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Tinkerer's Toolkit

Stacey Mulcahy

“Sometimes stuff happens and you have to carry it with you and just keep going.”

List of resources from the talk

“I always make some sort of life decision around the time of FITC” - in 2016 she made the move to move and run a maker shop, The Garage, at Microsoft Vancouver.

First task there: make gifts for Prime Minister and Mayor of Vancouver. Made laser engraved skateboards.

Found out Bill Gates was coming to visit the shop, so made an app in Processing to come up with an image, constructed it, and hung it up just in time for his visit. The next day while touring the space, Gates came to see the picture and posed with it. The next day was hit by the notion, what’s next, what do I do now?


  • inquisitive
  • incurable

Stacey’s job is to help others be tinkers. To teach engineers to appreciate art, that creativity isn’t a place. To help people be creative who don’t have creativity instilled with them.

“Celebrate success that is not your own” “Law of the instrument - you don’t only have one tool” “Changing stuff and seeing what happens”

Future Reality AR, VR & MR

  • provide a full space of 360 cameras, green screens, VR headsets, etc
  • holo.js - creating mixed reality with js
  • “future reality is just a part of the experience, not the experience itself”
  • Fluid Interfaces lab at MIT, as source of inspiration
  • Is WebVR Ready?

“The first time an engineer touches a tool, it changes the way they think and work.”


  • CNC machines
  • Shaper - handheld machine that guides you across the cuts
  • FormLabs - 3D resin printing
  • MakerCase - website that let’s you design a box and have it laser cut for you
  • Kniterate - programmable knitting machine
  • micro:bit - produced by BBC and given to every 5th grade kid, had Bluetooth, Accelerometer, programmed via browser with Javascript, Python, etc. or with
  • pen plotters - AxiDraw - send it an image from Inkscape and it will draw it.
  • Learning the Art of Electronics - expensive but well recommended book set
  • Microsoft Bot Framework
  • machine learning for artists
  • computer vision
  • webgazer.js

Do daily practice

  • @bit101
  • @grayfuse
  • doing daily exercises on a topic to flex your brain around these ideas daily

Add Tools and Opportunity to Play