Author Archives: megadolen

Check out this DIY Electronic Drum and Motorcycle Security Kit

We have a couple of Indonesian makers taking part in Maker Faire Singapore this year. Our next maker introduction is on the “Motorcycle Security Kit” and “DIY Drum” projects and the organisation behind them (SMART Lab Programme). Let’s find out more.

About SMART Lab Programme

SMART Lab Program is a University partnership program between USAID and Sampoerna University (Putera Sampoerna Foundation) with support from Intel Indonesia Corporations, New York Hall of Science, Tufts University and Komunitas Robot Indonesia. The main goal of this program is to improve STEM learning and teaching in high school level in Indonesia through establishing four model schools, preparing 500 STEM teachers and inspiring 6,000 students. The students participating in this program is high school students in four model schools and additonally from non-model schools that have been intervened by STEM teachers which the SMART lab has trained and prepared. The program activities are focusing on intracurricular ones (Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Project-based Learnings) and extracurricular/after-school-hour ones (Making, Arduino/robotic, and Lego Mindstorms activities).

About the projects

2Motorcycle Security Kit is a product designed and created by Andritama, a student from SMAN 10 Malang (one of the SMART Lab’s model schools) together with his uncle. The project came about in view of the rise in motorcycle thefts in Indonesia, and Andritama and his uncle hope to prevent such incidents from happening with the help of this kit. They also hope to create greater awareness of this kit through their participation in the Maker Faire Singapore.

The kit has also been tested in Malang, one of the major cities in the central part of Indonesia, and the University/Programme is currently looking for industries/companies that might be able to support the improvement of this kit for sale.

photo 2DIY Drum, on the other hand, is a more fun project. The maker, Zil Ikram, is one of the Sampoerna University students who majored in computer game technology and he has been working on the project since December 2014. It has been on Zil’s wishlist to own an electronic drum kit. However it costs a lot, and Zil aspired to source for alternative options to make one with lower costs. He began researching online, and  found interesting ideas to make a homemade electronic drum where he even had to build his own electronic drum module using a virtual drum software and a USB game pad. This was a good substitute for an actual electronic drum module which would have cost him $1000. Zil also used recycled materials such as lunch boxes, PVC pipes and unused plywood to build the rest of the drum parts.

By joining the Maker Faire Singapore, Zil aspired to share his idea with others, to get to know other makers and to get more ideas for future projects.

If you are keen to learn how Andritama and Zil made the Motorcycle Security Kit and the DIY Drum, do check out their booth next weekend!

Showcases from the ArtScience Museum-OneMakerGroup Team

ArtScience Museum has teamed up with OneMakerGroup (OMG) to bring eight exciting, hands-on booth to the Maker Faire Singapore this year. Check out the array of activities that they are showcasing, from copper sculptures soldering to cardboard armour making, and DIY watering can making!

Light Painting (Maker: Din)
Create your own dreamscape through painting with light, and observe your painting captured through a HD camera.

Join Din in using a HD camera and a light source to make your own wonderous light photograph! Participants will begin their journey in the dark room, draw out a shape or word in the air while the long exposure camera will capture the light sketch.

Din - Light Painting

The Waterflower (Maker: John)
Make your own waterflower to take home, as you learn about recycling

John will be sharing how to reuse plastic bottles, trap rain water with them and turn them into watering devices. John’s watering cans are also able to pour the water to the roots rather than allowing water to be wasted on weeds.

John - Waterflowerpic2

HoverRover (Maker: Anabelle)
Discover the HoverRover through play or your own DIY robot.

In this booth, participants will be led by Annabelle to either play with the DIY HoverRover or make their own mini self-balancing robot. Discover how the HoverRover works!


Cardboard Sculpture & Automata (Maker: Bart)
Join us in building an enormous cardboard teddy bear head and play with the automata surrounding it.

Bart will lead the participants to build an enormous cardboard teddy bear head and put a medium sized automata around the teddy bear head. Participants can build the cardboard head, or play with the automata surrounding the head.

Bart Cardboard Sculpture

Renaissance Booth (Maker: Sullivan)

Create a renaissance experience through DIY activities.

At this booth, Sullivan will guide participants through a renaissance experience by making their own leather pouches, hand-sewing a medieval costume and even making their own chainmail!

Sullivan - Chainmail

Nest of Memories (Makers: Farah & Agatha)

Create an expression of memories with us through this activity. Try your hands at weaving colourful hulahoops, circle frames or even a welded stool.

In this booth, participants can enter an area with lots of weaved, colourful hulahoops hung on the ceiling. Farah and Agatha will invite participants to try their hand at weaving on the hulahoops, tiny circle frames or a welded stool using old T-shirts. Each old T-shirt and clothes represent the memories or identity of a person. Weaving them together creates an expression of a nest of memories.

Agatha - Nest of Memories 2

Power Drill Car (Maker: Nah Wee Yang)

Have a go on the hand-build Power Drill Car!

Wee Yang will be making a fully working car that uses power drills to power the wheels forward!

Wee Yang - Drill Kart

PCB Making & Cardboard LED Lamp (Makers: Haw Kiat & Leon)

Understand how to make a printed circuit board using basic materials you can find at home. Fold and build your own cardboard table lamp and create your own LED lamp!

Join Haw Kiat and Leon who will be showing you how to make a printed circuit board from scratch, by heat pressing the circuit and then etching basic ingredients that you can find at home. Learn how to solder different components in a circuit board and bring what you have learnt to make your own Cardboard LED Lamp.

Leon - Pcb Etching workshop 2Haw Kiat - cardboard lamp

Bikes 4 Fun – A unique bike making experience

“We are bicycle builders from BIKES4FUN. We turn old bicycles into new inventions and have a collection of over 50 bicycle contraptions. We have bike blenders to make smoothies, bike generators to pedal for power, bike mowers to keep the lawns tidy and upcycled bicycles to keep the earth happy. We make bicycles from almost anything and everything and more importantly, we want to show you how to do it for yourself.”

Bikes 4 Fun started in 2006 when the team started collecting unique homemade bicycles. They became a full-fledged business when they started making bicycles themselves while based in New Zealand. Currently, Bikes 4 Fun are now operating out of their workshop in Kaki Bukit and will be in Singapore for the next two years before they bring our bicycles on an international tour again.

Most Memorable Project

Bikes 4 Fun shared that their most memorable project was the Horse Bike. This is what it looks like.

The Horse Bike

Photo Credit: Bikes 4 Fun

“It was made by chance as we were tinkering with the wheel hub. Every wheel hub on a bicycle is at the centre of the wheel. While building our own spokes for the wheel, we wanted to discover the effect it would have on the bicycle if the hub was off-centre. It resulted in a bicycle that moves with an incredible bounce as the wheels rotate around an off-centre axis. Well, thousands of kids in New Zealand and Singapore have made it their favourite bicycle and we have affectionately named it the Horse Bike due to the gallop effect.” – Mo, Bikes 4 Fun

Advice for New Bicycle Builders

We also asked Mo what advice he would give to new bicycle builders, and he said the first thing to do would be to look at their old bicycles first before looking to buy a new one. At Bikes 4 Fun, they believe that a bicycle can be given a wonderful makeover using simple tools available at every hardware store, such as $2 aerosol spray paints to give their bikes a new look. A small step it might seem, this could potentially lead to more great ideas.

They acknowledged that not everyone would have a flair with mechanical stuffs or be skilled in welding. Yet, these should not deter one from fiddling with new bicycle ideas as sometimes the most amazing ideas require the simplest tools. Change the way of thinking and ask the “Why Not?” question. It could be a change of seat, handle, pedals with non-conventional or recycled items!

About the Maker Movement

Bikes 4 Fun is new to the Maker Faire, but they voiced their whole-hearted support for the Maker movement.

‘We truly believe that makers coming together can inspire others especially children to cultivate the habit of “making” rather than “buying”, for the former is truly more meaningful.’ – Mo, Bikes 4 Fun

From Bikes 4 Fun website, I can see many more unique bikes that they have made. If you are keen to check out Bikes 4 Fun, do come by Maker Faire Singapore on 11 & 12 July 2015 at 15 Tampines Street 11.

Introducing our next maker – Sudharshan, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science

Sudharshan holding his RC Airplane

Sudharshan holding his RC Airplane

Next, we are going to introduce Sudharshan from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, who will be showcasing projects he has made under the umbrella of the NUS High School’s Engineering Interest Group (EIG) and some other projects made by like-minded friends. Together with Sudharshan at his booth would be his friends Isaac Tay and Jia Cheng from the same EIG.

About Sudharshan

Sudharshan is a 15-year-old student from NUS High School who is also part of its Engineering Interest Group(EIG) where students who are passionate about engineering come together and work in pairs or trios on different projects. Sudharshan shared that he has been interested in electronics and engineering in general since he was ten years old. He enjoys fixing or simply taking apart broken electronics to find out how they work. As his interest developed, he began to work on actual projects such as blinking LED lights with 555 timers. Over time, he accumulated certain skillsets (such as programming languages in C, C#, Java and Arduino programming) that allowed him to work on more advanced projects.

“At my booth, you will find some interesting projects that I made recently which I thought were really cool. Along with that you will see some of EIG’s coolest projects. This is including but not limited to my Automated High Speed Squash ball launcher, my 6-axes wireless 3D gaming mouse that allows for more immersion for playing computer games like TF2, my senior’s game controlling glove, my tricopter, my friend’s quadcopter and maybe you’ll see my backpack mounted sentry model in life scale. It comes with autonomous targeting and shootin, with a semi-auto Nerf gun which allows for it to shoot Nerf darts at the target by activating the gun with a servo.” – Sudharshan


Squash Ball Launcher

Project motivation 

We noticed some gaming-related projects and asked if Sudharshan is an avid gamer. It turns out to be otherwise.

Sudharshan’s motivation for making gaming devices came out of his problem-solving resolute. While he is not a gamer, he has been inspired by a gaming friend who had faced challenges using both the keyboard and the mouse when gaming. This has inspired Sudharshan to add more axes to the gaming mouse so that his friend can play the game without using the keyboard. This totally resonates with what our other Maker Elda Webb has shared with us before, that making is a process of problem-solving. I think Sudharshan’s making journey is exemplary of that. In fact, Sudharshan personally prefers to spend his time documenting engineering ideas, working on his engineering projects and keeping a blog to document them.

Parent support

Sudhshan also acknowledged the importance of family support. 

“One of the reasons I am able to work on such projects is definitely that my parents support me as without their support I would never be able to accumulate and get the parts and tools that I need to easily work on my projects.” – Sudharshan

Indeed, his parents should be lauded for encouraging his creative mind!

Participation in Maker Faire

Sudharshan was collecting his prize for the Autodesk Design Challenge at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 when he first touched base with the Singapore maker scene. Since then, his interest was piqued and he began to follow the local maker scene and look out for updates on the Maker Faire Singapore 2015.

How can we encourage more Singaporeans to make things?

Sudharshan is a strong proponent of the maker movement, and he felt that many Singaporeans love to throw away things rather than fixing them. He felt that this would need to be inculcated in the thinking of the young, by shifting focus away from academic achievements.

“Personally, by building a lot of things I gain a certain amount of knowledge and ability though hands-on experience. This is not going to pull up your marks like studying for 3 hours straight but the experience you gain could be valuable to the workforce which gives you an edge. By cultivating maker habits from young through encouraging hands-on activities, we can not only encourage more Singaporeans to take up a maker lifestyle but also help our students have a more rounded education.” – Sudharshan

A rather mature view, isn’t it?

Don’t forget to check out Sudharshan’s booth this coming weekend on 11 & 12 July at 15 Tampines Street 11.


Craft the City with POPIN Craft Community!

Walking into a pink room, you see a buffet spread of materials – Wooden blocks, cardboards scraps, felt, recycled materials and so forth. With an array of tools, you paint, cut, glue, paste and sew, and they morph into buildings, cars and plants of a city! Moreoever, you can make them whichever way you like!

If you think this is a video game of sorts, well it isn’t. In fact, this is something hands-on that you can do at the upcoming Maker Faire Singapore, an activity spearheaded by POPIN Craft Community, a group of artists, designers and creative individuals, who enjoy working with their hands using methods and materials traditionally associated with craft, spreading the passion of handmade and bringing people together through the act of making. We interviewed Shu Ning from POPIN to find out more about this project.

About the Community Craft Project

Since 2011, POPIN has been organising a yearly community craft project, where members of public are involved in the creation of an artwork which would be exhibited at the end of the year.

participants works 1

This year’s project, Craft the City invites everyone to contribute to building a miniature cityscape. The elements in the cityscape could be inspired by real places in our surroundings or from memories. They could also be completely imaginary­ a creative take of what one will associate with the city or things one hope to see in it. Craft the City explores how different people interpret the idea of a city and will result in a collective cityscape made up of multiple unique pieces handcrafted by many individuals. This year’s project is managed by Nathania and Shu Ning, with the rest of the POPIN team chipping in to bring it to the public.

What can participants expect to see or do

“We are excited to be bringing our Craft The City craft gathering to Maker Faire!” – Shu Ning

wip2Shu Ning’s enthusiasm can be contagious, even through email. She shared with us that participants can join in the making of miniature building blocks using a variety of craft techniques including: painting on wooden blocks, cut­-out cardboard constructions and the use of recycled materials. As mentioned earlier, materials will be laid out on the table (buffet-style) and participants can pick and select the materials they would like to use for their building piece. We learnt from Shu Ning that this is POPIN’s usual style for their craft sessions. Ultimately, their objective is for members of public to enjoy the slow process of crafting as well as the creativity and interaction that happens during the gatherings.

Since earlier this year, POPIN has made open call for artists and craft lovers to submit an art piece to contribute to this miniature cityscape. They have also held public craft gatherings, similar to the one that they are going to hold at Maker Faire Singapore. Take a look at this for a sneak preview!



Aspirations for the craft session at Maker Faire Singapore

Shu Ning shared that they hope to get inspired by everyone’s creativity as every participant has their own idea about how to add on to a city.

While the project was started with an image in mind, it has grown differently from what they first envisioned after a few sessions.

DSC_0775“That’s the beauty of a community craft project, we let ‘accidents’ happen and improvise along the way. We also look forward to meeting new people with different interests and see how it shapes the project organically.” – Shu Ning

Well, I can already imagine the possible different ways that our makers with different background can come up with, if they drop by to contribute a cityscape element. Maybe a mini car with blinking LED headlights, or a glass-decorated building? Endless computations, isn’t it? If you are joining, feel free to bring your own materials too!

Looking forward to join in the Craft The City session on 11 July (4 – 7pm) and 12 July (3 – 6pm) @ 15 Tampines Street 11, Level 1 (Pink Room)

An interplay of colours, textures and designs – Glass mosaic art by Anjali Venkat

anjali copy smallWe checked in with Anjali Venkat, a glass artist who will be demonstrating glass cutting and teaching glass mosaic during the Maker Faire Singapore on 11 & 12 July. Read on to find out more.

Brief Introduction
Anjali Venkat is a glass artist with an eclectic sense of art and design.

Incorporating the unusual into her work, she tries to give a new twist to the ordinary in every one of her pieces. Blessed with the opportunity to travel the world, she takes inspiration from the sights, colours, crafts, and people around the world.

She constantly tries to learn new techniques and incorporate them into her evolving artistic arsenal. She has trained in Traditional Glass Mosaic at Ravenna (Italy), Hot glasswork at the Corning Museum of Glass (New York), Glass blowing at Oslo (Norway), and Tiffany-style lamp making at Perth (Australia). Currently, the techniques she practices involve the use of mosaic, kiln-formed glass, Up-cycled glass bottles, as well as other media like wood, paper and plastic.

Joy of Making Glass Mosaic

autumnleaves smallThere is something about the interplay of the vibrant colors, textures and designs of glass, which has a mesmerizing effect on all of us. In making a mosaic there is an unlimited choice of materials, size, texture and space. It is engrossing, challenging and at times downright difficult, but ultimately making mosaic is rewarding and therapeutic.

Advice for New Hobbyists

Materials and tools used to make basic mosaics are easily available- one can even make mosaic with broken crockery and bottles at home. All one needs is the Tessera (glass, tile, broken plates etc), Glue, a Substrate (a rigid base on which to mosaic) and Grout (a cement like filler, easily available at building material shops)

To cut the tesserae into desired shapes one has to use special nippers, cutters etc.

treeoflife small

Views on Maker Faires

The Maker Faire is a good platform for both makers and others to interact. Not everybody is open to the idea or has the opportunity to actually make things with their hands. This provides a unique space for giving into ones free wheeling imagination and learning a lot in the bargain.

Check out this page to find out more about Anjali’s workshops!

Enabling text editing for the visually challenged – A project by David Effendi

When I first look through the ChorusText website and YouTube video, I found the concept pretty interesting. ChorusText is a device endeavoured to facilitate text editing for the visually challenged, by making it sight independent. For a better understanding of what ChorusText is about, check out this video first before reading on David Effendi’s replies to our email interview.

MFS: What makes you create the ChorusText?

David:Computer text editing, as we know it today, is a sight-led activity. For those without sight or with only very little remaining, it can be a challenge. Yet, text-editing is a very important part of our daily life, so it is a problem.

I simply want this problem nailed. I really hope that in 20 years’ time, this becomes a non-issue, there’s a completely sight independent (and Libre!) alternative to edit text effectively.

It is crucial for it to be open-source, and prioritize “Education” over everything else, including over “Economy”. I believe by making it open-source and as easy as possible for people to tinker with, we can push the limits much further, collectively. Ideally ChorusText becomes “that next project” after one has gone through an “Arduino Starter Kit”.

The “Libre” part has got to be there as well. It is not an entertainment device or game console where one seeks to get some amusement out of, but rather a device to help a person stay functional, without which s/he would be at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the population. A device to help level the playing field should be universally open and avoid lock-ins as much as possible.”

MFS: When did you first build it and how long did you spend doing it? How did you start?

David: “The initial spark of idea was in Feb 2014, and it was very different from the current state. At first I wanted to use a headtracker IMU, but there are several shortcomings with it (straying, can’t stay fixed at a point for a prolonged period, prone to unintentional inputs etc).

After more brainstorming with friends, I remembered that Sparkfun has this motorized slide potentiometers and it was demonstrated in one of their “New Product Friday Videos”. That would solve the problem of straying, fixation, and unintentional inputs). And so I continued with the sliders. Real work began in May 2014.”

MFS: Were you working individually or as a team? What kind of challenges did you face?

David: “There’s a friend (Dr Corey Brady from Northwestern University) who helped with laser cutting the acrylic enclosure. Having a full protective enclosure really brings it up a notch.

Before that, all the sliders and components were mounted on 3 small acrylic plates joined together to form a surface, cables were hanging underneath them and it was pretty fragile. Even moving it from one table to another could result in connections coming loose and the device dysfunctional (and I’d be scratching my head for the next 15 mins trying to figure out which cable came loose:) ).

But with a full protective enclosure, I could bring it to Jakarta and back, without any problems at all. This gives me something solid that I can bring with me to a table, put it down and let people try when I ask their thoughts/opinions/ideas.

Previously I sent the design files to Seeed Studio for laser cutting, and unfortunately they can only cut acrylic up to 20cmx20cm at that time (But as at now, Seeed’s laser cutting service is able to cut up to 30cmx30cm). The current design needs 30cmx30cm, which Dr Brady’s machine can do. Dr Brady has been kind enough to help with the project using his own resources, but I need to find a local (Singapore) source for laser cutting in the long run.”

MFS: Is the current version the final version or is it still in prototyping stage?

David: “It is still a prototype ( and I think it will remain a prototype for a long time as there are more features I’d like to implement ). Unless “magic” happen through Google Summer of Code, or the project attracted an army of developers or something similar to that effect :)”

MFS: Is this open source or will this be a commercial item for sale?

David: “This is open source. One of the main reason why I am doing this is so that doing text-editing is no longer a challenge for the visually impaired. And I think having an assistive device that is open source and “Libre” can help bring this about better than if it was commercial.”

MFS: You mentioned in your website that the ultimate goal is for ChorusText to become an online, collaborative text editing platform, that is enriched with social and chat functionalities. Can you explain what you mean by this?

David: “I’d like to implement some kind of chat functionality into ChorusText, where the user can simply turn a knob to “Chat” mode, and he can send and receive text messages to his friends, using the keyboard and the sliders.

Hopefully this helps mitigate the problem of social isolation which affects many visually impaired people (If we can’t see, we don’t travel to see our friends as much. If we can’t travel, at least we can send messages over the internet) Now I am looking into Telegram messenger’s API to see if integration is feasible.

Also, it is possible to “send” physical movements over the internet ( a servo connected to a plastic hand that would rise up to give the user a “virtual hi-5” for example ), but the trick is to do so in a friendly and safe manner.

Maybe, we can turn the knob to “Collaborate” mode and edit a document / text together ( like etherpad-lite or google docs, but updates happen one sentence at a time, instead of one keystroke at a time ).

Any new sentence sent in by a user can be pushed to all users editing the text. Who knows what could happen when we bring minds together like this? (This is kind of experimental though.)

From some discussion, there is also an idea of developing ChorusText into a device to access Wikipedia’s content, using MediaWiki API. I think this is very interesting and worthwhile too, so turn the knob to “Wikipedia” type in some search words and the search results will be available via the sliders.

There’s also a much better sounding text-to-speech engine called MaryTTS, and it would be great if we can use it or offer the user a choice of TTS engines. The current one is eSpeak, which is very lightweight and robust, but not as pleasant-sounding (monotonous and roboty, but I think it’s nicely geeky :) )

Also, from discussions with people I met in GNOME Asia Summit, there were some ideas about desktop integration. Right now, there is already has a screen reader on the Linux GNOME desktop that will speak out the text on the screen / under the mouse pointer. Let’s add on to that by sending the text to ChorusText in addition to the screen reader, so the text is also available via the sliders.

It would be even better if we can tap into keyboard to input events, so following each keyboard keypress, a character can be sent to Chorustext such that the contents of the currently focused textbox is the same as what’s on the device. I think this is by far the most interesting idea, but need more time to explore, especially as this falls outside my domain knowledge.

All these are very interesting and definitely worthwhile exploring.

But it also means that we are on the crossroads now. After getting the device to handle reading, typing, importing and exporting, multiple paths lie ahead but there remains only one developer. This is another reason for making ChorusText “Education First”, open source and as easy as possible for other people to study, modify and take it to wherever they want.”

MFS: Also, can you share whether you are based in Singapore or are you based in Indonesia? Are you able to share on the making culture at where you are, if not in SG?

David: “I am based in Singapore. For the past few years I had not been very active in the local makers community, because my son was still very young. But now he is older and I can afford to be more active (very much looking forward to it! :) ).”

MFS: Have you attended the Maker Faire in SG before? How did you learn about it?

David:This is actually my second time. Last year I showcased ChorusText too but I was in the pcDuino booth. I was introduced to Liu JingFeng, the founder of pcDuino (by Dr Brady), who came to Singapore for the Mini Maker Faire 2014. He invited me to showcase pcDuino in his booth as I am using pcDuino for ChorusText. I am really thankful especially since I missed the 2014 call for makers.”

MFS: What do you hope to go away with from the event?

David:Meeting people, brainstorming, raise awareness, and who knows, hopefully more people are interested to take a look at ChorusText such that the number of developers grow. :)

ChorusText is an open assistive device for people with low-vision / blindness, that lets them explore and edit text by means of touch and hearing. As you can tell from David’s sharing, his objective is to enable visually challenged people to be able to communicate through ChorusText and use the device for collaborations. If you are interested in David’s cause, check out his booth at Maker Faire Singapore which will take place on 11 & 12 July next month!


Have you seen these barang-barang?

Phoebe is a second-time participating maker. I recalled Phoebe’s booth being very crowded last year as many checked out her handcrafted leather items, the on-the-spot workshops, and the “barang-barang” (“Things” in the Malay language) she was selling. I also found myself drifting back to her booth again and again (also manned by Phoebe’s mother and son, a helpful young boy), and eventually I bought an awl which I wanted to use for bookbinding. Unfortunately, I’ve not embarked on my bookbinding project yet.

Mini Shoe Workshop in progress at Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 (Photo: Barang Shop)

Mini Shoe Workshop in progress at Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 (Photo: Barangshop)

How it all started

Phoebe shared that she has been making all kinds of crafts and stuff ever since she was 4 years old and started selling them as young as eleven! She has a love for making and have tried many crafts and hobbies, including pottery and woodworking. She is also a shoemaking trainer at (The Academy of Fashion Professions). Wow!

However, at this stage in life, her focus is on designing and making jewellery, shoes, bags and accessories, creating DIY patterns for sale and conducting workshops. Like last year, Phoebe’s booth will showcase her handcrafted items, some patterns and supplies for DIY fans.

Joining Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014

Phoebe told us that she actually saw the promotional poster for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 after the event, so she made up her mind then to take part as a Maker in 2014.

Phoebe’s recap of her experience – “It was an interesting 2014 as we saw many who were interested in making their own leathergoods. Hope to see more this year who would try out shoe making as well  with our new shoemaking kit to be launched at Maker Faire Singapore 2015.”

Like last year, Phoebe hope to raise the public’s appreciation of handmade products and also encourage people to DIY. It’ll be interesting to check out the shoemaking kit!

Thoughts about the Maker Movement in Singapore

Phoebe felt that in the not-so-distant past, most people viewed handmade/homemade as cheap and poor quality as they are made “by hand”. People perceived machine-made items to be of “good” quality. Now, more and more people realise and appreciate that handcrafted items can actually be better as opposed to factory-made. There is value added for artisan made products. And this in turn stimulates more interest in people to be makers too. We may have a long way to go in comparison to the USA or Australia, but we are strolling our way there.

Want to check out Phoebe’s Barangshop booth at Maker Faire Singapore this year? Make your way to 15 Tampines Street 11 on 11 and 12 July! Barangshop can also be found online at

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”.


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:-

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. :)  ]