We thought it would be fun to share the top ten most popular posts on Make: for 2015. Covering projects, shop tips, makers in the news, exciting new hardware, and art, these articles paint a fairly decent picture of maker interests and concerns for the year. It was a busy twelve months, for Maker Media, and for the greater maker movement. Enthusiasm for do-it-yourself and do-it-with-others shows no signs of slowing down. We can’t wait to see where that enthusiasm takes all of us in the new year. We hope you continue to share your journey with us. Here are our top stories.
[#1] 20 Secret Doors and Clever Hiding Places
It seems as though Make: readers can’t get enough of secret stash boxes, sliding bookcases, hidden passageways, and concealed compartments with electronic password locks. This roundup of some of the more ingenious sneaky projects stole the show in 2015. And if you can’t get enough devious deception and trickery, also be sure to check out Seventeen Sneaky Secret Compartments.
[#2] This is Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock
One of the most talked about stories in all of cyberspace for 2015 concerned the arrest of Irving, Texas youth, Ahmed Mohamed. The arrest of the Muslim teen, over a suspicious-looking homebrewed clock that he’d brought to school, set off a firestorm of controversy that ultimately seemed to be more about the greater fears and racial tensions in the U.S. these days than this kid and his clock. In the midst of all of the speculation and ugly accusation, Make: took a closer look at the clock itself and what it was actually comprised of.
[#3] Meet “C.H.I.P,” the $9 Computer
Not surprisingly, a $9 Linux computer gets people’s attention. We posted this article and intro video about the C.H.I.P. computer the day that Next Thing Co. launched their Kickstarter campaign to fund it in May. The campaign ended up raking in over two million bucks by the time it was over. C.H.I.P. is now available for pre-sale on the company’s website. Coincidentally, while we were working on this article, backers began receiving their C.H.I.P.s.
[#4] 5 Cool Things You May Not Know About Your Tape Measure
Our Skill Builder and workshop tips pieces turned out to be incredibly popular this year, but none more so than this article where building contractor and educator Leah Bolden reveals five features of a common tape measure that apparently lots of people didn’t know about.
[#5] You Wont Believe This Handmade Electronic Clock
We’ve seen some gorgeous, artful soldering over the years here at Maker Media, but this amazing freeformed soldered clock takes the cake.
[#6] 20 Projects to Celebrate Arduino Day
The Arduino open source electronics prototyping platform continues to be microcontroller of record for most makers. To celebrate this year’s “Arduino Day” in May, Make: published this roundup of projects which proved to be extremely popular.
[#7] Raspberry Pi Announces $5 Computer: Model Zero
Not to be outdone by the $9 C.H.I.P., in November, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the RBpi Zero, a Linux-capable board operating at 1GHz with 512MB of RAM, making it about 40–60% faster than the Raspberry Pi model B. And all this for five bones.
[#8] Understand 1,700 Mechanical Linkages with these Helpful Animations
There’s something absolutely mesmerizing (and highly educational) about watching these animations of mechanical linkages. Created by a Vietnamese engineer, the various animations in this massive collection are divided into libraries covering gears, couplings, clutches, differentials, and much more. An amazing resource.
[#9] Beautiful Weeds: Preserve a Dandelion in Resin
Delicate, feathery dandelions suspended in balls of clear resin? What’s not to love?
[#10] Making the $25K Odaiko Drum on a Budget
An Odaiko drum is a key part of a Japanese Taiko drumming ensemble. Trouble is, they cost $25,000. So, a Florida school class decided to build their own. Their efforts proved extremely inspirational, earning them a spot on our list of most popular posts of the year.
What were some of your favorite maker stories and tech advances in 2015? Please share in the comments.