3D Printed Candle Mold – Burn 2020

I’m saying goodbye to 2020 by burning a 2020 candle made with a 3D printed mold. This project is part of a collab with my friends 8 Bits and a Byte, Make It And Fake It, Hannah Makes, Ian Charnas, and Natasha from Technochic! Be sure to watch the dramatic supercut:

I embedded a handmade ornament inside made from sheet metal. The little dumpster fire is revealed as the candle burns. I was inspired by PyroPet candles.

I had the idea that I should be able to 3D print a mold for liquid wax to make this candle. See, the melting temperature of the wax (~60 degrees C) is way lower than that of the PLA filament (~185 degrees C). I had made soy wax candles in the past, so I pulled out my candle making supplies and did some research online.

Soy wax is much too soft to use for casting– it won’t pick up fine details or hold its shape after demolding. My research suggested beeswax and paraffin are more suited to molding into freestanding pillar candles, but that beeswax is notoriously sticky, making it more difficult to remove from molds. So I chose to start my experiments with paraffin wax.

Supplies

For this candle, you will need:

For the brass ornament embedded in the candle (optional), you will need:

To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTubeInstagramTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

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Best Gift Ideas for Makers 2020

It’s that time of the year! Here are my recommendations for the best gifts to get makers in 2020. To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTubeInstagramTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

Sewing Machine

2020 proved that having a sewing machine at home can be a real lifesaver. This year I sewed so many fabric face masks that I wrecked my machine through lack of oiling. Lesson learned. I bought a new Janome HD-3000 and immediately began a routine of cleaning and oiling it (with sewing machine oil) after sewing a bobbin’s worth of thread. If your giftee already has a sewing machine, consider adding a serger or electronic embroidery machine to their arsenal.


Tools and How to Use Them Book

This timeless classic book is great for both casual reading/discovery and also as a reference text for how to use hundreds of common tools. Tools and How to Use Them by Albert Jackson and David Day

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LED Cylon Scooter – 80s Larson Scanner

This project is a very 80s upgrade to a very 80s scooter– I’m putting an LED strip in the grill of my boyfriend Smokey’s Honda Elite to create a larson scanner animation effect while teaching him how to solder.

Supplies

For this project I used a strip of WS2812b LED strip, also known as NeoPixels. I chose the densest variety to pack as many LEDs in as possible for a nice smooth animation effect.

To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTubeInstagramTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

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Easy LED Circuit

Today I’m going to show you how to create a simple yet customizable LED and battery circuit that’s perfect for putting inside your next project. This is a great first soldering project! Follow along with the video to practice your technique.

The most basic LED circuit can be made by sandwiching the legs around a coincell battery. This is also a good way to identify the positive and negative legs of the LED since it will only light up one way. That’s because LEDs are diodes, which allow electricity to flow one way, but not the other. The positive side of the battery should be touching the positive, usually longer, leg of the LED.

Put a little tape on it, and you can enjoy the glow for about a day before it gradually dies out. This is a hacky way to add LEDs to projects that only need to work for a short time, like costumes and props.

If you want to create a durable circuit, it’s time to bust out that soldering iron. In addition to your LEDs, you’ll also need resistors, some wire, some heat shrink tubing, a three-cell battery holder, either triple-A or double-A, and a switch, if your battery holder doesn’t have one already.

Supplies:

For this project, you will need:

To keep up with what I’m working on, follow me on YouTubeInstagramTwitterPinterest, and subscribe to my newsletter. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases you make using my affiliate links.

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GH5s Studio Setup – My Camera Gear 2020

Here’s a comprehensive list of the gear I use to capture and edit my DIY projects, tutorials, and videos. My tool selection is optimized for my photography and videography practice and has been built up and refined over a long time. I maintain the advice that the best camera is the one you have access to, and you can get really far using just your phone these days.

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Slack Status Updater

This project helps make your day a little easier if you’re a remote worker using Slack. I’ll show you how to build it using an ESP8266 wifi board. Don’t miss the video above for the overview.

Whether you’re new to using Slack or you’ve just been using it a lot more lately, you’ll understand the importance of setting your Slack status. It lets your colleagues know if you’re available to chat, in a meeting, out sick, etc.

Forget to set it when you leave your desk, and you may get interrupted by somebody who thinks you’re available. I thought it would help me remember to have a physical device on my desk that can set my Slack status for me. This project is a collaboration with Brian Lough, who’s an ESP whiz and author of many Arduino API libraries including this new one for Slack. You might remember my YouTube subscriber counter, which was also written using one of Brian’s API libraries.

If you’re new to Arduino, try my free Arduino class first.

Supplies:

For this project, you will need:

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Maple and Epoxy Resin Bedside Shelves

This project is a pair of bedside shelves made from maple and epoxy resin. This wood has a bunch of beetle holes in it, some of which I filled with silver wire as an accent. Let’s get started.

For this project, you will need:

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