Tag Archives: prototyping

Introducing Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Integrated booth

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

Introduction

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

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

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

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

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

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

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

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

Tan Kok How (Dancing Robot)

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

New Picture

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

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

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

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

liew hui sing1 small

Mr Liew with his students and their “makes”

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

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

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

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

Michael Spicer (Spatial Controlled musical instrument)

sonicEscapadeEnabledPerformance

A performance using the spatial controlled musical instruments

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

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

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

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

Janice - NLB_Bras Basah1

Students’ exhibition at a library

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

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

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

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

Teo Shin Jen (Assorted Electronics and Digital Fabrication Projects)

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

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

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

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

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

Do you know “reprap”?

Do you know what is “reprap” in the field of 3D printing? Short for Replicating Rapid Prototypers, it allows self-replicating, i.e. allowing the making of components which can be assembled into another DIY 3D printer. If you are into printing your own 3D printer and you are keen to join a like-minded community, check out this informal group, SG-RUG which stands for SG RepRap User Group, initiated by Lim Soon Wei for a group of 3D printer owners who meet up once in a while to catch up on new development on each others’ projects.

20130727_131713Last year, Soon Wei and some members of SG-RUG took part at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire and showcased the “Cube 3D printer” he made. His partner Ian showcased “Rostock”. When asked about the project that he was working on, Soon Wei shared enthusiastically about a tri colour print head that he was working on. While Soon Wei is aware of the Maker Faires overseas, he did not realised that we have one in Singapore until a few months before the last Faire. His group hence took the opportunity to sign up for a booth to showcase some of the printers that they are making, hoping to interest more people in the area of “reprap”.

2014-04-08-22_49_03Soon Wei shared the challenges of juggling work commitment and running meet-ups for the group, which I believed most working individuals will face, but despite that, members do make effort to meet up regularly. Since the Singapore Mini Maker Faire last year, his group has also came together to set up an online shop “Justprint3D”! This year, they would like to showcase their new printer, the Ai3 (Aluminum i3) printer. From the last year’s Faire, he felt that there are more people becoming interested in 3D printers but are not sure how to start. SG-RUG would like to show these people how by introducing them a new design print which is easy to build.

If you are interested to be part of this community, do visit the online presence that Soon Wei has created for the community and come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 to take a look at these machines yourself!

Reprap Forum
Facebook SG-Reprap

Justprint3D website & Facebook page

3D modelling, design and printing at SMMF 14

Meka: Tricolor 3D Printing (booth)

An exhibit of a tricolour 3D printer. The user is able to print in 3 different colours or materials.

www.everyoneacreator.com

Autodesk Asia Pte. Ltd: Imagine Design & Create your world (Booth, Workshop, presentation)

Make real life 3D models whatever you dream up by simply using your smartphones, tablets or desktops with awesome Autodesk softwares & mobile apps!

http://www.123dapp.com/
http://www.autodesk.com/education/student-software
http://www.instructables.com/index

Workshop:

Make Awesome Stuff with Autodesk Fusion 360!!!

.. An Integrated Form, Function and Fabrication Experience

Quickly and easily explore product ideas in Fusion 360. Start by using simple free-form modelling tools to get just the right shape, or take a shortcut and seamlessly pull your existing data into your Fusion 360 project. Engineer and test it for function. Then prepare it for manufacturing by using the 3D printing utility. Participants are required to bring their own laptop for the workshop (Register)

AMAKER LLP: AMAKER 3D Printer (booth)

AMAKER 3D printer is the 1st dual ARM open source 3D printer. This assembled, easy to use 3D printer uses built-in color touch screen LCD as user interface. AMAKER 3D printer is a powerful tool for designers & hobbyists. Come stop by AMAKER’s booth to watch live demo of AMAKER 3D printer and have a chat with our team.

https://www.amaker3d.com/

QwikFab: Industrial 3D Printer for Extra-Large Projects (booth)

QwikFab showcases their pre-production large format industrial 3D printer; codename “The Beast”. Ideal for extra-large projects and short-run manufacturing, The Beast boasts an impressive 300mm x 300mm x 600mm large build volume on a dual extruder setup.

The Beast, with it’s large format nature, allows Makers to think big, dream big and create big impact onto their projects without the constraints of a small 3D printer or the fuss of joining multiple parts to create one full piece.

Equipped with dual-pinch extruder technology, built with industrial grade materials and armed with exponentially higher micro-stepping capabilities in comparison to other 3D printers, the Beast is primed to create with speed and quality.

www.qwikfab.com
www.facebook.com/QwikFab

Lucus Lim: Open Source 3D Printer demonstration. (booth)

http://justprint3d.com is brought to you by SIMPLY ENGINEERING. Basically we are members from SG-RUG [ Singapore Reprap User Group ] and we have being making 3D printers

Bio3D Technologies: 3D Printing and Bio-Printing (booth)

To introduce and explain how 3D printing and bio-printing can help the world, now and in the future.

www.bio-3d.com

Neural Cloud Computing: Delta 3d printer and SmartRap (booth)

Demonstration of the delta printer and smartrap printer for students

http://3dwest.blogspot.sg  

Lee Boon Kuey: Tiguu 3D (booth, workshop)

This Singapore Mini Maker Faire, Tiguu3D is conducting a 3D printer build workshop. Join us on 26th and 27th July to build a RepRap 3D printer that you can bring home.

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/

New Picture (2)

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!

Just another 3D printer? No, it is slightly different this time.

Introducing next is another repeat maker from last year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire – Wee Kiam Peng.

If you cannot recall who he was, he is the person behind Orangeknob and the portable self-replicating 3D printer “Portabee”.

The whole idea of having a portable 3D printer at a fairly reasonable price was so appealing then that I was actually considering to get one of them for myself. And maybe still contemplating. :P

Advice

When approached to give some words of advice to people new to the making culture, Kiam Peng amazed me with his super fast response. Every single answer was sharp and straight to the point.

Kiam Peng shared that he had signed up again as maker this year because of his passion for making. Interestingly, he described last year’s Mini Maker Faire as “crazy” but in a positive way. It was meeting a lot of like-minded folks that made it “crazy” for him. I guess he must have found himself being approached to find out more about his 3D printer most of the time.  He felt that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire does help encourage the maker movement and the interest in 3D printing here in Singapore. In fact, he highlighted that every little steps help. How true indeed!

As repeat makers, Kiam Peng expressed interest to see a greater variety of DIY items. I guess this would always be something that most makers like to see – “to inspire and be inspired”.

Hence, Kiam Peng urged all makers to be more forthcoming, to dare to show the world that you are creative and that you can make a difference.

New plans

20130531_160057

Sneak peak!

We were excited when we hear of the giant 3D printer that Orangeknob is going to showcase.

How big would it be? What kind of prototypes can it print? I believe many people at the upcoming Mini Maker Faire will be similarly curious about it.

Ideas and possibilities never fail to bring up the spirit in people. Does the sound of this giant printer perk you up a bit and ignite your interest?

To learn more about Orangeknob’s latest project, check them out at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013, coming to you on 27 & 28 July at SCAPE.

If you are keen to read more about how Orangeknob was formed, read our blog entry last year here.

RS Components: DesignSpark – Demonstrating the Raspberry Pi!

DesignSpark by RS Components is a progressive engineering community dedicated to providing an interactive outlet to the engineering world that will be featured at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this year!

About DesignSpark

DesignSpark is an online engineering community sponsored by RS Components that provides a gateway to online resources and design support for engineers. Created two years ago, DesignSpark.com is an interactive environment for all types of engineers to express their ideas, share their knowledge, and learn from others. Upon free registration to this conducive community, one also has free access to the award winning PCB Design Tool, thousands of free 3D models, and the eTech (a digital and tablet edition electronics magazine), all of which will be featured at DesignSpark’s Mini Maker Faire booth and workshop, so be sure to check out these free DIY tools to amplify your engineering experience!

Raspberry Pi: A Demonstration

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized bare board that operates many of the functions of a PC, featured by RS Components DesignSpark. Add a keyboard, a mouse, and plug it into a TV, and then it functions just like a basic computer! These days, with society’s ever progressive technology it is almost impossible to see the computer at its bare working basics; however, the Raspberry Pi allows us to take bring technology back about 20 years to its bare essentials. Aspiring engineers everywhere are now able to learn about computer programming interactively—using the Raspberry Pi system, students are able to program their own codes and see how the computer responds to them. It’s all about discovering the world of computers in its most simplistic and beneficial form! DesignSpark will be demonstrating the Raspberry Pi at the Mini Maker Faire, so stop by at the faire to check out this new and innovative way to learn engineering!

DesignSpark is Amplifying Ideas

Upon speaking with the members of the DesignSpark community, I found the organization to be very dynamic—DesignSpark is dedicated in inspiring engineers to fuel their passion and in turning ideas into realities. In both their booth and workshop, they will demonstrate how their free design tools, such as the DesignSpark PCB and the 3D cad model can help makers turn their conceptual ideas into a concrete design. The tools DesignSpark is presenting will break the barriers in designing and spark new ideas for inspired makers everywhere! Currently, DesignSpark is working on the DesignSpark PCB verion 4, which will be the introduction of industry open source hardware platform to its community members. DesignSpark is certainly enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and creativity to help the maker community of Singapore thrive!

Come experience being a Kampung Maker!

Sixteen makers and 6 discovery zones with an interesting myriad of hands-on activities! – This is my brief introduction of the booths of the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012.

Looking forward to see the cool stuffs that the SL2 makers are going to showcase? Come check it out with me for a sneak preview now!

About Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)

The Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is Singapore’s first semi-outdoor kampung (village) lab and prototyping facility that enables local innovators, organisations and students to serve their communities and the bottom-of-the-pyramid better. SL2 is located at the Sustainable Living Kampung, a space created by Ground-Up Initiative (GUI), a non-profit community in Bottle Tree Park in Yishun.

Meet the Makers

Ibnur – SL2’s co-founder. A community-oriented innovator at GUI, Ibnur believes in the kampung spirit of ground-up innovation to solve sustainability challenges. He had been a maker/inventor since a tender age, having been influenced by his grandparents and parents whom he cited as “amazing individuals [who] have been the fountains from which [his] ideas flow from and also reminders for [him] to serve greater purposes in life”. His engineering education also provided the opportunities for several of his inventing and prototyping experiences such as antennas, sensors, filters, food dryers, bio-chips and ‘invisibility cloaks’ (Urgh, don’t we all think of Harry Potter when we hear “invisibility cloaks”?) 

Ibnur, together with Veera (below), had worked on projects that tackled issues in rural India, winning him UNESCO-Daimler Mondialogo Engineering Awards. Striving to nurture innovation across villages, he now co-leads the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2).

Veera – SL2’s co-founder. Veera has been making knickknacks and doodads for as along as he can remember. A kampung tinkerer at Ground-Up Initiative (GUI), his maker journey started with Meccano and Lego kits. Taking up Design & Technology as an O Level subject, he had ample opportunities to hone his skills in wood and metal working which served him well as a Mechanical Engineer in the National University of Singapore (NUS) where he designed and built solar pond dryers, flying wind turbines and miniature toothpick furniture.  Like Ibnur, Veera spent some time in the Silicon Valley gaining him valuable exposure to the overseas “garage culture”. On returning to Singapore, he co-founded the Sustainable Living Lab with like-minded maker buddies to develop the kampung culture of innovation in Singapore.

Huei Ming – SL2’s co-founder. Huei Ming is also presently a teaching assistant for the Engineering Science Programme at NUS where he is implementing a new design project for engineering students to construct their own low cost scanning tunnelling microscopes and guiding students on existing engineering design projects involving the fabrication of microfluidic devices and constructing wi-fi antennas.

There are 13 other makers (Zi Jing, Eugene, Yoga, Lianhan, Bart, Robin, Poh Hong, Melanie, Sullivan, Sid, Joyce, Natalie and Leonard) who all have a nice profile each created under the SL2 website (http://www.sl2square.org/category/news/singapore-mini-maker-faire/). Do check them out and see if you can spot them during the Faire this weekend!

What are they showcasing?

SL2 will be bringing some of the coolest stuff made by their kampung innovators out from their lab in Yishun. This includes bamboo amplifiers for the iPhone (which had an interesting name of iBam and iBam2), keychains & luggage tags made from decommissioned fire hoses, awesome cardboard sculptures put together by their cardboard designer extraordinaire, Bartholomew Ting, cool flatpacked cardboard furniture, cardboard building blocks, home brew kampung fitness equipment, water rockets and even PET bottle gardens and novel home gardening systems. You can even try out some tools and equipment at their mini wood working shop.

“MAKE” Cardboard Sculpture (Photo credit: SL2 Facebook page)

 SL2 is also promising interesting workshops to make your own play-dough, catapult, mini building blocks, water rockets, compost and cardboard sculptures which will engage your mind, body and soul!And that is not the end, as SL2 brings in games that would incorporate these DIY toys. I can already visualise lots of excited children!

Advice

SL2’s founding team was very humble when we asked them for advice for budding makers. They felt that their team is still young, and they do not have much wisdom yet to share as they are still walking the Maker path.

However, they shared 3 maxims which they live by and practised in one form or another at the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2):

Firstly, “If it ain’t fun, it ain’t right.” Secondly, “No prototype, no talk.” And, lastly, “Don’t just make your product, make your story.”

Maker Scene in Singapore

On the maker scene in Singapore, they would like to believe that there are many others in Singapore who share similar aspirations, as they felt that Singapore is in dire need of makers who are creative, hands-on and take risks, so as to build a Singapore that is vibrant, dynamic yet responsible and sustainable. The Maker scene is still young, so they do not know of many yet. They hope that through the involvement in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, they could get to know more amazing ground-up innovators.

They added that our local maker scene can be likened to a baby Pheonix hatchling. It is not something new in Singapore, but more as something lost in our present young generation that is now in revival. They felt that it is important to rebuild the hands-on culture which was common in the days of our grandparents, where the kampong spirit prevails, where people spend more time together outdoor doing meaningful stuffs together.

To stay tuned to the SL2 stories, check out their Facebook pages on: www.facebook.com/sl2square and www.facebook.com/groundupinitiative. But first and foremost, come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Science Centre Singapore this weekend (4 & 5 August).

Introducing the Portabee – You can now have your own 3D printer and bring it along everywhere!

First of all, if you have not heard of a 3D printer, it is a mechanism which allows you to print 3D stuffs (as the name suggests). What is different about the Portabee DIY 3D printer is that it is light at 2.8kg and can easily collapse in a matter of seconds and fits into a laptop bag, making it transportable anywhere! Get that visual image in your mind?

Portabee

In an interview, Kiam Peng from Orangeknob shares with us more.

 How they got started

 It all started as a project to make it easier for them make 3D prototypes. Kiam Peng and his partners have been tinkering with electronics and musical-related stuffs such as electronic drum machines and effect pedals but they were at a discovery stage. However, when 3D printing came along, the initial plans were all shelved. They had bought a Thing-o-Matic, an automatic 3D printer by MakerBot. They then realised that Thing-o-Matic is associated with open source products and it inspired them to make a reprap. A reprap is short for Replicating Rapid Prototypers. Their intention was to make something that is more self-replicating, i.e. allowing the making of components which can be assembled into another DIY 3D printer. Voila! The rest is up to your imagination.

We were told that Orangeknob took about 9 months to be able to release their first printer, the Durbie. In that process, they faced challenges of a 9-to-5 job, getting support from people around them etc. The process might be difficult but it must also be rewarding for the Makers to see the fruits of their hard work.

 What will they be sharing

During the upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 4 & 5 August, Orangeknob will be managing a booth, workshops and presentations.

 At their booth, they will showcase their printers (Durbie, Portabee, Portabee-x) and some of their printed parts.

If you would like to have your own DIY 3D printer, get one before the Mini Maker Faire and learn how to assemble it during the workshop that they will be conducting there.

 They are also excited to share their experiences in coming up with such a gadget during their presentation, despite being “not very comfortable with public speaking”, according to Kiam Peng. They will share on how they went in the open source direction into the world of DIY 3D printing, the challenges they face and their future projects.

Encouraging Makers in Singapore

Kiam Peng shared that they were not aware of a Maker culture in Singapore. They were focusing more on the international markets but slowly meet more people and realised there are people who owned CNC machines and printers at home. They felt that technological advances had already brought down the cost of prototyping, and that the cost of a 3D printer is approaching the cost of a laser/ink printer! I find myself nodding in agreement. The thought is exhilarating!

Kiam Peng felt that the maker culture will spread as more people do it, in view of our close proximity with one another. We certainly hope so too!

Orangeknob is now working towards producing big printers and other niche printers. To learn more about them, check them out at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012, coming to you in 2 days at the Science Centre Singapore.