SparkTruck, how to put a makerspace on four wheels

SparkTruckWhat happens when a group of Stanford students decide it is time to give vent to their maker side? The answer that you least expect is of a tour on the road across the United States. It’s called SparkTruck and is a digital manufacturing workshop on four wheels equipped to build (almost) anything.

The idea was initially named SparkLab, a project of six students working on their dissertation, who found a low-cost solution to bring makers tools into any school. How did they achieve that? Easy, through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, where they collected $ 31,275. Enough to buy a pickup truck, equip it with 3D printers and laser cutters and arrange the first tour in 2012. If schools do not go to the makerspace, the makerspace goes to the schools. (more…)

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Every city should have a Maker Faire

ScreamGrab of a Maker Faire Guest

There’s just over a month to go to the Maker Faire Rome: while we wait for the programme of the events, it’s definitely worth talking a bit about why it’s important to gather the makers, fabbers and artisans of the new millennium together in the same place. The show and the fun resulting from ideas and objects found at the exhibition are undoubtedly a good reason to want a maker faire on your doorstep, but there’s more. (more…)

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What is GlassUp, the start-up that is challenging Google Glass

Google Glass is not the only type of augmented reality eyewear preparing to break into the market. In the race, there is also an Italian start-up – from Venice, to be precise – called GlassUp. They too are working on a smartglasses model that will be capable of displaying messages and information in real time on the lens. At this time, a $150,000 crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo (until August 30) is about to end.

Unlike the Google model, the Italian prototype works in synchronization with a Smartphone via Bluetooth, so it is also possible to develop third party apps and dedicated services. The GlassUp functions are less invasive than the American competitor’s: the basic model does not have the video camera and is only used to display information in private mode. In short, it is an extension of the smartphone’s screen within the user’s view. (more…)

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Open Source Makers: how to print in 3D with the Italian 3Drag

3Drag printerThe Maker movement is well rooted in Italy: on the one hand, there is Arduino, and on the other, a series of 3D printers that are all strictly Open Source. We had already talked about Kentstrapper and WASProject: today we want to talk about the 3Drag, the Futura Elettronica brainchild derived from the famous RepRap project that has inspired thousands of makers.

The man behind the 3Drag project is Boris Landoni (@boris_landoni), who together with the OpenElectronics team made the first prototype of this completely Open Source 3D printer. There is an entire website dedicated to the project and online you will also find a wiki section with all the information needed to assemble the machine and create your first objects made ​​of plastic. (more…)

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FABtotum, the Italian 3D printer that’s ready for crowdfunding

The only limit to the imagination of a Maker is the tools they have to work with. Give them a good set of tools and you won’t be able to stop them. Alternatively, give them a  FABtotum – a jack-of-all-trades machine that fuses a laser scanner, 3D printer and CNC milling machine. Naturally, this is the brainchild of Italian minds.

FABtotum is working on making itself known: it has just launched a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. The minimum goal for 7th October 2013 is set at US$ 50,000. Those who donate at least $999 will receive a complete kit with 3D printer, scanner and milling machine, by May 2014. (more…)

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