Schuyler St. Leger got his start with an original Lego Mindstorms RCX kit and was inspired by the tinkering of cartoon inventors Wallace and Gromit. From there he learned to write code with Processing and Scratch, explored electronics, and learned to knit from his grandma. The Garduino Garden Controller from MAKE Volume 18 opened his eyes to the world of microcontrollers.
“I had already built my own Intel Atom computer and played with Snap Circuits, but this exposure enabled me to take electronics to another level. I was hooked!” St. Leger recalls.
He has been a part of his local hackerspace, HeatSync Labs, for around four years. It was at HeatSync that he got his first taste of 3D printing. A fellow member brought in a MakerBot CupCake CNC, and St. Leger begged his parents for months until t hey got him one. When it arrived, he dedicated an entire week to putting it together.
“When you make something with your own hands not only do you yourself build it, but you also know how to fix it,” he says. “You are your own customer support and repair technician! You get an intimate knowledge of your creation.”
St. Leger even gave a talk at Ignite Phoenix in 2011, titled “Why I Love My 3D Printer,” which has more than 300,000 views on YouTube. But he already has his sights set on MakerBot’s new Replicator 3D printer, which has dual extruders for multicolored objects. (Though Schuyler dreams of modifying it to quadruple the print area and adding a third extruder.)
Schuyler’s advice for other young makers is to just get out and experiment. “Explore as much as you can. Try to build things. If they work, great; if not, figure out why not.”
He also recommends joining a local hackerspace or makerspace to learn from other makers. And when all else fails and something has you stumped: Google it!
Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
Hero: Bre Pettis (of MakerBot Industries)
Favorite Accomplishment: Building my 3D printer and sharing my passion for making.
Favorite Tool: 3D printer
Current Project: Tuning and calibrating my MakerBot Thing-O-Matic (my second 3D printer) and building a better home phone charger.