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When we post new content on MAKE, we love hearing from our readers. Whether the comments be intelligent, insightful, or funny, here are our favorites from the past week, from Makezine, our Facebook page, Google+ Community, and Twitter.

 Your Comments
In the article 3D Printing Revolution: The Complex Reality, andytanguay commented:

Wow, THANK YOU!

It is really great to hear a rational voice to balance out the rather frothy exuberance that surrounds 3D printing. Make no mistake, it certainly is an exciting technology, and I do want to think we’re in the ‘Apple II’ years, and that the future holds 3D printers that produce quality, useful goods that compete with commercially produced items. But I have yet to see many examples of things that would make me begin to think we’re even close.

Just to hear someone say ‘Hey, CAD is actually really hard’ is refreshing! That is no joke. If people learning vector art packages to feed laser cutters and Shopbots thought picking up that skill was difficult, wait til they get a taste of solving water tightness issues, and reducing polygon counts. Not to mention the engineering science that this article discusses.

I absolutely love the Maker movement… it’s changed my life… but I will admit that I’ve been really puzzled by this subject over the years. Technologies like CNC-everything, laser cutters, cheap microcontrollers, Maker-spaces, systems on a chip… their usefulness has all been very apparent. But I’ve watched all the excitement around 3D printing and find myself looking around and thinking ‘I’m not sure I get this one.’

Hopefully, some of the issues brought up in this article get rationally talked about in the larger picture. For instance, if CAD tools for the ‘everyman’ are designed to help guide the user through some of the pitfalls of mechanical engineering, the user would immediately have a leg up, or cheap FEA tools to ‘pretest’ parts would go a long way in helping a home/hobbyist maker design more structurally sound parts.

We shall see.

In the piece Black Makers Month: Amon Millner, chuck remarks:

The intent of these posts doesn’t seem to be to put one race or culture over another- it’s to showcase role models for a segment of the youth that may not see themselves represented in the maker and tech fields. There is nothing wrong with that.
I’m a 41 year old white guy from the south. When I was a young geek growing up I rarely saw southern folks portrayed positively in the media. If a character on a show had a southern accent it was either Roscoe P. Coletrane or Boss Hogg- either stupid or evil. I rarely saw southerners portrayed as intelligent or creative. To avoid hassles you learn to drop your accent. You drop some phrases and idioms from your vocabulary. You change the way you dress and the music you listen to (at least around some people). Of course I still act the same around my family, but eventually you begin to wonder which one is the mask- the city Chuck or the country Chuck. Maybe more positive southern role models would have prevented this conflict.
The point is if you’ve never been thirsty you can’t really appreciate water. If you find these posts useless or offensive then they probably are not targeted at you. If you’re a young black kid being presented with a constant barrage of negative images and stereotypes, these posts might offer you a little hope. Is that so horrible?

On MAKE’s Facebook page, a picture of a Millenium Falcon toilet seat and light sabre plunger spurred Richard H. Gerber to say:

ok, kid! You’re all clear! Shoot for the hole!

and Ian Braumberger to quip:

She can poop the Kessel run in 16 flushes.

On the Make Twitter page, we saw this funny exchange:

In the article Happy National Inventors’ Day, asciimation responded with:

I thought of another good one, Beatrice Shilling. She solved the problem of the early WW2 Spitfires (which used carburettors instead of fuel injection like the Jerries used) having their engines cut out when doing negative G maneuvers. She invented a diaphragm with a hole in it that sat inside the carb and stopped the fuel sloshing about. It was known as Tilly Shilling’s Orifice.

She had electrical and mechanical engineer degrees and raced a Norton motorcycle around Brooklands!

On our Google+ Community, Mark Frauenfelder put out a call for true stories about dangerous maker experiences. Matthew Gryczan shared this one:

My high school chemistry teacher let a few of us students do extracurricular experiments in the lab unsupervised after class (try that now!) — so it was only natural that we would whip up a bit of nitrogen tri-iodide, a weak explosive that is so unstable when dry that it can be set off if a fly lands on it. We made a mound of the stuff and whacked it with a stick as a test. It went up like a cloud, showering the room with bits of explosive. When we saw the mini-mushroom, we knew it was time to out of there and pretend nothing had happened — when I closed my open chemistry book, the inside pages exploded. The next day anyone walking into the room would hear popping sounds under their feet or when they sat down, and we knew the jig was up. It took two hours of decontamination with a wet mop and sponges, under the teacher’s watchful eye this time.

Like these comments? Be sure to sound off in the comments! You could be in next week’s column.

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


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