Tag Archives: Makerfaire

Introducing our Makers – Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014

Just earlier this month, we held a family workshop as a lead up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 that will take place at Senja-Cashew Community Club on 26 & 27 July. We would like to showcase some of the makers from that workshop who have contributed their time, effort and other resources to share their making knowledge with members of public, and who will be joining us at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 itself.

The first maker that we would like to introduce is Mr Ng Pan Yew.

Activity booth at 5 April family workshop

DSC_0010If you were with us during the family workshop, you will likely remember Mr Ng Pan Yew’s busy activity booth where you can solder your own wireframe models. Mr Ng expressed his initial concern about the participants’ interest in his station activity, but his worry was soon allayed when the young participants and their parents slowly streamed to his station. In fact, he observed that some parents were even more excited than their children!

This was when Mr Ng realised that activities which allow participants to be involved will tend to draw the crowd. He commented that this would guide him for future workshops.

Yes, Mr Ng had intended to return for another round of workshop leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014. Do look out for it!

Here is a showcase of the wireframe models.

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About Mr Ng Pan Yew

Mr Ng Pan Yew, a 52-year-old research assistant, is new to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, and had only heard about it at the beginning of this year through his ex-colleague. With background in communications and electronics, Mr Ng enjoys hands-on activities and experiments. He described himself as hardworking but not smart, and as someone who will persevere to complete a project. Mr Ng should probably also add on “humour” to his self-description, as he described how indulging in these electronic hobbies had made him feel like 25 years old instead.

The SMMF14 showcase

Mr Ng shared his fascination with the vibrancy and attractiveness of Marina Bay’s cityscape, and his view that the iconic buildings and landmarks had overtaken Sentosa as Singapore’s main place of interest. Hence, that inspired him to make a mini Marina Bay acrylic model (the Merlion, Singapore Flyer and Esplanade, etc) to be placed at home. To inject life to the acrylic model, he added LED lighting and programme them to operate in sync with your choice of music.

When asked about the project, Mr Ng shared that although he had tried to look for people to build the model together, he couldn’t find any. He opined that it was hard to find like-minded people who likes hands-on hobbies. Well, I am guessing Mr Ng might probably be surprised when he meet these like-minded people at the upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire! If you are one, do remember to look out for him!

The interview with Mr Ng reminded me that there might be many more makers and hobbyists who have not heard of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire and the opportunities that exist to showcase what they can do. We hope that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire can continue to be that platform and allow more like-minded hobbyists and makers to get to know each other, work together and come up with more marvellous projects.

Want to see a preview of Mr Ng’s mini-LED light display of Marina Bay area? Check out this video that he has done up, together with his daughter who aided in the sub-titles.

Be a Maker: Lets make a carnival game

Experimentation, collaboration, and play are the cornerstones of Karkhana, a Nepal maker group. They believe in breaking new grounds and nurturing a new generation of makers.

There is now an opportunity for children aged 6 – 12 years old to attend a workshop on 3 May (Saturday), 10am – 12pm at Science Centre Singapore to make a carnival game. Through this workshop, the participants will learn about the Design Cycle TMPI (Think, Make Play, Improve).

Interested? Sign up at http://makerworkshop1.peatix.com/

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From traditional printing press to blinky circuits

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

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

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

Kids can hack and make too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

An unconventional sculptor – David Liew shares how the same skills can be applied anywhere

I met up with David at the Science Centre Singapore nearly a month ago, only to realise that I have met him before at last year’s Faire.

David Liew came in with Ng Ling Ling at her Sugarpunk booth last year, and we all had an interesting chat then about the need to bring in more crafters for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. When we met again this time, we had another enjoyable chat about the wide range of crafts he does and how he started crafting.

The showcase

7606_329826530453899_523581062_nDavid will be showcasing unique sculptures made out of discarded plastic drinks bottles. During the interview, I had the opportunity to look at the sculptures themselves. They are really interesting, with lots of details in terms of texture and colours. If I had not already known earlier, I probably would not be able to guess the origins of some of the sculptures.

When asked about his source of inspiration, David shared that he started off with making mini props for the Muppet show “Planet Bizzaro”  in  2005 and 2006 (Reminds me of how Adam Savage of the Mythbusters started by making his own props!). That sounded quite interesting, hence I researched further after the interview and found the photos of the props and the links to the show on David’s Facebook Page, “The Sleeping Iron Foundry“. If you are keen, check it out as well and of course, do not miss out watching the funny Muppet show while checking out the props. Anyway, back to the plastic sculpture, David shared that he found it interesting to work on different types of plastic bottles because they all have different patterns, and you can always add on scraps. While many people throw stuffs away, David tend to keep them for his sculpturing work. Somehow, I find myself identifying with that very well!

Other makes

I was curious about the various different Facebook pages which David maintains online, made a check with him and learnt that he truly works on different areas of interest and maintains these pages to separate the different types of projects he works on. It surprised me that on top of being a sculptor, David is also an illustration artist, and a cake art sculptor. But David’s answer was quite candid and enlightening. “Just using the same sculpting skill sets!”, so he said of two of his endeavours. How true, but it takes certain character to be able to make use of their skill sets and re-apply them elsewhere.  Curious about all his works and how he applies his talent at different places? Come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire and have a chat with him personally!

Views on making

David is certainly not new to MAKE magazine, Maker Faire and the Maker Movement. When I asked him on his views on making, he shared an important point that making helps to develop problem-solving skills. I find myself agreeing. The making process takes time, and it takes many traits for a maker to complete his or her project. It cultivates patience, perseverance and when you faces problem, you will need to try again and again with alternative solutions.

From my interview session with David, I find this a good takeaway. Thinking further on his point, I find the process of making is akin to working on a school project, where certain important skill sets can be cultivated, and character can be developed. Do you agree?

The workshop

Would you like your own hands-on experience? There is an opportunity now that David will conduct a workshop at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire “Bottle Fleet – Adventures in Recycled Plastic” on 28 July, 1.45pm – 3.15pm, Colony Room at SCAPE. There will be a fee of $10 for the provision of equipment and paints, and while plastic bottles will be provided, participants are encouraged to bring along one which they would like to work on.

Do note that as the workshop involves cutting with blades and the use of hot glue gun, the recommended age would be at least 12 years old. Adults are welcome too!

If you are interested, just make payment at the payment booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 at SCAPE on the day of the workshop.

Click here to check out the other workshops and presentations which will be held on that two days!

Accessories making by theKANG

I interviewed Kang at his booth at MAAD, Market of Artists And Designers, a monthly event that takes place at the Red Dot Design Museum. Along with me was a crafter friend I met at another event, and off we went to MAAD to soak in the ambience of creativity, and to get inspired.

IMG-20130607-WA0000During the brief interview with Kang, better known for his accessories label “theKANG”, he shared how he had always liked to personalise his own clothings and accessories such as his Tshirts and shoes during his teenage years. He likes handmade things with a unique touch, and which is different from others.

Kang produced a wide range of accessories using the chainmaille technique, such as rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. From the video he shared below, you can see that he is very well versed with it. What is impressive is that he picked it up from scratch on his own.

Recently, he also explored using cable ties in his accessories-making. When asked where he gets inspiration from, Kang said ideas just come along as he makes stuffs. How true!

Kang shares stuffs at the Instructables website too. For those of you who are not familiar, Instructables allow people to share with other people how they do things. It contains lots of wisdom put together by those who believe in the open source.

Kang shared that theKANG is his full time endeavour, and he has been doing this for about a year. Check out his website and Facebook Page too.

Interested to speak with Kang personally? Find him at his booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 at SCAPE Warehouse on 27 & 28 July.

Heard of the term “refashioning”?

One maker stood out with her environment theme this year. Agatha Lee runs a blog “Green Issues by Agy” and shares way that each of us can do to make this world more sustainable. I have been a follower since end last year and have always been amazed at her creativity and ideas she shared generously. I still recalled the first few ideas which impressed me quite a bit – crocheting decorative bowls out of old, unwanted jeans, DIY Halloween dress-up kits for herself and her son, and the DIY waterproof school bag cover made out of old umbrella fabric! All are fantastic ideas, aren’t they? :)

We met at the Handmade Movement Craft Fair earlier this year, and I quickly introduced myself and invited Agatha to join the Faire this year. It turns out that she was very interested as well! Since then, I noticed that Agatha had been conducting workshops at many places and events, and they were usually different and refreshing. I was looking forward to check out her workshops at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this year. Check out my interview with Agatha below. It was my first face-to-face interview with a maker this year, and she has graciously invited me to her place.

How it started

Agatha shared that she mainly does refashioning, and it all started from the year 2005 when she was on her maternity leave and had more time at hand. She said that several  pieces of her clothes were still in good condition (good fabric and nice pattern), so even though they might have been out of fashion, she did not throw them away. When asked about her first piece of refashion, she promptly went to retrieve a pretty blue jacket for me. On the jacket are two pretty flower designs, and she shared with me that those were cut out from an old scarf! What I learnt from her later was that the idea came about because of a burnt hole in the jacket that she need to cover! I think it is a marvellous move, rather than to waste a good jacket. :)

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Agatha and her first refashioned item!

More projects

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Using old jeans to make covers for this chair!

Besides refashioning, there are also several upcycling projects that Agatha did.

Check out the photo of this chair with a jean cover (left) and a short video clip of her introduction of a refashion item that she was making when I visit.

To read more, you can always check out Agatha’s blog here and Facebook page here.

If you are interested to see the end result of the refashioned item in the clip, click here. :)

Inspiration source

It seems like more and more people are using Pinterest as a source of inspiration. Agatha shared that she sometimes browse Pinterest too, though her inspiration also comes from window-shopping. Indeed, I get a lot of inspiration when I window-shop too. There are many good ideas on the street!

Technical challenges

During our interview, I shared with Agatha how I had not embarked on any sewing projects because while I have a sewing machine, I do not have a permanent place for it. Hence, I envied those who have a permanent place for it. Contrary to what I thought, Agatha advised me that sewing with a machine might not really make it easier. She highlighted that there are also issues such as maintenance (the machine might spoil if it is not oiled regularly), or if the parts are not cleaned properly. In fact, she found hand sewing more straightforward at times!

If you are a fabric maker, what is your view and experience on this?

The blog and Facebook Page

Besides the refashioning and upcycling projects, I was also curious about the blog and asked Agatha on how she started that. It turns out that the blog was originally started by another friend and it was focused on environmental issues. She had taken over from the friend after that and began to share more on her refashioned items. I guess the blog took off because not many people in Singapore bother to refashion their clothes, and the blog gave people good ideas on simple ways to inject new life into their old clothes. This would appeal to ladies definitely. Now, it makes me wonder whether there are guys doing it. *wonder*

Agatha also mentioned that she was encouraged by her friend to start a Facebook page less than a year ago when she started to run her first workshop, and since then she has 300 plus following. However, she was curious how interested people are in refashioning, especially when the responses to workshops are inconsistent. But Agatha is persevering in conducting her upcycling and refashioning workshop. In fact, during this upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire, Agatha has decided that on top of two workshops that she will run, she will also do a presentation on refashioning! For more information on Agatha’s workshops and presentation, check out the information on our schedule pages on the pre-registration procedures!

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Visitors at the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire would probably remember a booth with a digital ‘Like’ counter tied to poles as well as the adjacent booth with electronic kits for kids.

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Wai Him (left) and Adrian (right)

The digital counter was controlled by an Arduino, an open-source platform that allows people to build their own gadgets while the electronic kits are for younger children to start tinkering with electronics as they are less intimidating. The booths belong to friends Adrian and Wai Him, both makers and hobbyists.

Many visitors to their booths discovered that the electronic kits and Arduino are fantastic platforms for their children to pick-up electronics in an interesting way through experiential learning. Adrian and Wai Him shared with me something once said by Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, that a person may forget if he was simply being told. Hence, this explains the title of this blogpost. Adrian and Wai Him are guided by the belief that a person may remember if being taught (such as using additional visual aids like powerpoint), but the real learning occurs when the person is involved through experimentation and play.

Adrian and Wai Him have joined forces this year in returning to the second Singapore Mini Maker Faire. On top of their maker booth, they will have a presentation to share on how families can have fun, learn together and build interactive projects for the home making use of the Arduino platform. Let’s hear from them more as returning makers. :)

What makes you return to the Mini Maker Faire?

A & WH : This event is a good opportunity for the general public to have a better understanding of the Maker Culture. By soaking in the atmosphere of Makers, Dreamers, Creators and Builders at the Maker Faire, people would be inspired to start making their own creations and hopefully in turn enrich their lives.

What was your experience like during the last Maker Faire? Did you notice any trend among the people interested in your booth and your gadgets? Were they people who are already into electronics or novices? What did it feel like sharing your experience with electronic gadgets?

A & WH : Some visitors had never heard about the ‘Arduino’ & the maker movement. After sharing, they seems motivated enough to go explore further. Some had heard a little about ‘Arduino’ but don’t know how to take the first step. We’re heartened to have interacted with many parents at our booths who wished their child can learn electronics and have fun along the way.

(Personally, I think it is encouraging when you get visitors who have no prior knowledge of your stuffs. It is a possible sign that people are keen to find out more about something beyond their comfort zone, and that is a good thing! At the point of the interview, Adrian and Wai Him were still contemplating how to better help those interested to find out more about Arduino. It is great to learn of their subsequent decision to share more via a presentation. )

Did you think the Maker Faire was useful to the maker movement here? Did you see any changes since then?

A & WH : Yes to both. There has been impact especially to those who are already aware and searching around for the community of makers locally. One of your Science Centre colleague William Hooi has been very active in the maker community and generating interest in the maker scene. More should be done to raise awareness in the maker movement. This is a good platform for science centre to reach-out to the public and schools and make learning science and technology fun by leveraging on the diversity of ideas of the maker community.

(Kudos to William and his relentless efforts!)

What are you intending to showcase this time?

A & WH : Like last year, our concept is still to bring across the message ‘Start your Maker journey one small step at a time.  In time to come, you’ll look back and find you’ve taken a giant leap’. We will extend our showcase based on last year. So we’ll still show the ‘Like’ counter. To show what it was last year and how it has evolved this year. We’re also planning an interactive light or sound display that is controlled by participants at the booth (eg using distance sensors).

In addition to introducing and selling electronics/hobbyist parts and kits, we’re planning to conduct experiential learning workshops in electronics, Arduino and Arduino robotics.

What are your expectations from the second Mini Maker Faire held in Singapore, and what would you like to achieve out of it?

A & WH : We hope that the second Mini Maker Faire brings more people together (compared to last year) and raise more people’s awareness on the maker movement.

Hope that Science Centre can do more on publicity so that the event can be made known to people who are NOT aware of the maker movement. Is there a better way (or more fund) to reach out to more schools such as with resources from MOE? How about asking last year’s participants (including makers, vendors, sponsors) to publicise on their website or during their events etc

(A & WH provided us very honest feedback about his expectations from the second Singapore Mini Maker Faire. Indeed, we are also looking at extending our reach beyond those who are already fans of the maker movement, so that more can benefit from the goodness of this movement. The importance of the call for more publicity is very real, and we will not be able to do it alone. Throughout the past year, since the last Faire, it is heartening that our following (at seen from our Facebook page) had nearly doubled, and more importantly, we have seen a growth in the variety of the makers that have got to know about the Faire. *beam* Hence, as suggested by A & WH, we hope to garner all your support to help us spread the words as much as possible, by linking to our blog, liking our Facebook page, following our Twitter account and sharing our posts. We knew that many of you have already done that. Our heartfelt gratitude for all your efforts! :D )

Would you have any advice or words of encouragement to give to newcomers at this year’s Maker Faire? How about advice to people who are new to electronic gadgets?

A & WH : For newcomers, do not worry that what you have to share is simple or easy. The simplicity could be the motivating factor for some people to start their Maker journey.

For people new to electronic gadgets, take a look at our website (3egadgets.com) and come over to our booth. Meanwhile, they can look up the internet to see gadgets that people can make themselves and go to the library to borrow some good books on basic electronics and Arduino.

Wai Him also penned his own entry for our blog last year. If you are interested, simply click on this link. To see Adrian’s entry in our blog, simply click on this link.

Yarns, bags and dolls – A different take on making

There were many maker booths at the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire last year but Ling Ling’s booth stood out from the rest because her projects were of a different nature from the majority of the other showcases. Instead of electronics and robotics stuffs, Ling Ling was showcasing her beautifully crocheted bags and gothic dolls.

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I was excited to know that Ling Ling is returning because I am an innate craft lover and I am drawn to anything crafty. Hence, I was very curious what she will be showing this time round. It turned out that Ling Ling intended to run a workshop on top of showcasing her work at a booth! Read on to find out the motivation behind her return to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

Why the return

I sensed a lot of enthusiasm in Ling Ling when she replied my question on what made her return as a maker (even when it was over email). It seemed like a redundant question that I need not have asked. Ling Ling shared that she is a big fan of the MAKE Magazine and the Maker Faire so she is really keen to be involved. She was also kind to mention that the organisers have been very supportive, helpful and genuinely passionate about crafts and making things. *big smile*

Experience in the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire

When asked about her experience last year, Ling Ling mentioned the good turnout despite being away from the city area. She noticed that people were very interested in the activity workshops, especially the kids. Hence, this year, she was inspired to run her own workshop! *yippee*

However, Ling Ling also observed that the MAKE Magazine’s main audience in Singapore seems to be the engineering and science community – circuits and programming kits, rather than the textile crafts. This was lacking in the maker representation in the inaugural Faire, hence she hopes to see more crafters join in this year, and a bigger section for textile and fibre arts. Indeed, this was something that the organising team realised as well, and are making efforts to improve. :)

One takeway from last year’s Faire for Ling Ling was the network with other fellow makers, who continued to connect online, at Maker Meetups and similar events. So, if you have been a lone maker who would like to know more like-minded people, why not drop by this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire?

Advice to newcomers

Lastly, here is a word of advice from Ling Ling to all newcomers at this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

Join us if you’re passionate about crafts and sharing your passion… And just enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie! It’s a positive spirit and something we really need here in Singapore.”

Ling Ling’s passion for crafts and the Maker Faire drives us as well, and we hope to bring in more makers from different background and expertise so that there can be more sharing and learning through exchanges between makers.

If you are interested in the previous blog we had posted about Ling Ling, you can read about it here. Her works can also be found here.

Update: Ling Ling will be conducting an “Intro to Crochet for Beginners” on 28 Jul, 12.45pm – 1.30pm, at SCAPE Level 4 (Colony Room).

Fee: $8/participant (Includes yarn and one crochet hook)
No pre-registration required, slots on a first-come-first-served basis.  Please make payment at the SMMF Counter at the Colony to confirm your slot.

Words of advice from last year’s workshop facilitator, Ken

As a lead-up to this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 27 & 28 July, we went round consolidating advice from some of the repeat makers which they felt are useful for new makers or makers wannabe.

Ken conducted a workshop at the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire held at the Science Centre Singapore last year. Like many others, I was awed by Ken’s project. He was working on animated paper-craft with wireless inductive power transmission. Click here to read more about his project showcased last year.

Reason for returning

This year, Ken is returning to the Mini Maker Faire to help his colleague instead. He shared that he really enjoyed the event last year, where the smiles on people’s faces after seeing his work encouraged him to come back again this year, even though he will not be taking a booth this time.

Ken shared that last year, he had 30 sign-ups for his workshop and many of them were children. He was motivated when the children left the workshop being happy with what they had learnt.

Words of advice for workshop facilitators

Having conducted one round of workshop, Ken have the following advice for new makers:-

1.       Don’t get panic if too many people come to your workshop, although you may not have enough for them, because that means you have done a great job, and people are really interested in your work.

 2. Keep being open-minded to any comment and question, no matter whether they are good or bad. Having an open mind is one essential personality of a maker :D

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We will post a separate blog entry later on the booth by Ken’s colleague at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this year.

Watch this space for more updates on the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013!