It’s Friday, which means another round of the amusing and informative.
Makers Start at a Young Age
MAKE Magazine, a quarterly journal that focuses on DIY project hobbyists, is currently sponsoring a monthlong Maker Camp aimed at teens. But kids don’t have to pack dry socks and sing Kumbaya, becauser Maker Camp is an entirely virtual experience.
Every weekday morning, MAKE publishes a project to Google+, complete with expert instructions to guide students through their own attempts at a variety of technical, digital and fun experiments. One day saw camp “counselor” Rick Schertle guide students through making their very own compressed air rocket.
On Fridays, the camp hosts a “field trip” — a Google+ Hangout where teen participants can live-chat with counselors and other campers while watching videos with interviews and virtual tours of research laboratories.
If there is a teen in your life who’s interested in the Maker Camp, you can preview the projects completed so far in Week One video. And if you want to take your own crack at showing off your DIY skills, MAKE hosts Maker Faires around the world. See if one is coming to your area here.
3-D Carving Goes “Warp Speed”
Bill Griggs of Maker Masters designed a new Z axis for his CNC router table and didn’t pull any punches when naming his new toy: He dubbed it the Warp Drive Project. When challenged on the machine’s 3-D capability, Griggs put Warp Drive to the test, using a Vectric Aspire 3-D CNC software demo to see just how fast “warp speed” is.
Griggs said, “I set my cutting speed at 300 inches per minute and set the rapid movements to 740 ipm. These speeds were fast but not crazy. I wanted to sneak up on just how fast I could machine the part.”
Griggs details all of his work on his eagle (pictured below), posting tips he learned from the project for others who might want to experiment with their own Z axes. Griggs even posted a video and some photos of the experiment. If you want to see how well his eagle came out, click here.
And not to spoil everything, Griggs sums up his experience like this: “The answer to the question, ‘Is the Warp Drive capable of producing good-quality 3-D relief carvings at 600 inches per minute?’ is a resounding yes.”
DIY Prison Break
HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth), a conference for hackers of all stripes — people who take everyday items and attempt to change, or hack, them for different or easier uses — was held in New York City recently. One workshop, presented by German security consultant “Ray,” showed how DIY machine tools like 3-D printers and laser cutters can create serious headaches for security firms around the globe.
Ray was able to use a laser cutter and a 3-D printer to create a key to unlock a pair of high-security handcuffs. The ‘cuffs, built by German security firm Bonowi, are usually unlocked by strictly controlled keys that the company distributes only to law enforcement. Ray led the HOPE audience through his process of developing CAD files for the keys and cutting operational Plexiglass versions with machine tools.
Ray says he is not trying to help criminals, but rather assist security firms in understanding their targets. “If someone is planning a prison or court escape, he can do it without our help,” Ray is quoted as saying in Forbes. “We’re just making everyone aware, both the hackers and the police.”