3D Printed Light-Up Kaleidoscope

Today we’re building an LED kaleidoscope. This 3D-printed project comes together with no glue or fasteners and contains wireless LEDs to create fun patterns. The inductive power coil lives in the base.

I didn’t design this kaleidoscope– My friend Debra Ansell from Geek Mom Projects did. You can check out her tutorial to see more information about this project, access the files to make your own, or browse Debra’s other projects. You can also follow her on social media @geekmomprojects.


Dyeing Shoes + *airegan Giveaway

Today we’re dyeing shoes. I customized some Air Force Ones, Crocs, and *airegans using a few different methods: stovetop dip dye, hydro dipping with water-marbled spray paint, and hydro dipping with purpose-built printed film.

This video is sponsored by *airegan, a limited-release sneaker designed using machine learning.


My Cargo Van Build

Today I’m sharing my cargo van build, optimized for my needs in and around New York City. I got my 2006 Ford E350 in 2020. Since then I’ve been customizing it to comfortably carry everything I might need on the road, two motorcycles, and a dog or two.

I’ll take you through all the upgrades I’ve made, including installing a rear bench seat, fixing the rusty floor, making my own custom storage solution, and what I pack inside. I’ll also share more info about the supplies I used in my van build.


Remember the Whee-Lo? Makers Secret Santa 2022

This year I pulled This Old Tony‘s name for Makers Secret Santa. I was inspired by Tony’s love of benders and bending, and built him a toy from my childhood in the shape of a letter T. It’s got a magnetic spinning device that rides along the wire, and these little bends provide a turnaround point so you can, with practice, get the spinner to move continuously along the track.


Embr Wave 2 Teardown

Today I’m taking a look inside the Embr Wave 2, a wristband that helps with temperature regulation. It’s the only wearable I’ve ever seen with a Peltier cooler in it. Watch the video above to see me try it out, take it apart, and analyze the design and manufacturing of the circuitry inside. Thanks to David Cranor for lending his EE expertise and to Lumafield for the 3D scan.

This teardown is sponsored by Digi-Key, where you can pick up supplies and tools for your own electronics projects. Check out this project on their maker.io site.


PS4 Controller Breakout Board

Here’s how I made a custom replacement circuit board for a PS4 controller. I had been hanging onto a few broken controllers, hoping to turn them into something new. I thought that if I connected to all the switches, I could repurpose the controller.

Inside, there’s a circuit board that hosts the joysticks, a few switches, and the brains of the operation, but most of the buttons are wired up through a membrane keypad. The connector on the circuit board is a rectangular cutout with small pads that line up with the membrane’s contacts. So this is what makes a custom PCB necessary for this project– there just isn’t another way to connect to all those membrane keypad switches.

So I got to scheming a breakout board– a circuit that would have the required membrane interface, but then wire it to headers I can wire out to the rest of my circuit. I started by drawing a circuit diagram with the joysticks and the 19 membrane contacts each connected to its own header pin.

This project is sponsored by Digi-Key, where you can pick up supplies and tools for your own custom electronics. Check out this project on their maker.io site.


My NYC Workshop Tour (200 ft²)

This is a tour of my compact New York City studio, which I use for my work as a full-time content creator. I’ll show you how my small space pulls off some big tasks, share with you some of my favorite storage and organization tips, and answer your frequently asked questions about my workshop.

My studio is the biggest bedroom in my Brooklyn apartment– it’s about 200 square feet of space, and it has one closet, laminate floors, central air, and a small but useable space outside one of the two windows.

You can get tools and supplies for your own dream workshop at Digi-Key, the sponsor of my workshop tour video. Check out all my favorites on Maker.io.

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We’ll start with my tool chest. It holds way more stuff than shelves or a pegboard while making everything easy to reach for a short person, and provides an additional work surface. I keep my 3D printer on top of it and use the space next to it for whatever I’m working on. For a space with floors that aren’t necessarily level, it was important to me to get a tool chest with drawers that latch shut and casters with locks, so nothing goes sliding around. The color is a bonus for me– it matches the rest of the space and I can draw on it with dry erase makers. I like that everything can have a place in these drawers and be out of sight when not in use.