Casper Lab at PIN - democratic prototyping

As soon as you see their claim (“we carry out your ideas”) you understand that Casper, a 3D printing laboratory inside Prato’s PIN branch of the University of Florence, intends to play the role of rendering physically present digital ideas that come from a CAD or modelling program, a concept that is important in the maker movement. It’s a critical role because the idea that things have to be tangible […]


7 tips to be the best

The creative gets up in the morning and produces ideas. Her brain is always in action, dealing with new inputs, little light bulbs that light up in her head, motivated and flexibile. The MakeTank vendor never stops! But what are the main elements that lead to these ideas becoming concrete, turning into prototypes and saleable products that mix artisan tradition with new technologies? In this article we consider seven elements […]


How to write the perfect product description

If you sell crafts or independent design online, you’ve entered into a competitive marketplace in which the price you can claim for your product is entirely based on the perceived factors of artistic and human value. Let us explain. If you’re selling a lamp made from cardboard, some might argue that your material costs are low, so you cannot command much of a price. Unless your cardboard lamp has a […]



Crowdfunding 101 seminar

This 1-hour video is the complete content of a seminar presented by General Assembly & The Crowdfunding Professional Association. In the presentation, you’ll learn about a history of crowdfunding, the importance of the JOBS Act, how crowdfunding helps startups, and the current state of investment crowdfunding in the USA. It’s worth sitting down for an hour, putting the video on full screen, and taking this online trip to New York!


Vectorealism makes things, not slides

It was pouring rain as we made our way through the industrial area of Sesto San Giovanni, a periphery of Milan, through streets named for the Falck family, owners of this and other large steel mills in Italy. Vectorealism, perhaps the most important laser cutting service in this part of Italy, has its headquarters at MA.GE., the ex Magazzini Generali Falck, a massive warehouse that used to be used for […]


Epifani Lab on Eppela

The southern Italian designer Salvatore Epifani, from Lecce, is looking for backers through the Italian crowdfunding portal Eppela in order to create a new line of lamps. We backed his project and wanted to share it with you by asking him a few questions about his work as an artisan. Tell us about yourself! I am Salvatore Epifani, born in Lecce in 1965, I moved to Milan in ’83 to […]


Ego! Smartmouse puts your digital identity in your hand

It may be called Ego! Smartmouse but it is far from a simple mouse. Recently launched on Kickstarter  by an Italian company, Laura Sapiens, the first part of its name – Ego – is the most revealing aspect. It’s a kind of container for our digital identity, which happens also to be a mouse. And under the hood, there’s a whole lot more. Read on for our exclusive interview with […]


Physical digital humanities: the #arthistory project

If you associate art history or humanities scholarship with tweedy professors and musty libraries, meet Charlotte Frost. Her signature pink nailpolish and, more importantly, her theories about digital humanities threaten to make tweed extinct. MakeTank is participating in a crowdsourced digital art project – involving a 3D printed hashtag – that is an integral part of an online, peer-reviewed academic book by Dr. Frost. Teaming up with digital artist Rob […]


Internet of things: connecting people and plants

The plant that makes phone calls or tweets if it needs water has become one of the icons of Arduino and the Maker movement. Now, a newcomer to the talking plant market, Parrot’s Flower Power, begs a reconsideration of the original project and a survey of other devices that connect people and plants. Developed in 2006, Botanicalls has been featured in mainstream news (like the New York Times but also lesser […]


3D printing hits the runways at Fashion Week

The technologies generally associated with Makers, like 3D printing, are not just for making gadgets and small design objects: trend spotters should keep an eye on where 3D printing meets fashion, as the results from Paris Fashion Week roll in and are truly interesting. When “cold” technology meets a “warm” creative field, one normally expects that the machine element is used simply to make existing techniques faster or less tedious. […]