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.


Are you a Maker?

If you produce and create, instead of only consuming, you are indeed a Maker, whether you knew it or not!

In the flagship San Francisco Bay Area Maker Faire, which attracts more than 100,000 people, the categories of Makers seems to grow exponentially every year. This year the Faire was so big that my family could not see everything in two days: besides the ubiquitous electronics creations, there were crafters, gardeners, food producers, fashion designers, sculptors, artisan cosmetic creators, jewelry makers, bike and other mechanical device artists… Really, there were more kinds of Makers than can be listed here.

Are you a Maker? Probably!  This article explains why you should care about the Maker Movement:  “What is the Maker Movement and Why should you Care?”

Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire 2016

February 28, 2016
Henderson Convention Center
200 S Water St, Henderson, NV 89015

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire brought to you by SYN Shop, The Las Vegas Valley Hackerspace. We’re looking forward to our 3rd event in February and we are looking for Makers! If you have a project you would like to show, click on the “Makers Apply Here” link in the sidebar.