Tell us about your group.
Vrakas Labs (or V/Labs) is our “brand” for all of the projects our family works on. For as long as we can remember, we’ve been inventing – air cannons and electric go-karts, Arduino projects, drones, rockets, custom computers, circuit boards, furniture and wood projects, welding projects — whatever looks cool! We now have enough gear to get most projects off the ground and we continue to look for new projects and new learning opportunities. Tim is a high school senior, aiming for a degree in electrical engineering. Ben is a sophomore, a LEGO master, CAD design guru, and hardcore Gamer. Andy is a middle school teacher, and enthusiastic amateur.
What are you presenting at Maker Faire Milwaukee?
This year we’re featuring a custom liquid-cooled PC, a DIY electric bike, presenting some 3D printing design ideas, and a vintage prop reproduction any hardcore Trekkie will recognize. We also will have a variety of DIY camera gear, and a custom gimbal system.
What inspires you to make?
There are an infinity of cool things that you can be the creator of, and it’s up to you to decide what it is you want to create. You never know when you will be the inventor of the best thing since sliced bread.
What tips or advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Maker?
Focus on projects that are equal parts fun and challenge. Show off your skills while learning new ones. Also, collaborate on projects with other people. Swapping skills and working together can be a lot of fun.
If you could make one thing that would improve the world, what would it be?
I would make it easier for students and learners to develop their skills. Everyone should have access to a makerspace where they can personally work to solve the problems in their life.
For more info check out the 2016 profile page for Vrakas Labs.