Mad Hacks – Make: Volume 46


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


Laura Kampf Builds a Bike You Can Ride on Water

Laura Kampf Builds a Bike You Can Ride on Water

Have you taken your bike for a ride on a river... and lost it when it sank? Here's a bike-powered watercraft to avoid such things!

The Rugged, Handmade Beauty of Cameron Falconer's Bikes

The Rugged, Handmade Beauty of Cameron Falconer’s Bikes

If you’re interested in hand-built bicycle frames, there’s a good chance you already know the name Cameron Falconer.

This Teardrop Trailer Lets You Camp in Steampunk Style

This Teardrop Trailer Lets You Camp in Steampunk Style

The craftsmanship of this steampunk teardrop trailer is awe-inspiring. What a beautiful piece of functional equipment to travel in style!

The Screaming Rabbit

An Airboat and a Bike Had a Baby and it’s Rad

The Screaming Rabbit is a custom bike that uses bike uses an airboat motor for some extra propulsion and a nasty sound.

8 Easy Bike Hacks to Build Right Now

8 Easy Bike Hacks to Build Right Now

From a simple spoke amplifier to monitors that gather useful data, there's sure to be a bike hack out there that will elevate your ride.

Block the Car Door Relay Hack with a Faraday Cage

Block the Car Door Relay Hack with a Faraday Cage

Is your car door safe from electronic hackers? Read on to understand how the malicious hack works — and how to protect your ride.

This High-Performance Electric Vehicle Kit Can Be Built in a Week

This High-Performance Electric Vehicle Kit Can Be Built in a Week

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 a Burly Wooden Scooter That Can Haul Hundreds of Pounds

Build a Burly Wooden Scooter That Can Haul Hundreds of Pounds

Build the Congolese workhorse that can haul hundreds of pounds of cargo.

Check Out the Open Source Chassis that will Bring 3D-Printed Cars to the Streets

Check Out the Open Source Chassis that will Bring 3D-Printed Cars to the Streets

Today Local Motors announces the winner of its design challenge, Project [Redacted], for a four-seater based on a 3D-printable template.

Maker's Dashboard

Maker’s Dashboard

Don’t let the limited features of your car’s dashboard get you down. Here are nine projects that will help you customize your cockpit.

Will a Vague Copyright Law Keep You from Hacking Your Car?

Will a Vague Copyright Law Keep You from Hacking Your Car?

Will a vague copyright law affect the scope of what hobbyists and modders can do with their vehicles?

A 3D Printed Super Car the Top Gear Crowd Would Love

A 3D Printed Super Car the Top Gear Crowd Would Love

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 […]

When the Family Car Is a Solar Powered Boat

When the Family Car Is a Solar Powered Boat

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 […]

Tin Spider Marches On Massive Mechanical Legs

Tin Spider Marches On Massive Mechanical Legs

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 […]

Stylishly Port a Passenger with this Wine Barrel Bike Trailer

Stylishly Port a Passenger with this Wine Barrel Bike Trailer

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 […]

Editors' Picks: 11 of Our Favorite Bike Projects

Editors’ Picks: 11 of Our Favorite Bike Projects

Here are 11 great bike projects that we've featured, chosen by the editors of Make:

Build a Nipple Driver from an Old Bike Spoke

Build a Nipple Driver from an Old Bike Spoke

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 […]

Students Build Pedal-Powered Wooden Monowheel

Students Build Pedal-Powered Wooden Monowheel

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 […]

Fire, Steam, and Trout: The Best Custom Rides at Maker Faire

Fire, Steam, and Trout: The Best Custom Rides at Maker Faire

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 […]

Maker Profile: Craig Calfee Builds Carbon Bicycles by Hand

Maker Profile: Craig Calfee Builds Carbon Bicycles by Hand

Most hand-made bicycles are built from steel or titanium, but Calfee Designs makes them from carbon.

Smart Bike Tweeted its Cross-Country Journey

Smart Bike Tweeted its Cross-Country Journey

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.

Motorcycle Gyromount Always Delivers Perfect Video

Motorcycle Gyromount Always Delivers Perfect Video

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 […]

Reinvent the Wheel with these 3D Printed Bike Parts

Reinvent the Wheel with these 3D Printed Bike Parts

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 […]

Check Out this Wacky Square-Framed Fixie Bike

Check Out this Wacky Square-Framed Fixie Bike

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 […]

Gadgetize Your Bike with these 3 Projects

Gadgetize Your Bike with these 3 Projects

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, […]

Lug Cargo with a Converted Children’s Bike Trailer

Lug Cargo with a Converted Children’s Bike Trailer

  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, John Doppert shows how you can take an old trailer, meant to haul a child, and convert it […]

Converting a Mountain Bike into a Single Speed "Road Warrior"

Converting a Mountain Bike into a Single Speed “Road Warrior”

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 […]

Secure and Track Your Bike with this Arduino-Based GPS Lock

Secure and Track Your Bike with this Arduino-Based GPS Lock

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 […]

Utilize Carabiners to Make the Most of Your Bike Ride

Utilize Carabiners to Make the Most of Your Bike Ride

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?, 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 […]

6 Bike Storage Solutions You Can Build Right Now

6 Bike Storage Solutions You Can Build Right Now

These 6 bike storage methods should give you some ideas for how to make your own so that your bike can have a place to live when not in use.

6 Bicycles and Accessories for the Cycling Woodworker

6 Bicycles and Accessories for the Cycling Woodworker

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 […]

Designing a Bike for the Perfect Commute

Designing a Bike for the Perfect Commute

Denny is powered by Intel Edison, a SRAM E-Matic electric assist hub, and you. Designers Matt and John walk us through the latest version, coming soon via bike manufacturer Fuji.

OSVehicle's Tabby EVO: Build This Open-Source EV in an Hour

OSVehicle’s Tabby EVO: Build This Open-Source EV in an Hour

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 […]

The Crazed, Inspired Vehicles of Maker Faire

The Crazed, Inspired Vehicles of Maker Faire

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 […]

Retrofit Your Old Car with a DIY Wireless Phone Charger

Retrofit Your Old Car with a DIY Wireless Phone Charger

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 […]

solar chariot by Bob Schneeveis

Watch This Solar Chariot Walk Like a Human

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 […]

Startup Raises $20 Million for Smartphone Windshield Projector

Startup Raises $20 Million for Smartphone Windshield Projector

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 […]

New Zealander Builds Working Helicopter from Scratch

New Zealander Builds Working Helicopter from Scratch

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 […]

Electric Drill Provides Power For This Kid-Friendly Go-Kart

Electric Drill Provides Power For This Kid-Friendly Go-Kart

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 […]

What Do Jurrassic Park, Twisted Metal, and Waffles Have in Common? Power Wheels Racing

What Do Jurrassic Park, Twisted Metal, and Waffles Have in Common? Power Wheels Racing

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 […]

How I Built My First Electric Bike

How I Built My First Electric Bike

My goal was an easy-to-make, low cost electric bike that was both powerful and reliable. Here's how I did it.

Cycle Chaser

Cycle Chaser

Project animations from the rear of your bicycle using a Raspberry Pi and open-source software. The framerate of the animation depends on the speed you are moving at.

DIY Hovercraft

DIY Hovercraft

Hard Science is a new YouTube show where Anthony Carboni and Tara Long make and build cool stuff and show us their process and results. In this episode they build a hovercraft. Yeah, a HOVERCRAFT.

Elf Solar-Powered Bicycle Vehicle Rolls Forward

Elf Solar-Powered Bicycle Vehicle Rolls Forward

The solar-powered Elf bicycle vehicle (velomobile) shows the future of zero emission transportation. It's a fun vehicle to bike, too.

Bike Basket

Bike Basket

Make It Handmade made a really fun bike basket perfect for a summer ride.

Movers and Makers: Charles "Chuck" Stottlemyer

Movers and Makers: Charles “Chuck” Stottlemyer

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.

Making a Bike Out of Car Parts

Making a Bike Out of Car Parts

[vimeo=] 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 […]

Longboard POV

Longboard POV

Michael Ciuffo of Ch00ftech built this tiny persistence-of-vision (POV) display, based on an Attiny24, to fit on his longboard's 72mm wheels.

Maker Faire New York: Drivable Hammock

Maker Faire New York: Drivable Hammock

Steve, Allen, and Justin of North Street Labs have finally figured out how to see Maker Faire, or any other large outdoor event, in style...

360-degree iPhone Panoramic Camera Travels Across America on a Scooter

360-degree iPhone Panoramic Camera Travels Across America on a Scooter

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.

Leaf Blower Hovercraft

Leaf Blower Hovercraft

[youtube=] Wayne & Layne partner Matthew Beckler helps “kid-maker Ethan” build a leaf blower hovercraft using these plans. Neat!

Play Pong While Waiting for the Light to Change

Play Pong While Waiting for the Light to Change

If you find yourself on the streets of Hildesheim Germany you might be pleasantly surprised to be suddenly pitted against another pedestrian in a game of pong.

The Treadmill Bike

The Treadmill Bike

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.

Lego Wheelchair

Lego Wheelchair

[youtube=””] 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 […]

Submarine Simulator

Submarine Simulator

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 […]

First Maker Camp Field Trip Today!

First Maker Camp Field Trip Today!

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 […]

Huge LEGO Model of a Rolls-Royce Engine

Huge LEGO Model of a Rolls-Royce Engine

Debuting at .Farnborough International Airshow, this half-scale Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 jet engine measures close to 2 meters in length and is composed of 152,455 LEGO bricks.

Independent Wheelchair Assist

Independent Wheelchair Assist

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.

Wheelchairs From Old Bike Parts

Wheelchairs From Old Bike Parts

In developing countries, a mobility issue can create a major drain on a family’s already sparse resources. That's why Randy Geile designs inexpensive wheelchairs using readily available parts.

"The Race" at the Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire

“The Race” at the Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire

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 […]

Segway Steadicam

Segway Steadicam

Pedro Guimaraes‘ Segway Steadicam rig is so sweet! I’d love to play around with just the RED camera alone. [via @TensorFlux & Hacked Gadgets]

Stair-Navigating Skateboard

Stair-Navigating Skateboard

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 […]

Power Racing Series at Maker Faire KC

Power Racing Series at Maker Faire KC

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 […]

Oru - The Origami Kayak

Oru – The Origami Kayak

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 […]

Gyroscope Motorcycle You Can't Knock Over

Gyroscope Motorcycle You Can’t Knock Over

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 […]

DeLorean Hovercraft Touches Down

Matt Riese unloaded his DeLorean hovercraft this morning in the West Lot by hovering it down the trailer on a ramp.

DeLorean Hovercraft

DeLorean Hovercraft

What do you get when you cross a hoverboard and a DeLorean? A Delorean hovercraft, of course! San Francisco grad student Matthew Riese has built just that.

Jay Leno Scans and Prints Replacement Car Parts

Jay Leno Scans and Prints Replacement Car Parts

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.

Blackbird is a Super-Charged Pedal-Powered Super-Cruiser!

Blackbird is a Super-Charged Pedal-Powered Super-Cruiser!

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!

3D Models of NASA Spacecraft

3D Models of NASA Spacecraft

Among its multitudinous downloadable resources, NASA offers .3DS models of famous and not-so-famous spacecraft, including the NPP climatology satellite to the ISS. [thanks, Gnomic]

The Great Concrete Canoe Race

The Great Concrete Canoe Race

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.

No-Weld Rail Bike Conversion

No-Weld Rail Bike Conversion

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.

Power Racing Season is Heating Up

Power Racing Season is Heating Up

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 […]

Drawing Machine from Stationary Bicycle

Drawing Machine from Stationary Bicycle

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.

Solar Dune Buggy

Solar Dune Buggy

Brothers Michael and Kenny Ham have a goal: to create cheap electric vehicles that get people interested in renewable energy.

Homemade Aluminum Longboard Deck

Homemade Aluminum Longboard Deck

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.

Dyson Crew Drag Race with Spare Parts

Dyson Crew Drag Race with Spare Parts

The rules of the Dyson car challenge are simple enough. As long as it is powered by the motor found in the Dyson handheld vacuum cleaner, anything goes. And that's just what happened.

Foot-Steered Electric Scooter

Foot-Steered Electric Scooter

Love this fun little scooter that MITERS and GT Invention Studio members built over spring break. [Charles via Adafruit]

DIY Bike-Welding Jig

DIY Bike-Welding Jig

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. […]

Ambient Bus Arrival Monitor

Ambient Bus Arrival Monitor

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, […]

People Powered Ferris Wheel

People Powered Ferris Wheel

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.

Drone Sailboat Built by College Students

Drone Sailboat Built by College Students

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 […]

The World's First Helicopters

The World’s First Helicopters

[youtube= showinfo=0] 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 […]

VW Bus Customized with a Mural and Stained Glass

VW Bus Customized with a Mural and Stained Glass

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.

Chesapeake Light Craft Boats

Chesapeake Light Craft Boat Kits

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 […]

Race for the Future 2012

Race for the Future 2012

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 […]

OK Go Plays a Thousand Instruments with a Car

OK Go Plays a Thousand Instruments with a Car

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.

Robot's Wheels Transform Into Legs

Robot’s Wheels Transform Into Legs

[youtube=] 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 […]

Kinect-Controlled Skateboard

Kinect-Controlled Skateboard

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 […]

Alt.CES: Kinect-Ctrl'd Board of Awesomeness

Alt.CES: Kinect-Ctrl’d Board of Awesomeness

[youtube] 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 […]

Why Yes, You Can Mirror Polish a DeLorean

Why Yes, You Can Mirror Polish a DeLorean

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 Rob Beschizza found that it's been done at least once before.

Hamster Powered Submarine

Hamster Powered Submarine

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.

News From The Future - Your Tukus Will Start Your Car

News From The Future – Your Tukus Will Start Your Car

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.

Rolling Tool Table from Stacked Tires

Rolling Tool Table from Stacked Tires

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.

"World's Smallest" Working V-12 Motor

“World’s Smallest” Working V-12 Motor

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.

A Photo Op Not to be Missed...

A Photo Op Not to be Missed…

...if you happen to have a vehicle with about 300,000 units on the odometer. From Alan Parekh's always-delightful Hacked Gadgets.

iShred: iPad Embedded Snowboard

iShred: iPad Embedded Snowboard

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.

Now That's a Lathe

Now That’s a Lathe

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.

Crashed Ferrari Coffee Table

Crashed Ferrari Coffee Table

Step 1: Crash a Ferrari. Step 2: Put it in a coffee table. Brilliant! Can't wait to make one for myself, this weekend.

FitDesk Exercise Desk

If you've contemplated a treadmill desk, but would like a more portable solution, then take a look at the FitDesk. It's perfect for a couple of laps while checking your email or wiring up for a cycling simulation.

DDWFTTW: Rick Cavallaro

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 […]

Man Flies in Electric Multi-copter

Man Flies in Electric Multi-copter

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.

Zachary Rukstela Talks Kinetic Steamworks

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.

Scratchbuilt: Superdetailed B-24 Liberator

Scratchbuilt: Superdetailed B-24 Liberator

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.

Building an Art Car's Serpent Tail for Burning Man

Building an Art Car’s Serpent Tail for Burning Man

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.

Scratchbuilt: Radio-Controlled Jagdpanzer 38(t)

Scratchbuilt: Radio-Controlled Jagdpanzer 38(t)

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.

Scratchbuilt: 1/87 Mack FCSW Water Truck

Scratchbuilt: 1/87 Mack FCSW Water Truck

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.

Scratchbuilt:  The "Swift" from "Space 1999"

Scratchbuilt: The “Swift” from “Space 1999”

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 […]

Scratchbuilt: MV Agusta 750 S

Scratchbuilt: MV Agusta 750 S

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.

Have Your Recliner and Ride It, Too (video)

Have Your Recliner and Ride It, Too (video)

Inspired by his friend's couch on wheels, William Keller built this motorized La-Z-Boy to get around the Playa at Burning Man.

American Speedster PVC Pedal Car

American Speedster PVC Pedal Car

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.

News From The Future: The End Of The Left Turn

News From The Future: The End Of The Left Turn

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.

Scratchbuilt:  Bell H-13D Sioux

Scratchbuilt: Bell H-13D Sioux

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.

Scratchbuilt: M65 Atomic Cannon

Scratchbuilt: M65 Atomic Cannon

Architect Paul Gaertner built this beautiful 1/72 scale replica of the so-called "Atomic Annie" US M65 nuclear-capable 280mm artillery piece, and its two specially-built tractors.

Cupcake Cars by Acme Muffineering (video)

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.

Scratchbuilt: Mi-24 "Hind" Attack Helicopter With 100K Parts

Scratchbuilt: Mi-24 “Hind” Attack Helicopter With 100K Parts

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.

Scratchbuilt: USS Enterprise CVN-65

Scratchbuilt: USS Enterprise CVN-65

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."

How-To: Speed Vest for Night Cycling

How-To: Speed Vest for Night Cycling

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 […]

Roller Chain Clockworks

Roller Chain Clockworks

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]

Off-Road Wheelchair Mover

Off-Road Wheelchair Mover

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.

Plywood Cargo Bike

Plywood Cargo Bike

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.

X-Wing Soap Box Racer

X-Wing Soap Box Racer

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. .."

Ongoing 1:1 Papercraft Replica of 1969 Mustang

Ongoing 1:1 Papercraft Replica of 1969 Mustang

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!

Vegetable-Oil-Powered Motorcycle Interview

Vegetable-Oil-Powered Motorcycle Interview

“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 […]

More on the Dalek Car

More on the Dalek Car

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!

Dalek Art Car at Burning Man

Dalek Art Car at Burning Man

A Dalek and a Storm Trooper walk in to a bar ...

El Pulpo Mecanico: A Flame-shooting Octopus Vehicle

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!

News From The Future: Your Car Is An EEG

News From The Future: Your Car Is An EEG

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.

R2D2 Motorcycle Helmet

R2D2 Motorcycle Helmet

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.

Adding Bluetooth to a Car Tape Deck

Adding Bluetooth to a Car Tape Deck

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 […]

Needle-Felted Hubble Space Telescope

Needle-Felted Hubble Space Telescope

Astounding needlework by space wonk Jen Scheer, aka @flyingjenny, now up for auction on eBay.

4WD Hub Motor Electric Longboard

4WD Hub Motor Electric Longboard

MIT student Jed Storey built this skateboard, including home-made hub motors on every wheel. It is steered with a pistol-grip RC controller. [Thanks, Shane]

How-To: Weld a Custom Bike Frame

How-To: Weld a Custom Bike Frame

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...

Hackers on a Plane Returns to Japan

Hackers on a Plane Returns to Japan

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 […]

Space Shuttle Cake with Ice Cream Tank, Chocolate/Caramel Boosters

Space Shuttle Cake with Ice Cream Tank, Chocolate/Caramel Boosters

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

The Aeromodeller, an Autonomous Airship

The Aeromodeller, an Autonomous Airship

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 […]

Fly into CCC Camp in an Antonov-2

Fly into CCC Camp in an Antonov-2

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 […]

Hackerspace Happenings: Power Racing Series Gears Up for Maker Faire

Hackerspace Happenings: Power Racing Series Gears Up for Maker Faire

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.

Milwaukee Makers on Parade

Milwaukee Makers on Parade

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 […]

“The Blue Crab” One-Sheet Plywood Boat – Tiny Yellow House

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 […]

  • Posted by | July 12th, 2011 10:00 AM
Superdetailed Hardwood Scale Model of Caterpillar 5230B Excavator

Superdetailed Hardwood Scale Model of Caterpillar 5230B Excavator

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..."

The Panterragaffe, a Rideable Strandbeest

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 […]

Beer Wheel Drive Vehicle

Beer Wheel Drive Vehicle

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.

How-To: Hand-Pumped PVC Foghorn

How-To: Hand-Pumped PVC Foghorn

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...

Daughter Board - Making Father/Daughter Longboards from MAKE Volume 26

Daughter Board – Making Father/Daughter Longboards from MAKE Volume 26

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.

Some Assembly Required – Leaf Blower Hovercraft

If you're looking for a bare-bones hovercraft build, this one from'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!]

Go-Kart Made in 5 Days

Go-Kart Made in 5 Days

MIT graduate and MITERS member Amy Qian built this sweet ride in only 5 days. Also be sure to check out her amazing hand-built hub motor! [Via Adafruit]

Beer Can Surfboard

Beer Can Surfboard

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]

Home-Built Funicular (Motorized People-Mover) on Make: Projects

Home-Built Funicular (Motorized People-Mover) on Make: Projects

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 […]

Hover Bike Prototype is Dubious, Awesome

Hover Bike Prototype is Dubious, Awesome

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...

Drug Cartels Building DIY Tanks

Drug Cartels Building DIY Tanks

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."

Electric Diwheel With Active Rotation Damping (EDWARD)

Electric Diwheel With Active Rotation Damping (EDWARD)

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.

Follow up, Jeri Ellsworth vs Talking buses #Trimet ... Jeri won

Follow up, Jeri Ellsworth vs Talking buses #Trimet … Jeri won

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 […]

MAKE Karts and Wheels Contest Winner Jeremy Ashinghurst Interview

MAKE Karts and Wheels Contest Winner Jeremy Ashinghurst Interview

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. […]

Child Designs Wheelchair for Bunny

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 […]

Fanscooter Adds Motorized Propulsion to a Razor Scooter

Fanscooter Adds Motorized Propulsion to a Razor Scooter

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.

Arduino-Controlled Ultrasonic Sensor Helps You Park Your Car

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 […]

Top 10: Bike Repair

Top 10: Bike Repair

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!

For Sale: Full-Scale Saturn V F-1 Engine Model

For Sale: Full-Scale Saturn V F-1 Engine Model

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."

Make: Live 4/27/11 — Karts and Wheels (video)

Make: Live 4/27/11 — Karts and Wheels (video)

[youtube] 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 […]

Custom EBike Boasts 76 Kilometers Per Hour, 210 Per Charge

Custom EBike Boasts 76 Kilometers Per Hour, 210 Per Charge

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.

Top 10: CRAFT-y Bike Projects

Top 10: CRAFT-y Bike Projects

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?



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.

Top 10: Electric Bikes

Top 10: Electric Bikes

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!

Motorcycles Made From Watch Parts

Motorcycles Made From Watch Parts

These are from deviantART user dkart71. Back in 2007, we covered similar work from a Brazilian artist who goes by Blancosur. [via Boing Boing]

DON'T MISS IT! Make: Live Episode 06: Bikes, Basics to Extremes

DON’T MISS IT! Make: Live Episode 06: Bikes, Basics to Extremes

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 or on UStream Please join us in the UStream chat or mark tweets with #makelive to interact live with […]

Maker Faire Bay Area: Stanford Solar Car Project Interview

Maker Faire Bay Area: Stanford Solar Car Project Interview

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 […]

Make: Live is Tonight! Episode 06: Bikes, Basics to Extremes

Make: Live is Tonight! Episode 06: Bikes, Basics to Extremes

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 – […]

Share Your Go-Kart Stories!

Share Your Go-Kart Stories!

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 […]

That's How We Roll

That’s How We Roll

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.

Recycled Recumbents Revisited

Recycled Recumbents Revisited

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.!

Top 10:  Recumbent Bikes

Top 10: Recumbent Bikes

Trikes, too! No quads in here, though. That's something we shall have to remedy, in future.

Belt-Driven, Hubless Rear Wheel Bicycle

Belt-Driven, Hubless Rear Wheel Bicycle

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.

Time Lapse:  Lego Ship in a Bottle

Time Lapse: Lego Ship in a Bottle

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]

Top 10: Gears!

Top 10: Gears!

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:

How-To:  Ship An Obelisk

How-To: Ship An Obelisk

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.

Homebrew Luge Track Comes Complete with Electronic Timers

Homebrew Luge Track Comes Complete with Electronic Timers

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 […]

  • Posted by | March 20th, 2011 12:38 AM

Jetpack + Skis, A Bond Prop or Maker Project?

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 […]

Electric Kart in Your School?

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!!

Pssst.  Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy a Space Shuttle?

Pssst. Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy a Space Shuttle?

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.

Toner Transfer Etched Custom Car Audio Panel

Toner Transfer Etched Custom Car Audio Panel

Great looking results from the very accessible process of toner transfer galvanic etching, by Rab. [via Hacked Gadgets]

Car puts spare tire to use

This 1950s newsreel shows a car that was modded by its owner to deploy its spare tire as a tight-spot parking assist. (Thanks, Lew!)

MAKE Karts and Wheels Contest Winners

MAKE Karts and Wheels Contest Winners

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 […]

Car assembles itself, owner and dog watch

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 […]

  • Posted by | February 20th, 2011 1:00 AM
Gallery of Spherical Cockpit Panoramas

Gallery of Spherical Cockpit Panoramas

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.

Snowzilla in Mattapan

Snowzilla in Mattapan

The MBTA uses a Korean War-era jet engine mounted on a train to keep a short section of the Mattapan line clear of snow.

Rings of Saturn

I can't say I'm convinced of the viability of this amusement ride concept by Thomas Casey, however I'm entranced by the model version that he shows off in this video.

  • Posted by | January 30th, 2011 12:10 AM
Smugglers caught with weed-flinging catapult

Smugglers caught with weed-flinging catapult

My pal Alan Dove has thoughtfully suggested that these guys might've done better to build themselves a trebuchet.

Aerial tram- and cable-ways

Aerial tram- and cable-ways

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!]

Self-balancing pogo stick

“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 […]

Monster Krupp bucket excavator eats stray bulldozers

Monster Krupp bucket excavator eats stray bulldozers

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.

Worlds smallest solar movie theater in a trailer

Worlds smallest solar movie theater in a trailer

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.

And now, a holiday greeting from our quadrocopter overlords

And now, a holiday greeting from our quadrocopter overlords

This impressive demonstration is by researchers at the Flying Machine Arena, part of the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zürich

  • Posted by | December 22nd, 2010 6:27 PM
Invent a non-traditional vehicle? Race it in a competition!

Invent a non-traditional vehicle? Race it in a competition!

Alternative transportation tinkerers: the city of Wheeling, Indiana has a call for entries for their Race for the Future competition.

  • Posted by | December 22nd, 2010 6:18 PM
Massive collection of motorcycles

Massive collection of motorcycles

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. Here’s another look the wild and wonderful world of motorcycles.

MIDI scooter

I merged my MIDI-playing code with my scooter-driving code and put them both on the new, rad-hardened 3ph v3.1 controller. [Thx, ChArLeS]

MAKE Karts and Wheels Contest: Get published!

MAKE Karts and Wheels Contest: Get published!

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 […]

Students make vertical wooden roller coaster track

Students make vertical wooden roller coaster track

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 […]

Segfault, an analog balancing scooter

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 […]

Riverboat zombie survival compound

Riverboat zombie survival compound

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!]

Top 10:  Steam power!

Top 10: Steam power!

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.

How-To: Remove a rear-view mirror button

How-To: Remove a rear-view mirror button

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:

A look inside an aircraft repair plant

A look inside an aircraft repair plant

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 – the center of technical service and repair of civil aircrafts of domestic and foreign manufacture.

Mechanical gate opener comes full circle

Mechanical gate opener comes full circle

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:

Firefly Workshop's pedal-powered snow plow

Firefly Workshop’s pedal-powered snow plow

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:

Fairbairn cranes on Flickr

Fairbairn cranes on Flickr

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 […]

1-kilometer flip book animation

This flip book was created by ad agency DDB Canada using poster-sized frames attached to the wall of a racetrack. Neat! [Via Core77]

18' Canoe from single sheet of plywood

18′ Canoe from single sheet of plywood

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.

Fun Theory Award winner rewards safe drivers with lottery tickets

Fun Theory Award winner rewards safe drivers with lottery tickets

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).

Parasitic bike pump steals air from car tires

Parasitic bike pump steals air from car tires

This emergency bike pump by Instructables user Aleksi is pure genius.

  • Posted by | November 10th, 2010 4:36 PM
DIY flight simulator motion rig

DIY flight simulator motion rig

Matt Thomas of Roger Dodger Aviation (and Maker Faire Kansas City fame) designed and built this Moving Axis AirCraft Simulator, which is a flight simulator that tilts and shifts you as you fly a virtual plane.

  • Posted by | November 9th, 2010 6:47 PM
Dachshund wheelchair

Dachshund wheelchair

That’s one lucky pup! Dachshunds are prone to back injuries, what with their adorably long backs and all. Joelsprayberry on Instructables made this dachshund wheelchair for after his injury, for use until he can walk again.

RC flying shark

RC flying shark

The RC flying shark appears to be a commercial product, but I love the idea of animal-shaped flying creatures.

  • Posted by | November 6th, 2010 4:47 PM
Lego B-17 Flying Fortress in metallic silver bricks

Lego B-17 Flying Fortress in metallic silver bricks

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.

Downwind faster than the wind: Blackbird sets a record

Downwind faster than the wind: Blackbird sets a record

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 […]

Hold Fast, a documentary about anarchy and sailing

Hold Fast, a documentary about anarchy and sailing

Ever dream of taking off for the equator, fixing up an old boat, and then sailing it off into the sunset?

  • Posted by | November 1st, 2010 1:17 PM
Balancing boat isn't actually sinking

Balancing boat isn’t actually sinking

I'm digging Julien Berther's faux sinking boat/sculpture, titled 'Love love'.

  • Posted by | November 1st, 2010 12:07 PM
Huge Lego Europe relief map with monuments

Huge Lego Europe relief map with monuments

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]

Ferrari engine carved from wood

Ferrari engine carved from wood

An enterprising maker created this Ferrari 365 V12 engine out of wood.

  • Posted by | October 27th, 2010 5:30 PM
Pedal-powered submarine

Pedal-powered submarine

Following in the long tradition of crazy Frenchmen doing odd things underwater, the Scubster team is working on a prototype pedal-powered submarine.

Polly the housetruck

Polly the housetruck

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 […]

How-To: Replace street car tracks

How-To: Replace street car tracks

MAKE subscriber Ken Murphy shared this time-lapse video that he took of the MUNI streetcar construction in front of his house.

  • Posted by | October 12th, 2010 8:28 PM

StreetBeest takes over Somerville!

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.

Berkeley Bionics introduces eLEGS exoskeleton

Berkeley Bionics introduces eLEGS exoskeleton

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.

Building a better wheelchair

Building a better wheelchair

Here's a neat design for an improved wheelchair, by designer and wheelchair user Salim Nasser.

  • Posted by | October 4th, 2010 1:14 PM
Marc Newson's Transport show in NYC

Marc Newson’s Transport show in NYC

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, […]

Used car part sculptures

Used car part sculptures

James Corbett, from Ningi, Queensland, Australia, started making art from old car parts in 1999 while running an auto-recycling business. I especially like the frog. [Thanks, Alan Dove!]

Madagascar's Rascal Cycle

Madagascar’s Rascal Cycle

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 […]

Borged-out car

Borged-out car

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 […]

How-To:  Plycycle!

How-To: Plycycle!

Instructables user LongToe, inspired by design student John Hobson, borrowed tools and techniques from plywood kayak construction to make this beautiful laminated Baltic birch bicycle frame. Best of all, he shows us how.

Centuries of cranks vindicated by human-powered ornithopter flight

Centuries of cranks vindicated by human-powered ornithopter flight

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]

Arduino + Motorcycle = Motoduino!

Arduino + Motorcycle = Motoduino!

Heatsync Labs member Rene Sanchez built this kicking motoduino bike computer for his motorcycle, using a bunch of parts from Adafruit, a custom welded enclosure, Makerbotted connectors, and some ingenuity.

  • Posted by | September 17th, 2010 11:36 AM

How fast can you take apart and put a Jeep back together?

4 minutes!

Buy Steven Roberts' technomadic micro-trimaran!

Buy Steven Roberts’ technomadic micro-trimaran!

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 […]

Watermelon car

Watermelon car

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 […]

Burning Man art car round up

Burning Man art car round up

Nice gallery round up of kooky art cars (and bikes) from this year’s Burning Man. [via DudeCraft] The Art Cars of Burning Man 2010

Awesome custom skateboards

Awesome custom skateboards

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: Liquid-Cooled Carseat

How-To: Liquid-Cooled Carseat

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 […]

Visualizing American air power with models

Visualizing American air power with models

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]

Make 23: Solar-powered road trip eardrum hazard

Make 23: Solar-powered road trip eardrum hazard

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 […]

Land steam record attempt

Land steam record attempt

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 […]

Wicked skeletal dragon lord hood ornament

Wicked skeletal dragon lord hood ornament

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.

How-to make your own Golden Mean snail car

How-to make your own Golden Mean snail car

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 […]

Life-size Lego car

Life-size Lego car

Oh, what the heck… [Thanks, Fra!] Ah, another world. :”>

MAKE 23: Bike trunk from sheet metal

MAKE 23: Bike trunk from sheet metal

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 […]

Self-balancing, one wheel electric scooter

MAKE pal and contributor Jérôme 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, Jérôme!] Ryno Motors

Zipper boat!

Zipper boat!

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]

Post-apocalyptic tanker truck home concept

Post-apocalyptic tanker truck home concept

From designer Aristide Antonas. More pictures in his Flickr set. [Thanks, Billy Baque!]

Powered inline skates

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 […]

Get to school in style on the school time jet bus

Get to school in style on the school time jet bus

Paul Stender and the Indy Boys built this jet powered school bus that can reportedly reach 367 MPH.

  • Posted by | August 10th, 2010 11:18 AM
Move-it makes moving easy and green

Move-it makes moving easy and green

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.

Paint + windshield wiper = rainbow machine

Paint + windshield wiper = rainbow machine

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]

Design a better electric car algorithm, win a prize!

Design a better electric car algorithm, win a prize!

Calling all electric car geeks! Want to help improve the efficiency of electric cars?

  • Posted by | August 4th, 2010 3:47 PM
Adorable Micro Cars

Adorable Micro Cars

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 […]

Gorgeous - Frank Westfall's 1930 Art Deco Henderson motorcycle

Gorgeous – Frank Westfall’s 1930 Art Deco Henderson motorcycle

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 […]

Maker Faire Detroit: BigDog interview

Maker Faire Detroit: BigDog interview

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 […]

Fan-powered shopping cart buzzes around MIT

Fan-powered shopping cart buzzes around MIT

Charles Guan of lolriokart< fame is back with his latest creation, the FANKART!!! 2 propeller-powered shopping cart.

  • Posted by | July 13th, 2010 1:41 PM
Designer wraps bike around pole to secure it

Designer wraps bike around pole to secure it

To make it easier to lock up, design student Kevin Scott built a collapsible bicycle that can be wrapped around a pole and secured with a normal bike lock

  • Posted by | July 8th, 2010 12:02 PM
Arduino-based scooter computer

Arduino-based scooter computer

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 […]

Klamath Kinetic Challenge 2010 event coverage

Fun video of the 2010 Klamath Kinetic Challenge, held this past weekend, in Klamath Falls, OR. Klamath Kinetic Challenge 2010

Restored Edison Electric car from 1889

Restored Edison Electric car from 1889

[youtube–qc&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xd0d0d0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1] 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 Research– electrification of the world.   Here is what I found.  What is […]

Rolling in a Zorb

Rolling in a Zorb

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, […]

Lost Knowledge: Wood Gas Vehicles

Lost Knowledge: Wood Gas Vehicles

Vehicles powered by wood gasification were popular during WWII. Could they make a comeback? Enthusiasts think so.

Mail trains delivered the post non-stop

Here's a part of a documentary about an impressive set of mail-carrying trains in the United Kingdom.

  • Posted by | June 21st, 2010 12:59 PM

How-Not-To: Be seen

Justin Shull built this solar-powered terrestrial shrub rover, sort of the diet version of a cupcake car.

  • Posted by | June 18th, 2010 10:05 AM
Jason Sacks in Xtreme Outlaw 250 race

Jason Sacks in Xtreme Outlaw 250 race

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 […]

Enclosed Belgian recumbent tricycles

Enclosed Belgian recumbent tricycles

No Technology Magazine has a lovely photo gallery, which points to far more extensive galleries, of enclosed Belgian recumbent trikes. Belgian Recumbent Tricycles More: See all of our recumbent coverage on MAKE

Zany hybrid rickshaw

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.

Radially expanding and contracting table

Radially expanding and contracting table

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.

How do Mecanum wheels work?

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 […]

Peter Hennessey's 1:1 plywood space vehicles

Peter Hennessey’s 1:1 plywood space vehicles

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.

How-To:  Build a bicycle sidecar

How-To: Build a bicycle sidecar

A wooden body upon a welded steel frame, by Briton Steve Bodiley. Build details available at his website. [Thanks, Billy Baque!]

Make it Anywhere, Part 3: Mobile Lab Fixtures

Make it Anywhere, Part 3: Mobile Lab Fixtures

Steve Roberts, the "high-tech nomad," shows you how he built his mobile lab and makerspace.

Lego ship in a glass bottle

Lego ship in a glass bottle

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!]

Tim's propane vehicles

Tim’s propane vehicles

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 […]

Sew your own bike cap

Sew your own bike cap

By way of Paul Overton and DudeCraft comes this oldie but goodie, a simple but natty cycling cap you can sew yourself. Panda Face’s Cycling Cap

Orange traffic cone lamp

Orange traffic cone lamp

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.

Rolling Superman simulator

Rolling Superman simulator

From Stanford design student Purin Phanichphant, the, er, Death Wheel 3000dx seems to be without an identifiable steering mechanism. Or brakes. Looks like fun, though!

Bike rack hack

Bike rack hack

Maker and avid bike hacker Antoine was inspired by this Incredible Rim Rack instructable enough to go and build this very elegant bike rack out of a broken U-lock and busted rim.

Make it Anywhere, Part 2: Mobile Lab Substrate

Make it Anywhere, Part 2: Mobile Lab Substrate

Steve Roberts, the "high-tech nomad," shows you how he built his mobile lab and makerspace.

Giant electric pastrymobiles invade Maker Faire

Giant electric pastrymobiles invade Maker Faire

This fleet of humongous roving cupcake cars first appeared at Maker Faire 2007. They're the brainchild of Tesla Motors engineer Greg Solberg.

American Journey 2.0: Maker Faire!

American Journey 2.0: Maker Faire!

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 […]

Automakers 2.0 – A Maker Faire webcast

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 […]

Vehicles (alternative and otherwise) at Maker Faire

Vehicles (alternative and otherwise) at Maker Faire

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!]

American Journey 2.0: Cruising to Stanford

American Journey 2.0: Cruising to Stanford

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 […]

Sweet bike roadsign wallet

Sweet bike roadsign wallet

From Kitten Camero.

On my way to Maker Faire!

On my way to Maker Faire!

Can't afford a plane ticket this year, so I'm having to leave way early. Gonna stop at a gas station every mile, along the way, and buy fresh C-cells. See ya in five days!

American Journey 2.0: AJtheFiesta takes Boulder

American Journey 2.0: AJtheFiesta takes Boulder

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 […]

Alt.Transportation: Make biodiesel in five minutes

Alt.Transportation: Make biodiesel in five minutes

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 […]

American Journey 2.0: A visit to Northwestern University

American Journey 2.0: A visit to Northwestern University

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 […]

  • Posted by | May 15th, 2010 11:22 AM
Backpedaling, but in a good way...

Backpedaling, but in a good way…

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 […]

American Journey 2.0: Team Bobcat hits the road

American Journey 2.0: Team Bobcat hits the road

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 […]

Eric's motorized bike conversion

Eric’s motorized bike conversion

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 […]

Couch bikes bring comfort to a new level

Couch bikes bring comfort to a new level

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 […]

Wanna fly a SR-71 Blackbird? RTFM.

Wanna fly a SR-71 Blackbird? RTFM.

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 […]

Hand-built Cuban refugee boat

Hand-built Cuban refugee boat

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.

Alt.Transportation: Dune buggy electrical conversion

Alt.Transportation: Dune buggy electrical conversion

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 […]

How-To: Solar Bike Stereo

How-To: Solar Bike Stereo

Bring the tunes as you ride with this simple solar-powered bike stereo, built into a milk crate by Matt Bosher in Tempe, AZ.

iPad: Will it shred?

By now we all know that the iPad does indeed blend. But does it shred? Built to Shred host Jeff King and pro Chad Knight put the iPad through it's paces. Does the iPad shred? You'll just have to watch the video to find out.

Maker Faire video album: Vehicles

Maker Faire video album: Vehicles

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.

The Bike Church of Santa Cruz

The Bike Church of Santa Cruz

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, […]

Honda's answer to Segway looks a lot like Serge

Honda’s answer to Segway looks a lot like Serge

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.

Alt. Transportation: The Copenhagen Wheel

Alt. Transportation: The Copenhagen Wheel

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 […]

It's Alt.Transportation month!

It’s Alt.Transportation month!

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 […]

World's smallest car

World’s smallest car

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 […]

Bobbing naval generator runs "eternally" on ocean's heat

Bobbing naval generator runs “eternally” on ocean’s heat

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.

How Porsches are made...

How Porsches are made…

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 […]

Taking a Stirling engine out for a cruise

Ah, I remember the good old days, puttering around on the Thames in our Stirling engine-powered boat...

  • Posted by | April 6th, 2010 9:35 PM
Old-school Battlestar Galacticar

Old-school Battlestar Galacticar

Built by Dean Shorey of Rochester, NY, using parts from a post office Jeep and a small chevy block V8. It has a cassette deck and no A/C. Details at Jalopnik. [via Dude Craft]

Hummer stagecoach

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 […]

How-To: Bamboo electric motorcycle

How-To: Bamboo electric motorcycle

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 […]

How-To:  Make high-voltage sparks using a spark-plug

How-To: Make high-voltage sparks using a spark-plug

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.

DIY Wooden Bicycle

DIY Wooden Bicycle

Swedish industrial designer Erik Björk built this fantastic Do It Yourself Wooden Bicycle.

iPod controlled GTO

iPod controlled GTO

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.



Created by Li Weiguo of Hubei Province, China, this amphibious bicycle has propeller vanes on its wheels and giant water bottles for flotation. [via]

Helicopter with hydrogen-peroxide-rocket-powered blades

Helicopter with hydrogen-peroxide-rocket-powered blades

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.

Handcar Regatta vehicles get the art treatment

Handcar Regatta vehicles get the art treatment

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 […]

Lucky Makers drive pots of gold in St. Patrick’s Day parade

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 | March 16th, 2010 10:12 AM

Cajun Crawler: If Theo Jansen designed a Segway

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! […]

Lovely camper

I’ve never seen a trailer like this – perhaps it wasn’t road safe or something, but it would be wonderful to (re)make – via LoL.

Jet ski + jet pack = "Jetlev"

Jet ski + jet pack = “Jetlev”

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!]

Eurocopter's low-noise "Blue Edge" rotor blade

Eurocopter’s low-noise “Blue Edge” rotor blade

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.

Messenger bags made from recycled life vests

Messenger bags made from recycled life vests

Lisa Katayama spotted this cool shoulder bag made from an old airplane life jacket. Unfortunately, no, it doesn't work as a life vest anymore.

Formula One car model from shoeboxes

Formula One car model from shoeboxes

Ben Wilson Design did this awesome F1 race car model entirely out of red Puma shoe boxes (for a Puma promotion). [via DudeCraft] PUMA F1 CAR-D

VW Bug exploded view poster

VW Bug exploded view poster

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 […]

DIY PVC submarine

DIY PVC submarine

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 […]

Crayon rockets!

Crayon rockets!

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.

Automated anti-piracy water cannon

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 […]

Hand-carved skateboards

Hand-carved skateboards

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 […]

Spokeless bicycle

Spokeless bicycle

Nine enterprising seniors in Yale's Mechanical Engineering program built this rad spokeless bicycle for their mechanical design class.

  • Posted by | February 16th, 2010 9:15 AM


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]

Unusual mechanism:  The rolleron

Unusual mechanism: The rolleron

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:

Robots versus pirates!

Robots versus pirates!

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.

UC Berkeley has "Nobel Laureate Only" parking spaces

UC Berkeley has “Nobel Laureate Only” parking spaces

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.

Warship camouflaged as tropical island

Warship camouflaged as tropical island

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!]

Dazzle camouflage

Dazzle camouflage

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."

Making walls invisible with augmented reality

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]

Creating an "E-Tractor"

Creating an “E-Tractor”

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 […]

"Cutest trailer in the known universe"

“Cutest trailer in the known universe”

On the blog Stuff I Like, they posted this heartbreakingly cute vintage trailer they saw while vacationing at Calaveras Big Trees. Talk about efficient use of space. The Cutest Trailer You Ever Saw

$2000 Homemade Airplane

$2000 Homemade Airplane

The romantic and makery allure of building and flying your own airplane.

"Low-Impact Vehicles" grant program

“Low-Impact Vehicles” grant program

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 […]

Measuring alternator current with a Hall Effect Sensor

Measuring alternator current with a Hall Effect Sensor

Josh from imsolidstate built this circuit to answer the age old question, how much electric current does a truck really use?

  • Posted by | January 22nd, 2010 10:45 AM

Awesome wall-climbing robots, including a “snail”

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]

Anamorphic parking garage signage

Anamorphic parking garage signage

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 Peemöller, only read properly when viewed from the correct angle.

Got a parking spot for a discounted spaceship?

Got a parking spot for a discounted spaceship?

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.

Fordson Snow Machine handles drifts with ease

Here's a cool video demonstrating the Fordson Snow Machine, a 1920's screw-propelled vehicle. I'm just glad it doesn't snow that much where I live!

  • Posted by | January 12th, 2010 11:22 PM
Real-life "landspeeder" prototype

Real-life “landspeeder” prototype

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]

Rocking horse from vintage Vespa

Rocking horse from vintage Vespa

Don't know grandpa's name, but the lucky grandson he made this thing for is "Diego". [via Boing Boing]

How-To: Sled from wooden pallet

How-To: Sled from wooden pallet

Wooden pallets are easy to come by and can be made into a neat sled (or sledge) using Stiffey’s Instructable.

Wooden car burns wooden fuel, travels Europe

Wooden car burns wooden fuel, travels Europe

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 […]

DIY powder coating oven

DIY powder coating oven

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."

MPG boosting tail cone

MPG boosting tail cone

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.

Awesome flying drawbridge

Awesome flying drawbridge

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 [via Neatorama]

Home in a garbage truck

Home in a garbage truck

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 […]

"Invisible" semi-trailer

“Invisible” semi-trailer

Transparentius, by noted Russian design firm Art Lebedev, consists of a semi-trailer equipped with a projector that displays the view from a forward-looking camera on the back of the trailer. [via Neatorama]

Ham Cramwich: $25,000 Of Communications Gear In A $500 Car

Ham Cramwich: $25,000 Of Communications Gear In A $500 Car

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 […]

LED traffic lights don't melt snow

LED traffic lights don’t melt snow

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!]

On a unicycle built for two...

On a unicycle built for two…

Not a whole lot of build info, but this looks like it would be an exciting ride! [Thanks, Star!]

Predator-themed custom bike

Predator-themed custom bike

I wouldn't go so far as to say I "like" this incredibly involved theme bike featured at Super Street Bike (gratuitous T&A warning), but it definitely has a high OMG factor. [via Geekologie]

My new favorite bumper sticker

My new favorite bumper sticker

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]

Ham radio fun for holiday air travel

Ham radio fun for holiday air travel

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 […]

  • Posted by | December 2nd, 2009 9:36 PM

DIY electric car: Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust

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.

Universal doorknob opening robot for the disabled

Universal doorknob opening robot for the disabled

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]

Motorsports carving? Who knew?

Motorsports carving? Who knew?

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 […]

Car launching!

Car launching!

Now why didn’t we think of this? Bill Gurstelle writes: It is exactly what it sounds like. This year several cars, trucks, and two school buses were launched. I’m absolutely going to be there next year. Car Launching

Driving a car with an iPhone. A freaking car. For reals.

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.

Really narrow car

Really narrow car

Look, Ma, it's a motorcycle with four wheels. Not a bike but, um... a "quike," maybe?

Nonexistent town in Google maps

Nonexistent town in Google maps

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!]

Sarriugarte and Mate’s electric trilobite

“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 […]

Large collection of repurposed train cars

Large collection of repurposed train cars

There's railroad-car homes, offices, hotels--even a railroad-car footbridge.

Honda’s bizarre U3-X

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 […]

Inside-out horse for educational purposes

Inside-out horse for educational purposes

Gillian Higgins teaches horse owners about what's "under the hood." To do so, she very carefully paints detailed anatomical art onto the pelt of her white horses "Freddie Fox" and "Henry."

Autobots invade Cleveland yard for Halloween

Autobots invade Cleveland yard for Halloween

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.

DeCARstruction/reCARstruction: Turning a car into a ball

DeCARstruction/reCARstruction: Turning a car into a ball

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 | October 12th, 2009 10:03 AM
NYC big wheel race Saturday

NYC big wheel race Saturday

With prizes for most original vehicle and best costume, I'm wishing I had heard about the NYC big wheel race a bit sooner...

Weird front tricycle scooter for sale now

Weird front tricycle scooter for sale now

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.

Unpowered Mechanical Gate Opener, the Video

Reader captures footage of a car-powered mechanical gate opener.

Not Brian Wilson's woodie

Not Brian Wilson’s woodie

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 […]

Unpowered mechanical gate opener, part 2

Unpowered mechanical gate opener, part 2

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?

Thennagin Bomber at Handcar Regatta

Thennagin Bomber at Handcar Regatta

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 […]



This baby was designed by one Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen. From 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 […]

Most annoying floor ever made of robot tiles

Hiroo Iwata, of the University of Tsukuba, created these robotic floor tiles that automatically arrange themselves to build a floor beneath you.

  • Posted by | September 22nd, 2009 9:04 PM
Electrobike Pi

Electrobike Pi

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.

Unpowered Mechanical Gate Opener

Unpowered Mechanical Gate Opener

Thinking about mechanical means for auto-opening a fence gate.

Cheap Yaris cabin air filter replacement

Cheap Yaris cabin air filter replacement

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!

Forkless bike from Finland

Forkless bike from Finland

Olli Erkkilä created this custom concept bike as his graduation project from the Institute of Design in Lahti. [via Core77]

Amazing chopper bikes

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 […]

Human powered hovercraft

Steam Boat Willy has an amazingly detailed account of the technical details on this human powered hovercraft. Via MITers

Font designed with a car

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!]

Expedition scooter

Expedition scooter

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 […]

Bicycle pr0n

Bicycle pr0n

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.

How-To: Ferret wheelchair

How-To: Ferret wheelchair

Got a limited mobility ferret? Instructables user odiekokee made this mobility aid for his recovering furry friend.

Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats

Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats

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 He is a guest Make: Online author for the month of August. In this […]

How a Differential Gear Works

How a Differential Gear Works

Wonderful industrial film from the 1930s showing how a car's differential gear works.

The Big Gulp

The Big Gulp

A MAKE reader sent this to me, they call it the “Big Gulp” – have a clever title for this? Post it up in the comments!

DC power, Power, POWER!

DC power, Power, POWER!

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, […]

Bizarre boats of yesteryear

Bizarre boats of yesteryear

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 […]

Bikes Not Bombs – Creating opportunities

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 […]

Remembering Apollo 11

Remembering Apollo 11

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 […]

Intern's Corner: My R/C hovercraft

Intern’s Corner: My R/C hovercraft

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. […]

Low-cost laptop car mount using cupholder

Low-cost laptop car mount using cupholder

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 […]

Charles Z. Guan and the LOLrioKart

Charles Z. Guan and the LOLrioKart

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 […]

Motorized grandpa chair

This ought to help you enjoy your quality time roughing it in the great outdoors! Too bad there’s no build info…

EV dragsters!

EV dragsters!

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 […]

Wind Car: zero carbon transport

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.

Monstrous Frankenscooter spotted

Monstrous Frankenscooter spotted

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. […]

Motorcycle brake rotor repair kludge

Motorcycle brake rotor repair kludge

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!

How-To:  Weave a rope mat

How-To: Weave a rope mat

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 […]

Scottish rotary boat lift - The Falkirk Wheel

Scottish rotary boat lift – The Falkirk Wheel

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 […]

LOLrioKART: Dancing in the rain

LOLrioKART: Dancing in the rain

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 […]

Re-Make:  Transparent boat

Re-Make: Transparent boat

My latest guilty SkyMall pleasure is this “Moloniki” transparent polycarbonate canoe by Clear Blue Hawaii. It’s 13′ long, 3′ wide amidships, and almost 1′ deep, and the polycarb is UV-stabilized to prevent sun-yellowing. Of course it looks cool, but what is really attractive, to me, is the prospect of being […]

Puddle duck racer

Puddle duck racer

Lucky, of Pizza Crusade, writes: I saw your post on Tyvek sails, and immediately thought of the PDRacer (Puddle Duck Racer) – a little sailboat you can build for about $150 with tools most people already have. There’s a ton of info out there, as well as info so you […]

My grandfather's home built car

My grandfather’s home built car

[Photo from Uncle Ray] Long before my time, my grandfather Raymond Albert Sheffield, was messing about with cars. When I was about 10 or 11, we sat on a beach on Martha’s Vineyard watching the ferries come and go exchanging cars and passengers while he told me of the car […]

Sailing with Tyvek

Sailing with Tyvek

[Image from John’s Nautical & Boatbuilding Pages] Buying a manufactured sail can be very expensive. If you are making your own vehicle and want to experiment with wind-driven propulsion, you might want to check out the idea of using building wrap as a way of forming your sails: Now plan […]

Open  source EV controller

Open source EV controller

Photo from Paul and Sabrinas EV Stuff Nikki likes this open source Electric Vehicle controller project. With an EV, your primary components are the motor, batteries, charger and the controller. If people can develop a design that will allow a more inexpensive and high quality motor controller, they can move […]

iPhone motorcycle installation

iPhone motorcycle installation

RocketJohn rigged up his motorcycle and iPhone together to keep his phone charging while being able to listen to music (with a Bluetooth headset, I’m guessing), via @joepemberton.

MADE ON EARTH: Real-Life Concept Cars

MADE ON EARTH: Real-Life Concept Cars

Photograph by Sally Myers Like many people of his generation, Baron Margo was dazzled by the futuristic concept cars Detroit trotted out year after year. And, like many people, he was disappointed that those streamlined vehicles remained unobtainable concepts to the average motorist. But unlike many people, Margo did something […]

LEGO tank has full interior detailing

LEGO tank has full interior detailing

There’s so much amazing work coming out of the AFOL* community these days that it can be hard to single out any particular work as outstanding. Nonetheless, mad_a0’s mini-fig scale tank, with full interior detail, is, well… outstanding. Bravo! Via The Brothers Brick. *That’s “Adult Fans of LEGO” for you […]

Extreme corpse motorcycle

Extreme corpse motorcycle

Check out the attention to detail on this custom bike by Blue Flame Alley. Via Street Anatomy.

Nikki’s plugged Prius

Nikki is all about electric vehicles. She does a great job at explaining how she is rebuilding and modifying the old and new EVs in her fleet. Her photo stream on Flickr helps her document projects like converting her Prius into a plug in hybrid electric. She is a frequent […]

How-To: Sew a catamaran trampoline

How-To: Sew a catamaran trampoline

No, not a trampoline for bouncing, which is what I thought when I first saw this, too. The fabric bridge across a catamaran is also called a trampoline, and is constructed from strong fabric, sewn to the frame through the grommets around the edge of the fabric. Instructables user TimAnderson’s […]

How-To: Floating dock

How-To: Floating dock

Here’s how Instructables user pilx made this simple floating dock with some wood carpentry and four 55 gallon plastic barrels.

Make: Projects - Pedal-powered phone charger

Make: Projects – Pedal-powered phone charger

This winter, my dad and I took up the project of building a simple pedal-powered cell phone charger to mount on my bicycle. Cell phones are small potatoes in the big picture of energy consumption, but the apparatus we built could be a very practical concept for those on self-supported […]

Prong your Prius

If you have a Prius, and want to go more than a mile in battery mode, then you might want to check out 3 Prong Power 3Prong Power is delivering enhanced Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) conversions for our customers. Our goal is to meet and expand the […]

Creating a keyless "iFob" entry system for your car

Creating a keyless “iFob” entry system for your car

Nathan Seidle. of Sparkfun, is on a campaign to create a keyless life for himself. One of his last locks to join the 21st century was on the door to his Mazda: I hate keys. I am on a mission to dispose of them all. There is currently a key […]

EVCast - Get kids excited about Electric Vehicles

EVCast – Get kids excited about Electric Vehicles

This weekend Marc Geller of Plug In America and I were interviewed by Nikki Bloomfield for EVCast, a biweekly podcast about Electric Vehicles. Host Nikki Bloomfield is joined by lifelong educator Chris Connors from MAKE Magazine and Marc Geller, EV advocate and blogger from Plug in America. They discuss encouraging […]

Converting Saturns to EVs

Converting Saturns to EVs

AMP Motor Works is a company set up to convert the mass produced Saturn Sky to an Electric Vehicle. AMP claims that the Sky EV gets 125 miles per gallon equivalent fuel economy based on how much energy it takes to charge the batteries. At current energy prices, this will […]

Drive your car like a moon rover

Drive your car like a moon rover

[Photo via ESPN] If you want to drive like a rocketeer, or maybe you just don’t want to be bothered with checking your air pressure, then take a look at the Tweel. Airless tires could solve a number of problems associated with pneumatic tire technology. The Tweel, an experimental tire […]

How-To: Homemade ripstik

How-To: Homemade ripstik

Instructables user wolfsshade used hardware store parts to make this homemade ripstik (a center-swiveling skateboard). Looks nice, like more of a skateboard than futuristic hovercraft.

Electric motorcycle made from junk

This laid-off fellow in Omaha, NE built himself an electric-powered motorcycle mainly out of junk. He also built a windmill and a small solar system to charge it. Electra Green

Smart Challenge this weekend

Smart Challenge this weekend

[Photo from M. Barcley on Flickr] Smart Challenge, a gathering of student transportation projects is having their culminating event of the year this weekend. High school students are provided with a yearlong educational program involving the entire school and community. Beginning in the fall of the school year, students begin […]

Vacation travel trick

Extreme videos The bike rack is a nice touch. My buddies modified Suzuki Hyabusa dirt drag bike with twin rear wheels and mud tires. Anybody got the backstory on this one? [Thanks Sandy!]

Bus-tracking system at Georgia Tech

Bus-tracking system at Georgia Tech

Students at Georgia Tech developed this Arduino-based, solar-powered bus-tracking system that shows students where the buses are on campus at any given time so they can decide if it’s quicker to wait for the bus or walk to their next class. The site for the system has lots of information […]

Motorized mountainboard

Here’s a motorized mountainboard built by some mechanical engineering students from Colorado State. I love the hand-controller/horn cased inside of a hair dryer. A downloadable PDF has the build notes and parts list. Gadget Freak Case 140: Motorized Mountainboard

Gav’s electric car

Gav caught the EV bug. He also caught the video bug, and made a bunch of great videos of his process to convert his glider to an EV. During the next few months I’ll be converting an old gas powered car to run on clean, cheap electricity. It’s a serious […]

Finding the failure point

Finding the failure point

[Image from Futisaba] Earlier this week in Lilongwe, Malawi, some enterprising fellows loaded up a truck with rebar. Unfortunately, they did not properly assess the weight bearing capabilities of the roof of the lorry cab. They could have benefited from a bit of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis or FMEA […]

Put it on a bike!

In Malawi, like in many other developing countries, the bicycle is king for transportation and cargo carrying. The bikes we saw a few years ago were primarily Chinese or Indian manufactured. They looked like the old 3 speeds once widely available in the states. On the back of nearly every […]

Electric cars and the smart grid

Electric cars and the smart grid

Photo from Connors934on Flickr A few years ago, I got really into electric cars. Not enough to build one, but certainly enough for me to do a pile of research, find a free electric truck for two students to work on, and to buy another electric car that sat in […]

Car Wars IRL

Car Wars IRL

I knew it was only a matter of time before Car Wars, Mad Max, and dozens of video games featuring weaponized vehicles, came to television. On May 11th, the producers of Mythbusters will be bringing Weaponizers, a three-part series, to the little screen. Two teams will design, build, and send […]

How-To video: bike maintenance

Bicycle Maintenance: How To Maintain Your Mountain Bike For Peak Performance Here’s is a very thorough way of tuning up your bike after a hard ride. The rest of the site has some other good information, but you have to dig through a lot of ‘lifestyle’ type entries before you […]

Airplane reuse

Airplane reuse

Image from Inhabitat Looking to cash in your frequent flyer miles? Maybe you can crash here…. The airplane was transported piece by piece from the San Jose airport to its current resting place on a pedestal 50 feet above the beach. It looks a bit like a model airplane on […]

Palletized wall o’ death

There is a great time sequence of the build, testing failure and success of this fundangerous project. Got a couple hundred pallets, a reasonably flat space and some time on your hands? via Damon

Plastiki – update of a classic adventure

Kent sent this in through the comments: Plastiki is a boat built entirely from reclaimed plastic bottles will sail from San Francisco to Sydney. The project is intended to raise awareness of the human impact on oceans and other ecosystems. The boat is made up of about 16,000 plastic bottles […]

Real adventure with Kon Tiki

After World War II, Thor Heyerdahl and his signal corps buddies arranged an adventure of a quieter, calmer, lower tech sort. After arranging backing for their research project, the Kon-Tiki, they went down to South America, and built a raft from balsa logs and sailed it across the Pacific. For […]

Segway PUMA

Segway PUMA

And you thought the Smart Car was Lilliputian! Segway has been showing off its latest “experimental” vehicle, a collaboration with GM, at the New York International Auto Show this week. Called the PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility), the self-balancing two-wheeler can go about 35MPH top speed. S.E. Kramer from […]

Unicycle rack for your motorcycle

Unicycle rack for your motorcycle

Instructables user CorbinsTreehouse shows us how to make a unicycle rack for your motorcycle. Quite a niche device, I know, but perhaps it can be easily adapted to hold other one-wheeled devices.

Omni rehab

When I was in 10th grade and heading off for a fun time visiting my sister at college, my friend rolled the Dodge Omni 3 1/2 times while driving me to the bus station. My February vacation turned out to be an adventure of a different, more medical sort. That […]

KillaCycle, faster than ICE?

Looking for a fast ride? Try out KillaCycle. Loaded up like a cordless drill on wheels, the designers and engineers behind the hopped up bike are providing a proving ground for new electric vehicle technologies as they set and break world records in drag racing. In many ways, electric vehicles […]

What does Tesla Motors mean to you?

What does Tesla Motors mean to you?

When Chad was a freshman in my high school program, he was talking about wanting to do a car project. The teenage car project is a time tested pursuit, an opportunity to learn many of life’s lessons, learn tools, techniques, create a useful product. Chad is currently a freshman at […]

Mr. Tank Nanny identified a need

Mr. Tank Nanny identified a need

Photo from The Boston Globe While working at a local shop, Earl Cogswell, jr. saw the need for people to have a clean, secure way to store their propane tanks during transit to and from the filling stations. As he filled up tanks for people, he could see that often […]

Creepy crawler

via miters This looks like fun. Nice project. University of Louisiana News has a decent interview with Dr. Terrence Chambers, and student Don Tamosaitis. The design draws on the work of Theo Jansen. The crawler travels about 2-3 miles/hour. There were five of us working on it, there was a […]

Old school intertubes

Old school intertubes

Photo from Museum of Retro Technology Years ago, I came upon The Victorian Internet by Tom Stangadge. It’s a fascinating read, telling the tale of how the world was girdled by copper wires carrying text messages to far flung places. The Victorian Age’s instant messaging system allowed geography and time […]

Floating hamster balls for kids

This looks like it could be fun/dangerous. It might be fun to set them up in a big field and let the kids roll wild. Maybe get access to a dead mall and roll away. Kid hamster ball soccer anyone? Have you ever seen these things in the wild? Do […]

"This is why I do it"

“This is why I do it”

Jake von Slatt, of Steampunk Workshop, says: Got an email this morning that made my frikk’n day: Jake, If you’re the gentleman that posted an article regarding removal and repair of a charcoal canister and stuff – thank you. The article inspired me to keep trying to do my own […]

Unsold cars around world

Unsold cars around world

This is starting to look like an art project…

Scratch-built kid's racer

Scratch-built kid’s racer

I love this scratch-built old-school Indie race car for kids. It was built on an aircraft-style stringer frame with a riveted sheet aluminum skin. There are fun details on it, like a sliced-in-half 50s kitchen canister for the front bumpers, a malt shaker for the headrest, and a maraschino cherry […]

HOW TO - Make a fuel cell powered car

HOW TO – Make a fuel cell powered car

On PopSci’s DIY, Dave Prochnow has a piece on how to convert a battery-powered RC Hummer into a vehicle that runs of hydrogen fuel cells. How to Make a Fuel Cell-Powered Car In the Maker Shed:

Flashback: Urban Camouflage

Flashback: Urban Camouflage

This spread from the Urban Camouflage article is a thing of sly beauty. Author Todd Lappin shares his knowledge that "With the right accessories, your vehicle can always be on 'official business'."

Fighting for our "right to repair"

Fighting for our “right to repair”

Sarah Palermo of the Keene Sentinal has a great piece that affirms the Maker’s Bill of Rights: WINCHESTER — William L. Morse remembers a young woman who came to his auto repair shop a few months ago with a $3,000 repair bill hanging over her head. He examined the car, […]

Cross country ski stroller

Cross country ski stroller

Aptly named Instructables user dirtydiaperchanger made this X-country ski stroller with relatively inexpensive materials. I hope my brother is reading, since he’s got a little one up in Maine where there’s five feet of snow.

Pedaling across the ocean blue

Pedaling across the ocean blue

The latest New Scientist has a piece on Ted Ciamillo, the machinist who invented the hydrospeeder (think: Bondian underwater motorcycle) and the Lunocet (a tail for divers modeled on dolphins). Ciamillo’s latest project is a human-powered mini-sub he plans to use to pedal across the Atlantic: Ciamillo designed his mini-submarine […]

Motorcycle made from woven baskets wont burn rubber

Motorcycle made from woven baskets wont burn rubber

This motorcycle made from woven baskets is a really nice juxtaposition of materials and function. Driving this might be a challenge, but at least it can hold a lot of stuff as a home shelving unit. via FFFFFOUND

  • Posted by | January 26th, 2009 8:35 PM
Space shuttle cockpit...

Space shuttle cockpit…

Giant image of inside the Space shuttle cockpit – a real space ship, gorgeous…

LOLrioKart: Motorized shopping cart racing

LOLrioKart: Motorized shopping cart racing

MAKE subscriber Charles writes in about his electric shopping cart project called the “LOLrioKart”. The cart is equipped with “a cache of massive aircraft wet-cell NiCd batteries” and a 15 hp electric motor. The website has a nicely documented build log, which is great for anyone looking into making an […]

Homemade Japanese RV

Homemade Japanese RV

MAKE subscriber Mike Prevette writes in about this incredible homemade Japanese RV. From the site: Ok, this car isn’t nostalgic (or even a car, really), but the idea is timeless. After graduating high school, three Japanese buddies decided to follow their dream of a year-long cross-country road trip, from the […]

Kite Buggy Skis

Kite Buggy Skis

In December, I finally jettisoned the skis I got when I was a nanny/construction worker for the year after college. Michael needed them to turn into a Kite Buggy. Right now it is operating successfully as a sled/buggy, but the kite is already functioning. Finally able to get your skis […]

Wooden Vespa rebuild

Wooden Vespa rebuild

Portuguese craftsman Carlos Alberto handbuilt this sublime wooden Vespa. I think the classic Vespa is one of the most beautiful designs in history, and this is a truly worthy remake. via BoingBoing Gadgets

Electric trike is better than your hybrid

This “Electric Trike” is a pretty cool ride that maintains its low rider status. Powered from two 12 volt, 32 amp batteries and a 75amp, 24 volt speed controller made in England, it gets pretty good speed even with someone strapped in for a ride. Check out the video to […]

  • Posted by | January 14th, 2009 8:04 PM
Build your own Mr.Fusion and say goodbye to rising gas prices

Build your own Mr.Fusion and say goodbye to rising gas prices

Instructables has a really nice how-to on building your own “Mr Fusion” ala Back to the Future in order to allow your car to run on garbage. This mod uses a Honda Accord to do the trick creating a “gasifier” which basically converts any “any solid dry organic matter into […]

  • Posted by | January 13th, 2009 7:58 PM

Ugo Conti’s Water Spider Boat

Excellent piece on KQED’s Quest on this most unusual boat, modelled after a water spider, by engineer Ugo Conti, and great footage of his boat in San Francisco Bay. I enjoyed Conti’s quotes: Because I get seasick, I suffer at sea. I think there has to be a better way. […]

"Oh My God, It's Harrod Blank!"

“Oh My God, It’s Harrod Blank!”

David Silberberg’s documentary, Oh My God, It’s Harrod Blank!, about art car artist Harrod Blank (whose amazing work we’ve shown at Maker Faire) is premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival on January 16th. Sayeth the press copy: An obsessively made documentary filmed over 16 years, exploring the creative life and […]

Skateboard shows its bone structure

Skateboard shows its bone structure

Here’s an interesting alternative design for a skateboard by Loren Kulesus. With this much space between wheels, it should make for some interesting shock absorption when doing tricks. via Neatorama

  • Posted by | January 11th, 2009 12:26 PM
Rocket cars

Rocket cars

Designing CO2 cars is a project for many middle school technology and science classes. The projects gives an opportunity for students to get hands on experience with the Design Process, working with tools and materials, and design and build for aerodynamics and manufacture a vehicle that can go very fast […]

Make your own snail art car

Make your own snail art car

We’ve covered Jon Sarriugarte and Krysten Mate’s Golden Mean snail art car on the Make: Blog and in MAKE magazine before. But now, they’ve posted an Instructable of the build details so you can create one yourself! How many takers do you think they’ll have? I wished we lived in […]

48V Electric Flat Tracker

This is one of the better DIY electric rides that I have come across. It’s an amazing 48-Volt, 15 horsepower, bike that uses a Briggs and Stratton Etek motor. It looks like it’s a very smooth ride. However, at those speeds I would suggest using a motorcycle helmet. What a […]

India's solar rickshaws

India’s solar rickshaws

(Image via The Delhi Walla) Here’s an interesting take on the traditional pedicab / rickshaw: The Soleckshaw is still in the trial stages, but the solar powered rickshaw has already people talking and contemplating what the technology could do if these vehicles replace the human-powered kind. The Indian prototype by […]

Make a leaf blower bike

Make a leaf blower bike

Chris Williams wanted a small 2-stroke scooter, so he decided to make his own out of a bike and a leaf blower engine. This was one of those projects I couldn’t get out of my head. I had seen, on the internet and in person, the small 2-stroke engine powered […]

  • Posted by | January 7th, 2009 1:26 AM
One wheeled self-balancing skateboard project

One wheeled self-balancing skateboard project

John is working on a one wheeled self-balancing skateboard project and he’s just posted a how-to! After reading a Make magazine article on the self balancing unicycle of Trevor Blackwell I thought about trying to build a one wheeled skateboard style device. I then found a self balancing skateboard on […]

DIY V12 Lamborghini Diablo

DIY V12 Lamborghini Diablo

Last time I wrote about a DIY Lamborghini it ended up being a top 10 posts on the MAKE blog in 2008. Now that 2009 is here I thought I might try it again with another DIY Lamborghini. This time it’s a 2001 Lamborghini Diablo VT replica. This is the […]

Side steering car

Side steering car

Side steering car… Modern Mechanix, 1932. FORDS have been forced to do strange things in the past, but the honors for odd performances to date go to a machine, built by a Pontiac, Mich., mechanic, which can move sideways at an angle of 65 degrees, and thus make parking an […]

Prius as emergency generator

Prius as emergency generator

Chad sends this on how John Sweeney survived the recent bad patch of weather in the Northeast by using his hybrid car to power many devices in his house. During an ice storm last week Sweeney, of Harvard, Mass., powered his house by hooking it up to his Toyota Prius. […]

Fill 'Er up with human fat - fat powered cars

Fill ‘Er up with human fat – fat powered cars

Paging Dr. Tyler Duren… a new untapped unlimited fuel source has been found… Liposuctioning unwanted blubber out of pampered Los Angelenos may not seem like a dream job, but it has its perks. Free fuel is one of them. For a time, Beverly Hills doctor Craig Alan Bittner turned the […]

Handmade sailing canoe

Handmade sailing canoe

Tim Anderson’s canoe just underwent its maiden voyage, and it’s beautiful: Detailed, step-by-step Instructables are here. While you’re at it, make yourself a 5-minute paddle, too:

Rocket powered sled

Rocket powered sled

Ky Michaelson, better known as The Rocketman, is one of the world’s leading rocket powered vehicle builders. He was featured in MAKE, Volume 05, and says he got his start using a Gilbert chemistry set at the age of 12. This JATO rocket powered sled is meant to take the […]

The future of travel...

The future of travel…

The future of travel… Wesley writes- For years I’ve assumed that one of mankind’s greatest fantasies has been to develop a practical, personal jetpack. But if the covers of Popular Science serve as any measure for this sort of thing, then it seems that for the past few decades man’s […]

Stop action Millenium Falcon build

Paul Romein and Greg Radzimowsky have created an incredible stop action animation of their building of the Millenium Falcon in Lego. I suppose that if you go through the effort of making your own Millenium Falcon, you have to take it for a test drive, right? Have you built your […]

Model boat mayhem

Model boat mayhem

Model Boat Mayhem is a great resource for model boat builders. The site has a bunch of good info, pictures, advice and more. There is an active forum for builders with loads of tips and help. People on the forum are helpful and civil from what I can see. Here […]

Cardboard slices of Millenium Falcon

Ryan is just a college student with his own robot hand and Millenium Falcon, right? Well, Ryan just happened to make his own with the help of a laser cutter and some Python scripting that he cooked up to make his Solidworks and Blender design real. As part of the […]

Walking, wheeled, fire-breathing motorcycle thingie

This makes me deeply happy on a whole bunch of different levels. Mutoid Waste Company [via BotJunkie]

Car with propeller

Car with propeller

Dear Big 3, there is good news and bad news – the good news is, you’re getting a bail out – the bad news you can only make propellor cars from now on…

Canoe paddles itself out of trouble

Canoe paddles itself out of trouble

“Canoe” by Canadian artist Peter Fleming is a 20 foot long trough of water resembling a canoe where a gunwale tracking mechanism endlessly paddles forward and back inside the boat. The entire piece is solar powered and was originally built from aluminum, gussets, and bolts so that it was fully […]

  • Posted by | December 4th, 2008 9:43 AM

Electric RazEr

Charles has been messing about with scooters. This is his second crack at it with the more modestly named RazEr. At least some of the work has been done at Miters in Cambridge. The business end. The relevant power transmission implement – there is only 1 – is housed completely […]

UVM AERO: Green racing

UVM AERO: Green racing

The University of Vermont has a really interesting project on their Alternative Energy Racing Organization [AERO] page. Be sure to check out the “Green Innovation” page for a lot more information on the build. Our primary focus is Project GreenSpeed, an effort to build a race car for entry in […]

Bicycle Buses

Bicycle Buses

Here are 3 different designs for bicycle-powered buses: 1. The Buscycle (image via Ecofriend) 2. Eindhoven University’s human-powered bus (also see our previous coverage): 3. The Velodisco: On one hand, these all look pretty inefficient. On another, shouldn’t you have less wind, drivetrain, and surface resistance to overcome per person […]

Bamgoo: electric car built from bamboo

This doesn’t quite look like the most crash-safe vehicle ever designed, but electric power plus bamboo construction does provide a dream-like level of sustainability: (video found via G4TV) Any guesses on what epoxy/resin they’re using to hold the bamboo together? Thanks to Ecofriend for finding some specs: “the 60-kg electric […]

DIY oil change...

DIY oil change…

There are many Instructables about changing your oil, but only one starts like this: I learned to do oil changes in high school speech class. One of the boys worked in a garage. He gave a really great how-to demonstration/speech about changing oil. He gave another about rotating tires, but […]

Smashing a remote control Smart Car

Seriously, what is not to love about this video? Proper accents, a remote control car crashing into a concrete barrier at highway speed, lots of camera angles, slow mo replays, picking through the wreckage in the post-crash analysis. And then they do it again to a second car! From 70 […]

Tiny fender benders

Tiny fender benders

Need to spice up your greenhouse? Start a Crash Bonsai garden! CrashBonsai is the creation of John Rooney, an artist who is torn between the desire to create and destroy. Recently, he has been making bonsai plants, and combining them with model cars and trucks which he has creatively smashed […]

Flaming legs

Evidently the people of New Mexico have seen it all. Even robolegs gone wild! Carlos is a robotic everyman. He’s not one of those fancy deep sea dwelling, swimming pool competing, publicity hogging, multiple kill, or planet exploring robots, just a regular robot doing his thing like us humans. Carlos […]

Back yard kayak

Back yard kayak

[Photo from Bouyant Safety Paddle] Joe caught the kayak bug, but didn’t want to pay to have one shipped to his home in Hawaii, so he made one. In the summer of 2005, I bought a dealer demo Perception Sonoma 13.5 and a used Honda Element. I bought the kayak […]

Spider vs Big Wheel drag race

What happens when the spider car drag races the big wheel… who will win?

DIY Navy - Oberon Class Submarine for sale... & Erik and the submarine

DIY Navy – Oberon Class Submarine for sale… & Erik and the submarine

DIY Navy – Oberon Class Submarine for sale – I bet those pirates might pick this up on the cheap… The Otama is a decommissioned Australian RAN Oberon class submarine of 2030 tons displacement surfaced.Apart from the removal of classified communications and sensor equipment, OTAMA is in the same state […]

Electric Lamborghini

Not made by the Italian company, but by ambitious maker Zach Radding. Here’s his most recent test drive video: The specs are quite nice (cheaper than a gas Lamborghini!): Body: Fiberglass replica of a Diablo 6.0 Batteries: 50 ThunderSky LFP160’s Motor: Warp 11″ DC brushed Motor control: Zilla 2000amp Battery […]

Former Communist lawnmower that becomes a 1973 Chevy El Camino

Former Communist lawnmower that becomes a 1973 Chevy El Camino

Photograph courtesy of Liz Cohen Five ratchet-wielding years, one East German automobile, and several coats of bikini wax — for Liz Cohen, it’s been a long, sticky trip. The performance and documentary artist has built one of the most improbable custom cars in the country, and has the pictures to […]

Modifying a VW Beetle model

Modifying a VW Beetle model

Dean sent in this really interesting build of a VW Microbus model. The original kit was a VW Beetle, but not much of the final vehicle was original. Click through the website to see a lot more information about the build. More about Modifying a VW Beetle model

Energy, engineering, the future - All part of an automakers bailout

Energy, engineering, the future – All part of an automakers bailout

The talks of bailing out GM (and other auto-makers) are dominating the headlines, it’s an interesting debate and I think we (the USA) will end up “bailing them out” – not because it will save them, but because it will postpone an even harsher economic reality. I’m curious what the […]

Engineers rule @ Honda...

Engineers rule @ Honda…

Interesting article about Honda @ Forbes… At American auto companies, finance guys and marketers rise to the top. Not at Honda… Of all the bizarre subsidiaries that big companies can find themselves with, Harmony Agricultural Products, founded and owned by Honda Motor, is one of the strangest. This small company […]

Treadmill morphs into a vehicle

The “Speed Fit” is a human powered treadmill system that allows you to run on a stationary platform while your motion drives a small electric powered gear system below to actually propel you across a flat surface. This might be the 2000s version of the Flintstone’s car although we wonder […]

  • Posted by | November 17th, 2008 8:57 AM
Add a trumpet to your tailpipe

Add a trumpet to your tailpipe

This tail-pipe hack is meant to make some noise every time the vehicle (in this case a motorcycle) spits out enough carbon monoxide that could be harmful to the environment. Since this might end up getting you into an accident, so we don’t condone this type of modification, still it’s […]

  • Posted by | November 15th, 2008 3:31 PM

Smart car turned into a monster

The “Unique Monster” is a strange car mod that puts monster truck tires onto the Smart car, which is known as one of the smallest, most fuel efficient cars around. We like how this maker decided to turn this unassuming car into a road warrior and hope they don’t have […]

  • Posted by | November 15th, 2008 9:36 AM

Neil Young’s car

Maybe you like Neil Young’s music. You might have heard about his opinions, but how about his car? Neil got his hands on one of the heaviest production automobiles, a Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible, and has set out to make it into a more earth friendly transportation alternative. The […]

Stirling engine car

Stirling engine car

Dean Kamen is working on a Stirling engine car and it’s on the road… The same day that Ford and General Motors announced catastrophic third-quarter losses, Dean Kamen was showing off his new electric car. The prototype vehicle, a zippy two-seat hatchback designed with more than a passing resemblance to […]

Self balancing unicycle... for sale soon! (video)

Self balancing unicycle… for sale soon! (video)

This MAKE-made-looking self balancing unicycle will go on sale soon, $1,500 looks like a lot of fun, love it!

Mini-me Nautilus

Mini-me Nautilus

This delightfully crazy bugger built a mini-sub 1/10th replica of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus from Disney’s film version of Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, along with replicas of diving suits and undersea rifles from the film. Disney Nautilus homebuilt submarine [via Boing Boing]

Skippy racer

Skippy racer

Gorgeous scooter called the “Skippy racer” via Kottke…

Bring back the airships!

Bring back the airships!

For this weekend’s Steam Powered: The California Steampunk Convention, the band Abney Park and Airship Ventures have teamed up to offer dirigible rides to conference-goers (for $785 a ticket). Airship Ventures just brought one of their Zeppelin NTs over from Germany and it will be moored at Moffett Field. MAKE […]

The Toyota station wagon "recreational vehicle" that never happened

The Toyota station wagon “recreational vehicle” that never happened

The Toyota station wagon recreational vehicle that never happened, Popular Science 1973. Toyota recently unveiled this jazzy-looking station wagon at the New York auto show. The station wagon (bottom photo) opens into a roomy camper (top). Toyota calls this 186-inch-long car the RV-2. It seats four, and stores in any […]



Singer-songwriter Josh Pyke rode this rather nifty guitar-boat into Australia’s Sydney Harbor as part of a shoot for an upcoming music video. The giant-sized floating six-string is a replica of the musician’s instrument of choice – a Maton brand acoustic. No details on the construction, but I’m guessing Pyke’s a […]

Mask tells others which subway stop you need to get off and prompts them to wake you up

This “Noriko-San” sleep mask was developed for “drowsy train commuters” afraid of sleeping past their stop and consists of a scrolling LED display that communicates the wearer’s destination to other passengers in the train. Of course, this relies on other people actually caring enough to wake you up in time, […]

  • Posted by | October 18th, 2008 9:50 AM
Electric motorcycle will get you there to build another one

Electric motorcycle will get you there to build another one

Here’s yet another cool electric motorcycle mod. This time it is based around a recycled 1986 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 900 where the only working components of the original bike were the tires, frame, and suspension. The bike was retrofitted with a 72 volt drive train powered by 6 batteries and […]

  • Posted by | October 15th, 2008 8:30 PM
Corvette morphs into the Bat-mobile

Corvette morphs into the Bat-mobile

This amazing Bat-mobile car mod by Mark Shields was built using high density foam, glossy black paint, fiberglass, and a vintage 1978 corvette. The result is a replica of the Bat-mobile from the 1989 film by Tim Burton. ’78 Corvette Turned into a DIY Batmobile by Mark Shields

  • Posted by | October 13th, 2008 8:21 PM
Transformers built from cars will take over the parking lot

Transformers built from cars will take over the parking lot

French/Swiss artist Guillaume Reymon who created the amazing human “Pong”, “Space Invaders”, “Tetris”, and “Pole Position” animations in large auditoriums with hundreds of people participating, has taken his craft to the streets with his latest take on “Transformers”. The piece brings together many diferent vehicles in perfect choreography to create […]

  • Posted by | October 13th, 2008 8:07 PM
Escape from Berkeley update

Escape from Berkeley update

Here’s an update on the Escape from Berkeley, the non-petroleum road race from Berkeley to Vegas: An interesting adventure had by all racers yesterday as we had to navigate around Tioga pass which had been temporarily closed (opening mid day yesterday, such is life). Some chose to go south over […]

Church tank!

Church tank!

I love Kris Kuksi’s church tank! via BoJ.

Amazing mini V12 car engine

Whoa. A miniature V12 engine for BIG R/C vehicles. The home-made motor is a valve-operated 12 cylinder 4 stroke engine with two low operated camshafts with oil lubrication and air cooling. The builder is hoping to eventually offer the engine as a kit. V12 RC-Engine [Via Hacked Gadgets]

DIY Air suspension system

DIY Air suspension system

Nice DIY Air suspension system… Gadget Freak James Kinney was looking for a way to take the pressure off the back end of a tow truck when it’s carrying a heavy load. If you can equalize the pressure of the truck bed so all the weight is not on the […]

Anti-slip stickers

Anti-slip stickers

Nice skakeboard grip tape pattern made with subhead anti-slip stickers via BB. Usually used for slippery areas, designer Jesse Milden has a lot of nice patterns for keeping humans upright.

Pedal powered tank

Pedal powered tank

Nice pedal powered tank on Pop Sci! If you want to crash a local parade of human-powered vehicles and soak unsuspecting onlookers in water or vaporized hot dogs, a pink camouflage tank is a pretty good craft to do it in. At least that’s what 30-year-old Philadelphia gearhead Vin Marshall […]

HumanCar - street legal human powered car

HumanCar – street legal human powered car

HumanCar – street legal human powered car @ Wired, NextFest, Treehugger and their site. The FM-4 v1.0 HumanCar (Fully Manual 4 Passenger) ‘geometry prototype’ has been so successful that no changes have been required. Several downhill time trial runs have had the car above 60mph + with incredible handling and […]

'Human jet' crosses the English Channel

‘Human jet’ crosses the English Channel

Presidential debates, Wall Street bailout, WaMU fail… At least someone is working on getting us all jetpacks… Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy successfully crossed the English Channel using his homemade jet-propelled wing Friday, the first man to perform the feat. Rossy leapt from a plane more than 8,800 feet or a […]

Hacking your car stereo

Hacking your car stereo

Unless you have a new car, you most likely don’t have an iPod input. You can usually just use a cassette adapter, but you can also open it up and just start messing around. If you want to crack it open, take a look at this web site first. It […]

The Cap Kart: DIY Electric Go-kart

The Cap Kart: DIY Electric Go-kart

One of our readers sent in this link to this electric go-kart build. It’s from the same MIT team that made a very cool DIY Segway. The website has lots of pictures, a video, and even schematics if you want to try and make your own Cap Kart. This year, […]

Human-size hamster-wheel vehicle

Human-size hamster-wheel vehicle

Alan writes – I’m part of a fantastic crew of makers out of West Oakland who are building a 10’x 10′ human powered “hamster wheel” styled rail-car for the Handcar Regatta. The Regatta it this Sunday and you’re readers should hear about it. From the looks of the above seen […]

Z59 - Incredible homebuilt car!

Z59 – Incredible homebuilt car!

From the MAKE Flickr photo pool Proximacentuari presents the gorgeous result of what must have been an amazing labor of love – This is the final result of 15 months and at least 800 hours of work in the garage. This is not counting time spent designing, ordering parts, negotiating […]

Musical road

Steelhorserider76 writes – This is a road in Lancaster Ca. that makes music when you drive over it. It was created for a commercial and they designed harmonics in the asphalt to create the music when driven over. Apparently other countries have been doing it for awhile. Unfortunately people complianed […]

Vanity mudflaps?

Vanity mudflaps?

From the MAKE Flickr photo pool At first glance, you might mistake these as the next trend in customized vehicle accessories, but these personalized mudflaps are actually part of Steven Laurie’s ongoing art piece – The mud flap project is an experimental body of mixed media works designed to brand […]



The Dolmette motorcycle uses the power of 24 on-board chainsaw engines to create one heckuva promotional item – The heart of the combined power plant is the central drive belt casing of aluminium construction. As well as encasing the eleven belts used to couple up the individual engines, it also […]

Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea

Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea

Accomplished street artist Swoon has a new project sponsored by Deitch Studios in Long Island City, New York. Tim Yu at Cool Hunting writes: With this latest work, Swoon highlights one of the most important issues of our generation, alternative energy. Each of the seven boats, which are crafted out […]

Austin Event: Weirdest Commute Contest

Austin Event: Weirdest Commute Contest

(Paul Sender’s jet toilet, which would be my ideal winner) Late notice, but today’s weirdest commute contest is just waiting for a Maker to steal the show: WEIRDEST COMMUTE CONTEST Combat climate change, and help kick off Commute Solutions Month at this lunchtime party featuring a contest for those who […]

Landspeeder replica is spot-on

Landspeeder replica is spot-on

Daniel Deutsch built this crazy-accurate replica of Luke Skywalker’s beat-up XP-34 landspeeder – We built this fiberglass replica landspeeder from the ground up on a custom aluminum chassis. The electric drive system is capable of a top speed around 25 mph. The speeder is the same size as the original, […]

Anti bump device for car doors keeps you scratch free

Anti bump device for car doors keeps you scratch free

This “anti-bump” device for car doors was spotted in South Korea. This looks like a simple bit of foam attached to the outside panelling of this sedan. Although it’s hard to tell how this is attached, we like the simplicity of this add-on as a nice way to keep your […]

  • Posted by | September 2nd, 2008 8:06 PM
HOW TO - Kayak bike trailer

HOW TO – Kayak bike trailer

Instructables user hypokampito made this clever support for towing a kayak behind a bicycle.

Railroad tattoos

Railroad tattoos

More of these galleries of themed tattoos are popping up around the Internet – Swiss Miss points us to these railroad tattoos. Hardcore transit fans! More: Anatomy tattoos Branded with science

DIY Skateboard

DIY Skateboard

Letsevo has a nice write up on how-to make your own old school style skateboard. The website has a flickr photo set of the build and a PDF template to get you started in the right direction. I just finished out my latest project. A contribution for the DIY (Do […]

Cardboard car improvements make it more aerodynamic

Cardboard car improvements make it more aerodynamic

This cardboard addition to a car is one of a series of such mods that attempt to add some sports car detailing and maybe aerodynamic molding to an average car. Just don’t get caught in a rainstorm with these or you might be kind of soggy. Florian Jennett, via Art […]

  • Posted by | August 21st, 2008 11:07 PM
New York's Pedicab Wars

New York’s Pedicab Wars

Image courtesy Trixi As I wrestle to get my home-built pedicab legal for passengers in my fair metropolis of Austin, Texas (more on that in a later post), this article reminds me that I could have it significantly worse. My favorite part: Council Speaker Christine Quinn makes a face. “No […]

World's fastest office chair seized

World’s fastest office chair seized

Anyone know more about this? via /. German police have confiscated what may be the world’s fastest office chair. Police say officers happened on the contraption – the work of two inventive 17-year-olds – in the western town of Gross-Zimmern on Saturday. The pair had added a lawnmower engine, bicycle […]

Blimpin' ain't easy

Blimpin’ ain’t easy

Blimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Crossing the English Channel in a Pedal-Powered Airship*… Thanks Sam! You know it’s hard up here for a blimp. Or so says Stephane Rousson, a 39-year-old Frenchman who’s hoping to cross the English Channel in a homemade, pedal-powered airship. As a child, he was captivated by the […]

DIY Lamborghini

DIY Lamborghini

Unfortunately there isn’t any information on the maker of this car, but the pictures are cool. If anyone knows more about this build, please post it in the comments and I will update the entry. If you can’t afford a Lambo, make it! Checkout the rest of the photo set […]

XR3: 225 mpg hybrid car kit

I can’t say that I am a big fan of the looks of this car, but the 225 miles per gallon is hard to beat. The car has an electric rear drive system with a Kubota diesel system when the lithium batteries run out. Apparently you will be able to […]

Yellow Bike Project’s Bike-Powered Move

If you need an excuse to switch to biking as your primary means of transportation, check out this video from Austin’s Yellow Bike Project, as they move 4500 square feet of bike parts from one shop to another. Particularly amazing starting at 3:30: Doesn’t your commute seem a bit mild […]

Land yacht race

Land yacht race

From the Core77 blog: The AEOLUS race, to be held in the Netherlands later this month, pits competing single-person land yachts against each other, with the requirement that they sail directly into the wind. The vehicles are therefore quite different from the sail-powered craft of old, using wind turbines to […]

Build a blind spot detection system for your car

Build a blind spot detection system for your car

When you are driving, you’ve probably had a few mishaps with the “blindspot” where you barely avoid hitting someone when changing lanes. This maker decided that this was an easy problem to fix so they created a custom BlindSpot Detection System using an ATmega169 and a high intensity infrared light […]

  • Posted by | August 6th, 2008 8:40 PM
DIY Batman Tumbler

DIY Batman Tumbler

Bob Dullam made his own Batman tumbler vehicle – you can check out the progress on Superherohype but the photos are now down, so visit DeviceDaily and Gizmodo.

World's lowest camper van - built in 3 days

World’s lowest camper van – built in 3 days

Meep meep! An automotive mechanic has driven into the record books – by building the world’s lowest van. Andy Saunders converted a 7ft 8ins high VW Camper into a 3.3ft high version – in just three days. The 1980 Type 25 camper had 70,000 miles on the clock when Saunders […]

Custom aluminum skateboards

Custom aluminum skateboards

Corbusboards makes these skateboards cut from aluminum in killer designs. With all the cutouts, they supposedly weigh about the same as a longboard, and aren’t meant to hang on the wall. Try not to catch anyone in the ankles with the fish skeleton one! Via Core77.

Odd bike...

Odd bike…

A MAKE reader sent this in, anyone know what’s going on?

Martin jetpack

Martin jetpack

PopSci has some video of the Martin “jetpack” and its 16 year old pilot… (photos here).

Monster beetle!

Monster beetle!

Gigantic (literally) gallery of a modded monster Beetle! More: Street-legal jet powered VW Beetle. Mystery Beetle identified.

DIY: Kayak bilge pump

DIY: Kayak bilge pump

If you are unlucky enough to have rolled over in your kayak like I have, then you will really appreciate this project. The goal was to install a bilge pump that was operated by you feet. This allows you hands to be free for paddling and stabilizing your boat. It’s […]

A Souped-up Model T...

A Souped-up Model T…

NYTimes on some nicely modded Model Ts… Thousands of people gathered last week in Richmond, Ind., for the centennial celebration of the Ford Model T, the machine that made the automobile a Main Street technology, with 15 million produced from 1908 to 1927. As a product, the Model T has […]

DIY: Arduino & Wii controlled Canoe

Like to play video games? Too lazy to paddle around in your canoe? Well I have the perfect solution for you. This boat is powered by a small electric motor and the steering is via a Wii Nunchuck and an Arduino. Let’s just hope the batteries don’t die, then you […]

Inflatable car solves the energy crisis

Inflatable car solves the energy crisis

This artistic recreation of a Porsche Carrera is completely inflatable and runs from natural “air” gas. To drive it, you simply unplug the cork, and sit on the thing, and inch forward as the escaping air propels you down the street. via TechEBlog

  • Posted by | July 20th, 2008 7:07 AM
Car mod looks like it was melted by the sun

Car mod looks like it was melted by the sun

This car mod turns it into a cartoon car getting blown up in an explosion or being melted by the sun. We’re not sure if it is actually drivable or not though. Extreme Car Mod From Hell Spotted in Bali.

  • Posted by | July 15th, 2008 12:23 PM
Make doc Brown proud and build a time machine

Make doc Brown proud and build a time machine

This detailed mod shows you how to make a time machine out of an old delorean, just like the doc did in the 1980s movie, “Back to the Future”. I was a big fan of that movie when it came out, although getting your hands on a 1980s Delorean might […]

  • Posted by | July 15th, 2008 6:51 AM
Steam car project update

Steam car project update

Jake von Slatt has published a progress report on this project to turn an old 1929 Mercedes replica kit car (which is basically a 72 VW Beetle underneath) into a Von Slatt-fied steam-powered showpiece. Steampunk Car Update – Catalytic Converter on an Aircooled VW Motor

PVC bike cart

PVC bike cart

Instructables slide show of a bicycle trailer made out of PVC pipe and wire rack material. PVC Bike trailer

How to: Install a car alarm

How to: Install a car alarm

I wish all projects on the web had as many pictures as this one. This how-to, by Brian Trump, covers installation of a car alarm with remote start and a few other features. The only problem is, I can’t remember the last time I heard an alarm go off and […]

 PVC Pipe & duct tape canoe

PVC Pipe & duct tape canoe

Ben writes- It’s amazing how a simple idea can take on a life of its own once you start. Have a desire to build a boat for fishing at your local lakes and a bunch of American Ingenuity? Build a boat out of things American, Duct Tape, PVC pipe, and […]

Former minivan makes new trailer

Former minivan makes new trailer

From the MAKE Flickr Pool: user nickjohnson spotted this makeshift trailer in Brooklyn, made from the tail end of a minivan. Hey, if it works, it works! Got any more info on this thing? Post in the comments.

The miles per gallon illusion (Miles per gallon vs. gallons per mile)

The miles per gallon illusion (Miles per gallon vs. gallons per mile)

Bunnie has an interesting write up about AAAS’s Science publication “The MPG Illusion” he writes… Here’s an interesting question. Suppose you had a household with two cars, and each car needs to be driven 10,000 miles per year. One car consumes 34 MPG, and the other car consumes 18 MPG. […]

Dragon (and alien) car mania

Dragon (and alien) car mania

Nice alien/dragon car from Krasnoyarsk, Russia! More: Mechanical alien.

Honda Element bed promotes good night's rest

Honda Element bed promotes good night’s rest

Rishi Oswal (of in and around San Diego, CA) lives in his car. Now, what separates him from that guy in his van down by the river is this totally incredible custom bed platform he made to go inside his Honda Element. He documented its creation insanely well on his […]

Homemade airplane from farmer in China flies!

This appears to be a video of a homemade airplane made in China by a farmer called the “Shanzhai huaxiangji” via Kottke. It’s hard to tell what’s actually going on, it could be a fake but there are some interesting things about what it’s called — more about the airplane […]

4,000 miles on a homemade juice carton boat

4,000 miles on a homemade juice carton boat

Kids today… 4,000 miles on a juice carton boat via Gizmodo. His records for mountain climbing may lead some to say that Rhys Jones has his head in the clouds – but inspiration for the 22-year-old’s latest feat came from origami. The adventurer, who is the youngest person to climb […]

Build an NES controller into your car's engine

Build an NES controller into your car’s engine

Although this mod won’t be seen by many people because it’s under the hood of a car, we still applaud this maker who managed to create a giant NES controller that sits on top of his car’s motor. Playing a game with this controller might be difficult if you are […]

  • Posted by | June 23rd, 2008 7:56 PM
Homemade jet engine

Homemade jet engine

Students at SUNY Canton made this jet engine. They have pretty interesting documentation of a long design and build process. Please keep in mind this project is very dangerous!

Prone carts

Prone carts

Rick builds these totally incredible prone carts to help him achieve tasks otherwise impossible from sitting in a wheelchair. He mods golf carts and tractors so that he can drive them from the prone position. While in his carts, he can weld, garden, cook, and make beautiful wood furniture, things […]

Fabric covered car

Fabric covered car

I saw a DIY version of this at Burning Man the first and only time I attended, freaky then – freaky now, excellent video of BMW’s GINA Light visionary model, a morphing fabric car. Knitted tank :)

HOW TO - chair lift cable car

HOW TO – chair lift cable car

Instructables user Mockfish writes: My grandma has trouble walking these days and I was going to build her a ramp. After examining code requirements, etc, I realized that a full sized ramp would take up a lot of space and be very expensive. I had to figure something out that […]

Illuminated climbing wall teaches you how to spell while you fall

This climbing wall / human size LED display called the “DigiGripper”, has a few tricks up its sleeve. If you hold onto an illuminated dot, the dot retreats into the wall causing you to fall on your butt. The longer you hold onto the display, the quicker the letters change […]

  • Posted by | June 3rd, 2008 8:10 PM
Rail Runner - make a cart that runs on train tracks

Rail Runner – make a cart that runs on train tracks

Here’s an interest site that sells rail runner & rail runner parts for pedaling around on train tracks… via NOTCOT. It’s a family affair, take the whole family out, or use it for inspecting and repairing your railroad. It’s recumbent, peddles much easier then a regular street bike, comfortable big […]

HOW TO - iPod speakers in your scooter

HOW TO – iPod speakers in your scooter

Instructables user avik writes: I got my first Vespa about a year ago and have loved tooling around New York on it. From day one though I wanted to be able to listen to my iPod as I zip around but the idea of riding with headphones on in all […]

Make your own automotive body panels

Make your own automotive body panels

This is a nice set of photographs from a Lithuanian artist who made all his own interior and exterior panels from polyurethane foam. Yep, the foam is sanded and primed, no fiberglass on this car. I wonder if the DOT would approve? Make your own automotive body panels

Canoe Sail

Canoe Sail

Instructables user TimAnderson writes: This 5 meter spritsail rig makes a canoe go really fast. It’s easy to build, easy to control, easy to put up and take down. It tolerated gusts well and can be tuned for really light winds also. I use an aluminum sign as a leeboard […]

Eliptical bike interview

In this video, Kristin White from TalkTech interviews Bryan Pate, co-founder of PT Motion Works about his elliptiGO glide bike, which is powered by an elliptical training motion. If you missed the elliptiGO at Maker Faire this May, this video is a good introduction. As a former ironman competitor, Bryan […]

Traffic light design from the past uses analog thinking

Traffic light design from the past uses analog thinking

This traffic signal design from 1936 by Charles Marshall (called the “Marshalite”) was used in Australia for about 30 years and utilized 2 motorized rotors to point at colored sections of red, green, and yellow for the corresponding result. Using the standard clock face metaphor, the displays showed “signal phase […]

  • Posted by | May 30th, 2008 4:29 AM
Laser-etched skateboards

Laser-etched skateboards

Flickr set of gorgeous laser-etched skateboard decks. [via]

Charles F. Taylor: One-Wheel vehicles

Charles F. Taylor: One-Wheel vehicles

Way before there was a Segway, there was Charles F. Taylor and his one wheel vehicle. This website has a lot of information, pictures, and even videos of his creations. Anyone for a remake? Taylor’s passionate hobby from 1939 on, was the development of several working prototypes of a one-wheeled […]

How to make a Berzerker

How to make a Berzerker

So, have you ever wanted to make a pedal powered trike that shoots flames? Me too! Luckily for us, the Members of the Department of Spontaneous Combustion documented their entire build. What really caught my eye were the wheels. They are amazing works of art by themselves. Read more about […]

HOW TO - Waterproof bike basket

HOW TO – Waterproof bike basket

Kiki posted an Instructable on making a waterproof bike basket using pieces of tarp and strong magnets. She’s a member of Theo Watson‘s “themakeclass” Instructables account where his students post up their innovative projects. Related: Bikes @ MAKE

Dual exhaust flame thrower kit

Dual exhaust flame thrower kit

I do not have a car, but if and when I get one again… dual exhaust flame kit… WANT. Related: Street-legal jet powered VW Beetle.

Japanese style scooter modding

Japanese style scooter modding

We posted about the Japanese scooter scene last week. If it made you interested in modding your own scooter, then this might be a good place for inspiration. The website is in Japanese, and the Google translation isn’t the best, but it is a great series of pictures of the […]

Pulsejet-powered bicycle

More crazy jet-powered action, this one a pulse-jet strapped to the side of a 1950s cruiser bike. Jet bike,75 MPH

Jet powered Porsche 928

Jet powered Porsche 928

This certainly is a unique car. The ebay listing describes it as “Only one on my block”. It can run on gas, diesel, jet-A, JP-4, JP-8 and old drain oil. The ebay auction ended with a final sale price of $7,151. Not too bad for a jet powered Porsche 928. […]

The Make: Way car -- #33rd out of 97!!!!

The Make: Way car — #33rd out of 97!!!!

The Make:Way team finished 33rd out of 97th! The team posted up race details (and more). We did it. Team Make:Way finished the 2008 24 Hours of Lemons race at Altamont raceway. That was our original goal: just finish the race. I’d have considered this all a success if we […]

A truck that runs on coffee

A truck that runs on coffee

This isn’t much of a looker, but it should save you from those high gas prices. Although your next concern would be high coffee prices! I wonder what the neighborhood would smell like when this thing fires up. Personally, I like the idea of waking up to the smell of […]

Solar tricycle

Solar tricycle

Instructables user dpearce1 made a solar-powered motorized trike, and an instruction set to go along with it. From the instructable: The purpose of this project is to build a vehicle that: -Provides free, ‘green’ transportation for short distances (<10 miles), thus it must never plug into a wall socket, or […]

Modding scooters in Japan

Modding scooters in Japan

You all know we like our bicycles, but in Japan scooters rule. Pink Tentacle has a great collection of modified Japanese scooters. They all look really fast, but I assume underneath all the fiberglass and metal is a little scooter engine. It’s not all that bad, they are environmentally friendly, […]

Bikes @ MAKE

Bikes @ MAKE

Gas prices got you down? Sources don’t need to tell us that fixing and riding bikes is the way to go. Here at MAKE we love riding, fixing, improving, and modding our bikes, so we thought we’d share all things Bike @ MAKE. New to bicycle commuting? Take some advice […]

Free boat plans

Free boat plans

If you want to make a boat, for non-commercial purposes, then this is a must-visit website. It has over 75 free plans to build a variety of different boats. I think my favorite is the “Sport Submarine”. Free boat plans

DIY: Dyno

DIY: Dyno

If you want to get the most out of you motorcycle, or car, you really need to have a baseline measurement of your ride. A dyno is something that a high performance shop may have, or you can usually find them at a rally like Sturgis or Daytona. I have […]

HOW TO – Cross the Tebo River

Tim Mowrer made this video documenting the technique used to cross Batang Tebo in central Sumatra, Indonesia. One tethered man swims across and ties a rope, then gear and people cross while attached to that rope. Tim and his team have been researching various ways to improvise rope bridges across […]

Turtle wheels

Turtle wheels

Jim @ Bamboo Turtle writes – Little Bit, a young Eastern Box Turtle was hit by a car in September of 2000. Her shell was crushed and she was left partially paralyzed. There was no way she would ever be released to the wild as happens with most successful rehabs. […]

The Uno - Segway meets motorcycle

The Uno – Segway meets motorcycle

MotorcycleMoto magazine has a great article on The Uno – a one wheeled-looking motorcycle. Thanks Daniel! The 2008 National Motorcycle Show in Toronto has always been heavily influenced by the American V-twin crowd and highlights some of the area’s top custom builders who have on display a fine array of […]

Air powered moped

Air powered moped

Jem Stansfield made an air powered moped from carbon-fiber air tanks and 2 rotary air engines. It can be refilled almost instantly from a compressor and has a range of about 7 miles. This is a great get-around-campus vehicle, even if it looks a bit strange. Read more about the […]



Nice looking pedal powered Monowheel by Ben Wilson! More @ via Gizmodo.

Cardboard boat race this weekend

Cardboard boat race this weekend

Here in Tempe, AZ, we’re having a “Rotary River Rally,” or cardboard boat race. It’s never too late to register a boat, and it looks like so much fun. The pre-event boat show is today, and the regatta starts tomorrow morning. This is the 9th year they’re running this, so […]

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 restoration / recreation

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 restoration / recreation

Incredible set of photos of a Ghostbusters Ecto-1 restoration / recreation for an upcoming video game via BoingBoing Gadgets.

Air-powered scooter

Air-powered scooter

Air-powered scooter leaves city centres cleaner via Gizmodo. An inventor has created what he claims is the world’s first motorcycle powered by fresh air. Jem Stansfield says his converted Puch moped produces cleaner air than found in many town and city centres and so can actually reduce pollution. “It actually […]

Electric skate board moves mountains

Electric skate board moves mountains

This electric skateboard combines an off-the-shelf mountain board with a brake addition, a 300w scooter motor and two 12v batteries to power the ride. Pretty nice construction with a detailed how-to to boot! Electric Mountain Board [via]

  • Posted by | April 16th, 2008 8:30 PM
Students build a 2,843 MPG car

Students build a 2,843 MPG car

A high school team from Evansville, Indiana built a 2,843.4 mile per gallon car with a three-wheeled, combustion-engine design. The car won top prize at the 2008 Shell Eco-Marathon held in Fontana, California. Pretty nice ride, although being that close to the ground might not work so well for potholes. […]

  • Posted by | April 15th, 2008 6:33 PM
Illuminated frame helps you catch your train

Illuminated frame helps you catch your train

Tom Lee made this transit alert frame using a web script and an Arduino board. from the DCist: Tom Lee configured D.C.’s metro schedule to alert him to when the next train will be available from his house; all packaged in a nifty frame. “So if there’s enough time left […]

Model Panzer tank is made from a generator

Model Panzer tank is made from a generator

Just put a slow-moving vehicle sign on this, and it’s good to go. Will Foster made a half scale Panzer tank for playing paintball. He recycled a broken generator he got from his part time job, and turned it into this. He drives it around his parents neighborhood, obviously scaring […]

The Rezistor - World's quietest Vespa

The Rezistor – World’s quietest Vespa

Portland scooter enthusiast Jake Stept has converted a Vespa into an EV and even built super-bright LED headlamps for it. He documents his efforts on the V is for Voltage boards. The Rezistor – World’s quietest Vespa [Thanks, Tim!]

Teen's EV projects

Teen’s EV projects

Andrew writes on his blog: Welcome to Greenflight EV, a source of information on all of my electric vehicle-related projects! My name is Andrew. I’m 17 years old, and I’ve always had an interest in vehicles of any kind. I also have a “do more with less” attitude, and a […]

Homemade trucks

Homemade trucks

Wonderful collection of homemade trucks & tractors @ Streetuse.

SUNN : Solar powered car

At least this vehicle will not cause a debate about the source of the electrical power. You know, the one about electric cars still getting their energy from the grid. The SUNN is completely solar powered, and as the inventor states; “You get infinity miles per gallon”. Now, if it […]

College kid makes 1/2 scale Tiger tank

College student, Will Foster, built this amazing half-scale Tiger tank. It even has an air cannon for shooting rounds of paint balls. I would not want to be against him at the next paintball skirmish. Via Techeblog – 1/2 Scale Tiger Tank

Hybrid Air Force One

Hybrid Air Force One

How Stuff Works has a great April Fools article about how the fry-oil hybrid Air Force One jet works. My favorite parts are the “lead-acid battery main housing” and paint job.

Xeni joins the cupcake 1%-ers

There’s something divinely surreal about giant cupcakes tooling around with human heads poking out of their centers. We had the cupcake cars at last year’s Bay Area Maker Faire and I had a laugh every time they trundled by the MAKE booth. In this BBtv video, Xeni rides with the […]

Excersize and make mixed drinks

We don’t condone drinking and driving here at MAKE, but we do like projects that combine domestic kitchen appliances with transportation devices like this “Bicycle Mixer” project from Berlin. Watch and learn how mixing drinks can actually get you into shape. Unbelievable Bicycle Mixer

  • Posted by | March 28th, 2008 7:19 AM

Segway muscle transport

File this one under: Why? (Maybe so that you won’t look as much like an extra in Logan’s Run while you’re Segwaying to the 7-11? I know I look like a tremendous dork, but look at all these shiny tires!) “New” Segway [via]

Motorcycle with "steam effects"

Motorcycle with “steam effects”

Over at the Steampunk Workshop, Meredith Scheff interviews artist Tom Sepe about his mini-bike, converted to run on electricity with a steam boiler to add some cool sound and visual effects. Tom Sepe’s Steampunk Motorbike

Ping Pong balls make plane buoyant

Ping Pong balls make plane buoyant

Ping Pong balls make plane buoyant Modern Mechanix, 1936. Fun fact, from Donald Duck artist Carl Barks wikipedia entry… A 1949 Donald Duck ten-pager features Donald raising a yacht from the ocean floor by filling it with ping pong balls. In December 1965 Karl Krøyer, a Dane, lifted the sunken […]

Bike boats!

Bike boats!

Steve @ Dinosaurs and Robots writes – I’m introducing my kids to the ancient sport of Unlimited Bicycle Hydroplane Street Racing. Traditionally, these boats were in built in July and August with wood scavenged from suburban construction sites and cobbled together by unsupervised kids who borrowed their dads tools and […]

Veggie Oil Temperature Sensor

Veggie Oil Temperature Sensor

Mike Sklar sent in his “Greasy Mon” temperature sensor project for his veggie-oil burning vehicle. Don’t be fooled by his statement about purchasing the board. You can purchase one if you want, but all of the schematics, board layouts and source code are available free to use and download. Buy […]

ATV toolbox

Hey, if fratboys and tailgaters are going to have motorized beer coolers, why not an ATV toolbox? (Although I think the terrain is probably less than all with this mod.) Gas Powered Tool Box – Remix – [via] Link

Jet powered van

Jet powered van

So what’s a soccer Mom, or Dad, to do with that minivan after the kids grow up? Add a jet engine of course! At the flip of a switch the jet engine pushes out the back window and you are ready to race anyone that crosses your path. There are […]

USS Midway - Giant steam powered aircraft carrier

USS Midway – Giant steam powered aircraft carrier

If you’re in San Diego and want to see a giant example of extreme engineering (steam powered too) – check out the Midway museum, it’s an aircraft carrier circa WWII that served all the way up to the Kuwait war (1992) – it was he longest serving aircraft carrier in […]

Make a half size 1901 Packard

Make a half size 1901 Packard

The yards of suburbia are filled with kids riding around in those little electric cars. How about making a really unique one for your kids to cruise the neighborhood. Although the plans are for a gas-powered vehicle, it would be easy to convert to electric. – Link

Wave powered boat

Wave powered boat

The Suntory is able to propel itself through the water using only the energy found in waves. It is an interesting concept, lets hope it can be scaled up to make shipping more environmentally friendly and cheaper. There are other means of free energy out at sea, just look for […]

Trashed Toyota Prius Hybrids For sale

Trashed Toyota Prius Hybrids For sale

Buy a damaged Prius and salvage the running gear/innards for use in your own creation – Too much to spend on an art car for Burning Man but serious gearheads could do something interesting with this… Thanks Paul! Link. Update: “Fety” in the comments says that the site is selling […]

DIY small electric buggies and go kart plans

DIY small electric buggies and go kart plans

Ian sells plans for many cool electric karts to make for the kids (or adults). It looks fun to drive from the videos… – Thanks Bf5man! Link. If anyone has bought these or plans to, let us know!

Steam powered motorcycle (photos)

Steam powered motorcycle (photos)

Wow, we’re getting a lot of great submissions to add to our growing collection of “Maker made” transportation, here’s a series of photos from an early homemade steam powered motorcycle… Annette writes – Ray Clift was born in August, 1912, in Bellingham, WA, where he spent most of his growing […]

Granny's Nightmare - HOW TO - Make a bicycle chopper

Granny’s Nightmare – HOW TO – Make a bicycle chopper

Before. After. AtomicZombie (who we posted about yesterday) sent in this great bike project – You know what really irritates the heck out of me? I drive all the way out to the dump, pay my five bucks to get in, and the only bikes laying around are those goofy […]

HOW TO - Prius "Stealth mode" mod

HOW TO – Prius “Stealth mode” mod

MAKE pal Douglas sent in this awesome Prius “Stealth mode” mod – check it out!Move the steering wheel tilt lever to the unlocked position. Remove the screw which it previously covered… Turn the steering wheel 90 degrees right of center. Remove the screw on the right side of the face […]

ZAP! At Maker Faire!

ZAP! At Maker Faire!

ZAP! One of our Maker Faire sponsors is rolling in (literally) with some new things – they’ll have the ZAPPY3’s for our staff to get around on, they’re launching a new portable energy product line (10 hour laptop batteries, etc. And the thing I really want to check out, the […]

Flowbench made from vacuum cleaners...

Flowbench made from vacuum cleaners…

Img413 39I asked Terry about the Flowbench he made, here's what he said - "My flowbench started because I wanted to modify my car's engine by porting the heads. I don't know how familiar you are with engines, but "Porting the head" means modify the cylinder head so that more air will flow thru them and into the cylinder. Horsepower is directly proportional to airflow, i.e. 10% more air equals 10% more power. But I knew that just making the ports larger doesn't mean more for airflow."

Crazy Fiat mod...

Crazy Fiat mod…

ThumbnailserverIn MAKE 03 we showed you how to mod your rod...but not like this - Google video usually has all sorts of wonderful gems, MAKE pal Star sent in this one - it's a Fiat modded so it looks like it's going backwards, but it's not. This is almost like a Maker-meets-Rendezvous-Claude-Lelouch. Link.

Maker of the day - Kerry McLean, 225-horsepower gasoline-powered monowheel

Maker of the day – Kerry McLean, 225-horsepower gasoline-powered monowheel

Maker07TnToday's Maker from our new book Makers - Kerry McLean, Wall Lake, Michigan. 225-horsepower gasoline-powered monowheel. "You may be hauling ass, but you feel like you're floating," says McLean. The metal fabricator and machinist built his first monowheel in 1970 and has been obsessively perfecting the design ever since. "I don't feel like anyone has seen it through," he says. "You hear words like 'trial and error.' That's just some hillbilly stuff. Broomsticks and baling wire. I'm doing R&D." Makers: page 20. View photo! See previous Makers of the day here. View sample PDF. Click here to get Makers the book before the holidays!

Parts is Parts...

Parts is Parts…

Parts Dale writes "In Chicago Tuesday, I came across an Auto Dismantling Demonstration, sponsored by Allstate and the Chicago Police Department. They wanted to show how a chop shop operates, taking apart a car for its parts. They wanted to show that it could be done in under twelve minutes or less. According to the Allstate spokesman, the stripped parts from a stolen car fetch more than the book value of the car and the most popular stolen car is the Honda Civic because it has interchangeable parts..."

Pakistan cars & buses

Pakistan cars & buses

Gigantic gallery of Pakistan cars & buses, automen writes- The most striking thing in Pakistan is the vision of trucks and buses completely covered in a riot of color and design. They might spew diesel fumes, they may take up all of the winding, narrow, under-maintained road one is trying […]

Jake's steamcar project, dashboard redo

Jake’s steamcar project, dashboard redo

Herr von Slatt has posted a new piece detailing his dashboard revamp, rewiring, and new lighting for his ongoing steam-powered car project. In other Jake news, there’s a wonderful interview with him on Bostodelphia. Steampunk Car Project – Progress Report – Link Related: Jake’s steamcar project, initial survey – Link […]

Electric Motorcycle

Electric Motorcycle

Todd Stiers has made one awesome looking, and sounding, electric motorcycle. Let’s hope this becomes more of a “normal” thing to see riding around the streets. Now, let the debate about the batteries and the source of power begin. – Link Related: Make Podcast: Todd Kollin’s Electric Motorcycle – Link […]

Jet powered scooter gives it a big head

Jet powered scooter gives it a big head

The scooter is usually considered the “wimp” on the motocycle food chain. Usually it’s just a bicycle with a motor that is supposed to get you from point A to point B. This jet-powered scooter by Ron Patrick is equipped with two JFS 100 jet engines for maximum thrusting power. […]

  • Posted by | February 25th, 2008 8:00 AM
Jake's steamcar project, initial survey

Jake’s steamcar project, initial survey

As covered here previously, Jake von Slatt is going to make a steam-powered car out of a 1929 Mercedes Gazelle SSK replica made by Tiffany Motor Cars sometime in the ’70s. Here he takes an initial survey of the car and what he’ll need to do to get it in […]

59 Opel gets 376.59 mpg

59 Opel gets 376.59 mpg

Treehugger points us to this story about a 1959 Opel T-1 that, in 1973, got in the Guinness World Record book by achieving 376.59 mpg. The car was recently rediscovered (moldering away at Talladega Raceway) and bought by a Seattle car dealer. Some of the “tricks” used to achieve this […]

Model space capsules and mini-learn how-to frame a house kits

Model space capsules and mini-learn how-to frame a house kits

@The NYC Toy fair 2008 you tend to see companies with a variety of products, Precision Modelworks has stunning and unique models of various space capsules – Saturn vehicles, Gemini capsules and others from the Mercury missions – if you’re a space buff these might be the only (and best) […]

Giant skateboard allows you to ride with a friend

Giant skateboard allows you to ride with a friend

This homemade giant skateboard looks like it might be just what you need as a backup if your car breaks down and you don’t have any way of getting to work. Either that or maybe you could use it to tow your car. Giant homemade skateboard – Link

  • Posted by | February 13th, 2008 9:00 AM
LED Motorcycle Tail Light

LED Motorcycle Tail Light

Here is how to make an LED brake light for your motorcycle. It doesn’t have detailed schematics, but there is a nice photo gallery of the build process. There are several advantages to using LED’s according to the author: Instant-on – There is no filament to heat up, so the […]

DIY budget inter-cooler

DIY budget inter-cooler

If you haven’t already started building your own electric vehicle, why not add this project to your gas guzzling, turbo-charged, super car. If you are going to drive a fossil fuel burning car, it might as well be fast, and cool. – Link

Riding the (mono)rails

Riding the (mono)rails

French artist Vincent Lamouroux built this cool pedal cycle to travel along abandoned French Aerotrain monorail tracks. I love it when the future is already in ruin. Vincent Lamouroux – [via] Link

Inappropriate rocket powered items

Inappropriate rocket powered items

Oobject has a round up of inappropriate rocket powered items, but for the life of me I couldn’t find a single one that was inappropriate – pictured here, the rocket powered toilet – [via] Link.

The iShoes - motorized shoes

The iShoes – motorized shoes

This isn’t a MAKE project (I think) they’re the “The iShoes”. Motorized shoes that go up to 13.5mph, weigh about 12lbs and have a 3 mile range. I tried to email them with some questions, but they seem to be popular at the moment “child status 100…The e-mail message could […]

Merry go round airplane launcher

Merry go round airplane launcher

Here’s a neat idea from Popular Science 1933, best tested on MythBusters now (they just tested if a plane could take off from a treadmill)… a merry go round airplane launcher, what do you think would happen? At least it would be more fun than most airport experiences – Link.

Chocolate-powered truck

Chocolate-powered truck

Does Willy Wonka know about this? From Boing Boing: Sounds like an awesome band name, but chocolate biodiesel is in fact what one vehicle ran on, in a 4-week trek from the UK to Timbuktu. A group known as BioTruck modded a 1989 Ford Iveco Cargo to run entirely by […]

The $672 Electric car

The $672 Electric car

You might have though making your own electric car would be an expensive project. However, with a little ingenuity and a LOT of luck, you can make a fairly inexpensive, street legal, electric car. Of course this car involved several “donated” items, like the batteries, but it seems like this […]



Dissident75 writes in – Neat those [Decotoras] remind me of Jeepneys on Steroids (Jeepneys are a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II and are well known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating). Jeepney […]

Masaru Tatsuki’s Decotora (decorated trucks)

Masaru Tatsuki’s Decotora (decorated trucks)

Pingmag has a great photo set and write up about “Decotora” or decorated trucks – On a dark and rainy night, bright and blinding lights approach a vacant lot, off a Japanese highway – just if Shibuya’s blinking neon signs decided to move themselves past you… However, it’s some proud […]

Redneck rollercoaster

A crazy Canadian has hacked his ’91 Cavalier into a “Redneck Rollercoaster.” All I can say is thank goodness for their good healthcare. – [via] Link.

DIY forklift

DIY forklift

From the MAKE Flickr pool: Member Simple Simon shares more of his vehicular adventures: How to get a cast oven stove upstairs. (Driving the truck up to line up with the stove was a challenge due to the ski tips) I don’t remember what pulled the ladder up but probably […]

DIY tractors in Poland

DIY tractors in Poland

The Å»ak Gallery in Berlin has an exhibition up with an extensive collection of 1960s Polish homemade tractors (photos only, unfortunately). – [via] Link. Related: MAKE: Volume 11: Alt Vehicles – Link.

Sports car from canoes

Sports car from canoes

Canoe, Car, DIY Projects

6 legged boat

6 legged boat

This is pretty neat, the boat has 6 legs and can “stand up” and can plant a windmill in place – Most boats do not have legs. But a jack-up barge has six, protruding high into the air when the ship is in transit. Extending to a length of 48m […]

Soda bottle gas tank makes fuel conservation more obvious

Soda bottle gas tank makes fuel conservation more obvious

This soda bottle gas tank on a home-made motor bike from Cuba is a pretty handy way to check if you are running low on gas without needing a meter. Cuban Motor Bike – [via]

  • Posted by | January 28th, 2008 7:00 AM
Cuban motor bike

Cuban motor bike

Couple nice shots of a handmade Cuban motor bike, I like the direct contact engine and soda bottle gas tank – Link.

Idiotarod '08 - Underground shopping cart racing

Idiotarod ’08 – Underground shopping cart racing

Gothamist has a giant round up from the NYC based “Idiotarod, an underground race which uses decorated shopping carts as the vehicles – Yesterday was the annual Idiotarod, which is both loved and hated by locals. We hear that this year the head honchos were tossing non-competitors out of the […]

V12 Engine paper model

V12 Engine paper model

Becky @ CRAFT writes – John made this V12 engine which is made entirely out of paper, and moves, lighting up LEDs representing sparkplugs. I’m astonished by the craftsmanship of this work of art V12 Engine Paper Model – [via] Link. Related: Papercraft AK-47 – Link.

Kawasaki KE-175 Dirt-E - Conversion to electric motorbike

Kawasaki KE-175 Dirt-E – Conversion to electric motorbike

FrankG shows you how to rewind a permanent magnet DC motor, make hi-current amp meters and GPS tech for eclectric vehicle assessment – Link.

Make a push button ignition for your car

Make a push button ignition for your car

HAL 9000 writes – When i first saw my car, sitting on the corner with a for sale sign on it. I decided that I would buy it. I did. After that I decided that I really wanted a sweet push button ignition and an engine kill switch, like a […]

Light up skate boards

Light up skate boards

There are probably a dozen projects here on MAKE that you could use to make your own light up skateboards, but to get inspired check out the Photo light board site. It’s not the future unless umbrellas and skateboards light up…[via] Link.

Anti-hitcher device and roller (tank) skates

Anti-hitcher device and roller (tank) skates

Shocking anti-hitcher device, Link. Roller (tank) skates – Link.

The "air car"

The “air car”

Zerolawn sent in this fun eBay find, the seller writes – This car was built in 1985. Body is built with fiberglass and urethane composite making it very light. Entire body can be lifted off with 2 people for easy access to frame and all other parts. Powered by 400 […]

Aquaduct mobile filtration vehicle

This winner of the Innovate or Die competition filters water through pedal power: A peristaltic pump attached to the pedal crank draws water from a large tank, through a carbon filter, to a smaller clean tank. The clean tank is removable and closed for contamination-free home storage and use. A […]

HOW TO - Disable navigation lockout on Ford cars (and possibly most others)

HOW TO – Disable navigation lockout on Ford cars (and possibly most others)

Jason @ Hackszine is on a nav-system-lockout disabling roll, he writes – After my post last week about disabling the navigation lockout on Lexus and Toyota nav systems, I received a request from an unhappy Ford owner with the same problem. After a bit of searching, I unfortunately wasn’t able […]

Jake von Slatt’s RV

MAKE pal Jake von Slatt gives us a video tour of his refurbished Thomas school bus, with much of the interior materials scrounged from the dump or scored through Freecycle or Craigslist. Bus Tour – Link

HOWTO - disable Lexus and Prius navigation lockout

HOWTO – disable Lexus and Prius navigation lockout

Jason @ Hackszine writes – The greatest feature of the navigation system used in Lexus and Toyota autos is undoubtedly the lockout mode which occurs automatically whenever the car is in motion. Somewhere deep inside the navigation system, the fascism bit is toggled for your protection and certain features, namely […]

Homebrew sled out of skis

Homebrew sled out of skis

Jeff at Out Your Backdoor recreated his brother’s fast sled design this winter: What you do is take a plastic tub sled ($10 hardware store) and screw a pair of XC skis to the bottom of it—if it’s a sled for kids—or a pair of metal-edge downhill skis if adults […]

Make a  "Push-ped"

Make a “Push-ped”

Nice bike/scooter hybrid great project from a 13 year old maker, nice work! – Link.

Drag bike micro-controller shifter and NOS control

Drag bike micro-controller shifter and NOS control

ChrisP writes – This started as a project about 2 and a half years ago when I started drag racing motorcycles with a friend who has a bike shop. The original project started as how to make things more efficient, easier on the motorcycle and of course more constistant. Of […]

Retro-future scooter made from appliances and scrap metal

Retro-future scooter made from appliances and scrap metal

Nemomatic writes – Ever since I was a kid I have always loved old scooters. However I have never really wanted the responsibility of maintaining a “vintage” machine. I always thought to myself, “why can’t we have the convenience and reliability of modern engineering like a Honda with the class […]

Creating a fiberglass snowmobile trailer (in the shape of a cat and mouse!)

Creating a fiberglass snowmobile trailer (in the shape of a cat and mouse!)

Upnorthrick writes – Here is a snowmobile cutter I built over the last winter. It is a cat chasing a mouse chasing a chunk of cheese. The cheese is the hitch and the cat is the actual trailer. It is sized to carry a banana box and a bit more. […]

Turf Trac 8hp lawn tractor refurb

Turf Trac 8hp lawn tractor refurb

FrankG sent in this fun project that features the salvage of a lawn tractor destined for the land fill – Link.

Aerocivic - green modded Honda Civic

Aerocivic – green modded Honda Civic

Darin writes – Photos & details of a 15 year old Honda Civic, radically aerodynamically modified for increased fuel economy. The owner reports coast-down testing indicates the co-efficient of drag has dropped from .34 to .17 – better than GM’s ill-fated, and super-slippery EV1 electric car. With fuel economy instrumentation, […]

Dirt-E conversion

Dirt-E conversion

FrankG writes in – True “Make Material”!!! in this section on the Dirt-E Bike, a $35 Chinese motor controller is hacked to either 60V or 72V at 25A, 40A or 100Amps. Schematics, PCB Layout and assembly instructions (open source). Kawasaki KE-175 Dirt-E Conversion to Electric  – Part 2 (YK42-x tender) […]

Dekochari art bikes

I seem to have missed this in Japan, the video is excellent! Pink Tentacle writes – For decades in Japan, dekochari (deko means “decoration” and chari means “bicycle”) have been the ride of choice for hardcore dekotora fans that are too young to drive. Modeled after Japan’s celebrated art trucks, […]

$5 Motorcycle camera mount

$5 Motorcycle camera mount

Quick and easy $5 motorcycle camera mount – Link. Related: Bicycam – A simple camera mount for bikes – Link. HOW TO – Make a cheap $5 camera handlebar mount – Link. HOW TO – Build a bicycle camera mount – Link.

Paper craft space vehicles

Paper craft space vehicles

Here’s a page of ultra-detailed (free) and accurate card models of various space vehicles, including the Shuttle and ISS! Thanks Willem – Link.

DIY "Dirt-E" bike conversion

DIY “Dirt-E” bike conversion

FrankG the prolific e-modder writes in – This page details the initial mods and configuration of a low power Dirt-E Bike (electric powered). The central idea was to resurrect a trashed Kawasaki KE-175 that I salvaged from a scrap yard into a more modern ride. DIY “Dirt-E” bike conversion – […]

Biking sound system raises hell on wheels

Biking sound system raises hell on wheels

Here’s a nice way to annoy your neighbors while exercising around your local hood. The “Soul Cycle Chopper” is the ultimate party bike and best of all, it comes with instructions. How to build the “Soul Cycle Chopper” – Link, [via]

  • Posted by | November 22nd, 2007 10:38 AM
Electric VW bug

Electric VW bug

Check out this electric bug conversation with a 70 mile range! Thanks Andrew! – Link.

Carnegie Mellon wins DARPA's urban robot race

Carnegie Mellon wins DARPA’s urban robot race

Congrats to Red Whittaker and his team! In 2004 none of the robot driven cars made it to the finish line, but this year 6 of the 11 did – Link.

Flinstones toddler wheels

Flinstones toddler wheels

Screw Big Wheels. If I were a toddler, I’d wanna be yabba dabba dooin’ my way around the ‘hood in these awesome Flinstones wheels. Toddler Flintstone Car – Link



Sespence07 writes – This film explains how to sew a digital display for use as a car accessory. It was created by our very own Steve Spencer as part of a competition that Scion held called “Craft My Ride.” Steve has been working on this during nights and weekends and […]

Three wheel skates

Three wheel skates

This look like a lot of fun and could be a good (re)make – Link.

DIY Electric utility vehicle part 2

DIY Electric utility vehicle part 2

FrankG’s electric utility vehicle part II. He’s added a roof, body panels, plexi-glass windscreen, new batteries and a camo paint job as well as installing an “On-Board” 36V/35Amp charger and a simple analog meter array to monitor individual battery voltage – Link. Related: Electric utility vehicle part 1 – Link.

Play Tetris with a car

Fresh Creations sent in the latest of what we’ve called “game instantiations” – Park To Play is an installation which can turn any car into a joystick for playing games like Tetris, Pong, Space Invaders or Pinball. The car dashboard and the doors become the buttons on the joystick. Thijs […]

Homemade in-car camcorder mount

Homemade in-car camcorder mount

Chris writes – Here are some pictures and plans of an homemade in-car camcorder mount. It fits very stiffness on the passenger’s seat headrest allowing hands-free filming from the driver’s viewpoint. To make your own that fits your car, you’ll need approx. 2 feet of 3/4" aluminum or steel square […]

HOW TO - Make a rotary engine

HOW TO – Make a rotary engine

Mazda celebrates its 40th Anniversary of the Rotary Engine by showing you how they’re made, the videos are incredible. Thanks Jason! – Link.

MAKE hood ornament?

MAKE hood ornament?

iheartnewyork has a very maker-like hood ornament! Thanks Kaden!!!! – Link.

What would you do with a used Boeing 747?

What would you do with a used Boeing 747?

Todd writes – The following information may be of interest to Artists, Architects, Aviation Buffs, Crafty Types, Flight Sim Geeks, Readers of Make magazine, Survivalists, and/or Very Wealthy People with a Taste for Ostentation: Have you ever dreamed of purchasing your very own Boeing 747? Mojave_7472 If so, now is […]

Arduino - DIY Digital in car gauges (multisensor display)

Arduino – DIY Digital in car gauges (multisensor display)

Justin writes – I’ve been working on this project for about 6 months now. It’s a digital multigauge based on the arduino. In its current form it shows oil temp, turbo pressure, accelerometer readings, a timer, and two misc temps. The code is freely available (though not 100% complete) as […]

Self-balancing one-wheeled skateboard

Self-balancing one-wheeled skateboard

A friend saw this cruising around the Arizona State campus: Chris Coleman, a sculptor, has made a self-balancing one-wheeled skateboard based on Ben Smither’s design. He fabbed the metal frame himself, used an Arduino microcontroller, and published his code. Incredible; great job! Self-balancing one-wheeled skateboard – Link. Related: Homemade balancing […]

GreenRbot - lawnmower bot based on a wheelchair

GreenRbot – lawnmower bot based on a wheelchair

The GreenRbot is a lawnmower build using electric wheel chair parts – Link (French) and translation…

Motorized trailer pushes bicycle

Motorized trailer pushes bicycle

Popular Science 1937 – Link.

Tank limo

Tank limo

If you need a limo in the UK, book a tank limo (complete with D