Category Archives: General News

Sheltering in place

Picture of shop door with closure sign on it.

We started Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories in 2006 as a “personal project blog”, to capture, organize, and share some of the things we do for fun. It has evolved over time to become a resource for our customers as well as a way for us to share interesting and educational information from a variety of sources. It also gradually become our livelihood, as the hobby projects started to take over more and more of our lives.

Right now, we want to let you know where we’re at. Here in Santa Clara County (the south end of the San Francisco Bay Area), we are under a Shelter in Place order due to COVID-19. Windell and I are working from home, and checking in on Zener at the shop regularly. We’re bringing work home with us, and have even been able to start shipping some orders again. Our employees cannot come in, which means that assembly, kitting, packing and shipping have slowed to what the two of us can do.

We’ll be doing our best to communicate with our customers about their orders and we’re doing tech support and customer service as usual. Orders will likely be going out every few days instead of every day. Some items will not be restocked as quickly.

As we work through these details, there are a lot of resources here on the blog that may be useful to all of you doing your part by staying at home.

We have many tutorials for projects that can be made from things you can find around the house. We have lots of cooking projects, some of which are also math or science projects. We have a series of basics articles you may enjoy for people getting started in electronics. And our linkdumps have lots interesting links to occupy your time.

We want you all to stay safe and healthy! Please reach out to us if you have questions, concerns, blog post ideas, or pictures of projects that we may have helped you instigate!

Thank you all for being such a great community, such amazing customers, and sharing with and helping each other so generously!

Uncovering the Silicon at Bay Area Maker Faire 2019

We had so much fun introducing visitors to what is inside of integrated circuits last year at Maker Faire that we’re going to do it again! For Bay Area Maker Faire 2019 we are excited to be again joining forces with Eric Schlaepfer and Ken Shirriff, along with our new collaborator John McMaster. We’ll again be bringing decapped chips along with microscopes to let visitors see what’s inside of famous and interesting integrated circuits. We’ll also be bringing large scale reference models. Bay Area Maker Faire is May 17-19 at the San Mateo County Event Center. You can check out our Maker Faire page and we’ll hope to see you there!

AxiDraw at TinkerFest

We’re excited to be bringing AxiDraw out to demo at the Chabot Space & Science Center for their third annual TinkerFest.

Tinkerfest is a one-day festival that celebrates the creative, curious, and innovative spirit in all of us. Tinkerfest brings together makers, artists, and tinkerers to showcase their work while inviting attendees of all ages to join in on the DIY fun! During the festival the entire Center (inside and outside) will be activated with activities that spark curiosity and ignite creativity.

TinkerFest is Saturday, April 13 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

AxiDraw on MythBusters Jr

I’m super excited to see the new MythBusters Jr episode tonight, because I’m in it with the AxiDraw!


I had a fun time working with Valerie, Rachel, and Elijah, as well as the great crew.

Plotter People Meetup

There’s a new get-together just for plotter people!

Plotter People is a meetup for creative coders and people interested in collaborating with robots to make art. You’ll get to talk to folks who make generative art in a wide variety of programming languages and software environments, and you’ll get access to pen plotters and the people who make them.

The inaugural Plotter People meetup will be hosted at Github in San Francisco on Monday, January 14 at 6:30 pm. There will be two speakers, including Sher Minn, who will be talking about Recreating Retro Plotter Art, and me, Lenore Edman. I’m excited to have been invited to speak and I’ll be talking about the Plotter Projects of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, from the Analog Plotbot pictured above to the AxiDraw. There will also be time to mingle, talk, eat, and even play with plotters.

The event is free, but please head over to the invite page to RSVP!

Maker Gift Basket

Gareth Branwyn posted an article on creating a gift basket for makers. It is full of awesome tools, including one of our favorites, the resistor lead forming tool.

He’s also having a give-away for his example basket!

To be eligible, all you have to do is post an entry, on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, mentioning my book, this article, and/or the idea of a tool gift bag, and include this link and hashtag: https://amzn.to/2DPaXAd #tipsandtalesfromtheworkshop. The only things you have to include are the link and the hashtag. You can post as many times as you like. On Dec 12th, I’ll do a random drawing from the hash-tagged entries and send out your gift basket.

Note: This drawing is only available to those residing in the United States.