We had the pleasure of working with John Kuiphoff, a Maker and professor with the College of New Jersey (TCNJ), where you can find the latest technologies, tools and labs in their state-of-the-art facilities, creating the ideal environment for growth and exploration.
Prior to teaching, John worked as a Web developer for about twelve years. After focusing on freelance work, John took his last check from his last job, got as far away from computers, bought several pieces of woodworking equipment and fell in love with woodworking. “I found the Maker channel and the Maker community fell in love with it. Eventually, not long after, my passion for computers came back into woodworking.” Many of the tools John works with, such as laser cutters and CNC machines, mix the two together. “I work a lot where I have to utilize code to actually generate shapes. I love mixing those kinds of things together.”
John led the team to build a Maker Space at TCNJ in their Design and Creative Technology department. “It was completely funded by donations and grants and it's been a great community. The energy is so positive and it feels alot like this. It’s just a great place to be.” The Makerspace offers a variety of technology and equipment, from 3d printers to lasers to power tools, for students to explore.
Throughout the event, John helped the teams on their prototypes and he loved every minute of it. John has been a Maker for seven years, and grew up always making things. “ I remember when we would go swimming with my friends, they would be swimming and I would build or do something with sand castles.” With a background and experience in digital fabrication, product design, electronics, film, and of course creative coding, John was busy enjoying the moments working with everyone and helping bring their ideas to life. “I’m having a blast being here. It’s a treat to be able to do this. I want to breathe life into their ideas.”
Make48 recently partnered with Glowforge, who are allowing us to bring a laser to each of our competitions throughout the year. John ran the 3d laser printer and created some amazing pieces that challenged him, including the $10,000 check. But getting out there and trying new things inspires him. “I think creative problem-solving is what motivates me to work on really difficult projects like this one right here, because there's a really good chance that it wasn't going to work out. But you want to be able to see it through. It's a challenge. I like the challenge.” John was right and it turned out to be a success.
“We're living in the most expressive time in human history. And one of the best ways to express yourself is to make something and to make it with your hands, your mind, and your spirit. That's like the best thing anybody could possibly do. That's when I'm at my happy place”
Follow John on his YouTube channel for more woodworking builds and tips on his YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcULRf5ys_TV9x1my9lRXuA