Friday, 31 March 2017

Filament Friday: Taulman3D T-Glase

One of the most common plastics we come in contact with everyday is PET, it’s what they use to make plastic water and soda bottles from. PET is strong, food safe, and can be made optically clear. You can also print with it on your 3D printer to get some […]

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Tips of the Week: Holding Nuts with Tape, Paper Patterns and Templates, Acetate Over-Notes

Another week of great tips from the maker community and around the DIY web.

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Design the Worst Cup Ever to Compete in Our April Fool’s Contest!

In the spirit of April Fool's, we want to see the most infuriating drinking cup that you can design.

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

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

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OpenAPS Offers Open Source Tools for Diabetes Management

OpenAPS allows a person to use data from their CGM with a small computer to adjust the insulin being delivered through a pump.

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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Making an Impressive Working Robotic Arm from Cardboard

Watch this working robotic arm being built from little more than cardboard and medical syringes.

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Review: Boxzy Is a 3-in-1 Hybrid Desktop Fabrication Machine

As a jack-of-all-trades the BoXZY can do multiple things ­— and can do them well.

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Kniterate Launches Kickstarter for Automated Knitting Machine

Knitting something? Kniterate prints an entire knitted garment of your design within a desktop space in a matter of hours.

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Public Sculpting Project at Worthington Libraries

Today’s feature comes to us from Lisa Fuller, Director of Community Engagement for the Worthington Libraries in Worthington, Ohio. Lisa shares a recent (and under way) public sculpting project that has been the catalyst for a new suite of creativity-focused programs at the library. Enjoy! ~Laura

by Lisa Fuller

Earlier this year, the Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries, affiliated with Worthington Libraries in Worthington, Ohio, commissioned a public art project with sculptor Mike Tizzano. The goal was to create a unique piece of art that would embody the spirit of the public library as a place of learning, community and fun.

In the last two iterations of its summer reading program, the Library used cartoon-like illustrations of a fox, owl and raccoon in the program graphics. The community response to the characters, appearing the first year as super heroes and the next as adventurous campers, was overwhelming. They were even given names by a fourth grade class (Asparagus the fox, Winston the owl, and Ricky the raccoon) and became the library’s unofficial mascots, joining staff on parades and adorning t-shirts, temporary tattoos and sew-on patches. During the initial brainstorming sessions with Mike Tizzano, library staff presented the idea of using the characters in the sculpture with a more realistic portrayal similar to the art of Beatrix Potter.

Asparagus, Winston, and Ricky prepare for the 2017 Summer Reading Club at Worthington Libraries.

Tizzano created a maquette of the piece, called Reading with Friends, and featuring a raccoon, fox and owl sharing a book. This was approved for larger scale production and the artist began work in the lobby of Old Worthington Library on March 13. He will spend 15 hours per week through October carving the sculpture and fielding questions from library patrons until it heads to a foundry in fall. It will be installed outside the Library in April 2018.

Worthington Libraries is planning a series of public programs for all ages to coincide with the public art project. These include sculpture programs, open studio time for families and outreach programs in partnership with the local parks department. The library’s 2017 summer reading club will also be art-based and features the three familiar characters of Asparagus, Winston and Ricky as famous artists. It’s the library’s hope that this project and its complementary programming, will inspire people to explore their own creativity and that the sculpture will be enjoyed by the community for generations.



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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Launching a Kickstarter: Strategy, Learnings, and What’s Next for TechnoChic

Natasha Dzurny shares her experience with us while she is in the midst of running a Kickstarter for her Light-Up Paper Bow Ties.

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The MakeShift Challenge: High School Lockdown

The school has been put on lockdown, you're trapped in a room, and a classmate needs insulin. What would MacGyver do?

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What I Learned from Building a Giant CNC Router Kit

Caleb Kraft built a 5'x10' CNC router kit and learned a few things. He has some tips for those who wish to build their own kit.

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A day in the life of a teen writing group

This post originally appeared on the LAIP in March 2016.

Writing in a library means that participants have gone out of their comfort zone to perform an intimate act of creation among both friends and strangers. It’s really quite brave!

pencil-878695_960_720

by Ally Blumenfeld

All across the country, libraries are offering writing programs for adults and teens, ranging from formal workshops led by local writers to unrestricted opportunities to free-write. While it seems natural for writing to happen in a place with associated with reading, writing groups are about more than putting pen to paper. Writers gather to discuss the craft, give and receive feedback, and participate in the experience of sharing. Writing in a library means that participants have gone out of their comfort zone to perform an intimate act of creation among both friends and strangers. It’s really quite brave!

Writing groups can be exceptionally challenging and enriching for teens. Maddy Santore, Young Adult Librarian at Paterson Free Public Library (PFPL), told me about her experiences with getting teens writing and sharing in an urban public library.

Teen Writing Group

First: it’s easier than you’d think! Maddy often begins Writing and Drawing Group meetings by offering a unique 20-30 minute prompt to get the teens thinking creatively. One time, she wrote down various places, settings, characters, and situations and had teens draw one of each at random. The challenge was to create a story or drawing using all four features; the rest was up for interpretation. One of her favorite stories was one about a superhero lost in a grocery store on Mars.

There is rich diversity among the teens at PFPL, and as in any group, a variety of comfort levels. The rules of a teen writing group should be flexible and forgiving. Teens aren’t required to share their work, though many will. “There might be one or two who hesitate,” Maddy explains, “but when they see the others sharing, they often do, too.”

The rules of a teen writing group should be flexible and forgiving.

Maddy joins in and writes, too — and the teens expect her to share! For her, it’s a chance to become more than just a proctor while they write, and to make herself seem more accessible than most other adults in the their lives.

When it comes to giving feedback, there are no imposed limits on what teens can and cannot say to one another. Most often, teens will offer suggestions rather than criticisms, focusing on their own ideas and finding similarities–ways to relate–to others’ work as opposed to finding faults within it. The teens genuinely understand and respect the courage it takes to share their work. They are remarkably willing to open up to each other. Many have a deep understanding of the healing, joy, or escapism that writing and drawing offer.

At this stage in these young writers’ lives, writing is a hobby, and so participants can enjoy the freedom of a low-pressure environment where the act of sharing is valued more than the need for improvement.

At this stage in these young writers’ lives, writing is a hobby, and so participants can enjoy the freedom of a low-pressure environment where the act of sharing is valued more than the need for improvement. Maddy believes that it’s simply “a chance to stretch themselves creatively, to draw or write something they might not on their own.”

Since the club’s inception in November, teens have been writing and drawing just as much in their free time, but will now often show their work to Maddy and ask for her opinion. The Writing and Drawing Club helps these burgeoning writers and artists appreciate the art of feedback, and the value of sharing.

 

Want More?

At the Incubator, we love creativity exercises, so if you’re interested in hosting a teen writing workshop and don’t know where to start, we HIGHLY recommend Lynda Barry’s wonderful book What It Is. She believes anyone can write and draw– and we agree!  Check out more about Lynda’s class, The Unthinkable Mind on Open Culture.

 

ally photoAlly Blumenfeld is a Reference Librarian at Paterson Free Public Library in Paterson, New Jersey.



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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Make a Bird Activity Monitor and Feeder with Arduino

Create a digital bird feeder that can monitor weather and bird activity.

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Maker Pro News: Quirky Reboots, Lawyers for Maker Pros, and More

Invention platform Quirky is back from bankruptcy, plus the latest news about making and business.

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Maker Spotlight: Julia Dvorin

Julia Dvorin wants makers from around the world to fly their Freak Flag high! She aims to highlight the diversity within the maker movement.

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

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

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Monday, 27 March 2017

MakeVR Lets You Create 3D Models in Virtual Reality with Real CAD

There’s a new 3D modeler in VR town and it feels like a game-changer — MakeVR was released today by Vive Studios and Sixense. We tested early versions on the HTC Vive system and I can testify it’s an amazing experience, very intuitive and so natural feeling — you just […]

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Make Your Own Pocket Hole Jig

A jig you can fashion n your shop that allows you to make pocket holes without a commercial jig and special hardware.

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5 Tips to Make Injection Molding Less Daunting

go from 100 to 10,000 without fear.

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Create Custom Screen Printing Designs at Home

The enthusiasm of the open source and maker movements has led to quite a democratization of tools. Capabilities once reserved for professional or academic users have become staples of our daily lives. One of the earliest tool sets that changed the world after it became democratized was printing. This happened in […]

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Sunday, 26 March 2017

This Week in Making: A Zelda Ocarina, Robotic Darts, and Pi…Pie?

The 2017 Hackaday Project started just last Monday. The event is divided into five different challenges spread throughout the year with over $250K in cash prizes. The first challenge, Design Your Concept, continues through May 1. Those who wish to participate are tasked with creating something that will assist with exploring the unexplored. Creators need […]

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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Weekend Watch: Everything from Rock Climbing to Camera Rigs with MAX Maker

If you’re tired of watching normal YouTube videos, why not take it to the Max with MAX Maker? Max’s projects are an eclectic mix of well-made builds, ranging from a motorized camera slider, to a steak knife handle, to a large ruler case. If you do watch his videos, you’ll […]

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Friday, 24 March 2017

Filament Friday: 3D-Fuel’s Biome3D Is a Plant-Based Plastic

If you are looking to add a luster to your prints without the hassles of post processing, this is a great choice that comes with a nice environmental bonus.

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Tips of the Week: Drilling Hooks, Concept Sketching, Electronics Helper App

How to drill hooks, think with a pen, point with a tape measure, and tune up a timer chip.

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Build a Simple Cocktail Drinkbot with Arduino

Big parties need a conversation piece, and what’s better than a drink-making robot? Not only is it a good conversation starter, it also frees up the party host who would normally be the bartender. It turned out that the drink robot was a really good idea. The Mai Tai recipe presented here […]

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These Intricate, Hand Built Suits of Armor Are Fit for a Cat

Jeff De Boer builds fantastical armor to fit cats and mice.

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

How to Build a Tabletop Light Box

John Park shows you how to make a tabletop photography light box that assembles with simple magnetic catches.

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Germany Ignites Creativity with 8 Huge Maker Faires in 2017, Starting with Ruhr

Ruhr, Germany, is getting ready for a Maker Faire this weekend, full of exciting projects to explore. Check out these 5 exciting things we're looking forward to.

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Crowdfunding Tips and Tricks for Creators and Backers Alike

Crowdfunding is a fast-moving target these days, with niche sites emerging, a growing ecology of support services, the emergence of equity funding, and more. After talking to makers who’ve both successfully launched and backed projects, and to those in the crowdfunding business, we put together this collection of tips, tricks, […]

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9 Biohacking Projects and Resources to Inspire Your Next Experiment

Whether you’re ready to convert your garage into a full blown laboratory or just want to try a few fun experiments with your friends, here are some projects to inspire and to DIY. Agent Unicorn Anouk Wipprecht designed this playful unicorn horn to aid ADHD researchers by making EEG sensors […]

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Art of PCBs and Gonzo Circuits

Etching art, whimsy, and improvisation into your circuit boards.

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The MakeShift Challenge: Survive a Deserted Island

Can you find water and survive on a deserted island?

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This Steampunk Remote Controls the Radio with Style

When you pick up the remote control to your stereo, are you pleased with how it looks? Most of us don’t put much thought into it, because they’re typically so bland that they’re nearly invisible. Michael Greensmith (@Bricabracwizard) wanted to take a different approach. “I wanted a remote control that’s so […]

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Maker Spotlight: Cynthia Cho

Meet Cynthia Cho

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Why aren’t adults allowed to be creative?

This post originally appeared on the LAIP in March 2016.

Adult programs tend to have a lot more to do with learning than they do with making. How do we balance the scales of creative programming to give our older patrons more opportunities to create?

art-supplies-957576_960_720

photo via pixabay

by Ally Blumenfeld

If it seems like children typically have more fun in the library than adults do, it’s probably true. Where are all the art supplies in the library? In the Children’s Department, of course! And who’s waiting to get on a public computer to print out tax forms? Adults. When I was handed some of the programming reins at Paterson Free Public Library, my first call to action was creating a Game Night for Grown Ups and an Art Night for Adults. Why should kids get all the fun?

For Art Night, I wanted to start small, so I started with adult coloring. I’m not typically one for trends, but this is one bandwagon I hopped on with fervor. It couldn’t be simpler: free copies of “adult coloring book” pages abound, and coloring pencils, tables, and chairs aren’t hard to find in a library. In our current climate of tight budgets, coloring is a cheap and simple way to get adults creating in the library. It’s less pressure than, say, a figure drawing class or a paint night. Patrons who do have advanced art skills bring their own sketchbooks or drawing paper, and create alongside those simply coloring inside the lines. But creative programming can be so much more than just coloring.

Libraries in cities like mine are too often overwhelmed by the great deal of need our patrons bring with them to the library. We offer help with needs: access to social services, healthcare enrollment assistance, and computer classes. We need to balance this with wants: relaxation, creativity, entertainment, and conversation.

South Brunswick Public Library in South Brunswick, New Jersey has one of the most well-rounded adult program calendars I have ever seen. From Tai Chi to Cooking Club, English Conversation Group to World Cinema Club, and Yoga Class to Knitting Club, adults come to SBPL for more than what they need — they come for what they want. Adults also come to the library to create: SBPL offers biweekly Zen Coloring and Drawing and a monthly craft program for adults.

Crafternoon-at-SBPL

Barbara Battles, Head of Outreach Services, explained that the way the library is staffed helps to provide a wide variety of programs in many different interest areas. A part-time librarian runs the cooking program; the librarian who purchases the DVDs runs the film program; book clubs and computer classes are run by several different librarians; and Battles, with a background in fine arts, runs the crafting program. Additionally, the library utilizes the interests of its volunteers to host programs and classes: volunteers are free to offer their talents as opposed to being put to work in the stacks. Programming at SBPL is a library-wide effort, allowing for a huge range of diverse and creative programs for adults.

Everyone has something to escape from, and many people have at least the most basic inclination to create. ~Jill D’Amico

And adults certainly come! Jill D’Amico, Head of Information Services, says, “Everyone has something to escape from, and many people have at least the most basic inclination to create. We did it as younger people in school, and now, in a low-pressure place where you can work alongside others without competing, adults are free to experiment and try new things.” For the adults in my library, Art Night is about re-connecting with an old hobby in a judgment-free zone. It’s a chance to flex the creative muscles we ardently encourage among children, but forget to foster in adults.

What do you think? Are enough libraries inviting their adult patrons to indulge in creative projects, whether it be coloring, cooking, crafting, or writing? How can we better utilize the talents of our staff and volunteers to improve the range of our adult programming?

 

ally photoAlly Blumenfeld is a Reference Librarian at Paterson Free Public Library in Paterson, New Jersey.

 

 



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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Rallying the Community for a Maker in Need: Joey Hudy Recovery Fund

We've watched Joey grow up in the maker community. Now he needs our support.

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Announcing the Winner of Our Pi Day Contest

Our Pi Day contest just ended, and we got a ton of clever, creative entries. Although we could only choose one winner, we want to highlight the batch of awesome runner-up projects that made our decision so hard.

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Dara Dotz on Applying Maker Skills to Disaster Areas

Field Ready is a nonprofit that applies maker skills in disaster areas and communities of need. Read on for co-founder Dara Dotz' advice on what to do, how to solve problems, and what's next for humanitarian aid.

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Watch as “Ask a Lawyer” Tackles Legality in the Maker World

Law is an increasingly important part of maker culture. Everyone has questions and these guys have answers.

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The Labs @ CLP: New Mentors and Training with Badges

In the last few months we’ve experienced a complete turnover of our team of Labs Mentors. Two have moved on to full-time Teen Specialist gigs at weekly Labs locations (Jesse as a Teen Specialist at CLP – Main, Teen Department and Sienna as a Teen Librarian at CLP – Allegheny) where their skills as Labs Mentors are still utilized on a daily basis, while the other two have moved on to new adventures outside of the Library. Patrick Coyle, a talented local musician and filmmaker, is one of our new Mentors and, as you’ll see in the following post, he brings a fresh perspective and a great energy to the gig. In our latest post to the LAIP blog, Patrick discusses being a new mentor and our current focus: tweaking the design of our badging system and model of staff training so both can be expanded across all CLP locations.

While we have experimented with training before led by myself and other Labs staff, we now realize it’s imperative to share the responsibility of teaching and learning across our team if we want it to be successful. By the end of May we hope to have a model for badging that can be utilized at all library locations (not just those with weekly Labs programming) as well as a model for peer-to-peer staff learning sessions that not only result in staff learning new skills, but in learning to facilitate informal, project-based learning programs for patrons, too. Enjoy!

(P.S. Check back in May for a follow-up to our last post by Tara Goe about lending music devices at our Main Library. It’s going great so far!)

~Corey Wittig, Digital Learning Lead Librarian, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Patrick Coyle (center rear) leads CLP Teen Specialists in a “Photography 101” training at CLP – East Liberty (photo: Ben Filio for The Sprout Fund)

by Patrick Coyle

It’s been a little over a month since Flory Gessner, Hannah Thompson and I began our positions as Teen Mentors in The Labs program at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP), and we immediately dove headfirst into establishing connections with youth at our assigned library locations. We were thrilled to get to know everyone and work to explore their passions. Since the start, this position has been a lovely sort of dance, one that involves the many movements and flourishes of both teens and staff alike, and I’ve enjoyed learning the steps and also having the space to come up with my own.

Vital to every routine is practice and preparation, and I feel like that aspect is most visible in the recent trainings that Corey Wittig, Digital Learning Lead Librarian for CLP, has implemented as part of a grant to flesh out the library’s system of badges that have existed in beta at just a few library locations over the last couple of years. These peer-to-peer staff training sessions just began at the beginning of March, but they already feel helpful and necessary for three reasons: they get us closer to having new and improved badges that will lend to more concrete learning for teens; they allow staff a time to share their skills so that we all have a wider breadth of knowledge; they provide the space for staff to get used to teaching workshops within the two hour time frame, very much like the time frame that the mentors have on their workshop days.

I got to lead one of these training sessions last week, a run through of the Point N’ Shoot and the DSLR badges so we could work on, and it had a similar vibe to a usual workshop with teens: we were learning things together, having hands on experience with the materials, and utilizing the library space to arrive at some sort of finished product. It was a lot of fun stretching our legs while we gallivanted around the first floor of CLP – East Liberty, using our phones to capture the various aspects of composition, then messing around with the DSLRs, achieving proper exposure, toying with depth of field, and adjusting shutter speed to create motion blur.

Photos: Ben Filio for The Sprout Fund

It felt very refreshing to teach in this environment, because at times I would be at a loss for words when describing a technical aspect of the camera, only to be saved by someone proposing an answer or asking a question that helped knock some of the terms loose, and it was also very nice to have Ben Filio from The Sprout Fund chime in whenever we needed a helping hand. Thanks for the photos and the help, Ben!

Photo: Ben Filio for The Sprout Fund

At the end of the session, we all felt like we learned something collaboratively, and after reflecting on these sessions as a whole and their continued implementation, I’m reminded that our mentor positions are in a state of transition. When August rolls around, The Labs mentors will move to new branch locations to establish brand new Labs locations, and since our time and attention will be spent expanding programming there, we must do as much as we can now to make sure staff at the existing Labs sites are prepared to continue providing guidance and access to these new resources for their teens. These badge-training sessions are a big part of how we’re preparing our staff to do just that.

Want More?

 

Patrick Coyle is a mentor in The Labs at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – East Liberty. With a background in music and film production, he loves writing songs, collaborating with others on creative projects, and helping people discover their own passions.



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Monday, 20 March 2017

Who on Earth Needs a Ninja Timer?

John Edgar Park builds a giant 7-segment display timer for a Ninja obstacle course.

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The Moving Gear Inlay in This Coffee Table Is Mesmerizing

After seeing the gear-filled Executive desk by Dale Mathis during a trip to Las Vegas, Thomas Lerchenfeld was inspired to build a coffee table version. His table design (seen here on imgur) was inspired by, and is very close in design to, the one seen in the video below by […]

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Watch the Tiny Moving Scenes in This Shark Submarine Sculpture

Fine artist and self-described master hoarder Nemo Gould conjures up fantastic sculptures made entirely of found objects. Rich wood and gleaming chrome catch the eye as they cycle through their kinetic loops, while tentacles and antennae extend in a playful fashion like a sci-fi comic book come to life. The […]

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Meet the Aerospace Engineer Baker at Maker Faire UK

Andrew Smyth shares his excitement for the upcoming Maker Faire UK, where he'll be showing off his baking and engineering skills with a live build!

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

This Week in Making: Lego Tape, A Bottle-Flipping Robot, Lab Grown Chicken Strips, and More

Tape that can make any surface Lego compatible, a bottle flipping robotic arm, and lab grown chicken strips? It's been a good week.

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Saturday, 18 March 2017

Friday, 17 March 2017

Filament Friday: Proto-Pasta Matte Fiber HTPLA

A lot of filament addresses how a print will look, but Proto-Pasta's new Matte Fiber filament also gives a textured, grippy feel to your prints.

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Tips of the Week: Drill Tricks, Wire Strips, and Binder Clips

Weird fun with your drill, sure-fire wire stripping, and unearthing gems from old project notebooks.

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These Cute Retro Droids Are Actually 3D Printed

Brett Mich, a Wisconsin-based toy inventor, spends his free time crafting one-of-a-kind robot sculptures to sell.

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Cut Custom Foam Inserts to Store Fragile Equipment

Use craft store foam to cushion fragile equipment, like cameras and electronics.

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

6 Methods of Plugging Pocket Holes

Who knew there were so many methods for filling and plugging pocket holes?

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We Love These Tiny Embroidered Skeletons

Artist Britt Hutchinson, better known as Tiny Cup Needleworks (@tinycup_), has only been doing hand embroidery for about three years, but she’s already amassed nearly 76,000 Instagram followers with her charmingly teeny tiny needlework. She often photographs her work alongside a quarter to highlight its minuscule scale. “There’s something incredibly satisfying […]

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Oakland’s Open Insulin Project Aims to Disrupt Diabetes

Medical patents typically last 20 years, but because of minor yet regular advancements to the insulin production process, these patents have been maintained for nearly a century. Biohackers working on the Open Insulin Project are now working to come up with their own protocol to create the compound that diabetics […]

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Fabricate Your Own Threaded Parts with Taps and Dies

Screws and bolts are simple options for fastening two pieces of material together. As you might have guessed, the secret is in the threads, but how would you go about making your own? In this section, we’ll go over the tap and die, a set of tools that allows you […]

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The Arizona Songwriters Gathering at Glendale Public Library

Today we talk with Ivy Jarvis, a librarian for the Glendale Public Library in Glendale, AZ, and an organizer for the Arizona Songwriters Gathering, an annual event that takes advantage of the library’s indoor and outdoor community spaces. Enjoy! ~Laura

Check out the full press release for the gathering

Library as Incubator Project (LAIP): What was the impetus for starting the Songwriters Gathering? Was it library-initiated, community-initiated? 

Ivy Jarvis (IJ): The Arizona Songwriters Gathering was founded in 1996 by Lon Austin.  At the time, Lon Austin was the recreation coordinator at the City of Phoenix’s Encanto Park.  He approached the Arizona Songwriters Association president, Jon Iger, and ASA member Gavan Wieser about offering a co-sponsored program at his venue.  Together, they organized a program offering lectures and workshops on various topics of interest to songwriters, as well as providing songwriters with an opportunity to perform their original songs in front of an audience.  In 2008, the Songwriters Gathering lost its venue and sought out a new home in neighboring Glendale.  
 
Anne Owens, who was the adult programming librarian for Glendale Public Library, had already established a tradition of strong cultural programming for Glendale residents.  She created a bimonthly “Coffeehouse” program featuring local musicians, as well as a weekly “Live @ the Library” series offering high-quality cultural performances.  The City of Glendale’s Parks and Recreation department was also hosting the annual Glendale Folk and Heritage Festival at a historic park right next door to the Main Glendale Public Library.  The Arizona Songwriters Gathering fit into the larger cultural picture of what was already happening in Glendale.  Today, the Gathering is organized each year by a committee consisting of librarian Ivy Jarvis and songwriters Jon Iger, Randy Brown, Lon Austin, and Andy Hurlbut. A team of volunteers helps make the day run smoothly.  

LAIP: What has the response been like to the program since its inception? 

IJ: The Arizona Songwriters Gathering has retained a fairly stable audience of around 400 attendees every year. Songwriters and music lovers alike enjoy this day of networking, sharing, listening, and learning.  Some songwriters come to hone their craft and learn tips and techniques for getting their songs recorded, copyrighted, and/or featured in TV and film; others are interested in playing their original songs in front of an accepting audience. 
 
Unlike some of the larger “mega-events” that Glendale offers, The Arizona Songwriters Gathering is not designed to attract thousands of people.  This free special event adds to the quality of life in our city by bringing people with similar interests together on a smaller scale.  The day has a bit of magic in it.  Everyone is very warm and encouraging, and participants love the opportunity to reunite with this unique group every January.  Some lecturers, performers and attendees travel in from out of town and even from out of state to participate. So far as we know, it is the only program of its kind.  

LAIP: What advice do you have for a library or community that is interested in getting a similar program off the ground? 

IJ: My advice to others wanting to offer a similar program is to tap into the talents, personalities, and interests of your staff.  If it weren’t for Lon Austin’s vision in 1996, the Arizona Songwriters Gathering wouldn’t exist.  His passion for folk music and songwriting brought us this successful event 21 years ago.   
 
Look to your community to inspire programming topics and ideas. The Arizona Songwriters Gathering is a natural fit for Glendale because it works as a part of the larger cultural picture in the library and the city as a whole.   
 
Consider logistics as well; the Arizona Songwriters Gathering is literally a good fit for our library thanks to our large meeting room wing and extensive outdoor area, both of which are ideally suited for a festival-type program like this.   
 
Finally, once you’ve decided what type of program you are interested in offering, reach out to the experts in the field. Attempt to create partnerships with professional organizations in your area.



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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Catching Up with Josef Prusa at the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards

Josef Prusa shares his enthusiasm with us at SXSW, where he was nominated for an Interactive Innovation Award.

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5 Labs That Use 3D Printing for Biohacking Projects

When it comes to fabricating with cells, these groups are leading the charge with DIY bioprinters and innovative methods.

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The MakeShift Challenge: Save a Man Stuck in a Fissure

Can you save a man, with a broken leg, who's stuck in a fissure that's filling up with toxic gas?

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