Skill Builder 2012: Materials

Skill Builder 2012: Materials

Salt and vinegar etching of copper conductive fabric, from Hannah Perner-Wilson’s Kit-of-No-Parts project

Last year we launched our Skill Builder series on the site, a monthly educational program exploring core maker skills (electronics, woodworking, metalworking, etc.). We think we got off to a good start and want to continue building on that content. But this year, we’re approaching the skill sets from a different angle: The materials that go into what you build. So, over the coming year, each month, we’ll be featuring a different material (or category of material) and how it is used in various projects and areas of making.

To start things off, we’ll be covering Advanced Materials. For the rest of January, we’ll be looking at things like new conductive materials, soft circuits, shape-memory alloys (SMA), ferrofluids, and more.

We’re also going to have Maker Profiles each week celebrating the work of someone who’s doing amazing things with the materials that we’re featuring. And we’ll have articles explaining the materials, where/how to source them, how to use them, etc. And we’ll have new content in Make: Projects.

We’re excited about this series and are looking forward to delving deeper into the tools, techniques, and materials used in making. Stay tuned…

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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