“Support our friend, Zhu Kening, presenting his techno paper craft at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire!”, someone tweeted.
So, who is Zhu Kening, and what is this techno paper craft his friend/supporter mentioned?
We interview Zhu Kening and feature him as our next Maker of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012.
I thought it was a joke about a dancing paper initially but it turned out that I was wrong. It is really a dancing paper. To be more precise, the project is on paper-crafts such as origami or pop-up that can move through wireless inductive power transmission. I was totally awed by the description alone, and I was looking forward to meet up with the Maker for an interview, and to witness how this would be done.
About Zhu Ke Ning (also known as Ken)
Through my earlier email correspondences with Ken, Ken had shared that as a kid, he liked to dismantle things like radio sets, lamps, toys and re-assemble them together, build models and customise Tamiya racing cars. Ken gave credit to his father for cultivating his interest in DIY, by being a role model for him. Currently, Ken is a fourth year PhD student at the National University of Singapore and the “dancing paper-craft” is his research project this year. Ken enjoys working on exciting and crazy scientific ideas. As he enjoys building paper models and folding origami, he decided to incorporate them into his PhD research topic and try to make them move by itself like robots.
Maker Ken with his prototypes
William (Our in-house maker!) and I met up with Zhu Ke Ning, also known as Ken, at Keio-NUS CUTE Centre where he showed us his prototypes.
Ken showed us how the paper craft and inch worm can move, with the help of shape memory-alloys and an inductive power system that can power up the specific moving part of the paper-craft to generate movements. Check out his YouTube video of the moving paper craft and inch worm.When asked about his plans for this project, Ken shared that he would like to make this an open-source project. He would like to further improve on his prototype such that the power system could be made into a printed circuit board (PCB) that could be downloaded and used by others eventually.
Paper crane with shape-memory alloys
- Inductive Power System underneath the glass table
The Presentation and Workshop
Ken would share the details in his presentation during the Singapore Mini Maker Faire and also conduct a workshop where participants can learn how to attach their shape-memory materials to paper-crafts and make them move. The attendees will learn how to make moving paper structure, such as crane, dog, inchworm, without any battery or direct power supply connection. More details about the moving paper craft and inchworm can also be found on Ken’s website at http://www.tech-ken.com/
Ken’s workshop is fully booked, but do come down for his presentation on Saturday 4 August, 3 pm!
Ken’s view on the Maker Scene in Singapore
Ken felt that the Maker/ DIY culture in Singapore is quite good, not only in high-tech areas but also in daily life. He sometimes see people making their own furniture, or fixing their house by themselves. He also saw children making their own cards when they want to play card games. He see it as a part of the Maker Culture.
According to Ken, to popularise the culture in Singapore, people have to switch their mentality, to have the desire to turn their ideas into reality, to want to solve their problem in a smart way, to dare to try and to learn to work with limited resources. Maker culture should be integrated into day to day life.
Ken also shared that there are many colleagues in his lab in NUS who are into DIY activities, and it is facilitated by the equipments available in the lab such as laser cutter and 3D printer because they can quickly prototype their ideas.
He felt that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire will be a good opportunity for interactions between Makers.
If you are keen to attend Ken’s workshop and hear his presentation, come for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 on 4 & 5 August 2012! If you have your own paper craft which you would like to use for the workshop, Ken also welcome you to bring it along!
[Note: Target age group for the workshop would be 20 years old and above.]