Maker Spotlight: Emiel Noorlander

Maker News
Maker Spotlight: Emiel Noorlander

website | youtube | instagram | twitter | facebook

What is your job?
I work as a mechanical engineer where I design and build prototypes for a range of different product types mostly around the restaurant industry.

How did you get started making?
As a kid I was always fascinated by how things were build and all the parts that go into it. I was often busy taking apart old vcr’s, typewriters and everything else I could get my hands on. But I wasn’t making anything at this time, it wasn’t always the most gentle way to take stuff apart so the appliances never went back together.
A couple of years later I made my first real project, a lamp made from a stack of old CD’s, I saw an image like that on the internet and just had to make it. But it was a few years later when I really started making.

It was the summer break after my first year of engineering college. Again inspired by something I found online I designed and build a gyroscopic watch winder, all in my living room with some basic hand-tools. From that point on I always had at least one project in progress, especially in the exam periods I often made things, I guess it was a way to relax for me.

That summer was also when I realised that making is not only fun, but the experience of making something with my hands also makes me better at my engineering job.

What type of maker would you classify yourself as?
I’m a tryer of new things, explorer of techniques, multi-material allrounder. I like having fun building cool stuff and I want to encourage people to get started making as well. It’s fun, relaxing, and you also learn a ton of it.
In my small workshop I make all sorts of projects, from shop infrastructure to furniture and also a pinball machine, watch winder and all sorts of cool contraptions.
I like learning new skills and enjoy applying them in in different areas when making.

The most important part for me is to experiment and to have fun creating.

What’s your favorite thing that you’ve made?
The most fun thing I made until now is definitely the pinball machine I made. My goal was to make a simplified and smaller version of a pinball machine, but with electronic controlled flippers. It was a lot of fun to build and had a lot of challenges in the way.
Projects involving mechanical parts often require some tinkering and some experimenting to get them just right, especially when making basic versions of otherwise complex systems. This can be a lot of fun and is also frustrating at times, making the satisfaction even better when it’s finished.

I learned a ton during this build and I even got to play pinball at the end (for testing purposes of course).

What’s something you’d like to make next?
I want to make more fun projects like overly complicated machines to do simple tasks and other things made mainly for fun. I’d like to show, and experience myself, that there doesn’t always need to be a reason to make something, besides having fun of course!

Any advice for people reading this?
Get out there, start making. its all about experimenting, learning and having fun creating. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is or what tools you have.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

View more articles by Caleb Kraft