Make: Volume 84 — Speed Demons!

What’s new in digital fabrication? So much! In Make: Vol. 84 we show you how adding dedicated SBCs, like a Raspberry Pi, make 3D printers vastly smarter and up to five times faster. New laser engravers can cut metal for under $2,000, and cheap workhorse diode lasers are everywhere. Pro-level 3D scanning is on your phone, and 3D design software has a flavor for every style of maker. Now’s the time to level up!

Plus, we dive into how makers can (ethically) use generative A.I. to create audio, images, text, code, and 3D models for your next project!

Plus, 23 Projects & Skills, including:

  • Build a $30 Vertical Wind Turbine
  • Create Wearable Soft Speakers
  • Wow your friends with a DIY Ambient TV Backlight
  • Sew decorative Light-Up Zodiac Embroidery
  • Get involved with Amateur Radio and Software Defined Radio (SDR)
  • And much more!

On the cover: Portable and wicked fast, the Voron 0 is the little pony that started it all (seen above with its bigger and even faster cousin the Voron 2.4). Photos by Mark Madeo and Debra Ansell.

Table of Contents


Editor's Desk

The latest updates from Make: and readers like you.Page 05

Welcome: The Amateur Enthusiast

Newly minted ham radio operator Dale Dougherty reflects on the importance of amateurs building community and advancing tech.Page 06

MacGyver Challenge: S.O.S.!

Can you MacGyver an ocean rescue signal in time?Page 07

Made on Earth

Backyard builds from around the globe.Page 10


Unleash the Amateurs

Lessons from the early days of radio show that amateur enthusiasts can take tech farther than companies or governments imagine.Page 14

A Beautiful Sight to See Through

Students cut glass and solder to create stained-glass windows at Spokane’s On Track Academy.Page 18

Digital Fabrication

Speed Demons

Feel the need? A new generation of smarter machines are 3D printing up to 5 times faster.Page 24

3D Printing Gets a Brain

Klipper firmware leverages a full embedded computer to make printers faster than ever.Page 28

Start Scanning

3D scanning is easy with phone apps, photogrammetry, and accurate handheld and desktop machines.Page 30

CAD Your Way

What’s the best 3D design program? The one that fits your style! Narrow your search with these tips.Page 32

Print Me!

Find 3D models fast for printing at these popular repositories, each with its own flavor.Page 33

Which Laser Should You Buy?

Choose the diode, CO2, or fiber laser that’s right for your cutting and engraving projects.Page 34

Metal Blasters

Price break: Truly engrave metal for $2K or less, with a new crop of infrared lasers.Page 38

Creative AI

Generative AI for Makers

From art to 3D design to text, audio, and code, AI has truly arrived. Learn how it works and how it can help you make and craft.Page 42

AI Tools You Can Use Right Now

Get your hands dirty making your computer do the creative work. Here are dozens of AI tools to try.Page 50



What’s better than a cube of 150 LED pixels? Why, a sphere of 150 LED pixels!Page 54

30 Dollar Wind Turbine

Crank out the kilowatts with this ultra affordable DIY vertical axis wind generator.Page 64

Bright Lights, Big TV

Elevate your home entertainment setup with this Pi-powered ambient television backlight system.Page 74

Squishy Tech: Soft Speakers

Experiment with making wearable speakers and haptics using conductive textiles.Page 82

Anyone Can Use AI

Use a micro:bit to build your first AI project. From our upcoming book, AI Robots.Page 90

Zodiac Embroidery

What’s your star sign? Stitch your favorite constellation and light it up for all to see.Page 96

Amateur Scientist: King of the Ring of Fire

Measure twilight glows to reveal the height of Tonga’s volcano eruption — the highest ever recorded.Page 100

LED Pipe Dreams

Build a DIY seven-segment digital clock with glowing, flowing light pipes.Page 104

Make a Hygge Book Lamp

A few easy cross-stitches and you’ll be reading by cozy candlelight.Page 108

Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Mini Infinity Cube

Reach for the stars with this simple kaleidoscope.Page 110

Skill Builder

3D Scanning Artworks

Expert tips on capturing the classics volumetrically.Page 112

Getting Started With Software Defined Radio (SDR)

Eavesdrop on virtually the entire radio spectrum — for 30 bucks!Page 116



Gear up with the latest tools and kits for makers.Page 122

Over the Top

“A Shrine to His Tools”

Henry O. Studley’s tool chest is a work of art, packing nearly 300 tools into a handcrafted wooden marvel.Page 128