The "Build Your Own Gadget" Club
Welcome to the world of Sparkfun.com—an online community of people who like to build things by hand. If given the choice, these people would rather build something than buy it, and they often do. In fact, many of the things they build could only have been created by hand, since their visions are so imaginative that they don’t exist for sale at stores. These people call themselves Makers. Maker projects include everything from mechanical works of art to functional gadgets. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the makers and their projects that involve consumer electronics.
Sparkfun.com is a place for Makers to share their projects and learn from each other in the forums and chat rooms, but it is also a place to buy supplies—everything from simple circuit boards to preprogrammed microcontrollers. The site also sells basic kits for beginners.
Together with Sparkfun.com’s managers, who keep close tabs on the Makers’ projects, we selected some of the most interesting Maker inventions and concepts to highlight in this article. Some of them are funny and whimsical and will make you ask the question “why?” Others have true potential to change the gadget world and affect the products we buy in the future. Tell us which ones you think are most impressive.