Author Archives: megadolen

Check out this Quirky Butt-Activated Selfie Booth!

It is probably not difficult to be intrigued by the title of this showcase by Saad Chinoy.

Saad Chinoy is not new to the Maker community. For me, I remembered him from the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) space two years back at *SCAPE. He was explaining his caffeinator (something he built and which he described as his obsession), and giving treats of DIY cookies and drinks. This year, Saad is back to entertain the crowd with his “ButtActivated Selfie Booth”.

In Saad’s own words, the “Butt-Activated Selfie Booth” is an IKEA-Hack with cardboard, duct tape and many cable-ties featuring “the-world’s-most-energy-efficient-high-resolution-analog-selfie-screen”. This booth lets you take a selfie with a touch of a butt and with a count of three, and photo-bombings are highly encouraged!

How did the idea come along?

It started in response to a call for makers for the Singapore Maker Festival. As the idea puts a smile on people’s faces, Saad decided to give it a try and build it. It was also in line with an image crowd-sourcing project that he was working on as part of his work, bringing what he does at work closer to what he does outside it.

This was Saad’s artist impression of the selfie booth.

selfie booth illustration

These are the actual photos.

The creator can always spot the imperfection but to the onlooker, it is simply awesome. Of course, we noted that lots of effort went into prototyping, improvising and iterating.

How does it work?

Check out these precious work-in-progress photos that Saad revealed to help us understand the inner workings.

inner workings inner workings2

Saad also shared that the selfie-booth made its way to the RaspberryJAM#9 meetup as it runs on RaspberryPi and was written in Python code which Saad described as “awfully untidy hacky self-taught”.

Improvisation

Through the meetup, Saad received feedback which led to him spending another caffeinated night upgrading the electronics to a RaspberryPi2 (faster and better) for IDA’s TechSaturday as part of the HackerSpaceSG booth, appearing as “SelfieMirror” rather than “SelfieBooth” (see photos below). Interesting, isn’t it?

mirror mirror2

More photos can be found here:- https://instagram.com/selfieboothsg/

When asked if there is a video to show how this booth works, Saad shared that while a video works best that way, it also takes away the surprise through self-discovery. As much as I wish to see a video, I must say that I couldn’t agree any lesser with what he said as well. Now, I’m really looking forward to discover the magic of the booth myself! In Saad’s words, this could either be #ridiculouslySimple or #simplyRidiculous :)

Selfie Booth for Maker Faire Singapore

As the Selfie Booth has made its round like a travelling exhibition, it faces the challenges of maintenance, which Saad is taking time to work on whenever he is not working (a familiar situation most hobbyists find themselves in). In addition, he is also looking at decorating the booth exterior with “random acts of artsy-vandalism that can take place during the course of the Faire”. Wow, that sounds like an open invitation!

About Saad

Saad shared that he can’t really pin point when he first started making, but tinkering has always been part of his childhood. He shared that coming into public view was the scary part, i.e. to showcase what you made to people. It was great to hear that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 was his first step for that. How many of you also share this thought before? If you still do, take Saad as an example. Come forth and share your creation. It just gets better.

I couldn’t help grinning at Saad’s Syllogism (or #SillyGism) that he ended our interview with – “The world depends on technology. Technology depends on the Geek. The Geek depends on caffeine. Therefore, the world depends on coffee.” Well, that’s one coffee-obsessed geek for you.

Introducing Hangmade by Gladys

Gladys is the creator of Hangmade by Gladys. Before she started Hangmade by Gladys, she used to do cross-stitch for a number of years, and tried out painting while living overseas for close to 6 years. She creates patchwork bags and other hand-sewn articles, primarily stuffed animals, cushions and cushion covers, but lately tote bags and bag accessories as well. Choosing the fabric, creating the pattern, cutting and sewing everything herself, each item that she creates is unique.

Screenshot_2015-05-15-08-03-36For one and a half years she has been selling her crafts, the first items were patchwork bags as a Christmas gift. Gladys attends bazaars and fairs to showcase her crafts for sale; as she does not have a shop, she uses her home as a base for delivering to customers who order from her. At the moment, she is showcasing her work primarily on Facebook HangmadebyGladys. Her own website is under development and will be hopefully up and running early second half of this year. Occasionally she puts items for sale at carousell.

She loves doing patchwork and creating other stuff from fabric as it gives her a lot of creative room to explore; it never follows a template to 100%, the process of creating something nice out of raw materials, something that people like and love. Getting positive feedback about her work is always encouraging and has made her pursue her craft.

As each item is unique, Gladys is often asked for customization of articles. The challenge here is to make sure that what the customer has in mind and what will be created is similar so that both parties end up happy. Sometime it does not work out so she ends up with a customized item in her living room waiting for a new home.

This is her second time participating at the Makers Faire. Gladys’ first experience at Singapore Mini Maker Faire last year was a very nice outing, a good opportunity to showcase her crafts. She met a lot of like-minded people and did good business; overall a very positive experience. For this year, Gladys has gone back to her favorite: owls. There will be mini owl bag charms, paper weights, pin cushions, cushions and patchwork owls in various sizes and patterns.

[Note: This write-up was contributed in full by Gladys herself. Thank you, Gladys. :)  ]

 

Alice in Crafty-land

Before my interview with Alice, I had checked out her website at www.scottiecrafts.blogspot.com and was totally blown away by her plastic spoon roses craftwork. Later on, I learnt that Alice has come up with the idea herself, and I was so impressed!

These are the roses designed and made by Alice. Do you like them too?

Plastic roses

Joining the Maker Faire

This will be Alice’s first Maker Faire experience, having being introduced by Mr Davy Young who joined us last year and who will also be joining in this year. A warm welcome to Alice!

How she begun

Alice recalled her first craft work to be curtains-making for her mother during her teenage days and making pom-pom ball characters to earn a craft badge during her Girls’ Brigade days.

But her real passion for handicraft started in 2003 when she attended the Perth Royal Show in Australia. She shared with us that it is an annual community event which showcases Western Australia’s agriculture and horticulture, arts and handicrafts, animals, photography, cooking demonstration, performances and competitions. That’s quite a range of activities, isn’t it?

CAM13648

2nd Prize (Cross-Stitch) at Perth Royal Show Creative Craft Competition 2004

Alice took part in the Perth Royal Show Creative Craft Competition in 2004 and 2005 and bagged victories. Her cross-stitched cushion cover featuring Winnie the Pooh and friends won her the 2nd Prize in the first year.

3rd Prize (Parchment card) at Perth Royal Show 2004

3rd Prize (Parchment card) at Perth Royal Show 2004

In the second year, she won 2nd Prize for beading jewellery. She also won 3rd Prize for Parchment Crafts in both years.

Impressive!

Alice told us that the exposure to the wide variety of handicrafts on display at the Perth Royal Show left a deep impression on her and after that, she began to take handicraft lessons and make gifts for family and friends. She even trained in Australia to be a qualified Parchment Teacher, though she only teach for passion and leisure.

Despite having a full-time job as an administrative assistant in the hospitality industry, Alice received full support from her family, boss, colleagues and friends and was often recommended customers. Hence, her weekends are always occupied, either teaching crafts or creating new items. She also shared that it was through crafts that she made many friends in life!

Her craft works

Alice likes to try any crafts which are unique and interesting, and she knows a good variety!

  • parchment
  • cross-stitch
  • beadings
  • greeting cards
  • scrapbooking
  • clay modelling
  • wood painting
  • spoon art
  • upcycling old arts into altered arts (converting desk top calendar into a post-it note pad cover or notebook cover, or cutting wine bottles and turning them into pen or candle holders)

Below were what Alice shared about the two crafts that she will be showcasing at the Maker Faire Singapore in July.

Parchment Craft

“It was at the Perth Royal show that the dolly lace picture frame caught my attention and was told that it was made from vellum paper. With simple tools, it will turn the vellum paper from grey color to white color. Amazed with the fine details on the dolly, I fell in love with parchment crafts. Later on, my teacher – Ms Christine Coppen encouraged me to take part in the Parchment Crafts Competition at the yearly event – Perth Royal Show. With her guidance and coaching, I come in 3rd prize in 2004 and 2005. After that I stop for a long period due to family and work commitments. Only in the recently years I pick up the skills again. I find that Parchment craft is very therapeutic and helps to calm down your mind too. You would not feel tired after working on the card for 2 hrs but a sense of great satisfaction of achievements.”

Photo_Collage_Maker_tTtNpp

It is a beautiful art indeed, and Alice will be demonstrating at the booth on one of the days for visitors to try out. I am sure others will be fascinated just like me!

Everlasting Roses made from disposable spoon

“I personally like roses and always wanted to make it with different materials apart from crepe papers, fabric, ribbon, leather, felts.  So I started my journey of searching online and gather ideas. I learnt the skills by myself through trial and error. Recently I make roses with mini dessert spoons and it is almost a year since I start this craft.

 Every now and then when I have new ideas, I will make the items with the consideration in mind that people would use them rather than a display item only. Or I should call it practical items.”

An awesome and creative idea, and I really love it! Alice will be conducting a 90-minute workshop on both days of the Maker Faire Singapore held at 15 Tampines Street 11 on 11 and 12 July. The workshop will be recommended for adults only. Do watch out for more information on http://makerfairesingapore.com

Maker introduction for Maker Faire Singapore – Mr Ng Pan Yew

Maker Faire Singapore logo with dateThe Maker Faire Singapore team has been excited about the elevation of our Maker Faire status from a “Mini” event to a “Featured” one. Leading up to the event that will happen on 11 & 12 July at 15 Tampines Street 11, we will continue our practice of showcasing our participating makers .

The first to be featured this year will be Mr Ng Pan Yew, coincidentally the first maker to be featured for Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 as well.

Recapping the year 2014, Mr Ng jokingly commented that he has over participated. Well, I think not everybody can do that, and it is in itself an achievement. Despite being his first year taking part in a Science Centre programme, Mr Ng has been most enthusiastic. He started with two workshops in April and June 2014, leading up to the Mini Maker Faire itself in July where he not only took a booth to showcase his works, but conducted two workshops as well to teach people how to make their own Kaleidoscope and Roly – Poly.

Mr Ng was very reflective of the activities he conducted. “Frankly speaking, my successful rate for lead-up event or mini workshop is only 50%”, he said. He explained that not everything turned out to be what he expected them to be. He noted the challenge to come up with interesting activities for 7-12 year-old children and to use materials which are easily available.

DSC_0694

Participating in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire became a family affair for Mr Ng. Together with his wife, Mr Ng and their two grown-up daughters carried out the workshops and explained to interested visitors about Mr Ng’s showcase at the event. Mr Ng also took the opportunity to thank his wife and two daughters, who assisted him patiently during his workshops, helping him with facilitation, photography and publicity. Such a sweet gesture!

Tips for new participating makers

We asked Mr Ng for advice for first time participants, and he encouraged new makers to try to form a team to work together as there are challenges working alone. For his case, he single-handedly take charge of 2D-drawing, laser cutting, laser engraving, electronics circuit design, PCB art-work and the sourcing of affordable resources. Mr Ng also highlighted that it is inevitable that hardware-intensive hobbies incur higher cost compared to software-based ones, so new makers would need to be aware of such cost issues.

What’s new?

For the upcoming Maker Faire in July, Mr Ng is working towards expanding his acrylic showcase. While he will keep his previous display (Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, Esplanade, etc), he will also be adding the Helix Bridge, the Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore River Bumboat and more!

SG50_MarinaBay

Interested to find out more? Mark your calendar for 11 & 12 July and drop by 15 Tampines Street 11 Singapore 529454 to speak with Mr Ng in person!

Heard of bio-printing?

frontIf you have never heard of bio-printing, or find it a very distant topic, here is your chance to know it better. Mr Fan Mingwei, Co-founder and Director of Bio3D Technologies (first bio-printing company in Singapore and one of the few in the world presently) will be showing one of their bioprinters and explain what is bio-printing at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend. Mingwei learnt about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through a discussion at the Science Centre previously and he thought it might be a good idea to showcase this relatively new technology to Singaporeans. This would be the first time that he will be showcasing a real bioprinter at such a public event, and will even do some simple demonstrations. We are indeed honoured!

As this would be Mingwei’s first time participation at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, he shared that he is looking forward to lots of fun and excitement learning about new and interesting works by different makers. He found it exciting that such a trend is picking up in Singapore and he hopes to see more people and organisation engaged in such a movement.

It would definitely be a rare occasion that one can see a real bioprinter and learn how it works. Don’t miss this opportunity this weekend at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire that will be held at Senja-Cashew CC!

What does art make you?

New Picture (3)“Art Makes Us” – What ran through your mind when you heard this?

Benjamin Low, who will be taking part in this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF) with his friends Jacky Boen, Mithru Vigneshwara, Mui Rui Yi and Zac Ong, ex-classmates from LASALLE, introduced their team as “Art Makes Us”. When asked more about the team name, Benjamin shared that they coined this name during their studies of “Interactive Art” when they had to make use of coding or electronics in creating their projects. The name represents their collective interest in creating artwork and how they leveraged on their respective strengths in art direction, coding, hardware and sound/visual design.

This would be Benjamin’s second time at SMMF and it is wonderful that he has decided to bring his friends on board. Benjamin shared that his technical and arts academic background has cultivated his interest in doing projects that are multidisciplinary in nature. Indeed, his team’s showcase of “The Synesthete’s Music Machine”, a toy sound machine is exemplary of a multidisciplinary project and truly reflective of the spirit of their team. It translates images into sound, which is inspired by the idea of a synesthete – a person who is able to “hear” colours through an involuntary association of certain colours with certain sound, caused by a neurologically-based condition. Through his participation this year, he would like visitors to have fun experimenting with the sound toy.  Curious about this amazing machine? Don’t miss checking out the “Art Makes Us” booth this weekend at Senja-Cashew CC!

Benjamin learnt about the SMMF through word of mouth. One aspect of the SMMF that he finds appealing is the community based nature of it as people get together to share their common interests. He hopes that the SMMF will encourage more people to get creative with their minds and hands, and more importantly, to have fun!

 

We are researchers but we are makers too!

At the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) booth, you will probably find some really interesting tools and toys, things that are used in actual research in a Research Institute, but designed and built by the researchers themselves!

Dr. Nick Lewty (3rd from left) and Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer (extreme right)

Dr. Nick Lewty (3rd from left) and Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer (extreme right)

Last year, the CQT team had a blast at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire connecting with an interested audience, such that they are back for more this year. The team is eager to showcase the tools they built to aid in their research work in the lab.

In a way, the message I received through the interview is “We are researchers but we are makers too!”, and that researchers and makers share certain similar traits and skills, whereby research skills could be cultivated and developed through the process of making. Whoever you are, this is a chance to speak with real scientists and find out how they also DIY!

Interested to find out what the CQT booth will showcase? Here is a sneak preview:- Levitating magnets and home built lasers!

So, wait no further and come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend at Senja-Cashew CC!

 

Introducing the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)

The Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is back at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF)! As the first organisation in the history of the SMMF to curate an integrated booth (SMMF12), SL2 has never fail to amaze us. It has set high standards to upkeep (See SMMF13) but we believe they will continue to thrill the visitors at this third run of the SMMF. This year, SL2 will take the entire ground foyer level at the Senja-Cashew CC, right in front of the CC General Office and the entrance to the swimming complex. Let’s look at what they have in store for us.

Theme Introduction

It is obvious that SL2 has devoted much effort in putting their show together again, from gathering the makers to conceptuliazing this year’s theme, Sustainable Village. Considering that the SMMF is to be held at the Bukit Panjang heartlands, SL2 decided to relive the kampung spirit of building, repairing and bonding, and to allow the older residents to bond with the younger generation through traditional building and repairing work. There will also be interesting modernization of activities with the aid of technology, enticing the young and encouraging the old to bond meaningfully too! Read their project and maker introduction to get a better sense of what their integrated booth will have to offer you. Some are really humourous!

Project and Maker Introduction

New Picture (3)Project Title: A Darn Good Mending Cafe
Description: Are your jeans worn out? Do your socks have holes? Are your cargos torn? They all DESERVE a second chance! Learn mending techniques such as weaving, patching and even traditional sashiko to give them a second chance. Participants can bring their own socks, jeans or trousers, and mend them on the spot!

Team Members:
WonderSASHIKO Agy
– Agatha Lee (aka Agy) is a fabric hacker / upcycler and an advocate of sustainable fashion, including the upcycling of post-consumer garments and textile waste. When she is not hacking her clothes or experimenting with sewable electronics, she is busy sharing tips on her blog, Green Issues by Agy, and at workshops.

SuperPATCHER Amy –  Amy Koh is an avid maker, dabbling in woodwork and sewing.

SpideyWEAVER Raye –  Raye Padit is an aspiring fashion designer who aims to lessen the production of virgin textile, and create more awareness to individuals about how we can contribute to promoting sustainable fashion.

New Picture (4)Project title : Hangover Herbs
Description: You want to grow some herbs but lack the space. We know how that feels. Hangover Herbs is an inverted growing technique suitable for small spaces. With a simple container, we will show you how to turn it into an upside down planter you can hang at home. Good for the earth, Hangover Herbs are made from upcycled containers. Ignite the urban gardener in you and get your hands dirty. Come along, no green thumbs needed just your DIY spirit.

Team Members:
Apoorva Madhusudan, Vatsal Sanghavi and Nova Nelson (Project Lead, cultivatecentral.com). After much tinkering we’ve come up with a fun DIY activity to help you grow some herbs…upside down!

New Picture (5)Project Title: The Amazing Pinhole Photography Portrait Project!
Description: Have your portrait taken by the simplest of cameras, and go home with the original and unique print of it. In these days where taking a picture is as easy as whipping a handphone out, we are going back to the basics of photography, using only the simplest of materials, making every single photograph a treasure. Our cameras are made of recycled material and create an image unique anything you get using a modern camera. Bring a box, or any object, and challenge us to help you make a camera from it, then have your portrait taken with it! . Or if you want a certain outcome, choose from our range of cameras to have your portrait taken and developed in under 5 minutes.

Team Leader: Isabelle Desjeux;
Team Members:  Din Chan and Farah Sanwari:
Isabelle has been running a pin-hole camera project, introducing dozens of children and grown-ups to the magic of making their own camera and taking special pictures with them.

Din has been part of the journey, taking part in workshops and helping out in the trouble-shooting sessions.

Farah has made her own camera and understands the principle of pinhole photography, and is now happy to share the knowledge. The developing box is designed by Isabelle and fabricated by Sathi and Farah.

New PictureProject Title: Vacuum Forming Method
Description: Vacuum forming is a technique that is used to shape a variety of plastics where a flat sheet of plastic is heated until soft and malleable and then pulled by a vacuum machine over an object or mould and sucked tightly around it. When the plastic cools, it hardens in its new shape. Examples of things you can make with this method include toy cars, packaging trays, masks, decorations and theatre props!

Project In-charge: Sathiya Moorthi Sathi

New Picture (6)Project title: Mech Pong
Description: We wanted to create something interactive for Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014. A “toy” that everyone could play and enjoy. There’s nothing better than to remake a classic arcade game: Pong.

Pong was a very popular computer game back in the 70’s, its simple and very entertaining. We then decided to build a mechanised version of it.

The project scope really allowed the team to be exposed to the digital fabrication process; 3D Printing customized plastic parts, Laser Cutting acrylics and CNCing plywoods.

It took the team about 3 weeks to fabricate the different parts and about a week to solder the electronics and complete the firmware programming (using the super popular arduino IDE).

Team Members:
David Teo, Kenneth Jon. Aditya Kapoor

New Picture (7)Project Title: Bicycle Energy Generator – Hand phone Charging Station
Description: Do you suffer from hypertension, depression and high blood pressure after seeing your electricity bills? Are you thinking how you could lower down those illnesses while toning your saggy legs into sizzling ones just by charging your phone?

Well, think no further. You don’t have to buy equipment worth hundreds or even thousands or dollars. Just built one, Using Household materials.

The Bicycle Energy Generator uses simple recycled materials such as a bicycle, wires, a power bank and a dynamo. Assemble these components together and you’ll have your own handphone charging station in your home.

Visit our Hand phone Charging Station & we’ll show you how….

Project team: Ridwan, a social & green tech enthusiast who dreams of seeing a world without any carbon emission or pollution, believes we are the stewards of the planet and it’s resources. We’ve not seen it in that light, overall, and have lost track of the fact that it is nature’s services that sustain us. Without a healthy planet, we cannot live, grow, love.
See Tho has many hidden talents. Apart from jewelry making craft, he has also excellent woods crafting skills. Last but not least, he possesses ideas that are ahead of our time.

The electronics whiz, Baoshi has solutions to almost anything related to electronics. With a keen eye for details and a room which is akin to an electronics departmental store, Baoshi developed the Bicycle Energy generator’s statistics board using Arduino technology.

A lead maker in the previous Makers faire, cheerful and bubbly Astrid has With wealth of expereince in designing electronic components.Evidently, Astrid assisted in the development of of the electronics components of the Bicycle Energy Generator.

New Picture (8)Project title : Community Builders
Description: During the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, the community builders will engage the residents at Bukit Panjang to get their hands ‘dirty’ and to build furniture together. We aim to help foster strong bonds and cultivate a DIY culture. Through this process, we wish to teach and bring together the young and the old generations to understand more about each other through making.

Project team: Poh Hong is a self taught woodcraftsman, and his love for wood challenge him to work on several interesting projects. He has also since set up a business along with his partner in doing interesting wood projects (www.designed.sg)

Cleo, Rianto, Charmaine, Seri are fellow learners hoping to know more about woodworking and be good at them!

Priyanka’s Quilling Passion

I sense a lot of passion when interviewing Ms Priyanka Gupta Sarvaiya about her quilling endeavour.

Priyanka quillingPriyanka from “Just Love Crafts” is a professional paper artist who works extensively with paper quilling, a craft which is very endearing to her. At the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF), Priyanka will showcase a wide selection of products and designs made with the art of paper quilling, such as tea light candle holders, photoframes, wall plaques, miniatures, shadow boxes, wall clocks and so forth. Through her participation at the event, Priyanka wishes to get more people acquainted with the potential of this craft which she said is fairly simple to learn. While she is already conducting regular quilling workshops, she felt that there are many who still do not know about this, hence motivating her to proactively create a greater level of awareness. To promote this craft, Priyanka has set up a meet-up group for quillers in Singapore and she was happy that non-quillers had turned up to find out more about it and even managed to leave with handmade items within a short span of 2 hours. Interested to join the meet-up? Check out more information here.

Views about the maker movement in Singapore

Priyanka has strong views about the maker movement. She felt that people of all age groups and background should be encouraged to learn something new. From Priyanka’s point of view, hands-on activities are not only enriching and therapeutic, but might even become a means of living for some. She hopes that people would be able to see it from a wider perspective and also take a collaborative approach in the process of making as it will both enrich themselves and the society, for example by recycling/upcycling resources and promoting local made products.

Having missed out on last year’s SMMF while travelling, Priyanka expressed excitement to participate both as a maker and as an attendee this year, with the objective of spreading the awareness of quilling to more people.

If you are interested to find out more about the craft of quilling, come by Priyanka’s maker booth at the Senja-Cashew CC this weekend or attend her workshops which will be conducted at 4.45pm – 5.15pm on both days. More about Priyanka can also be found at her “Just Love Crafts” blog and Facebook Page.

Introducing Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Integrated booth

This year, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) will be participating in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF) with an integrated booth to showcase their diverse variety of makers. Below is a summary of our interview with the six featured makers, and an introduction provided by Dr Yeo Wee Kiang, Maker Coach, Singapore Polytechnic, who conducted a workshop at last year’s SMMF.

Introduction

SPlogo(Colour)Makers from Singapore Polytechnic (SP) have been actively participating in their own capacities at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire since its first run. This year, SP is proud to participate as Team SP in one integrated booth which showcases the diverse capabilities and innovative talents from our various academic schools and student clubs. SP firmly believes that making is an important part of education today. We are actively promoting the maker movement within SP.

For example, Makerspace@SP has been set up in SP Library to promote curiosity-driven tinkering. In addition, an institution level facility the FabLab@SP has been setup and provides the technical expertise, trainings, tools, and machineries necessary for digital fabrication, and rapid prototyping. The Singapore Mini Maker Faire provides an excellent platform for makers from SP to connect with creative talents from the local Maker community and vice versa.

Jolyon P. Caplin (Big on the Mind but Light on the Pocket)

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Jolyon is a familiar face at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. For past visitors of the event, you might remember him for the Jolyonophone1, reason for the constant crowd at his maker booth at SMMF 2012, or for the colourful light displays at his Science-Art Fusion maker booth last year. This year, Jolyon who is a lecturer at SP’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, is returning with “Big on the Mind but Light on the Pocket” and he promises devices that will both be interactive and entertaining.

When asked about his thoughts on the Singapore maker scene, he noted that it is a good sign to see many maker events and facilities appearing, with good take-up as well. However, he felt that more people need to build the confidence to become really involved. This is something he felt could be improved. Do you agree with this?

His advice for interested makers-to-be would be to simply plunge in, find a more experienced maker first to see how things are done and build up the confidence, before dropping by a hardware shop to browse around and get ideas.

When asked about his challenges in making, Jolyon conceded that time is his biggest problem, as it would take a full 4 hours to really complete a project. I recalled him mentioning time as a challenge last year as well, and I believe this is a problem that many makers would have as well. Yet, despite so, Jolyon has still made it to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire with a variety of new showcases each year. Isn’t that a great example for all?

Tan Kok How (Dancing Robot)

Next, we would like to introduce Mr Tan Kok How from the SP Robotics Innovation Technology Enterprise (SP-RITE, a Student Club). Mr Tan will be showcasing a bioloid robot programmed to dance!

New Picture

We asked Mr Tan to share his making journey and he told us the story of how he started with LEGO bricks from a tender age of 7 and progressed into robotics by the time he reached Secondary School. Joining the Robotics Club then provided him the chance to explore various types of robots and participate in competitions. It also opened the way for him to build robots out of LEGO Mindstorms and learn about simple electronics. Mr Tan shared that budget is his biggest challenge in his making journey because it is not easy to build a robot without sufficient funding. This has however brought the maker spirit out of him, when he innovated with the use of self-fabricated parts and parts from obsolete robots. Challenges always bring out the best in people, isn’t it?

When asked on his advice for budding makers, this was what he said:-

‘Life is full of mysteries and surprises. You must have that motivation and vision in whatever that you are doing in order for you to start and even more to continue. Also, willingness plays an important role. You are going to make something new or innovate something that is already out there. You will need a strong will in trying as “failing to try is trying to fail”.’

Liew Hui Sing (Development of the intermeshing Tandem Configuration VTOL UAV (Vertical Take-off and landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) System)

liew hui sing1 small

Mr Liew with his students and their “makes”

Next, we would like to introduce Mr Liew Hui Sing from the SP School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, who would be showcasing an intermeshing rotorblade helicopter. Want to see a flying machine at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire? Look out for Mr Liew’s booth.

Mr Liew shared with us that he began liking airplanes since he received his first foam airplane from his parents at about 8 years old. Since then, he had enjoyed making his own airplane out of any scrap materials he could find, until he became of age to join the Singapore Youth Flying Club Aero-modelling Club to learn how to build flying aircraft models. He continued to pursue his degree in Aerospace Engineering, worked in the aerospace industries and finally became a lecturer and course chair at SP to pass on his love for aeronautical engineering to the next generation.

Because of his love for aeronautics, things he has made naturally revolved around this theme, for example UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Propulsion Systems like Rockets and Engines, and Motion Simulator System to give people the experience of flight. Interested to know more about what he has made? Do drop by his booth and speak with him!

Mr Liew also have some advice for those who are interested to pick up engineering. He felt that “it is about following your passion even though engineering necessitates doing the less glamourous work like ‘putting your hand in grease’”.

Michael Spicer (Spatial Controlled musical instrument)

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A performance using the spatial controlled musical instruments

Mr Michael Spicer is from the SP School of Digital Media and Infocomm Technology and he would showcase a project that adapts various spatial controllers to become semi intelligent musical instruments. Mr Spicer shared that he enjoyed building things and music since young and it naturally led to him creating various electronic music systems, using available resources. He usually build interactive music performance systems that tend to have large software component, but sometimes consists of a combination of sound generators and signal processors in novel combinations.

Mr Spicer advises new makers to start small and have fun, and to start with modifying something that exists as it would be an easier first project. He also reminded that things would never work right the first time, and noted that creating something is an exploratory activity, hence if you create exactly what you set out to do, you have probably overlooked an opportunity.

Isn’t that so true? Therefore it is important to keep the right spirit and attitude in the process of making and creating things!

SP Design School – Diploma in Interior Design [ SUPERSURFACE. ]

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Students’ exhibition at a library

Next, we would like to introduce the Year 1 students from the SP School of Design – Diploma in Interior Design and their showcase of [ SUPERSURFACE. ], an ergonomics design project which was planned and carried out in collaboration with their lecturers Mr Muzammil Aziz, Mr Ivan Ho, Mr Foo Yoong Sheng, Ms Fiona Ho, Mr Tony Tan and Ms Janice Tan.

The design process comprises of four main stages where the students had to collect data, analyse, make prototypes and finally fabricate. The project which started as a study of human ergonomics ran for slightly more than three months.

On the maker scene in Singapore, Mr Muzammil and Ms Tan observed that there is now additional government support in terms of funding and initiatives, hence beneficial to the community of makers. However more publicity and outreach could be done to gain more traction both locally and internationally.

To young makers, their advice is to have passion, determination and perservance, as these are the factors that will bring one far.

Teo Shin Jen (Assorted Electronics and Digital Fabrication Projects)

Last but not least, the final maker from SP would be Mr Teo Shin Jen who is a lecturer at SP’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He also happened to be the first person interviewed for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire when it first started in 2012. In that blog post, we saw Shin Jen’s “see-say-do-it” spirit and his passion to use what he makes to inspire his students’ interest in learning programming, electronics, and computer engineering. This year, we see Shin Jen returning to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire again with his band of merry makers from SP Makers’ Club and the community members of FabLab@SP after his stint in UCL Computer Science Department, and Institute of Making, London last year.

Shin Jen’s focus is still the same and we applaud his efforts for making learning more applied. His emphasis, which I thought was notable, is that a maker should not concentrate on just making in solidarity, but involve the community around him or her (students in his case) to “DIT: Do It Together” by making things together. Here is a photo of Shin Jen’s class on making solar cooker for the children of SP’s staff.

Shin Jen’s workshop with 3 children working on the solar cooker outdoors

Shin Jen’s workshop with 3 children working on the solar cooker outdoors

1 The Jolyonophone is currently on display at Science Centre Singapore, Quirky Science Exhibition