Tag Archives: Dublin Maker

28 Apr 2020

I MADE a Zine

I’ve been wanting to make a zine for awhile now. Especially when I came across Bubble Sort Zines and Julia Evan‘s Wizard Zines collection ranging from command line, linux, networking, http, bit and latest one is “How containers work”. I missed a zine workshop by Grrrlzine when they visited Dublin last year as part of the Irish Literature Festival.

Ever so eager, I wanted to run a zine-making workshop as part of LoveLaceSpace but timing didn’t work out…. Until a recent email from Science Gallery Dublin and it had a How to Maker a Zine in its newsletter. It was a Friday and I though… “Huh, why not!! 🤔😎💪”

My first attempt

  • A sheet of A4 plain white paper
  • Scissors
  • A HB Pencil
  • Markers

Followed the instructions (click on the pic in the Science Gallery post 👆), that’s where the scissors comes in, just for a quick snip.

Now for the content… what to do!? 🤔

💡 I know, it’ll be a perfect companion for my Maker project, “Print your own adventure game”.

You’ve got 8 pages (teeny ones at that 😆), so this what I decided on:-

  • Front: Title and simple image so people know what this zine is about
  • Page 2 – 3: Requirements for the project (this is high level, I didn’t include wires, power, thermal paper)
  • Page 4 – 5: What I used for coding: Circuit Python, I included Python because it’s good for general references outside of coding the thermal printer and arcade buttons, plus I’m a bit rusty so I was looking up docs a lot. I used Mu Editor because it works and nicer than the other editors on the Raspberry Pi (Modal 3 and 4), and it comes as default on the Raspberry Pi, so no need to install an editor.
  • Page 6 -7: Brief overview of playing the game. 🔘👾🖨
  • Page 8: End of the zine, my personal contact dets.

Initial outline of the zine in pencil followed by inking with black pen

This is after using markers to colour in the content.

Before I coloured it in, I inked it with a black pen (muji oil-based, 0.5mm). I wasn’t very happy with the results. They were cheapo markers from LIDL (I think), and wasn’t very clean, erasing the pencil marks left it really grubby.

Next – let’s digitise it!

🤔 So I thought what if I scanned it in and then re-ink and colour it digitially on my iPad Pro with Procreate. My recent foray back in to drawing and use the iPad with Procreate properly instead of watching videos/movies got my artsy creative brain ticking.

So that’s what I did:-

  • Scanned unfolded zine (I was delighted it was all on one side, that makes life easier)
  • Saved to my Dropbox (shared with iPad handily enough)
  • Opened Procreate on iPad and started a brand new project and imported the scanned images, inked all the outlines, then created the necessary layers for inking and colouring.
  • Exported the digitally inked/coloured copy back to Dropbox in PDF.
  • Back to my laptop and printed it out, and created the zine again.

Now at this point, I thought it’s all done and dusted. First of all, it was not quite centred and it was all a little off after folding the zine, things were not where they seemed or cut off.

  • Tried printing with no margins – erm, that made it worse and not any better
  • Opened up Sketch on my laptop and imported the PDF and centred it and exported the PDF (different name) and printed it out with the printer’s default settings.

Now I was not happy with just the flat colours, why not add a tiny bit more details to bring out the chunky headings on each page.

Finally, let’s add a little more detail digitally

I’m super pleased with the results. I’m still learning to finish details, so it’s not for this zine as I don’t want it to look perfect, I’ll leave that to my next digitial painting project.

Here’s my final demo of the finished zine.

Share your project (or zine)

Anyone who makes zines out there? Do share! You can tweet @DublinMaker with #DublinMaker #ShareYourMakes.

Finally, I hope everyone is safe and well in this extraordinary time, let’s keep making, sharing and connected!

/// Vicky (Maker Advocate)

(Originally posted at https://codinggrace.com/news/i-made-zine-2020-4-28/)

14 Apr 2020

Vicky’s First Maker Project

This week was meant to be my first time attending a Makerfaire, it was going to be in Berlin. Unfortunately it was cancelled due to COVID-19. 😢

I had a small project to demo and it was inspired by The Choosatron at Berlin Game Science Center, I had so much fun visiting it last year.

I had the Adafruit mini thermal receipt printer, a Raspberry Pi, arcade buttons and wanting to play more with CircuitPython to interact with these electronic components. As a newbie and from software background, I was more comfortable with coding, as you can imagine.

Have been working on this on and off since February this year, and I decided to why not get it all working properly even if Makerfaire Berlin is cancelled. 💪

I had a Pi-Top [3] which has the Raspberry Pi 3 in it (thanks to Coding Grace), and used it prototyped the idea on it initially.

Ok, that was cool.

How this will work is, I have 3 buttons, a YELLOW (left option), a BLUE (right option) and a BLACK button (resets the game).

  • When you start the game, it welcomes the player and asks the player to select YELLOW or BLUE button to begin.
  • If a player selects a YELLOW/BLUE button, they are presented with the start of the story, and asks to press YELLOW/BLUE button again to continue with the story, or BLACK button to reset the game.
  • If the player selects the YELLOW/BLUE button again, the next part of the story appears dependant on the button chosen. The player gets asked one more time to choose which button to press.
  • Result of that choice is printed followed by end of the story.

I put in some sample silly dummy stories so I can see how the game runs, it’s pretty short as I don’t want to waste too much paper. 🌲

I moved on to 3D print a stand for the 3 arcade buttons and a case for the thermal printer using the Prusa 3D printer (had fun building this last Christmas with my husband). Plus I decided to try out the Pi-Top [4] which has the Raspberry Pi 4 in it.

So it’s all coming together.

After a bit of code wrangling as I wanted to add stories into a spreadsheet where I can pull the stories from and feed it to the thermal printer, it was all done. Here’s the final demo result. 🙌 😊

If you are curious, I have a longer write-up on the process and issues I came across via https://www.codinggrace.com/news/my-maker-project-print-your-own-adventure-game-2020-4-9/.

🤔 Anything else I would like to do now that it’s working? Well, what I would like to do is use just a Raspberry Pi (even a zero) and make a nice simple case for it, probably use cardboard or something as 3D printing a whole case uses a lot of material.


🌈 You have a work-in-progress project, or planning one? Please share your #MakerAtHome projects (even ongoing ones) with #DublinMaker via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even on LinkedIn. 🤖🛠✂️🗜🖌

Wishing everyone well and safe. #StayAtHome #WashYourHands

02 Oct 2019

Dublin Maker 2019 Official Video

Did you miss Dublin Maker this year, or you want to re-live those moments again. Here’s a video highlighting moments from Dublin Maker at Merrion Square this year.

We had over 60 makers showcasing their projects on the day. Check out the full list on our website. http://www.dublinmaker.ie/makers-2019/

Thanks to all our fantastic makers, volunteers and all our partners who made it such a great day.

Dublin Maker is only possible with the support of:-

If your organisation would like to get involved with Dublin Maker 2020,
you can get in touch us at info@dublinmaker.ie.

See you all in July 2020.