Meet the Maker – Doug

"The Cupcake Car and Batteries Guy"

“Once, as a kid, a road repair crew left blasting wire out on our street…”

We wanted to learn what makes a maker, so we sat down with Doug, one of our local Makers who works out of the FabLab and is the resident “Cupcake Car and Batteries Guy” there. He was working on stripping wire for a battery load using a string of light bulbs when we sat down with him to talk a while.

“How did you get involved in the Maker community?”
“Once, as a kid, a road repair crew left blasting wire out on our street. We went out, took some, and made reading and spot lights on our beds. Growing up, we were always making stuff. We were four boys and two girls, so once I rigged up an alarm system for my room just to keep my brother out of my room. … When I got into 3D printing I wanted to teach a class for building your own 3D printer and – eventually you just find your people. You get comfortable, do something you love and happily geek out.”

“You’re the cupcake car guy here at the FabLab – how did that happen?”
“I had a truck! I volunteered to go up to Open Source Maker Labs to see how the cupcake cars worked and while being the guy with the truck to take a partially built one downtown. … That got me into hacking these motorized wheelchairs. These things are just going to end up in a dump or something most of the time. Used ones just don’t get used so we’ll use them for the cupcake cars. Now I’ve figured out how to remote control them and learned more tools in the process.”

Doug Testing out the Motorized Wheelchair

“… That got me into hacking these motorized wheelchairs.”

“What advice do you give to people who are interested in making, but unsure and hesitant to step into a maker space?”
“A lot of things are done here. We have classes on folding paper airplanes and origami, so it’s not all high tech, we have classes on many subjects. Once you make something, you will start looking at new ways of problem solving. Being here is the first sign of the maker mentality; you just have to be inquisitive.”

“What do you feel is the best part of being a maker?”
“I get a kick out of how my daughter is thinking like a maker like me.”