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, […]


Digital fabrication workshop as social event

This weekend in Florence, the MakeTank team attended another workshop by FabLab Firenze in the same series as the one we did about Arduino. This time the format was talks and demonstrations, with a small exhibit and questions, rather than a hands-on workshop. What struck us in particular, though, was the social opportunity that workshops like this offer. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, people came out to learn, chat, touch […]


Internet of Things Awards 2012

Our friends at OpenPicus told us about this interesting contest called “Internet of Things” 2012 edition. Not only is it a cool contest, it’s a useful list of mostly Open-Source projects made by companies, individuals and students. Products to vote for have been divided into the following categories: Connected Product (Body) Connected Product (Home) Design Fiction DIY Project Enterprise Application Environmental Application Networked Art Open Source Project Smart City application We […]


10 Christmas crafts for makers and geeks

The time to decorate the tree is upon us again. To the usual store-bought or traditional family decorations, why not add a few creative items this year? We’ve collected some of the geekiest crafts we could find from around the web and annotated them in this list of how to make Christmas ornaments using our favourite maker technologies – arduino, 3D printing, Lego and lasers- or environmentally friendly solutions. 3d […]


Christmas Decorations with a vinyl-cutter by Mediterranean FabLab

We noticed, on the Facebook account of Mediterranean FabLab, some really cool photos of Christmas decorations made using a vinyl-cutter and we asked Francesca Luciano and the team there in southern Italy at Cava de’ Tirreni (SA) how they made them. Soon we’ll get to know them better with an interview, but for now, check out these great modern decorating ideas and the technical information about how to make them […]