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SXSW 2014: DIY Projects Have Entered the Tech World

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Do-it-yourself tech projects allow for people to now make their own gadgets and turn unused computer parts into pieces of art. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

What would be the opposite of 3D printing?

Well, a possible answer to that question was on display at the SXSW Create tent, the DIY area where attendees are urged to get hands on and create their own high tech gadgets.

One of which is the Inventables Shapeoko, a desktop milling system connected to a computer so that just about anyone can mill as if they've been milling for years.

"A 3D printer builds from nothing, it builds up an additive process. What's cool about milling is it's a subtractive process, so you can start with any material - wood, aluminum or any soft metal and it takes from a slab it cuts away. You can make sunglasses, or bottle openers are what we're making today," says Samantha Alaimo from Inventables.

Or if you prefer to create the same way Mother Nature does, there is the Horto Domi or Robot Gardener, a completely make-it-yourself web connected gardening space that allows you to grow anything, anywhere.

"We monitor and control the growing environment. We use the soil moisture probes to make sure the soil is at its ideal moisture, so the idea is that you can grow whatever you want, whenever you want healthfully in your front yard, any region, any season, and it's all open source," says Will Bratton from Outer Babylon.

And finally, if you're among those who think "I would love to do a DIY project, I just do not have the mind for it," NY1 has you covered - high tech, DIY projects for artists.

It's the brainchild of the organization Spare Parts which wanted to find a way to educate about and use old electronics.

"It's not recyclable, it's not good for our landfills, it gets into the water, it's bad pollution all around and so Spare Parts is coming in and showing how they can make art from it," says Mary Elizabeth Cantu from Spare Parts.

Program organizers say the process also allows kids or adults to, as they take apart old tech devices, learn a bit about how they work or used to work.

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