Category Archives: Communication

Techniques for Sketching

Making sketches of objects is a very effective way of communicating your ideas about shapes. This skill is one that anybody can build, and the more you draw, the better you will get at it.

To do these drawings, you just need a pencil and a piece of paper. An eraser is nice, but not essential.

The main drawing techniques for engineering are: Orthographic, Isometric, and Multi View Orthographic. By drawing an object using one or more of these techniques, you can communicate quite a bit about the shape, and how the parts relate to each other. Continue reading

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Paintable Circuits with Bare Conductive

At World Maker Faire, I finally got to see paintable circuits in action. Matt Johnson spoke with me about the conductive paint that people were using and showed me a few projects that demonstrate the possibilities. The business cards they brought were printed with a swath of conductive paint suitable for home experimenting. I awarded them one of my Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons. It’s exciting how this opens up a great area in education for arts, electronics, and physical programming.

Bare Conductive grew out of the founders’ graduate studies at the Innovation Design Engineering Course at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, London. The version of their conductive paints they had at Maker Faire is similar to the skin paint featured in a music video of a few years back. Continue reading

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Make Your Own T-Shirts

There are several ways of making custom T-shirts. Most of them involve lots of tools, chemicals and light sensitive materials. Using sign-cut vinyl as your stencil makes the process amazingly simple, and requires very few tools, other than the vinyl cutter. You can have your stencil cut, and then mailed to you if it is inconvenient to access a machine. Continue reading

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Glue Free Notepad

Rather than buying business cards to share information, you can make your own notecards. To do this project, you need a piece of paper, and a pair of scissors. You can print the paper beforehand to customize your notes with contact information, pictures, or other ideas.

With this technique, you can make a notepad that does not need glue or any other fasteners. These notepads can be made in just a few minutes, and use common materials. Continue reading

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