Ideas, Intelligence, Events and Promotions from WIRED

Turn Water into Wine

Image via Makezine

Everyone loves a little magic. Now turning water into wine is another story – talk about a good party trick. Have this illusion up your sleeve and you’ll be the star of your next get together.

The “water to wine” trick needs only a cardboard box and three empty soda bottles that are connected via slim tubing. With a little magic – ahem, air pressure – water is poured through a funnel and into an empty bottle, which pushes the air from the empty bottle into a bottle of wine, which pushes the wine out the tube and into a glass.  All your audience will see is water poured into a box and wine coming out. How’s that for a little abracadabra?

Watch the detailed video and read the full directions at Instructables

Maker

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|  August 17th, 2014

Now You Can 3D Print with Amazon

Image via Amazon

Big news, my friends. Amazon now has a 3D Printing Store. If this doesn’t solidify the 3D-printing movement then I don’t know what will.

Customers can choose from a catalog of 3D-printed items ranging from jewelry to toys to tech accessories to home décor to games. Right now my eye is on the slim wallet, the “Dawg” sculpture, and the GoPro scuba mask mount. Some items – like a bobble head, dog collar tag, and monogrammed cufflinks – are customizable with multiple options for size, color, material, and more. No word yet on whether customers will eventually be able to upload their own designs. 

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|  August 17th, 2014

Rubber Band Machine Gun

Image via Instructables

There are some projects that just need to be made. This is one of them. If you love woodwork, using a jigsaw and a hand drill, and sanding, you’ll love the Rubber Band Machine Gun. It holds over 100 rubber bands – basically as many as you can physically fit onto the barrels. 

It only takes a weekend to cut, sand, and assemble the various inexpensive parts of this homemade project. It’s as simple as printing the free template, gluing it to pine board, drilling, cutting, sanding, and then gluing the dowels and pine board together like one big puzzle. Read and watch the video for the full – and very detailed – project over at Instructables

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|  August 10th, 2014

Robot 101

Image via Instructables

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own robot, this might be a great place to start.

One man dove headfirst into his premiere robot adventure and documented the whole thing on Instructables. It’s a modified and simplified 3pi Robot called the 2pi Line Follower that moves autonomously instead of with a remote control. With help from Gordon McComb’s Robot Builder’s Bonanza and David Cook’s Intermediate Robot Building, I’d say the 2pi Line Follower is quite impressive for a first-time build.

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|  August 3rd, 2014

Vote for the Working Lego Microscope!

Image via Flickr

There’s a new Lego Ideas project that you don’t want to miss – it’s a functioning microscope made entirely from bricks. It has coarse and fine adjustment knobs, adjustable stage and magnification, lights, and a Lego magnifying glass. This is the real deal.

Think of the possibilities. Not only do builders get to piece together a functioning microscope, but then they get to use their creation again and again to learn more and more about the world around them. Do it for the kids! The project is currently approaching 1,000 supporters of the 10,000 it needs. Support the Working Microscope today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                — Maker 

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|  August 3rd, 2014

Play With Your Food

Image via PSFK

If I gave you a chocolate wafer, you’d be happy. If I gave you chocolate wafer pieces that could be placed together to form a dinosaur or an airplane, you’d be even happier. Right? RIGHT.

Choco Fix allows sugar fiends to build edible models from chocolate wafer pieces. The kits include dinosaurs, racecars, horses, and airplanes and augmented reality packaging lets smartphone users envision the finished project in 3D. Cadbury challenged graduate students at the University of Arts London to use chocolate in an innovative way to combat the rising price of chocolate. This is what they came up with. I’d pay top dollar. How about you?  Read more about it at PSFK

Maker

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|  July 27th, 2014

“Didn’t Wash Hands” Alarm

Image via Makezine

You could use this to get your kids in the good habit or you could use this to publicly humiliate your friends and family. It’s your choice. The Didn’t Wash Hands Alarm is exactly what it says it is – an alarm that will sound whenever anyone walks out the bathroom door without at least turning on the faucet.

Using an Arduino microcontroller, one sensor monitors the toilet, another the sink, and another the door. When someone uses the toilet – but not the sink – an alarm will sound. You could trick the system by simply running the water, but your friends and family don’t have to know that. Get the full tutorial and the Arduino code over at Make

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|  July 27th, 2014

IKEA Hack: Solar-Powered Bike Lamp Edition

Image via Instructables

Bike lights are not cheap, and I’m always paranoid that they’ll run out of juice just when I need them. We’ve seen hacks with IKEA’s SUNNAN solar-powered lamp before, and they’re always cool. Especially if you can score a used lamp at a resale shop like this Instructable user did

The solar panel of the IKEA lamp takes approximately nine hours to charge, but it can provide three solid hours of light – and it will always recharge in the direct sun. Sounds good to me. And with four extra-bright LED lights and eight different LED animations, you’ll always be in sight. Plus, the light can easily mount on a backpack for maximum visibility.

Read the full Instructable for the Solar Powered Bike Light here

Maker

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|  July 20th, 2014

I Love Lamp

Image via Instructables

I really do love this lamp. There’s just something about its industrial feel and its simplicity.

The Desk Clamp Lamp, designed by prolific Instructables user randofo, is stylishly made from galvanized pipes and other parts that are cheap and readily available at your local hardware store. Once you’ve gathered the parts, it’s sort of like piecing together a puzzle but you’ll be twisting pieces together instead. The height of the lamp can be easily adjusted by modifying the lengths of piping. Completely personalized? Who wouldn’t love this lamp?                 

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|  July 20th, 2014

Open a Door with Your Fingerprint

Image via Instructables

Add this to the “things I don’t need but really want” list. Normal people open their doors with a key. But what if you could open a door with your fingerprint alone?

The fingerprint-scanning door opener was designed originally as a replacement for a garage door opener, but this motorized lock project could be altered for use on other doors. And let’s be honest – if you could open your garage door with a fingerprint, it would be quite impressive. Not to mention secure. The 3D-printed case is surprisingly sleek, and with a little Arduino and soldering you can have your own version of this geeky gadget. Read the full tutorial at Instructables

Maker

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|  July 13th, 2014