Make Talk (DIY)






April 2014
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Rick Schertle is the creator of one of our most popular projects in MAKE: the compressed air rocket launcher, which uses PVC pipe and a sprinkler valve to blast a paper rocket high into the air. Rick is also the creator of the folding wing rocket glider, which takes the standard balsa wood glider and turns it into something that flies a lot higher and longer. And most recently, Rick wrote a project that shows you how to make a catapult launcher that sends the rocket glider even higher. I spoke to Rick about these projects and more.

Direct download: maketalk_020.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 5:54 PM

Our maker this week is Matt Richardson. Matt's a video producer, a writer, a maker of things, a technology consultant, and a student at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. Matt wrote two articles for MAKE volume 32. One of them is a BeagleBone tutorial and the other one shows how to make his awesome -- I mean -- wonderful Awesome Button. Matt also co-wrote (with Shawn Wallace) a new MAKE book called Getting Started with Raspberry Pi, an introduction to the business card sized $35 Linux computer.

I spoke to Matt from his workshop in Brooklyn.


Direct download: maketalk019.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 1:04 AM

Our maker this week is Isaiah Saxon (@isaiah_saxon_). He's the co-founder of, an organization that encourages kids to make stuff and is a film director at Encyclopedia Pictura, which has made videos for the musician Bjork and others (the image above is from Bjork's "Wanderlust" video).

He's also working on an animated feature film about a group of DIY kids who have to rebuild civilization. Above, a gallery of screenshots of concept art for the movie (Click on the images to enlarge them.) Here's a time-lapse videothat shows how Isaiah creates his amazing artwork. Here's Isaiah's answer to a question that he didn't get to answer fully during my interview with him. My question was about Was he planning on making it a nonprofit organization or a for-profit company? Here is his answer:

We decided to structure as a for-profit startup because we know that if we create a tool that boosts kids' creativity, that will be of tremendous value to parents. Rather than being a non-profit and begging wealthy donors to fund us, we aim to build a great service that parents are excited to pay for. We'll never sell information about our users to advertisers and we'll never allow advertising on the site. Membership to will include embroidered skill patches that come in the mail once earned, and potentially a kit service as well. Using a majority of the site's features will remain free for non-members. Also, we use a very flexible Creative Commons license for all the content uploaded to the site, and our team releases much of DIY's platform as open source on a nearly weekly basis.

MAKE profiled Isaiah Saxon and his partners at Encyclopedia Pictura in MAKE volume 30. Here's a PDF of the article.


Direct download: maketalk_018.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 9:23 PM

In this episode of the Make: Talk podcast I interviewed Joel Murphy. He's an artist living in Brooklyn and owns a business designing and fabricating electro-mechanical projects for artists and designers. He teaches Physical Computing at Parsons the New School for Design, and he owns Rachel’s Electronics, an online store for electronics kits and breakout boards. He's the co-creator of the Pulse Sensor, an Arduino compatible sensor that measures heart rate beats per minute. (Here's a how-to article about making a headband with the Pulse Sensor in MAKE, Volume 29).


Direct download: maketalk016.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 3:53 AM

Backyard BallisticsIn this episode of Make: Talk, I interviewed William Gurstelle, a contributing editor to MAKE. I've interviewed Bill before on this podcast, but I invited him back on the show again because the second edition of his classic book, Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices, just came out. If you like making things that fly, explode, or catch on fire, you'll want to stick around for my interview with Bill.

Direct download: maketalk017.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 1:05 AM

Here's the 15th episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk!

Our maker this week is Matthew Borgatti. Matthew makes so many things it's hard to even begin to describe it all: musical instruments, science fiction-themed jewelry, folded paper creations, realistic passports to hackerspaces, ceramic "brass knuckles," and on and on. This was a really great interview, and I'm sure you are going to enjoy it. Here's a terrific page of information Matthew created for listeners of this podcast.

In the show, I also talk a bit about the new issue of MAKE, Vol 30, which is available on newsstands now and by subscription. We've got a great line up of projects in this issue, including how-to's on making indestructable LED Torches, an electronic Magic 8 Box Fortune Teller, all sorts of home automation projects, and our cover story -- a very easy to make and fun to fly remote control stunt flyer.

Direct download: maketalk015.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 11:30 PM

Here's the 14th episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk! Our maker this week is Mike Riley. He's the author of a new book called Programming Your Home: Automate with Arduino, Android, and Your Computer.

In the show, I also talk a bit about the new issue of MAKE, Vol 30, which available on newsstands and by subscription. We've got a great line up of projects in this issue, including how to's on making indestructable LED Torches, an electronic Magic 8 Box Fortune Teller, all sorts of home automation projects, and our cover story -- a very easy to make and fun to fly remote control stunt flyer. 

to learn more about our latest issue.

Direct download: maketalk014.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 8:30 PM

Here's the 13th episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk!

Our makers this week are Kate Mayfield and Gordon Bowen, owners of the biodiesel-fueled Arts Refoundry in Los Angeles. A couple of weeks ago my 9-year-old daughter Jane and I took a bronze casting workshop at Arts ReFoundry. Here's what we made:

If you don't live in LA but would like to create a bronze belt buckle, you can get a Metalcast Kit from Arts ReFoundry, which includes tools, instructions, and two wax buckle slabs that you can carve into a belt buckle. Once you are finished carving it, you just send it to ReFoundry and they will cast it in bronze and send it to you.

Also in this episode, I talk about a brand new Make event that's taking place on May 15 and 16 this year, just a few days before Maker Faire. It's called the Hardware Innovation Workshop and will be held at Xerox Parc in Palo Alto, California. There will be hands-on demos of compelling devices, products, and platforms that are shaping the future of manufacturing and the global economy. Our list of speakers includes Massimo Banzi, Co-Founder of Arduino, Ayah Bdeir, Founder of littleBits, and Carl Bass, President & CEO of Autodesk. The Hardware Innovation Workshop is being hosted by Dale Dougherty, founder and publisher of MAKE.

Direct download: maketalk013.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 10:34 PM

Here's the 12th episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk!

Our maker interview this week is with Ayah Bdeir, the founder and lead engineer of littleBits, an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets, making it fun and easy to build interactive electronic projects.

I met Ayah at the TED2012 conference last month, where she was awarded a TED Fellowship for littleBits. You can watch my video interview with Ayah at TED here, and you can also watch Ayah's TED presentation here.

And in this episode of Make: Talk Ayah has a big announcement: littleBits has just launched its new littleBits Community, a website where people can share their creations. I'm looking forward to seeing the different projects people make with littleBits.

Ayah and littleBits will be at Maker Faire in San Mateo, California on May 19 and 20, and she'll also be presenting at Make's first Hardware Innovation Workshop in Palo Alto, California on May 15 and 16.

Direct download: maketalk012.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 2:00 PM

Here's the 11th episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk! In each episode, I interview one of the makers featured in the magazine.

Our maker this week is Yury Gitman. Yury's a toy inventor and a product designer who teaches physical computing and toy design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. In the current issue of MAKE, Volume 29, Yury co-wrote an article about his Pulse Sensor, a wearable heart beat sensor that he created with his colleague Joel Murphy.

Before the interview with Andy, I mention a cool project on our website. It's a guide on how to harvest and use squid ink, which you can use for cooking or printing. It was written by cofounder Christy Canida.

Direct download: maketalk011.mp3
Category:DIY -- posted at: 12:14 AM