PZ-1 Pizza Box DJ Controller


I built this conductive ink DJ controller made from a pizza box. You can build one too! Here’s the guide in the Adafruit Learning System. It’s a real DJ that you control by touch. It even blinks its colorful lights in time to the music!

Build your own DJ controller using a cardboard pizza box, conductive paint, and a Circuit Playground! The PZ-1 pizza box DJ controller uses a Circuit Playground, which senses your capacitive touch and speaks MIDI directly to your software, such as Traktor, Mixxx, and others. With a stencil and conductive paint you’ll create a delicious, functional controller layout. Inspired by a limited edition pizza box turntable from a famous pizza brand, now you can make your own!

I’ll be at World Maker Faire 2016 in NYC this weekend


Yay! I love World Maker Faire, it’s such a great site — the Corona Park / Hall of Science site in Queens is amazing. And the creative energy and enthusiasm there are palpable. Palpable, I say!

Besides walking around the Faire soaking up all the great exhibits and meeting makers, I’ll be giving a couple of talks — the first one is about building the Adafruit Happy Chewbacca Mask project on Saturday, 10/1 at 12:30pm on the Maker to Market Stage:

Join maker John Park as he demonstrates how you can hack the famous Happy Chewbacca Mask to make any sounds you like. John will perform a live mask teardown, demonstrate how to trigger audio files with switches, and talk about the joys of toy hacking.


My other talk will be on three of my Adafruit Circuit Playground projects, including the recently released PZ-1 Pizza Box DJ video, on Sunday, 10/2 at 12:15 on the Show-and-Tell Stage:

Maker John Park will show how he made his popular Adafruit Circuit Playground projects: the Class Scheduler, Password Vault, and Pizza Box DJ Controller. You’ll learn about Circuit Playground, a microcontroller platform with built-in LEDs and sensor designed to teach physical computing and coding.


I may even attempt, against my better judgment, some live DJ-ing with the pizza box controller. Please dance.


If you’re headed to Maker Faire please stop by and say hello.

John Park, Full-Time Maker for Adafruit


John Park workshop

I’m thrilled to announce that after a decade of moonlighting in the maker movement, I’m now officially a full-time maker and content creator! Starting this week, I’ll be working from my Southern California workshop, designing and building projects and videos for Adafruit Industries.

Adafruit is an open source hardware and electronics company founded by the awe-inspiring engineer Limor “Lady Ada” Fried, and co-run by the highest energy element on the the periodic table, Phil Torrone. I’ve know these wonderful people since the beginning of the maker movement, working together on Make: magazine, Maker Faires, and the Emmy-nominated Make: Television show on American Public Television. I’m proud to be joining them and the rest of the incredible team in our shared goal to encourage and enable anybody to build anything.

There are so many projects I’m excited to start building and sharing in videos and online tutorials. I’ll be making things to appeal to people with wide ranging passions, including cosplayers, home brewers, gamers, magicians, rock climbers, hot rodders, modernist chefs, lock pickers, kids, musicians, mixologists, Burners, escape room designers, aerialists, cyclists, teachers, animators, and coffee fiends, to name a few.

If you’ve got an idea for something you’d like to see me make, please drop me a note in the comments or on my Twitter @johnedgarpark.

You’ll be able to watch my Adafruit videos here, my Learning System tutorials here, my posts on the Adafruit blog. I look forward to meeting you in the Adafruit online hangouts. I’ll also be doing collaborations, speaking, teaching, and other maker activities, please follow my blog for updates — you can subscribe in the sidebar over there on the right.

3D Printing Projects book released


Hey look, the new book is out! That’s my flower care robot, Chauncey, there on the cover. (He waters that flower whenever the soil runs dry.)

I’m very excited and proud to have contributed to this lovely new book from Maker Media chocked full of projects you can build with a 3D printer, some electronics and mechanical parts, and a bit of gumption. The central notion behind 3D Printing Projects: Toys, Tools, and Contraptions to Print and Build Yourself is “You’ve got a 3D printer, and you’ve downloaded and printed a few Yoda heads and vases — now what?”

The projects all go beyond static prints, and into functional builds that show the true utility of desktop prototyping and additive building when combined with other techniques, including print finishing/painting, friction welding, embedded electronics, physical computing, and mechanism design. Downloadable model files are available on the book’s companion site, and we’ve got a GitHub repository set up for any code downloads, such as the Arduino sketch that powers my flower bot.

I’d like to also give an enormous public, internet hug and thank you to my creative collaborator, Barry McWilliams, who inspired me with his Wrylon Robotical Illustrated Catalog of Botanical Delivery ‘Botsand who designed my darling little robot, Chauncey.


If you’re interested in learning how to make your own Chauncey, or animatronic eyes, or a ballpoint pen raygun, an inverted RC trike, and more, from a very talented group of makers, including John Baichtal, James Floyd Kelly, and Brook Drumm,  please check it out on Amazon, at O’Reilly, in your local Barnes & Noble, or other local bookstore. I promise it will give invigorating new purpose to your 3D printer!


Ultrasonic Sensor housing

I built a roaring beast device. It detects when a person (or animal, or object) is within range and then triggers an audio file to play through the speakers. Roar!

To place the sensor out under a bush or fence for Halloween, I wanted to run a long length of CAT5 cable from it to the Arduino Uno running things. I mounted the rangefinder (a Maxbotix from Adafruit) to a RJ45 breakout board from Sparkfun, angling it up so the sensor can be placed low to the ground.

In the original application, I was able to hide this under a giant furry Neverbeast head (from Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast) coming out of the floor in the lobby of Disneytoon Studios. But now I needed to place on outdoors, so I decided to model and 3D print this little enclosure.



Finally, I mounted another RJ45 breakout in my Arduino/WaveShield case and ran the voltage, signal, and ground wires to the Arduino.

Now, I’ll be able to set this up to scare trick or treaters this Halloween as they get near the house.