Author Archives: megadolen

From traditional printing press to blinky circuits

Were you here with us at the Marquee, Science Centre Singapore for our first lead-up family workshop for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire last Saturday? It was an amazing array of activities and we hope you had managed to cover everything if you were here.

Check out some of the station activities that were arranged!
LED activities/ Using DIY remote buttons for Scratch software
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Learn about simple circuits by making a blingtastic circuit

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Sciencey games: Kendama
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Amaker3D: Open source 3D printing
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3D modelling and design with Henry Wong and Darren See
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Quilling and paper crafting with Priyanka Datta
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Solder your own wireframe models by Pan Yew
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Colour Me – by artist Richard Kearns
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Communicate your Science: a “Be a writer” talent hunt and children’s talk show, by Sindu Sreebhavan of Kids Parade Magazine
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If you had missed this workshop, no worries, there will be other opportunities. Do watch this space or follow us on our Singapore Mini Maker Faire Facebook Page! Remember to block your calendar for our actual Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 which will happen on 26 & 27 July 2014 at Senja-Cashew Community Club.

“Colour me” and Discovery @ L’Observatoire

It is always interesting to check out tinkerspaces of our makers.

On Wednesday, part of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire team made a trip to “L’Observatorie in Singapore”, an art and science space set up by Isabelle Desjeux for learning and sharing.

Isabelle is not new to the team as she took part in the first Singapore Mini Maker Faire two years ago and conducted a portable handphone microscope workshop. Her tinkerspace is tucked in a quaint corner at Turf Club Road and is located within a kindergarten building (The Blue House International School). A perfect setting to inspire tinkerers and makers.

Print made by an etch press

Print made by an etch press

What awaited us was a painting session as part of “Colour Me”, an investigative and participative project by Richard Kearns, L’Observatoire’s Artist-in-Residence from January till March.

Richard showed us a huge etch press which is used for printmaking. He also explained how the prints were solar etched onto photopolymer plates and demonstrated how the printing was done.

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Isabelle’s Etch Press @ L’Observatoire

It was fun to try our hands on the painting which was limited by the 4 colours available for each print, and it was exciting to see a traditional etch press at work. It has certainly inspired me to start exploring printmaking using a press!

L’Observatoire has a lot of interesting gadgets, such as pinhole cameras, DIY weaving loom and its own darkroom! Check out some of these photos!

Camera and the inverted image from the beautiful skyscape outside the studio

Camera and the inverted image from the beautiful skyscape outside the studio

Inspired to make something like that for yourself?

Inspired to make something like that for yourself?

Reminded me of my own exact letter stamp set!

Reminded me of my own exact letter stamp set!

If you are interested in the “Colour Me” project by Richard Kearns, check out the event details at the “Colour Me” Facebook Page. The sessions he is conducting at L’Observatoire will end this Sunday (30 Mar). Look out for future projects that Isabelle and Richard would be embarking soon for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014!

 

Biotinkering? What’s that?

Taking apart the webcam

Taking apart the webcam

It started with just a handful of students who readily took up the hands-on challenge to build their own microscope by hacking a webcam.

In a short while, the two tables that were full of gadgets gradually drew attention, until a point that we can hardly view what was happening at Marc Dusseiller’s pop-up biotinkering space.

Wondered what else were done at the pop-up makerspace held at Science Centre Singapore on 13 Mar 2014?

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Using the glue gun to fix the camera to the base

Within the short 2 hours, the impromptu participants tried their hands at taking things apart, and putting them together again, and experimented with different items that they could view using their DIY microscope, including a live spider and a cotton stainer!

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Lots of spontaneous efforts were also put in into ensure the live insects are viewable on the DIY microscope, amusing the crowd watching the demonstration.

Cotton Stainer

Cotton Stainer

Marc also brought along plenty of interesting gadgets which captured our attention.

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Check out the two suitcases he brought his stuffs in! One of them is a “Lab in a suitcase” while the other contains stuffs that he made. Inspiring, isn’t it? Seems like some people will start packing their own maker suitcase/bag soon!

Marc's lab in a suitcase!

Marc’s lab in a suitcase!

Maker tools in a suitcase!

Maker tools in a suitcase!

If you are looking forward to some tinkering and making, check out the next pop-up event on 22 March at Tampines Central Community Club.

Kids can hack and make too!

Students who went to the Senja-Cashew Community Club on 4th and 5th January for their Edusave Merit Bursary Awards were pleasantly surprised to walk into a hall full of activities – and very unusual activities too.

Hackidemia (4-5 Jan 14)In one corner, 3D printers were humming, printing what kids doodled on the app – doodle 3D. Kids were walking around with 3D printed flowers, butterflies and even their names. Other children took their first foray into making with electronics as they tried out Hackidemia SG’s classic offerings – Vibrobots, Zombie Signalizers and Little Bits.

Parents stood back and watched, proud and at the same time apprehensive, as kids as young as 4 tried wielding a saw and mallet at the woodworking station. Makers from different parts of Singapore and different walks of life came together with a singular goal – to instill the value of hands-on making to parents and the empowerment it gives to young children who delight in the simple pleasure of seeing and loving what they have made with their own hands.

Check out the video uploaded at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire Facebook Page!

The maker roadshow at Senja Cashew Community Club was jointly organized by Science Centre Singapore, Singapore Mini Maker Faire, Hackidemia Singapore, Silicon Straits, Simplify3D, Sustainable living Lab and Senja-Cashew Community Club, leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 later on this year.

This blog entry has been contributed by Dr Kiruthika Ramanathan, Science Centre Singapore.

Quill your own fancy jewellery

Dohadwala Rashida Taher will be conducting a workshop on the use of paper strips and quilling to make eco-friendly jewellery on 28 July, 2.45pm – 3.30pm at *SCAPE Workshop, Situation Room (Level 5).

Rashida shared that her inspiration for quilling came from a book which she saw 8 years ago, and it gained traction over the years. Her inspiration for projects come from many sources ranging from the colourful flowers at the Sentosa Spring Festival to the beauty of a peacock’s plumage to the popular “Angry Birds”. She shared that once the quilling fever sets in, everything around her seems to inspire a quilling project. She has made gift tags, envelopes, photo frames, paper jewellery, magnets, candle holders, greeting cards and even incorporated quilling into decorative watches!

ready products for workshopIn her workshop, she will share the original quilling technique where participants will make a colourful pendant which will be attached with a leather string to form a necklace, and the project will be suitable for any children aged 7 and above. The finished creations can be brought home by the participants. The quilled items can be made water resistant but this process requires multiple coats with a drying period of about 2 -3 days and cannot be completed during the workshop. Hence, Rashida is offering participants of the workshop to waterproof their end products and collect from her separately at centrally located MRT stations on either 1st or 2nd August.

If you are interested to learn how to quill and make your own fancy jewellery with it, do come to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 28 July and sign up for the workshop at the SMMF information counter. The fee is at $8 per participant. Places are limited, so come early to secure your places!

Make your own conductive inks!

A drawing done with conductive inks

A drawing done with conductive inks

Did you know that you can use a simple recipe to make your own conductive inks, and you can use these conductive inks to draw your own circuits? Yeo Wee Kiang, a fresh PhD graduate from the National University of Singapore shared how he discovered the joy of making your own conductive ink and how it could be applied for educational purposes.

About the maker and the workshop

Wee Kiang graduated just 2 weeks ago from the National University of Singapore with a PhD in Chemoinformatics. He shared that while waiting to go overseas for his post-doctoral training in January next year, he began to explore and tinker with several different things beyond his own discipline.  He dabbled with the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, Squishy Circuits, discovered commercial conductive inks and finally came up with his own recipe of conductive ink that could be made out of non-toxic food-based ingredients. This is something he believed is simple enough for anyone interested to use it for educational usage, hence he decided to conduct an inaugural workshop at this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire to show how electrical circuits can be not made up of messy wires, embedded into creative drawings, very colourful and very safe. Wee Kiang shared that he has no plans to commercialise the idea and encourages all to make use of the idea and improvise it to add fun and creativity in the learning of electronics. Kudos to Wee Kiang’s generous maker spirit!

Involvement with the Singapore Mini Maker Faire

Like Chinmay (initiator of the “Learn to breadboard electronics” workshop), Wee Kiang is one of the first few followers of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. He recalled how he first heard about the Faire when William Hooi, part of our organising team, introduced it at Barcamp Singapore last year. He visited the Faire after that and found it to be very interesting. Wee Kiang expressed his views on how the maker culture here should not be limited only to a niche group of people. Indeed, we also hope to spread the maker spirit to as many as possible, and we hope that all the amazing makers at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire can inspire the uninitiated.

Do not miss this interesting workshop that is designed for children (6 years and above) as well as adults, happening on 28 July, 3.45pm – 5.15pm at Colony Room (Level 4), *SCAPE. There is a workshop fee of $6 which is payable at the SMMF counter at the Colony Room. Adults accompanying children can join in for free, while individual adults can join in at the same fee. Workshop places are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Connecting the 3D printing enthusiasts with suitable printing services

Benjamin Yeo is the founder of sourcemake.com, an online platform which aims to help those without 3D printers find one that fits their budget and time constraints. We interviewed the person behind this portal and uncover his motivation behind this initiative – Benjamin Yeo.

Benjamin felt that he is more of a consumer / prosumer that likes experimenting and hacking, rather than a maker per se. As a parent of 2 young boys and an advocate of the style of kinethestic learning, he loves exploring ideas to expose them to new ways of learning and play.

Benjamin shared that he got more serious in the area of 3D printing about a year ago, when prices of 3D printers began to dip quite a bit. He backed a 3D printer project on Kickstarter earlier this year, with the hope of designing custom made toys and working on other 3D projects with his older boy. He believes that through building and modelling structures, his son can be exposed to design concepts in his early years so that he can better appreciate the different math and sciences disciplines in his subsequent schooling years, rather than face them as mere examinable subjects. But unfortunately, the 3D printer project that he backed has delayed its delivery till now.

With no printer available, Benjamin turned to outsourcing the printing of his projects to commercial 3D printing service providers, only to discover it to be costly and time consuming for maker projects of his scale. In view of that, he decided that the best option would be to find a non-commercial 3D printer owner who can helped him in printing at the right time and requirements. With the help of peers in the maker community, he managed to find a 3D printing hobbyist who was helpful enough to collaborate with him. He also noted that 3D printer owners who helped in such projects would be able to get more proficient in their craft or even monetize their expertise through providing such printing services. Through these interactions, he discovered that there is a benefit in having a centralised platform where 3D printing enthusiasts worldwide can connect with other experts to get their printing jobs done. Just think “Zuji” for 3D printing services, where anyone with a 3D printer can be part of that platform and print for others at the right price, time and quality.

sourcemake.com is currently at its conceptual and development stage. If there is enough traction to keep the community going, he sees potential for it to grow into a platform where there would be more interactions and connections between 3D printing novices and experts worldwide, accelerating the democratisation of 3D printing activity and contributing to the global maker culture.

Benjamin will be sharing his story for sourcemake.com at the 3D printing forum on 28 Jul (10am – 2.30pm), where he will be part of a panel to discuss and share about trends and issues concerning 3D printing. If you have signed up for this forum, remember it will take place at Gallery Room, *SCAPE Level 5.

Watch out for those InVader_Urban Graffiti Bots!

The more I read about our makers this year, the more the excitement builds up. There are so many different types of makers, and it is fascinating to read about their work and the passion that drove them. When I browsed through the blog of “Tech Lab”, I left the site with “graffiti art” and “technology” in my mind. It is something new to me, and I am totally curious to see in person what this thing is all about.

The man behind “Tech Lab”

Rohaimi “Tech” Mohamed, an engineer by profession, is the man behind “Tech Lab”. ‘Tech’ is actually his alias/artist name that he is using in graffiti art practices. Apparently, he has been contributing and practising graffiti art for about 10 years in Singapore! He shared that he is representing STG (SprayTwoGeorge crew).

Rohaimi sees himself as a two-part entity – Passion and Interest.

Art is his passion since young. He loves to draw, doodle, sketch, paint etc. Subsequent to that, he was exposed to graffiti art and started to be part of the graffiti art scene in Singapore.

Engineering, especially electronics and robotics technology, is his interest since he was introduced to them during his ITE days.

He had taken on the artist name “Tech” because he found his passion and interest at about the same time in life.

The fusion

So how did the two things merge? Rohaimi shared that it was a couple of years ago when he started to change his approach to write, paint graffiti art with the help of robots. It led to a series of graffiti-bots building and an evolution of its own.

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His projects include interactivity for a friend’s art exhibition, “36Chambers exhibition at Helutrans” which was held recently, “Our Lab by Scape” and “All City Graffiti Art” exhibition. Technology became a tool that helped Rohaimi with his art delivery. The term “tech artist” came to my mind, because he has evolved graffiti art with the help of technology. It is also great to hear that Rohaimi is open to involving himself to other creative art technology and explore how his graffiti art element can be fused in.

The Maker Faire

When asked further, Rohaimi shared that he is a subscriber of the MAKE magazine and hence is familiar with the concept of the Maker Faire outside Singapore. By chance, he was introduced to the local version of the Faire and gamely took up a booth to showcase what he has been actively involved in. Another great showcase, and I certainly look forward to seeing the real thing.

How about you? Remember to drop by SCAPE Warehouse this weekend to check out this interesting evolution of graffiti art!

Learn to breadboard electronics – the blinky light edition

If you have been checking out interesting electronics projects on MAKE magazine, or on our Facebook Page, here is your opportunity for your own hands-on experience!

The Singapore Mini Maker Faire would like to introduce a workshop on how to make simple LED-based blinky light circuits using basic electronics components and breadboards, happening on 28 July, 11.15am – 12pm at SCAPE Colony Room (Level 4).

About the workshop

New Picture (5)The idea is to use a kit (which will be provided) to build a simple circuit which blinks faster or slower depending on brightness of the ambient lighting.

Breadboards, which are easy tools to quickly build electronics circuits, will be used, and participants can experience electronics in a simple and fun way.

At the end of the workshop, participants can also bring home the blinking LED circuit!

About the person behind the workshop

This workshop is the brainchild of Chinmay Pendharkar, an avid follower of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire since its beginnings.

Chinmay shared that the idea came about while he was reading the MAKE blog article and he felt that this simple and fun workshop could be run at our local Mini Maker Faire to get people interested in the maker culture and to start tinkering with electronics and circuits.

Chinmay said that when the Singapore Mini Maker Faire was first held last year, it was already a good start, featuring various projects that many people are making.

He is happy to see the Singapore Mini Maker Faire grow this year, with an exciting lineup and a good variety of makers and tinkerers that are involved, and he felt a sense of hope for the Singapore Maker Movement and potential for it to grow bigger and larger.

About the way forward

When asked about the way forward, Chinmay expressed hope for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire to become a regional convention that could attract participation from neighbouring countries and more types of makers in areas which are not seen in our local maker scene, and for inspiring “movers” and “shakers” in the global maker community to come to Singapore to share their passion with the local makers through workshops, forums and seminars.

What about you? What kind of future would you visualise for our Singapore Mini Maker Faire?

It is unfortunate that Chinmay is not able to join us in person this year, but the workshop will still be run by his fellow electronics enthusiast, Shanmugam.

No pre-registration is required, but places will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. Simply make payment ($5 per pax) at our counter at the Colony Room to confirm your workshop place.

Want some take-away from “Science-Art Fusion”?

When I first heard of the title “Science-Art Fusion!”, I thought that was both telling and not telling. The title suggested some interesting showcase of both science and art, yet I remained clueless on what it is all about. Hence, I attempted to find out more from Jolyon Caplin, our returning maker who showcased the Jolyonophone at last year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire!

According to Jolyon, “Science-Art Fusion!” is meant to be a slightly mind-boggling theme for his booth, but he also heartily acknowledged that it is the sort of things he does all the time!  He highlighted the general acknowledgement by the public on the increasing integration of the sciences and the arts, where the boundaries are becoming indistinct. He noted that art has used – if not embraced – engineering for many years, and that engineering (particularly in the commercial sector) has employed art more and more.  Hence, his interest lies at showing people how a simple home hobby can satisfy both the technical and artistic interests at the same time.

He hoped that many people will be attracted to the combined sound, light and movement that he is preparing for his booth.  Generally, you can expect to see unlikely things (like bulldozers and F1 cars) dance to music, with a light-show to compliment the whole thing.  There will be radio control and microprocessor examples – but everything will be easy to understand – and quite inexpensive to follow (No Arduinos, contrary to current trends!)

Hence, Jolyon visualised his showcase to appeal to both the young and old.  He aimed to make it exciting to watch and yet inspiring enough for people to want to make these simple things for themselves!

Jolyon acknowledged that he had practically no time to prepare for this year’s Faire but he is nonetheless still looking forward to it. This was especially since he had a great experience from last year, where he picked up 3D printing with home-made designs, where his 6 and 8 year-old girls became very good with Trimble Sketch Up and now want him to print everything in plastic. Isn’t it great that we all have some take-away from the Faire, even though you already have your fair share of hobby indulgence?

If you would like to take-away some inspiration from Jolyon, drop by his booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at SCAPE Warehouse this weekend! Keen to check out what he showcased last year? Check it out here.

So, see you at SCAPE this weekend!