Make: Volume 44

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This issue is all about drones! Check out the high-flying action of drone racing, where pilots fly using first-person video rigs. Then build the Hovership, a popular customized racing drone, and get tips setting up your own race track. Or if videography is more appealing, build the easy-to-fly Maker Hangar Tricopter and take smooth videos without props getting in the way. And you’ll get some quick tips on how to waterproof your drone to survive those unexpected water landings.

Plus, turn your smartphone into a microscope and capture amazing close-ups, build an acoustic guitar body out of stylish, durable carbon fiber, make a loudspeaker by vibrating an electric arc, and much more!

Build these projects from the issue!


Toy Inventor's Notebook: Build a Classic Cartesian Diver Toy

Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Build a Classic Cartesian Diver Toy

Cartesian diver toy "Diving Tony" was a cereal box favorite. You can make one quickly from just a few parts. Use clear PETG tubing and a piece of solid styrene to make the diver follow your commands.

How to Clone and Grow a Fig Tree

How to Clone and Grow a Fig Tree

Don’t steal fruit from your neighbor’s fig tree — clone it!

Howtoons: Make Butter with Reverse Emulsion

Howtoons: Make Butter with Reverse Emulsion

Making butter is easy! All you need is a mason jar and heavy whipping cream.

Make a High Voltage Plasma Arc Speaker

Make a High Voltage Plasma Arc Speaker

Create a high-voltage loudspeaker that makes sound waves by vibrating an electric arc.

Artists Sculpt Sweet Cityscapes out of Sugar Cubes

Artists Sculpt Sweet Cityscapes out of Sugar Cubes

Over the past decade, Jamison has constructed a myriad of elaborate structures using nothing but sugar cubes and adhesive

How I Made a Carbon Fiber Acoustic Guitar

How I Made a Carbon Fiber Acoustic Guitar

Carbon fiber isn't going to replace wood body guitars anytime soon, but for those who want something different here’s how I made the body for my carbon fiber acoustic guitar.

Build Your First Tricopter

Build Your First Tricopter

Tricopters fly smoother than quads and make better videos. Build the Maker Hangar Tricopter and see for yourself!

Pi Spy Surveillance System

Pi Spy Surveillance System

The Raspberry Pi B+, Pi Camera Module, and free MotionPie software make it easy to keep a discreet eye on things

Hovership: 3D-Printed Racing Drone

Hovership: 3D-Printed Racing Drone

Building your own mini quad is a good way to get your first rig while learning the fundamentals of multirotor flight and piloting

Review: Printrbot Simple Maker’s Kit

Review: Printrbot Simple Maker’s Kit

In 2013, Printrbot released the Simple and shook up the consumer 3D printer market. At $299, it smashed the competitions’ lowest price points and created a price war on Kickstarter. To achieve these cost savings, Printrbot created and adopted a few interesting tricks — some worked, some didn’t. Surprisingly for such […]

Your Obedient Servo

Your Obedient Servo

Learn the secret language of pulse modulation to master the continuous rotation servo

Drone Derby 101: Rules for FPV Racing

Drone Derby 101: Rules for FPV Racing

Set up your own FPV race with these handy guidelines

Formula FPV: Drone Racing is Taking Off

Formula FPV: Drone Racing is Taking Off

Fast and fun, first-person-view races are rocketing in popularity.

How to Protect Your R/C Electronics from the Elements

How to Protect Your R/C Electronics from the Elements

Even a relatively small puddle can ruin your high-flying fun — safeguard your investment with a few readily available products.

Charles Goodyear and the Vulcanization of Rubber

Charles Goodyear and the Vulcanization of Rubber

Re-create the process that gave us car tires, rubber bands, and the boots on your feet

Easy Mega Infinity Mirror

Easy Mega Infinity Mirror

This quick build makes a door-sized star portal — or a vertiginous beer-pong table!

DIY “Nutella” Spread

DIY “Nutella” Spread

Make your own chocolate-hazelnut paste that’s better than store-bought

Build a Twilight Photometer to Detect Stratospheric Particles

Build a Twilight Photometer to Detect Stratospheric Particles

Have you wondered why some sunsets are so spectacular and others so drab? This ultra-sensitive photometer project will allow you to tease out the secrets of twilight and even do serious science by finding the altitude of the dust, smoke, and air pollution that influence the colors of twilight.

Smartphone Microscope

Smartphone Microscope

Take amazing high-magnification photos with your own phone and the lens from a cheap laser pointer.

Behold, The Noodle Copter!

Behold, The Noodle Copter!

A quadcopter made from pool noodles. Surprisingly practical and good looking (from a distance)!

Skill Builder — Understanding Basic Woodworking Tools

Skill Builder — Understanding Basic Woodworking Tools

Woodworker Len Cullum runs through the basic tools, measuring tools, and power tools used in woodworking.

Banana Oxidation Art

Banana Oxidation Art

How to tattoo a banana.