Latest StoriesMakers
    Show and Tell: Destiny-Inspired Airsoft Mod!

    Bill Doran of Punished Props (and Tested contributor!) stops by the studio to share a personal project modding an airsoft model into a Destiny-inspired prop! Bill talks about how he modeled a 3D-printed shell to fit the prop, which can be used for cosplay photo ops and fan films.

    3D Printing Multiple Colors with Prusa i3's Upgrade!

    We catch up with Josef Prusa at Maker Faire to learn how the latest multi-material upgrade to the Prusa i3 Mk3 is a big improvement over last year's multi-material design. We also check out the new build platforms for the Mk3, which make removing prints a snap!

    Model Trains with Working Steam Engines!

    We meet the Bay Area Garden Railway Society, a group of model train builders who build scale steam engines that actually run on tiny pieces of burning coal! During a water break for one engine, we chat with one of the builders about what it takes to make these beautiful trains work.

    How the Prosthesis Exoskeleton Mech Works

    We get a demo of Prothesis, the exoskeleton mech suit designed by Jonathan Tippett and his team. This 8000 pound mech is directly controlled by Jonathan using his arms and legs, without any stabilizing gimbals or gyros. Jonathan explains how he has to essentially relearn to crawl in the Prosthesis, and we see and hear this massive machine lumber across a parking lot.

    TapGlo Light-Up Ping Pong Table!

    We play TapGlo, a custom-built ping pong table that's like the intersection of table tennis and the videogame Breakout. The maker of this striking light-up table explains how TapGlo is able to detect where ping pong balls land, and how the panels light up and animate in spectacular fashion.

    We Check Out Dremel's DigiLab Laser Cutter

    We check out Dremel's new DigiLab hobby laser cutter, their first forray into the personal laser cutter space. This device is Dremel's take on the Full Spectrum Laser Muse cutter, with their own software, testing, and support. We take a look at its operation, cooling unit, and chat about concerns like laser lifespan and safety.

    Google AIY Kits for Experimenting with Artificial Intelligence

    We learn about Google's AIY voice and vision kits at this year's Maker Faire, and check out a few projects that make use of the kits' artificial intelligence capabilities. The vision kit, in particular, impressed us with its ability to recognize objects, faces, and even emotions.

    Awesome Fallout 4 and Warhammer Space Marine Armor!

    We catch up with prop and costume fabricator Shawn Thorsson, who unveils his latest Fallout 4 T-60 suit and Warhammer 40K armor builds. We learn how he made these larger-than-life costumes, how he blends hard armor parts with undersuits, and get up close to the beautiful paint and weathering detail of these suits!

    Transcript: Adam Savage's 2018 Bay Area Maker Faire Talk

    I've been thinking about what I was gonna say this morning for weeks. I wrote it down this morning. I didn't expect it to go where it went. Here we go.

    My life is centered around the stories that we tell each other. It is centered around the products of our making, and the stories that those objects bring with them, as well as the stories they tell.

    I have ignored sometimes a key aspect of what happens when we make. That aspect is generosity. Our making in and of itself is a radical and deeply generous human act. When we construct code, sew, or bake something new into existence, we are no longer passive observers or simple receivers of the realities around us. We declare ourselves participants. We are installing light on a path that others may choose to follow. Whenever we put something into the world that didn't exist, we're trying to solve a problem that we see.

    Towing Micro RC Gliders, Part 2: The Glider

    My goal for this project was to use a micro-sized RC model of the C-47 transport plane to tow a similarly-scaled down replica of the WACO CG-4A combat glider. I've been flying larger models of these iconic WWII airplanes for several years. Shrinking things down to micro-scale introduced several new challenges. I was able to overcome some of these hurdles, but continue to stumble over others.

    In part one of this series, I examined Flyzone's new micro C-47. My evaluation covered its performance as a standalone model as well as its potential as a glider tug. I thought that the overall flying qualities of the C-47 were pretty solid. However, I added static flaps, a tow hitch, and longer landing gear before attempting to tow with it.

    This time around, I will talk about how I built the tiny CG-4A gliders, explain the wild flight tests, and review the overall successes and failures of this project.

    Micro Glider – Take One

    My calculations indicated that a CG-4A in the same scale as the Flyzone C-47 (about 1/50) would have a wingspan of just over 20 inches. I scaled down my plans for a 65-inch WACO glider, printed a few templates and started building.

    Foam is my preferred material for prototyping because it is so easy to work with. That is especially true when dealing with boxy shapes like the CG-4A. The fuselage is made of .75"-thick blue foam from a home-improvement store. Two layers side-by-side were the perfect width, so I made right and left halves. Using a sanding drum in my Dremel tool, I hollowed out the inner side of each half to create space for the radio gear.

    The fuselage of my prototype glider has hollowed-out sides made of .75" foam

    Whenever I crash one of my store-bought micro models, I always make sure to salvage as many parts as I can. I pull the electronics, motor, carbon fiber bracing, control linkages…everything. The resulting stash of tiny parts always comes in handy for projects such as this. My prototype WACO used many of these bits, including a brick (integrated 4-channel receiver, brushed ESC, and two servos) from an old Flyzone Playmate.

    Kitbashing Model Spaceships with Snap Ships

    One of our favorite discoveries from this year's Maker Faire was Snap Ships, a construction kit for designing and building your own miniature space ships. We chat with Jeff from Snap Ships about how the parts connect, the types of ships you can make, and what it'll take to turn 3D-printed prototypes into a real product.

    Adam Savage's Maker Faire 2018 Talk!

    Adam Savage gives his annual Sunday sermon at the 2018 Bay Area Maker Faire. Adam talks about an essential aspect of making and maker culture: generosity and sharing. With examples from his own experiences and the world at large, Adam talks about why the more we share, the more we have.

    Paint Masking Using a Laser Cutter!

    Tested contributor Bill Doran (aka Punished Props) is in our shop this week and experiments using our Universal Laser Systems laser cutter to make a quick paint mask for a helmet. This can be done with standard painter's tape or a large sheet of masking tape, and we learn some lessons about masking complex curves.