Lately at Metrix you might have noticed some electric motor kits for sale on the counter. You may have thought they were done by a large company because they look so professional, but they’re actually cut at the shop, and put together by one of the patrons! David Cole is turning his penchant for design and tinkering into a new business for helping people learn and get creative. As someone who is trying to sell things that I make Metrix, I was happy to get the chance to talk to him about this really neat project and what it means for him.
David told me that he’s been a creative person since he was young. And while he’s always loved electronics, he never really knew how they worked. He mentioned to me that, “Electromagnets and motors run our world, but people hardly think of them”. This is definitely true for me. I use my computer everyday, and yet I have only a slight understanding of how the software works, let alone the hardware! It’s easy to get lost in the big picture of our modern machinery. He had been reading about the history of technology and decided that he wanted to understand all the details. And so he made a motor. He learned a bunch, but it also took a lot of energy. He wanted to be able to share what he had learned with others, but make it easy for them to fabricate themselves.
And thus, the kits! The best way for me to learn is to do it myself rather than have it be taught to me, and I think that’s true for many other people. I’ve seen some other cool kits lately, such as an embroidery kit and an electronic jewelry kit, and I’m glad to see this motor kit added to the selection, to give people some hands on experience. David said that he’d like to start selling them to schools. I remember when I was in middle school making a battery from lead. Clearly it’s stuck with me, and I think any kind of motor kit like this would be an amazing learning tool for young people.
Another interesting part of his kits is the design. He kind of has an advantage over some other makers in that he’s a graphic designer by day. He has experience in branding, website design, and package design, among other things. If you’re going to be seriously selling a product, then this is definitely something you want to learn (or pay someone to do!). Seeing his well put together product and website really makes it clear how much potential all the projects at Metrix have. With the right finish, so many of the interesting an unique items at the shop could be selling well. I was really inspired about what my own creations could be.
Not only was I inspired by the product, but also by his passion, enthusiasm and ability to make it all happen! David said to me, “I have been following whatever inspires me for years, sticking with my own vision and making sure to follow through on my ideas. I often don’t know where a project might lead, but I pursue it anyway. In the very least it usually results in some kind of learning, and often a connection with an interesting person. I love the quote ‘Inspiration without action is worthless’ - I don’t know who said that, but I live by it.” What a great attitude to have- and it fits so well with what Metrix is trying to accomplish.
Don’t forget that the Metrix Craft and Project Extravaganza is happening Thursday from 7-10! You might be able to buy a motor directly from David. I’ll be there, and I hope to see you!
You can check out his website here.