Makerspace to Marketplace

Our makerspace is full of amazing talent and fantastic ideas.  But how do you take those ideas out of your brain and put them on a shelf?  You might think that a hammer, saw, and some duck tape might do the trick, but you might be better off using some of the resources in this post instead.  Safety first!

Step One: Meet like minded people
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No one can tell you what project to do but you might need some help making it.  Meetup is a great place to find people with similar interests in wood working, coding, electronics, or marketing.  If your team of builders aren’t on Meetup,  you may find them here at the Makerspace. Everyone is a bit different and you will find plenty of personalities that you either mesh with or clash with. Usually you find both, but don’t let it stop you, rather let it move you forward with motivation.

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Feed Your Inner Maker

I think we have all seen a TED Talk or three in our lifetime.  TED speakers are leaders in their respective fields and rarely fail to amuse and amaze.  These, in my opinion, are a few talks that are a must-see for builders, makers, and creatives of all kinds. Whether you need to find inspiration or you just need to be entertained you will find something in this list.

First, I have to mention is this talk about what we can learn from spaghetti sauce.  This was my introduction to Malcolm Gladwell and sent me down the rabbit hole.  This writer of “The Tipping Point”, “David and Goliath”, and “Outliers” gives several great talks but this is still my favorite. Continue reading

Rube Goldberg DoorBell Lives


I finally got my rube goldberg doorbell into an installable state. On the left is the door button detector. It is an ESP8266 ESP-07 making use of the U.FL connector to allow the WiFi signal to punch through from my basement to the 2nd floor where the router is located. On the right is another ESP8266 and a doorbell transformer. Just barely peaking out from under that module is an actual doorbell.

A key aspect of the system is that the door button module doesn’t communicate directly with the door bell module. Both modules log into a Mosquitto MQTT broker. The button module “publishes” events on the MQTT topic of “DoorBell” and the bell module subscribes to the MQTT topic of DoorBell. Later, I can split the topic names and have something like OpenHAB conditionally copy events from one topic to the other depending on the time of day. OpenHAB can also translate MQTT events to a service like Notify My Android so that my phone buzzes in response to a door button push.

I am excited to install this at home and see how it does!

Kids Make the Darndest Things

Our maker world is full of dangerous things like power tools, computers, and stuff that blows up to make awesome projects; things that no child should be using (normally), but that does not need to stop your child from working on a project of their own.  Here we will see examples of young makers and projects that us, more experienced makers, can do with them.  After all kids can make the darndest things.

My list for amazing kids is long and at the top is my very own nephew, Nate.  Endlessly fascinated by science and the human body he, with some help from his father, has started a podcast.  At the mature age of 5 he is interviewing scientists from all over the country.  Covering topics from cell biology to Santa, this small scientist will knock your socks off.  Each episode ends with him telling his dad he can stop the recording now and it’s the most adorable thing ever.

The Show About Science

Follow Nate on twitter


A great way to get your young scientist started is in the kitchen.  Your kitchen is the lab you use every day to change the state of things from liquid to gas, and excite molecules in all sorts of ways.  If you’re like me, you’ll want to brush up on your own kitchen science with a few episodes of Alton Brown’s show “Good Eats“.  Once that is done grab your mini lab partner and get cooking.  Here is a link to some fun experiments to get you started.

Kitchen Experiments


Projects for young makers don’t have to stay confined to the kitchen.  From electronics to kite building there are lots of ways to keep them in the shop and away from the television.  The best way is to start with the basics and learning  the hand full of essential skills every maker needs.  Here are a few helpful links for you and your small maker.

Skills Every Young Maker Needs

Projects for Young Makers


So get out there fellow makers and help make the next generation great while making great memories!