There’s nothing as DIY as hot-rodding your wheels. Our cars are our palettes, representing who we truly are through personalization of everything from the color of the paint jobs to the size of the engines.
We take this customization very seriously. Scores of enthusiasts spend countless hours perched over open hoods, changing fluids, tuning carburetors, and cleaning air filters. The more intrepid overhaul engines in search of better efficiency and, more commonly, faster speeds. And the true diehards build entirely new machines, fabricating bodies and frames to hold the components of their choosing in every imaginable configuration.
We now live in the era of the connected car, with automobiles so sophisticated that they can even think for us. Despite this, we havenʼt relinquished our right to hack our rides — every automotive advancement and new sensor network has someone pulling it apart to figure out how to make it their own. Join us as we celebrate these trailblazing technicians with all manner of vehicle projects big and small, for everything with one wheel to four. Your garage awaits you.
Get inspired with these articles and projects
If you’re interested in hand-built bicycle frames, there’s a good chance you already know the name Cameron Falconer.
- Posted by Kathryn Kruse | November 6th, 2015 5:30 AM
The craftsmanship of this steampunk teardrop trailer is awe-inspiring. What a beautiful piece of functional equipment to travel in style!
- Posted by Caleb Kraft | October 21st, 2015 5:00 AM
What started as an idea to produce our own simple, fun, affordable electric vehicle has evolved into a DIY project easily assembled by nearly anyone. The Switch defines a new class of auto — a lightweight, high-capacity, versatile electric vehicle (EV) that requires minimal resources to construct, assemble, and drive.
Build the Congolese workhorse that can haul hundreds of pounds of cargo.
- Posted by Doug Bradbury | July 28th, 2015 7:00 AM
Today Local Motors announces the winner of its design challenge, Project [Redacted], for a four-seater based on a 3D-printable template.
- Posted by Nathan Hurst | July 7th, 2015 9:50 AM
Will a vague copyright law affect the scope of what hobbyists and modders can do with their vehicles?
- Posted by Benjamin Preston | June 24th, 2015 3:53 PM
Traditional methods for building cars are full of wasted materials and wasted energy. 3D printing offers a greater level of customization along with the ability to easily make complicated parts. The team from Divergent Microfactories set forth to use the power of 3D printing to help make a car — and not just any car — […]
- Posted by Matt Stultz | June 24th, 2015 8:28 AM
What do you do if you live off the coast of Panama and you need to get the family around? If you’re Jaimie Mantzel, you build yourself a solar powered boat… or three. Mantzel had previously built a 16′ catamaran sailboat with a plywood and fiberglass hull, which he later converted to a solar powered […]
- Posted by Andrew Terranova | June 12th, 2015 8:30 AM
While planning his first trip to Burning Man, Scott Parenteau wanted to have something really cool. He wanted to have something that people would stop and stare at as it traveled by. The “Tin Spider” pulls this off nicely as you can see, with a crowd gathering just to see it take a few strides. […]
- Posted by Caleb Kraft | June 11th, 2015 6:00 AM
My father-in-law, Craig, is one of those crazy weekend Makers that gets a wacky thought in his head and actually makes it happen. Here, he took an old wine barrel and an unused bike stroller and made something quite *ahem* intoxicating to ride around in. In his own words: First, I got a free Burley child trailer that my […]
- Posted by Jason Babler | June 10th, 2015 8:00 AM
As a custom bike manufacturer, I make all my own tooling. Most of it is advanced or heavy duty, but I’ve also made some simple, elegant tools from old spokes. This tutorial is for a nipple driver, which winds the nipples — the little pieces that hold the spokes to the rims — into the […]
- Posted by Kristofer Henry | June 5th, 2015 9:30 AM
June 1-5 is Bike Week, and although a monowheel isn’t technically within the category of bikes, here at Make:, we thought this one was definitely cool enough to share some of the Bike Week love. If you can’t afford a motorized version, get inspired by this pedal-powered wooden model. As seen on Danielle Nutter’s blog post from 2010, […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 5th, 2015 7:30 AM
The San Mateo Fairgrounds is huge. As the home site of Maker Faire Bay Area, it has to be. With thousands of Makers’ exhibits spread across numerous zones of the faire, there was a lot of ground to cover. Walking is all well and good, but rest assured knowing that Makers are serious about their […]
- Posted by Sophia Smith | June 5th, 2015 7:00 AM
Most hand-made bicycles are built from steel or titanium, but Calfee Designs makes them from carbon.
- Posted by Nathan Hurst | June 4th, 2015 10:30 AM
Precious is the name of the sensor laden anthropomorphized bicycle modified by New York makers Zolty, Mattias Gunneras, and Michael Lipton of Breakfast. The project started when its rider, Janeen, had decided to ride across the US on the TransAmerica Trail to raise money for LIVESTRONG. The crew at Breakfast wanted to lend support and saw it as an opportunity to create something different and exciting.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | June 4th, 2015 9:30 AM
If you’ve ever watched MotoGP (motorcycle) racing, you might have wondered how the camera appears to stay level even while the bike turns left and right, nearly becoming horizontal. Saftari was curious about this himself and, rather than simply answering the question, he built a gyroscopic camera rig that allows the camera to remain upright when his […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 4th, 2015 7:30 AM
Bicycles have been around for well over 100 years, but manufacturing techniques continue to be refined for frames, safety gear, and accessories. 3D printing, especially using metal, is one of the more interesting manufacturing techniques in development. From the ultra high end to a few designs that you can make at home, here are six […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 4th, 2015 6:00 AM
Bicycles are normally made out of round tubing, but there’s really no reason that square tubing couldn’t be used, as seen on this bike made by Aaron Seiter and based on Michale Ubbesen Jakobson’s “BauBike” design. As Seiter puts it, after seeing Jakobson’s bicycle, he “fell in love…The design is so clean, simple, and honest.” Somewhere […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 3rd, 2015 10:30 AM
Over the years at Make: there have been a ton of bike related builds, maintenance tips, and wacky modifications. It makes sense, as most bikes don’t come with much beyond the essentials to pedal and steer around town. Whether it’s adding a practical accessory such as charging your cell phone, or personalizing your frame with […]
- Posted by David Scheltema | June 3rd, 2015 9:30 AM
Bicycles are great for transporting one person, but what if you need a trailer to haul extra gear? You could always buy a cargo trailer, but why not make one? On Bikehacks.com, John Doppert shows how you can take an old trailer, meant to haul a child, and convert it into a gear-carrying rig. Doppert […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 3rd, 2015 9:00 AM
Modern mountain bikes really are incredible contraptions. So are road bikes. If, however, you want a simple, low-maintenance ride to exercise or commute on varied terrain with, a single speed bike will do the job quite nicely. Deservedly or not, I have a hard time trusting bikes with skinny tires to hold my 6’4″, 250 […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 3rd, 2015 6:30 AM
Riding a bike can be fun, great exercise, and, if you live in a city conducive to it, a great mode of transportation. According to author Scott Bennett who lives in Vancouver BC, Canada, a city with a high bike theft rate, he “wanted to have some peace of mind that if a thief with […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 3rd, 2015 6:00 AM
Carabiners are generally used for climbing, or for securing keys or other everyday objects (never to be swapped!), but could they be used on bikes? BikeHacks.com, of course, didn’t invent the carabiner, but they were the first to see its potential as a tactical bicycle implement… Or was that that turtleneck? Either way, these two […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 2nd, 2015 6:00 AM
Riding a bike and a love of the outdoors and nature go hand-in-hand. Why not combine the two by actually making your bike out of wood? Although it’s hard to avoid using some rubber and metal in your design, even a wooden accessory or set of frame parts will definitely make people look twice! Bamboo […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 1st, 2015 6:00 AM
The OSVehicle team wants to revolutionize the way the world makes its transportation, and today introduces a new platform that will help bring auto building to the community and individual level. Named Tabby EVO, the vehicle can be built in just an hour in a moderately equipped workshop. It features an 80v/15 kW electric drivetrain with a range […]
- Posted by Mike Senese | May 13th, 2015 8:30 AM
There are so many amazing ways in which Makers express themselves in their making. From ingenious electronics to useful crafts to gorgeous works of art, making takes myriad, often hybrid forms. One of the most consistently offbeat and entertaining forms of makery that proudly parades itself around Maker Faire each year is the alternative vehicle, […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 29th, 2015 10:38 AM
Have you ever loved an old car but wanted it to have some of today’s practical features? Reddit user WorldwideBrandt has. He loves his 1999 Subaru Forester and he loves upgrading it. This project is a modification of the space directly in front of the stick shift into a wireless charger. The original space didn’t […]
- Posted by Theron Sturgess | April 28th, 2015 11:02 AM
Bob Schneeveis is on a mission to save the world from itself through the creation of sustainable solar vehicles. He has been building walking chariots and other unique conveyances since a knee injury got him interested in the structure of the knee and the mechanics of walking. For over 30 years, Bob has worked at […]
- Posted by Andrew Terranova | April 28th, 2015 9:49 AM
Hardware startup Navdy has reportedly raised $20 million to manufacture their eponymous gadget, which projects smartphone alerts directly onto an automobile windshield. “From the way information is presented, the clarity of the image, the flexibility of the gesture recognition to the way Navdy sits on your car’s dashboard, we are obsessing over every detail to make sure it’s […]
- Posted by Jenn Nowicki | April 22nd, 2015 10:02 AM
Engineer and rotorcraft enthusiast Cameron Carter finally realized his dream of building and flying his own helicopter. This dedicated New Zealander has spent 12 years engineering this complicated personal flying machine. He sought a project that involved solving all the problems that the pioneers of aviation had to solve. One of his biggest motivations was […]
- Posted by Theron Sturgess | April 17th, 2015 10:33 AM
This clever, straightforward build is fun for both parent and child. YouTuber Daddy Handy shares his easy to build go-kart. It’s constructed with household items and parts from the hardware store. Parts range from a 2×4 chassis, a few small boards, hinges, zip ties, nuts, bolts, and an 18V power drill, and don’t forget a […]
- Posted by Theron Sturgess | April 17th, 2015 6:30 AM
Coming to the 10th Annual Bay Area Maker Faire is the 7th season of Power Wheels racing. The Power Racing Series is a vaguely popular nerd “sport” that mods simple toy store ride-on plastic cars and converts them into $500 25mph electric racing machines. The series’ main take home is the “enforcement” of a tiny budget with sort […]
- Posted by James Tiberius Burke | April 2nd, 2015 1:20 PM
Ford is working with MAKE to profile owners of the Transit Connect, a vehicle that offers creative types a small, modifiable vehicle to suit their passions and personal pursuits. In this series, we'll be profiling Transit Connect owners and looking at how they've customized their rides. In this installment, we meet Charles "Chuck" Stottlemyer.
- Posted by Nick Normal | July 2nd, 2013 7:30 AM
[vimeo=http://vimeo.com/61204107] There is a kernel of a really cool idea in the Carma Project, sponsored by ad firm Leo Burnett Lisbon. They made a bike with as many reclaimed car parts as possible, and it looks kinda sweet! That said, I really would have preferred that it had been made out of 100% car parts, […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | March 24th, 2013 9:30 AM
Panoramic videographer and iPhone hacker Gabriel Paez is currently half-way across the country on his coast-to-coast trip from Seaside, OR to Portland, ME. As of this writing he's in Dubuque, IA with his 2005 Vespa PX150 named Pucho.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | September 28th, 2012 2:00 AM
The Treadmill Bike by Bicycle Forrest is cracking me up. Yes, it's a viral video to ever so subtly introduce you to their Bicycle CAD software, but that's not going to stop me from writing about it. Besides the fact that there's CAD software geared towards building bikes, which is cool by itself, I think it's great that they had an itch and decided to build a treadmill/bike mashup to scratch it.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | September 10th, 2012 2:00 AM
Lego builder Simon “Burf” Burfield built the world’s first Lego wheelchair: Currently still a prototype, the LEGO Wheelchair can move a 90kg person. It uses 6 NXT’s to drive 12 NXT motors (2 per NXT for maximum power output) which are connected to 12 Rotacaster multi-directional wheels. Using these wheels will later allow for side […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 31st, 2012 11:30 AM
Team 1.21 Jigawatts of the Red Bull Creation contest built a submarine simulator! How cool is that? The structure of the submarine was drawn up in Sketchup, and cut out on a Shopbot CNC machine. We then salvaged nearly everything you see on the submarine, from the LCD display, to the pipes, and the metal […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 25th, 2012 12:30 PM
The VIRTTEX driving simulator at Ford Today, our campers will be taking their first ever #FieldTripFriday. We’re all going to +Ford Motor Company to take a virtual tour of their Innovation and Research Lab. We will also be joined in the Hangout On Air by the inspiring group of young makers who created +The Viper, […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | July 20th, 2012 10:15 AM
For some wheelchair users, transferring between mobility devices can be too much. Inspired by his Grandfather's inability to access his local community, New Zealand maker Oscar Fernandez developed the IWA (Independent Wheelchair Assist), a motorized wheelchair accessory.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | July 14th, 2012 3:00 PM
It’s inevitable that the success of the Midwest-centric Power Racing Series (PPPRS) has caused a similar group to spring up elsewhere in the country. The Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire is organizing “The Race” where ride-on electric toys are converted into ferocious speed machines. The Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire – Powered by TekVenture has […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 12th, 2012 7:00 AM
Po-Chih Lai’s Stair Rover is designed to traverse stairs as easily as flat surfaces. The piece aims to expanding the capability and possibility of extreme sports as we understand them. Inherited from our natural instincts, sliding as children and snowboarding as adults, the focus is on one of the most influential and stimulating sports – […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | June 27th, 2012 7:00 AM
Insanely modded power wheels! Nerf fights! Magic smoke! Just another regular day of racing Power Wheels. The first round of the Power Racing Series, a $500 electric racing competition, took place this past weekend at Maker Faire KC. Teams earn points through speed, creativity and crowd pleasing. The next round in the Championship will be […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | June 26th, 2012 7:00 AM
Last week, I had the pleasure of testing out Oru Kayak, the world’s first origami kayak. It was wonderful! Anton Willis, the designer, and I met at the Berkeley Marina to put his latest iteration to the test. I had been watching Anton construct the kayak for months at TechShop and had always bugged him […]
- Posted by David Lang | June 4th, 2012 3:30 PM
Here’s a potential game-changer: a two-wheeled, in-line motorcycle that won’t tip over, even if you try to knock it down. The team at Lit Motors envisions a world where nobody’s afraid to ride motorcycles because they’re as safe and intuitive as climbing into a car. At Maker Faire they’re showing off a prototype electric bike […]
- Posted by Keith Hammond | May 20th, 2012 3:37 PM
In order to cut down on the development time and ensure the final part being machined will match the vehicle, Jay and his crew use a NextEngine 3D scanner and Dimension 3D printer to produce functional prototypes they can test fit on the vehicle.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | May 14th, 2012 2:00 AM
A pedal-powered electric recumbent chopper bicycle with flashing lights capable of cruising at 20 mph. Find this project and other alterna-fuel vehicles at Maker Faire Bay Area!
- Posted by Nick Normal | May 11th, 2012 2:30 PM
For me, Concrete Month has been about discovering all kinds of amazing uses for a material that, before, had seemed pretty mundane. But among engineers, that sentiment—that concrete can do so much more than we normally ask of it—is not new. Case in point: the concrete canoe phenomenon.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 30th, 2012 9:00 AM
While this no-weld rail bike conversion looks like it would be unsafe at any speed, it does look like a ton of fun (isn't that always the case?). Something like this could make the hidden corridors and seldom used easements instantly accessible to folks crazy enough to ride it.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | April 30th, 2012 3:00 AM
The Power Racing Series (PPPRS), where grown men and women ride around on souped up toy cars (like the pink Power Wheels Jeep shown above) is gearing up for another season. The phenomenon, mostly centered around the Midwestern U.S. hackerspace scene, has been around since 2009 and seen an impressive growth every year since then. […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | April 26th, 2012 12:30 PM
Release your creativity and get a good workout at the same time with Drawing Machine #1 by Joseph Griffiths. Part performance art, part kinetic sculpture, this peddle powered apparatus consists of a stationary bike that drives a series of articulated drawing implements across a canvas.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | April 23rd, 2012 3:00 AM
Though heavy for its class, this DIY aluminum longboard deck design from Redditor davvik gets high marks for its machine aesthetics and its accessible construction method. The truck mounting plates are simple millings, but the rest of it is stock aluminum strip and hardware-store parts.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 18th, 2012 9:00 AM
Dave Heisserer and Dillon Hodapp of Minneapolis, MN, are building the Jiggernaut, a crowdfunded bike-welding jig: Dave and I have wanted to build our own bicycle frames for years. Being bike enthusiast as well as handy people, there’s just something about a unique, hand crafted frame that resonated with us. While researching frame building, we […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | March 21st, 2012 11:45 AM
Check out John Graham-Cumming’s ambient bus arrival monitor that he built out of a hacked Linksys wireless router that pulls data from London’s Countdown service and lets him know how long he has to wait until the next one. Underlying this is a simple JSON API that, while not public, seems to be usable by […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | March 18th, 2012 2:30 PM
If you've ever been to Maker Faire, you're probably familiar with all the wonderful pedal-powered carnival rides that appear throughout the event. Here's a video demonstration of a small Ferris wheel powered by just two riders.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | March 13th, 2012 2:00 AM
The Missus, a mini (2-meter) autonomous sailboat, will compete in the 6th International Robotic Sailboat Championships this June, in Vancouver, BC. We are a group of Memorial University students who are building an autonomous sailboat to compete in the Sailbot and World Robotic Sailing competition. The team is made up of students from all MUN […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | February 28th, 2012 11:00 AM
This is a wonderful collection of black-and-white newsreel footage, assembled by the company that invented the newsreel, showing a montage of early helicopter prototypes in all their wacky and frequently-terrifying glory. It’s a highlight reel, about two minutes long, and the various clips that went into it are indexed, annotated, and available for watching in […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 24th, 2012 5:59 AM
HaD writer Caleb Kraft of Springfield, MO, sexed up his VW bus with a lovely (and Cthulhu-esque!) elephant mural as well as stained glass sun visors that complement the painting. Caleb says he “never really painted before” — ORLY!? Looks pretty amazing to me.
- Posted by John Baichtal | February 9th, 2012 7:00 AM
Editor’s Note: When we were putting together our Make: Ultimate Kit Guide, we wanted to highlight the makers of the awesome kits we reviewed as much as possible. Our 96 pages quickly became chocked full of valuable info, and some of the longer profiles had to be cut down for print. Here is the full […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | February 8th, 2012 5:00 PM
August 25th will mark the third anniversary of the Race of the Future competition, where makers create alternative energy vehicles and race them through the streets of Whiting, IN. Gas prices are on the rise once again with no apparent end in sight. The need for discovering and perfecting alternate energy sources has never been […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | February 7th, 2012 11:00 AM
OK Go's new video for the song Needing/Getting has the band playing a thousand instruments... with a car. Yep, they rigged up a Chevy Sonic hatchback with retractable pneumatic arms, then drove a course with specially tuned instruments at specific intervals while extending the arms to hit each in time with the song. This allowed them to capture both the video itself along with audio elements, which they mixed into the the final track. Elements of which were aired during the Superbowl as an ad.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | February 6th, 2012 2:00 AM
Well, more accurately, they transform into “whegs,” which look like legs, but are driven like wheels and don’t, as a rule, have powered joints. Apart from sheer novelty value, the advantage seems to be that Quattroped is capable of high “road speeds” when it’s on a smooth surface and in wheeled mode, but can transform […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 3rd, 2012 6:21 AM
This longboard features a tablet computer, Kinect, and 800-watt electric motor, and reaches a max speed of 32 MPH. Chaotic Moon Labs’ “Board of Awesomeness” is intended as a technology teaser to show how perceptive computing can turn around the way we look at user experiences. The project utilizes a Microsoft Kinect device, Samsung Windows […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | January 19th, 2012 11:00 AM
Since CES is such a big show, some companies do outrageous things to get noticed. Whether it’s building a $30k iPod dock or hiring stuntmen to ride around town on top of cars, the idea is to stick out. The thing is, there’s a fine line between causing a little buzz and accidental product development. […]
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | January 13th, 2012 12:30 PM
Yet another reason to own a stainless steel car. An "insane amount of time," but the results are undeniably stunning; check out more pics in this thread at autopia.org. Rob Beschizza found that it's been done at least once before.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 9th, 2012 6:00 AM
This project dates back to 2009, but it’s entirely new to me: the HPS Hamstar is a hamster-powered submarine constructed out of a 3-liter bottle, a hamster wheel, and a few other household materials (with a total cost of $57). Its maiden voyage—documented above—was powered by Houdina, now in retirement after a single trip in the submersible.
- Posted by Matt Richardson | January 5th, 2012 3:30 AM
With all the advances in technology, anti-theft measures for automobiles really haven’t moved along at the same pace. If someone steals your car remote, they can get in, start your car, and drive off with it. There has to be a better way to protect your vehicle from theft and that’s exactly why some researchers in Japan have come up with a way to use your butt as a protective measure.
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | January 2nd, 2012 3:00 PM
Spotted in the MAKE Flickr pool, this clever idea for recycling dead tires (or storing new ones) from Pittsburgh's Joe Katrincik. It's two smaller plywood circles for the base, a larger one for the top, 6 castors, 6 screw eyes / eyebolts, and 3 ratcheting tie-down straps. I bet if one were to counter-bore the top holes, a bit, and used T-nuts instead of hex nuts to secure the top eye bolts, one could avoid having the nuts sticking up above the work surface. If one thought it mattered.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | December 21st, 2011 1:00 PM
A Spanish craftsman named Patelo skillfully designed and fabricated this tiny working V-12 motor from stock stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze for his grandchildren Sara, Carmen, Jose and Pablo. It took more than 1200 hours of work. Not counting the 222 screws, he machined all 261 pieces himself. The engine operates via compressed-air injection, has 12cm3 total displacement, 11.3mm cylinder heads, and a 10mm stroke on each piston.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 28th, 2011 4:00 PM
Every Third Thursday the employees of Signal Snowboards get together to get creative with board design and materials, and generally hack on gear at the factory. Recently they laboriously toiled over one of the more creative snowboard designs I've seen: the iShred.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | November 22nd, 2011 2:00 AM
At the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from "hobby" machine tools are those used to build ships and power plants. I have no technical details about the lathe shown above, but the photograph was taken in 1957 or 1958 at the Doxford Engine Works in Pallion, England. If you like it, don't miss the gallery over at Ships Nostalgia about English shipwrights William Doxford and Sons. It's chockablock with absolutely gorgeous, amazing photographs of giant men building giant machines with giant tools.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 21st, 2011 9:00 AM
Rick Cavallaro and his team at DDWFTTW succeeded in making a wind powered vehicle that travels downwind at a speed faster than the wind itself. The vehicle is at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011, having newly accomplished a feat that was considered impossible by many. The vehicle is made from a combination of steel, carbon […]
- Posted by Brookelynn Morris | November 4th, 2011 10:30 AM
It's being widely reported as the first time an electric multi-copter has carried a human being aloft. Germans Thomas Senkel, Stephan Wolf, and Alexander Zosel are the brains behind e-volo, a 16-copter with four groups of four blades, each of which is driven by a separate motor. The first human-carrying flight is reported to have lasted one minute and thirty seconds.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 4th, 2011 6:00 AM
Zachary Rukstela of Kinetic Steamworks considers himself the steward of the pieces of vintage steam technology he owns. He operates a steam powered vehicle at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011, and explains his background in steam, from growing up on a farm, to working on a WWII era steam powered destroyer.
- Posted by Becky Stern | November 2nd, 2011 12:18 PM
Without going all the way out on a limb, I'll borrow language from my first scratchbuilt post and suggest that polish master modeler Andrzej Ziober is producing work that is approaching "the limits a single modeler can achieve," using conventional scale modeling techniques and technologies, in the field of 1/72 scale aircraft. He has not produced many of these models, because each of them takes about five years of work, at about five hours of work a day.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 27th, 2011 1:00 PM
MAKE contributor Jeffrey McGrew, of the brilliant design duo (w/ Jillian Northrup) Because We Can, was involved in building part of Jon Sarriugarte/Kyrsten Mate's serpent art cars for this year's Burning Man. Jeffrey and Jillian built the amazing Viking ship-inspired tails.
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | October 26th, 2011 8:00 PM
This detailed post from modeling forum member Panzerpaul nicely shows off the skill and hard work that went into creating his radio-controlled replica of a WWII-era German tank destroyer commonly called a Hetzer. To house the R/C electronics and other guts, the hull has to be hollow.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 26th, 2011 6:00 AM
1/87 is essentially HO scale, which is said to be the most popular scale for model rail stock in the world. For cars and even large trucks, as you can see, it's pretty dang small. Which is what makes the level of detail achieved by renowned truck modeler Joe Enriquez on this, and his many other models in the same scale, so remarkable.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 25th, 2011 9:00 AM
Alex Dumas of Sci-High Models took Editor’s Choice in Starship Modeler’s 2010 Just Glue It contest with this 1/87 scale replica of the Swift, a spacecraft from the late-70s British TV series Space: 1999. Do not miss his wonderful work-in-progress shots, one of which I’ve included, below, to show off the remarkable patience and skill […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 24th, 2011 9:00 AM
Just one of twenty stunning scale models--most of them 1/6 motorcycles--from Spanish crasftman Pere Tarragó of Motoscala Tarragó. Sr. Tarragó takes great work-in-progress shots for his models, and this one is no exception.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 21st, 2011 9:00 AM
Florida maker Daniel Fleischman designs and builds pedal-powered vehicles using PVC tubing for his company American Speedster. On his site you'll find plans and component kits available for a small fee. Pedal-powered vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. Some folks are even hot-rodding them with electric conversions.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | October 18th, 2011 2:00 AM
In 2007, for example, the Federal Highway Administration reported there were 2.4 million crashes at intersections, representing 40 percent of all crashes, and one-fifth of all fatal crashes. Most intersection crashes fall under the category of "crossing paths," and the most common path-crossing crashes, according to federal statistics, involve left turns.
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | October 17th, 2011 3:00 PM
More solid-gold scratch-building from The Internet Craftsmanship Museum. Shown here, the original M.A.S.H. helicopter in magnificent brass by modeler Ken Foran. The work is a commission for Fine Art Models, for use as a master to cast molds for a production run.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 17th, 2011 1:21 PM
Lisa Pongrace's cupcake cars are powered by electric motors, and evolved from a costume idea for Burning Man. After building the first prototype, her friends wanted their own mobile muffins and helped create a fleet of confectionery art cars, now known as Acme Muffineering.
- Posted by Becky Stern | October 12th, 2011 10:00 AM
Every reported fact about this model is more amazing than the last: It was begun in 1986, when much information about the Hind was still protected by the Soviet Union as military secrets. It is constructed mostly from corrosion-resistant metals: aluminum, titanium, brass, stainless steel. The pedals in the cockpit work. The tires actually have air in them. The shocks actually compress. Many of the parts were fabricated under a microscope. The list goes on and on.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 11th, 2011 6:00 AM
Sixteen feet long, five feet wide, and four feet tall, this 1/72 replica of the US Navy’s "Big E" represents nineteen years of builder Gabriel Suryani’s hobby, and has been called "something that is close to the limits a single modeler can achieve."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 7th, 2011 9:18 AM
If car users knew how fast cyclists were moving, would they be more willing to share the road? That’s the question posed by Mykle Hansen in the intro to his Speed Vest project from MAKE Volume 19. Bicyclists receive a lot of honk-based grief from car drivers who perceive them as slow and in the […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | October 5th, 2011 5:00 PM
Very cool idea from Ponoko seller ticktock showroom, and reasonably priced at $100 US. Could be a fun remake, too, especially if, like me, you’ve been looking for a use for that old piece of motorcycle chain you can’t quite bring yourself to throw out. [via Boing à la Boing]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 4th, 2011 6:00 AM
Built with the intent of helping people with mobility limitations get around an outdoor event, David di Falco of di Falco Fabrications in Petaluma, CA constructed this enormous big wheel wheelchair mover from square tube and diamond plate.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | October 4th, 2011 2:00 AM
Plywood might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're designing a cargo bike, but for Michael Downes and Jeff Sayler it led to a uniquely elegant custom ride. Downes, an industrial designer, conceived the wooden Bakfiets-style cargo bike as an entry to the Oregon Manifest Design Challenge and enlisted his neighbor, Sayler, a master shipwright, as the other half of the duo know as Art & Industry. Together they designed and built the 51 pound hauler using CNC-cut plywood glued together with a custom epoxy resin. Additional refinements such as bamboo veneer, storage compartments, hatches, and a cargo bin are to be seen on the final version.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | September 30th, 2011 4:00 AM
From Instructables user The Papier Boy. Complete with freaking-out R2 unit! "The spinning droid was constructed of Styrofoam and painted to look like R2-D2. I used one of my daughter’s old toys to create the motion. The toy had a gear on it that spun when a button was pushed. I cut the toy in half (it was too big) and mounted the toy to the underside of the body and glued the droid head onto the gear. To control the spinning I used an old NES controller. .."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 29th, 2011 1:22 PM
Ambitious work-in-progress from Brooklyn artist Jonathan Brand. So far, it would appear, he's only finished the motor and one wheel. But even by themselves, those are impressively detailed models. Can't wait to see it when it's done!
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 16th, 2011 1:00 PM
“Come see what happens when we imagine the world differently!” If you’ve seen any of the ads for Maker Faire New York, taking place this weekend, September 17 and 18, at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, you’ve seen this invitation. Makers have a gift for imagining the world differently, and one maker […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | September 15th, 2011 2:00 PM
When I posted the awesome giant Dalek art car yesterday, I mentioned that I hadn't been able to find much information on the project or its creator. Thankfully I heard from Cory who, along with his wife, brought this Dr. Who dream to life. I loved hearing about their process for the project, and seeing their great build pictures and am glad we can now share them with you. Enjoy!
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | September 7th, 2011 6:00 PM
I think you’ll all get a kick out of Duane Flatmo‘s El Pulpo Mecanico, a flame-shooting octopus vehicle from this year’s Burning Man. I have to agree with Cyriaque Lamar from io9, who likens this pyrotechnical cephalopod to a video game boss. Anyone out there who wants to ride this contraption has to line up behind me!
- Posted by Matt Richardson | September 5th, 2011 8:30 AM
Emergency braking assistance has the potential to prevent a large number of car crashes. State-of-the-art systems operate in two stages. Basic safety measures are adopted once external sensors indicate a potential upcoming crash.
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | September 2nd, 2011 3:00 PM
Philadelphia area maker Jenn Hall improved the visual quality of her motorcycle helmet by turning it into a R2D2 helmet. The process included scuffing up the existing paint job and adding consecutive coats of spray paint and laboriously cut masking tape. The whole thing is finished off with some PVC tubing, some blinking lights, and plenty of clear coat. What a great way to liven up an otherwise mundane safety apparatus.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | August 24th, 2011 4:00 AM
Kevin Roof of Joliet, IL, figured out how to add A2DP Bluetooth to his car’s tape deck. I’ve always wanted to be able to turn my car on, pull out my cell phone, and just play my music library from there. One device, zero wires, infinite satisfaction. After going through countless tape adapters, I got […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | August 23rd, 2011 3:00 PM
Anyone who's tried it knows that "pipe" or "tube welding" is an art that takes a while to master. This outstanding phototutorial by Amy Qian won’t substitute for the hours of practice needed to draw a good bead around a fishmouth seam, but if you’ve got the chops...
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | August 16th, 2011 9:02 AM
Hackers on a Plane 9.0: Hackers for Japan, departs SFO or AMS Saturday November 5 and returns Sunday November 20, 2011. Hackers love Japan. As we found out on Hackers on a Plane 4, Japan loves Hackers too and they can’t wait for us to come back. The focus of this trip is bringing Hackers […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | August 16th, 2011 6:30 AM
Was Googling for interesting stuff made with PVC pipe today and happened upon this impressive theme cake from Craig T. Fifer of Alexandria, Virginia: "The Orbiter is made from brownie covered in fondant; the orange External Tank is made from PVC pipe and holds ice cream; the white Solid Rocket Boosters
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | August 9th, 2011 2:46 PM
The Aeromodeller II project is a design for a zero-emission, autonomous, nomad hydrogen-based airship that will never land. The ship regenerates its fuel, creating hydrogen from wind power and the rain on its skin. When it depletes its energy reserves, the ship needs to drop anchor and rest, in order to replenish its energy in […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 29th, 2011 8:00 AM
Hackers on a Plane participants can skip the overland route to CCC Camp and fly directly to the to the campsite (conveniently located on an airbase) on an Antonov-2 for the elite price of 133.70 euros. The trip is an offshoot of Hackers on a Plane 7, the latest edition of a now-legendary flight that […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 28th, 2011 7:17 AM
Imagine grown men and women racing souped-up Power Wheels and similar ride-on children's toy cars. We're talking about the Power Racing Series (PPPRS), a hackerspace-centric competition that tests makers' machining and electronics acumen while encouraging style and moxie.
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 26th, 2011 11:00 AM
Milwaukee Makerspace brought electric vehicles and floats to Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s South Shore Frolics parade. Milwaukee Makerspace member David Overbeck has loved Milwaukee’s South Shore Frolics Parade since he was a kid, and with the help of other makers, he led a group build of a 9 foot tall “Old Milwaukee Makerspace” beer can to appear […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 19th, 2011 11:43 AM
For this episode of “Tiny Yellow House” for Make Magazine, host Derek “Deek” Diedricksen pulls another idea from his book Humble Homes, Simple Shacks. This time, its an easy wooden boat made from little more than one sheet of plywood. Subscribe to the MAKE Podcast in iTunes, download the m4v video directly, or watch it […]
- Posted by relaxshax | July 12th, 2011 10:00 AM
This beautiful model by Bloomingdale, Michigan’s Woodchuck and Company is listed for almost $40,000 on Etsy: "Constructed of cherry and walnut, this award-winning piece has over 4000 individual handcrafted parts and requiredover 3000 man-hours to complete..."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | July 8th, 2011 6:00 AM
As we previewed last month, the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire featured the Panterragaffe, an ambulatory vehicle inspired by Theo Janssen’s famous Strandbeests. Panterragaffe is a pedal powered two person walking machine, a walking bicycle. The name has a few elements to it. It’s a play on pantograph, which is a mechanism for copying drawings, since […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 6th, 2011 6:30 PM
No longer must those looking for a giant, 14-person bicycle outfitted with beer coolers look across the Atlantic for their machines. My friend, übermaker Casimir Sienkiewicz, (it sounds just like it's spelled) has produced the first in what I believe will be quite a few of these.
- Posted by William Gurstelle | July 1st, 2011 6:30 PM
Instructables user rog8811 set out to build a functional replica of an old-timey manual boating foghorn. He shows you how to build the basic horn by cutting apart a PVC sink trap and hacking it on to a off-the-shelf air pump. Then he does something I'd like to see more of in my own and others' project tutorials...
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | July 1st, 2011 8:30 AM
Micheal Dittman and his daughter Paige built longboards together, based on the article in MAKE Volume 26. Besides this being epically cool and sweet in and of itself, they started the project over Spring Break, but when Paige had to go back to school, they continued to collaborate, finish their projects via Skype and email.
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | June 29th, 2011 4:00 PM
If you're looking for a bare-bones hovercraft build, this one from ENGINEERING.com's Some Assembly Required is about as minimal as it gets: A leaf blower, a couple circles of plywood, a lawn chair, and a shower curtain for the skirt. [Thanks, Dad!]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | June 24th, 2011 6:00 AM
San Diego area artist Richard Morrison and surfboard maker Gary Seavgraves devised this burly rocket fish surfboard from 72 beer cans, some foam, and copious amounts of fiberglass resin. Originally intended as sculpture, the board may well be the first fully functioning surfboard made from recycled beer cans. [via GeekyGadgets]
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | June 21st, 2011 2:00 AM
Make: Projects community member Jeff Johnson is putting the fun back in funicular with his awesome people/firewood/beer-moving tram built to get from their family lake house down to the dock 147 feet below. Looking for a big summer project? Jeff shared his entire build notes and photos with us in Make: Projects (thanks Jeff!), so […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | June 16th, 2011 6:00 PM
And not necessarily in that order. Australian Chris Malloy is the responsible party. Obviously it's dangerous. I would also add that, although there is a short video of a grounded airflow visualization test, the only evidence I have seen that it actually flies are still images like the one above. So a hoax disclaimer also seems in order. Still, just look at that thing...
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | June 15th, 2011 6:09 AM
From BBC News: "Mexican soldiers have destroyed four “narco-tanks”, lorries fitted with steel armour thought to have been made for the Gulf drug cartel. The vehicles were seized in a garage in Camargo, in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. Authorities said the cartel used the tanks, fitted with air-conditioning and steel plates, to patrol its smuggling routes and transport drugs to the US."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | June 8th, 2011 7:52 AM
An honors mechanical engineering project from a group of thirteen at Australia's University of Adelaide. Rich technical detail available at the project's webpage.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | June 7th, 2011 5:59 AM
Here’s a follow up to my previous post “Jeri Ellsworth vs Talking buses #Trimet“. Jeri a well known engineer created a video showing an alternative way to make a noise-making device and strategy for TriMet’s new audible warning system for pedestrians. Jeri has also has made a low cost body scanner, transistors, how-to videos, many […]
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | May 27th, 2011 2:00 PM
Leading up to MAKE Volume 26, we ran a fun and simple Karts and Wheels Contest. The basic criteria was that entries had to have wheels, be able to carry a person, and the build was to be documented with images and step-by-step instructions in our projects wiki, Make: Projects. We got some great entries, […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | May 12th, 2011 6:00 PM
The All Terrain Bunny, or ATB for short, is a wheelchair for a paraplegic baby rabbit designed by young Liam O’Rourke in Tucson, AZ. Good going! When the O’Rourke family of Tucson found a couple of Easter-time bunnies in their back yard, they knew right away that something wasn’t quite right. There was a reason […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | May 5th, 2011 2:00 PM
Charles Guan’s Fanscooter was built in 5 hours out of busted Razor scooters, a big fan, cordless drill batteries, and duct tape. See the project page for lots of details and a video of the beast in action.
- Posted by John Baichtal | May 4th, 2011 7:10 AM
Eric Rogers of Hawaii built this ranger to warn him — via FM radio — when he was about to bump into another car when backing into a tight parking space. The Park Ranger is an ultrasonic-ranging prototype, based upon the Arduino and the Amani64 CPLD Shield, designed to assist drivers who are backing into […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | May 3rd, 2011 7:00 AM
We have covered a lot of bike-related content over the years, and a lot of bike-repair-related content. Trouble is, we don't have a separate repairs-only category, so assembling this round-up required manual cherry-picking from the many pages of our Bicycle category archive. I then picked my ten favorites, tabulated the pageviews for each, and counted the days since it was posted, and divided to get an average-traffic-per-day figure for each post. So this is probably my most scientifically-organized Top 10 to date. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Friday!
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 29th, 2011 3:30 PM
Nineteen feet tall. Twelve feet in diameter. "The F-1 is still the most powerful single-chamber liquid-fueled rocket engine ever put into service. Manufactured by Rocketdyne, five F-1 engines were used in the first stage of each Saturn V rocket, each generating 1.5 million pounds-force of thrust—more than all three Space Shuttle main engines combined."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 28th, 2011 1:00 PM
Make: Live ep07 is all about projects from the new MAKE v26, Karts & Wheels! Thanks to our guests Mark Frauenfelder, Jared Ficklin, Nick Raymond and Eric Chu. Catch up on video and notes from the show here. Subscribe to the MAKE Podcast in iTunes, download Make: Live episode 07 in its entirety (m4v or […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | April 28th, 2011 7:00 AM
A commenter on last week's electric bike round-up pointed me to this drool-inducing 2008 build from one "Doctorbass," of Quebec. I am especially impressed by the custom-built battery pack.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 27th, 2011 1:02 PM
What's this? Women are riding bikes now? When did that happen? What's next, the demise of the hoop skirt? Becky is poking me in the ribs, now. Apparently, she claims, women have been riding bikes since the 1880s. Huh. I have been out of the loop. Now she's poking me harder and pointing out that lots of men, these days, like to sew, crochet, and do other sissy craft stuff. (She didn’t say "sissy," actually.) Apparently, CRAFT readership is up among male readers, too. Geez, is nothing sacred?
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 26th, 2011 1:38 PM
Make subscriber Scott House wrote in to let us know about BikeCAD and associated cycle design software from BikeForrest. BikeCAD is a parametric CAD tool used to design hardtail mountain bike and road bike frames. Other variants of the software are available to help produce full suspensions, recumbents, tandems, and custom wheels.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | April 25th, 2011 2:00 AM
From garage conversions to hot commercial products, electrified tall bikes to "stealth" electrification, we have covered a lot of electric bike stuff over the years. These are the ten posts that have generated the most traffic since we started collecting data back in 2008. If you're thinking of undertaking your own homebrew bike electrification, this list should be a pretty good place to start reading. Enjoy!
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 21st, 2011 1:10 PM
Make: Live is broadcasting shortly! Don’t miss guests Nick Normal and William Thomas Porter. Make: Live 06 – Bikes, Basics to Extremes Wednesday April 13th, 9pm ET/6pm PT Watch at makezine.com/live or on UStream Please join us in the UStream chat or mark tweets with #makelive to interact live with the show. Digi-Key giveaway prizes: […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | April 13th, 2011 5:00 PM
The countdown to our sixth annual Maker Faire Bay Area has begun! This year’s Faire, the world’s largest DIY festival, is taking place on May 21 and 22 at the San Mateo County Fairgrounds south of San Francisco. Mark your calendars, if you haven’t already (and pick up tickets at a discount). At the core […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | April 13th, 2011 4:20 PM
Make: Live airs tonight! Don’t miss our bikes episode where guests Nick Normal and William Thomas Porter join us with pedal-powered projects. We’ll also be giving away some tools from Digi-Key to one lucky member of the chat. Giveaway prizes: 148 Piece tool set LED flashlight Make: Live 06 – Bikes, Basics to Extremes Wednesday […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | April 13th, 2011 7:18 AM
Part of the charming special section opener illustration, by Juan Leguizamon, for MAKE Volume 26 As you likely know, the next issue of MAKE, now wending its way to subscribers (hitting newsstands by April 26) , is themed “Karts and Wheels.” While working on it, and its numerous projects and features (covering go-karts, scooters, skateboards, […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 12th, 2011 3:50 PM
Spotted in the MAKE Flickr pool, this homemade contraption from user Whymcycle who, besides having the best UID I’ve ever heard, has this to say about his creation: Made from an 8 foot..96?..pair of power line spool hoops, sized down and painstakingly re-arc-ed back to more or less circular 84?, and crossbars of electrical conduit. Also with 4 handholds made from Schwinn Varsity drop bars…and foot straps of old car seat belts. We’ll see if practice, persistence and careful study of YouTube European footage..will allow me to learn some of the art of Wheel Gymnastics. The device itself is called a “Rhönrad,” “gymnastics wheel,” or “German wheel,” and is apparently the basis of an entire sport in Germany.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 11th, 2011 6:00 AM
Andrew D. Carson of Glendale, Wisconsin, whose classic recycled recumbent build came in 3rd in yesterday’s roundup of most-trafficked recumbent bike posts, contacted us and asked that we post a more modern picture of his Mach 2 frame. Looks great, A.D.!
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 8th, 2011 12:57 PM
The aim was to use a hubless wheel to create a compact bicycle, with the benefits of a large wheel and belt drive.Hubless wheels have appeared in bicycle concepts already, and were first invented by Sbarro. However, few concepts have made it to prototype and when only used for aesthetic purposes, the disadvantage of extra cost out weights the visual gain. Lunartic uses the hubless for a reason; to house the working parts, reducing the wheel base but not sacrificing conventional riding geometry. Lunartic is supposed to be as compact as possible without folding or being awkward to ride, however there is the potential for the front wheel to fold up into the rear or for that space to be used for a laptop back, motor or dynamo.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 7th, 2011 5:45 AM
This build from Julia Morley took “a week of planning, three days of building, a large number of expletives, and some interesting use of very long tools.” And you can enjoy the whole process (minus the expletives, which have been replaced with soothing music) in three minutes of 32X time-lapse bliss here. [via The Brothers Brick]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 4th, 2011 6:00 AM
We have done both gear- and gear-making-related roundups before, but our gear world has turned (bam!) quite a few times since then, and we’ve covered some even hotter gear action in the interim. Someday there’s going to be a gear-roundup roundup. But for now, here’s our top gear content as it stands today:
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 31st, 2011 2:45 PM
In the 19th century, three ancient Egyptian granite obelisks—each weighing north of 200 tons—were shipped from Egypt to London, Paris, and New York. Postcolonial-era questions about whether ancient Egyptian obelisks shouldn’t perhaps be left in Egypt aside, how it was done is quite an interesting story. This, BTW, is just the first of what I expect will be many gems from my newly-discovered treasure trove, No Tech Magazine, a sister publication to Kris de Kecker’s Low Tech Magazine, which we rave about here all the time.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 29th, 2011 1:01 PM
Ryan Micallef and friends put together a backyard luge challenge that they call the Mario Cup, but were having trouble making accurate measurements of participant’s tract times. Fortunately, they are also hackers, so they threw together an automatic race timing system to help make precise measurements. Their system consists of two parts: A countdown timer/control […]
- Posted by Matt Mets | March 20th, 2011 12:38 AM
Troy Hartman was building a jetpack that he planned to use to fly out of an airplane at 8000 feet. But before leaping from a plane into thin air, he had a great idea: Why not test it out on skis first? Hartman tells PM how his jetpack ski test worked, how fast he went, […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | March 18th, 2011 6:59 AM
Chad's a former student of mine who has been doing electric car projects for about six years now. On seeing The Cap Kart project, he says: If you were to start an electric vehicle school program, I would start by following these guidelines to build an electric go-kart! It looks like they got everything donated and therefore kept the overhead down. After doing this you could challenge other schools in the area to a race. Also, this would be a great stepping stone for moving towards a full vehicle!!
- Posted by Chris Connors | March 9th, 2011 8:15 PM
Because, in point of fact, they are. Not counting tax, title, and license, of course, which in the Space Shuttle’s case amount to some $28 million. When Discovery returns from its final mission today, some 21 museums will be waiting in the wings to see which one of will be the lucky recipient of Orbital Vehicle 103, artifact. Atlantis and Endeavour (OVs 4 and 5, respectively), are also up for grabs. Contending institutions include the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in Manhattan, Seattle’s Museum of Flight, Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, and the Smithsonian. More details and used-car metaphors at The New York Times.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 9th, 2011 6:02 AM
We got some really great, creative entries for our MAKE Karts and Wheels Contest. Folks were tasked with making something original and documenting the build in our DIY library, Make: Projects, with the only criteria being that their creation have wheels and can carry a person. The editors of MAKE then judged entries based on […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | February 24th, 2011 7:03 PM
Car enthusiast Michael Bakiewicz put together this time lapse movie of his Suzuki car putting itself together. At least that’s what it looks like– in reality, the short documents nine months of car building, starting with a bare chassis and ending with an almost working vehicle. It’s a great look at how much effort goes […]
- Posted by Matt Mets | February 20th, 2011 1:00 AM
The field of panoramic photography needs some better terminology, IMHO: "360-degree panorama," it seems to me, could just as easily apply to a circular panorama of, say, the horizon, as it could to a fully spherical panorama that also includes up, down, and every other direction in space you could possibly look from a particular point. Or maybe the term is already out there and I just couldn't figure it out? If you're in the know, please share below.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 8th, 2011 1:04 PM
Low-tech magazine is back with another well-written and thoroughly-researched article from Kris de Kecker, this one covering the history and evolution of elevated-cable systems for hauling cargo and people. As always, Kris's updates are informative and inspirational. [Thanks, Blake!]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 27th, 2011 10:38 AM
“iHop” is a toy robot that can hop. It uses two independently actuated arms in order to simultaneously hop and balance in the lateral plane. The “sagittal” plane is stabilized by torque applied to the two drive wheels (note that the wheels are, for the most part, stationary due to the lack of disturbances about […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | January 17th, 2011 10:46 AM
Stumbling upon these photos was a strange moment for me. I've been playing Borderlands recently, and it had never occurred to me that the monster excavator from the video game might've been based on a real-world machine--a real-world machine which, just by eyeballing it, looks like it might actually be bigger than the video game version. Dark Roasted Blend has a good article with lots of deets on the monster machine.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 6th, 2011 2:34 PM
I'm often surprised how much one can fit inside a trailer. Check out this deceptively accommodating movie theater crammed into a recycled 1960's era travel trailer. It's solar powered and comes complete with ticket booth, concession stand, and seating for eight adults.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | January 4th, 2011 2:11 AM
This impressive demonstration is by researchers at the Flying Machine Arena, part of the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH ZÃ¼rich
- Posted by Matt Mets | December 22nd, 2010 6:27 PM
Alternative transportation tinkerers: the city of Wheeling, Indiana has a call for entries for their Race for the Future competition.
- Posted by Matt Mets | December 22nd, 2010 6:18 PM
Massive collection of motorcycles Earlier this year (see Part 1), we examined some of the cool, the fascinating, the unusual and the utterly weird designs for motorcycles that have appeared for over the last century or so. Hereâ€™s another look the wild and wonderful world of motorcycles.
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | December 22nd, 2010 4:14 PM
UPDATE: Deadline extended to 11:59 PDT on January 24, 2011. Wanna get published in MAKE magazine? Here’s your chance! We’ve been having a lot of fun over on our DIY library, Make: Projects, seeing the clever projects shared by our community. So we came up with a simple little contest to showcase your skills (and […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | December 15th, 2010 6:10 PM
Students make vertical wooden roller coaster track… “Rush 2010 featured EC’s first fully vertical wooden roller coaster track. The Reverse Cowgirl, designed by Mike Nawrot ’12 and Romain Teil ’11 dropped its riders vertically, then turned them face down as they skimmed 2 feet above the ground, face down and strapped with their backs to […]
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | December 11th, 2010 7:50 AM
ChArLeS from Cambridge, MA, wrote in with his self-balancing scooter. SEGFAULT is a balancing vehicle with a 100% hardware stability controller. Not a single line of code runs to keep the vehicle upright. An analog complementary filter implemented with operational amplifiers combines the outputs of an accelerometer and rate gyroscope and passes it to a […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | December 9th, 2010 12:10 PM
I'm a little late to the party, on this one; wish I'd heard about the 2010 Zombie Safe House Competition before the deadline back in August. There were only four entries, overall, but I think the winning SS Huckleberry, shown above, would've been hard to beat regardless. Looks like they're planning another contest for 2011. [Thanks, Mel!]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | December 6th, 2010 7:51 AM
With a very few notable exceptions, there was really nothing punk about The Fad Which Shall Not be Named. Steampop might really have been a better word. Fortunately, the steam in these posts is not, generally, even aspiring to punk status, although the word itself may, regrettably, appear a couple times in the copy on the linked pages. Please accept our apologies--we were excited--and enjoy this hot steamy content entirely on its own merits.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | December 6th, 2010 7:18 AM
Awhile back, I wrote about co-opting the awesome glue used to mount rear-view mirrors for hobby projects. An interested reader e-mailed me a couple weeks later asking if I knew how to remove a rear-view mirror button from a windshield, which I didn't. Several people have reported that trying to forcibly remove the metal button from the glass can actually break a divot of glass out of the windshield. I was therefore not optimistic, but we talked a little about the idea of using an organic solvent combined with sharp lateral pressure parallel to the glass. She experimented a bit, and, what do you know, eventually succeeded! Here's her report:
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | December 5th, 2010 11:04 PM
Folks really liked Russian microwave factory, so here’s another – A look inside an aircraft repair plant…. Take a stroll around the shops of Vnukovo aircraft repair plant â€“ the center of technical service and repair of civil aircrafts of domestic and foreign manufacture.
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | November 30th, 2010 2:55 PM
EdenTXlocation.jpgBack in 2008, I wrote a series of posts about Alvin E. Gandy's 1965 patent "Gandy Slide-A-Way" mechanical gate opener, which uses the weight of an approaching vehicle to automatically open and close a remote vehicle gate without electrical power. The story has apparently gotten back around to Mr. Gandy's surviving family. His niece Annie just commented:
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 29th, 2010 6:34 AM
We featured the meticulously-organized workshop that Milwaukeean Cindy Smith shares with her husband, Craig, back in March. Craig saw our recent human-powered lifting devices post and wrote in to share with us the custom snow-plow-tricycle he built for removing light snowfall from his driveway:
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 19th, 2010 1:57 PM
A reader who saw last night’s post about human-powered cranes and lifting machines e-mailed me to point out that many of the Fairbairn hand-cranked cranes featured in that post’s title image are still around, and that there is in fact a Flickr group that collects photos from enthusiasts. At least one of the cranes has […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 18th, 2010 3:26 PM
Check out this amazing 18' canoe made from a single sheet of plywood. Resembling a South American "pipante" dugout canoe, Finnish boat builder Hannu Vartiala designed and built his craft, "dug", in an attempt to correct balancing issues he had with a previous design. He's also put up instructions on his site so you can build your own. It sure is an impressive example of maximum use of materials with minimal effort.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | November 16th, 2010 2:39 AM
Volkswagen's Fun Theory Awards aims to incentivize socially useful behaviors by making them into games. Previously, their funds have produced a bottle recycling machine played like a video game, a trashcan that behaves like a bottomless pit, and a public staircase turned into a piano keyboard (See links, below).
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 15th, 2010 10:11 PM
Here's one for the "limiting your options is the best way to stimulate creative thinking" file. Lego does not make many elements in its metallic silver color, so Flickr user Alex Schranz had very few pieces to work with when designing the fuselage and skin of his minifig-scale B-17 bomber model. I'd say he succeeded admirably.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 5th, 2010 7:03 AM
Blackbird wind cart. Photo: Steve Morris Introduction By Mark Frauenfelder In 2007, MAKE projects editor Paul Spinrad sent me a link to a YouTube video of a wind-powered cart, made by a Floridian named Jack Goodman, that seemed to be able travel directly downwind faster than the wind. How could a wind-powered cart outrun a […]
- Posted by Mark Frauenfelder | November 4th, 2010 4:17 PM
Ever dream of taking off for the equator, fixing up an old boat, and then sailing it off into the sunset?
- Posted by Matt Mets | November 1st, 2010 1:17 PM
The Euromap project is the brainchild of Bruno Kurth and Tobias Reichling. Vanessa Graf, Tanja Kusserow-Kurth, and Torsten Scheer helped them actually build the thing. The map itself, without the monuments, uses 53,500 Lego elements, and is 12.5 ft (480 studs) on a side. [via Microbricks]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 29th, 2010 6:12 AM
Pollymecca the housetruck pulled up in front of MAKE headquarters earlier this week, and she was lovely. Inspired by gypsy caravans and British “living wagons,” maker John Labovitz set out to create a house on wheels complete with a workspace for his projects in photography, programming, and research. His website lays out all the technical […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | October 13th, 2010 5:33 PM
Over the past few weeks and months, the community of makers centered around Sprout in Somerville MA has been quietly hatching a plan to build a Theo Jansen inspired walker to walk in the Honk Festival parade. Dubbed the StreetBeest, after the Jansen's StrandBeest project, it is constructed of strapping, PVC and a few custom fabricated drive train parts. For more information on the build and design, check out this interview with Shaunalyn Duffy of The Sprouts.
- Posted by Chris Connors | October 11th, 2010 6:34 PM
Amanda Boxtel's excitement is contagious. That's because she's been taking the recently unveiled Berkeley Bionics eLEGS exoskeleton for a walk in the park. Not the easiest thing to do if you've been in a wheelchair for the last 18 years.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | October 8th, 2010 3:09 AM
On my radar this week is Marc Newson’s show at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea. Newson approaches design as an experimental exercise in extreme structure and advanced technologies, combined with a highly tactile and exacting exploration of materials, processes, and skills. As an industrial designer, his reach is broad and diverse, from concept jets and cars […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | September 29th, 2010 8:27 AM
When I mentioned to Chris Hackett, director of Madagascar Institute, that I’d have a bum knee during World Maker Faire NY, he offered to “get the Rascal Cycle working” for me. He did indeed, and I rode it from my station in the CRAFT booth to my demo performances on the opposite side of the […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | September 27th, 2010 7:31 PM
Craig Smith, whose work has appeared in this blog numerous times (see links below) is at it again: My wife went to visit family this weekend. So left by myself, something geek-like is bound to happen. I started cutting and forming plastic sheets, assembling doo-dads and modifying my car. The result is a car where […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | September 27th, 2010 12:45 PM
Although the Snowbird, made of carbon fiber and balsa wood and with a 105-foot wingspan, could hardly be described as "practical," to me this seems like a major aviation milestone: Somebody, specifically University of Toronto PhD student Todd Reichert and co-workers, finally did it. All those old black and white "wacky inventor" blooper reels set to goofy music can eat it. [via Toronto Star]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 24th, 2010 8:59 AM
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | September 16th, 2010 12:55 PM
Steven Roberts, the original technomad (and occasional MAKE contributor), is selling his amazing Microship, an amphibian pedal/solar/sail-powered micro-trimaran. Gizmag has posted an article detailing the craft and Steve’s desire to find a new home for it. Roberts’ boat features pedal, sail, and electric propulsion, hydraulically-retractable wheels that allow it to make amphibious landings, a (tiny) […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | September 15th, 2010 8:34 PM
The biggest and best-quality versions of these watermelon car images I can find come from a members-only forum post on this South Korean site, which appears to be some kind of auto marketplace and/or enthusiast’s hub. Problem is, the plates on the car do not appear to be Korean. Can anyone identify their nationality, or […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 12th, 2010 10:15 PM
Alan Argondizza of Ithaca, NY, wrote in to share the super cool skateboards that he builds from scratch using sheets of birch plywood cut with a jigsaw and hand-held router, then decorated by hand with paint pens, spray paint, and sharpies. Interested in making your own? Alan’s provides an excellent how-to on his site.
- Posted by John Baichtal | September 3rd, 2010 11:00 AM
Instructables user kstruve writes: I currently live in the Phoenix, Arizona area, which gets mighty hot in the summer. This summer, we’ve had several days around or above 110 degrees. I have twin baby boys, and despite cracking the windows, using reflective seat covers and running the A/C full blast when driving them around, their […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | August 30th, 2010 7:52 AM
In 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt committed the U.S. economy to the production of 60,000 warplanes that year, and suggested that as many as 185,000 aircraft might be produced by the end of 1943. He turned out to be almost correct. In June 1944, TIME reported 171,257 aircraft produced since Pearl Harbor. In 1942, however, those were Herculean goals, yet to be achieved, and as part of an effort to help Americans understand the task before them, a fleet of 4,500 model airplanes was suspended from the ceiling of Chicago's Union Station. Once you absorb the spectacle of 4,500 planes, of course, then comes the whammy: That's only 1/48th of the production goal. The image above is 600 pixels wide. At that scale, if your monitor's pitch is 72 dpi, an image of all 185,000 planes would be 33 feet wide. [via NOTCOT]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | August 27th, 2010 6:48 AM
We all love car subwoofers that pump out loud, thumping music while you drive, and in the latest issue of MAKE, Volume 23, Henry Herndon explains how he powered his with a solar panel on the car’s roof. Before embarking on a long summer road trip, Henry bolted a standard rooftop solar panel to his […]
- Posted by Paul Spinrad | August 25th, 2010 4:30 PM
By way of Steampunk Workshop comes news of the U.S. Land Steam Record (USLSR) Team and their attempts to build and race the fastest steam-powered vehicle on Earth. They plan to try for that record on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats, as early as August, 2011. The previous land steam speed record is held by […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | August 25th, 2010 4:18 PM
In any case, if ever a thing were rightly called bitchin', it would be this 20" custom powder-coated steel hood ornament by metal artist and perennial Make: Online favorite Jud Turner, who made it on commission for a very lucky friend.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | August 25th, 2010 12:51 PM
You may have seen the distinctive Golden Mean snail car at Maker Faire, on the playa of Burning Man, or on the pages of MAKE Volume 16, and likely you wish you had a drivable snail of your own. Thanks to creator Jon Sarriugarte, you can get to welding, following the 22-step how-to he posted […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | August 23rd, 2010 10:21 AM
Being a year-round cyclist in Minnesota, Frank Yost had a problem. “Car drivers can lock things up while running errands,” he noticed, “so why should cyclists have to carry everything around with them?” And when Frank has a problem, he reaches for his pop-rivet gun. So he designed and built this all-weather, lockable College Bike […]
- Posted by Keith Hammond | August 20th, 2010 12:41 PM
MAKE pal and contributor JÃ©rÃ´me Demers sent us a link to this self-balancing one wheel electric scooter by Ryno Motors. I would much rather be seen riding around on one of these than a Segway. [Thanks, JÃ©rÃ´me!] Ryno Motors
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | August 19th, 2010 3:55 PM
Yup. Somebody--specifically Japanese artist Yasuhiro Suzuki--went to the trouble of building a motorboat shaped like a zipper pull just for the sake of the aerial sight gag of its wake suggesting a parting zipper. And just for the record, this is clearly a jacket-zipper-pull motorboat, not a pants-zipper-pull motorboat, so let's not have any off-color jokes about what strange creatures might be surfacing in its wake. [via Dude Craft]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | August 19th, 2010 1:00 AM
RazErBlades: Motor-assisted inline skates controlled by a force-sensing throttle built into a wrist guard. Vehicle: Electric inline skate Drivetrain: 2 wheel direct drive Mechanical: 6061 aluminum skate frame, ABS and various plastics upper Motor: 2 100 watt custom BLDC hub motors Controller: Maxon 380200 DEC 50/5 BLDC control module DIGI XBee 2.4Ghz 802.15.4 radio modules […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | August 14th, 2010 7:05 AM
David Graham's Move-it prototype is an elegant and efficient way to move large boxes without the need of heavy equipment. Entered to win a James Dyson Award, Move-it is comprised of corrugated cardboard wheels and an adjustable handle that adheres to almost any box under 45 pounds with a bio-degradable adhesive.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | August 10th, 2010 3:03 AM
Becky spotted this delightful improvisation from Dutch artist Helmut Smits. Now we need somebody to put a printer in a windshield wiper blade that can print out graphics across the windshield and/or wipe them off on command. Or maybe a windshield wiper POV display? [via CRAFT]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | August 6th, 2010 8:23 AM
Calling all electric car geeks! Want to help improve the efficiency of electric cars?
- Posted by Matt Mets | August 4th, 2010 3:47 PM
Meep meep! These cars are cute! Be sure to check out the massive gallery! As today’s economy continues to shake and stagger, most people find themselves in the “savings” and “fuel efficiency” mode when it comes to cars – and so the idea of small, easy to park and to maintain micro cars remains popular. […]
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | July 26th, 2010 6:34 AM
Frank Westfall’s 1930 Art Deco Henderson motorcycle via Twitter. Knucklebuster writes – I took these photos at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet where the newly restored bike was unveiled. The bike belongs to Frank Westfall from Syracuse, NY. According to some info I found online, the bike was originally built by O. Ray Courtney in […]
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | July 21st, 2010 6:23 AM
There are just two weeks left before the first-ever Maker Faire Detroit, taking place on July 31 and August 1 at The Henry Ford. Motor City is a Maker City, and it’s exciting to see it all coming together. Among the creative projects coming to the Faire is the gloriously pedal-powered BigDog (pictured above), which […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | July 14th, 2010 1:35 PM
Kurt Schulz of Cincinnati, OH, wrote in with with his Scooterputer project, which uses a Duemilanove Arduino, a custom “sensor shield” and a Liquidware touchscreen OLED display to add functionality to his whip: * Battery voltage indicator * Time and date * Temperature * Lean gauge with resettable max L-R indicators * Current speed * […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | July 1st, 2010 5:59 AM
Restored Edison Electric car from 1889. Charles writes… Hello again! I looked up from my computer today to take a look at the history of one of the major projects we are working on at Global Researchâ€“ electrification of the world.Â Â Here is what I found.Â What is really interesting is that I believe this […]
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | June 25th, 2010 12:50 PM
Upon hearing about my most recent knee injury, MAKE (and CRAFT) contributor Andrew Lewis asked if I might consider “zorbing” (video) as an alternative mode of transportation. I had to look it up, and found out it’s a New Zealand-born “sport” of rolling down hills in a spherical plastic balloon, inflated with leaf blowers. It […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | June 25th, 2010 6:49 AM
MAKE pal Jason Sacks will racing in this weekend’s Xtreme Outlaws 250 race in and around Reno, NV (June 17-20). Jason is being sponsored by the fine folks at ShopBot. People who have worked on or presented at Maker Faire probably know Jason. He works as a production manager with the amazing crew that produces […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | June 17th, 2010 1:37 PM
Dubious practicality aside, you can't deny this zany hybrid pedicab turns heads. Suspend your disbelief for a moment and marvel at the dual-action windmill/rotating sign's purported ability to use the wind to assist the rider. If anything, it should attract copious potential customers.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | June 14th, 2010 3:25 AM
Some observations: The table top pieces are only truly circular in their larger arrangement. In the "contracted" table, the 6 wedges in fact form a kind of rounded-off hexagon, and the outer table edge is made circular by the rotating rim, which has a complementary inner profile. Besides the wedges, there are two other types of pieces that make up the table top--6 "darts" having two parallel sides that rise to fill the spaces between the wedges, and the "star" (a dodecagram, in fact) that rises up in the middle. The table is locked in either configuration by one or more threaded detents which are quite clearly shown in the upper video.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | June 13th, 2010 7:03 PM
We get the pleasure of working with some amazing artists/illustrators here at MAKE. One of them is James Provost. James did the illos for the “Lunchbox Laser” and “Marble Adder” projects in Volume 20, and the “CNC For Under $800” piece in Volume 21. He also did the wonderful illustrated version of the Maker’s Bill […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | June 9th, 2010 5:20 PM
Found on Designboom: This wooden replica of the Hubble, created by artist Pete Hennessey of Melbourne, Australia. But wait, there’s more: he’s done recreations of Voyager, Mission Control, and a superbad version of the Lunar Rover, above.
- Posted by John Baichtal | June 7th, 2010 1:22 PM
Not to be confused with this Lego ship in a Lego bottle. Something very like this stunt has actually been on my personal to-do list for about six months now (well, I was gonna build a Lego spaceship in a glass bottle), but I kept putting it off. "Jeremy Moody built the first Lego ship inside a bottle!" is the headline over at Brothers Brick. Oh, that stings! [Thanks, Rachel!]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | June 4th, 2010 7:29 AM
Tim Wicks sent me a bundle of images of some propane vehicles that he and a buddy built — a couple of campground runabouts that fold and stow below their RVs, and a propane-powered mini-bike. I asked Tim for some additional details but have yet to hear back. I wanted to get this post up […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | May 31st, 2010 4:01 PM
I have to say, for the record, that those are way smaller than any actual traffic cone I've ever seen, and are far, far too clean to have ever seen any real use on a street. I'm pretty sure reusing real traffic cones would result in a lamp that was both way too big and way, way too beat up to make good-looking furniture. Still, cool-looking lamp, and a straightforward re-make.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | May 28th, 2010 9:21 AM
Learn about the Team Bobcat Ford Fiesta caravan… Team Bobcat and the Ford Fiesta caravan arrived at Maker Faire on Friday, concluding their long trek from Michigan to California. Since their class began only a few months ago, the team designed, developed, and field-tested a project of their own invention that took them on a […]
- Posted by Matt Mets | May 23rd, 2010 3:07 AM
Before Maker Faire switched into high gear, earlier this week, MAKE editor and Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty sat down with K. Venkatesh Prasad, Technical Leader, Infotronics team in Ford Research & Advanced Engineering, to talk about Ford’s American Journey 2.0 project and the networked and open platform car of the future. American Journey 2.0
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | May 22nd, 2010 5:27 PM
One of my favorite aspects of Maker Faire is always the wild, whimsical, and inspiring vehicles on display, or merrily making their way throughout the grounds. Here’s a small sampling of photos taken by my son, Blake Maloof, this morning, before the crowds descended. [Thanks, Blake!]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | May 22nd, 2010 11:47 AM
Follow the Team Bobcat Ford Fiesta caravan… Cruising to Stanford Team Bobcat members Collin, Joe, and Jon give a quick demonstration of the latest changes to Caravan Track, explaining their experiences from the road and speculating about future versions This Thursday, the American Journey 2.0 team visited Stanford University, their final destination before heading to […]
- Posted by Matt Mets | May 21st, 2010 1:27 AM
Follow the Team Bobcat Ford Fiesta caravan… American Journey 2.0: AJtheFiesta takes Boulder By Laura Rich Apparently in need of a good road-trip stretch, AJ the Ford Fiesta checked into Yo Momma Yoga. “It was an auto-check-in,” explained T.J. Giuli, research engineer at Ford Infotronics, at a Tweetup at Bookends Cafe in Boulder, Colorado, the […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | May 16th, 2010 10:30 PM
Wendy explains how to make home made biodiesel with no special equipment in less than five minutes. She makes use of the “cubbies” that vegetable oil is sold in and make batches that are 3-4 gallons in size. More: HOW TO – Grow your own oil Weekend Project: Making Biodiesel Make your own biodiesel DIY: […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | May 16th, 2010 7:48 AM
Follow the Team Bobcat Ford Fiesta caravan… Team Bobcat visits Northwestern University The members of Team Bobcat made their first stop at Northwestern University on Friday. They set up in front of the Technological Institute, giving demonstrations and showing off Caravan Track to students and interested passersby. I got a chance to meet up with […]
- Posted by Matt Mets | May 15th, 2010 11:22 AM
MAKE subscriber Steve Hoefer sent us a link to this fascinating piece on retro-direct drives for bikes. Not really sure how practical it is, but the engineering is interesting. And, it’s probably a great way to work different leg muscles. What’s a retro-direct bike? At the beginning of the 20th century, although derailleurs and geared […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | May 12th, 2010 3:30 PM
Follow the Team Bobcat Ford Fiesta caravan… Come Along on American Journey 2.0 What do you get when you combine automobiles with location-aware computing? A winning team of students from the University of Michigan is hitting the road in a cross-country trip to find out! In a class this spring entitled “Cloud Computing in the […]
- Posted by Matt Mets | May 12th, 2010 9:10 AM
MAKE reader Sophie sent us pics and details of a bike her boyfriend Eric converted to a motorized bike. Eric writes of the build: The first part off this project was to restore an old Schwinn Cruiser I found. I stripped it down to the frame, took off all of the old paint, and sprayed […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | May 11th, 2010 3:17 PM
I was unaware of the lovely couch bike phenomenon until my old landlord, Billy Gawrych, sent around this first image of two enterprising fellows taking this couch bike for a spin through the drive through. After an obsessive internet research session, I had amassed a compendium of couch bikes, for you to see in one […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | May 11th, 2010 10:38 AM
It’s the awesomest spy plane ever — the SR-71 set speed and altitude records, flying 85,000 feet in the air with a speed of 2,000 mph. Less importantly from a military standpoint, it was super cool looking. Alas, all things must come to an end and the Blackbird was decommissioned in 1998. On the bright […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | May 10th, 2010 12:51 PM
Spotted in the MAKE Flickr pool, from user huebner5000. He quotes an unnamed source: This Cuban chug arrived Wednesday, December 16th, 2009. The chug held 17 Cubans who are now legal U.S. citizens. The chug, we were told, left Cuba at 5am December 14th and landed at Dry Tortugas at 2am December 16th. It's all made from scrap metal and junk. The hull, reportedly, is flattened corrugated roofing material. There's one more picture here.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | May 10th, 2010 7:32 AM
MAKE subscriber Frank from Ontario wrote in with this fantastic project: a dune buggy painstakingly converted to run on batteries. This unit rolled (sort-of) into the yard in mid to late Aug 2009. I was hesitant to buy the damned thing largely because I had my hands full with another project that was already several […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | May 8th, 2010 10:37 AM
Here’s a video flashback to Maker Faire 2008 and all the rad vehicles that were roaming about the Faire. Maker Faire Bay Area 2010 will be full of new and exciting bikes, cars, and more, so don’t miss it on May 22nd and 23rd.
- Posted by Becky Stern | May 6th, 2010 8:13 AM
The Bike Church is a Santa Cruz-based bike tool cooperative. They offer workshops, a DIY repair facility, and generally, a place for cyclists of all skill levels to hang out and talk about bikes. Wouldn’t it be great if every town had such a facility. Bike Church Tool Cooperative [Thanks, Nick Fountain!]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | May 4th, 2010 2:37 PM
The U3-X uses a balance control system that derives from Honda's research on human walking dynamics for its famed ASIMO bipedal humanoid robot. When the rider leans his or her body, an angle tilt sensor sends data to the balance control system, which in turns moves the wheel, maintaining balance.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | May 4th, 2010 10:54 AM
The Copenhagen Wheel is a giddy, improbable project by the MIT Senseable City Lab. The idea is that you simply replace the back wheel of your bike with this Copenhagen Wheel that generates power when you pedal and gives it back when you don’t feel like pedaling. But it also connects to the Internet, can […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | May 4th, 2010 6:54 AM
May is here, spring’s in full swing, and folks are in happy circulation. From my home office window, it’s a steady stream of people on leisurely walks, kids and adults on bikes, kids on skates n’ skateboards, and the old guy down the street who proudly rides his Segway to the 7-Eleven. With gas prices […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | May 3rd, 2010 10:33 AM
Smart Car too big for you? Too much of a road hog? Gas guzzler? What you need is a real “microcar,” like a Peel Trident or a Peel P50. These strange little cars were made by Peel Engineering, on the Isle of Man, in the 1960s — most ran on a 50cc (49cc, actually) moped […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 29th, 2010 8:04 PM
SOLO-TREC is outfitted with a series of tubes full of waxy phase-change materials. As the float encounters warm temperatures near the ocean's surface, the materials expand; when it dives and the waters grow cooler, the materials contract. The expansion and contraction pressurizes oil, which drives a hydraulic motor. The motor generates electricity and recharges the batteries, which power a pump. The pump can change the float's buoyancy, allowing it to move up and down the water column.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 9th, 2010 9:02 AM
How Porsches are made… via NOTCOT. Rolling off the assembly line and taking the world by storm in 1964, the Porsche 911 is now one of the world’s iconic sports cars. From the modest 911 Carerra with a top track speed of 185 mph to the 911 GT3, a street legal racecar that tops out […]
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | April 8th, 2010 6:06 PM
Hummer stagecoach @ creative thriftshop… On Sunday March 8th 2010 Jeremy Dean made New york City history by taking his converted Hummer entitled Futurama out for a spin. Entering Central park in New York at 69th St. and Central Park West (at the old Tavern on the Green location) Dean had his hand crafted vehicle […]
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | March 31st, 2010 10:38 AM
I love it when school groups make how-to projects. Bay School writes: For our high school senior project, we have created a bamboo electric motorcycle. This project has been extremely fun, challenging, and time consuming; this is not something you can do over a few weekends. The end goal for us was to create a […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | March 29th, 2010 11:11 AM
We went to the hardware store and came home with lots of PVC bits that we assembled into a barrel and a chamber. Then we waffled for some time about how to hack together an electric ignition system. Our thoughts went immediately to using an automotive spark-plug, but none of us really understood enough about electricity to know how to separate the spark-plug from the car. We were pretty sure you couldn't just take a spark-plug and wire it up to a car battery and expect results, but beyond that we were clueless. We ended up using a piezoelectric barbecue grill igniter, which gave satisfactory results but often required several "clicks" to actually fire the thing.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 24th, 2010 6:23 AM
Car guy and all-around maker Dave Phipps has built every teenagers dream car. Tricked-out muscle car? Check. Wireless remote controlled ignition, doors, windows, radio, drop top, and trunk? Check. RedEye iPod touch remote control interface? Check.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | March 22nd, 2010 3:37 AM
Shown above is a video of the Dragonfly DF1, an experimental aircraft under development by Swisscopter US. Instead of a traditional gasoline engine, the Dragonfly has peroxide-powered rocket engines on the tips of its main blades, with a mechanical take-off to drive the tail-rotor. Large tanks of high-test peroxide supposedly provide 50 minutes of flight at 40 mph.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 17th, 2010 9:10 AM
Nice to see our friends who are involved in the Handcar Regatta, namely those behind the Screaming Vortex (above) and the Hennepin Crawler, get a little high-brow attention. They, along with some other awesome Regatta rigs, are on display at the University Art Gallery at Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, CA until March 4th. […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | March 16th, 2010 4:28 PM
The folks over at the Milwaukee Makerspace built these fine Pot O' Gold floats to drive in a St. Patrick's Day parade.
- Posted by Matt Mets | March 16th, 2010 10:12 AM
This Segway-style transportation device uses famed kinetic artist Theo Jansen’s style of bug-like locomtion. I think the rider appears to surf on another creature, perhaps a crayfish? Cajun Crawler [via @EMSL] More: Theo Jansen papercraft walker Theo Jansen-inspired Arduino walker Interview with Theo Jansen… Reader mail: Theo Jansen signs MAKE! Lego Segway needs only NXT […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | March 16th, 2010 6:08 AM
It looks dangerous and is, reportedly, incredibly expensive, but there is no denying the near-maximal awesome factor of the Jetlev Flyer. Power comes from a four-stroke engine in a small "boat" which drags in the water behind/below the flying harness, and to which it is tethered by a big yellow hose that supplies high-pressure water and prevents the operator from exceeding a safe altitude. [Thanks, Alan Dove!]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 3rd, 2010 10:31 AM
Maybe I'm venturing into tinfoil hat country, here, but I'm pretty sure I once experienced a flyover by a stealth helicopter. I was camping at a lake in central Texas, during the Fall of 2003. Everyone else had gone to bed, but I was unable to sleep and was sitting up by the remains of the campfire, around 2 AM, just listening to the sounds of the forest, when I very clearly heard a distinctly unnatural sound pass across the dark sky overhead. It was very quiet, and very slow (rhythmically), but unmistakably a helicopter: whup whup whup whup whup. It was a clear night, and the speed at which the sound passed overhead meant it had to be flying at low altitude. There were no lights, just the sound, and I had a very eerie mental image of the glowing silhouette of my body, sitting beside the bright star of the cooling campfire, on a thermal imager cruising somewhere through the blackness above.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 1st, 2010 12:39 AM
Mark posted this on Boing Boing and it made my heart all a-flutter. It reminded me of both my first car, St. Francis the Wonder Car, a yellow, ’63 VW bug, and the John Muir book, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, that kept it going. The car was called St. Francis ’cause a lot […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | February 23rd, 2010 4:05 PM
Jason Rollette’s remotely-operated submarine packs four 500gph and two 1,250gph bilge pumps, with the bigger ones used for propulsion. Check out his incredibly detailed tutorial for instructions on how to build your own. [via Hack a Day] More: Record-vying transatlantic robot submarine at sea Beached submarine home theater Chinese maker’s homemade submarine
- Posted by John Baichtal | February 23rd, 2010 10:49 AM
This project combines two of my favorite things: crayons and rockets. It may have taken John Coker 12 years to complete this project (hey, who among us hasn't had a case of lingering works-in-progress?) but the result was more than worth it. He's even included a step-by-step of how he made the rockets. The detail in matching the Crayola design is pretty impressive. I just want to know if he could find a way to add in that awesome Crayola smell.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 21st, 2010 10:46 PM
Don’t let the elevator music distract you, this system can squirt water at 4 bars, or about 60 psi, as compared to a typical fire hose which packs a working pressure of 100 psi or more. [The] system consists of a number of rotating water jet guns installed on the shipside which provide a continuous […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | February 21st, 2010 2:17 PM
Doug McKee of Bellingham, WA carves skateboards that look like birds, insects, and sea creatures. The process of carving a skateboard takes a bit of time. The piece is carved out of green wood. Which is to say wet, freshly cut wood. Ideally the wood spits its water at you as you carve. I use […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | February 19th, 2010 2:02 PM
That's "triceratops + helicopter" for the portmanteau-averse. This sculpture, subtitled "Hope for the Obsolescence of War," was completed in 1977 by the late American sculptor Patricia A. Renick. There's more pictures over on Gizmodo. [via Geekologie]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 15th, 2010 1:57 PM
Yes, this is a missile. Sorry about that. But it turns out the AIM-9 Sidewinder is the only well-documented example I can find, on the web, of a machine that employs these interesting little widgets called "rollerons." See the little metal pinwheels at the trailing corners of the fins? The rolleron is basically an air-driven gyroscope, as Tom Harris explains over on How Stuff Works:
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 14th, 2010 7:21 PM
A Russian firm is selling a system of ship-mountable auto-targeting water-pumping robots with the dual purpose of fighting fires and repelling pirates. BotJunkie's Evan Ackerman explains: The robotic water cannons (six on each side of the ship) are controlled by a central computer, using TV cameras to target pirates approaching the ship. The robots shoot streams of water at 40 liters per second out to a range of 70 meters, and can wash away potential boarders and even sink small boats. This is a defensive technique that is already used against pirates, but having robots do the shooting helps keep the people who would otherwise be wielding the fire hoses safe. My biggest concern with this system would be that the pirates could use their Electro-Bolt plasmids to temporarily short out the automated turrets, then hack them to turn against their masters. I mean, just looking at them, it's pretty clear these things are based on Rapture-style hydro-tube technology.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 11th, 2010 9:19 AM
Well, in terms of available parking, UC Berkeley makes UT Austin look like an airport remote lot in Iowa on a Wednesday in the summer. And according to this official page there are presently seven living Nobel laureates on the faculty there, so I'm guessing there must be at least seven NL parking spaces. Supposedly, regular mortals have to shell out $50 for presumptious malparkage among the elite.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 8th, 2010 9:36 PM
A commenter on my recent dazzle camouflage post alerted us to the fascinating story of the HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen which, in 1942, escaped destruction by the Japanese fleet because the crew moored her among other small islands and covered her in a thick layer of tree branches, thereby disguising her as a small island. [Thanks, rekinom!]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 7th, 2010 7:44 PM
Interesting article over on TwistedSifter about the use of so-called "dazzle" or "razzle-dazzle" camouflage beginning during WWI. (The Wikipedia article is pretty good, too.) It's a kind of practical op-art: The idea was not so much to make the ship invisible against the background, but to confuse enemy weapons operators as to its distance and heading. The Rhode Island School of Design has a wonderful online collection of various paper plans for dazzle camouflage schemes donated by Maurice L. Freedman, who was district camoufleur for the 4th district of the U.S. Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation, and would go on to invent the board game "Battleship."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 5th, 2010 2:30 PM
Carnegie Mellon's Dr. Yaser Sheikh has developed a prototype augmented reality (AR) system that combines images from two or more cameras to allow drivers, for instance, to see around blind corners by making intervening structures "invisible." In the simplest case, the image from a camera on the blind side of an obstacle is mapped, with appropriate foreshortening and in real time, onto the visible surface of the obstacle in the display from a camera at the user's position. The concept reminded me of a brainstorm I had during my last commercial airline flight. Crammed into a middle seat on a crowded 747, feeling claustrophobic and a bit airsick, straining to get a look out one of the distant porthole windows, I longed for a pair of AR glasses that would make the plane invisible so I could look freely around the sky. The video feeds from panoramic cameras mounted above and below the fuselage could be combined and processed through a head-tracking system so that passengers could have an unimpeded external view in any direction they cared to look--the ground, the clouds, the night-time stars up above. Such a system would have no clear commercial purpose other than passenger comfort, but think how much more enjoyable those long-haul flights could be if you were soaring through the wild blue yonder instead of staring at the back of the seat in front of you? [via Boing Boing]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | February 2nd, 2010 12:26 PM
Students at Bonham ISD High School, in Bonham, TX, are turning this old on tractor, donated to them by the Ivanhoe Christmas Tree Farm, into their Electric Vehicle Project for the 2009/2010 school year. Plans are to use the tractor in a farm tractor driving certification/safety course. Primary charging of the E-Tractor will be via […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | January 29th, 2010 2:50 PM
This is rather last minute (the deadline is 5pm PST Monday), but it was just sent to us and we thought some of you might find it interesting: Seattle, WA + aLIVe: a Low-Impact Vehicle exhibition 4Culture is seeking ideas that will inspire and engage the broader community in a conversation about transportation. This opportunity […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | January 22nd, 2010 11:50 PM
Josh from imsolidstate built this circuit to answer the age old question, how much electric current does a truck really use?
- Posted by Matt Mets | January 22nd, 2010 10:45 AM
Roboticists at Israel's Ben Gurion University, led by Dr. Amir Shapiro, have posted a cool video on YouTube showing four of their wall-climbing bot designs in action: First, a magnetic climber that has compliant magnetic wheels and is capable to climb on ferromagnetic surfaces. This robot can be used for inspection of ship hull or bridges. Second, is a Snail inspired wall climbing robot capable of climbing on non metallic surfaces using hot melt glue. The robot secretes the adhesive at the front and peels off the track from the wall at the bottom leaving a trail behind just like the snail does. Third, is a robot that uses sticky wheels in order to attach itself to the wall. It simply has 3Ms sticky tape on the wheels. It can climb on smooth surfaces like glass. Fourth, is a four legged wall climbing robot for climbing on rough surfaces. It has 12 claws made of fishing hooks mounted on each footpad, and it climbs like cat or other rodents. I think the second bot, the "snail" one, is my favorite. It starts around 0:30. [via Bot Junkie]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 20th, 2010 10:51 AM
The positive response to my earlier anamorphic Pac-Man post led me to dig up this oldie-but-goodie from Boing Boing. This "UP" signage is only one of several anamorphic signs from The Eureka Tower Carpark in Melbourne, Australia. The anamorphic projections, designed by Axel PeemÃ¶ller, only read properly when viewed from the correct angle.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 19th, 2010 1:27 AM
The schedule for transferring the orbiters may be six months earlier than originally anticipated. NASA also desires to make selections a year before receipt of the orbiters, so recipient organizations will have sufficient time to conduct any fundraising activities necessary to support preparation and ferry costs. NASA is planning to transfer space shuttle Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum. Shuttle orbiters Endeavour and Atlantis will be available for placement no earlier than July, 2011. Where would you like to see the Space Shuttles end up? Check out the RFI for specifics.
- Posted by Chris Connors | January 17th, 2010 7:17 AM
Noah Shactman just brought Israeli defense contractor Urban Aeronautics' AirMule VTOL UAV project to my attention. The photo released by Urban Aeronautics, shown above, purports to show the first successful hovering flight of an AirMule prototype, secured against wandering off by guy-wires. Video would've been more persuasive. The design goal of the AirMule project is to produce an unmanned vehicle that can be used to ferry supplies into, or wounder soldiers out of, a hostile, closely-packed urban combat environment. [via Danger Room]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 12th, 2010 1:48 PM
Artist, traveller, & inventor Joost Conijn spent the better part of a year building his own very custom automobile – almost entirely from wood. And what more fitting way to power such a vehicle, than with an onboard wood-burning stove! You might assume such a novel machine wasn’t intended for any lengthy excursions, but in […]
- Posted by Collin Cunningham | January 5th, 2010 8:46 AM
Flickr user j_tenkely wanted to do his own powder coating, so he bought a commercial powder-gun and built a custom oven in his garage. He says, "the entire oven cost about $250, but when it runs about $150 to do a bike frame & fork, it's easy to break-even."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 4th, 2010 5:52 AM
Darin is doing some amazing work to upgrade and test the aerodynamic improvements to his Pontiac Firefly, which was sold in the US as the Geo Metro. These cars were often sneered at for rolling off the assembly line with a tiny 3 cylinder engine. They didn't sport much power, but they also went an incredibly long distance on a gallon of gas. Excellent data and documentation of the mods is available at MetroMPG, and on EcoModder.
- Posted by Chris Connors | December 30th, 2009 6:31 AM
This thing is called the "Slauerhoffbrug," and it lives in Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. The road section is lifted on a single massive counterbalanced arm up to 90 degrees in the air. There's a good photo gallery, including aerial views, over on frozenly.com. [via Neatorama]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | December 28th, 2009 2:17 PM
This guy converted a garbage truck into a mobile home. I love the storage drawers, which have cut-outs in them for all of the kitchen tools and dinnerware so that it doesn’t knock about when the house is in motion. [via Steven Robert’s Facebook page] Update: As several people have pointed out in comments, this […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | December 27th, 2009 9:03 PM
Ham Cramwich: $25,000 Of Communications Gear In A $500 Car @ Jalopnik (they’ve been on a roll lately!)… Ham radio appears to be more of an addiction than a hobby to the seller of this $500 Dodge. Every surface is covered with $25K in communications equipment for every conceivable band (FM/UHF/HF/VHF/SPACEMAN)
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | December 18th, 2009 8:41 PM
Interesting story on MSNBC about how the newer energy-efficient LED traffic lights are causing accidents because, unlike conventional incandescent traffic lights, they do not generate enough heat to keep themselves clear of snow, and thus can easily become obscured by it. I don't think anyone's saying LED traffic lights are a bad idea in general, but it is an interesting parable about thinking all the way through a problem from a design perspective. [Thanks, Ron!]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | December 17th, 2009 6:37 AM
Nerdy physics/astronomy humor FTW. If you don't get it (and it's OK if you don't, really), you might refer to Wikipedia's article on blue shift. You can buy variations of this bumper sticker all over the web, but I've no word, alas, on how to score one of these official APS versions. [via Neatorama]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | December 3rd, 2009 9:06 AM
It’s the holiday season, and if you’re stuck in an airport, this is a great opportunity to have some ham radio fun! You can listen to air traffic of flights as they take off and land. I find this amusing because it’s like listening to a live airport reality TV show that you’re a part […]
- Posted by dianaeng | December 2nd, 2009 9:36 PM
Looking for the ultimate DIY gift for the holiday season? Yeah, me too! How about building your own electric car? It won't go more than 55 mph, and the seats happen to be green lawn chairs, but it will save you some money at the pump.
- Posted by Marc de Vinck | November 28th, 2009 10:14 AM
Interesting article over on New Scientist about Erin Rapacki's design for a "low-cost" robot that can be used by the wheelchair-bound to grip, turn, and push or pull on most kinds of doorknobs. Maybe my sense of how much this sort of thing should cost is way off, but $2000 still seems pricey to me, although I guess at the prototype stage it's pretty impressive. [via Popular Science]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 25th, 2009 9:37 AM
There are woodcarvers, and then there’s Gary Tatman, of Glen Burnie, Maryland. Gary explains his incredible work on Hemmings Auto Blog: You’re correct in your assumptions- these carvings start out as a block. I use the Internet motorsports archives to obtain enough photos of the project car for detailed areas such as interiors, engine compartments, […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | November 23rd, 2009 6:31 PM
John Boiles, who earlier this year showed us how to control an RC car using an iPod's internal accelerometer (and also how to control the lights on a dance floor in more or less the same way), is a member of Austin, TX, based engineering collective Waterloo Labs, who have up-gunned his iPod technology to control steering, breaks, and acceleration on a full-size automobile. Definitely not the safest hack I've ever blogged, but probably the most impressive. Great work, lady and gents.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 9th, 2009 9:23 PM
Interesting article in the Telegraph about "Argleton," a town that appears in Google maps but does not, apparently, exist in the real world. The best theory I've heard is that the town is a "trap" intended to catch those who steal map data. [Thanks, Glen!]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | November 5th, 2009 8:58 AM
“Oilpunks” and MAKE pals Jon Sarriugarte and Kyrsten Mate have struck (hammer to anvil) again and come up with the Electrobyte, a cross between an extinct marine arthropod and a wheel chair. Flush from the success of their amazing Golden Mean snail car, they decided to do a sort of mini-me companion vehicle. They took […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | November 4th, 2009 3:41 PM
You’ve probably seen vids of this contraption, Honda’s answer to the Segway? I really don’t get it. The human proportions seem all off to me, those “cheek pads” for your butt are just… wrong, and I can’t really see the application. Definitely dig the “Omni Traction” technology. Honda’s U3-X taken for an awkward squat (video)
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | October 26th, 2009 5:13 PM
Pretty amazing yard art by YouTuber koUNit1. [via Geekologie] Make: Halloween Contest 2009 Microchip Technology Inc. and MAKE have teamed up to present to you the Make: Halloween Contest 2009! Show us your embedded microcontroller Halloween projects and you could be chosen as a winner.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 19th, 2009 7:53 AM
Not sure what to do with that old gas guzzler? How about turning it into a giant ball? That's what artist Keny Marshall did with this 1983 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
- Posted by Matt Mets | October 12th, 2009 10:03 AM
Saw one of these on Burnet Rd. in Austin today. It's a Piaggio MP3. Apparently the wheels "loosen up" at speed to allow for cornering, but are stiff at idle so you don't have to hold the bike up with your legs. There are, supposedly, other advantages as well. I'm no bike expert, but it seems like an interesting novelty. Glad, as always, of comments from those in the know.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 7th, 2009 12:32 PM
That’s right, it’s a wooden sports car. And although the sexy images shown here look PhotoShop-y to me, the body of the car, which is made fiberglass-style out of wooden fibers woven on a custom-built loom, appears really to be complete. You can follow Joe Harmon’s construction of “Splinter” at his site. [via Dude Craft]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 1st, 2009 9:48 AM
Now here's a perfect example of why I love the MAKE community. In response to my earlier post about the possibility of modern mechanical gate openers, reader MichaelLubke went out and took these photos (1,2,3) of a real live working mechanical gate near his ranch. What's more, he ran down the original patent on the gate's design! This patent, US number 3,163,947, was issued to Mr. Alvin E. Gandy of Eden, TX, in the year of Our Lord nineteen-hundred and sixty-five. His invention, known as the "Gandy Slide-A-Way," is activated by the weight of one of your vehicle's tires on a short steel ramp built into the driveway right in front of the gate. I wonder how many of these were ever made?
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 28th, 2009 2:13 PM
This weekend, a crew of MAKE folks (myself included) will be at the Handcar Regatta, right here in Sonoma County. We’re excited because it’s not everyday that there’s a maker event in our own backyard. If you’re not familiar with it, the Great West End & Railroad Square Handcar Regatta & Exposition of Mechanical & […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | September 25th, 2009 5:18 PM
This baby was designed by one Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen. From baubike.dk: The BauBike is inspired by Bauhaus design. It is constructed around the geometric shape of the square and the equilateral triangle. The design is stripped down to clean lines and raw material. The design follows a set of formal rules, limiting the geometry to […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 24th, 2009 11:17 AM
Spotted this sexy commercial electric bicycle in a back issue of Popular Science at the barber shop today. It's called Pi, and the company that makes it is based out of San Francisco. The magazine article claims it uses a Nu Vinci continuously-variable transmission but the official company specs now only mention a Shimano 8-speed. Sounds like they're still working out the kinks. Something to keep an eye on, though.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 22nd, 2009 7:52 PM
I'll give dollars to donuts that Jake Von Slatt owns a Yaris because he likes to say "YAAAAAAAAAAARis" in a pirate voice. Anyhoo, Jake was tired of the 'Yota dealership hitting him for 50 bucks to replace the factory cabin air filter, so he hacked together his own from a $5 home A/C filter and wrote a good tutorial about how to do so yourself. Take that ye scallywags!
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 21st, 2009 12:48 PM
Dan says: These folks dragged their bikes from all over Europe and many overseas even. The detailing is pro level and goes well beyond just the frames – there were a lot of hand made pedals, shifters, rims, brakes. There was a week of chopper bike events with up to 30 mile (!) rides but […]
- Posted by Chris Connors | August 16th, 2009 5:06 AM
Two typographers (Pierre & Damien) and a professional driver (Stef van Campenhoudt) collaborated to design a font using a car as the drawing instrument. The car’s movements were tracked using custom software by interactive artist Zachary Lieberman. iQ Font [Thanks, Katie Wilson!]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | August 12th, 2009 9:46 AM
Artist Jay Nelson modified this Honda Spree to serve as a tiny expedition vehicle. Outfitted with surfboard rack, roll-out canopy, and plenty of storage, I imagine filling it with gourmet provisions and heading to a remote beach for some exploration and relaxation. Nelson’s wonderful conceptual sketches lead me to believe he envisioned this as being […]
- Posted by John Edgar Park | August 12th, 2009 9:21 AM
Boutique Cycles is a site out of Australia featuring user-submitted pics of tricked-out custom bicycles. Shown above, “Glowing Batavus” fixie by Netherlands user Kars, with an antique frame, Miche hubs, and custom-painted rims. The frame glows in the dark.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | August 12th, 2009 6:55 AM
Bill Gurstelle is a Contributing Editor for MAKE magazine. His most recent book is entitled Absinthe & Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously. You can follow Bill on his danger-quest at twitter.com/wmgurst. He is a guest Make: Online author for the month of August. In this month’s MAKE magazine, Volume 19, […]
- Posted by William Gurstelle | August 7th, 2009 7:53 AM
I love all of the… er… juice that electric-powered drag racing has been getting lately. I just found out today, via the HacDC e-list, that there’s electric drag racing right near me, the Power of DC, coming up the end of August, in Hagerstown, MD. It’s the 9th annual race, hosted by the Electric Vehicle […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | July 22nd, 2009 11:21 PM
Rex Research is a great site, chock-full of info about wacky inventions that never made it, including a bunch of free-energy quackery and pseudoscience that’s still a lot of fun if you take it with a grain of salt. One of my favorite pages so far is this collection of weird-ass boats that folks have […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | July 18th, 2009 6:38 PM
The other night I checked out the volunteer night at Bikes Not Bombs in Jamaica Plain Boston. At the end of the night, there were about a dozen volunteers working together to “flatten bikes” so they could be efficiently shipped to Ghana in West Africa. The crowd was mostly young adults with a balance of […]
- Posted by Chris Connors | July 17th, 2009 8:14 PM
The Boston Globe dropped a massive set of Apollo 11 photos, many of these not likely seen before. It’s been 40 years, what would it be like if we kept going?… 40 years ago, three human beings – with the help of many thousands of others – left our planet on a successful journey to […]
- Posted by Phillip Torrone | July 16th, 2009 7:21 AM
Every other week, MAKE’s awesome interns tell about the projects they’re building in the Make: Labs, the trouble they’ve gotten into, and what they’ll make next. By Steven Lemos, engineering intern For a school project in my AutoCAD class, my group and I decided to design and build a hovercraft. At first we were planning […]
- Posted by Keith Hammond | July 13th, 2009 5:53 PM
Michael Davis made this really cool PVC pipe laptop mount for his truck cab that mounts in the console cup-holder. I actually had this idea on-deck for a Make: Project for a couple weeks from now, and was really annoyed excited to find that Michael had already done such a great job of it. Of […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | July 13th, 2009 3:20 PM
GoCollege has an excellent interview with Charles Z. Guan, maker of the LOLrioKart: Piloting the kart during test runs wasn’t all that difficult when it was under control, but there were definitely a few moments where I thought somebody else was going to have to call home. The kart’s center of gravity is actually very […]
- Posted by Chris Connors | July 12th, 2009 7:50 AM
Design News has an article and slide show piece on electric dragsters. The car pictured here is Mike Willmon’s electric Pinto, the Crazyhorse. The infamous Pinto gas tank (and the back seat) has been replaced with 848 lbs of lead-acid battery. The car is powered by two nine-inch diameter brush DC motors, coupled back-to-back. The […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | July 8th, 2009 11:36 PM
Dale Vince has a dream of a zero carbon car, fueled by the electricity generated from a forest of windmills. The Zero Carbonista blog details many of the milestones of the project. Vince is the CEO of Ecotricity, a green energy supplier in the UK.
- Posted by Chris Connors | July 8th, 2009 11:55 AM
Check out this amazing Captain Tinkerpaw special. Seen on Kevin Kelly’s Street Use. KK writes: I can’t tell what this is for. Might be a portable night market stall (for food?). There’s a generator on the tail and a light bulb hanging in the middle. Seems to be in Korea. That’s all I know. (Thanks […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | July 7th, 2009 11:17 PM
Drilled and tapped for the screw and drilled a clearance hole for the mount bolt.At 20 threads per inch, that would be .050" per turn. So .01" would be 1/5 of a turn. Put on a standard six-flat nut for reference. Turn less than one flat would be .050/6 = .0083 inches, a little margin to the spec. So, to use it, you spin and gradually drop the screw until it just touches at the highest point. Turn to the lowest point, and tighten down. Took less than one flat, so I believe I am in spec!
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | July 1st, 2009 4:11 PM
I’ve seen this thing referred to as an “Ocean Mat,” a “Prolong Knot,” a “Ladder Mat,” and a “Sailor’s True Love Mat.” Whatever you want to call it, it’s a noble expression of the manly art of knot-tying, and this tutorial at the UK’s Scullion Enterprises will show you how it’s done. More: Rope bending […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | June 30th, 2009 5:35 PM
This amazing machine transfers boats between the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals of central Scotland, which are some 80 feet apart vertically. It was opened in 2002. Gareth wrote last year about artist Andy Scott’s proposal to install a pair of titanic mythical sea-horse heads as part of the lock mechanism below the wheel. […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | June 29th, 2009 12:51 PM
Well, classes are finally over, and people like Charles can finally settle down to the important work of…extreme grocery carting: While I seem to be in “build season” mode year-round, it is during long breaks with little in the way of academic or life obligations that I get the most done. Last summer, I began […]
- Posted by Chris Connors | June 25th, 2009 9:29 AM