Meredith Caveney is an active maker, and has been so since high school. Now a freshman at Georgia Tech, she is thankful for already being embedded in the Maker community.
“From knowledge about CAD software to the understanding of 3-D printers, being a maker has influenced my mindset of what the next few years will hold as an engineer,” she says.
But don’t think that because she was in high school at the time that she was limited by age or education. Being a maker was mostly something she did outside of high school. It also helped her gain experience by “looking at the design process and resources from a different perspective,” she says.
She bought her first 3-D printer in 2014, and she chronicled the unboxing and setup of it on her website at macaveney.com. She brings the reader along as she troubleshoots, and it’s truly a fascinating look inside the mind of a maker. Her latest project was creating a VR headset with her Google Cardboard (see photo at right).
Unlike a lot of makers in high school, who are fascinated by 3-D printing, she looked at it a different way. She was more concerned with utilizing 3-D printing to assist her in projects. Seeing past 3-D printing as just a way to create things, she applied it to help her with things like designing a walking robot or a device that helps her turn off her bedroom light switch (see left). “It’s a block that screwed into a light-switch panel. On the block was a loop in which a sting would go through,” she says. “The string was mounted at the top of the panel and ran through the loop over the light switch button. The string was then routed through my room to my bed, where I could pull on a handle to turn off the lights.”
Among her other creations are an electronic violin, which she says took her six months to make (side note: she also plays the violin), a Minecraft server and even an app that assists local law enforcement in an eight-county area in northeast Tennessee (from where she hails) when working with children.
When you consider all of her creations, Meredith Caveney shows that she isn’t limited by perspective, that she doesn’t just know how to use new technologies, but the application of such technology to assist in the creation of useful objects.
She also says she doesn’t “create just to create.” That’s why she isn’t a creator, she’s a Maker.
Photos courtesy of Meredith Caveney.