This Week in Making: Supersonic Nerfs, 3D Printing Metal, and Upcycling Made Easier

3D Printing & Imaging CNC & Machining Digital Fabrication Fun & Games
This Week in Making: Supersonic Nerfs, 3D Printing Metal, and Upcycling Made Easier

Italian YouTuber and maker, Giaco Whatever (@GiacoWhatever), broke the sound barrier with a Nerf dart this past week.

Giaco Whatever describes his videos as “not how-to, [rather] just about me doing, building, testing, making anything!” His videos are rarely longer than five minutes but each proves more entertaining than the last. The gun he made to fire a Nerf dart launches the dart close to Mach 2.3 (a little over twice the speed of sound) but Giaco Whatever is not content to stop there. He wants to find a way to make a dart fly even faster.

The comments section beneath his video is a playful reflection of the arms race between the U.S. and Russia of the 1950s. Fans teasingly stall for time while trying to replicate Giaco Whatever’s gun so they can challenge their friends to the Nerf gun war to end all Nerf gun wars.

Ability3D (@Ability3D) launched their Kickstarter this week for their 3D metal printer: the Ability1. Half MIG welder and half CNC mill, the Ability1 provides the first real opportunity to 3D print real metal parts from home.

The Kickstarter is currently underfunded but the crowd funding campaign continues until May 2 of this year, so there is still plenty of time for the project to reach its goal. The printer’s final price is a tad outside my personal budget so I won’t be picking one up myself, but I am excited to see what makers create with a machine that prints real metal.

If you are anything like me, you have dozens of random buttons lying around from old shirts you don’t even own anymore or extra fabric stuffed away from projects that have long since been completed. A new app called Squirrelz aims to change that.

The minds behind Squirrelz (@the_Squirrelz) believe that unused materials are not useless, and hope their app inspires designers to give away what they do not need and easily find what they do. Available for iOS, Squirrelz provides a platform for its users to list their unused design materials that they are willing to give away for free. Users can communicate and trade materials with each other or engage in hubs composed of nearby designers and crafters.

Although it launched earlier in the month, Resistbot’s (@botresist) popularity soared this past week when citizens wished to find new means of pressuring politicians during the healthcare vote.

Resistbot is simple to use. Text “resist” to 50409. Then type up any message that you wish. When sent, the text message transforms into a fax that is printed out for the sender’s Congress representative. Users can text as many additional messages as they wish (whenever they want) by texting “resist” again.

During such a controversial political climate, it can seem like each of our individual voices lack weight. Resistbot offers a simple means of ensuring anyone’s opinion is heard, and is heard by the right person.

On Tuesday, Japanese YouTuber and creator Tettzan Zone unveiled a charging dock he made for the Nintendo Switch that is housed in the outer shell of a Nintendo 64. The 2017 console is inserted where game cartridges were previously jammed into the 1996 console, providing a means of playing Nintendo’s newest games while being bombarded by waves of nostalgia. It looks awesome!

My only gripe with the design is that it does not allow the Nintendo Switch Joycon controllers to charge while the console is docked. They do not fit on the Switch while it rests in the Nintendo 64, so they will have to be charged separately. However, if that design flaw does not sway you, and you still want to make your own Nintendo 64 charging dock, Tettzan Zone released a follow-up video on Wednesday to showcase how he did it.

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

Jordan has spent much of his life writing about his many geeky pastimes. He's particularly passionate about indie game design and Japanese art, but loves interacting with creators from all walks of life.

View more articles by Jordan Ramée