2019 Maker Report Card

One year ago, I made a video called Maker Resolutions for 2019, which said this: I’ve come up with 10 maker resolutions for 2019 that I think will help me be more productive, do more of the things I like, get away from some of the stuff that hasn’t been working for me, and generally make me less crazy about my various projects and makes. A growth mindset by itself is an important thing if you want to get better at anything, but equally important is doing a little self-reflection…

2019 Maker Year in Review

With 2020 fast approaching, I wonder a bit where the time went. In order to track that, I give you my maker year in review – a selection of projects I’ve started and finished in 2019! January Silicone moldmaking I started the year learning how to make molds with silicone and cast things in resin! This wouldn’t go anywhere huge in 2019, but I really enjoyed the learning process. February Bruno Valentine’s Day meant another project. NJ found herself enjoying having something to hold at night so I found a…

Runabout Crash Diorama from Scraps

runabout crash diorama

A failed 3D print. Some scrap plywood. Leftover plaster. Dollar-store acrylic paints. Put them together and you get something special – a runabout crash diorama! The key to this, I found, was simply patience and layering. There’s nothing more to getting a good, satisfying paint job that tells a story than setting a goal, an idea you want to express, and adding layers until you get to where you want to be. A runabout crash diorama is only as interesting as the place it crashes! That makes this another great…

Vlog – 3D Printer Repair complete!

3D Printer repair velleman vertex k8400 dual extruder

The 3D printer repair is complete! New stepper motor, new belts and pulleys, new second hotend, and a full teardown and rebuild! I made our Velleman Vertex k8400 sing again and I’m very happy about it. A quick summary of what I did: Replaced the Y-axis stepper motor Replaced the second hotend’s heating block, thermistor, heating element, nozzle, and the brass block they all slotted into. Removed belts, pulleys, and rods, and cleaned everything with WD-40 and rubbing alcohol, then re-lubricated everything Replaced the T2.5 belts and 19-tooth pulleys with…

Graphite powder: experimenting with metallic finishes

graphite powder metallic finish

What’s the best way to achieve a shiny metallic finish? Airbrush? Spray paints? Lacquers? What about graphite powder and a bit of elbow grease? Whistler joins me in the shop to see what different substrates mean for graphite powder finishes. We try applying different amounts of graphite powder to white, grey, and black surfaces and get very different results! Watch the full video above to see our process, or check out a quick table of our results below: Graphite Powder Experiment Results White Grey Black Matte N/A N/A N/A Satin…

Maker Resolutions for 2019

Maker Resolutions 2019

Happy New Year! It’s the beginning of 2019! And that means it’s a great time to talk about what we’re going to get up to in the year ahead. It’s a good time to think about what worked and what didn’t from last year and what I want to do going forward. With that in mind, I’ve come up with 10 maker resolutions for 2019 that I think will help me be more productive, do more of the things I like, get away from some of the stuff that hasn’t…

Qlone 3D Scanning App First Impressions

Watch the video or read all about it – either way there’s lots here to check out! One of the things about making stuff is that I’m never sure what might be the best way to share our projects. But with the technology in our pockets getting better all the time, maybe the best way to let you experience one of our projects it to actually scan it and put it on the internet for you to see and download. Maybe even check it out in virtual reality.  Folks, we…

Moleskine vs. Leuchtturm – Notebook Showdown

Moleskine vs. Leuchtturm 1917

Whistler and I took my long-standing favourite notebook and tested it against a new competitor: Check out the Notebook Showdown, Moleskine vs. Leuchtturm! I’ve been drawing in Moleskines for ages (see here when I used it to design paddles for the girls, here where I updated my bonhommes a while back, or here where I was drawing spaceships, for example) and it was time to see if it was still the best option for me or if there was a new best choice in town. Watch the video for a…

Productivity Guilt

productivity guilt

Two holidays in a row, I’ve gone back to work more tired than I left. No matter how productive I’ve been, I can’t shake the feeling that my level of productivity was just way too low. It’s not like I haven’t enjoyed myself. March Break with the kids was excellent. We had some decent weather, one last snow, we got outside and did activities and made art and crafts and watched movies and played games and generally just had a great time. But this break, in spite of the fact…