High Tech DIY

Building your own laptop, tablet, or cellphone might sound impossible. It’s not.

From vacuum-tube amplifiers to homebrew computers, amateurs with wiley gumption have traditionally conquered self-built electronic gadgets in short order. Recreating the spectacular capabilities of today’s pocket-sized devices at home has been a bigger challenge, but new access to shrinking hardware and open-source software is now helping eager makers assemble their own cutting edge mobile devices in their home workshops.


 

Reverse Engineering Strange Devices Found in a Library

Reverse Engineering Strange Devices Found in a Library

Follow along to uncover the intent of these devices hidden behind trashcans and vending machines in a college library.

Take VR Into Your Own Hands With These DIY Builds

Take VR Into Your Own Hands With These DIY Builds

Whatever kind of reality you like, here are some interesting projects to play around with.

What’s Inside those Wacoms, And How Can You Use Them In Projects?

What’s Inside those Wacoms, And How Can You Use Them In Projects?

what goes on inside a graphics tablet?

Mechanical Volumetric Displays Are Fascinating, and Lumi Is Launching One On Kickstarter

Mechanical Volumetric Displays Are Fascinating, and Lumi Is Launching One On Kickstarter

Fully 3D, no glasses or head gear required!

Make a Macro Lens for Your Phonecam from an Old Camera

Make a Macro Lens for Your Phonecam from an Old Camera

Repurpose the lens from an unused digital camera into a close-up lens for your smart phone.

Roblox Introduces Education Initiative to Inspire a New Generation of Game Designers

Roblox Introduces Education Initiative to Inspire a New Generation of Game Designers

Today, Roblox launched Roblox Education, an initiative to teach kids how to code by helping them program their own Jurassic Park-inspired video game.

Maker Pro News: Makers Will Run the Factories of the Future

Maker Pro News: Makers Will Run the Factories of the Future

The U.S. manufacturing sector has changed profoundly over the past two decades, with classic assembly lines giving way to a streamlined, automated environment that often harnesses the latest fabrication technology.

Qualcomm Celebrates Three Years of DragonBoard 410c at Maker Faire With Games, an LED Helmet, and a Robot Dress

Qualcomm Celebrates Three Years of DragonBoard 410c at Maker Faire With Games, an LED Helmet, and a Robot Dress

In May 2015 at Maker Faire Bay Area, Qualcomm unveiled the DragonBoard 410c, a powerful, diminutive single board computer aimed at bringing makers into the orbit of the semiconductor giant. Leveraging the Snapdragon processor, it offers a 64-bit quad core running at 1.2 Ghz, 8 GB of flash memory, WiFi, Bluetooth, […]

Turning an iPhone into a USB Flash Drive?

Turning an iPhone into a USB Flash Drive?

Watch an extended exercise in frustration eventually reveal the true rewards of hardware hacking.

Dubai Hosts its First Mini Maker Faire in the United Arab Emirates

Dubai Hosts its First Mini Maker Faire in the United Arab Emirates

The Mini Maker Faire will be a celebration of making that gathers the ecosystem of UAE makers, artists, and designers together.

A young girl being held up by her father reaches to grab a dangling hand and give a high five.

7 Inspirational Women Speaking Out at Maker Faire Bay Area

We're obviously excited for Maker Faire, but one of the things we're REALLY hyped about this year are all the inspirational women that are slated to speak.

Maker Pro News: Successful Founders Tell How They Launched Hardware Startups

Maker Pro News: Successful Founders Tell How They Launched Hardware Startups

Element14 (@element14) released a free eBook called Startups on Startups: The Business of Engineering. It’s a no-nonsense guide to launching a startup.

Maker Pro News: Maker Pros Helping Maker Pros

Maker Pro News: Maker Pros Helping Maker Pros

This week, a DIY maker pro has a few secrets she wants to share, electronics tariffs are beginning to loom over manufacturing, and Apple proves to not be the best example for start-ups.

BforArtists Takes the Pain Out of Blender's Interface

BforArtists Takes the Pain Out of Blender’s Interface

Blender, the extremely powerful, open source, and absolutely free tool has a user interface that is cluttered, counter intuitive, and just plain horrid. Let's fix that.

Maker Pro News: A Great Startup Doesn't Need a Breakthrough Technology

Maker Pro News: A Great Startup Doesn’t Need a Breakthrough Technology

Entrepreneurs often promote their products as breakthroughs, however it’s often more prudent to watch the market for a new proof of concept first.

Maker Pro News: Open Source Startup Mycroft Takes on Amazon Alexa

Maker Pro News: Open Source Startup Mycroft Takes on Amazon Alexa

Digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home exploded in popularity this year, but how are open source rivals responding?

Learn How To Read Capacitors

Learn How To Read Capacitors

Engineering.com recently released a great guide for reading markings on capacitors. Check it out if you haven't seen it already!

Feel Weight In Virtual Reality with this Transforming Controller

Feel Weight In Virtual Reality with this Transforming Controller

Giving players a greater sense of weight and touch is a hot topic in virtual reality right now. It only makes sense that makers would jump at the problem.

Take Control of Kerbal With This Custom Console

Take Control of Kerbal With This Custom Console

Hugo Peeters made a custom console, dubbed KerbalController, for controlling his ships in the Kerbal Space Program.

Emulate an Apple 1 Computer with this Pocket-Sized Device

Emulate an Apple 1 Computer with this Pocket-Sized Device

The Espple Project allows you to carry and control an Apple 1 computer from your pocket. Pretty incredible huh?

A Year After Our Virtual Reality Issue: Trends We've Seen

A Year After Our Virtual Reality Issue: Trends We’ve Seen

In July of 2016, we published our Virtual Reality focused issue of Make: magazine. Let's revisit VR, and see how it's changed.

The Biggest Little Chip: An Intro to the Versatile 555 Timer

The Biggest Little Chip: An Intro to the Versatile 555 Timer

Chain three 555s together to create a gadget that will allow you to impose a time limit in games like checkers or Scrabble.

Maker Pro News: Brick and Mortar Maker Pros, Fabrics Made From Food Waste, and More

Maker Pro News: Brick and Mortar Maker Pros, Fabrics Made From Food Waste, and More

This week, read up on small brick-and-mortar retailers who are selling merchandise made by maker pros and small businesses.

Mad Science and Sterling Engines at the DTLA Mini Maker Faire

Mad Science and Sterling Engines at the DTLA Mini Maker Faire

Witness a collection of art, virtual reality, electronics, robotics projects at DTLA Mini Maker Faire, a free Faire held in downtown LA.

Lightning Deals

Catch ‘Em If You Can: Make Books Lightning Deals This Weekend

Several incredible maker related books will be on massive discount November 25-26, as part of Amazon's Lightning Deals initiative.

2 Simple Linux Tricks to Code Like a Pro

2 Simple Linux Tricks to Code Like a Pro

Linux is a powerful open source operating system that has been around for many years. These helpful tips will make it easier to use.

Restoring a Late-90s Packard Bell Multimedia PC

Restoring a Late-90s Packard Bell Multimedia PC

Look over the shoulder of an antique computer collector as he's restoring a homely PC from the last century.

Use Water to Track a Stylus in 3D Space

Use Water to Track a Stylus in 3D Space

Check out this novel method of determining absolute position: using a tub of water to track a stylus in a 3D space.

This Week in Making: Secret Prison Computers, Destiny Sparrows, and a Invisible Girl

This Week in Making: Secret Prison Computers, Destiny Sparrows, and a Invisible Girl

This week, computers are found in a prison's ceiling, Destiny Sparrows are brought to life, and a cosplayer dresses up as an invisible girl.

Get to Know the BBC Micro:bit

Get to Know the BBC Micro:bit

It's time we gave the micro:bit an in-depth look, and showcase what exactly this impressive little device is capable of doing for you.

More Computer Science Isn’t the Answer

More Computer Science Isn’t the Answer

Whenever we encounter some exciting new technology, the first question we ask ourselves is how do we use this to make the world a better place?

Learn the Basics of JavaScript with MakeCode

Learn the Basics of JavaScript with MakeCode

Without a doubt, one of the most valuable skills in our modern day world is being able to program. One of the best teachers is MakeCode.

Maker Spotlight: The Kratz-Gullickson Family

Maker Spotlight: The Kratz-Gullickson Family

Jason, Jamie, and Liberty Kratz-Gullickson are a family of makers that each specialize in different fields.

This Week in Making: iPhone 7 Headphone Hacks, 3D Printed Homes, and Lego Engineering

This Week in Making: iPhone 7 Headphone Hacks, 3D Printed Homes, and Lego Engineering

This week, learn how to give your iPhone 7 a headphone jack, help NASA 3D print homes for space travel, or do some Lego building.

Braid a Rainbow-Tastic USB Charging Station

Braid a Rainbow-Tastic USB Charging Station

TL; DR: Rainbow = awesome. Please click through for instructions.

Build a Raspberry Pi Scanner that Tracks the Devices Connected to Your Local Network

Build a Raspberry Pi Scanner that Tracks the Devices Connected to Your Local Network

Make use of a Raspberry Pi to build a network scanner that will keep track of the hosts connecting to your local network. It’s actually pretty easy to do.

Maker Spotlight: Joanna Skorupska

Maker Spotlight: Joanna Skorupska

Joanna Skorupska combines the advantages of technology with the culture of innovation and natural curiosity.

Maker Pro News: Brain-computer Interfaces, the Importance of Intuition, and More

Maker Pro News: Brain-computer Interfaces, the Importance of Intuition, and More

We launched our first Mission for Maker Share and plenty of maker pros got to work on it. There were also plenty of projects concerning IoT.

Making Your Own Custom Shortcut Keyboard

Making Your Own Custom Shortcut Keyboard

Create a custom 3D printed shortcut keyboard for design and other complex programs you work in.

This Week in Making: Sneak Peek of Volume 58, First Maker Share Mission, and More

This Week in Making: Sneak Peek of Volume 58, First Maker Share Mission, and More

This week, get a sneak peek at Volume 58, respond to Maker Share's first Mission, play Tetris while soldering, or see some amazing cosplay.

Maker Spotlight: Weijiang Wang

Maker Spotlight: Weijiang Wang

Weijiang works for Makeblock, and among other interesting projects, has used Mblock to make a gramaphone out of paper.

Making VR Accessible for People with Physical Disabilities

Making VR Accessible for People with Physical Disabilities

Walkin VR is making it easier for people with physical disabilities to be able to play virtual reality experiences.

The State of Boards: Small, Simple Hardware Rules

The State of Boards: Small, Simple Hardware Rules

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge growth in the number and variety of both microcontroller boards and single-board computers.

A beige Commodore 64 computer terminal on a white backdrop. The program for "Hello World" is on the screen.

Retrohack Your Old Computer Terminal from Dialup to Wi-Fi

A long-time dream project of Hep Svadja has been trying to hack together a way to get her old computer terminal to work again.

This Week in Making: Decentralize the Web, Girl Scouts Tackle Cybersecurity, and More

This Week in Making: Decentralize the Web, Girl Scouts Tackle Cybersecurity, and More

This week, Mozilla is trying to get makers to decentralize the web, the Girl Scouts tackle cybersecurity, board games go virtual, and more.

Reverse Engineering the Antikythera Mechanism

Reverse Engineering the Antikythera Mechanism

A clock maker tries building a copy of an ancient computer using the tools and engineering skills the original creators may have employed.

This Week in Making: Adam Savage's Makerspace Tour, Duct Tape Prom Dresses, and More

This Week in Making: Adam Savage’s Makerspace Tour, Duct Tape Prom Dresses, and More

This week, Adam Savage toured Artisan's Asylum, Stuck at Prom finalists were announced, and Jordan shares what he saw at E3.

This Custom Built "Commute Deck" Makes it Easy to Work on the Go

This Custom Built “Commute Deck” Makes it Easy to Work on the Go

The Commute Deck is designed to provide a productive computing experience for UNIX terminal work in tight places, like a train or airplane.

Micro:Bit's CEO Discusses Their Children's Education Initiative

Micro:Bit’s CEO Discusses Their Children’s Education Initiative

Last year, the BBC gave a small, embedded computer to nearly a million school children in order to provide coding experience for kids.

This Week in Making: FanimeCon, A Secret Society, Video Game Classes, and More

This Week in Making: FanimeCon, A Secret Society, Video Game Classes, and More

Jordan Ramée attended FanimeCon, the maker community recreated an old secret society, and classes are being offered to learn Unity in 8 weeks.

alt.ctrl.GDC Showcases Custom Interfaces for Video Games

alt.ctrl.GDC Showcases Custom Interfaces for Video Games

alt.ctrl.GDC showcases wild and weird control schemes that create a whole new kind of unique immersion for video games.

Program an SMS Bot Using Python and Twilio

Program an SMS Bot Using Python and Twilio

Make your very own SMS bot that will get you the information that you want, without the need for a strong 3G or LTE connection.

9 Costs That Factor into Mass Manufacturing a Hardware Product

9 Costs That Factor into Mass Manufacturing a Hardware Product

Without question, the costs for mass manufacturing are the most critical expenses when bringing a new hardware product to market.

Review: Voltera V-One Makes Custom Homemade PCBs with Less Mess

Review: Voltera V-One Makes Custom Homemade PCBs with Less Mess

The Voltera V-One minimizes the mess and makes DIY printed circuit board (PCB) production more accurate and automated.

It's ALIVE! The MOnSter 6502 Returns to Maker Faire

It’s ALIVE! The MOnSter 6502 Returns to Maker Faire

EMS Labs returns to Maker Faire Bay Area with the latest progress on their giant, retro-licious transistor-scale 6502 microprocessor.

Exploring the World of Pixar, Holographic Cars, Intelligent AI, and More at GTC 2017

Exploring the World of Pixar, Holographic Cars, Intelligent AI, and More at GTC 2017

Nvidia's GTC conference was full of creative minds that were putting different pieces of Nvidia tech through its paces.

Converting a Retro Portable TV into a Raspberry Pi Video Game Console the Easy Way

Converting a Retro Portable TV into a Raspberry Pi Video Game Console the Easy Way

If you gut an old TV, you can replace more of its innards with a Raspberry Pi and make a fully functioning portable video game console.

SiFive Is Bringing Open Source to the Chip Level

SiFive Is Bringing Open Source to the Chip Level

SiFive's co-founder details the journey to develop the RISC-V architecture, an open source instruction set.

Get Hands-on With the Nvidia Jetson TX2 Developer Kit at GTC 2017

Get Hands-on With the Nvidia Jetson TX2 Developer Kit at GTC 2017

GTC is held specifically to help GPU developers connect, learn, discover, and innovate. It is quite the opportunity.

Build a 1930’s Style Dieselpunk Cellphone

Build a 1930’s Style Dieselpunk Cellphone

Adafruit’s Fona microcontroller, with a GSM phone module, can be used to make your very own dieselpunk cellphone that can make calls and store contacts.

Westerner Builds iPhone from Parts in the Shenzhen, China Marketplace

Westerner Builds iPhone from Parts in the Shenzhen, China Marketplace

Can a relative newbie build his own cellphone from parts he buys in the Huaqiangbei markets?

6 Projects We’re Excited for at Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire

6 Projects We’re Excited for at Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire

Makers and creators of all sorts from all over Scotland will show off their projects and creations at the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire.

This Pi-Powered Linux Terminal Is the Size of an iPhone

This Pi-Powered Linux Terminal Is the Size of an iPhone

Making a handheld Linux device with the Raspberry Pi Zero W may seem a daunting task, but is easier than you think with the right materials.

RS Components Is Holding a Contest Centered Around Their SIMATIC IOT2020

RS Components Is Holding a Contest Centered Around Their SIMATIC IOT2020

In the technology world, the Internet of Things is the hottest ticket around these days. This goes for consumer devices and maker tools alike. RS Components wants to get you participating in this space, and have put a batch of prizes on the line to see what IoT ideas you […]

Maker Spotlight: John Allwine

Maker Spotlight: John Allwine

John dabbles in lots of different areas of making: coding and software, furniture and CNC, and even knot-tying and jewelry making.

2017 New York Toy Fair: Bridging Programming with Physical Products

2017 New York Toy Fair: Bridging Programming with Physical Products

Check out the physical toys that help teach computer programming that were on display at the New York Toy Fair.

10 Charging Station Projects

10 Charging Station Projects

Fun, clever, and useful projects to help keep your mobile device batteries charged and raring to go.

Program with Robot Operating System for Smooth Servo Movement

Program with Robot Operating System for Smooth Servo Movement

Learn how to use the open source ROS platform to bring your robot to life.

8 Festive Projects to Ring in the New Year

8 Festive Projects to Ring in the New Year

Ring in 2017 with some DIY projects made in the spirit of New Year's Eve.

Weekend Watch: Building Custom Gaming Equipment with Lyberty5

Weekend Watch: Building Custom Gaming Equipment with Lyberty5

Lyberty5 builds amazing, custom gaming equipment. From simple to complex builds, you're going to want to watch these.

Climb Aboard a Dragon to Play in Virtual Reality

Climb Aboard a Dragon to Play in Virtual Reality

Building a real-life prop can add a fun and immersive element to your VR experience.

Get to Know Your CNC: How to Read G-Code

Get to Know Your CNC: How to Read G-Code

Understanding the commands lets you read a file and figure out what’s going on.

These Crazy Prototypes Let You Feel Surfaces In Virtual Reality

These Crazy Prototypes Let You Feel Surfaces In Virtual Reality

New prototypes from Microsoft show interesting methods of simulating sensory input

LattePanda Puts Windows 10 on a Single Board Computer

LattePanda Puts Windows 10 on a Single Board Computer

Windows is one of the most widely used operating systems in the world, and LattePanda has created a single board computer with Windows 10.

Motorola’s New Smartphone Lets Users Develop Swappable Mods

Motorola’s New Smartphone Lets Users Develop Swappable Mods

Motorola's new Moto Z smartphone is designed for hacking with easy magnetic snap-on enhancements, perfboard, and personality cards.

music dock

Transform a Cardboard Box into an Android Music Dock

The iPhone has lots of fancy music dock options, but if you own an Android phone, this is an affordable DIY alternative.

Building a Sturdy, Steel Sliding Mount for 3 Computer Monitors

Building a Sturdy, Steel Sliding Mount for 3 Computer Monitors

Faced with the prospect of moving three times in one year, Mitch Willing built a sliding steel mount for his 3 monitors and computer.

Autonomous Robots, Cars, and Drones... What Will You Do with Lidar?

Autonomous Robots, Cars, and Drones… What Will You Do with Lidar?

As prices tumble, lidar is becoming the go-to tool for autonomous robotic vision — and its applications go well beyond autonomous vehicles.

Exclusive: See the Secret Prototypes We Found in Valve's VR Lab

Exclusive: See the Secret Prototypes We Found in Valve’s VR Lab

See Virtual Reality prototypes that Valve have never shown publicly before!

Turn Your Electronics Project into a Sellable Product

Turn Your Electronics Project into a Sellable Product

Have an idea you’d like to bring to market? In this series, John Teel walks through the process of scaling up from prototype to production. Follow each installment for a closer look at how to incorporate individual components. Do you dream of developing a hot, new hardware gadget and bringing […]

  • Posted by | June 13th, 2016 5:30 AM
Making an Edible Virtual Reality Viewer for Your Phone

Making an Edible Virtual Reality Viewer for Your Phone

When someone misheard a project pitch in a meeting, I knew I had to create the hilarious result.

This Functioning Monster 6502 Is a Larger Than Life Version of the Iconic Microchip

This Functioning Monster 6502 Is a Larger Than Life Version of the Iconic Microchip

The Monster 6502 is an incredible homage to the chip that revolutionized home computing.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon DragonBoard 410c development board.

Qualcomm Showcases DragonBoard 410c’s Expanded Developer Options at Maker Faire

DragonBoard 410c Returns to Maker Faire Last year at Maker Faire Qualcomm® upped its game in an effort to attract Makers and other developers to their DragonBoard™ 410c development board. This year the chip manufacturing giant returns to Maker Faire Bay Area with demos of custom apps, games, and robots […]

Build Rescue Bots Using Off the Shelf Parts

Build Rescue Bots Using Off the Shelf Parts

For assessing risky situations in tight spaces, sometimes it's best to send a small robotic rover in ahead of you.

Papercut White House and lawn with fountain. Photo by Andrew Terranova

This Week in Making: Cyborg Eyeballs, Quantum Computers, and Coffee

This past week we contemplated what we'd do with a quantum computer, debated replacing the lenses in our eyeballs, and drank too much coffee.

Use Bluetooth to Control Your Light Switch from Your Smartphone

Use Bluetooth to Control Your Light Switch from Your Smartphone

One big problem with smart light bulbs is that the smarts are in the bulb. They don’t play nice with the light switch on the wall. In fact, you can make most smart light bulb systems unresponsive just by using your wall switch! We really need to replace the switch, […]

Made in Baltimore: Select the Best Software for Your Makerspace

Made in Baltimore: Select the Best Software for Your Makerspace

without the right software, much of the hardware in a makerspace is a lot less useful and some of it is downright useless.

Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Linux Laptop That Fits in Your Pocket

Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Linux Laptop That Fits in Your Pocket

This simple Raspberry Pi-Powered Linux laptop uses off-the-shelf parts, can be hooked up to a TV or monitor, and it fits in your pocket.

Create a VR Bike Route with Raspberry Pi and a Stationary Bike

Create a VR Bike Route with Raspberry Pi and a Stationary Bike

What do you do when you get a free Gear VR headset with your new phone? Make a bike route for your stationary bike!

VR Comes to Hackathons with Latest Oculus Rift and MLH Partnership

VR Comes to Hackathons with Latest Oculus Rift and MLH Partnership

High school and university students will soon be getting the opportunity to use Oculus Rift as part of their next MLH hackathon experience.

Getting Started with VR: Tools and Materials for Creating Custom Interfaces

Getting Started with VR: Tools and Materials for Creating Custom Interfaces

With virtual reality you can really get wild with your game interfaces. Spaceship control panels? Easy. An actual parachute harness? Awesome.

Take Your VR Pinball Experience from Meh to Marvelous

Take Your VR Pinball Experience from Meh to Marvelous

Virtual reality gaming is inspiring Makers to create a whole new set of game interfaces. This one takes a VR pinball to the next level.

April Fools' Day in the Office: 7 Pranks You Can Pull Off from Your Desk

April Fools’ Day in the Office: 7 Pranks You Can Pull Off from Your Desk

With just a few clicks, you can get your coworkers good with these computer pranks fit for April Fools' Day.

Getting Started With VR: The Best Software Tools Are Free

Getting Started With VR: The Best Software Tools Are Free

Getting started with VR doesn't have to cost anything. Some of the best software possible is absolutely free.

Ditch the Aluminum for an Elegant Wooden Computer Enclosure

Ditch the Aluminum for an Elegant Wooden Computer Enclosure

This classy computer case was made using basic woodworking and computer skills. It looks great and can be done by a novice.

8 Crazy Keyboards That Will Trick Out Your Typing

8 Crazy Keyboards That Will Trick Out Your Typing

A custom keyboard could be right at your fingertips, so why are you still using that basic keyboard that came with your computer?

Remotely Monitor Temperature with Raspberry Pi

Remotely Monitor Temperature with Raspberry Pi

Whether you want to know how hot it is inside your pizza oven, your car, or somewhere else, you can gauge temperature remotely with Raspberry Pi.

There's an App for That Toy at the New York Toy Fair

There’s an App for That Toy at the New York Toy Fair

New toys on the market are trending toward physical building block styles with integrated digital components. Here are our favorites from New York Toy Fair.

This Is the Easiest Way to Build Accessibility Tech for Kids with Disabilities

This Is the Easiest Way to Build Accessibility Tech for Kids with Disabilities

One size DOESN'T fit all, especially when it comes to education. MaKey MaKey lets teachers tailor tech education for student needs.

Building a Home Automation System with OpenHAB to Control LEDs Wirelessly

Building a Home Automation System with OpenHAB to Control LEDs Wirelessly

      Using the open source software OpenHAB, we’ll be building a Raspberry Pi touchscreen command center that can interface with over 150 different “smart home” products, and provide an interface for control and task scheduling. Instead of using an existing product though, we’ll build our own WiFi enabled […]