2011 Predictions

2011 is going to be a year of sharing. Here are my predictions for 2011.

1. Life will continue to be interesting and I will continue to be very busy working on MakerBots and the community of more than 3000 MakerBot Operators will do something on a global scale. I'm not sure what, but I feel it coming.

2. Wikileaks is just the beginning of an immense amount of sharing. I predict there will be a lot more sharing of things that in a pre-internet world, couldn't have been shared.

3. Gold will continue to do well as the dollar declines and other currencies rise.

4. The internet infrastructure will go down for 2 days in 2011 and cause an immense amount of frustration and an emergance of local off grid networks and physical data storage will emerge. Also neighborhood networks will happen... finally!

5. I'll play the banjo more.

6. Someone will upload a digital design to Thingiverse that will have an impact on lives in places where there isn't a daily postal service. Not sure what, but got a feeling about this one too.




My hair grows and eventually I get all scruffy and I am forced to get a haircut.

Haircuts are expensive and require appointments and time. I cut my hair myself every few months. Here's my procedure so you can do it too.

  1. Acquire scissors. Sharp ones if possible. I've used safety scissors before and scissors meant to cut clothes off someone who has been in a wreck. Those scissors are great. They are serated.
  2. Lay down a sheet of newspaper. This helps with clean up.
  3. Cut your hair. I personally just grab some, pull it out from my head and snip it leaving it about 1-2 inches long. Repeat!
  4. Trim. I have a beard trimmer that was like $10 and I use it to clean up the back of my neck and tidy up the chops. It's a bit of a trick doing this without eyes on the back of your head, but you get the hang of it and it grows out if you screw it up. Note: I once got help on this part and got a reverse mohawk and had to start from scratch by shaving my head.
  5. Throw the hair away and take a shower.

That's it! Go forth and cut your own hair and be free of the cost of having someone else do it for you!


DIY Fablab!

If you were going to build your own diy manufacturing facility for making almost anything, what would you have in it? Here's my list!

  • MakerBot - 3D printer and I'd add the heated build platform - $1000
  • Lasersaur - DIY Laser cutter kit in development - $559
  • DIYLILCNC - Sweet little CNC that uses a dremel $700 (on my personal make-list)
  • Oltrogge CNC 4×8 Router - Sweet large CNC Mill - $3000 (also on my personal make-list)
  • An awesome wet dry vacuum VERY IMPORTANT!- $200

Ok, so the total comes to $5459! Yarr! That is a super cheap and fabulous laboratory!

If I was in a hurry, I'd probably get an Epilog Zing laser instead of wait for the lasersaur, although once the lasersaur arrives on the market it's going to open up laser cutting for the masses.

I believe you can make almost anything with the above stuff. And so I throw down the challenge! What changes would you make to this list! What would you add to the DIY Fablab list? What are the cheapest options that offer the biggest opportunities for creativity? I challenge you to make your own list filled with the most powerful inexpensive tools for your own fabulous laboratory! What would you add/change?

Photo: Tesla... just chilling and reading a book with a tesla coil in his workshop. I should probably add one of those to the list, right?


Detroit with Jeff Sturges

I was in Detroit for Maker Faire and my buddy Jeff Sturges gave me a tour of Detroit. There is creativity, resourcefulness and great things happening. There's also poverty, 40% unemployment and 20% of the folks there graduate high school. It's a place ripe for change and the people who are there building up infrastructure for awesome are doing some really interesting things like starting farms on abandoned city blocks.


MakerBot Transformer!

MakerBot Transformer

Last week the MakerBot Giveaway ended and the MakerBot Transformer came out on top.  I made one on my MakerBot over the last 3 days. The first day I only printed the body which took around 4 hours and then the rest of the parts I made while working on other stuff and each one took between 15-30 minutes to print out.

This is one of those things that just blows my mind. It's a transformer and it transforms from a MakerBot into a robot... with my head on it!

There are a ton of oother things I want to print out before Maker Faire next week, but this one was at the top of my list! My next project for the evening is to bring a MakerBot to life that got started almost a year ago and then it had to have most of it's parts hijacked to ship out to customers. We've got everything in stock now so I can put it together as another bot to travel with and show MakerBotting in action.

In the rest of my life there are some great things going on. I moved in with my girlfriend Kio and we've got a great apartment with some space to entertain. As part of the deal I now live with a cat who is basically a puppey in cat's clothing. He's pretty hilarious and chases his tail most of the day.