Intel-Instructables IoT Update Aug 16

Our Intel-Instructables IoT team met at the makerspace on sunday 16Aug.  So far we have a team of 5 high school students (all Kihei Charter) working on the project.   Luke Jones, an intern on loan to makers, and Celeste Jongeneelen are leading the effort.  We established a google group forum for team communications.  If you would like to join in, pop over and request to join.  We could use some more people.

For team updates, you can check the page here on our website

3D Printing–Part 1–The Basics

Maui Makers seems to be getting a lot of interest lately in 3D printing, so I’m going to post a few short blogs to answer some of the most common questions.

If you’re interested in learning more, come by the Makerspace for a 3D-printing Special Interest Group meeting (to be announced shortly).

What is 3D printing?

Like most technical terms, there is common usage as well as formal standards. The ASTM has defined it as:

3D printing: the fabrication of objects through the deposition of a material using a print head, nozzle, or another printer technology.

DISCUSSION—Term often used synonymously with additive manufacturing; in particular associated with machines that are low end in price and/or overall capability.

ASTM also defines:

material extrusion: an additive manufacturing process in which material is selectively dispensed through a nozzle or orifice.

While there are other ways of 3D printing, the machines we have at the Makerspace use Material Extrusion, this is the kind of 3D printing I’ll be talking about?

How does it work?

I like to describe it as a piece of string on a spool. The string goes into a nozzle, which melts the string. The melted string is kind of like hot glue–it will stick to some things, but the thing it really likes to stick to is itself. 2 motors move the nozzle around lay the string down to form a layer of the object, then another motor moves the nozzle up a layer and repeats, until you have the entire object. This process can be very mesmerizing to watch, and I’ve seen kids and adults entranced by the motion

How does the printer know what to make?

The easiest way to get started is to acquaint yourself with Thingiverse (, which is where people share things they’ve made. It contains a number of fun and useful objects and is a nice way to get an understanding of what you can do with a 3D printer. The only thing you need to watch out for is that Thingiverse also contains files that are intended for laser cutters. With a little experience, you can figure out the difference.

The next step would be to  draw the object on your computer. This sort of design used to be pretty much limited to Engineers (and there are still some high end programs out there for this audience), but with the advent of low cost, do-it-yourself manufacturing technologies, many computer programs are available for free or at low cost. A few examples in the no/low-cost category are: OpenSCAD, TinkerCAD, FreeCAD, SketchUp and Fusion 360. Fusion 360 is interesting at the moment, since it’s a relatively high-end package being offered under a free 1-year startup license for “hobbyists, enthusiasts, makers, and emerging businesses that make less than $100,000 per year”, with the paid version $300/year. Compared with other high-end suites, this is a bargain.

Upcoming 3D Printing Events

In September, Maui Makers will be setting up a Special Interest Group and printing some very low cost e-Nable ( prosthetic hands (like the one shown above) for kids on Maui.

In October, Maui Makers and MEDB will be hosting Fusion 360 training. (Update: Per Autodesk request, Fusion 360 training has been postponed till spring when they will have more people available.  We may do some local group learn-together events.)

Drop a line to if you want info either event.


Science Carnival a Success!

Maui Makers participated in the Science Carnival this Saturday to benefit the Maui Science Center. There was great turn-out of all ages, not just at the overall event, but even at our corner of one of the tents. There was a constant flow, never a slow moment! The Gravity Well was a huge draw for the kids; the marbles never stopped rolling. There was immense interest in the 3-D printing and the various samples. The 3-D pens were a hit. It was wonderful to watch the surprised and delighted smiles on the faces of kids and adults alike as they experienced the mysteries of the magnets with our latest interactive displays. We had a lot of sign-ups for general info as well as classes.  We got great exposure (even the mayor was interested in our work)! Because of this event, we surely will see some new faces at Maui Makers!

Maui Makers at Maui’s Science Carnival

Join us at the Science Carnival Aug 15 from 9 to 4. We’ll have a booth showcasing why Makers Matter, and helping another local non-profit (Maui Science Center) raise funds. While our missions are different, we share a common interest in advancing science and technology, with Makers focused on teaching and empowering everyone to harness technology to make their lives better.


While we don’t share the proceeds from this fundraiser, we do have our own fundraiser coming up. Watch our social media and website for an announcement of our fun, hands on fundraiser in October. The Boeing Company has given us a grant to kickstart our Menehune Makers program targeted to kids (of all ages).


If you have some projects to showcase at either event, drop us an email at or reply to this post.


If you’re interested in helping us man the booth Saturday, or helping us showcase the awesomeness that is Maui’s Makerspace, let us know. Things are getting exciting at Maui Makers!

Public Meeting Thurs 6 August 2015

This week Thursday (6 Aug 2015) will be our monthly open public meeting 6-9pm at the makerspace (200 Waiehu Beach Rd, Wailuku HI see map in right sidebar). We have just passed our first year as a non-profit corporation and installed several new board members and officers. We have a number of activities going on this month including:

Come on down, meet the board/officers, other members, find out how you can participate in these projects or create new ones.