I am sure many of you participate on or have heard of http://www.instructables.com
, a website for sharing DIY and maker-type projects.
They have held several contests over the past few years for a variety of prizes (some of which I have won. w00t!), including several Epilog desktop laser cutters. I have been jonesing for one of these laser cutters but have come up short every time. These big-time contests are being won by two kinds of folks. 1. Individuals who have been working on an incredible project for years and now take the time to write it up for the contest, and 2. Groups like TCMakers who get together and complete an amazing project working together. For example, the last winners were a group out of San Francisco who have built a wood-gas powered car and sell a gassifier kit based on the years of work put into the project.http://www.instructables.com/id/Convert_your_Honda_Accord_to_run_on_trash/
Link to current laser cutter contest.http://www.instructables.com/contest/epilogchallenge/
I propose that we pool our know how and ideas to make an entry, with the idea that the prize would be property of the group if we win. The deadline is April 19th, so we need to get our act together. The subject is wide open, but some kind of "green" aspect is required which could be a simple as using recycled parts. I have some ideas that we could try but I am not sure they have the zing or scope required to capture the imagination and votes of the public and the judges.
For example, a food dehydrator built into a forced-air furnace register. Not sexy or difficult enough to win I think, but we can enter multiple times.
For example, a thermoelectric balaclava cell phone charger for MN winters. Has some zing but practicality may be questionable due to power output being in the mW range.