Category Archives: local makers

Special Meet-ups at the Maker Faire!

To celebrate our amazingly diverse and talented community, Maker Faire is organizing special meet-ups and panels. Here is our tentative line-up:

12:30: Photographers show their camera mods and how it enhances their art. Among the highlights: Checko Salgado will do a light painting demonstration. Julian Kilker, who was just named Best Local Photographer by KNPR’s Desert Companion, will also be there talking about camera mods and/or data journalism. Markus Houy is showing an external camera device help focus an anamorphic lens attachment.

1:30: Teachers who are curious about free and low cost local resources to foster a “Maker Mindset” and encourage students who are self-starters in STEAM courses can talk to a panel of local educators doing fantastic work with sometimes minimal resources. Some topics: creating Maker spaces in schools; school Maker Faires, producing Maker summer camps; Next Generation Science Standards-based professional development for teachers, and more!

2:30: Drones! Since there will be a big drone arena at the Maker Faire with anything from toys to prosumer drones to racing drones, we needed to have a panel. Come meet our local drone experts!

3:30: “Balloons in Space, or There and Back Again”: “Somewhere in the middle of the Mojave desert, a group of engineers try to launch a JavaScript-powered weather balloon to the edge of space. Along the way they learn about ham radios, explosions, and THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP.”

4:30: Making “Making” a Business: Doing what you love takes financial security. Meet a panel of locals who have been there, done that, and have special insights into making Making into a business, patents, and kickstarters.


Keyport is joining Maker Faire Vegas!

Black Pivot + Black Slide 3.0 - 7859

Funded in just over three days, our Kickstarter campaign for the ultimate universal access devices, the Keyport Slide 3.0 and all-new Keyport Pivot, recently surpassed its first stretch goal of $175K with 6 days left. If you haven’t had the chance, please check it out at and back us.

Infusing utility with style and replacing your bulky keychain, these devices are modular, everyday multi-tools that consolidate your keys, pocket tools, and smart tech. Modules featured in the Kickstarter include:
• BLE locator that works with TrackR
• Pocketknife designed by Glenn Klecker of Klecker Knives
• 12 lumen mini-flashlight

Both Keyports even come with KeyportID, an online lost and found service that uses the unique serial number engraved on each Keyport to connect owners and finders directly and anonymously with a click.

Keyport is also proud to be partnering with GroupGets to create an open source development platform so that anyone can design or commission their own Slide module.

We look forward to showing Las Vegas makers our products and to developing opportunities to partner with them to build new and exciting Keyport compatible products.

Keyport is excited to join the Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire and show the latest prototypes of its next gen modular multi-tools which are currently live on Kickstarter until the campaign’s conclusion on February 7th at 10:10am PT.

Black Slide 3.0 -4-Port- + Locator Overview

Silver Slide 3.0 -4-Port- + Knife Overview


Space to create: SYN Shop relocates to Henderson | Las Vegas Review-Journal

People in the Las Vegas Valley maker community are often too busy working on their projects to notice that there are others in the area who are engaged in similar efforts and can lend a hand, according to members of a local hackerspace called the SYN Shop.

Source: Space to create: SYN Shop relocates to Henderson | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Behind a Photo Project: Maker Tech helps create an exhibit

I’m looking forward to the upcoming Las Vegas Maker Faire in February. It’s a great opportunity to talk with other Makers about their projects. And to share mine: Over the past several years I’ve experimented with capturing low light landscapes. (My latest exhibit, Aesthetic Evidence, runs Dec 3 to Jan 28 at the Nevada Humanities Program Gallery in Las Vegas.)


Photographers have long created and modified their equipment, from chemical developing, to triggering and flash systems, to balloons, kites, and quadcopters for carrying their cameras aloft. My own work uses technology I’ve created and systems developed by Makers across the US.

For example, one of my recent photos on exhibit show 1953 atomic test data that I light painted in remote Nevada, near the location of the original test. I wanted to add audio to the exhibit—ambient sounds from the location, original test blast recordings, and an explanation of the techniques and topic. To do this, I built a listening station out of recycled materials including a broken tripod, discarded office phones, and an ammunition case. Inside the case, a model railroad audio system plays ambient sound and four audio tracks in response to buttons pressed by exhibit viewers.


You can explore my entire exhibit, including the audio listening station, at the Nevada Humanities Program Gallery from Dec. 3 to Jan. 28. I’m giving a presentation on December 3 at 7 pm about the techniques and ideas behind this project. More info is at I hope to meet other Makers there.

By Julian Kilker

Photographs by Julian Kilker,

Maker season has started!

As a run-up to the February 28 Mini-Maker Faire, the Synshop organized several events: Showcases of electronics and crafts projects at Barnes and Noble Henderson and Summerlin for their November 6-8 Maker Faire, and a youth workshop at the Synshop on November 14.

At the STEAM Explorers November 14 workshop,  a group of 8 to 14-year-olds had a fantastic afternoon creating a Caesar Cipher encrypter/decrypter with woodblocks, and looking at a Caesar Cipher encryption computer program. Some girls decided to stay longer and learn more about programming by creating some programs in JavaScript.


In Barnes and Noble Henderson about 140 people looked at various technology and crafting projects showcased by Synshop members over a 3 hour period learning about robotics and electronics. Microcontrollers were the topic in the Summerlin Barnes and Noble. Picture by Sonia Petkus.



Co-Creation, DDM Continue Disrupting Auto Manufacturing

by Brian A. Wilkins, Senior Writer/Editor, Local Motors

CHANDLER, ARIZ — The built-it-yourself Rally Fighter and Verrado electric drift trike are the two most commonly raised subject matters when Local Motors comes up in casual conversation among techies and car enthusiasts. The company’s 3D-printed car has been the talk of the automotive world as of late, particularly after the LM3D series was debuted at the Las Vegas SEMA Show in early November. But this is only the beginning as to what Local Motors is doing to completely transform the automotive manufacturing industry.Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 3.41.10 PM

The design process for the electric LM3D Swim (pictured above with Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers, Jr. at SEMAwas finished in late June. A little over two months later, a fully operational version was built to completion for the world to see. The idea of a vehicle going from concept to drivable car in a matter of months would have not only been laughed at by engineers ten years ago, but dismissed entirely as a pipe dream. But Local Motors has harnessed the power of co-creation and direct digital manufacturing (DDM) to completely disrupt the entire automotive manufacturing process.

The LM3D consists of less than 60 total parts, with 75 percent of the car being 3D-printed. That means a vast majority of the car is built on one machine using one material (in this case a 20 percent carbon-filled ABS plastic). The need for complex, bureaucratic supply chains has been completely eliminated. Meanwhile Local Motors Microfactories emit far less greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than traditional manufacturing plants.

But its the Co-creation community that is engineering this train of automotive disruption. Independent designers and large corporations alike have utilized the Local Motors Open IO platform to bring their design concepts to life. It was community member Kevin Lo who won the Project REDACTED community challenge this past summer for his LM3D Swim design. Designers, engineers and anyone else with visionary minds are encouraged to create a profile on the Open IO platform, complete tasks and even submit your own ideas to become a part of the automotive manufacturing revolution.

Local Motors will have a smart, sustainable, safe, road-ready 3D-printed car on the road by 2017. You can sign up for email updates on the Local Motors homepage.