Taking a break

Coffee Break by yuki

Due to personal circumstances I will be taking a break from Maker Librarian and putting the site on an extended hiatus. Thanks to everyone for their support and I hope to be back in a few months.

Until then, keep making, hacking and creating!

3D Printing and Copyright

Cover of Whats the Deal with 3D Printing and Copyright

Michael Weinberg, Vice President of the Institute for Emerging Innovation at PublicKnowledge.org, has just released a follow up to his influential 2010 whitepaper It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw It Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology.

What’s the Deal with Copyright and 3D Printing?  looks at developments over the last two years and examines issues of infringement in greater depth.

3D Printed Fashion

“Upon visiting Openhouse’s 3DEA Pop Up Store at the Eventi Hotel, we were taken with the evolving 3D printing technology and how it has been applied to fashion and design. Designers Aaron Trocola, Heidi Lee, Mary Huang, Pauline van Dongen, and Dirk van der Kooij showcased fashion and industrial design pieces that push the boundaries – creating custom items that are strikingly beautiful and unique.”

Fabienne Serrière on Open Hardware for a Faster Future

Open source hardware, open source firmware and open source industrial design has seeped into our reality. Open development of products, art projects, and all physical things occur on a blindingly rapid and ever forking path. From circuits to software to housings, learn about engineering on a different plane of transparency.

In this talk you’ll hear about how the almost accidental open sourcing of one small chip, the Realtek RTL2832U, is causing huge ripples through entire disciplines. Join the ride with the blindingly fast hardware iterations of an open source hardware company, and the often hidden implications for the hardware. Be pulled into the story of strange fringe knitting machine hardware, the Brother KH930, brought back from obsolescence. Learn about weird art projects like the Orchidarium and Massage Couch that might not be so artsy and actually useful after all. Watch strange ideas become actual items in our world, and how all of this is possible primarily with open hardware.

At home printing off a load of rubbish

“The ironic thing about rapid prototyping is how slow it is,” he comments. He’s also sceptical about the usefulness of 3D printers: “I think if the quality goes up and the price comes down then a lot of people will get them,” he predicts, but asks ”do we really want people at home printing off a load of rubbish?”Dominic Wilcox

The Fixer’s Manifesto from Sugru

Sugru have created The Fixer’s Manifesto and hope that you can help make it better!

Fixing is the unsung hero of creativity. And it really shouldn’t be. It’s the most common, humble and beautiful form of creativity there is. Let’s wear that belief proudly. Let’s notice and celebrate these little everyday triumphs, and help others see their value whenever we can. We made this to fuel the conversation about why a culture of fixing is so important.

If you like it – evolve it, improve it.

We spent ages on it, arguing over what was important and what wasn’t – crafting, editing and tweaking. But fixing is something people feel strongly about, so we’re pretty sure you won’t agree with all of it, and you’ll want to fix it.

This is version 1.0. There’s a plaintext copy on Github, where you can contribute improvements, fork it, and make stuff with it. If you’re not into Github and you want to contribute, leave us a comment here or head on over to facebook or twitter and tell us what you think.

Mitch Altman at TEDxBrussels

Mitch Altman has been putting together electronic hardware in his own unique style for nearly thirty years. He was an early virtual reality pioneer at VPL with Jaron Lanier and one of the very first Silicon Valley start-up founders, establishing RAID controller company 3Ware in 1997. Altman’s latest role has been as a founder of the San Francisco hackerspace Noisebridge, where he helps people learn how to solder and program microcontrollers. Altman was a leading light of Maker Faire and Make magazine, designing their most popular kit, Trip Glasses, parting ways with them earlier this year in protest at their acceptance of a DARPA grant. (He also left VPL when the company started winning military contracts). His coolest invention is the TV-B-Gone, a one button remote control for shutting off TVs in public places.

Hacked knitting machines

Once upon a time, there was a warm, fuzzy hack. It was 2010 – Becky Stern and Lada Ada (Limor Fried) built on Steve Conklin’s disk emulator and knitting machine resources to allow their modern computers to work with the ancient microcontroller of a 1980s knitting machine. This meant that they could now knit designs made with modern tools, too complex or tedious to easily knit by hand. They shared their work with the world and since then, following an open hardware model, they and many others have contributed hardware and software improvements, smoothed the workflow, and allowed other models of knitting machine to be hacked. I went for a beautiful autumnal bike ride over to Wedding and caught up with Fabienne Serrière (FBZ), who has contributed a number of improvements to the original hack and has the wonderful woolens to show for it. We talked about the history of knitting machines, this hack, open hardware and Fabienne’s various projects, and started plotting to make an open source sweater to keep me warm in the winter months. We covered so many different things that I can only show you a brief introduction to her projects now, but there will be more to come!

Makey Makey and The Maker’s Mindset

A presentation by Jay Silver on the Makey Makey at  TEDxPioneerValley.

Jay Silver, a research assistant and Ph.D. candidate in Media Arts and Sciences in the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group, demonstrates a new technology called Makey Makey that turns the whole world into a computer mouse. He says of its genesis: There I am, at an UnSchooling Camp, running a workshop, and a teen makes a musical looper out of an ordinary hula-hoop. Who would think of a hula-hoop as a music controller? This is the mindset of Makers. And watch out, because the Maker Movement is coming, and it’s dangerous to existing paradigms of education and industrial production! What tools will the Makers use?

OLITA Annual General Meeting 2012

OLITA AGM at the Ontario Library Association Superconference 2012

Please join us at the OLITA Annual General Meeting this Friday February 3, 5:15 pm, in room #204 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to meet your new council, your fellow OLITA members and to get down to the serious business of the OLITA AGM:


1. Call to Order and welcome
2. Approval of the Agenda
3. Adoption/approval of Minutes from the last AGM
4. Treasurers Report
5. Annual Report (the year in review, key accomplishments, etc)
6. New Business (i.e. resolutions)
7. Introduction of the new council and year ahead
8. OLITA Award for Technological Innovation
9. Other business