Category Archives: Invention

For the purposes of our group, this is generally considered something that can be patented, irrespective of its current status (concept, patent pending, etc.).

Chain Reaction Challenge Demo at December Meeting

At today’s meeting, Casey Drudge showed off his creation – a Rube Goldberg device that demonstrates what someone could make for TekVenture’s Chain Reaction Challenge.

When you pull the string to trigger Casey’s device, that starts a 28-step process.  Of course, preparing the device to be triggered takes some time – those are a lot of steps to reset.  And since this is the Inventors Club, Casey spent even more time explaining how each of the 28 steps works.

Once it is set up physics and mechanics take over to produce a device that runs anywhere from 1 to 1/12 minutes (depending on how long it takes one particular pendulum in the system to trigger the next event).

TekVenture Chain Reaction Challenge 4 is Saturday April 30, 2011 at the Allen County Public Library.  Each participant will build a device that can be triggered by and provide the energy needed to raise a golf ball an inch.  As the name implies, they will all be strung together to form one ginormous chain reaction.  Be a participant!  For details, see TekVenture.  If you don’t participate, at least come and watch the fun!

Maker Meetup

Time for another Maker Meetup!

NEXT Thusday September 30th 7:00PM my house.

I have a new cellphone board.
There are lots of things you can do with an embedded computer connected to a cellphone with unlimited text messages.

I’ll also have the eggbot running.

Look at what other cool things people bring.
Scavenge from my junk piles

Bring your friends.
Send this email to others who build stuff.
Eat pie.

Jim Merz

4224 River Bluff Drive

Artprize Road Trip

I’m planning a road trip to see Artprize in Grand Rapids MI.

Artprize is an open competition where 1,700 artist compete for prizes voted on by the public.
Top prize is $250,000
Last year was the first year and 200,000 people went to see artprize and 30,000 people voted.

I have a sculpture in artprize this year.
I want to put together a team to build an even bigger better more complicated sculpture for next year’s artprize. I think having at whole team from Fort Wayne building a sculpture would bring some nice publicity for our town.

We will leave Fort Wayne early in the morning and get back late at night, and do lots of walking in GR.
Here are the dates I’m thinking about going to Grand Rapids:

Wednesday Sept 29th, Saturday Oct. 2nd, Sunday Oct.3rd, Wednesday Oct. 6th, Friday Oct.8th, Saturday Oct. 9th

Let know if you are interesting in this road trip, and when.

If there are enough people who can go on one day I’ll get a van.

Check out Artprize at

Here is a link to a picture of my sculpture at artprize


[email protected]

Mike the Machine

Ok, so maybe Mike Forkert isn’t really a machine – but he DOES design an absolutely mean machine.  You can read about it in this story in American Machinist.

The article describes how Glaze Tool uses Autodesk Inventor to create special machines that save their clients a lot of money – by being more productive and by costing less for design time.  Mike is quoted throughout the article explaining how Glaze does that.

Keep up the good work, Mike the Machine!