It’s a pretty rare thing for me to talk about something like the DIY Ping Pong Ball LED Clock, because it isn’t a product. It’s a set of instructions that you can follow to make your own! Posted on the Instructables website (owned by Autodesk), this nifty clock comes from the mind of a tinkerer by the username ‘thomasj152’. The clock uses a series of circular pixels, created by Ping Pong balls that have LEDs within them. The spherical shape of the balls means the pixels are arranged in a hexagonal layout (which makes for a pretty unique font style when you get numbers to flash on it), and a wooden frame holds the entire unit together, balls, batteries, circuit board and all.
While I’m not going to lay down the step-by-step instructions here (you can head to the Instructables page to check it out), the process is relatively simple and does involve power tools. The individual ping pong balls need to be truncated (chopped) a little below the midline, before being glued together in their hexagonal layout. They’re then fitted into a frame, and mounted on a backplate that has the LEDs and Arduino board assembled in. The LEDs and Ping Pong balls don’t need to align perfectly, because the diffusive property of the plastic used in the ping pong balls will ensure the entire ball illuminates almost evenly like a glowing orb. Just make sure when you’re cutting up the ping pong balls, you take the logo out, because you don’t want that shining on your clock!
An Arduino Nano microcontroller takes care of the software end, and all you need to do is run the script provided on the Instructables site to get your clock running. Yes, that rainbow background is built right into the code, although there’s one with just the numbers too. Makes for a nice quirk-punk addition to your workspace, or even a very meaningful gift to a family member or a friend!
Vintage things have their own charm – no doubt collectors fancy them having at any cost, especially if you are a fat-pocketed individual. It is a rarity to please an audiophile, car enthusiast, and vintage collector at the same instance, and this custom jukebox manages to do exactly that.
Designed by British performance art troupe Mutoid Waste Company way back in the 1980s, this piece of DIY is well worth its weight in gold. Music lovers who settle for nothing less than 45 rpm records playing on their vinyl record player or a turntable are surely going to drool all over this creation. Christened the Mercedes-Benz 220 Jukebox, I bet you would not have seen anything like this before. Owning it is a far cry now as it’s already been auctioned for a fat sum of $2,500. But the jukebox fitted inside the front end of a vintage Mercedes-Benz 220 SE is not something you get to see every day. It doubles as a jaw-dropping installation in the living room and when it’s time to listen to some music, one opens the hood and plays the favorite record player for pure bliss.
The niche contraption of the jukebox sits in the engine compartment right under the chopped hood that’s cut in half. All that’s needed is a 220V power source and I hope the current owner has those things sorted and maybe enjoying secluded sessions of music discography sitting right by the side of a fireplace somewhere in a wintery wonderland. Although, back to reality – this one, for now, should encourage motivated DIY’ers to come up with something similar – not necessarily inside the hood of a rare vintage car though!
Designer: Mutoid Waste Company
Now I’m not really a small-screen person. The idea of watching Netflix on a mobile phone is cringeworthy to me, but there’s something just uniquely charming about the TinyCircuits TinyTV. Designed to be roughly 24 millimeters in width (that’s about the size of a quarter or a dollar coin), the TinyTV is a real, functioning, DIY television that even comes with its own remote control!
The TinyTV comes as a DIY kit that assembles easily in less than 5 minutes with no soldering or special tools required. It runs off a MicroSD card, allowing you to play back up to 5 hours of content (in MP4 format) on the TV’s ridiculously small screen. The TinyTV also comes along with its own TinyRemote with 6 adorable little buttons to power the TV on, change channels, adjust the volume, and even mute the television (I wonder how loud the speakers on the TV are). The TV’s 3D-printed enclosure is designed to resemble old-timey cathode-ray tube tellies from the 70s… and even though it’s printed in white filament, you can easily give it a quick paint-job with some acrylic paints. Don’t use a spray-paint can though, you might just blow the damn thing away!
DIY projects have made a major comeback since their fall in the 1990s with the onset of the digital age. From cardboard drones and paper lamps to desks with hidden PCs and foldable wallets made from leather, DIY culture inspires a lot of us to feel capable of building and designing our surroundings, so long as we’ve got the tools. Modul Drill is a modular toolset that comes with all the tools we need for any future renovations or ‘Fixit’ projects on the side. HOLO Design, a digital design studio based in Germany, managed to design a three-in-one hand tool, consisting of three of the most used repair tools: a drill, jigsaw, and circle grinder.
The operability of Modul Drill mimics that of many power tools on the market in terms of its controls and grip style. However, Modul Drill’s main power and control switches are found at the top of the battery-operated tool’s handle. This change in placement, when compared to single-function power tools, both ensures a safe transition between the different tools that come with the modular toolset and amplifies the product’s main purpose of modularity. Modul Drill’s magic lies in the product’s drill shaft, which connects the handle and battery. The drill shaft provides an inlet for the handheld tool, giving it its modular edge. When activated, the tool’s button that’s situated just in front of the drill shaft dislodges a module and vacates the inlet for a different module’s attachment. After cutting into stucco or cement, users only have to adjust the drill shaft before swapping out the circle grinder for the drill. The drill shaft also incorporates a clutch selector which indicates how much torque is applied to the drill when activated and seems to readjust for each additional tool module. Each tool comes with its own drill shaft, making for smooth modulation between the different forms of application between tools, like cutting and drilling.
Renovation and other tool-necessary hobbies can quickly tun expensive. The precision required for home repair makes DIY work a finicky pastime because only specific tools and equipment fit the bill for any given project. The concept behind Modul Drill is to make the fussy specificity that comes with handy work a little bit more manageable, making renovation and other repair work feel that much more approachable.
Designer: HOLO Design
You know what the problem with televisions is? They’re too big. In the quest for constantly larger screens, our scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should. I personally love eye strain. Introducing the $64 TinyTV DIY Kit from TinyCircuits, it comes with everything you need to assemble your own miniature television in five minutes and with no skill required. My kind of project!
The TinyTV DIY Kit can store up to 4 hours of video on its microSD card, which you can control with the included remote’s channel up (next video) and channel down (previous video) buttons. Or you can just do what I always do and lose the remote in the sofa and give up on ever watching TV again.
The television’s 3D printed console comes in white, but you can paint it whatever color you’d like for added realism. I painted mine brown to remind me of the very first TV, which wasn’t a TV at all, just a big cardboard box with a hole cut out and my brother inside pretending to be a news anchor. Then it was my turn to be the meteorologist! Yep, we sure had a great time last weekend.
To build a product is to understand it. Building something requires interaction in a way that’s multisensorial and intimate, requiring your eyes, hands, and even sometimes your ears to guide you. All this happens while your mind is completely focused on following the instructions and decoding the inner workings of a product. This journey allows you to understand how the product works, but more importantly, it forms an emotional creator/creation connection between you and the product. It’s why IKEA’s furniture is so popular, and why people still hold onto cars from decades years ago – cars that they’ve invested hundreds of man-hours into fixing, upgrading, and maintaining. The MadClockMaker creates a similar experience by allowing you to play clockmaker and actually build your own clock from scratch. The MadClockMaker comes in a relatively flat box, with all its wooden laser-cut components, metal fixtures, and the clock unit.
Styled to look like an Art Nouveau-inspired timepiece, the MadClockMaker has an incredibly raw-yet-appealing skeletal quality to it. The clock, big enough for a desk or mantelpiece, comes in a variety of styles, including a book-shaped clock, two tabletop timepieces, and one wall-hung watch. All the versions of the MadClockMaker sport the main clock-face on top, with a secondary mini-face featuring the seconds-hand below. They even come with faux-gears that actually rotate, really amping up the timepiece’s steampunk-meets-antique appeal, creating something that’s classic, but with a twist!
All four variants are designed to be easy to assemble, with everything you’d need inside the box, from tools to glue, self-tapping screws, and even paint and varnish bottles. The clocks also come with an AA-battery powered quartz movement – perhaps the only pre-made component in the entire box. Instructions within the box guide you through the building process, allowing you to really involve yourself in constructing the clock from scratch. In the end, not only are you left with a spectacular looking timepiece, but you also end up developing a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into fine timepieces!
Designer: Vitalii Tiemieriev
Click Here to Buy Now: $54
$80 ($26 off). Hurry, only 38/160 left!
MadClockMaker – 3D Wooden Puzzle Clocks
MadClockMaker is a collection of wooden clocks that allows you to play clockmaker and actually build your own clock from scratch.
The Balloon Wall Clock
The Gothic Table Clock
The Book Wall & Table Clock
The Elezia Table Clock
Assembling The Clocks
Every kit is completed with two types of environmentally friendly water-based paints: light brown and dark brown. You choose on your own which color of parts you prefer. It is recommended to use both colors to create contrast in details.
Click Here to Buy Now: $54
$80 ($26 off). Hurry, only 38/160 left!
You know, I was just thinking the other day maybe I should start making my own liquor. I was just going to use the bathtub, but then I saw this 5 Gallon Pure Copper Alembic Still built by Copperholic and available for sale on Amazon (affiliate link). The traditional still costs $400 and comes with everything needed to get you up and bootlegging in no time. I can already close my eyes and imagine I’ve gone blind after drinking a bad batch.
Liquor not your cup of tea? You can also use the still for hydro or steam distillation of essential oils. Those are all the rage right now, you know. I’m going to set up a booth at the farmer’s market and make a fortune selling my own home-distilled essential oils above the table, and rotgut liquor beneath the table. Cha-ching!
I don’t really understand the process of moonshining, but I’m sure the internet can point me in the right direction. Or, as is the case more often than not, the very wrong direction. Either way, come over in about ten days because I am going to need a taste-tester.
If you’re waiting to drive the most outlandish vehicle of our time, the wait is going to be a little bit longer. Allegedly ballistic and tougher than a tank – the Tesla Cybertruck is not going to be a real deal any time before the end of 2021. If you can’t wait that long to get into a Cybertruck – there are a few rip-offs you can get into right away. But if you’re an outdoorsy person, you’d want the imitation to take you off-road and into the woods where you can relax for a night or two under the starry sky.
Ivan Zheltonogov thinks the latter is a good idea. A reason the designer/DIYer from Russia has built what he calls the LandTraveler Cybertruck – which can be instantly identified as an eye-catching Tesla’s futuristic truck-style camper trailer you can tag along behind the EV. From the look of it, you’d expect the motorhome to look best tagged behind a Cybertruck, but if you don’t want that, it can even tow behind the Model X, Model Y, or any other capable vehicle and still look futuristic.
The LandTraveler doesn’t just look futuristic – it even scores high on the camping trailer aspect. It is well equipped with all the necessities for a night well spent in the outdoors. The camping trailer is made from composite aluminum on the outside and comes complete with a bathroom, a kitchenette, dining cum sleeping area, and lots of skylights to ensure the compact interiors are well lit throughout the day and present a panoramic view by the night. For some off-grid capabilities, the LandTraveler is fitted with roof-top solar panels, a 100-liter water tank, and a heater to keep you warm when away from home.
The entry to the trailer is through the compact bathroom that features a commode, sink, shower and storage space. Separated from the bathroom by a screen, the living space on the far-end – that is also the dining and sleeping area -has a large skylight that can be covered by a blind for privacy. Ideal for a couple, the LandTraveler has a dining table that folds to include the seating and transforms into a double bed. This Cybertruck-inspired camper is a real deal in Russia and there are accounts of people already buying it. It is priced at RUB 1,490,000 (roughly $20,000) and can be customized to your needs if required. Delivery Stateside is not specified, but if you’re interested, Ivan can be contacted.