Just Add Sharks to Maker Faire UK

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This post is coming to you live from Maker Faire UK being held this weekend at the Life Science Centre here in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Just Add Sharks

Just Add Sharks is fast becoming something of a fixture in the British maker community, it’s a tiny company started by Martin Raynsford and Dominic Morrow selling low-cost Chinese-built laser cutters, but if you’ve never spent serious time with a laser cutter you’re probably going to be surprised by some of the demos they’ve brought along with them to Maker Faire UK. Because they don’t just sell laser cutters, they use them, and they’re passionate advocates for what you can do with them.

I managed to catch up with Martin and talked to him about a couple of the things he—and Dominic—have brought along…


First of all, I just had to talk to him about his Arduino-powered Etch-a-Sketch hack—they’ve bypassed the laser cutter’s control board to and used an Arduino patched into the machine’s wiring using some of the existing connectors to drive the cutting head directly from the Etch-a-Sketch’s dials.

But I also had to talk to him about the intricate and utterly fascinating laser cut Marble Machines that they’ve brought along which evolved out of prototypes for the lifting mechanisms for his Mechanical Donkey Kong build a couple of years ago.

After building these miniature machines Martin is now hard at work rebuilding his Donkey Kong game, so hopefully we’ll see that at next year’s Maker Faire UK.

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Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker and tinkerer, who is spending a lot of his time thinking about the Internet of Things. In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and contributed to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered.

View more articles by Alasdair Allan


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