DIY Outdoor Oasis Cozy Cabana

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Create an exotic vacation right in your backyard. This luxurious, private space is easy to store away and can be achieved with a couple of Dremel tools and accessories.

Tools needed:


Supplies needed:

  • Four 5' lengths of pre-threaded galvanized pipe, 1" in diameter
  • Four 1" metal floor flanges
  • Five 10' lengths of PVC pipe, 1" in diameter
  • Four female PVC adapters
  • Four PVC elbow connectors
  • Four PVC T connectors
  • Window coverings, 7' in length

 

Start by creating your four posts, threading each of the galvanized pipes to a flange.
 
Next, thread a PVC female connector to the top of each pipe.

 

You can drill the flange to the ground, or if you'd like the cabana to be easily stored away, set it into a large flowerpot as we did and anchor the pots with sand.

 

Cut your PVC framework to size with your Dremel Saw-Max tool and your SM500 Wood and Plastic Wheel.
 
If you are following our dimensions, you'll need to cut: four pieces at 2" long, four pieces at 2' long, two pieces at 7' long and two pieces at 9' long.
 
We always recommend securing your work piece onto your work bench using a clamp or vice.
 
With your pipe secure, plunge your Saw-Max tool, equipped with the SM500 wheel, into your lines of cut. You'll notice that the abrasive edge of the cutting wheel leaves a nice, smooth finish behind in your pipe.

Now it is time to connect your framework together.

First, adjoin a 2' PVC pipe to the female connector on each of the galvanized pipes.

 

Then lay out the top frame of the cabana as depicted here, connecting the elbow frames to each T-connector with the 2" PVC pieces you cut in step 2.

 

Once you have all of the pieces together, you can secure the fit of your top frame by drilling each end of the elbow joints.

Make this step easier with the Dremel 4200 and a 150 drill bit. Mount the accessory into the 4200 tool, set the tool to a speed of 5-10 and plunge straight down into the two ends of the joint.

Fit the corners back together and secure them with a screw through the pilot holes.

If you choose to screw the pieces together, be sure to add your desired window coverings or fabric, sliding them onto each side of your frame before securing it together.

 

Finally, secure each of your T-joints on top of each of the corner PVC stands.

Meet the Maker: Jamison Rantz

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Jamison is an aerospace engineer who caught the Maker bug and is dedicated to creating DIY furniture designs that anyone with a can-do attitude can create.

How did you get into Making? Have you always been a Maker or is it something you discovered as an adult?

I've always been into making stuff but was never very good at it. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I usually winged it and never really did much planning.

Your day job as an aerospace engineer sounds pretty cool. Do you feel like your approach to design is influenced by your work as an engineer?

About a year ago, I actually gave up my day job to pursue the business of Rogue Engineer full time. However, I couldn't have done what I do now without that experience. The planning and mechanical design knowledge that I gained during my career as an aerospace engineer is invaluable and I'm glad to be able to share all that with others through my projects on my blog.

Tell us a little bit more about your blog. What inspired you to not just Make but also share your work with the world?

Using the knowledge I had as an engineer I was able to design a lot the stuff I was making and not only make things better than I ever could before, but more efficiently and with less errors. Rather than just building stuff for others, I wanted to share how almost anyone could make the same things with a little effort and guidance. The goal of the site is to make really beautiful projects look less intimidating to others and provide others with the confidence to try something that they may not have otherwise.

Do you have any advice for new Makers who are interested in creating DIY home furnishings?

There is a wealth of furniture plans out there nowadays, pick one that you want to build and go for it. Once you have a couple projects under your belt, then try customizing one or two, and then go on to designing, planning and building your own projects. If you try to bite off too much at first, you may get frustrated and give up. A few small wins can help build your confidence and give you the knowledge to give it a go on your own.

How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your work?

I use Dremel tools for more intricate work. Whether it's trimming a bracket, distressing a piece, or sanding/polishing intricate designs, Dremel tools are great for this kind of work.

Do you have a favorite project?

My latest one, and that will probably always be my answer. My latest project was a simple vanity for my 2yr old daughter for Christmas. While it was simple to create, she absolutely loves it and uses it on a daily basis. Projects that get used are always the most rewarding for me.

To see more of Jamison's work, check out his blog.

The New Dremel 4300: Dremel releases their most versatile tool

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The Dremel 4300 adapts to a multitude of creative and DIY projects using new, efficient technology.

Versatile tools are key when it comes to maximizing project time, so Dremel has developed a new solution: The Dremel 4300. It is the brand's most versatile rotary tool, with the ability to tackle an impressive variety of applications with a wide breadth of accessories.

Thanks to the included three-jaw chuck, no collet changes or wrench is needed to change accessories, saving time and hassle.

The tool also features the all new Pivot Light. This ensures your projects are well-lit with an optimum line of sight since the light pivots to direct illumination exactly where you want it.

Additionally, the tool is powered by the Dremel brand's most powerful motor yet, featuring built-in variable speed and electronic feedback circuitry. For added comfort, the slim, ergonomic body design provides a nice 360-degree grip zone and the completely redesigned airflow system lets the Dremel 4300 run cool, quiet, and smooth.

The Dremel 4300 is the perfect tool regardless if you're a Maker, Hobbyist, Crafter or DIYer. It can tackle all kinds of applications including:

  • Removing paint from wooden furniture
  • Sharpening lawn mower or garden tool blades
  • Create wind chimes
  • Mod computer cases
  • Clean model railroad track
  • Create decorative cabinet trim

Learn more about the Dremel 4300 here.

Meet the Maker: Brooke Ulrich

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Brooke is a former college professor turned blogger with a passion for decorating. She is a treasure hunter who loves finding a good deal and creating low-cost, DIY design solutions.

What inspires the work that you do? Is there a special place, person or thing that helps fuel your creativity?

We bought our first home in 2009, and that's when I got my start in thrifty decorating. I started All Things Thrifty to share our projects and help other people save money. Creativity is an outlet for me. I love to decorate as a hobby and I naturally like change, so I'm always searching for a new project around the house.

Do you have any golden rules or essential tips for saving money on DIY projects?

Yes, thrift stores are a great way to get cool items for super cheap. It's amazing what you can find there! I have an article with advice about how to shop at thrift stores that will help out any newbies.

What are some of your favorite DIY Holiday decorations? Are there any in particular that would make an easy weekend project during the busy holiday season?

I love my colorful wooden stockings on my mantle! I also created a cute DIY wooden gingerbread man with a few inexpensive supplies and some Dremel tools. He looks awesome and cost me less than $15 to make.

What are some things to keep in mind when creating DIY holiday gifts for friends and family?

I'm a huge fan of DIY holiday gifts. I think hand making something expresses a lot of love to someone. Just make sure you make them something that is their style. If you have a picky loved one, maybe get together for a craft night and make things together. That way they can pick out their own paint colors!

What are some of the tools that are always at your desk or workbench?

A jigsaw, a brad nailer, a miter saw, and of course, a Dremel rotary tool and my cordless Dremel Multi-Max. I use my Multi-Max constantly!

Do you have any advice for new Makers?

Don't get overwhelmed by thinking you have to make everything for every single room. One of my favorite quotes is from my friend Stacy Risenmay, and it says, "If you wait until you have enough money to decorate and make your home your own it will never happen. If you wait until you can afford to buy everything new, you are missing the point." It is the old, the new, the made, the hand-me-down, the collected, the worn (but loved) things in your home that make it your own!

To see more of Brooke's work, check out her blog.

Dremel Weekends Project: Bottle Stoppers

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Use a piece of soft wood to create these unique holiday gifts that will be used for years to come.

This project can also be found on Dremel.com

Tools Needed:

Dremel Saw-Max SM20
Dremel SM500 3" Wood & Plastic Carbide Wheel
9100 Fortiflex Heavy Duty Flex Shaft Tool
Dremel Engraving Cutters
9910 Tungsten Carbide Cutter
7103 Diamond Wheel Point
117 High Speed Cutter

Other supplies:

Soft wood piece (we re-purposed a chair leg)
Bottle Stopper kit
Drill Driver & 7/32" bit

 

Step 1:

Sketch your design onto your chosen wood piece as a guide.

 

Step 2:

Using your Saw-Max equipped with a SM500 Wood & Plastic Wheel, cut your wood piece to size. We re-used an old chair leg as our material for this project. If your wood piece is thicker than 3/4" of an inch, you may need to flip or rotate your material to complete your cut.

 

Step 3:

Secure your piece of wood in a vice & using your FortiFlex tool paired with a 117 High-Speed Cutter bit, remove the initial material from your carving. Once the larger portions of material is removed & you have a general shape you're happy with, switch to 9910 & 7103 accessories to add more detail. When carving your piece, be sure not to remove an excessive amount of material so you can drill a 7/32" hole about 1" into your wooden piece on step 4.

 

Step 4:

Finally, you'll need to drill through the bottom of your wood carving. Using a 7/32" bit, drill a 1" deep hole in a piece of wood any size you wish that is longer than the threaded stem on the wine stopper. A few drops of CA glue, or epoxy, in the threaded hole of the wood, prior to screwing it onto the stopper, will securely fix the wood to the stopper. Slide an O-ring into each groove in the stopper body.

The Dremel Maker Kit: Bring Your Holiday Projects to Life

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The Dremel Maker Kit includes everything you will need to find inspiration for your craft and hobby projects inside and outside of the home this holiday season. 

The Dremel Maker Kit contains three of the most versatile and easy-to-use Dremel tools giving holiday crafters exactly what they need to make beautiful, handmade creations. The Kit includes a Dremel 200 series rotary tool, Dremel Engraver and the Dremel VersaTip Precision Butane Torch

In addition to the tools, Dremel also has some simple holiday projects that can add a touch of sophistication to any holiday party and create beautiful, personalized gifts. 

 

Leather Place Cards 

Etched Candle

Keepsake Box

Learn more about the Dremel Maker kit here

3D Corner: Dremel Announces 3D Education Ambassadors

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Our new Dremel 3D Education Ambassadors are ready to take on the school year with the power of 3D printing! 
 
This summer, educators were invited to apply for the opportunity to serve as advocates for invigorating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through Making. Dremel selected ten teachers from across the country who received the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 and ten spools of filament. These Ambassadors were then asked to share their experiences on implementing 3D printing into their classrooms. 
 
The Dremel Idea Builder Ambassadors have a variety of backgrounds and skillsets in K-12 education: 
  • Thrisha Bautista, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Ill.
  • Karen Bosch, Southfield Christian School, Southfield, Mich.
  • Scott Hagedorn, Sabine Pass ISD, Sabine Pass, Texas
  • Ken Hawthorn, Archdiocese of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Eric Langhorst, Liberty Public Schools, Liberty, Mo.
  • Michael Miller, Otsego Public Schools, Otsego, Mich.
  • Nick Provenzano, Grosse Pointe Public School System, Grosse Pointe, Mich.
  • Faith Plunkett, Huntsville City Schools, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Marcos Navas, Union City District, Union City, N.J.
  • Joy Schwartz, Hardin-Jefferson ISD, Beaumont, Texas
The Dremel Idea Builder Ambassadors have already started sharing their 3D printing journeys, so make sure to follow Dremel Education on Facebook and Twitter to connect with them. 
 
You can also visit our website to learn more about Dremel 3D in education

Maker Days: Get Inspired! Check Out Our Maker Days Project Gallery

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Maker Days might be over, but we have plenty of Maker projects to share. Read below for our full Maker Days wrap-up! 
 
Last month on DremelMakerDays.com we hosted a daily sweepstakes and various product offers. In addition to the daily giveaways and deals, we also gave away an incredible Maker Days Grand Prize. The Grand Prize features a tool package valued at $5,000, including more than ten tools from Dremel, RotoZip and HP. Keep an eye out for next month’s newsletter where we'll reveal the winner! 
 
During August's Maker Days promotion, fans were encouraged to earn additional sweepstakes entries by uploading a photo of one of their own Dremel projects. We were completely blown away by the innovative creations our fans shared and are so excited to now be able to share them with you! 
 
Check out a few of our favorites below:
 
John M. is sharing his love of the Lone Star State with this beautiful coffee table. 

Patti Jo N. made these birdhouses from gourds and used her Dremel rotary tool to cut out the holes for the opening. 

Jerry S. created these beautiful bowls out of red cedar. 

For more photos and inspiration from Maker Days, visit our Dremel Maker Project Gallery. 

Enter To Win: Time Is Running Out! Enter For A Chance To Win Today!

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You only have a few short weeks to enter to win a one-of-a-kind Indian Scout Sixty Motorcycle engraved by Hank Robinson, as well as other Dremel prizes! 

Dremel and Indian Motorcycle are co-sponsoring a sweepstakes that will give one lucky winner the chance to own a one-in-a-million bike. Hank from Hanro Studios will personalize an Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle unique to the winner’s own interests and style. 

The sweepstakes runs through September 30, 2016, and fans can enter online at www.DremelMakeYourIndianMotorcycle.com. Don’t forget to register before the deadline! 

Other prizes will also be up for grabs during the sweepstakes too. Those entering the sweepstakes in September also have a chance to win a Dremel Maker Kit

Like and follow the Dremel and Indian Motorcycle Facebook pages to stay up-to-date on all of the action! 

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to all legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years of age. Sweepstakes ends September 30. See official rules at link www.DremelMakeYourIndianMotorcycle.com. 

Enter To Win: Win Your Own Custom Indian Motorcycle

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Enter to win a one-of-a-kind Indian Scout Sixty Motorcycle engraved by Hank Robinson and other cool Dremel prizes! 

Dremel and Indian Motorcycle are co-sponsoring a sweepstakes that will give one lucky winner the chance to own a one-in-a-million bike. Hank from Hanro Studios will personalize an Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle unique to the winner’s own interests and style. 

The sweepstakes runs through September 30, 2016, and fans can enter online at www.DremelMakeYourIndianMotorcycle.com. Other prizes will also be up for grabs during the sweepstakes. Those entering the sweepstakes in August also have a chance to win a Dremel Maker Kit and a piece of engraved artwork from Dremel Maker, Crystal Driedger

Like and follow the Dremel and Indian Motorcycle Facebook pages to stay up-to-date on all of the action! 

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to all legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years of age. Sweepstakes ends September 30. See official rules at link www.DremelMakeYourIndianMotorcycle.com

Daily Giveaways And Great Dremel Deals! Maker Days Still Going Strong

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All month long we've been giving away new Dremel tools and offering amazing deals for Makers. Find out how you can be a part of Dremel Maker Days through the end of the month.

All this month on DremelMakerDays.com we are hosting a digital calendar of daily sweepstakes and product offers. New sweepstakes prizes are revealed each day, in real-time, so set a reminder to check the website every day! To participate, fill out a registration form for a chance to win one of the daily prizes on the website. 

In addition to daily giveaways and deals, there is also a Maker Days Grand Prize; a tool package valued at $5,000. This exclusive prize pack includes more than ten tools from Dremel, RotoZip and HP

Fans that enter to win the daily prizes are automatically entered to win the Grand Prize, and you'll also have the opportunity to submit bonus entries for an increased chance to win. You can increase your chances in three ways: watching a Dremel project video, uploading a photo of one of your own projects and/or by sharing Maker Days on Facebook or Twitter. 

Excited about Dremel Maker Days? Like and follow our Facebook page throughout August for more information about the program! 

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to all legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years of age. See official rules here

Meet the Maker: Introducing Griffon Ramsey

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Griffon Ramsey is an artist, entrepreneur, and YouTube personality working out of Austin, Texas who has gained international acclaim for her pop-culture-inspired woodcarvings. This month, we picked her brain to find out how she developed her unique approach to creating unforgettable art. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved in Maker culture? Have you always considered yourself an artist? 

I'm a chainsaw artist based in Austin, Texas. Although I've only been carving for about five years, I've been a Maker in a variety of ways my entire life. Being creative is a personal need that I find I have in common with Makers of all types. Even as a small child, I would get the itch to use my hands to manifest the things that were in my head, without knowing why I felt that way or knowing what to do about it. Education, finding mentors and a lot of trial and error have helped me develop the skills that have helped me better express myself. I'm fortunate enough to get paid to create art, and that makes me very happy. 

Your tool of choice—a chainsaw, gives you an incredibly unique way to create art and probably comes with its fair share of unique challenges. What made you decide to start using a chainsaw to make your carvings? What makes it different from other mediums? 

I grew up a short distance from the Oregon coast and had the opportunity as a child to visit some chainsaw art galleries in tourist towns along Highway 101. Totem poles especially were mesmerizing to me. Years later, I mentioned to my husband that I had always wanted to try carving with a chainsaw. He bought me a chainsaw as my first Mother's Day gift. At the time I was still pregnant with our daughter and too afraid to use it while I carried her. I put it in the basement and forgot about it for six years. In the fall of 2011, I wanted to launch a YouTube channel with an idea for a video that involved making a chainsaw sculpture. I got my saw out of storage and went down to meet with some local carvers. They helped me get started by showing me the tools of the trade and where to get them, what safety gear I needed, what kind of local wood to use and how to secure it. If there hadn't been other carvers willing to share their knowledge nearby, it would have been a much more difficult process to learn. As far as I know, there are no chainsaw sculpting classes in university art programs or community colleges. It's such an incredibly powerful, efficient and versatile sculpting tool, but learning how to use it isn't easy. 

Do you have any tips or tricks for other artists or Makers who are interested in working with natural materials? 

When working with natural materials, it's important to stay flexible. I often find an empty pocket, some rot or a crack where I was hoping to have something solid to work with. Sometimes I'll clean out the area and fill it with matching, solid wood to complete my original design. It's more time-consuming, but I'm starting to get faster with practice. Other times it's possible to adapt the idea to what the material is doing naturally. In many cases, the adapted idea turns out better than my original plan. 

How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your projects? 

I have three Dremel rotary tools (and counting), each with one of my favorite wood carving bits in them. By having more than one tool, I can just grab the one I need without taking the time to change out bits for varying techniques. I use them to add fine details to my larger sculpture work, especially on faces and filigree. When carving eyes, finishing with a Dremel adds an extra amount of accuracy and life-likeness that can really make a piece. 

Your work seems to be heavily influenced by both nature and pop culture. Where do you find your inspiration? 

I find inspiration in a lot of ways, but it's a constant searching process that changes over time. My interest in pop culture is inspired by an ongoing conversation with my online community. When enough people on Twitter ask to see me carve a character from pop or gaming culture, I get the sense I should probably make a video about it. I am absolutely inspired by being in nature, but not just on a local level. Like most carvers, the freedom to travel is a large part of why I do what I do. Being on the road allows me to experiment with new kinds of wood and to learn from the artists I meet at competitions and events. I'd like my work to get larger, more interactive, and more appealing to the general public. 

What's your favorite piece that you’ve created? Was it inspired by a particular experience? 

I carved a 14' non-traditional, original totem pole for my art studio in my first year of carving that is still one of my favorites. Obviously, I've improved since then, and there are some things I would change, but since I've decided not to sell it there is still time to tweak! The pole is a collection of stylized animals that represent certain members of my family, memories from childhood and species traits that have very personal meanings to me. I like to of think of it as an antenna for my creative energy. 

To learn more about Griffon and her work, visit her website

Enter To Win: Win Your Own Custom Indian Motorcycle

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Win a one-of-a-kind Indian Scout Sixty Motorcycle engraved by Hank Robinson and other cool Dremel prizes! 

Dremel and Indian Motorcycles are co-sponsoring sweepstakes that will give one lucky winner the chance to own a one-in-a-million ride. Hank from Hanro Studios will personalize an Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle unique to the winner’s own interests and style. 

The sweepstakes run through September 30, 2016, and fans can enter online at www.DremelMakeYourIndianMotorcycle.com. Other prizes will also be up for grabs during the sweepstakes, so keep your eyes on the Dremel and Indian Motorcycle Facebook pages for more details. Enter this month and you'll also be eligible to win a brand new Dremel Maker Kit and a custom art piece Crystal Driedger.

3D Corner: Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 Stands Out at ‪ISTE 2016

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The Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 is named an International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2016‬ Best of Show winner‬‬‬‬‬‬ for its quality, effectiveness, ease of use, creative use of technology and overall classroom impact. 

Last month, Dremel headed out to Denver, CO for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference. More than 18,000 attendees and exhibitors filled the expo floor which featured the latest in cutting edge, education technology. 

For the third year in a row, an anonymous panel of educator judges scoured the exhibit hall to find the idea and tools which would have the greatest impact on classrooms around the globe. 

In the end, they selected a handful of exhibits which deserved the prestigious title of "Best of Show," including the Dremel 3D40 Idea Builder. 

Check out Tech & Learning magazine’s August issue, which will be featuring Dremel alongside the other ISTE winners. 

If you're interested in integrating Dremel 3D printing into your school's curriculum, visit our website. 

Maker Days Are Here: Dremel Tools And Exclusive Discounts Are Up For Grabs In August

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A Maker's tools are essential to his/her project success, often working like a part of his/her own hand. As a longtime supporter of the Maker Movement, the Dremel brand is dedicating the month of August to giving Makers the opportunity to expand their toolbox and find new project inspiration through the program Dremel Maker Days. 

Throughout the month of August on DremelMakerDays.com, Dremel will host a digital calendar of daily sweepstakes and product offers.Sweepstakes prizes are revealed each day, in real time, so Makers are encouraged to check back often. To participate, fans complete a registration form for a chance to win one of the daily prizes on the aforementioned website. Tool offers include the new Dremel Velocity™, the Dremel 4000 and the Dremel Ultra-Saw™, among many others. 

To participate, just visit the site mentioned above and register for a chance to win one of the daily prizes. In addition to daily giveaways and deals, there is also a Maker Days Grand Prize; a tool package valued at $5,000. This exclusive prize pack includes more than ten tools from Dremel, RotoZip and HP. 

Fans that enter to win the daily prizes are automatically entered to win the Grand Prize; however, you'll also have the opportunity to submit bonus entries for an increased chance of winning the Grand Prize. You can increase your chances in three ways: watching a Dremel project video, uploading a photo of one of your own projects and by sharing Maker Days on Facebook or Twitter. Fans can visit the Dremel Maker Days site for a full list of terms and conditions. 

Excited about #DremelMakerDays? Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages throughout August for more information about giveaways and offers! 

Enter To Win: Win Your Own Custom Indian Motorcycle

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Win a one-of-a-kind Indian Scout Sixty Motorcycle engraved by Hank Robinson and other cool Dremel prizes! 

Dremel and Indian Motorcycles are co-sponsoring a sweepstakes that will give one lucky winner the chance to own a one-in-a-million ride. Hank from Hanro Studios will personalize an Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle unique to the winner’s own interests and style. 

The sweepstakes runs through September 30, 2016, and fans can enter online at www.DremelMakeYourIndianMotorcycle.com. Other prizes will also be up for grabs during the sweepstakes, so keep your eyes on the Dremel and Indian Motorcycle Facebook pages for more details. This month, we’ll be giving away a Dremel Velocity

Congratulations to our May winner, Antonio M. from Kinnelon, New Jersey won a Dremel Idea Builder 3D40

3D Corner: Meet Balazs Nagy, Dremel Engineer And Maker

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Printing your dream build is just the beginning. Get some pro-tips for putting beautiful finishing touches on your 3D Idea Builder projects from Dremel 3D Maker, Balazs Nagy. 

How long have you been working at Dremel and what do you do as an engineer? 

My journey with Dremel started in 2011 when I moved to the US with my wife from Hungary. As an engineer at Dremel I work mostly on new projects and tools wherever I can utilize my experience in mechanical design. It's an exciting job. I really enjoy watching a project progress. It's wonderful when you can take something which is merely a concept at the start and contribute to it until it becomes a physical thing which makes people life easier. 

How did you become interested in painting models? Have you always been an artist? 

I've always had the interest in Making since I was very little. Around the age of 6-7 I was introduced to modelling 1:72 planes and tanks. I always enjoyed the assembly part of it, until I saw some painted ones. That's where it all started. I tried to make my models better oil based paints, acrylics—you name it. Anything I could get my hands on, really. 

Soon after I stumbled across the Games Workshop miniatures and their hobby world. I began collecting their miniatures using their acrylic paints. I picked up a lot of techniques from clubs, collector events and online as well. After I started my engineering studies I had to put all that aside because I just didn’t have time anymore. After being out of the hobby for 14 years, I started up again so I would have something to do during cold winters. 

When did you start painting 3D printed projects? 

After we started working with the first Dremel 3D printer, the Idea Builder, people used them all over the office. They were constantly running, building models our team made or found online. One day I was thinking that I really wanted to see something other than an all blue or all green models on my shelf, so why not take the time to paint one nicely? I stumbled across some really good quality models at the office which I borrowed in order to repaint them. I went home and fired up the compressor and the airbrush and finished in a few hours. Everyone loved it, so we put it on our Maker Gallery at the office. A few days later a colleague of mine showed up with a fairly large dragon head door knocker. He asked me if I could paint it for him. The detail was incredible, so I jumped at the challenge to paint it. 

Do you have any tips for painting PLA printed models? 

Painting PLA is a bit more challenging then painting resin or cast miniatures. The reason why is the layers. When paints are liquid they tend to channel into the groves between the layers, and that can ruin the nice contrast when you paint. If I'd have to recommend paints, would definitely stay with acrylics. 

For PLA models, an airbrush works more efficiently than a brush because the coverage is better. If the paint/thinner ratio is good, it dries on the surface before it can start wandering around through the grooves of the PLA layers. But it always depends on the painter. I switched to airbrushes roughly a year ago and I am still learning the proper technique after painting by hand for so many years. 

For first timers though I'd try using a regular paintbrush. The brush techniques are much easier to master and the money you invest in your painting is a fraction of the cost of an airbrushing system. What I wouldn't skip for PLA model painting is a good primer. There are spray versions, or they could be airbrushed on the surface as well. They help the paint stick to the surface of the PLA much better because most of them contain polypropylene which creates a film on the surface of the printed model. Plus they give you your first shade of color. Imagine you want to paint a model which is light colored. Starting out with a black filament without a light primer is a lot of extra effort. Light paints typically have fewer pigments and they require multiple layers for a good coverage. 

Painting is a lot of fun, but you won't become a great painter overnight. 

Just remember: Be patient. 

Out of all the 3D print projects you've painted, which one are you most proud of? 

For now it’s Shira's dragon knocker, but I am always looking for the next challenge. 

Meet the Maker: Introducing Colleen Pastoor

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We spoke with our Maker of the Month, Colleen Pastoor, about the allure of handmade fun and tips to create games your friends and family will love. 

How did you get into the world of Maker culture and blogging? Have you always been into DIY culture or is it an interest you discovered as an adult? 

I've always been a 'maker', even growing up, whether woodworking with my papa or sewing with my grandma. I would concoct recipes for babysitters to test taste, collect pinecones for wreaths with my dad, and craft angel ornaments for Christmas with my mom. I'm so glad that these were values and skills that were taught to me. I started crafting in a bigger way when I got into event planning in university. You could make an event rock with less money if you put the sweat in. When we bought our first place, party decor became home decor, and now it's a way of life. Now that I have kids of my own, I want them to have the same opportunity to acquire skills while they are young and learn to value the process of making. 

What are some of the benefits of creating your own handmade fun? 

When I think of DIY, I don't just think of the things that I make to save money... I think of the things I make because it's fun to try. We love to try making new things, trying new techniques and tools, and enjoy the process of learning. I rarely make the same thing twice (I guess you could say I have a short attention span), which is why I love blogging. Instead of repetition and creating the same project over and over to sell, I can create new things constantly. In short, making is oftentimes how we choose to 'play' around here. 

As far as handmade fun? We love that these projects can be personalized. Whether that's a wooden memory game with all your faces on it, giant dominoes, or fun chalkboards, I love that I can create exactly what we want without blowing our budget. Our kids already help out (not with the power tools!) and they see the satisfaction of getting to play with things when they are complete. I think that's such an important lesson in today's instant gratification culture! 

Do you have any tips for other makers who are trying to put their own spin on classic games? 

Just do it! Whatever you think will be fun, try it! I got a lovely email from a reader who modified my giant dice game to suit a traditional game from their culture, and another who had customized all the yard games with their last name for a reunion. I had another reader mark up pieces of a giant Jenga game project to double as dominoes to save on storage space. The best thing about making things yourself is that you can do whatever you want and it won't be 'wrong'. 

Why do you think people have more of a sentimental attachment to handmade items? 

There's something so special about a piece that has had love and care poured into it. I think of some of the pieces we have in our home that my papa (who has passed away) made for us, and although they're not something we would run out and buy, they're something we will never let go of because he poured himself into his work and that's a memory I always want around. Likewise, we are so proud of the things that we have made ourselves. There's something that feels so good about sitting at a table that you made, surrounded by friends for a dinner party. It doesn't matter if it's not perfect, it's facilitating great memories. 

I also think that in our culture of mass production, there's a movement towards handmade pieces. We're becoming more aware of waste and most of us struggle with having too much 'stuff', so I find we are looking to invest in pieces that won't become 'stuff' to deal with, rather pieces we cherish and make room for. Everyone can have the same sign from a chain store, but it won't be something you'll want to hand down. Whereas if you purchase handmade or make that sign yourself, there's a unique quality that you won't get from any other piece. That's worth hanging on to. 

What are the three tools you couldn't live without? 

Power tools? Brad nailer, cordless drill, and my Dremel Moto-Saw. But I also wouldn't ever give up my hammer, measuring tape, and caulking gun. 

How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your projects? 

I LOVE that the Moto-Saw is so versatile, I can use it as a jigsaw (one of my favorites) or as a scroll saw for more intricate work. When you're cutting out anything that isn't square - which is much more fun anyways - this is the perfect tool. 

What's the one piece of advice you wish you could give every aspiring maker/blogger?

It can be scary to put yourself out there and share your work since there are always critics, but there's way more support. Just give it a shot and see if it's for you. I have some friends that have tried blogging and they don't like it- they feel too much pressure, but those that put themselves out there and love it really love it. It's a creative outlet and challenge all in one. And wouldn't you rather try and know instead of wonder ‘what if'? You don't lose anything by giving it a shot, but you do have the opportunity to gain a new passion. 

To see more of Colleen’s work, check out her blog

Don’t forget, we also have a live Twitter chat with Colleen on June 24th at 12pm CST. Follow Dremel on Twitter for additional information and details. 

Want a 3D Printer? Become an Idea Builder Ambassador!

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You're a teacher. Project-based learning is in your blood. You're looking to score a 3D printer for your classroom, and FREE sounds pretty good to you. 

Dremel is looking for 10 passionate teachers to become the first Dremel Idea Builder Ambassadors. If you’re a K-12 teacher interested in 3D printing, we want to hear from you! 

To enter, create a 2-minute video describing how you would use a 3D printer in your classroom. Originality and quality improve your chances, so get creative and tell us your dream projects. 

Selected Ambassadors will receive a free Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 and 10 spools of filament for their classrooms. It doesn’t stop there! Keep us posted as you put your lesson plan into action for the next school year and document your journey every step of the way. 

Submit your video entry between May 25 and June 10. Dremel Idea Builder Ambassadors will be announced June 27 at ISTE 2016. 

Interested in entering? Click here for more details. 

Enter to Win: Win Your Own Custom Indian Motorcycle

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Win a one-of-a-kind Indian Scout Motorcycle engraved by Hank Robinson and other cool Dremel prizes! 
Dremel and Indian Motorcycles are co-sponsoring a sweepstakes that will give one lucky winner the chance to own a one-in-a-million ride. Hank from Hanro Studios will personalize an Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle unique to the winner's own interests and style. 
The sweepstakes runs through September 30, 2016, and fans can enter online at www.DremelMakeYourIndianMotorcycle.com. Other prizes will also be up for grabs during the sweepstakes, so keep your eyes on the Dremel and Indian Motorcycle Facebook pages for more details. This month, we'll be giving away a Dremel Idea Builder 3D40
Congratulations to our April winner, Sara H of Temperance, MI. Sara won the Dremel Pack of four tools which included the 3000 Rotary Tool Kit, Saw Max, Moto Saw, and the VersaFlame.