All posts by laura

16 Jul 2019


Last year, JellyLab made our first visit to Dublin Maker. We didn’t really know what to expect before we got there. The day itself went by in a chaotic blur, but afterwards we were certain of two things; we were all exhausted, but mainly that we certain we would be back in 2019!

So, who are we? JellyLab are a bunch of research scientists based in UCD School of Medicine who work on a range of topics, including neuroscience and bioadhesives. A common thread linking much of our research is the little jellyfish-like creatures we work with; comb jellies (or ctenophores) – hence the name!

But we’re also makers and explorers that like to sprinkle a little creativity into our work. As scientists, we make the tools to best fit the questions we’re asking. Our lab probably looks a little different to most biomedical research labs. Many people imagine research labs as looking like neat, sterile rows of bottles and flasks and shiny surfaces, but ours is filled with wires and motors and 3D printers and random bits of electronics and mechanical parts, and probably more closely resembles a back garden shed!

This DIY ethos is central to our work, and we build a lot of our own equipment on demand, like this automated microscopes and centrifuges made from cheap, off the shelf components that anyone could buy and assemble if they wanted. We’ve been trying to spread the word of this approach among other researchers and professional scientists, but science with cheap, accessible tools democratises discovery – anyone can be a scientist. 

That’s what we’re doing at Dublin Maker – showing that discovery and exploration is not just for “trained scientists”, but that anyone can learn to ask and answer questions as a scientist. 

Right, so what about specifics? We’ll be bringing along some of our home-brew lab equipment, like our microscopes, and we’ll be giving out some simple silicone lenses we make that turn your phone camera into a microscope – anyone can explore the micro world!

What else? We use 3D printed anatomical models in anatomy teaching in UCD, and many of these models have been developed by the medicine students themselves. They’ll be there with us on the day showing their work, but this year we’ll also have “jelly brain surgery” for everyone to try out too!

And, of course, we’ll bring along some comb jellies. We’ll demonstrate how simple experiments and observations can be used to ask and answer questions about the world around us, and we can tell you what little jellies can teach us about the human brain. You can also get hands on with some experiments looking at how tiny shrimp respond to different colours of light, and with some of our new equipment we’ve made to image the jellies in 3D. 

With lasers. Because everything is better with lasers.

14 Jul 2019


It is said that living in a city and working full time can make being a maker difficult, impossible even, lack of space, lack of time or lack of resources can all limit your creativity and make Making unrealistic.

I respectfully disagree with that assertion, working full time in investments and living in a small apartment in Dublin City I produce a litany of props and elaborate costumes from my favourite video games in my spare bedroom! You don’t require a workshop, top of the line tools or all the hours in the day to create something spectacular, you simply need to tailor your Making to your project.

Starting out in Making from a young age building war gaming terrain and suits of wooden armour I lost touch with the craft in university. When attending Dublin Comic con last year, I was inspired by the incredible cosplays on display. So I decided to jump back into the maker community and it fundamentally changed my life. I began to build a Steampunk Plague Doctor for an upcoming convention and developed a passion for adding ever greater amounts of detail to a build. I learned how to work with foam as well as leather working, sewing and pattern making.

Then once I had my plague doctor completed I needed more ! And as such I followed it up soon after with my second build an armoured Nuka Cola Sole Survivor from Fallout 4, where I taught myself 3D printing and how to work with thermoplastics, sewing and electronics.

My most recent build is a Spartan Ranger from the Metro 2033 series, featuring original soviet parts and programmable electronics.  This has been a long 6 month project but I have enjoyed every step of the process! Making over the past year has taught me so much and I continue to learn new and exciting things, my upcoming project, Project Magos, is teaching me robotics and mechanical drive trains.

My stall at Dublin Maker will show you how most props can be made out of everyday items, that upcycling can make massive projects manageable and that you can build massive characters on a realistic budget with limited tools.

Check out Crafty Nathan’s Creations

14 Jul 2019

Tog Hackerspace

10 years ago a group of people interested in information security met in a pub. They believed Dublin needed a place to collaborate, work on code, make projects and meet like-minded people and generally be creative. Tog was born, from the Irish word tóg (to make) the group rented a small office in Smithfield and the Hackerspace was born.

Filming in Tog

Tog solves the problem in our city of people having nowhere to be creative and follow their hobby of making physical projects. It provides a shared workshop and access to fabrication facilities that would be out of reach of individuals but made possible by people pooling resources.

Now Tog has grown to over 90 members who volunteer to provide free events for the public in everything from coding to electronic music and electronics to Wikipedia editing and film making. We link up with external groups to facilitate meetings. Through this, we have provided a venue for Open Street Maps Ireland, Wikimedia Ireland, Science Hack Day and many more.

Home made air quality control sensor in Tog

We also take part in Science Week, Engineers Week and Culture Night.
Science outreach is important to our members and we bring our making skills to public events to help bring science alive and spark interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths (STEAM). We take part in such festivals as Dublin Maker, Coolest Projects, Carnival of Science and the St Patrick’s Festival.

Light and polarisation art workshop using laser cut kits from Tog

At Dublin Maker we will have a range of new projects and old favourites; fully addressable full colour LED cube, polarisation art, DIY Air quality sensors, Handmade boat models and our crowd-pleaser Skull Radio

Handmade pizza oven at Tog
13 Jul 2019


MakerMeet are a group of dedicated educators and Makers who deliver S.T.E.A.M.-based, Maker-led workshops and CPD to educational institutions nationwide.

“Learning by Making” and problem-solving combined with creativity are at the heart of this hands-on, collaborative learning process incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths.

In previous years at DublinMaker they have brought rockets, marble runs, balloon races, edible paint, cardboard geodesic domes, talking robots and more for children of all ages to experience.

This year on the menu, they will offer further hands-on workshops with “Connectivity, Conductivity and Circuits”; an expanded modular marble run, a magic wand, algorithmic thinking exercises, a programmable bubble machine and other projects to try out.

MakerMeet have brought Maker-led Workshops to events such as EU MakerWeek; MakerFaire Rome; Microsoft DreamSpace; ICT in Education Conference; Féilte Conference; BT Young Scientist; EU Young Scientist, Coolest Projects; CESI Conference; DojoCon; CongRegation; EU Code Week and the EU Commission on MakerSpaces in Education.

Stop by their stand and chat to them about students, technology, pedagogy, education, fabrication, exploration, project-based learning and workshops. The public are invited to come along and experience how learning can be fun, education can be engaging and how MakerMeet aspire to inspire!

For more information on workshops at your educational institution or event, visit, email or ring 087-2685020.

12 Jul 2019

Revived Yarn – Makers for Charity

Did you know that there were 10,264 people homeless in the week of February 18th-24th 2019 across Ireland? Dublin area is severely affected by the issue, with more than 150 people sleeping rough and hundreds of families living in hotels, hubs, queuing for food and primary needs, with their children along, as reported by Focus Ireland.

Revived Yarn will showcase at Dublin Maker a selection of our handmade garments and a Yarn Art Exhibition about homelessness in Ireland. We will collect donations of handmade (knitted/crocheted/sewn) hats and scarves, which will be donated at the end of the day to the Inner City Helping Homeless, in support of their campaign #RaiseTheRoof and #HomesForAll. At 2pm there will be a free event to knit and crochet together quick items, such as mittens or chunky hats, so that we can add more to the donations for the ICHH!

The idea of Revived Yarn is born in 2017 to provide a sustainable way to warm people affected by homelessness and poverty while creating a tightly knitted community.

Our volunteers meet up in social events; here we relax, chat, knit, crochet and discuss about new ideas. The yarn leftovers that we receive as donations are packaged in kits containing a pattern with instructions to make a precious handmade garment, which can be picked up for free at these events.

Revived Yarn donate the finished items directly in Grafton Street, from October to April, in partnership with the group Homeless Street Cafè. Donations are delivered also to other charities, such as Inner City Helping Homeless and The Capuchin Centre.

Revived Yarn is a non-profit community, that operates exclusively through donations of materials and services and through the support of fellow communities and partners: Give Your Skills, The Constant Knitter, Third Space Cafè, SOUP Dublin, Homeless Street Cafè, Dublin Knit Collective, Dublin Drunken Knitwits, MACRO Community Resource Centre, Zero Waste Ireland, Dublin Volunteering Centre.

Revived Yarn was winning project at the social contest SOUP in November 2017 and is currently looking for volunteers.

If you want to be a crafter, donate or get more info, please get in touch at!

10 Jul 2019

Timewarp Arcade – Badge Building

Many conferences these days now have electronic badges (e.g. ) and this is just our attempt to create a low cost one for Dublin Maker. The badges consist of a micro-controller, display and buttons. As well as displaying the logo, the wearers will also be able to play individual and multiplayer games.

Frank Duignan explains the first build of the Dublin Maker 5 Euro badge :

The first build of the unofficial €5 badge is more or less done. The image above shows a front view. Two 3.5mm audio sockets act as communications ports and allow a stereo audio cable be used as a lanyard. A game-pad style interface is provided for the bundled games. Also provided is a 4 pin header for uploading and debugging new firmware. The badge is powered off a 1.5V AA battery which is stepped up to 3.3V using a boost converter (just below the left audio socket).

I attempted a previous version of this by soldering all components in place but quickly realized that was so difficult that there would be few successful builds. I’ve since switched to a mixed wire-wrap and soldered build as shown below (I know it’s a bit rough :). This approach is much easier and errors are easily corrected.

Badge Building in Tog on Monday the 27th May

For more information check out and

09 Jul 2019

Mobile CNC Carver by Prof. Steve M. Potter

Steve Potter is a former professor of neuroengineering who went on a Maker Movement Sabbatical in 2015. After touring makerspaces in Ireland, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, he decided to close his research lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology ( ) and become a maker full-time. “I love making things with my hands, and realized that as a professor, I am stuck in my office writing grants while my grad students get to do all the fun stuff in the lab,” he says. He often combines programming, electronics and woodworking in his projects. You may have seen his wooden computer keyboard at the 2017 Dublin Maker. Or his dawn simulator, SunRisa, presented at the 2015 and 2017 Dublin Makers.  He uses a portable CNC robotic carving machine called the Handibot to create useful and beautiful designs out of wood and plastic.

He has been living in Ireland 3 years now (his wife is from Ireland) and teaches hands-on workshops to makers of all ages. They learn computer-aided design (CAD) and carving with the Handibot. Here are some photos of his workshop at TOG, the Dublin Hackerspace: . When he is not making things, Prof. Potter also works as a lecturer, freelance writer and scientific consultant. For more information or bookings he can be reached at stevepwork at gmail.

Here is a video of Potter’s Handibot drawing with a Sharpie pen:

Here is a montage of things the Handibot can do, from its makers at Shopbot Tools:

08 Jul 2019


Med3DP is an initiative to develop on-demand medical devices for humanitarian healthcare using 3D printing technology. Med3DP currently hosts a wide range of projects complete with ready-to-print files, documentation and other helpful information. This initiative is in association with Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. Each year a talented group of students in the Master’s of Bioengineering program take initiative and brainstorm, prototype, and develop 3D printable medical devices.

We are building a digital library of low-cost medical equipment available for download for unlimited humanitarian use. Our goal is to make sustainable, valuable solutions in order to deliver healthcare in the most challenging situations to those who need it the most. We aim to keep the public informed on our ongoing progress and participate in outreach activities to peak interest in STEM fields. That’s why we are exhibiting at Dublin Maker! We hope to see you the 20th of July in Merrion Square. Feel free to have a look at our updated website ( We are always looking for new projects to take on, so please contact us ( with any of your ideas! 

The Med3DP-team – 2019

24 Jun 2019

Shape the Future – 3D Printing a Sustainable World

Work with 3D printing researchers to produce your idea for a sustainable future

What does sustainability mean to you? Efficiency? Recycling? A better way of living? One thing is clear: our planet needs bright ideas and new ways of thinking, consuming and living.

We’re looking for makers to show us how 3D printing can help the planet. Whether it’s an idea for a new product, a new use for old product, or simply replacing a missing a part to an engine, vintage car or old piece of kit. How can 3D printing help us reduce waste, and find new uses for old materials?

We are inviting you to draw and describe your idea and the winning entry will be designed by I-Form researchers and printed on cutting edge 3D printing systems. The winner will also receive €500 to spend on promoting their sustainability work.

The catch? It’s a tough judging panel: Irish school students and the public. Each shortlisted entry will be teamed with an I-Form researcher and school students and the public will be able to ask questions and quiz the contestants before voting to decide the winner.

More information and submit your idea:

Who can enter?

The competition is open to anyone resident in the Republic of Ireland who has an idea to help create a more sustainable future. Entries can be from individuals or teams. (However people working in or studying 3D printing full time are excluded from entering.)

Each shortlisted entrant will be teamed up with an I-Form researcher and their idea will be quizzed and voted on by Irish school students and the public. Then I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, will turn the winning idea for sustainability into 3D printed reality.

Entries close Monday 30th September at 5pm.

What happens then?

  • Shortlisting: Our shortlisting panel will choose a finalist from each category based on technical criteria and print feasibility, as well as strength of connection to the sustainability theme.
  • Pairing with I-Form researcher: Each finalist will be paired with a researcher from I-Form and together create an entry page on the judging website.
  • Public vote: In November the site will be open to the public and Irish schools will ask questions and book live chats to quiz the finalists and researchers about their idea and 3D printing. They will also vote for the entry they want to win.


The entry with the most votes will be designed and printed by a researcher from I-Form. A €500 cash prize will be awarded to help the winner promote their sustainability work.

All intellectual property in the entries will be retained by the person entering the idea. All entrants must be sure that they are not infringing upon someone else’s intellectual property and grant permission for the competition organisers to promote their ideas. Every effort will be made to produce a print as similar to the submitted idea as possible; however, adjustments may need to be made to ensure print feasibility.

19 Mar 2019

Dublin Maker Open Call 2019

It’s that time of the year, just after St. Patrick’s Day where our Open Call for Makers goes live! How exciting! Do you love bunting, laser cut lanyards and free t-shirts? Do you also want to be part of the Irish Maker community and showcase to the public your wonderful and inspiring makes and hacks on Saturday 20th July in Merrion Square? If you answered yes to all of the above, then have we the maker festival for you! All you need to do is fill in the short application form on the Open Call page and we can make it happen.

Closing date for our 2019 Open Call is May the 1st. May the 15th. If you have any questions you can contact us here. You can also reach us on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are just some of the topics that we’re looking for:

  • Student Projects
  • Crafts people showing their process
  • Robotics
  • Music Performance and Participation
  • 3D Printers and CNC Mills
  • Textile Arts and Crafts
  • Home Energy Monitoring
  • Rockets and RC Toys
  • Sustainability
  • Green Tech
  • Radios, Vintage Computers and Game Systems
  • Electronics
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Biology/Biotech and Chemistry Projects
  • Food and Beverage Makers
  • Puppets
  • Kites
  • Bicycles
  • Shelter (Tents, Domes, etc.)
  • Unusual Tools or Machines
  • How to Fix Things or Take them Apart (Vacuums, Clocks, Washing Machines, etc.)

For more information and the application form, check out the Open Call page.