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"Open source" marketing research, anyone?

                                  Calling any and all market research buffs!   "I need help finding my target market, but I can't afford to pay the giants in the business who have many many years of experience and probably have an agenda."   I'm sure that has been said, and heard, many times, and now its my turn. I had a thought recently about how I could find a market for a product I'm working on. Since I intend to release it openly, I want most of the side stuff the project spits out along the way to be open as well.   My idea centers around a collaborative and "smart" marketing research system. Of course there would be problems inherent to the system (trolls and SPAM, for instance) that could be remedied in a similar fashion to Wikipedia or Kickstarter. Now that I've put this idea out there, who wants to make it happen?

Topic by The Ideanator    |  last reply


Makers Market Research Group Paying up to $300

Hi, My name is Kyle and I am the Market Research Coordinator at watchLAB, a nationwide market research company. I am reaching out to you because we are conducting a PAID study for people who considers themselves a "maker", which is someone who creates or manipulates physical objects with digital components. Our client is a major tech manufacturer and wants feedback and insight from Makers to help shape new products and services for the Maker community. The study consists of an online board from December 1st to the 4th that takes 3 hours to complete, and compensation would be $250. Our client will then choose a select group of people who completed the online board to be in either a follow-up telephone interview or an in-home interview. The telephone interviews will be taking place December 7-11, take one hour long, and pay $150. The in-home interviews will be taking place December 14-18, take 3 hours long, and pay $300.   If you or anyone at your company is interested in participating, please have them email me at Kyle.Scheffler@watchLAB.com. Feel free to email me with any questions or concerns you might have! Thank you! Best, Kyle Kyle Scheffler |  Market Research Coordinator email:  Kyle.Scheffler@watchLAB.com watchLAB

Topic by KyleS55    |  last reply


Academic Research on the DiY Community

Hello! My name is Ben Shultz (bshultz@utk.edu) and I'm a PhD student in Geography at the University of Tennessee. I'm conducting a survey to further our understanding of innovation and creativity in DiY projects. I'm particularly interested in creative inspirations, motivations, and level of participation in DiY projects. Many scholars research innovation and creativity, but overlook the incredible richness and quality of innovation/creativity in DiY communities. I'd like to conduct one of very few academic examinations of the DiY ethos and community.I'd like to invite you to participate in my project by taking a 10-minute survey on the web. The results of this survey are for university research only, and are completely unaffiliated with marketing or other for-profit institutions. All responses are anonymous. Link to survey: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/131093/a9nnwYou can follow the progress of this research at my blog (diydissertation.blogspot.com) where I will post write-ups and aggregated results. You may freely share any of the information posted there. Feel free to contact me at bshultz@utk.edu if you have any questions.Thank you so much for helping me gather data for my dissertation. I hope to offer you back useful and interesting information on DiY communities once I'm finished.Ben ShultzUniversity of TennesseeDepartment of GeographyLink to survey: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/131093/a9nnw(Note: Eric Wilhelm has approved this post!)

Topic by bshultz1981    |  last reply


How to earn money online by making research based innovative projects which are based on Artificial Intelligence ?

I am interested in doing research in the field of Artificial Intelligence & make innovative projects based on research . So i use to study relevant research papers based on AI and try to enhance the performance by using some other techniques. I have made projects & published research papers in many international journals and conferences like IEEE(for Drone's path planning, Stock Market forecasting, Chatbot). I have already implemented plenty of innovative ideas(like path planning techniques for Drones(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Chatbot(AI based), Share market forecasting(using AI), etc. I want to make money by making research based projects, write research papers and thesis(if it belongs to academia) and sell it to client online. How can i make money by making research based projects online? I am also learning PHP for developing a website.

Question by saditya.gautam    |  last reply


Thank you all Product Hackers who have helped me out :)

I am writing a paper about design hackers, and I need as many people as possible to answer these questions below. Please cope paste the questions before you write down the answers, thank you so much for the help in advance!!! 1. Since when is product hacking a hobby for you and why did you start? 2. What kind of products do you hack, is there a practical preference based on your interest/need for certain modifications? 3. Why do you do it, why not just buy the things you need without having to modify anything? 4. Why do you think the (design)product hacking community has become so lively the past decade? 5. How do you think (design)product hacking is received by product designers? 6. Is (design) product hacking in your eyes a hype or will it evolve and create even bigger communities and become more influential to the design market (If so, try to explain its expected influence)?

Topic by kirstentb    |  last reply


High fashion functional commuter wear men, women, or unisex!?

Hi everyone, I am a fourth year design student researching a niche in the cycling market. I am researching womens males or unisex commuter wear that is both high end and functional. I am marketing for the vancouver market. Heres a questionaire I'd love to hear some answers on!! 1) Would you wear high end stylish functional cycling wear? 2) Would you wear it to and from the office? 3) What if it suit your business attire? 4) What if it didn't look like cycling wear, but it fuctioned great on a bike ( mesh areas for breathing, liners for sweat, natural fibers for breathing)? 5) What would you like to see for chic funtional commuter wear? 6) What if it was water proof... or had water proof layers?

Question by byoung13    |  last reply


15" Macbook Pro

Hello everyone,          I am in the market for my first laptop. Ive been researching for about two years now and Im ready to make a purchase. My research has lead me to the 15" MacBook Pro. I am very cautious with my money and I want to make sure my hard earned money goes into a good investment. I really like it just from looking at it online. Im a pretty hardcore computer nerd and have taken up the title of the  IT manager of my house. I need a good computer.  From the few people ive talked to Ive only heard good things about the unit. Is there anyone out there, who owns one, tell me its Pros and Cons? It would be greatly appreciated!

Topic by 2001warrior    |  last reply


Know Anything About Toolboxes? I need help!

I am asking for anyone and everyone who has ever had experience storing and/or transporting tools to help me out. I am designing a new  product for tools and I need input. Please take my short (10 question) survey. No personal information is collected. It is totally anonymous. You would be helping out a fellow maker in a major way. Thank you so much. Here's the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BMLTGW5 P.S. If you could also share pictures or your toolboxes/storage areas I'd appreciate the data. Thanks again!

Topic by biggy smalls  


potato cannon engineering survey

Hey, I need help from people who have built or bought potato cannons. my capstone high school senior engineering project is centered around building a better potato cannon, and part of the project is doing some market research. I've got a quick (10 question) survey that's built to just get an idea of problems with current potato cannons, the kind of demographic that generally uses them, etc. Please help with this project. I'll probably post instructions on making it here when we're done. here's the link to the survey. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PTNSBJW thanks if you can help.

Topic by codongolev    |  last reply


Are LEDS used in GROW LED LAMPS any different from regular, colored LEDs?

I've seen grow LED lamps for plants and flowers go for $100 to $200 on ebay and they look like simple red and blue LEDs in a lamp unit. These days anyone can do a lamp with LEDs since we have a wide variety of LEDs, drivers and casings at our disposal and at a very affordable price. Even if you add the cost of research and develpment and a healthy profit to remain in business into the cost of the device, I don't think the ratio cost-price of those lamps is fair. Those grow lamps seem to be a scam to me, unless the LEDs/drivers used on them are really more expensive than the widely available in the market. I am more inclined to think they priced their lamps artificially to cater to its intended market: deep-pocket obsessed gardeners, weed grow-op guys, fancy growers, etc. Why is that these lamps are that costly? What is the magic behind them or do they have "NASA" technology on them or what? Thanks for your input

Question by arirang777    |  last reply


How to make an oxygen-nitrogen blender with caudal and O2-fraction control? Answered

Hello,I am installing a laboratory reaction system for research. This system requires an oxygen-nitrogen gas supply. For this, I have high purity nitrogen and oxygen tanks (99.999%). I need to control the flow rate and the oxygen fraction, so I was evaluating the acquisition of an electronic mass flow valve control system. In the specialized market I have found them between 5-8K usd. However, my budget is very limited and I consider a homemade one.I will be very grateful if someone could recommend a more accessible device.

Question by alex.toriello    |  last reply


Instructables in the Institute for the Future's Future of Making Map

I helped The Institute for the Future, an independent, nonprofit research group with nearly 40 years of forecasting experience, create their Future of Making Map, which has just been published and mentions Instructables:Two future forces, one mostly social, one mostly technological, are intersecting to transform how goods, services, and experiences--the "stuff" of our world--will be designed, manufactured, and distributed over the next decade. An emerging do-it-yourself culture of "makers" is boldly voiding warranties to tweak, hack, and customize the products they buy. And what they can't purchase, they build from scratch. Meanwhile, flexible manufacturing technologies on the horizon will change fabrication from massive and centralized to lightweight and ad hoc. These trends sit atop a platform of grassroots economics--new market structures developing online that embody a shift from stores and sales to communities and connections.Check out the full Future of Making Map here.

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


Touch screen Keyboard

Hey :) i have a sweet idea of building a touch screen keyboard that's separate from the monitor. i kno their are already some on the market but it be way cooler if i could build one myself. after doing some research i found the easiest way with the most versatility would be to have a touch screen ontop of a display and have the display then attached to a chip which would relay the image of the custom keyboard. the keyboard then would be hooked up to the computer and would function like a normal keyboard but soundless. :D the problem in all this planning is 1 i don't know how to put everything together, even though Ive been reading up , my knowledge of hardware design is minimal and 2 i don't know how to write programs, but if its any consolation im teaching my self simple programming like C++ but i doubt that will help. anyways , any suggestions Thanks a million Justin

Topic by Justin D    |  last reply


Help with school project. Redesigning soldering iron for beginners.

Hi guys,  I am an industrial design student at the University of Alberta in Canada looking for some help for my project. I have been assigned to redesign a soldering iron and research on how to make this tool better with input from users in the specified market. In this case, I am looking for first timers or beginners who have just been introduced to soldering and gear my improvements towards their needs. My primary design goal is to lessen the learning curve by addressing issues of safety and comfort. I have posted some questions as part of my research and would love the input. All input is welcomed regardless of skill level. Thank you for your help! Soldering Iron Design Survey 1. What is your experience and skill level? ( None, beginner, average, expert) 2. Which type of soldering iron do you use? The gun shaped one or the pen type? 3. In what environment / setting do you use it most? eg. workbench, kitchen table. 4. What were some of the needs you had for the too and were they metl? (Needs meaning minimum expectations, without which the product would be a failure) 5. What were some of the wants you had for the tool? 6. What were some problems you encountered when you first used a soldering iron? 7. Which aspects of a soldering iron besides functionality do you consider being the most important? eg. comfort, safety etc. Thanks for your help! Justin 

Question by jchan3ualberta    |  last reply


Help with school project!

Hi guys,  I am an industrial design student at the University of Alberta in Canada looking for some help for my project. I have been assigned to redesign a soldering iron and research on how to make this tool better with input from users in the specified market. In this case, I am looking for first timers or beginners who have just been introduced to soldering and gear my improvements towards their needs. My primary design goal is to lessen the learning curve by addressing issues of safety and comfort. I have posted some questions as part of my research and would love the input. All input is welcomed regardless of skill level. Thank you for your help! Soldering Iron Design Survey 1. What is your experience and skill level? ( None, beginner, average, expert) 2. Which type of soldering iron do you use? The gun shaped one or the pen type? 3. In what environment / setting do you use it most? eg. workbench, kitchen table. 4. What were some of the needs you had for the too and were they metl? (Needs meaning minimum expectations, without which the product would be a failure) 5. What were some of the wants you had for the tool? 6. What were some problems you encountered when you first used a soldering iron? 7. Which aspects of a soldering iron besides functionality do you consider being the most important? eg. comfort, safety etc. Thanks for your help!  Justin

Topic by jchan3ualberta  


3D Printing/Scanning Advocate Needed in SF Bay Area

Love telling people about 3D printing?! Paid position introducing consumers to the maker movement and helping them complete 3D Prints and Scans in a retail environment. 3D Scanning and Printing Advocates: Looking for qualified 3D professionals with experience in printing and/or scanning to work directly with customers and introduce them to the Maker movement. 2+ years experience with 3D design, printing, & scanning preferred. Responsibilities: Explain 3D scanning and printing possibilities to retail consumers Help them complete basic 3D printing/scanning tasks at the kiosk Answer questions and respond to technical issues Really listen to consumers needs, concerns and difficulties and log them Compile a market research report based on your experiences and observations You will be personally representing 3D printing and a large retail brand to end users. Respect and patience with new Makers is a must. 1-6 month Contract Position, with potential to convert to Full-Time. Compensation to be Determined. Must be located in California. Must be able to start by October 15th. Oct 1st preferred. Contact Brittany@Authentise.com to apply.

Topic by BrittanyF  


Gift Exchange

My skills include: Electronics, software navigation, computer customizing, repair, research, warranty voiding, proofreading, sound editing, image editing, martial arts, CubeScript What I'd like to make for someone: Probably a thumb-drive loaded with software, or a solar recharger for some device, maybe a CD from my band, or an edited picture (funny or not); perhaps a knit hat made from my backhair (though I probably won't be able to grow it in time). I'd be willing to make this size gift package for someone: S or M I'd be willing to receive a smaller or larger...: Smaller or larger is fine! What I like: Electronics, recharging batteries, computers, functional art, science, parascience, games, PSP hacking, programming, help with Linux, martial arts. What I don't like: Feminine things; edible things; not-so-functional art. I absolutely can't have: black market body parts, small kittens, illegal drugs. Type of thing I'd love to receive: anything that fits my likes, or anything made by Plasmana or gmjhowe! <3 Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country? Certainly! Confirm that you are at least 18 years old: I am over 18.

Topic by V-Man737  


Creating an Invention and Instructable Mixing Software or Website

I was wondering if we could create a new website device, we could call it the Invention Mixer Software.It would basically be a large database of practical or groundbreaking inventions, and maybe many of the instructables here.We could arrange it according to use (Renewable Energy, Agricultural, Games, etc) and we could arrange it like a shopping cart selection. Each item would contain Name of Invention, Its basic use and advantage over common inventions, and the link to the manufacturer or institution doing the research.With the shopping cart, you can choose the inventions and instructables you like and store them in the website, or copy and paste to your friends to discuss,compare or talk over.It would be more than hobbyists website. People making new inventions could compare with the products now in the market, and compare it to instructables that can make similar inventions.It would be like a cheap, low cost utility compared to the very powerful but expensive invention making machines like:INVENTION MACHINE Softwarehttp://www.invention-machine.com/productsservices.aspxor stuff like this:CREAX Invention Softwarehttp://www.creax.com/innovation_software.htmThis would be the every man's invention software on a website.

Topic by mikedu    |  last reply


Thoughts on Arduino/Raspberry Pi Idea?

Hi everyone, I am part of a research group at UC Berkeley working on a product involving the Arduino/Raspberry Pi. We are conducting market tests, and would really appreciate your help answering these questions. Thank you for your time! If you use Arduino/Raspberry Pi, how often do you use it? How do you use it? Would you consider it mostly a hobby or do you use it for school/industry as well? How were you first introduced to it? What are your general thoughts on the Arduino/Raspberry Pi? Did you learn to program by using the Arduino/Raspberry Pi or did you have some prior experience? If you had prior experience, how much? What languages are you well-versed in? Would you be interested in a model-based approach to programming Arduino/Raspberry Pi functions? This would be something akin to Matlab’s Simulink or Labview’s visual programming (flowcharts). The basic idea would be to remove the need to code in C. If you are not interested, why not? If you are interested, what specific features would you enjoy? Do you believe such a tool would be an efficient way to teach/introduce students to programming? In addition, here is a 1-minute survey (on a similar subject) if you are interested: Survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dkwyhC59I7h8IOuNFyL_tbjo7AFucTP0KQS0mYH1qy4/viewform

Topic by RobertB3  


Back-room inventors' contest.

From the Popular Science website: World-changing devices don't need to come from big labs funded with big money. Sometimes radical technological innovations roll, whir, or fly out of basements and garages. Do you know you've invented something that's poised to disrupt a market, or have you toiled building prototype after prototype in your home workshop to prove your idea works? Whether you're a professional engineer working on a self-funded side project, a hobbyist who has launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to refine your gadget, or an obsessive teenager who's built a sellable product in your bedroom, please tell us about it! Enter the seventh annual Popular Science Invention Awards. We’re looking for game-changing products developed by passionate, independent inventors -- not academic or corporate R&D; labs. Popular Science editors will pick 10 entries that best represent the spirit of homegrown ingenuity and solve real-world problems in a practical, innovative way. Then, in our May 2013 issue, seven million readers will get the first look at the winners. This is right up your street, Instructablers, because you have to make a thing, that you can show working, and you are not allowed to enter if you have a commercial or university research department backing you up. Link for more details.

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


Computer recycling: Dangers for even the well intentioned

Are we really making it impossible to live in this ever increasingly "darned if you do, darned if you don't" society? Disposal of computer repercussions" Picture a stack of used PCs packed with corporate data sitting unattended on a shipping company loading dock. Imagine what happens to your company's stock price when the Environmental Protection Agency tracks the serial numbers of lead-filled monitors from an illegal landfill back to you. Think about a villager in a third-world nation burning circuit boards in an open-air shop to recover a few cents' worth of precious metals. Now, what's going to be generated by that 3-year-old PC your administrator just pulled from an employee's desk? Data theft? Lawsuit? Poison? Finally, consider research firm IDC's estimate that 269 million PCs were sold worldwide last year, along with 8 million servers. The bulk of them likely were replacements for systems moved into recycling or reuse. You start to get a sense of the dangers associated with disposing of outdated computer equipment.Concerns about computer disposal fall into three main categories: Eradicating data, finding a market for outdated but usable equipment and recycling or disposing of materials in an environmentally safe manner...."Anyone have any suggestions for are "fearless leaders" ? Image is of SKILLS from the PA recycling center and can be read about at this link for SKILLS

Topic by Goodhart  


long range radio control flying

Hello all...I was looking in at the discussions of the possibility of long range radio control airplane operation and can make a few comments drawn from my research into the topic, with my opinions directed toward the USA market area ; First, Americans are bound by Federal Communications Commission regulations so we must abide by them or risk steep fines or legal trouble if caught. Second, the frequencies assigned by the FCC for radio control hobby use are already allocated, so modifications to your control systems in terms of frequencies could be illegal. Third, the maximum output for radio systems in the hobby is 1000mw (1 watt), which will easily control your miniature aircraft out to 1 to 2 miles, where you will need a video camera, transmitter, reciever and viewing device to even keep track of it ! There are several manufacturers that are way ahead of most of us here - offering pre made systems that are plug and play (no head scratching needed) . Search "FPV systems" on your computer and you'll find them. Bear in mind that to use these systems in America, you will need to obtain an amateur radio (ham) operator license to be legal (again, so if you get checked, you won't get in big trouble with the Federal Government ). I'm still looking into it myself, but if you want to see a good example of a really sharp Canadian who has a handle on this, search " VRflyer" on YouTube. He started doing this quite a few years ago and has some great video of his projects and results !

Topic by 2512rc  


Arduino Projects ITT

I've been doing research into some home brewed add-on people have made for Arduino. I was surprised to find that there are a ton of custom shields that people have developed and sell right now (check this out: http://shieldlist.org/).  This gave me some ideas for developing products myself. I'm trying to gauge what people are looking for in new Arduino product. If you could take a really quick survey that I designed to test the market, I'd really appreciate it? Here is a link to it: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PTSDD8Z Please let me know what you guys think would make great products for Arduino! On a related point, I was wondering about the feasibility of a brushless motor shield. I am working on an Arduino based dual rotor mulicopter with some friends (here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC566tCzMbp-S5ThKuPQO_6g. We aren't too far in yet). I think for others that make "Arducopter", it would be nice to do away with external ESCs for controlling brushless motors. I think it would be far more convenient to have a shield that acts as a substitute for ESCs and also act as a power distribution platform for on board components. Is it dangerous to be running that much current on a PCB on top of an Arduino? Would it be wise to connect a 3S LiPo in parallel with the shield ESC and an Arduino, or could that damage my Arduino? Thanks in advice for the help!

Topic by Filleted  


What the Candidates Say About Energy

What the Candidates Say About Energyhttp://www.energycentral.com/centers/news/daily/article.cfm?aid=9641919RepublicansRUDY GIULIANI: Says "every potential solution" must be pursued, including nuclear power, increased energy exploration and more aggressive investment in alternative energy sources. Says energy independence can be achieved through a strategy that emphasizes diversification, innovation and conservation.MIKE HUCKABEE: Wants to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil by pursuing "all avenues" of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel and biomass.JOHN MCCAIN: Wants to limit carbon dioxide emissions "by harnessing market forces" that will bring advanced technologies, such as nuclear energy, to the market faster. Seeks to reduce dependence on foreign supplies of energy. Wants the U.S. to lead in a way that ensures all nations "do their rightful share" on the environment. As you may know,McCain was AWOL in December on the key Senate vote to secure an 8-yearSolar Investment Tax Credit extension -- and he could have been the hero by casting the 60thvote (it failed 59 to 40 with only McCain being AWOL).MITT ROMNEY: Wants to accelerate construction of nuclear power plants as part of a "robust, cleaner and reliable energy mix." Seeks energy independence not by halting all oil imports but by "making sure that our nation's future will always be in our hands."DemocratsHILLARY CLINTON: Says she's "agnostic" about building nuclear power plants. Prefers renewable energy and conservation because of concerns about nuclear power's cost, safety and waste disposal. Wants to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years to cut oil imports by two-thirds from 2030 projected levels, with some money going toward alternative energy.JOHN EDWARDS: Opposes nuclear power because of cost and safety concerns. Favors creating a $13 billion-a-year fund to finance research and development of energy technologies; wants to reduce oil imports by nearly a third of the oil projected to be used in 2025.BARACK OBAMA: Says the U.S. can't meet its climate goals if it removes nuclear power as an option but says such issues as security of nuclear fuel, waste and waste storage need to be addressed first. Wants to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years to develop new energy sources. Seeks to reduce"oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent by 2030."

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


Social Engagement

I’m a university student in marketing currently working on a school project. I am required to do some research on social media and I was hoping I’d be able to talk to someone who is involved in your website’s digital publishing or audience engagement. Maybe a site manager or product manager would be wonderful. I have chosen the “Do It Yourself” industry, because it is of great interest to me and your website has caught my eye. I’d really appreciate any feedback you can offer me to help me proceed with my research and a phone conversation would be even better. It would only take 5 minutes of your time to answer 5 of my simple questions. If you are unable to contact me, please see the following questions below, and you may reply the answers to me via email at [falsabag@ryerson.ca]. If you would like me to call you instead, I’d be more than happy to, just as long as you provide me with your number. I will provide my number if you want that too.  1) Would you say that your company has an established social strategy? 2) Do you believe that keeping consumers engaged on your site is beneficial? 3) How is your company’s social strategy measured? 4) Do you currently have commenting tools for the content your site generates? a. If yes i. Who are you currently using? ii. Are you happy with the level of engagement being delivered? iii. What is best part of the service being provided? iv. Does your current provider offer analytics? v. Are you using any other social media analytic tools? vi. What is the one feature that you believe is missing with the current offering? vii. What price range is your current service in – set range? b. If No i. Are you aware that there are platforms that allow you to generate comments from content that you create greater engagement? ii. Would capturing data from those who visit and interact with your site be beneficial to your organization? iii. Would your organization value real time analytics and commentary from your content consumers? 5) Thank you for taking the time to answer my survey.  Would you like someone to contact you regarding potential social engagement solutions? If so, may I have your contact information, such as your name and phone number.

Topic by falsabag    |  last reply


Why is Instructables so great?

Hi my name’s Padraig and I’m doing an online ethnography project for one of my modules in college. I’m a member of this site and I’m curious as to whether or not everybody else agrees that the site facilities this kind of D.I.Y. activity far better than traditional person-to-person social groups, oh and also, of course, why you enjoy using instructables and that sort of thing. Like I said I’m a student, I’m not some sleazy market researcher, I’m really interested in instructables as a community and would hugely appreciate any replies to my questions. Answer whatever you like and feel free to add anything you think is worth mentioning. 1 - What is you age, gender, general location? 2 - How often would you say you visit the site? 3 - Do you use the forum often and participate in discussion? 4 - Do you find that having access to the various instructions submitted to the site has directly affected how often you yourself make things by hand? 5 - Do you feel that the site allows you to express a side of your personality which you may not usually have the opportunity to express offline? 6 - If you answered yes to the previous question, then why? 7 - Do you attend offline events that are promoted through the forum? 8 - Do you talk with any Instructable members outside of the site, either online (MSN Messenger etc.) or offline (Events)? 9 - Have you experienced a sense of competition in producing bigger and better instructables or is the atmosphere more laid back, is this good or bad in you opinion? 10 - Do you feel that the community offers a decent support network of friends and like minded individuals? 11 - Would you consider members like threadbanger and giannyl (etc.) to be instructable’s very own cult of celebrities? Cheers.  

Topic by Bearch    |  last reply


Anyone want to do peer review? Open source product devellopment

I made the pulser pump 20 years ago. (A low tech trompe airlfit pump combination to use low grade water power.It never attracted scientific research funding and never got tested because it is simple and doesn't produce electiricity.I put up an instructable about how to make a model but nobody has made one.Last year I made the "mechanical mathematician" which is a new simple device to allow people to make moulds for parabolic dishes from cob or mud.The same constraints apply and official science will never check it out.This year, there is the tracking solar accumulator, the clock based dripper tracker and the 2 bucket dripper tracker. (Guess I am on a bit of a roll because I needed solutions to make the solar tracking accumulating barbecue a reality.)Official science will not be interested in this either.It is all very low tech stuff. Cheap simple trackers have been identified by solarcooking.org as an important part of getting solar cooking widely introduced. The clock based tracker especially could change things a whole lot for many people. It can be cheap and accurate enough to provide all day semi-automatic solar cooking. I have adapted a few clocks for this but there are probably many models on the market and you might find the ideal one or a better way of adapting one to help make better trackers for solar cookers.It takes years for new (even appropriate technology) to be introduced.Please help these things get introduced much faster by making some of them yourselves.And if you already have made some, please post them! Do not be afraid of doing a bad job. Places like the full belly group would be good to post your stuff or video or text responses to my utube videos.I will happily take down my instructables if someone posts better versions! I have made all these things but my versions were just demo's to show what could be done. There are no patents on any of them.Please join in. http://www.youtube.com/user/gaiatechnicianBrian White

Topic by gaiatechnician    |  last reply


Create the Future and win $20,000 (NASA TechBriefs Competition)

Reveal your inner genius(I have revealed mine here - please click to help my view-count)It's time to bring out the inventions you've been keeping to yourself. Show off your design and engineering skills in the Create The Future Design Contest.$20,000, other great prizes, fame and glory are on the line!It's like an Instructables contest, but with a wider range of possibilities, and you could get away without actually making anything. The contest is open now, and you have until October 17th to get your entries in.There are six categories:Consumer Products: Products that increase quality of life in the workplace, at home, during leisure time, or while traveling.Machinery, Equipment and Component Technology: Products that speed and improve work, manufacturing, or scientific research processes.Medical Products: Products that improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare.Safety and Security: Products that enhance the security or safety of individuals, businesses, communities, or nations.Sustainable Technologies: Products that help reduce dependence on non-renewable energy resources, as well as products designed for other purposes using environmentally friendly materials or manufacturing processes.Transportation: Products that enable movement of people and goods from one place to another.You describe your idea in a maximum of 500 words, and you get judged on:InnovationManufacturabilityMarketabilityCost-effectivenessDesign communication (visuals and text explanation)PrizesGrand Prize*$20,000 USDFirst Prize in Each Category (6)HP xw4600 Workstations (or comparable workstation of equivalent value)Popular Vote Winners (6)$100 USDAll qualified entrants will receive a limited-edition Create the Future design contest t-shirt or souvenir of equivalent or greater value.>You have to be 18 to enter (but you could get an adult to enter for you), you can enter a group's work (under your name), but for some bizarre reason, the contest is "void" in New York and Florida.I'm going to give it some serious consideration, if only to get the tee...Rules of EntryEntry formTech Briefs ArticleThe best design ideas will:Improve quality of lifeAutomate tedious tasksPrevent or reduce injuriesSave time and moneyOffer alternative energy solutionsReduce the world's consumption of natural resourcesLead to other product improvements

Topic by Kiteman    |  last reply


I have an allergy to the silicone in my CPAP mask liner. I seek an alternative "skin safe" material to mold a new liner?

I am seeking a skin safe or hypoallergenic moldable & (pliable after molding) gel-like material (firmness medium) that I can use to mold a replacement for my silicone CPAP mask "liner." CPAP masks are worn nightly by people with the medical condition - Obstructive Sleep Apnea - the mask is connected by hose to a small medical machine that forces air down your throat to keep those with Sleep Apnea from ceasing to breath while sleeping.  The "liner" is the replaceable soft part of the CPAP mask that goes against your face (skin) to assure a good seal and no air leakage) I personally have the capability of making a mold of my original silicone mask liner then reproducing it (for my personal, not commercial purposes) - I just need to identify a moldable material (with similar characteristics to silicone), but that does not cause rashes and skin outbreaks and the allergic reaction to silicone. Hundreds of people have an allergic reaction to silicone. Multiple dermatologists have been unable to provide a solution or effective treatment. Any "skin safe" (might be hypoallergenic or not but probably would be?) moldable material that may be currently used in the production of various medical devices or medical devices that are inserted into the body (cosmetic surgery) or devices that are by necessity held against the skin would likely be a candidate for me to produce an alternative to a silicone mask liner. Or it might be a material with other uses or a totally new material on the market? I note that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of CPAP mask users who suffer from this very same allergic reaction to silicone but unfortunately, to date, the CPAP manufacturing industry has chosen to continues to produce 100% of CPAP mask liners from silicone alone. There is no alternative on the market. One can easily find hundreds of posts on CPAP forums complaining of this same silicone allergy problem with no solution currently available or even on the horizon. For legal reasons, I unequivocally state that this post should not be construed in any way as a "negative critique" of the CPAP manufacturing industry or any of their products or the materials used in those products, but it is simply a genuine request by an individual in need, for help and assistance from a very highly knowledgable base of Instructable readers. I further note that the various types of cloth covers that are sold by some small niche companies, to cover the silicone CPAP liners are (in my personal view) only partially effective for some, and fully ineffective for many (myself included) in addressing this silicone allergy problem. This (in my personal case) is NOT the needed solution It is a band-aid at best. The solution is a hypoallergenic moldable alternative to silicone that has the same pliable sealing properties as silicone but without the allergic skin reaction. Additionally,  I have an allergic reaction to the "neoprene" material that is used in the production of virtually 100% of CPAP mask harnesses (the strap that goes around and behind your head to hold the CPAP mask in place). So I am also seeking an alternative material that I can use to construct a (non-neoprene) harness. A slightly stretchable hypoallergenic material would be ideal but frankly it could be made of any (skin safe) material even if non-stretchable. I am open to any suggestions. If you wish to view an example (image) of a full CPAP mask you can see it here: http://www.cpap.com/productpage/resmed-mirage-quattro-fx-full-face-mask-headgear.html If you wish to view an example (image) of a CPAP mask silicone liner (replaceable) you can see it here: http://www.cpap.com/productpage/resmed-full-face-mask-cushion-mirage-Quattro-FX.html If you wish to view an example (image) of a CPAP mask harness (made of neoprene) you can see it here: http://www.cpap.com/productpage/resmed-mirage-quattro-fx-full%20face-headgear.html?source=igodigital I am very grateful for your kind assistance with this rather challenging problem...despite considerable ongoing research on my part I have been unable to identify an appropriate alternative (to silicone) material for my CPAP mask liner nor have multiple individuals suffering with the same silicone allergy been able to identify an alternative. I have frequently trolled all of the major CPAP forums and there simply has been no effective solution identified to properly address this silicone allergy problem. 

Question by kick991    |  last reply


Two Hands Two Legs and lots of walking in SF

And we're off! The documentary tour of hacker spaces in America starts off in Boston with an early breakfast:At 3:30 on September 8 I began making the WOD's [waffles of departure] and gathered my friends. This was it, I was having my goodbye breakfast. We sat around a giant LED display that was playing tetris on autopilot like we were at a sports bar and called the AI engine out on it's bad plays. Choice is the name of the game in AI, how do you make the optimal choices with limited knowledge about the present and doubt about the future?I drank my cocoa considering the choices I've made to hit the skies and shoot a documentary on hackerspaces, and it filled me with exhilaration. What could be more critical than doing something that gives you the energy to do the thing you want to be doing? There has to be this ignition point to push the chooser into action, creating this snowball of awesome gathering steam as it goes downhill. Rather than chilling with Sysiphus on his uphill downhill journey. Feeling energized, feeling pumped, I called my friends around me and we ate to good health and poured generous libations of yogurt smoothie [Spilled the contents of the blender on the floor]. **************Later that very evening I found myself SSFed :: Suddenly in San Francisco:Walking down 17th street passing bodega after fruit market after bodega and suddenly we intersected. The assembly of the Two Hands Project was complete as we fortuitously intersected directly at the gates to NoiseBridge nouveau. An odd bunch from Chicago/Alaska, Michigan/Boston, and Florida/notsureyet we were meeting for the first time since the inception of the project, and we were ready to rock. Having almost no equipment after meeting up with Mitch and experiencing excellence and consensus in action we go to Sadies house (what a great lady), stay up late, and work all night. Starting the tradition that will continue to this day. Hopping on Paul's tiny folding bike I run across town gathering Mic's, video cameras and miracle fruit. Meeting up with the crew dazed and confused walking around town with tons of gear on their back we were glad to have a brief breakfast with SkyT, Mitch and FBZ before checking out the reMakeLounge.At the reMakeLounge we met up with Inna who saved our lives, 300 times. With her help we were able to talk with the folks at the Internet Archive where we met up with Mang. She drove us over to Oakland, back to SF, and finally back to the Airport. If there's one lady that made the SF leg of this trip possible it was Inna.Mang and his roommate Mike have an awesome Hacker Space appended to their home. We were given a rare peek into Radish Research which they opened up to us. It's been amazing how much people have opened up to us this trip! I'd like to take this moment to thank you all for your kindness, generosity and ability to withstand the rush that is The Two Hands Project. Hee!Posting would happen more frequently if it weren't for the emergency nature of this trip. But keep an eye out, I'll be posting shorter things more regularly I hope._Bilal GhalibAnd now, a brief video of the first leg of our trip:

Topic by lamedust    |  last reply


Free Rice

A lot of you probably already know about this, but I thought I would post it anyway.The site FreeRice.com is a fantastic charity site that helps fight world hunger through a game.I had heard of this a long time ago, but I never actually tried it until today. I researched a bit, and was very impressed by it, which is why I'm posting this.How it StartedFreeRice began on October 7, 2007. It was created by John Breen, a computer programmer from Bloomington, Indiana, who also created thehungersite.com, therainforestsite.com and Poverty.com. Breen invented the site, and typed in all 10,000 definitions, after observing his son study for the SAT.How it WorksVisitors to the website are presented with a word and four definitions. If a user selects the correct definition, FreeRice.com donates 20 grains of rice through the United Nations. Another word is then presented. Special graphics symbolizing 100 and 1,000 grains of rice are displayed on a graphical tally if the player's total reaches these numbers. Various landmarks are represented with different messages of encouragement such as: "You have donated 10,000 grains of rice. Wow! Now THAT is impressive!" after the 10,000th grain is donated, and after 20,000 grains, "You have donated 20,000 grains of rice. Wow! We're speechless!" After every ten thousand grains thereafter, the message "Wow! We're STILL speechless!" will appear. The last message of encouragement appears when you reach 100,000: "You have donated 100,000 grains of rice. May you have a lifetime of happiness..." and then the donation comes back at 0 grains.The difficulty of each displayed word is measured from 1 (easy) to 60 (very hard). The game begins with four introductory definitions to set an initial vocabulary level. From the fifth question onward, three consecutive correct responses raise the difficulty level by one. Every incorrect answer lowers the level by one. Users can play for as long as they wish. The game determines difficulty level dynamically by analyzing the results from all users' game play.A speaker icon has been added to each definition to provide an audio pronunciation of the word.How its possiblen exchange for advertisements on the website, various sponsors donate the money necessary to pay for the rice and other costs to run FreeRice. The donations are distributed by the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP), starting with Bangladesh in early 2008. By this time, the site's creator had given over $213,000 to the WFP which encourages people to visit FreeRice.com.For example, On 20 November the WFP launched a campaign to 'feed a child for Thanksgiving'.Has it Worked?One month after the inception of the viral marketing program, users had earned enough points for one billion grains of rice. The United Nation's World Food Programme stated that this amount could feed 50,000 people for one day. Thus, approximately 20,000 grains of rice provide enough caloric intake to sustain an adult for one day. Using this calculation, enough rice is donated to feed about 7,000 people daily. In its first six months of operation, FreeRice donated over 25 billion grains of rice.I think its a great cause, and truly a noble deed. So, when you're bored, instead of playing solitaire because you need something to do, why not help feed those who truly need something?By helping this cause, you are also helping yourself. Since the game consists of word definitions, you might be suprised

Topic by Keith-Kid    |  last reply


Bio-Char Pellets

I didn't see a speel on this topic yet so now we have one. I wrote this to a forum for bio-pellet maker's and thought that I would pass it along to you to read. Enjoy. ______________________________________________________ Hello, I am new to the forum and to pellet making altogether really. I am an open researcher of the net at the present time have become interested in many topics I come across. The downfall of the net, for some, is that there so much information, it can boggle the mind. I ran across the videos put out by the web site on YouTube and decided to pose a question to the site administrator. They still have not gotten back to me, but I think from the posts on the forum you are a pretty busy group - he is likely looking into it. The newest thing on the 'Save the World' front is Bio-char. I asked if the pellet machine would be able to convert bio-char into a pellet form. I do know that the bio-char can be hand pressed, or screw extruded into briquettes. This is done in many countries around the world. What I think would work the best is the small pellets that your group are making. I will give a little bit of back ground for my idea. Researchers who have explored the rain forests of the Amazon have come across a soil type which is man-made. They call it 'Terra-Preta' or 'Dark Earth'. I have found out that the soil of the rain forest is not particularly suited to growing vegetation (this surprised me) and the ancient civilizations in the area would treat the soils. These plots of land they are finding today are estimated to be 100's of years old (in terms of last use) and are amazingly fertile as compared to other soils in the immediate area. They only run 4-5 feet in depth and cover the known growing plot area of the period. Today’s natives actually hunt out these plots and sell the fertile soil as an income. The keys to this fertile soil is a high carbon content and pottery chards. Both materials are very porous in nature. What happens is the nutrients that come to the treated soil gets trapped in the pores of the material and are held there, rather than being washed straight through the soil. These nutrients are then extracted from the material be the root systems of the plants as they grow. As the spaces in the material open up again they are refilled with newly arrived nutrients. This material has proven that it can remain in the soil for 100's of years - as is found in the 'Terra-Preta' plots. By the way these plots are not isolated to the Amazon they are found around the World in different areas. The thing is that the way they are made - the technique was lost. These plots around the World are being used up and the farmers are running out of nutrient rich natural (organic) soil. Some feel that the burning of the fields in the way to go as it has been done that way for ages. Well, the soil is dying and it working. The soils are being depleted. Plant matter which is made of carbon, takes its building blocks from the soil and therefore the soil is lacking carbon after centuries of use. But, because we had one lazy, or work saving generation, who knows how long ago, we have lost the technique of how to care for the soils. Tests run in Africa are showing an amazing 500+% increase in crop yields in the first year. They are still using un-organic fertilizers as that is what they thought they needed, but that can change now. Their soil is so bad in some areas that nothing would grow. If any farmer could get a 20% increase in annual yields they would be happy. The reason that the use of chemicals came into large use was because of the depleted soils. If the chemicals did not wash away (trapped in the carbon for future use) there would be less need in the future. Ideally there would be none needed in the future. So what are we doing? At present we grow plant material, burn it, and release the carbon into the atmosphere. I don't go for the global warming thing, but do feel it is not a good thing happening. The dirt on my car every day tells me that things are changing for the worse - I didn't see that as a child. What we can do is grow the plant material, burn a portion of it to covert another portion of the material back into carbon, and put that carbon back into the soil. This cuts emissions to the air (from that aspect of society) to 50% of what it was. Pellets can play a big part in this. My idea was to convert plant matter to char and the char to pellets. The pellets would be good as they are finding in test fields that the microbes in the soils like to grow in the larger pieces. 'It makes the soil happy' - they have a community of their own. You do not want too large of chunks as that makes the soil difficult to work with. Too small of piece (on surface soil) will be blown away on windy days. The windblown soil may not seem like a big thing, but the carbon has the nutrients now remember. Keep all you can on the fields instead of the forest. If you wish to recarbonize the forest soil, spread it through the forest in your spare time. It should be said here that the carbon upon introduction to the soil will deplete the soil of nutrients at first. This is the carbon 'charging' itself. The pores of the carbon are filling and will have the nutrients there; it just looks like the nutrients are gone. This is why it is a good idea to pre-charge the carbon before introduction to the soil. Mix it with compost or manure for a couple of weeks and let the pores fill. The nutrients will then be added to the soil with the carbon. This where the pottery chars they find in 'Terra-Preta' come from. They are the holding vessels from the indoor urinals and toilets - charged and stinky they were broken in the fields. This may not work as far as making pellets from bio-char goes. What about bio-char from pellets. This would be easy to test for you people. You have the machines and the wits to do it. The market is there if you want to sell the end material. Every back-yard composter, in every city will want this stuff. I hope I wasn't too long winded on this. It is an important topic, especially if you are a rural resident. City dwellers with a green thumb can help, but the rural residents hold a majority of the bio-matter. For more information Google 'bio-char' also 'making charcoal from wood' you can get into the worm castings and all that, but once the nutrients are in your soil the rest of the good things will come and live there without help.

Topic by strmrnnr    |  last reply


History of Printing Mesh

Sit in on a trade show seminar or visit an online forum, and you'll encounter countless debates about the "right" type of mesh to use. The truth is, while there are some guidelines to follow, the best way to determine what's right for your shop is by trial and error. Only problem is, who has the time to experiment? There are literally hundreds of mesh types out there. Trying to choose the best one can seem like an overwhelming task, but by following some general rules of thumb, you can narrow down your mesh choices to a dozen or so. Then testing each kind won't seem so unmanageable. Specs. It may look like the screen on your back door, but screen printing mesh isn't the same kind of material. The biggest difference is that unlike what keeps bugs out of your house, this type of mesh is made from fabric, not wire. For this industry, monofilament polyester is the most frequently used mesh material. When you start shopping for mesh, you'll also need to determine the weave, count, thread diameter and color that's best for your shop. The type of weave is a no-brainer. When researching mesh, you may come upon the terms plain-weave and twill mesh. The difference between the two is how the threads are woven to create the mesh pattern. Make sure you purchase plain-weave mesh instead of twill mesh, which can cause moiré problems, especially in the high mesh counts. Mesh is often referred to by its mesh count – i.e. 120 mesh, 230 mesh etc. – representing the number of threads per inch. The lower the count, the bigger the mesh openings. Low mesh counts are commonly used with specialty inks such as glitter and puff to allow big ink particles to reach the substrate. High mesh counts are mainly used to print fine details and halftones. Printing through high mesh counts also produces a thin layer of ink on the garment, creating a soft hand. Mesh with a count that falls somewhere in the middle is what most screen printers rely on for their basic, everyday print jobs. The last factor you'll need to decide on is thread diameter. Until a few years ago, terms such as S, T and HD were commonly used to refer to thread diameter. Now, however, a more universal method of referring to the diameter number (in microns) helps keep consistency throughout the industry. While there's no standard thread diameter for each mesh count, there's generally a heavy-duty and a light version for each mesh count. The thinner the thread, the better the detail, but the weaker the fabric. The mesh manufacturer or your local distributor will help you weigh the benefits of each and determine what's right for your individual shop. As you shop for mesh, you're sure to come across different colors. Mesh is typically offered in white and yellow, although orange is available from some manufacturers. During exposure, a white mesh will refract the light similar to the way in which a fiber optic cable works. The light travels down and out, affecting edge definition and quality. This isn't as important with lower mesh counts, but when you're doing a lot of fine detail and halftone work, such slight adjustments will show up in the final print. For this reason, many printers stick with white for lower mesh counts, but use yellow or orange for higher mesh counts. Assess Your Need. Everyone has a preferred type, but there are some general guidelines to go by when you're in the market for mesh. Look around your shop and you'll find clues to what type of mesh counts you should be printing with. The three factors to base your decision on are the type of garments you're printing on, your ink type and the kind of frame system that you use on a regular basis. You'll also need to take into account the type of print jobs you typically do. For most screen printers, T-shirts are the order of the day. They can probably get by using a middle-of-the-road mesh count such as a 110 mesh. However, if you print a lot of athletic numbers and use thick ink to withstand the rough treatment jerseys encounter on the field, you'll probably need a coarser mesh count to allow the thicker ink to reach the material. In such cases, it's not necessary to use a high mesh count. On the other hand, if you do a lot of halftone and fine detail work, you'll need a higher mesh count to retain the minute details in the design. Also let your distributor or manufacturer know what type of frame system you use, as some types require sturdier mesh (and higher thread diameters) to withstand repeated use. In general, most screen printers find that a 110 mesh count will work fine for most jobs. The key word here, though, is "most." Don't rely on 110 mesh for each and every single job. Instead, try out different mesh counts with different print jobs, and keep a record of your production results. Note the mesh type, screen tension, type of ink and whether the print job is multicolor, process color, etc. Also note the garment type: Are you printing on a nylon jacket or a cotton T-shirt? Regularly reviewing your records will help you see a pattern, and decide which mesh tends to work best with a particular ink and design combination. You'll be surprised by the varying results between your "everyday" mesh count and one that's a little higher or lower. If you want to experiment with different mesh counts, start with the coarsest mesh and work your way up to the higher numbers, noting how the print looks with each version. Hit the Trail. Most screen printers have an established local distributor that they order supplies from. Others may prefer to order directly from the manufacturer. To find a list of mesh distributors and manufacturers, check out IMPRESSIONS' 2003 Sourcebook. Decoding the Salesspeak. The world of mesh can get a little technical. Here are some key terms to help you navigate the terminology: Low-elongation (LE) mesh – Most monofilament polyester fabrics are low elongation. The term refers to the mesh's ability to retain its tension level. In the past, stretching screens required tensioning the mesh to say, 25 N/cm, letting it relax to a lower tension then repeating the process. Today's low elongation mesh typically only requires one go-around. Monofilament polyester mesh – Some printers who've been around for years still use multifilament polyester mesh. However, the majority of the industry has switched to monofilament. Although it must be abraded for good emulsion adhesion, monofilament mesh tends to stretch, hold tension and print better than multifilament mesh. Plain-weave mesh – Almost all mesh for the textile printing industry is plain weave. The term refers to the method by which the threads are arranged to create the mesh openings. Warp – The threads that run the length of a roll of mesh. Weft – The threads that run the width of a roll of mesh. The Numbers Game. Mesh is typically ordered by the roll, usually in yards. The price depends on the width of the roll (40", 50", 60" wide, etc.), the mesh count and the color. White mesh is not quite as expensive as yellow or orange mesh, because it doesn't go through the dying and rinse processes. Setup Surprises. Be careful how you open the packaging surrounding your new roll of mesh. Avoid using a knife if possible – mesh can be damaged just by being carelessly opened. Once you've opened your new mesh, store it someplace out of the traffic flow. Try hanging it on a wall like a paper towel roll. Getting it up and off the floor can prevent accidental damage. Keeping the roll visible also allows staff to monitor the supply. Don't wait until the last minute to order mesh – you may not be able to get a new supply in time for that next rush job. Care and Feeding. Once you stretch your screens, what can you do to keep the mesh in top shape? For one thing, be careful with your screens. While coarse mesh can withstand more wear and tear, high mesh counts can be easily damaged when moving them around the shop. To extend the life of your mesh, try stretching your screens so that the squeegee stroke runs parallel to the warp. After several print jobs, who can remember what the mesh count is on a particular screen? To help keep confusion to a minimum, consider writing the mesh count number directly on the screens or frame. Or, color code your stock: white for lower mesh counts, yellow for the more detailed work. So while there's no hard rule for what mesh counts to use, knowing what to look for can help you find what's right for your shop. – CW from Internet

Topic by sharefilters