HackSpace magazine 3: Scrap Heap Hacking

We’re making with a purpose in issue 3 of HackSpace magazine. Not only are we discovering ways in which 3D printing is helping to save resources — and in some case lives — in the developing world, we’re also going all out with recycling. While others might be content with separating their glass and plastic waste, we’re going much, much further by making useful things out of discarded old bits of rubbish you can find at your local scrapyard.


We’re going to Cheltenham Hackspace to learn how to make a leather belt, to Liverpool to discover the ways in which an open-source design and some bits and bobs from IKEA are protecting our food supply, and we also take a peek through the doors of Nottingham Hackspace.


The new issue also has the most tutorials you’ll have seen anywhere since…well, since HackSpace magazine issue 2! Guides to 3D-printing on fabric, Arduino programming, and ESP8266 hacking are all to be found in issue 3. Plus, we’ve come up with yet another way to pipe numbers from the internet into big, red, glowing boxes — it’s what LEDs were made for.

With the addition of racing drones, an angry reindeer, and an intelligent toaster, we think we’ve definitely put together an issue you’ll enjoy.

Get your copy

The physical copy of HackSpace magazine is available at all good UK newsagents today, and you can order it online from the Raspberry Pi Press store wherever you are based. Moreover, you can download the free PDF version from our website. And if you’ve read our first two issues and enjoyed what you’ve seen, be sure to subscribe!

Write for us

Are you working on a cool project? Do you want to share your skills with the world, inspire others, and maybe show off a little? HackSpace magazine wants your article! Send an outline of your piece to us, and we’ll get back to you about including it in a future issue.


sketchy person avatar

off topic: please please please make some tool to draw/sketch simple schematics for pi projects. I’m an hour into trying to get Fritzing to work but it is the wrong tool for simple sketches – messy UI, overcomplicated, cannot import simply images and so on. Oh and absolutely aggravating.

Enabling users to very easily make and share a sketch of their project or in progress work should be a win-win for everyone! For example when new users ask questions in the forums and are asked to show their schematics.

richard farn avatar

I second the motion. Fritzing is a pain for the simplest things, like adding your own part of a widely used commercial electronic component such as a photodector TSL 237 or TSL 257, etc.

We need something or someone to make Fritzing better and not so incredibly slow, even on Pi3.

Norman Dunbar avatar

Very off topic. ;-)

This might help, it’s a 5 minute video on You Tube on getting started designing stufF with Fritzing.



The forum would gave been a better place to ask though.


sketchy person avatar

@Norman Dunbar
I know, I know. But now that the offtopic-cat is out of the bag I might as well go on a bit. Thanks for the link! Though I spent two frustrating hours on trying to sketch a small pi project (servos, relay boards, buttons, battery pack and a few more things). Gave up on Fritzing after that won’t pick it up any time soon.

Because it is just the wrong tool for the task.

A tool for documenting a small maker project should be almost as easy and forgiving as pen and paper scribbling. Images of the most commonly uses components to drag drop and arrange in a window, points to connect wires without restrictions.

Fritzing is in contrast a very strict tool for production use.

Some examples of why Fritzing is bad for simple, small maker project documentation:
– no simple way to just drag and drop import any image. Instead an extremely complex process.
– missing component types. For example no relay shield components. Had to search the net for one and then look for import instructions.
– no simple way to simply connect two different colored wires. To show I’ve made an “extension” out of two male/female breadboard connection wires. Not found in professional projects, bbut handy in a small hobby project when you’re out of longer wires.
– Fritzing has a confusing UI. On Windows it starts straight to a lot details. No “welcome first time user” onboarding. Worse: it silently starts to autoupdate on start. The window title only says “(Not responding)” and freezes. Which on Windows usually means a crash. That made me close and restart it a few times. Until I googled the issue and saw many asking about it. Apparently you just wait a minute or two while Fritzing does its thing. Bad UI.

I did search the Pi forum for circuit sketching tools. Most recommended Fritzing. That’s like suggesting C++ for someone new to coding on the Pi, rather than Python or Scratch. I hope the Raspberry Pi foundation fill the gap and creates a simple circuit sketching tool.

Liz Upton avatar

Folks – this is WAY off topic. Can you take it to the forums please? (And I’m afraid that a circuit sketching tool is not something that’s on our radar at the moment.)

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