The phenomenal growth of YouTube has quite annoyingly increased the signal-to-noise ratio between quality content and practically unwatchable content. Nevertheless, it remains the best visual learning medium for budding makers wishing to improve in their chosen profession.
Luckily, we’ve conveniently consumed enough maker content on the video streaming platform to give you a handy list of the best YouTube channels on 3D printing, woodworking, and general maker content.
Top Carpentry Channels on YouTube
Woodworking is a hard-earned skill that is best mastered under the apprenticeship of an accomplished craftsman. A visual learning medium, such as YouTube, is the best option for those who cannot invest the time and dedication to warrant it. These woodworking chains approach the topic from the perspective of DIYers hoping to get into crafting with minimal investment.
If you get something for free, you’re not the customer; you are the product sold! This applies to a wide range of woodworking channels that are primarily funded by power tool manufacturers to create content that drives sales for their advertisers. Rex, on the other hand, is committed to involving viewers in the craft without breaking the bank or relying on expensive power tools. And it does so by keeping the channel purely crowdfunded.
This makes it the rare woodworking channel that takes you away from power tools to inexpensive hand tools using ancient woodworking techniques that have been around for hundreds of years. How cheap, you ask? Well, how about a $30 DIY workbench that can be put together by a beginner with basic tools and yet accomplish everything an expensive alternative can do. Additionally, the channel even teaches you how to make your own basic tools and get good ones for less.
Steve Ramsey: Woodworking for Mere Mortals
Don’t care much about woodworking with traditional hand tools? Steve Ramsey’s “Woodworking for Mere Mortals” video series is designed to help beginners create a woodworking shop for less than a thousand dollars. Ramsey’s concise videos distill everything from tool picks to handy tips and tricks into an easily digestible format for the inexperienced.
The YouTube channel is a treasure trove of guides covering how to make a simple box to complicated woodworking and furniture projects. We recommend heading over to the playlist section of the channel and browsing the woodworking video trajectory from beginner to advanced.
Best 3D printing channels on YouTube
Unlike the abundance problem associated with YouTube woodworking content, finding decent 3D printing channels is extremely difficult. The relatively nascent hobby of creators is plagued by bad advice and YouTube channels lacking expertise and quality content. You’re much more likely to find better advice through 3D printing Discord communities instead. This selection of 3D printing channels therefore relies on YouTube channels run by recognized experts in the field, who base their content on pushing beginners in the right direction.
If you’ve read our beginner’s guide to Voron 3D printers, you already know how Voron’s trademark open-source approach to DIY 3D printers has disrupted the consumer 3D printing space. Having built a few Voron 3D printers ourselves, we can attest to the vastly superior engineering quality of Voron’s design and engineering team. Wouldn’t it be nice to learn the basics of 3D printing from these nice gentlemen? You’re in luck, because the Nero 3D channel is managed by a member of the Voron design team.
Unlike most gadget-focused 3D printing channels, Nero 3D is a brilliant repository of video build guides, sourcing tips, and entire live streams where 3D printers are built from the ground up. Do you want to build or maintain your own printer? Follow the various build and maintenance live streams, where Taylor (aka Nero) intuitively guides you through the complicated process.
The channel covers reviews, build guides, tips and how-to’s for popular 3D printers ranging from Creality and Prusa models to advanced DIY printers such as Voron and Rat Rig. Board quality, however, is way ahead of everything else in the space due to Taylor’s Voron pedigree.
Miner of vision
Virtually all 3D printing channels focus on consumer 3D printers with common materials, such as PLA, PETG, ABS, and TPU. However, printing with advanced engineered materials, such as nylon composites, polycarbonate, PEEK, and carbon/glass fiber reinforced materials is more challenging and requires a radically different approach.
The people behind the Vision Miner channel specialize in providing the defense and aerospace industries with 3D printing solutions based on the aforementioned specialty engineered materials. Unsurprisingly, this makes him one of the leading authorities on advanced 3D printing techniques. However, that doesn’t stop the channel from covering beginner-friendly topics with a level of practical insight that amply demonstrates the professional pedigree of its experts.
The 3D printing process is a bit like cooking, that is, purely empirical. Achieving desired results is not just about turning knobs and banging in absolute values. You must run calibration prints and change settings in a closed tuning feedback loop. CNC Kitchen, as the name suggests, does just that.
Want to know which layer height gives the strongest impressions? How about finding out how cooling and extrusion width affect part strength? CNC Kitchen’s hands-on approach to testing and evaluation consistently yields results that are not only surprising, but also tend to shift paradigms in how hobbyists approach 3D printing.
It also helps that the man behind the line, Stefan Hermann, is a metal additive manufacturing research engineer by profession. Taking your 3D printing skills to the next level is much easier if you follow Stefan’s experiments.
Best YouTube Channels for Maker Content
What do you get when you combine advances in embedded systems and consumer manufacturing solutions (although contemporary 3D printers still have a long way to go) with the endless repository of knowledge and creativity that is the internet? You get crazy creator content that straddles the intersection between entertainment and engineering. This eclectic selection of creator YouTube channels range from insane projects for pure entertainment value to ones that can actually improve your life.
stuff made here
It’s unlikely you’d even consider replicating any of Stuff Made Here’s design projects. But you’ll surely be watching half-hour videos documenting the crazy projects every second. The channel documents Shane Wighton’s elaborate DIY machines that take on seemingly impossible challenges, like an automated pool cue that doesn’t miss a single shot.
Doesn’t that sound dangerous enough? Well, how about a baseball bat that uses explosive charges to hit guaranteed home runs, or a robotic hair-cutting machine? Besides the obvious entertainment value, gleaning insight into Wighton’s ingenious approach to solving complex engineering problems is the real draw for manufacturers here.
Benefits of DIY
The DIY Perks YouTube channel is a handy hub from projects you can’t duplicate to relatively more user-friendly gadgets. Named after its British creator Matthew Perks, the chain focuses on building tech gadgets with minimal expense in the form of tools and materials. But unlike the janky DIY gadgets found on those channels, Perks infuses their projects with phenomenal craftsmanship and artistry by combining modern gadgets with sleek cases of brass, aluminum, wood, and leather.
The best part is that it does all of this with simple tools and out-of-the-box materials, in a decidedly cost-effective and beginner-friendly approach. And aesthetics are only part of the equation, as Perks’ DIY projects often outperform their branded consumer electronics counterparts. All thanks to careful design and selection of parts. With the exception of Tech Ingredients, it’s hard to find another YouTube maker channel that comes close to mastering DIY Perks.
Go beyond visual learning aids
While YouTube is a great visual learning medium that lends itself exceptionally well to complex creative projects, it shouldn’t be your only approach to mastering your favorite DIY discipline. Books and online articles tend to deepen and are important for perfecting the craft. Interacting with other hobbyists on forums and Discord communities is another way to broaden your horizons and keep up to date with the latest in the hobby.
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