An Interview with Joey Hudy

Touring SparkFun electronics in Denver.

An Interview with Joey Hudy

Jul 30, 2015
Joey Hudy

Joey’s 10x10x10 RGB LED Cube he worked on while at Intel.

We are very excited to have the opportunity to interview Joey Hudy. If you’ve been following Mx3 (Makers x 3) Designs then you’ve heard how our story began. We have always had a love for tinkering and building starting with Lego ( The greatest toy ever invented in our opinion!) and then moving from there to taking apart our toys and creating new things.

Our first introduction to Joey was by reading a feature article about him in a local magazine. The article was about a boy who was really smart and loved to create and make things; we discovered he lived in our community.   We were so inspired by the article and his story that we had to meet him. We actually had been introduced to the Maker movement when we visited a Homeschooling day held at Arizona State University. Our mom had heard about a local Maker Fest event and decided it would be interesting to go and check it out. Joey and his mother Julie had a booth set up there showing his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon. Over the next few months we were introduced through Joey and his family to the world of Making, we learned about 3D printing,and electronics! Joey taught all us how to soldier and introduced us to the Arduino and a program called Blender. By May of 2014 we were on our way to our first Maker Faire in San Mateo, California!

Joey Hudy

Joey at The White House Science Fair.

Joey’s road to making started with cardboard and old toys, its amazing what you can do with cardboard and few parts from an old toy! He got his first soldering iron from an Elenco Electronics sales manager who took an interest in Joey’s making. He has said in the past that when he arrived at his first Maker Faire “I realized this is where I belonged.”  It was there that his mother Julie bought him his first Arduino, as Joey say’s that was the “second best thing that ever happened to me, the first was going to Maker Faire.” He then created what would be the first of two products a 3x3x3 LED Cube Shield and later an SMD LED Shield for the Arduino, both are available at the site.

He was then asked to represent Make Magazine at the White House Science Faire, there he brought his now famous Extreme Marshmallow Cannon. As Joey recalls about the event, ” I was exhibiting my Extreme Marshmallow Cannon and it just so happened that I was in the right room at the right time and in walks President Obama” the rest in the maker world is history.  The President and Joey pumped up the cannon and shot a marshmallow in the White House!

Business Insider Magazine named him one of the world’s 10 smartest kids. In 2014 Intel CEO Brian Krzanich hired Joey for an internship in the New Devices Group product development program, where he became the youngest intern hired in the history of Intel. At Intel along with other projects Joey created the 10x10x10 RGB LED Cube and 3D Scanner which would scan and then display images into the 10x10x10 cube!

Recently Joey sat down with us and answered some of our questions:

Mx3: Thank you Joey for taking sometime to talk to us.

Joey's Cube

Joey’s 3x3x3 LED Cube Arduino Shield.

Joey:  Your welcome.

MX3: How did you get started with Making?

Joey:  I got started using Snap Circuits and then started learning to use the Arduino.

Mx3:  How many Maker Faires have you been to.  Do you have a favorite one and why?

 Joey: I have been to 28 maker fairs now and I don’t really have a favorite. I like different ones for different reasons.

 Mx3: Of all your projects which one stands out as your favorite?

 Joey: Probably the 10x10x10 RGB led cube because it’s the most aesthetically pleasing one I have made, and it is one of the most intense things I have made.

Mx3: What inspired you to start that project? And what was the most difficult part of the project? How did you overcome it?

Don't Be Bored Make Something!

Don’t Be Bored Make Something!

Joey: I had always wanted to make a 10x10x10 RGB LED cube and the most difficult part of the project was having to be able to control all 1000 LED’s,  because it took a lot of power to run, around 60 amp’s when they all go white.

Mx3:  Who has inspired you the most? and Why?

Joey:  I’m not exactly sure that there is one individual because the entire Maker community has done so much, but if I were to have to say one person it would have to be Dale Dougherty of Make because he is the one who started the Maker Faire.

Mx3:  Tell us about your experiences at Intel?

Joey:  It was fantastic. I got the chance to build things I never would have, without them helping me along. Being able to go to new places see new things and meet some fantastic people.

Joey Hudy and Intel

Joey at a Maker Faire with Intel.

Mx3: What projects are you working on at Sketch Up now or are considering starting?

Joey: Its confidential.

Mx3: No hints?

Joey: Nope.

Mx3:  What advice would give to those who are thinking about getting into Making?

Joey:  Find someone that is willing to mentor you and teach you what they know. That’s how I got started. So just find a local hacker space or hit up some forums and find someone.

Joey has spent much of his time traveling the circuit of Maker Faires all over the world, which are family-oriented invention festivals, and lives by the credo, “Don’t be bored; make something.”   “Going to Maker Faires has changed my life – it can change yours too.”

It has for all of us as well!

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