From design to sale with Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

I first encountered Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino at Frontiers of Interaction in Rome in 2010, where she was speaking about how to run a successful business in interaction design based on open-source hardware. Now she’s put the product of one such business on Kickstarter and is seeking to raise 360,000 pounds. Step back three years with me for a moment, because I want to say that I first came to know about […]



How creative are Italian cities? We asked Charles Landry

Creativity is at the heart of the Maker movement. If Italy wants to become a leader in this field, Italians need to freely exercise their creativity. Charles Landry is the founder of an urban policy think-tank and a guru when it comes to urban creativity and revitalization. We met up with him at Florens 2012 to ask him how, in his opinion, Italian cities measure up. Landry has invented the […]


3D printing changes rules of the game, says McKinsey report

While technology generally evolves when pushed by major manufacturers, small companies can now play a role thanks to both physical and virtual collaboration. A recent and lengthy report on the evolution of the manufacturing world by McKinsey (Manufacturing the future: The next era of global growth and innovation) addresses, amongst other things, the new technologies and approaches that manufacturers need to integrate into their R&D and productive processes. The first […]


The indestructible Italian laptop case on Kickstarter

You never know when your laptop might be run over by a Fiat 500, thrown off a skyscraper, or fall into a fountain… or perhaps fall prey to rather more banal damage. If you’re at all worried about the integrity of your computer, support ViVAX, the first totally indestructible laptop case. It’s the invention of a young Italian – Mattia Ventura from Rome – whose project is currently on Kickstarter. […]


Book review: Chris Anderson, Makers - what I learned and what I already knew

Italians are looking forward to the release of the translated version of Makers by Chris Anderson on January 9, 2013. We here at MakeTank of course already had a copy of the book in English, and this is a good opportunity to provide a short book review. The book starts with an autobiographical introduction in which we meet Chris Anderson in his grandpa’s garage, turning pieces of metal into high […]


Interview with Giovanni Re of Roland

We’d heard only good things about Giovanni Re – they say he has a fruitful, teacherly approach to helping people with the goal of transforming DIY into a real job. Since we appreciate those values, we figured it was time to find out more about him through an interview in which we asked him how he sees the role of Italy in the Maker movement, what’s missing from European SME’s, […]


Wired Italy vs. Wired USA on Makers

OK, so it’s not breaking news that the cover of Wired Italy dedicated its cover story in November 2012 to Massimo Banzi, but we’ve been pretty busy here at MakeTank with the final preparations for the launch of our store, and only now are we managing to write a little reflection on the matter. The article itself, we have to admit, doesn’t exactly propose anything new to those of us […]


What to expect in your first Arduino workshop

I have a revelation to make. I’ve been passionate about Makers-related things for some time now. As the editor of this blog, I talk about Arduino quite often. I’ve touched Arduino chips, and talked to Makers who use them. But, until last week, I’d never actually tried to use it myself. Although Arduino is billed as something relatively simple to use, it still involves basic electronics and basic programming, two […]


MakerBot Replicator 2 and the Open Source Hardware question

MakerBot has put out a new model of 3D printer called the Replicator 2. Which ought to be good news, as it’s a sleek machine with some of the best resolution yet (100 microns per layer), and also prints bigger objects than the brand’s previous consumer model. Mainstream news outlets and the press release tout this model as “prosumer” and “the most affordable tool yet for making professional-quality models.” Why, […]


Plug'n'Wear produces wearable technology kit for Arduino store

We’re excited about the July 2012 launch of the Wearable Technology kit on the official Arduino store. It is produced by our friends at Florence-based Plug’n’Wear and allows Makers to “experiment with wearable sensors and actuators” in order to make one’s first moves into interactive wearable design. One of the nice things about this kit is the story behind the development of wearable technology in Tuscany. Riccardo Marchesi spoke about […]