Maker of the Day – Zachary Vorhies (Day 20)

Zachary Vorhies

Why I make

I love making wearable fashion! I've always had an interest in the clothes people would make for Burning Man, the most fantastic place on earth (for that week).

One year I met a fashion designer, Wheylan Dean-Ford, who makes costumes for rockstars and movies. He ended up crashing at my house after Burning Man and we got to talking about fashion. He was struggling with putting electronics into his outfits and since I love electronics, I was more than able to help him out. That got us to talking about my own outfit that I wanted to create. The idea that I had was to do a mashup of a glow stick and a CamelBak so we created this thing that called the Hydropak, which is like a CamelBak, but glows to the sound of music.

The Hydropak outfit was a really big hit with my friends and so I started wearing it all the time. One time I wore it to a fashion show and the organizer snapped a picture of me and said, "Who made this amazing outfit?" and I was like, "I did!" He responded, "Why don't you make five more like this and I'll put it on the fashion runway?" 

So I called my designer friend who was living in New York and said, "Hey, want to fly to San Francisco and help me make five outfits for this fashion show?" He was like, "Okay!" So we did it. 

The following week we started a massive one month work session creating five fashion pieces. One of these pieces was the Turn Signal Glove which you can see at: www.futuretechwear.com 

When we showed off the gloves, the response was overwhelming: "YOU MUST MAKE MORE OF THESE TURN SIGNAL GLOVES!" 

So from there on out I was on a mission to create the best cycling glove in the world. I said goodbye to my job at Google and said hello to the wonderful world of entrepreneurship, and the rest is history. 

What I make

Turn Signal Gloves - www.zackees.com
Kickstarter and made $72.5k in sales in just 30 days. CNET said that they were “...enough to encourage a new era of turn signal use.” 

Lightup Outfits - www.futuretechwear.com These are some outfits I created to showcase my talent. 

LED Piano - https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5V2d0_P9cLo

I designed the electronics and built the software. The fabrication of the piano was carried out by the artist, William Jerome, who also uses it in his performances in his band, Interstellar Transmissions. 

ShopBot Tools’ Handibot Kickstarter now online



At this year's Bay Area Maker Faire, we got to preview ShopBot Tools' newest lil box of awesome - the Handibot - and today they launched their Kickstarter campaign to raise $125k for full-scale production.

It's pretty great. Imagine a tiny little 3-axis CNC router that you can plug into a standard 110V outlet and buzz out perfectly detailed scrollwork.  THEN just stick it back in your toolbox..!



We love it for its ingenuity, but it's also super-simple to use with 123D apps' CNC utility.  We're working directly with ShopBot to build simple integrations into their tools, and I'm looking forward to carving something up with one of these little guys.

The Handibot takes a 1/8" or 1/4" shank bit and has a 6"x8"x4" x/y/z bed size.  But because of its portability, you could enlarge that indefinitely with some sort of registration markings.



We love the folks at ShopBot and wish them luck in their campaign.  We may even need to get one for the new office. Stay tuned to the blog and Facebook, we're headed to Maker Faire Kansas City this weekend and we'll get some more updates from the North-Carolinians.

As of this posting, they've raised over $49k.