Author Archives: megadolen

Concertina-spine bookbinding

The art of bookbinding caught my interest ever since I first heard of it. Imagine the amount of DIY stuffs you could do with it!

At this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire, we are fortunate to have with us Pooja Makhijani, who will be conducting a workshop “Bookbinding 101″. Read on to learn more about her.

About Pooja

Pooja moved from New York to Singapore nearly three years ago and is currently a “work at home parent”, balancing the parenting of her daughter and her freelance work. She conducts bookmaking classes, writes and edits, and serves as an early childhood education consultant to a host of non-profit and institutional clients.

Her background

Pooja first learnt basic bookbinding at the Centre for the Book Arts in Chelsea, New York City, and continued her studies as a creative writing graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

Her avocation became a vocation in 2010 when her partner and her left their beloved New York City for an adventure in Singapore, leaving behind a strong book arts community in the States and eager to find or create one in her new home in Asia.

Her current endeavour

With that in mind, Pooja launched a series of classes via her blog in 2011 and was soon featured in the Straits Times as the person to look for on book arts. Currently, she is working with the National Arts Council to bring the book arts to as many as possible.

Pooja shared that in classes, she encourages her students, whether they are children, adults or senior citizens, to look at the book or book-like structure as an art object and not merely as a vessel for their content. She always highlights to her students that all the elements of an artist’s book – from the paper to the text and/or images – are deliberately interconnected and work in concert.

Besides teaching bookmaking, she is also currently editing a book, to be published by Math Paper Press, a small press publisher of poetry, new wave novellas, full-length novels, and essays by Singapore-based writers.

Her workshop

smmf

At the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend, Pooja will be teaching a unique concertina-spine structure that she had learnt from a master book artist, Barbara Mauriello, on her most recent visit to the States!

As Pooja is from New York, she shared that she has attended the Maker Faire there several times. She felt that it is important to encourage everyone to think and tinker, to explicitly critique consumer culture (which emphasizes that the solution to our needs is to purchase things) and instead encourage people to take art, craft and technologies into their own hands.

Pooja’s workshop on 27 Jul, 1 – 2.30pm, SCAPE Situation Room (Level 4) was fully signed up at an early stage of publicity, but if you are keen to speak with her, do drop by and hang around after her workshop is over!

Water purification

Ashwin Manoj is a member of the Singapore Academy of Young Engineers and Scientists (SAYES) and is currently a student with the United World College South East Asia.

Although young, Ashwin is not new to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, having participated and showcased a mood-sensing jacket last year. This year, Ashwin has been working on a water purification device and would like to share his project with you. Read more about his first-hand account here.

What is the project about?

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 11.50.49 PM“I have been developing a water purification device that uses an ultrasonic transducer to generate standing sounds waves within the tank, acting as the mechanism for purification. The standing wave results in the formation of node (minimal vibrations) and antinode (maximum vibrations) points. As node points are the points of minimal vibration, sedimentation and other impure substances move towards this point from the antinodes, as it would be the point of maximum stability. As the impure particles move towards the node points, they are held stationary and begin to aggregate together. They become denser as a result and settle at the bottom of the tank for purification.”

What would you like to achieve with it?

“As the aggregation occurs in a relatively fast time frame, a flow of running water as opposed to a stationary tank of water would be more feasible in the ultimate objective of large-scale purification projects. This would be the next objective in the development of this device.

Apart from these aspects, the ultimate goal of this project is to create a sustainable, revolutionary and fast manner of purifying large masses of water at once and hence implementing these devices in the water supply of less privileged countries.”

What motivated you to work on it?

“Personally, I am a member of a service group within my school that helps rural villages in India secure drinking water by building wells and other such charitable projects. However, the degree of water purity within these villages is still not adequate despite these efforts and I became aware of the severe hardships people without drinkable water are forced to endure. This provided me a chief motivation to carry forth my research and develop a device that is capable of being implemented in such locations. Drinkable water is a fundamental necessity for people of all walks of life and I personally believe that everyone is entitled to a steady and sustainable supply.”

What challenges have you faced?

“The full purification of water requires the removal of infinitesimal bacteria that are as dangerous as the larger impure particles. Initial research into this area has shown that the ultrasonic transducer does have the effect of removing the cell membranes of complex microbes thus facilitating chemical testing and higher rates of purity within the water. However, the challenge is to identify which microbes require treatment and to what degree the water needs to be pure.

In addition during the initial stages of my project, the impure particles did not aggregate to a desired degree and thus did not settle. This challenge was overcome however through the adjustment of the frequency  towards an optimal value and a change in the orientation of the transducer in the tank.”

Ashwin shared that his project is in its initial stages, and has been developed over the last month and a half. Do you have any suggestions for him? Do speak with him at the SAYES booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend!

More than just a prank

The name of this showcase is very playful, but it is definitely more than just a prank.

Ted Chen will be showcasing three items during the Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 27 & 28 July and “Prank” is one of them. So, curious to know what is Prank? Check out this 40-second YouTube video below.

Well, prank indeed it is. So, what ideas do you have now after watching this?

Besides “Prank”, Ted will be displaying the “Directional Sound” which is a portable directional speaker prototype that allows sound to be “beamed” in a particular direction. The last item would be “Internet of Things” which features mini projects using Arduino and WiFi Shield.

Who is Ted?

Ted introduces himself as a geek who likes hardware stuffs, started building random projects like mini vending machines from high school times. He felt that his internship at Texas Instruments was a major turning point for him because of the exposure to plenty of professional development kits that he could tinker with, and that he managed to interest Texas Instruments to sponsor his final year project at the end of his internship.

Ted's Final Year Project

Ted’s Final Year Project

While he used to make things on his own in his student years, Ted has now progressed to partnering with other people and companies to take on new projects. He felt that the biggest challenge of a student maker is to juggle time between school work and making activities. He shared that he had never regretted choosing these activities over school work because he felt that the project experience and portfolio he built up are more valuable than Grade Point Average (GPA) results.

As he progressed beyond school, his challenges shifted to building solutions which can scale and are reliable, and to learn to deal with corporate clients and multilayer procedures.

Maker Movement in Singapore and the challenges

For someone who is not new to making and building, Ted expressed optimism in the way forward for the maker movement, considering that there are more push for the making culture with the advent of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, coupled with grants from SPRING Singapore and the National Research Foundation (NRF).  He shared that he had attended many different meet-up events and had met many people who are working on cool projects with the aid of government grants.

Are you interested in the kind of things that Ted has made? Check out his booth at SCAPE Warehouse this weekend!

Digital tasting

Have you ever imagined tasting the food in a television show? Have you ever imagined sending the taste of your glass of wine instantly to your friend in overseas?

The workshop facilitator

taste1

A lady trying out the remote tasting test

Nimesha Ranaisinghe, a PhD from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS) will be conducting a workshop that will showcase his research area of digital simulation of taste and smell sensations, engineering innovative solutions for multisensory interactions, human-computer interaction, augmented reality, and embedded systems.

The workshop

Nimesha shared that he will introduce the digital taste technology, which stimulates taste sensations electronically without chemicals on the tongue. He will demonstrate how the technology works, and get participants to try designing different taste sensations using an electronic device and a computer, and ask them to compare these tastes with the natural sensations such as lemon or salt. Participants, who are preferred to be 18 years and above, will also be asked to imagine the possibilities that could come out of such a technology.

Nimesha shared that he likes sharing new findings with public rather than limiting it to the scientific society. Hence, he would like to share the findings through the workshop, and invite participants to criticise, construct and help him improve the technology from the current stage. If you would like to read more about his work, check out his website here.

Nimesha’s workshop will be conducted on 28 July, 12.15pm to 1.45pm at Colony Room, SCAPE. Are you game enough to give it a try? Click here to pre-register.

From Paper to Porcelain – Alternative ceramics art work

Can you imagine turning paper into porcelain? I was awed when I read about the idea, and totally amazed and impressed when I realised the lengthy and detailed production processes.

Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 would like to introduce Teo Huey Ling, the person behind this alternative ceramics artwork.

The artist

Huey Ling is a practising visual artist who specialises in ceramics, having gone through a 3-year apprenticeship in a bowl and plate-making ceramic workshop in Malaysia before going on to further study in Australia.

She shares a work space with three other artists at the Bedok Industrial Park where they have a kiln to fire ceramics art pieces.

Although she prefers to spend more time on her art works, the NAFA graduate also teaches part time in many places, sometimes in primary schools, mostly in NAFA and Temasek Polytechnic, covering subjects like 2D drawing and painting to 3D clay and wire.

The artwork

Through our interview, Huey Ling expressed her observation of a conservative and repetitive local ceramics environment due to the demand for more functional ceramic ware. However, in her opinion, the word ceramics should transcend beyond functionality into something more contemporary. What is interesting is that her porcelain art works are made of a diverse range of materials, including rice papers and even wool that are used for felting. Hence, her art works are considered unconventional by most in the Ceramics field. Huey Ling believed that the concentrated activity of the making processes will uncover the responsiveness hidden in the materials, hence bring forward the spirit of the process and its energy to the viewer.

Although her art works focus more on the aesthetic aspects, she had chosen to title them “Vessels” just like the wares she made as a potter, which contain and carry things. She sees her artworks as vessels of aesthetics, of the form, of the translucency and whiteness of the porcelain material. Below is an extract from Huey Ling’s blog on what the knitted vessel series is about.

Knitted vessel

Knitted vessel

“Knitted vessel series is an on-going exploration of form, paper, porcelain and slip casting. It is a combination of multiple methods and processes where rice papers were first cut and twisted into cords, then meticulously crocheted into shapes. The paper crochet shapes were then dipped into porcelain slips to form a slip cast on the paper crochet. Finally, the work is put in a kiln where the paper is fired away to produce the porcelain form.”

It is not difficult to imagine the tedious process where the artist has to go through trials and errors to master the materials and understand what works, and also the agony she probably went through when a full kiln of work failed 2 weeks before an important exhibition. As Huey Ling highlighted, it takes a lot of discipline and perseverance for one to become an artist in Singapore. I guess many makers will also find the challenges familiar.

The Faire

Huey Ling had learnt about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through a friend and she was keen to get to know other people who like to make things. If you drop by her booth, do say “Hi’ to her!

Do you sell the things you make?

While some pursue “making” purely as a hobby, others consider starting a sustainable business. At this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire, a youth entrepreneur speaker shares his views on starting a sustainable business and product development and validation – Looi Qin En.

The speaker

Qin En is dedicated to accelerate business growth through best practices, knowledge and a pair of hands. He enjoys working with startups to catalyse growth, and believe that brand & marketing is vital to success. He will be enrolling in Stanford University in Fall 2014.

Qin En

Qin En

The presentation and workshop

Qin En shared with us that this would be the second time that he conducts a talk on business sustainability (the first was back at his alma mater, Hwa Chong Institute to a 800-strong crowd of youths), but the product validation workshop is novel, hence it would be pretty interesting to see how it would be run. From what we heard, participants would actually be required to walk the streets of Orchard Road to get customer feedback!

Curious about Qin En’s motivation? He shared that he would like to champion action-oriented entrepreneurship, to call for action rather than mere discussion. He will be co-delivering the presentation and workshop with two other friends Oswald and Ying Cong who are passionate about the same cause, and will be sharing their own experiences running an online apparel enterprise and an intern matching programme. Want to know more about Qin En? Check out his website.

If you are someone who wants to take action and experience entrepreneurship, regardless of whether you have your own business idea to start with, Qin En would like to encourage you to attend this presentation on “Starting a Sustainable Business to Sell Your Product” (27 July, 4 – 5pm) and a workshop on “Developing & Validating a Product which Customers Are Willing to Pay For” (27 July, 5 – 6.30pm). Curious enough? If you are, check out the pre-registration site here.

Would you want to take a photo with Ironman?

Would you want to take a photo with Ironman?

Tony 'Ironman' C

Tony ‘Ironman’ C

Come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 at SCAPE Warehouse on 27 July from 12pm to 1pm, and from 3pm to 4pm.

Tony C will be showcasing two Ironman costumes which he built himself. Attendees to the Faire are welcome to take photographs with him and his son, the mini ‘Iron Patriot’, at the above timing. Don’t miss the chance!

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More info on Tony ‘Ironman’ C can be found at https://www.facebook.com/IAmIronmanSg.

3D printing team inspired from the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire

As many of you would know, there will be a 3D printing forum this year to facilitate conversations and discussions about a subject which is not totally new, but had definitely caught on a lot of attention in recent years.

The Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 would next introduce a two-men team who came together into a 3D printing endeavour and their efforts in the local 3D printing scene – Hanyang Leong and Jerett Koh (Funbie Studios).

About Funbie Studios

It is always interesting to learn how the Maker Faire has inspired individuals. It was revealed to us that Funbie Studios was formed shortly after Hanyang and Jerett checked out the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 and got interested in 3D printing, its flexibility and potential, especially in terms of collaborations.

That actually began their relatively new adventure in 3D printing, working off their 6-month old Makerbot Replicator 2, exploring prints off open source designs and coming up with their own designs.

Funbie Team

Funbie Team with their Makerbot Replicator 2

They shared that at the beginning, they will take designs from Thingiverse to test print, while they familiarise themselves with their printer and start to come up with their own designs such as a namecard holder, a CD stem to hold a CD in place on the table, and even a detailed design of a rickshaw. They use a range of designing programmes, from basic ones like SketchUp, Blender, AutoDesk 123D and Sculptris to more comprehensive tools such as Rhino3D and sometimes Processing for code-generated 3D models. Mainly, Funbie Studios focus more on collaborative projects with a design focus.

Check out their designs they shared at Thingiverse here. To Funbie Studios, sharing their designs is a way to contribute back to the online community that has helped them start up. Kudos to the team!

Their views of the local 3D printing scene and way forward

Funbie Studios remarked that 3D printing has become a hot topic lately and is being watched closely by many. They have many aspirations for the way forward.

Besides design work, Funbie Studios is active in gathering the community to come together to work with and learn from one another. This explained why they organise the bi-monthly Singapore 3D Printing Meetup to provide like-minded people with the platform to come together, share what they have been up to, enhance their knowledge in this area, and also to introduce this technology to the less initiated. One recently took place on 11 July and we heard that the response was overwhelming! This was why they were enthusiastic towards the idea of the 3D printing forum that will take place on the second day of this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

On the educational front, Funbie Studios have also been engaging students not only from the tertiary level, but also from the Secondary and Primary level! So 3D printing is going to schools too!

Multicolour cogvase that will be showcased this weekend!

Multicolour cogvase that will be showcased this weekend!

Funbie Studios has also been reaching out to work with others in the 3D printing field and the maker community to explore collaborative opportunities. Funbie Studios shared that they have been working with Shapeways (a 3D printing marketplace) and will be representing them with a booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire as well.

In time to come, they are also looking to create a Makerspace which is equipped with a whole suite of tools to allow the community to gather, learn from one another, make stuff and have fun in the process!

If you are keen to speak with Hanyang and Jerett from Funbie Studios, drop by their booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 at SCAPE Warehouse on 27 & 28 Jul! Hanyang will also be part of the panel for the 3D printing forum on 28 Jul, 10am – 2.30pm. Do pre-register if you are keen to join in!

3D Printing Forum

Are you someone new to the term 3D printing, and still trying to figure out how it works? Are you a veteran user who have years of experience and keen to share your knowledge?

Whichever category you belong to, as long as you are excited by the term 3D printing, you will probably like the concept of a 3D printing forum too, where like-minded people exchange pointers about this interesting and still evolving technology.

Recently, one of our panellists also organised a 3D printing forum and the response was great. For those of you who have missed out that session, do not miss the chance again! Join us on 28 July, 10am at SCAPE Gallery Level 5.

Speakers for the Maker Forum
Hanyang Leong (Funbie Studios)
Wee Kiam Peng (Romscraj)

Benjamin Yeo (Sourcemake)

This session will be facilitated by Thevaraja Ramu, Science Centre Singapore.

Date: Saturday 28 July
Time: 10.00 am – 2.30pm
Venue: SCAPE Gallery Level 5
Fee: Free

But do note that pre-registration is required. Simply click on this link.

Cosplay propmaking @ Singapore Mini Maker Faire

We have said so many times that this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire is full of excitement. I must say that this segment is definitely one of the contributing factors.

Introducing a new curated area of cosplayers who make their own props!

Edentech

Edentech

Edentech is the brainchild of costume and prop-maker Eden Sng.

He emphasizes using affordable materials such as cardboard, foam and papier mache as well as efficient techniques to create costumes and props that look like the real thing.

Eden will be exhibiting several of his latest projects at the Faire.

E smallFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/EdenTech/140808179268298
Kitsabers

Kitsabers

What started as a hobby for Star Wars enthusiast Kit Woo soon turned into a burning passion, and today, KitSabers is one of Asia’s fastest growing custom lightsaber forges.

Working with a variety of materials including PVC plastic, metal and polycarbonate, Kit has made hundreds of geek dreams come true and created multiple lightsabers in a variety of colors that are perfect for stunting and dueling.

Kit is also the preferred lightsaber smith for FightSaber, a dedicated Star Wars inspired stage choreography and theatrical arts troupe based in Singapore, as well as FightSaber’s satellite groups in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

Visitors to the Faire can expect to see Kit’s sabers in action at the Geek Crafts Expo and on the show floor.

Kitsaberslogo2Website: http://kitsabers.blogspot.sg/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KITSABERS
Neo Tokyo Project

Neo Tokyo Project

Neo Tokyo Project (NTP) is a cosplay and pop-culture start-up that aims to bridge the gap between fans of pop-culture and the companies they adore, by bringing characters from popular computer and console games to life.

The company works with corporate partners and sponsors to bring fresh content to the local cosplay community, and is a forerunner in Singapore’s geek crafts culture, especially in the realm of steampunk.

As costume makers, NTP’s EVA foam creations have wowed fans the world over, and they will be exhibiting some of these costumes, as well as steampunk creations at the Faire.

logo_highres_smallWebsite: http://www.neotokyoproject.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/neotokyoproject
Project Zen

Project Zen

Founded in 2011, Project Zen is a costuming and prop-making circle dedicated to pushing the boundaries of cosplay in the local and international scene – through a marriage of proven costume creation and prop-making technologies with quality dramatic performances.

This hobby society brings together close to a dozen individuals armed with more than half a decade of cosplay and stage experience, as well as enthusiasts who strive to constantly challenge themselves; to find new and innovative ways to bring their favorite anime, comic book and game characters, costumes, and props to life.

Project Zen utilizes a wide variety of materials in their creations, and will be showcasing some of their latest costumes and projects at the Faire.

Project Zen PNG for videosWebsite: http://www.project-zen.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ProjectZenSG
323369_361150917246623_728363316_oScouter Props is a two person team aiming to create high quality and accurate props and replicas.

They employ a variety of materials and techniques in our creation process, from scratch building, papercraft, sculpting, to resin casting.

With their respective pros and cons, they believe that there is no single absolute preferred technique, and would often utilise a number of disciplines and constantly seek out new methods to achieve our desired result.They hope to be able to share these techniques to benefit fellow crafters, so as to overall, improve workmanship and work quality.

They are especially interested in the utilisation of technology in the propmaking process, such as laser cutting and 3D printing, and its potential benefits.They will be showcasing a number of works and works-in-progress, as well as techniques and materials used in our propmaking process.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scouterpropsarrow

Reading the descriptions alone bring me much anticipation to see the real exhibits and meet their makers at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013. It is eye-opening to learn that several different kind of techniques can be applied in the art of propmaking in cosplay, that technology such as laser cutting and 3D printing are also being considered as a new way of propmaking. Did these intrigued you as well? If so, remember to come by SCAPE Warehouse on 27 & 28 Jul to check out out this special curated area of cosplay art.

The group will also be having a free sharing session entitled “Cosplay Prop-making: Building 3D Maneuver Gear (Shingeki no Kyojin)” on 28 Jul, 4 – 6pm, SCAPE Situation Room, where they will share about creating gears from popular anime series Shingeki no Kyojin. More details can be found here.