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Tag Archives: DIY

How to Turn a Hard Drive Into a Cotton Candy Machine

Cotton Candy Hard Drive

The things that you can do with an old hard drive is virtually limitless. If it’s beyond repair, then you can have it taken apart and salvaged for parts. You could sell the components, or use it to create hard drive works of art, like the Shadow of the Colossus hard drive. If you’re not very artsy, then you could mod it so you can use it as a paper weight, door stopper, or a book end.

However, if you’re particularly handy with tools and have a sweet tooth, then you might want to embark on a little DIY project and turn it into a cotton candy machine instead.

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Get Ready for a Fizzy Blast-Off With the Soda Bottle Rocket

Soda Bottle Rocket

Kids grow up way too fast. One minute you’re busy fussing with milk and diapers, the next you’re watching them strut across the stage to get their diploma. Parents often complain that their kids take them for granted, but I think the same can be said about some parents when it comes to their kids.

So while they’re still young and, well, living under your roof, why not set aside some time each week for some serious playtime? You can take on simple DIY projects where you can spend some time working on building toys or making crafts with your kid, and enjoy the fruits of your labor when it’s ready to be played with. And you can start with a project like the Soda Bottle Rocket.

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DIY: R2-D2 Heels


These pretty awesome, and pretty geeky heels are more likely to remain the kind of thing you just look at. Because to actually own them, you have to make them. The good news is that the Instructables link at the bottom gives you a pretty detailed set of instructions on how to accomplish this. The bad news is that the first tool needed is a MIG welder, and that right there might be the kind of stumbling block where most casual DIYers will throw in the towel. Other tools, to give you an even better idea, include a blowtorch, a rotary tool and an electric drill. This project is business. But hey, if you got it in you, don’t hesitate to hit that link and get started. Us? We’re just gonna look at the pretty pictures and wonder how great it would be to have any hand-eye coordination.


[ Project Page ] VIA [ IncredibleThings ]

Heavy Metal Hero: Fan-Made Iron Man Gauntlet Can Shoot Real Lasers

Have you ever felt so passionate about something that you just wanted to break out the tools and make something to that thing you’re so passionate about? Well, I never did, since I’m not really good with the DIY stuff, but Patrick Priebe is–and he’s showing the rest of the world just how awesome he is at it by making this Iron Man gauntlet.

The gauntlet isn’t all for show. It can actually shoot high-powered lasers that have the capacity to burn stuff (ouch!) and pop balloons. He didn’t do any tutorials or post any in-the-making images so you won’t be able to replicate this at home, unless you do so with your own resourcefulness and ingenuity.

Hit the break for a video of the gauntlet in action.

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oneTesla: Fancy Building Your Very Own DIY Singing Tesla Coil?


If you paid attention in all your science classes, then you know very well who Nikola Tesla is. If you didn’t but paid attention to the Oatmeal, then you’ll probably agree that Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived. Aside from his numerous inventions in numerous fields, most of which he didn’t get credit for, he has also imparted us with the gift of electric music.

Okay, so he probably didn’t intend for his coil to be used to produce music, but apparently, it can be used to do just that and the people behind the oneTesla want you to do it. Only those who can actually build one, however, will be able to enjoy the fruits (or is it songs?) from their labor, because they’ll have to build their own Tesla coil from the provided parts. And from the looks of it, it’s not going to be easy.

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Turn Your MP3 Files Into A Low-Fi Vinyl

Now that we live in a digital age, there’s been a concerted effort to back up old analog media in a, well, digital format. You’ve no doubt seen machines whose job it is to turn tapes and even vinyls into MP3′s or even higher quality lossless formats. But now that 3D printing is coming of age, a project by Amanda Ghassaei seeks to turn those MP3s right back into the vinyls they might have once come from. As you can imagine, the result is very low quality. Not only is the MP3 format lossy, meaning it removes some detail from the music in order to compress it into a small size, but the resolution limits on modern 3D printing techniques further adds a layer of noise to the original sound. But still, you’re left with a record that can be played in a standard turntable, and which was produced with a 3D printer.

I’ve created a technique for converting digital audio files into 3D-printable, 33rpm records and printed a few prototypes that play on ordinary turntables. Though the audio quality is low -the records have a sampling rate of 11kHz (a quarter of typical mp3 audio) and 5-6 bit resolution (less than one thousandth of typical 16 bit resolution)- the audio output is still easily recognizable. These records were printed on an Objet Connex500 resin printer to a precision of 600dpi with 16 micron z axis resolution. The 3D modeling in this project was far too complex for traditional drafting-style CAD techniques, so I wrote an program to do this conversion automatically.

Check out Amanda’s site for a bunch more details on what she did, after the jump. Also, a few renderings of the grooves that are produced, as well as a video with a sample of the sound produced.

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World’s Most Useless Machine, Now More Advanced

About three years ago, the world’s Most Useless Machine was introduced to the world. You can see a video of it here. It was a simple box with a switch that, when flipped, would activate a mechanism whose only purpose was to, well, flip the switch right back to how it was in the first place. Genius. So now this same principle has been pumped up on steroids, and a machine of great ingenuity created, one whose unbridled ingenuity is only rivalled by its uselessness. Meet the Useless Machine Advanced Edition. Using a broken Canon 850i printer, the machine features not one, but eight such switches with an internal switch-flipping mechanism of eerie efficiency.

It’s a fairly complex DIY build, but all the instructions and hardware requirements are listed at the link below.

[ Useles Machine Advanced Edition ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

DIY: Pi-to-Go Is A Portable Raspberry Pi Mini-Laptop

The beauty of the Raspberry Pi, in case you don’t know, is not only that it’s a full-featured PC not much larger than a credit card, but also that it’s so darn cheap: $25 for the base model, $35 for more RAM and a few extra features. It’s great, but it’s also barebones. Its potential is unleashed in projects like the above from one Nathan Morgan, called the “Pi-to-Go”, and which involves a custom-built, 3D printed case and extra parts to build a fully portable mini-laptop.

[The] 3D printed case is made up of 5 sections. The Portable Raspberry Pi-to-Go computer has a 64GB SATA II SSD, 4GB SD card and rechargeable battery with 10 hours of backup stuffed inside. The only put down about the awesome Pi-to-Go by Nathan is its very small screen and poor resolution – the 3D printed computer casing features a 3.5-inch 4:3 LCD display with 640 x 480 pixel resolution.

Nonetheless, Nathan has taken great care to make it an extraordinary device. He has the Pi-to-Go designed with a small USB keyboard with built-in touchpad mouse attached to the screen, much like a laptop. The device has build-in WiFi and Bluetooth and uses a 6cell 48WH Dell Latitude D600 laptop battery with standard 9 pin connector.

The cost for the parts came up to $390, excluding the 3D print. This of course is starting to get more expensive than some of the larger laptops on the market currently, but that’s missing the point. If you want to learn how to make your own, hit the jump for links. Also, more pictures.

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The Homemade Gin Kit

There’s somewhat of a debate among liquor aficionados over flavored Vodka. Some say it’s crap. If we’re talking about stuff like Raspberry Vodka, flavored with artificial coloring and chemicals, we tend to agree; it’s very college Freshman pillow party. But then there’s gin. You could argue that gin is flavored Vodka as well. And it is. But the way in which the flavoring is achieved is very different than those other mass market, pink berry… things. The Homemade Gin Kit lets you explore that process at home. No, there’s no distillation involved, since you can seriously harm yourself by distilling something when you don’t know what you’re doing. Instead, the kit takes a bottle of Vodka and makes you “steep [it] with the included juniper berries and carefully selected, hand weighed spices, botanicals, flowers, and aromatics.” Think of it as a homemade pasta sauce kit, where you just add tomato juice and paste, only more fun. 36 hours after you start the process you’ll have a batch of about 750ml of gin, which you can pour in the 500ml and 250ml included bottles. One for you, one to gift and impress your friends with.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]