"Hypermiling" is the practice of saving gas by driving conservatively. Practitioners accelerate slowly, coast wherever possible, and let physics do most of the braking for them. Ardent hypermilers can improve fuel economy by absurd amounts, wringing 62.7 mpg from a 25 mpg car, for example. This gamification of fuel economy
This product design here might seem humble, but I consider it a triple win for both the business selling it and the end user: 1) It enables some seriously money-saving DIY; 2) It helps the company move more of their own product; 3) It makes good use of materials. The
We've seen at least one design team successfully Kickstart a complicated system of gear used to hang pictures on walls. The hassle for many is getting that suspension cord onto the nail. But if you live in a household that uses western eating utensils, you've already got the perfect picture-hanging
On yesterday morning's walk my fox-colored dog, Betsy, suddenly became free of the leash. Luckily I managed to capture her before she went too far. (My fear is that she will wander onto a nearby farm and get shot, being mistaken for a fox.) Everyone around here owns a rifle
Don't try this in front of the OSHA inspector: This anonymous tradesman has developed a that's-so-crazy-it-just-might-work system for getting massive concrete pipes off of a truck by himself. I suspect he's doing it by himself because all of his assistants were killed during the initial attempts. In fact I think
In the past 12 months we've seen some incredible DIY contraptions--and at least one killer laundry tip--that make life easier around the house, yard or studio. Whether you're looking for the functionality of expensive camera gear, trying to get a door to stay open or looking for a convenient place
When it comes to New Year' resolutions, few of us say "I'd like to spend more money this year." So for 2019, see if you can make your shop more efficient without laying out much cash by incorporating some of these DIY tips from last year: An Easy Way to
While you may have heard of the Primitive Technology YouTube channel--we posted about his water-powered hammer here--there's actually another YouTube channel called Primitive Technology Idea. While that sounds like a knock-off, it's almost ten years older than the other channel. This latter channel features a different fellow, somewhere in Southeast
Polaroid probably wouldn't exist today were it not for Florian Kaps. (Most people know him by his nickname, Doc Flaps.) When Kaps discovered the company's analog instant film in 2004, he started selling it online and built a community of 40,000 instant photography enthusiasts. In 2008, when Polaroid announced it
We've seen a fair amount of dolly hacks for smartphones, but this has to be the lowest-cost one yet. COOPH, a/k/a the Cooperative of Photography, uses a toy car, a piece of plexi for the "track" and a simple egg timer to provide the motive force: We imagine you could
Here's a fantastic project where Laura Kampf demonstrates what we consider solid design thinking: A combination of analysis, problem-solving and outside-of-the-box thinking. Here's the problem she faced, and how a more conventional thinker would have solved them: Problem: Laura works in an unheated shop. The shop is massive,
After much hype and a swarm of pre-orders following CNC router Shaper Origin's introduction to the market in 2016, Shaper's sales team brought their shopping cart to a halt, giving time for them to fulfill pre-orders and produce more units. The Shaper Origin has recently been made available for pre-order
Talk about self-sufficiency: This handy woman in China, who apparently resides near a bamboo grove, wanted a new furniture set. So she built it herself, from scratch and with local materials, using hand tools. Between the steaming/bending tricks, the pegs and the way she forms the lining for the sofa,
Since moving to the farm I've had a 7,000-square-foot, securely fenced outdoor enclosure built for my dogs. It is a grassy, tree-featuring paradise. Yet my white dog has been sneaking into my shop and peeing on the floor instead. The room I've converted into my shop was the living room
A couple months ago I foolishly purchased a roof rack for my station wagon, thinking I would use it to carry 4x8 plywood and sheetrock from the home supply center back to the farm. Then I realized how dangerous this would be--at highway speeds (which I would need to travel),
Halloween Costume Idea: Han Solo in Trapped in Carbonite If you get started now, you'll have a month to DIY this Earlier this year, Solo: A Star Wars Story became the franchise's first bomb. (It took in $400 million at the worldwide box office, but reportedly needed to make $500
Lockpicks are thin pieces of metal that professionals use to jiggle the pins into place. I've got a buddy who's a locksmith, I've watched him do it and it takes some finesse. The following tinkerer, however, wondered if you could use an electric toothbrush to do the random jiggling for
A trommel, also called a rotary screen, is used to separate materials. As the barrel spins, smaller materials are sifted through the screen while the bigger stuff stays in the middle. This fellow on YouTube needed a way to separate rocks from dirt. Using "a 1/4 HP motor [purchased] on
Here's one of those channels that makes you thankful YouTube exists. The anonymous craftsman behind Easy HomeMade Projects shows you how to DIY all manner of unlikely objects, the most impressive of which are in the small power tool space. Wanna see something crazy? Check out his small-scale DIY miter
This is the craziest joinery system I've ever seen. Lamello's Invis system of knockdown fasteners consists of male and female parts that are sunk into your workpieces-to-be-joined. Once the pieces are lined up, a magnet inside of a plastic box is then attached to your drill. You spin the drill near the fasteners, and the screw in the male part starts turning. Here's a demo of a guy using it to attach stair treads:
Of the many structures, Leonardo da Vinci designed, perhaps none made more ingenious use of materials than his practical design for an easy-to-assemble, self-supporting bridge. Here's a father and son demonstrating its construction in their backyard, without using a single tool:
I've got a thing for tool storage, which directly reflects my organizational failings in other areas of my life: I have no hope I'll ever be able to tame my desk, kitchen, refrigerator, bathroom, bedroom, or closet like those neat photos I see in the design magazines--my own are simply too idiosyncratic--but I still have hope in the tool department.
Threaded connections, such as bolts and nuts, are used in a wide variety of applications, ranging from plastic toys to massive bridges. The one similarity that ties them together is that these connections need to stay together when we want them to, but also come apart when needed. For example, the valve covers on an engine have to stay in place while driving, but we also need them to be removable, so we can service the engine components.
Dating all the way back to Neolithic times, the mortise and tenon is the oldest wood joint known to mankind. While the specific provenance of the joint is unknown, I'm willing to bet the inventor wasn't a virgin. In the thousands of years since, craftspeople have developed an almost absurd variety of joints, some of which you learned in the ID shop at school, some of which you've never heard of, and that one that you can always see in your head but have forgotten the name of.
I hate the imperial measurement system, and can confidently say that anyone who doesn't recognize the superiority of metric is a freaking idiot. How nice it must be for you Aussies, Germans and Koreans to drill an 8mm hole, realize you need it a smidgen bigger, and yell down the ladder for a 9mm bit. Versus us Yankees drilling a 7/32 hole, then having to do an equation in your head to calculate if you need a 3/16 or a 1/4.
When building a contraption or shop jig that incorporates a frequently-rotated part, it can be useful to integrate bearings. Those of you with access to 3D printers can readily whip up a gewgaw to do so… …but those without must rely on more brutish and unreliable methods, like a pressure
Here industrial designer Eric Strebel shows you how to build your own spray booth out of foamcore. "The unit is very light, that makes it easier to build and potentially move around your shop if you don't have a permanent home for it," Strebel writes. He uses a nifty trick
Watching rust get blasted off of metal is always satisfying. It must be even more satisfying to do it, particularly when you're using a self-made sandblaster. DIY'er Adam Fleisch figured out how to make one for under six bucks, using an airgun and a soda bottle, and the darn thing
This story is part three of MakerBot's series of design studies, exploring iterative design and the relationship between designers and their tools. So far we've explored form development with the bike saddle and reverse engineering with the drone rebuild—now it's time to push into something a bit more futuristic.
This took me a second to figure out what they were doing, but when I finally understood it, I went "Holy crap:" I don't pretend to understand the black geometric magic behind this trick, and I realize that knowing how to do this will save me from neither zombies nor
You've probably taken something apart just to see how it works. Maybe you fixed it, maybe you marveled at the ingenuity of the design, but something about it was fascinating.
Bikes are amazing machines. They're simple yet complex; a perfect symbol for the intersection of form and function. For over a century, that beauty has drawn the attention of designers and engineers looking to leave their mark on the bicycle's legacy. I'm one of those designers teetering on the edge
Weekly Maker’s Roundup is a weekly list of our favorite builds, tips and tricks for makers. Ranging from classic to novel, practical to outrageous, these projects represent what making is all about—problem solving and having fun.
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