Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Patch Display - Idea to Actual Product!

When the patches that I had earned arrived, I wanted to proudly display them where I could see them daily. I didn’t want to sew them onto something risking damaging them, having them get dirty, or going through the wash. Each patch is a piece of art. They are incredibly detailed. Even more important is the meaning each patch holds for the maker.

Since I have always been fascinated with the trail map of skills, my initial idea was a patch holder that was sort of like the skill poster. I hand cut each hexagon and posted it as a project. 

From there I received feedback from the DIY Staff on my prototype. Several excellent points were brought up including this size of the initial prototype and the number of skills available on increasing. After playing with patches on the initial design, an improved design was born. 


My favorite thing about this design was that as one Patch Display was filled up, another could be added since the displays interlock. This design gave the makers many arrangement options when hanging their Patch Displays. 

This introduced a small problem to be solved. There needed to be an easy way to mark where to place the nail when adding additional displays. The nail hole also needed to be modified so that it would discourage tilting depending on how the patches were inserted into the display. I added a small hexagon in the base layer of each patch Display to solve this problem. The hanging cut out will then be covered by a patch.

Our local library’s Fab Lab had just added a laser cutter to their inventory, but in order to laser cut it, I needed my idea in digital format. I explored various programs on my own, with no luck getting the measurements exact. Finally I scheduled some Tech Time with Pete and Mike at the Fayetteville, Fab Lab. With their assistance the Patch Display was transferred into a digital format using SolidWorks. I was then able to laser cut the Patch Display using their Full Spectrum Hobby Laser Cutter.

The Patch Display is composed of two pieces, a base and a top layer that are then adhered together.

Here they are drying.

Finished product, ready to mail. 

Here I have hung four patch displays together. This is just one possible way to configure them.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Building With Legos

I have enjoyed LEGO since I got my first LEGO set when I was about three years old. My favorite LEGO series are the 3 in 1 Creator, Architecture, and Minecraft sets. LEGO advances as your skill level grows. You can begin with basic block sets, move on to kits increasing the difficulty level, then try power functions and technic, and last Mindstorms. Once you reach an advanced level, you probably have quite a LEGO collection in which to combine and make with. 

I especially like building houses, power function cars, and random objects. I recently built a modern home out of LEGOS, made it in Minecraft, then designed a 3D model of it and printed it using a Replicator 2. I find it to be a really fun challenge to try to build a specific object using only one color of LEGOS. I am inspired by brick artists such as Nathan Sawaya, Eric Harshbarger, and Sean Kenney. LEGOS are also an excellent way to learn how to make stop motions. LEGO even has an app for that.

LEGOS are very versatile. I have posted many projects that were inspired by or built with LEGOS such as a Mindstorms robo gator, mini figure costume, return to the fire temple stop motion, video on how to make a Minecraft creeper, Christmas village, Kentucky Wildcats court, mini figure head pencil holder, turned a large box into a city scene and used it for stop motions, designed my own power function vehicles, made a replica of a local karate studio, made parachutes for mini figures, built bricks in Minecraft, designed a Minecraft pickaxe, self-designed a mini figure display case, diy Minecraft play sets, modern architecture designs, Replicator 2, diy pumpkin, a logo remix, and more. If you can Imagine it, you can Design and Create it with LEGO!

Thursday, October 31, 2013 Sewing Kit and Tool Bag review's sewing kit has a nice, really well thought out, clean design. On the front is a diy bear claw patch. When you open it you will find every thing organized. The pocket in the top left hand corner has buttons in it and needles on the velcro. Below that are pins. To remove them, simply unsnap one of the sides, slide them out, and snap back in. Beside that is a seam ripper and a pair of folding scissors. To the right of that you will find a measuring tape and 6 different colors of thread. To remove them, unsnap, take out and snap back in just like the pins.

The tool bag is light but strong and has a really nice design to it. On the front there is a leather bear claw patch. The handles and straps are both made of leather. The bag is made of canvas. On the bottom there are metal feet connected to a wooden board in the inside. This bag is perfect for tools and making supplies.

You can get both of these in's market.

Monday, September 16, 2013 Patch Review’s skill patches may seem expensive at $5.00 a patch, but they are awesome. They come in a nice, clean, modern cardboard packaging with a black bear claw on the front.

When you open the cardboard card, a patch that you have earned awaits inside.

When you remove the patch, a yellow bear claw sticker surprises you. 

Aside from the design on the skill patches being amazing, the details of every patch are just as incredible. 

The patches are of excellent quality, not at all the flimsy patches you would typically get elsewhere. The size of the patches is perfect, not too small and not too large. You can stitch or iron them on a shirt, bag, anything fabric, or find other ways to display your patches. It is exciting to have the actual patch to show your interests. Get them here I can’t wait to see what you do with yours. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Planning a maker event

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tips for inexpensive making supplies.

Tips for inexpensive making supplies:

-  In early January and July are the big clearances on kits at Hobby Lobby, AC Moore, JoAnn Fabric, Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart, etc. 

- When you look at a kit, ignore how it's intended to be used and think about how the supplies could be used. 

- We found Wal Mart to have the lowest price on duct tape. They also have the largest selection.

- While at Wal Mart, electrical tape is cheapest in the automotive section and masking tape is cheapest in the hardware section.

- Walk through craft stores such as Hobby Lobby, AC Moore, and JoAnn Fabric checking out the variety of resources. They often have inexpensive starter kits, mostly at $1, as well as free idea flyers.

- Five Below and Ollies sometimes have materials that can be used in making and that aren't that expensive.

- Target's clearance is the best. To find their clearance end caps you need to walk the outer and center isles of the store (not the main isles). Often their clearance reaches 90% off, even their dollar bins. Again, look at how else the item could be used or repurposed. 

- The Dollar Tree is a good resource for foam board, poster board, clothes pins, sandpaper, pool noodles, and lots more. 

- Stick with name brand adhesives such as Duct tape, Elmers and Tacky Glue, Scotch double sided tape, regular Scotch tape, Modge Podge, etc. (Do not use off brands as most do not hold as well and are not as easy to work with.)

- With some materials such as markers, paints, you'll have a better experience if using name brands. Such as choosing Crayola over Rose Art. 

- AC Moore has small bottles of fabric paint for $1 each.  

- Lowes has a large of selection of PVC and connectors. Be sure to pick up a PVC cutting tool as well.

- Both Lowes and Home Depot collect scrap wood that they will give you if you ask for scrap wood. 

- Contact your local appliance delivery companies and ask them for cardboard.

- Sign stores sell sheets of coroplast (a plastic type cardboard) that is fun to work with and durable. 

- Save your parent's Amazon boxes.

- Before you toss an item, consider if it could be used for making or taking apart. 

- Save old T-shirts, especially your favorites. You can use them for T-shirt yarn, wall art, make bags with them, dog toys, and lots more.