What kind of person builds a cloud chamber
at home in his spare time -- and wants to make it easy for other people to make them, too? How about someone who uses a 3-D printer to make shifters for his bicycle? And then there's the spherical speaker enclosures and the alarm clock that shreds money if you don't wake up. The clock isn't original. Seattle resident Rich Olson (whose URL is nothinglabs.com
) says someone else originally made it
and he liked the idea. No 3-D printing or laser cutting required; just buy and hook up some inexpensive, easy-to-find components and off you go. Despite its lack of originality (which Rich freely admits), this little project got Rich mentioned everywhere from financial publications
to the New York Daily News
to Huffington Post's UK edition
, which is somewhat amusing when you realize that Rich is not famous (outside of a small circle of maker-type people) and doesn't have anyone doing PR for him.
By day, Rich is a humble mobile app developer
. But when he's done working he becomes Mr. 3-D and laser cut cool designer guy who does fun things in his workshop with CAD software, a 3-D printer, a laser cutter, and (of course) traditional cutting, drilling, and shaping tools. Since he's an open source devotee, Rich posts almost all of his designs online so you can make them yourself. Or modify them. Or use them to spur an entirely new idea that you can then make, and hopefully pass on to others. While it's interesting to see that Martha Stewart is now selling 3-D printer designs
, Rich and his hobby are what the maker movement is really
about. If you're so inclined, you can follow Rich on YouTube
, where he posts a video now and then that shows what he's made recently or follow his low-volume blog
to see what he's up to.