The $500 CNC Router That’s Too Good To Ignore [Maker Update #08]

The $500 CNC Router That’s Too Good To Ignore [Maker Update #08]

This week on Maker Update: a fog machine for your pocket, a CNC for under $500, flipdots, fidgets, contests, Maker books and Maker Faires. It’s Wednesday, October 26th, I’m Donald
Bell and welcome to another episode of Maker Update. I’ve had a great week. There’s a lot of new subscribers to the
channel, so thank you everyone for helping to get the word out. It really helped. And I had a great time at Maker Faire, East Bay Maker Faire in Oakland on Sunday. I got to run into a lot of my old friends at Make Magazine. I got to see so much cool stuff. And I got to meet Anouk Wipprecht and talk to her about a new dress she’s working on. I’m not going to tell you about it yet. But uh… Let’s just say it involves Furbys. But there’s still lots to cover in this episode, so we’re going to jump into it, starting with the project of the week. This week, one of my new favorite makers and
Artist in Residence at Autodesk Pier 9, Scott McIndoe, posted an Instructable
for a portable, battery powered fog machine. Scott here hacked together an ingenious combination
of an e-cig vaporizer, a PC fan, and a 3D printed enclosure. The vaporizer runs the same non-toxic fog
fluid as a conventional fog machine, and the whole thing can be put together for under
$100. If you don’t have a 3D printer, there’s
a link right in the Instructable for working with a local 3D Hubs member to have it printed
and shipped. Pricing was a round $20-30 when I looked. Alright, two things I love about this project. Number one: It gives me a totally legitimate excuse to
buy a vaporizer. And #2 and more importantly — more importantly! Scott made this fun useful thing that didn’t exist before, and he gave it away to to all of us. And I know that sounds simple, but in the Venn diagram
of fun, useful, unprecedented, and free those things rarely overlap. So thank you Scott. And now for news. This past Tuesday, Maker Bar Smith launched
a Kickstarter campaign for a scalable CNC router that costs under $500. It’s called Maslow, and unlike most CNC
routers that use a table design, the Maslow is tilted up vertically. It sorta reminds me of those panel saws you
see at Home Depot that can breakdown big sheets of plywood. There’s a lot of interesting design choices
here, from the geared DC motors, the chains, the use of bricks as counterbalance, but it
all seems to check out. And for under $500, it’s really hard ignore. It may not be as precise as a ShopBot, but
it’s a fraction of the price, it takes up less space, gravity takes care of clearing
away the dust, and if it breaks at $500 I’m not even that angry. And what makes this even more newsworthy for us is the fact that it’s been completely Open Sourced. If you want to make this thing right now, you totally can. I’ve got the link in the show notes for the parts and the software. Alright, and now for more projects. This week I indulged my obsession with
Flipdot displays. These are those electromechanical displays
that are used in fancy train stations where magnet physical flips a plastic pixel one
way or the other. I love the way they look and even more I love
the way they sound like a sizzling glitchy maraca. So, to my delight, last week I saw that a
company BreakfastNY is selling these as a fully assembled flip-dot display. They have an amazing video that demos the whole thing, and for me I could listen to this with my eyes closed and enjoy it just as much… As cool as that is — it’s not a project
— it’s like a prefabbed thing that’s really meant for startups to buy and show off in their lobby. But it got me thinking about Flipdot
displays again, and that led me to this… This project, called Vote With Your Feet by
chengXX, was part of the Market St. Prototyping Festival in San Francisco — which is worth
checking out in its own right and I’ll leave a link in the notes. The project gives pedestrians a chance to
vote on a question posed by Flipdot sign and then their vote is registered as they walk
through the door of their choice. Now, it’s a cool project, but it’s a little bit
too complicated to fall into my ideal project category of of something that’s cool-yet-realistically-achievable. It uses an OMAX industrial waterjet for god’s
sake. But within this project there is the holy grail of what I’ve
been looking for, which is an August 2016 Instructable on how to easily animate Flipdot displays using a Raspberry Pi. I know that took a ridiculously long time
to get to the actual project, but here it is: How to Flipdot with a Raspi by Philetus
is the best resource I’ve seen yet on how to easily getting these displays up and running and animated with
just two connections. He includes details on where to buy the displays,
the Sparkfun USB converter you’ll need to interface with it, dip switch settings, Pi
settings, and the Python script that will get a custom message scrolling. Maybe I’m crazy and I’m the only one who
thinks these displays are magic, but just in case you feel the same way — now you know
where to go. For those of you with 3D printers, another
interesting thing I found this week is a collection on Thingiverse dedicated to fidget spinners. These are generally some kind of handheld
toy meant for mindless fidgeting — but what I’ve noticed is a recent boom in designs
that integrate ball bearings for spinning. There’s at least 20 designs here just from
October. This feels like a trend to me. Like, I think they look like fun, I haven’t made one myself. Maybe one of you can explain to me – leave a comment for me and let me know what the sudden surge in interest is all about. When did we get so obsessed with fidgeting? Books! I’m going to do something new here and I’m going to run through a list of recently released Maker Books that I think you guys should know about. The first is Workshop Mastery with Jimmy DiResta. This came out yesterday! It’s $20, and if for some crazy reason you
haven’t heard of Jimmy Diresta, please leave this video now and look him up on YouTube. The book is full of workshop skills and projects,
and there’s a foreward by Nick Offerman, who coincidentally also has a book that just
came out on the 18th called Good Clean Fun, full of woodworking projects. I’ve got links to all of these books in
the show notes. I also wanted to let you know about two new
books from Dale Dougherty, the creator of Maker Faire and Make magazine. The first is called Maker City: A Practical
Guide for Reinventing Our Cities, co-written with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff. It’s $20, and if you’re interested some
truly earned insight on how makers and local government can symbiotically benefit from
each other — this is your book. Dale also has a book out called Free to Make,
which is essentially a $12 introduction to the Maker Movement and all its facets, its
historical roots, where it’s going and why it matters. This is probably the book I should buy for my mom to help explain why I’m out here in a shed filming a video for no money. It’s the Maker Movement! Again, Amazon links for all of these books
are in the show notes. You should check them all out. We have some maker contests ending soon on
Instructables, just in case you want to whip something together and see what happens. All four Halloween contests end on November
7th, including Props, Costumes, Food, and decor. A pumpkin carving contest also got tacked
on ending November 14th. And you also have Yarn and Survival ending on
the 14th. Maybe you could find a way to survive in a
knit tent eating carved pumpkins and halloween food, and then you just sweep all the categories! It’s a slow weekend for Maker Faires this
weekend there’s just 3, one happening in León Spain, Wenatchee Washington, and New Taipei City
in Taiwan. And that’s it for this Episode of Maker
Update. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m publishing
these every Wednesday morning, I’ve never actually said that out loud until now, so I thought I’d let you know. If you’re subscribed on YouTube, you’ll see a new episodes every Wednesday morning. I also haven’t mentioned this for awhile,
you can email me, I’m [email protected] If you’ve got a great project or a bit of maker news or a cool tip or a cool event Let me know about it. I love hearing from you guys. You can also just leave a comment on this video. That works too. And if you liked this video, please hit the share button. That’s the best thing you can do for me. You can think of that share button as my tip jar, alright. I’ll see you next week. Thanks for watching.



    October 26, 2016

    just ditched my cnc project to restart it as a hanging construction like you showed us today!
    btw. have I told you about the cocktail robotics awards 8th-11th december in Vienna?

  • Caleb Kraft

    October 26, 2016

    I get the joy of making something just for making it, but a personal fog machine can be bought for under $30. I would love to have that CNC. Not sure if I'll support it though, I really don't NEED one, but damn, so cheap.

  • The Nightspyder Collector

    October 26, 2016

    That fog machine would be great for toy photography! Get some epic looking shots, definitely some new ideas and concepts I've been looking for! Great video!

  • Hari Wiguna

    October 26, 2016

    Flip dot is awesome! I was unable to find pricing. Could someone point me to the pricing page for the various models/sizes? Thanks!

  • Dan Porter

    October 28, 2016

    Flip dots are awesome! I loved that section of your video. I've had a BART train tracker in mind for my office and this just made it a reality.
    I think fidgeting is in because of the overnight success of the Fidget Cube.
    Maybe Kickstarter updates would be cool on your show too. I just recently backed Polygons and Kensa.

  • kirchoff411

    October 30, 2016

    Don't have space for a traditional gantry CNC router. Check out the Shaper Origin which is an amazing new product! I cannot wait to get my hands on one. Save $100 when you pre-order using this link:

  • austin kelly

    October 30, 2016

    Doing a great job !! I instantly subscribed… and watched all videos… learning a lot… thanks man !! keep them coming !

  • Daniel Bisagni

    November 2, 2016

    Fidgeting is very helpful for those of us with ADD and ADHD.
    I have ADD from lead poisoning i had when i was younger (literally do not eat the paint chips from a 130 year old house).

    Fidgeting allows a person with ADD to distract part of their mind to allow the other parts of it to focus on the content needing to be absorbed.

    When I was a young college student, I would do wire sculpture with the twisted pair wires in Cat 5 cable. This allowed my mind to hear lectures and absorb information better.

    Not sure if that is why these are kinda popular, but i would be surprised if there is not a correlation.
    Hope this helps.


  • trav36

    November 10, 2016

    Who started the "maker" movement?

    I don't like how engineering has been reduced to a simple insignificant word like "maker" .
    It sounds cheap , sloppy and lazy like most of the junk being made .

  • In Search of: Awesome

    December 23, 2016

    Hey, that spinner you featured is from my channel!

    Fidgets are one of those "I don't get it" things, until you play with one. You don't have to have ADHD/ADD/Anxiety etc to appreciate them. They aren't that expensive – And you could probably make one yourself. Here's the STL:

  • Jovin Gallentine

    May 6, 2017

    for me i fidget all the time. more because i smoke cigarettes and is worse at work and want one. i find my self chewing, tapping my foot and fingers, just need something to keep my mind off it. as well as ADHD makes me fidget which u prob don't have by not understanding the fidget toys wonderful place in my life to save the back of the pins from getting mangled day after day by my need to fidget lmao. glad you dont have to feel that feeling of not being able to hold still it sucks so bad. love the video you have a new sub today lol cant wait for the next video.

  • Billy Badass

    May 25, 2017

    Haha. That snowflake at 4:06 walking under the Hillary side. Bet he regrets that move.

  • The Kaveman

    May 27, 2017

    No youre not crazy , i love them too , but i want to source or create my own 3d printed versions

  • WaddaFundraiser

    May 31, 2017

    If you like the flip dots, I bet you'll enjoy Daniel Rozin's wooden mirror: . It's inspired and inspirational.

  • Aaron Moser

    July 7, 2017

    U should check out the hangprinter, ITS AMAZING

  • Kirk M

    August 28, 2017

    Saw the Maslow at the Bay Area Maker Faire – it is really, really great. It attracted quite a crowd, and the couple who made it were great people – the kinds of people you are happy to do business with.

  • Kevin Rowe

    December 9, 2017

    The fidget spinner craze has me baffled as well. Kids these days seem like they always have to have something in their hand. Phone, vape, fidget, iPod, blah. Give them a wrench or a paintbrush or a pencil instead.

  • Mab Theary E

    December 27, 2017

    Vuthana Mear

  • L W

    October 11, 2018

    That cnc is a pos

  • رامي مصطفى للدعاية والإعلان

    October 27, 2018

    u are not only one crazy may be me too, i have many idea about many things , i want ask u about Maslow cnc can it cut metal.or how can make it cut metal

  • Kenneth Kustren

    January 15, 2019

    Let's go huff the vegetable oil over the cast iron skillet …. Yummmm !!!

  • technological reinovations

    January 27, 2019

    ah the fidget spinner! Who could forget

  • Johnny Mathes

    March 12, 2019

    fidget spinners are a product of people using small 3d printers and nothing to make


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