe’s amazing work.  From end tables made with old gears to dinning tables made from a bowling alley, he has it all.Joe_160124_031 Joe_160124_032 Joe_160124_035Joe_160124_015 Joe_160124_001

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Making a Welder

What does it take to make a welder?  One Marc and space for lots of practice.  Thankfully we have both of those things at Milwaukee Makerspace.  I have seen few people give of them selfs as freely as our resident welding expert Marc.  Over the past weeks he has been teaching classes covering theory, safety, and of course hands on MIG welding.  There is still time to level up your skills so be sure to sign up for a class on the google group here.

Yes, we have Daleks…

Exterminate!!! Photo by Wendy Schreier

Daleks, you say? Yes, we have Daleks.

The folks at Milwaukee Record have revealed our plans to have the “Most Amount of Daleks Assembled in One Place at One Time”, or something like that.

John and his gang at Dalek Asylum Milwaukee have been hard at work learning new skills to build out their Dalek army, and it’s been impressive to watch!

I’m hoping to see all these Daleks at Maker Faire Milwaukee, which is happening September 24th & 25th, 2016 at State Faire Park.

Drive Time!

Hard Drive

A few of us have been working on a project each Tuesday night which involves dismantling old hard drives.

What do you get from an old hard drive? We’re saving the cases for an Aluminum pour at Maker Faire Milwaukee, the motors are super-fast and super-quiet, there are some tiny bearings we might use, and there are powerful magnets, some of which we’ve used to hold tools to the wall in the past, and finally, those shiny, shiny platters!

Hard Drive

Hard Drive

Hard Drive Platters

We’ve got a stack of about 80 platters, with more coming. If you’re wondering what we’re going to do with all the platters, well… yeah, some sort of project for Maker Faire. That’s all I can reveal right now. :)