Got a great idea for an awesome project, and just need access to the tools to make it happen? Do you live in or near southeast Michigan? Then this might be just the opportunity you were waiting for. A2 MechShop is opening up their doors to one lucky artist for an artist in residency program. This could be the perfect opportunity to create some awesome to bring to Maker Faire Detroit!
A2 MechShop, a coworking facility for electrical and mechanical engineering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is offering a three-week Artist in Residence this spring. The selected artist will have the opportunity to consult with the engineers and use machinery at the A2 MechShop to create artwork that is inspired by, incorporates, or is produced by technology. The residency does not include a stipend, and the artist should expect to supply their own materials.
Applicants can visit the A2 MechShop website for more details. Applications are due February 19th, 2010, and the artist will be notified the week of March 1.
About A2 MechShop:
A2 MechShop is a coworking facility for entrepreneurial engineers located on the west side of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Seven different businesses, mostly one or two person, have private offices surrounding a shared machine shop floor. They share knowledge and tools in a friendly and technically-oriented environment. The A2 MechShop was started in November 2008, and hosts GO-Tech, a monthly geek show-and-tell.
Dr. Engelbart was born on this date in 1925. In 1967, while working at the prestigious Stanford Research Institute, he applied for a patent on an “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System,” which issued in 1970, although, per his Wikipedia article, he never actually received any royalties on it. He has been widely honored for his contributions to human-computer interface development.
Dr. Engelbart has four children and nine grandchildren, and today he’s 85. Congratulations and happy birthday, sir!
Henry Dagg made this giant metallic instrument, called the sharpsicord. A combination of music box and harp, you can program sounds into it by sticking pins into a giant metal drum. When the crank is turned, the barrels spins, and the pins cause individual strings to play. [via neatorama]
Students at Bonham ISD High School, in Bonham, TX, are turning this old on tractor, donated to them by the Ivanhoe Christmas Tree Farm, into their Electric Vehicle Project for the 2009/2010 school year. Plans are to use the tractor in a farm tractor driving certification/safety course. Primary charging of the E-Tractor will be via a solar array, with the option of a plug-in charger for emergency and quick-charge situations.
Rob Ryan makes papercuts. It’s an art, and he’s good at it, and maybe it’s slightly unfair that it took the gimmick of mounting one over a piece of electroluminescent sheet for me to sit up and pay attention. Still, it looks great. Kudos, Ryan! [via Dude Craft]
We’re excited to announce the first meeting of Make:PGH, a new Make city group based in Pittsburgh. In the area? You should definitely stop by!
Action! Excitement! Danger!
We’re excited to announce the inaugural meeting of Make:PGH, the Steel City Makers! Interested in making stuff? Like the stuff that you see in MAKE magazine? Got cool projects to show off, or grand ideas that are soon to be realized? Want to hang out with other like-minded people? Then you should definitely come out to the meeting on Tuesday, February 9th, at 7pm!
We’ve got some good things lined up: presentations on the Makerbot, a laser harp, and an awesome activity, so be sure come out!
Marty McGuire: Makerbot
Marty McGuire is a research programmer at Carnegie Mellon and a council member for HackPittsburgh. He hopes one day to make “mad bank” thanks to open source hardware and the desktop fabbing revolution.
Marty will talk briefly about the MakerBot open source 3D printer, where it came from, and how it works. He’ll also give a short printing demo, and answer your questions!
Matt Mets: Laser Harp
Engineer, Make: Online blogger, and aspiring inventor Matt Mets will share the secrets of his laser harp project, a MIDI-based instrument that you can play by waving your hands through the air. From designing and fabricating the thing in his apartment, to how it almost led to him running off with the freak show, he’ll explain it all, and then even let you play with it!
Following the two fine presentations will be an activity of great interest and possible import!
Make:PGH Meeting 1
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010, 7pm – 9pm
1936 5th Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Want to see a Make: City group in your area? Gather some friends and some ideas, and make it happen! Be sure to let us know, and we can help you get started.
Everyone’s talking about sous vide, the scientific cooking method that’s making its way from the lab to the home kitchen. The Sous Vide Supreme, which just hit stores, is the first turnkey sous vide setup for home cooks. But we DIY kitchen nerds haven’t been idly waiting for an off-the-shelf solution: We cobbled together our own sous vide setups years ago. It can be done by piecing together a few readily available components — or even, for more intrepid tinkerers, by soldering together some less readily available ones. Here’s how.
The FabLab House was designed as an ellipsoid structure prefabricated from wood that is formed into a rib-like structure. Although this specific house was designed for Madrid’s solar resource, it could easily be adapted to other climates by changing the ellipsoid. Built on top of three legs, the home has a space underneath to allow for air to circulate and help ventilate it naturally.
Smart systems help monitor and control the home’s temperature and energy use, while passive design increases efficiency and minimizes consumption. A customized photovoltaic skin coats the roof, which also acts to collect rainwater. When the home is built for the competition, it will also come with a garden capable of growing food.
When I was about 12 years old, and still living in Dallas, my dad bundled me into the car one day and drove me out to Love Field to meet my great uncle, Troy, who was, at the time, touring the United States, visiting every city named “Troy,” in a light plane he built himself. I remember the way the plywood skin of the plane looked and smelled from the inside. I remember Troy showing us his “auto pilot,” which was a set of three ropes he could loop over the control stick to maintain level flight while he ate a meal. Troy finished his tour and flew back to his home in Alaska, and five years later was killed in a pile-up on a fog-shrouded highway. Troy was something of a maker legend in my family–besides the plane, he built his lakeside geodesic dome-home and all the furniture in it, including a pool table. He built a fleet of canoes–one named for each of his daughters and grand-daughters–to sail on the same lake. He even built the lake itself, or at least the dam that formed it. That afternoon at the airport was the only time I ever met him.
And although I don’t think I’d ever try to build a functional airplane myself, the experience left me with fair-sized soft spot for those who do. So I got a huge kick out of Chuck Gantzer’s page describing the building and flying of his Pietenpol AirCamper NX770CG. The AirCamper was first designed by one Bernard Pietenpol, who in 1928, with no more than an eighth-grade formal education, set out to build a “common man’s airplane” with hardware store and scavenged parts. Today his son and grandson are still selling plans. [via Boing Boing]