Inventables, Shapeoko and science education!

The “unexpected properties” of many products available at Inventables are useful in communicating scientific principles and the process of inquiry into science.  The Materials Research Laboratory at the University of California Santa Barbara hosted a science teacher workshop in spring of 2012 to present curriculum projects  developed with local teachers.   Inventables products relating to “wearable materials”, “photonic crystals” and “graphene” were highlighted as part of a “materials for inquiry” session.  These products included temperature sensitive cloth, conductive textiles, suction cup tape, non-slip surface, super absorbent fibers, phase change materials, radiant light film, shape memory polymer and conductive paint!   For more information and for lesson ideas visit:

Desktop manufacturing and "materials for inquiry":

Desktop manufacturing presents an outstanding opportunity to engage young scholars into scientific discovery.  The MRL education outreach program is currently exploring how the Shapeoko desktop cnc can assist our mission to improve access to science for diverse groups and build a competent work force of scientists and engineers.  We expect many great projects and an early example is in “soft robotics” for the classroom.  Soft robotics is an exciting field pioneered by the George Whitesides group at Harvard.  Using shapeoko and a software workflow using “Meshcam Art” we have been able to achieve good results in large part thanks to the hard work by the folks at Inventables!  In addition to the Shapeoko we are using “Easily machinable wax” for the molds and “silicone rubber”  for the robots themselves (see pictures).  Much more to come eventually on our “resources for teacher” webpage!

Our 2013 science teacher workshop will utilize hand moldable plastic among other very interesting materials, for a sneak peek visit High School teacher Chuong Vu’s curriculum highlights page (more to come).

Cheers to the great efforts of the Inventables team in support of science in particular Zach Kaplan, Edward Ford and Phil Lomac!

Renegade Holiday Market Highlights!

This weekend I was lucky enough to make it to the Renegade Holiday Market in Chicago. The biannual Renegade Craft Fairs are a great place to see what is trending in the handmade community. As always there were some very interesting and innovative artists!

Bird of Virtue  is a San Francisco based design studio run by Linnea Oliver. These intricate and beautiful deigns are created by layering laser cut wood. She adds a touch of hand painted color to give them a striking and dynamic look. Her work is available for purchase here

How cool are these cactus platers by The Plaid Pigeon!? I think these are the perfect gift for anyone young at heart and can water a plant once every two months. These guys and there friends are available for purchase here.

Wood Thumb presented ties and bow ties crafted from reclaimed redwoods from Northern California. I also love the styling of there laser cut ornaments! These guys have made it clear that wearing wood is going to be a huge trend! There products are available here!


Uncommon Handmade offers darling clocks and decor for your home. The intricate yet simple laser cut designs maximize the beauty in natural and hand painted wood. They offer a lot of other great stuff on their Etsy!

I hope you found these artist inspired you to create your own work! Inventables.com has the material and machines you need to start your own artistic venture!