DIY

batman_beyond_cosplay

As a youngin’ there were many basement attempts at making play armor.  For the most part they all failed. The seventies and eighties didn’t have the type of materials or the internet to make a creation like the above.

Even with those resources I doubt I would have been able to make anything like the above. It took a year to make and I expect that many yoga mats lost their lives in the process.

Source: BATMAN BEYOND Costume from Foam | The RPF Pulse

makerfaire-logo

Long time readers will know that I am a big proponent of Maker and DIY culture.  In other times and other places people grow up with this culture and it is natural for them.  I think it also becomes natural for the Tradespeople around us and those that grew up with parents that made things.

For a lot of us though if we want something we need to buy it, if what we want cannot be purchased then we are out of luck.  I know going to elementary school the sentiment was that if something was homemade then it was somehow worse than if you bought it at the store, regardless of merit or quality.

Changing that mindset was a revelation to me.  If I wanted something I could build it, if it didn’t exist I could design it.  My only limitations were money, access to materials and knowledge.  The first two could be overcome most of the time with ingenuity, the latter isn’t really a limit at all.  If I don’t know or understand something the only thing that is stopping me is me.

Maker Faires are a celebration of that mind set and the intelligence and drive of the human spirit, they are a physical manifestation of the term ‘American Ingenuity’.

When you attend the Faire this year you will see large companies and sponsors like our local Hasbrosmall companies like BLT Robotics with their computer controlled hydroponics units and individuals like Martin Lynn who designs practical objects from things we would normally throw away.

If you have never seen 3D printing, laser cutting, and other CNC technologies this will be your opportunity to experience them first hand.  The Faire is an all ages educational environment, some formal like learning how to solder workshops and some informal by talking to the creators, inventors and tinkerers themselves. You will see toys, art, jewelry, computers, practical and impractical machines, robots and things that are difficult to describe.

I go to events like this to be inspired and I hope we will see you there.   It may just spark a lifetime’s worth of enthusiasm for you, your friends or your loved ones.

The Mini Maker Faire this year will be held at three locations this year in Providence, RI from 11am to 6pm.  The locations are the Hasbro building at 1 Hasbro Place, along Adrian Hall Way and AS220 at 115 Empire St, all within walking distance from each other.   If you start at Hasbro the Dunkin’ Donuts Convention Center may be the easiest place to park.  The event is rain or shine so dress appropriately.

Tickets can be purchased HERE and detailed information can be found on the main website.  I’ll leave you with the promotional video from last year, enjoy.

 

 

2013-09-16 20.32.56

Something quick I threw together tonight.  It isn’t pretty but it works.  I have an Alienware M14x laptop.  I love this thing.  It basically is a desktop shoved into a laptop case.

It has two issues.  1. It gets really hot, like branding the Alienware logo into my legs hot. 2. If I breathe on the cord too hard it falls out.  I could also add that if I look at the cord too strongly it falls out.  If I look at the ceiling it falls out.  Basically the cord falls out.

Number one is easy to fix.  I bought a decent laptop cooler off of Amazon.  Number two was a bit of a challenge and I tried to ignore it for a long time.  I couldn’t stand it anymore so I brought up a pile of materials from my basement tonight not knowing exactly what I was going to do, the above is what I ended up with.

Instructions:

  • Cut a length of PVC pipe about 2-3 inches.
  • Drill two small holes in the back of the pipe near the edges (Which side is the back of the pipe is a philosophical question, wherever you drill it will be the back.  Cylinders are good like that.)  The holes should be large enough to accommodate cable ties.
  • Drill two larger holes on the front of the pipe with a diameter large enough to comfortably seat your power cord, drill these holes as close to the edge as is safe.
  • With a pair of rugged wire clippers remove the remaining plastic next to the edge of the larger holes so you have a ‘U’ shape on both sides.
  • Use a file to clean up the edges of both ‘U’s so it doesn’t tear into your power cord.

Now the tough part will be figuring out how to attach your new thingamabob to your laptop cooler.  I was lucky enough to have wide vents on the back of the cooler where I could loop small cable ties through the vents and the holes in the PVC without restricting airflow.  If this doesn’t work for you I would suggest industrial velcro unless you want to start drilling holes in the chassis of your laptop cooler.

After the PVC is attached to the cooler I ran my power cord through the PVC  and then looped it through again almost like a very loose knot.  The loop of the cable that remains outside of the PVC should seat snugly in the ‘U’s that you created on the front of the PVC.

That’s it.  If I wanted to make it more attractive I would probably paint the PVC with spray paint made with plastics.  Anyone can make anything better, you just need to decide that you can.